Spring Break Adventures 2012, Day 1: Vancouver International Airport

The kids and I are staying in town for Spring Break, so we’ve planned some close-to-home adventures to keep ourselves occupied this week.

Our first Spring Break Adventure was a trip to Vancouver International Airport, also known as YVR.

To get there, we rode the Canada Line which runs between downtown Vancouver and the Airport.

The kids “drive” the train to the airport

End of the line! Last stop, YVR

Arriving at the airport, we were greeted by a sculpture called “Cedar Connection” by Coast Salish artist Susan Point.

The Airport is home to a number of amazing art pieces, including Haida artist Bill Reid’s The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, The Jade Canoe (which is featured on the Canadian $20 bill).

The kids inspect Bill Reid’s sculpture

On the 4th floor of the Domestic Terminal can be found the Public Observation Area, featuring interactive exhibits and telescopes for close-up viewing of planes taking off and landing. The kids happily spent an hour or so watching the activity on the ground and in the air. Through her telescope, my daughter spotted a resourceful coyote in the grass beside the runway, chasing after small rodents that were no doubt scared out of hiding by the noise of the jet engines.

Air Canada Jazz aircraft (Bombardier CRJ-705) on the tarmac

Watching the planes taking off and landing

Lining up for takeoff

There’s no shortage of restaurants at the airport should you find yourself hungry after all the fun at the airport. We took our own snacks from home, so the total cost of our adventure was the price of two-zone transit tickets to and from the airport. (If you have a transit pass or pre-paid tickets, you can avoid the $5 per person additional fare charged for taking the Canada Line from the airport.)

Stay tuned for Spring Break Adventures, Day 2: North Vancouver!

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8 Responses to Spring Break Adventures 2012, Day 1: Vancouver International Airport

  1. Rob Jones says:

    The Airport, coupled with the Canada Line is a gift to thrifty, creative parents everywhere!

    If only more locations in the Lower Mainland could be reached as easily by public transit lines.

    I hope the kids had fun!


  2. funkomatic says:

    I had a friend in my early college days who worked at MPS (Minneapolis Intl Airport) over the summer. I used to drive out there and bum around for entire afternoons and when her store was slow, we would just chat and lean on the counter. There was a small observation deck/tower out in one of the terminal arms. It was stuffy and smoke stained from years prior, but it was very cool. Since 9/11, those days are gone. Now you can go to baggage claim and that is about it.


    • That’s too bad! Fortunately, the Public Observation Area at YVR is public (as the name implies!). There’s also a park near the runways where people park their cars to watch the planes. We’re going to try that some time — it would be pretty amazing to hear the roar of the jet engines at close range as they come in for a landing right over your head!


  3. Great idea for an adventure! I love going to the airport. (I’d rather not get on a plane, though!) Will look forward to hearing about the rest of the spring break.


  4. Pingback: Spring Break Adventures 2013: Vancouver Maritime Museum | Photography by Leslie Robinson

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