Yesterday we spent the afternoon at the Burnaby Village Museum. I’m not a big museum-goer but it was a great time. We went with our two boys and niece (ages 7, 8 and 10).
My wife and I loved it. Our kids enjoyed it more. So yes, it’s a fantastic place to take your kids. It’s one of the rare outings that is free as in free parking and free village. The only thing you need pay for is the carousel which is a few bucks per ride (worth doing BTW).
What is the Burnaby Village Museum?
It’s a village showcasing what life was like in the 1920s. It does this with actual buildings constructed in the 1920s. I’m not talking about just a few buildings but an entire village worth including three houses, a school, church, general store, movie theater, gas station, smithy, bank and bakery.
The village was not originally located on the site. Instead, the buildings were moved there and situation to replicate what a 1920s village might look like.
The Elworth country house was built on the site. This house is definitely worth a look. It’s just outside the village.
Where is the Burnaby Village Museum located?
It’s located at 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby, BC. It’s very easy to get to minutes of Highway 1 just east of Vancouver.
Here’s a map:
While the free parking lot isn’t huge, we got lucky finding a spot.
From the parking lot you enter through a building and pass by the information booth.
The first attraction is a large 1920’s farmhouse you can tour both outside and inside
I was very happy we could tour the entire main floor of this sizeable farmhouse. Yes, it was an actual farmhouse from the 1920s.
After the farmhouse, you cross the creek via a short bridge and come to the 1920s school house
There was a person in the schoolhouse who took the time to explain what schoolhouses and classes were like to our kids. They found it really interesting including what kids typically took for their lunch.
Across from the schoolhouse is a small 1920s house.
From there you enter the village main street where you can tour many typical stores and establishments found in 1920s villages
On the right is the general store
Next door is the 1920s gas station
Across the street is a 1920s bakery
Kitty corner to the bakery is a 1920s mechanics shop (a kid favorite)
Up the side street from there was the optometrist’s office and movie theater.
From there, we crossed the street to visit the newspaper building.
Next was the bank
Around the corner was a music store where people could buy instruments back in the day.
After touring the village, we went for ice cream.
On the way to the street car and carousel, we popped into the 1920s church.
Kids love checking out the street car exhibit so we did of course.
Our final attraction was the popular carousel ridge.
On the way back to our car, we toured the large “Elworth” country home to wrap up our self-directed tour.
Burnaby Village Museum FAQ
How much does it cost to visit the Burnaby Village Museum?
The entire village is free of charge. Amazing for these days. The carousel does cost a few dollars per person.
Is the Burnaby Village Museum a good place to take kids?
Yes. Our boys love the place. They’ve been several times now and love it every time. Christmas is also a great time to go because it’s all lit up.
Is there parking at the Burnaby Village Museum? Is it free?
Yes, there’s a decent amount of free parking. If the lot is full, there are other parking lots in the vicinity.
How long does it take to see everything at the museum?
Expect to spend 1.5 to 2 hours there to see everything. We spent time getting ice cream and saw everything there was to see so we were there about two hours.
Is there a concession or restaurant to buy food and drink?
Yes, there’s an ice cream and coffee shop in the village where you can buy snacks and ice cream. There’s plenty of seating inside and out.
Is the Burnaby Village Museum a good place to visit when raining?
While we dodged the rain bullet during our visit, it’s not a bad place to visit if raining. You spend most of your time inside buildings. Yeah, you’ll get wet when going from building to building but it’s not as if you’re outside the entire time. I would add to my list of things to do in Vancouver on a rainy day. FYI, the Swedish Heritage in BC Museum is only a few minutes away.
If you’re visiting or live in the Vancouver area and haven’t visited the museum, I recommend you do. It’s one of those rare places that both adults and kids will enjoy.