COVID-19

The Attractions, Parks, Galleries, Gardens and Museums That Are Back Open in Greater Victoria

Get your Butchart fix, visit an art gallery, go axe throwing or even take in a movie

By Lee Walker
June 13, 2020
COVID-19

The Attractions, Parks, Galleries, Gardens and Museums That Are Back Open in Greater Victoria

Get your Butchart fix, visit an art gallery, go axe throwing or even take in a movie

By Lee Walker
Jun 13, 2020
Butchart Gardens was among the visit Greater Victoria attractions to reopen after COVID-19 lockdowns
COVID-19

The Attractions, Parks, Galleries, Gardens and Museums That Are Back Open in Greater Victoria

Get your Butchart fix, visit an art gallery, go axe throwing or even take in a movie

By Lee Walker
June 13, 2020
The Attractions, Parks, Galleries, Gardens and Museums That Are Back Open in Greater Victoria
Butchart Gardens was among the visit Greater Victoria attractions to reopen after COVID-19 lockdowns

Throughout this abominable pandemic, The Capital has striven to keep you in touch with the city’s valiant local businesses. We told you which restaurants were still offering delivery and takeout, we put together a mega-list of every single food and drink provider in the city, we put together an even bigger list of all the city’s open retail stores and lately we’ve been keeping an updated list of where you can get a dine-in meal

And now, as BC finds its groove with Phase Two, we thought we’d help you have a little fun. Below, a list of every Greater Victoria attraction, leisure activity and park we could think of, along with their reopening details. 

Something we should add? Email us at [email protected]

WILDLIFE/OUTDOORS

The Butchart Gardens
Open
Butchart Gardens is open and is offering food services and shops. Only the rose carousel remains closed as do boat tours and entertainment until at least July. 

Fisherman’s Wharf
Open
Docks are once again open to the public, including seating for eating takeout. 

Butterfly Gardens
Open

Along with all the butterflies there’s flowers, birds, turtles and its own bug zoo. It’s currently open but if you can,  it’s best to visit on a sunny day where the butterflies will be more active. 

Country Bee Honey Farm
Open
Their honey tasting bar is still closed pending further notice, but their gift shop is open seven days a week. 

The Gardens at HCP
Open
A non-profit organization that teaches students how to garden and take care of plants. Their gardens include the largest Bonsai collection in Canada. 

The Raptors
Open
Offering special, limited access, pre-booked sessions to get you up close and personal with eagles, owls, hawks and all the other birds that hunt. 

Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea
Open
The Salish Sea is an aquarium for all ages. Back open 10am to 4:30pm, Saturdays and Sundays. 

Victoria Bug Zoo
Open
Back open and observing new social distancing measures. Spiders, scorpions and various other bugs are on display and some of them can even be handled. It also has an extensive gift shop. 

Government House
Open
The office and official residence of the Lieutenant Governor. Because of renovations the buildings can’t be visited but the gardens are open to explore. 

Abkhazi Gardens
Open
All recommended health measures in place. Check link for details.

MUSEUMS 

Maritime Museum of British Columbia
Closed until further notice
Being closed is nothing new to the Maritime Museum; they’ve had their doors shut on their Bastion Square location since 2015, and have since been operating out of 3,000 square feet on Humboldt Street. You can’t yet visit them there, but the museum has gotten a head start on lining up some excellent virtual programs, including some nautical Zoom backgrounds. 

BC Aviation Museum
Closed until further notice
Located near the Victoria International airport the BC Aviation Museum covers the whole history of aviation from the DaVinci Ornithopter, to the Supermarine “Spitfire” from the Second World War to the Piper PA-28 "Cherokee 180" of more modern times. It’s currently closed but worth visiting if out in the area. 

Royal BC Museum
Reopening June 19
Starting next Friday the Royal BC Museum will have an exhibit on the Wildlife Photographer of the year and the rest of the second floor will be available to explore. By September 7 the rest of the museum will open. In the meantime, check out their online exhibitions.


ART GALLERIES 

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Free admission until July 5
Currently on display is Canadian historical, contemporary and new acquisitions in Asian Art

Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature
Open
Gallery of Nature and gift shop have been open since June 2. Visit them Tuesday-Saturday from 11am-4pm.

Gage Gallery Arts Collective
Reopens June 23
A non-profit society promoting art and culture in the community. 

Madrona Gallery
Open

Contemporary and historic fine art gallery, now featuring new works by local artist Carollyne Yardley.

West End Gallery
Open
Available for private viewings by appointment. Check link for details. 

Winchester Galleries
Open
Check out their new showcase of artworks from the Island. 


PLAYGROUNDS/PARKS 

All 13 municipalities have now reopened their playgrounds and parks, in addition to all Greater Victoria schools. While team sports is still forbidden and social distancing must be practiced, it’s safe to assume that your local skate park, tennis court, hiking trail, basketball court, beach or swimming hole is back open


HERITAGE/HISTORY 

Craigdarroch Castle
Reopening soon

Victoria’s most signature heritage attraction is slowly preparing for reopening. Check the link to shop online at their gift shop. 

Hatley Park
Closed until further notice
While motor vehicle access is suspended to the grounds, you can still get in by foot or bike.

Heritage Acres
Closed until further notice
Most known for the little train that takes visitors around the grounds Heritage Acres is also home to many buildings from different eras and industrial machines.

Point Ellice House
Reopening July 4
Built in 1861 Point Ellice House is one of the oldest homes in Victoria and has 108 years of history.

Fan Tan Alley
Open
The shops are back open on the narrowest street in Canada. Just be kind about social distancing. 

Parliament Buildings
Closed until further notice
When it reopens tours will be available, as well as public access to the dining room and gift shop. 

Wentworth Villa Architectural Heritage Museum
Closed until further notice
Their latest exhibits included a showcase on Architectural Modernism in Victoria. 

BC Forest Discovery Centre
Open
The site and schoolhouse are open. Concessions and access to all historial buildings will return on June 18, and train rides resume on June 25.

Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse
Open
Plenty of space to socially distance at this artillery fortress that was active from 1895 to 1956. 


CHILDREN 

Flying Squirrel
Open
A trampoline park with climbing walls and a cafe. Check their new sanitation protocols at the link. 

Miniature World
Open

One of the first Victoria attractions to reopen its doors. 

Beacon Hill Children’s Farm
Closed until further notice
Even if it remains closed the farm’s various goats, donkeys, chickens can still be seen through the fence.  

Tours

Sightseeing Victoria
Reopening June 18
Their “hop-on, hop-off” bus tours reopen next week. 

Harbour Air Seaplanes
Open
Most routes back open, as well as private charter flights and scenic routes. 

Orca Spirit Adventures
Reopening soon
Whale watching on zodiacs or a luxurious yacht that can take up to 150 guests. 

Five Star Whale Watching
Planning to reopen July 1st
Operating for 30 years, Five Star is the Fairmont Empress Hotel’s in-house whale watching company.

Eaglewing Tours
Closed until at least June 30
Normally Victoria’s #1 whale-watching company on Trip Advisor, they offer extended range on comfortable craft. 

Springtide Whale Watching
Tours starting in July
Zodiac and covered boat tours starting at $129 for adults and $99 for children. 

Prince of Whales
Plan to reopen on July 1
Offers many different vessels for whale watching, including one package that includes a visit to Butchart Gardens.


Thrills and Entertainment   

Vic Theatre
Open
The first cinema in Canada to reopen! Check their COVID-19 protocols at the link. 

Imax Victoria
Closed until further notice

The Royal BC Museum reopens on June 19th, which may include the IMAX. 

Horror Escape Victoria
Open
One of the most immersive experiences a person can have. You are given 45 minutes to find clues, solve puzzles and move from room to room. There are currently three escape rooms available. 

Axe & Grind
Open
Axe throwing for you or an entire group. Check the link for details on their COVID-19 changes. 

Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit
Open
Car racing works well with social distancing, so this privately owned track is open with new protocols. 

Adrena Line Zipline Adventure Tours
Open
With a total of eight ziplines this is a thrill seeking experience with a forest providing great scenery. Tours are guided and last about two hours.  

WildPlay Element Parks
Open
Located in the Great Outdoors Wildpark Element Parks, there are a series of ziplines, platforms, bridges, nets, and obstacle games.

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