It’s Cathy from My Book a Day. We love to travel with our family. Sometimes it’s an adventure with the ages of our kids (17, 12, and 4). We like to find things to do that will work for kids of all ages and so far, we’ve been successful. Touring the British Columbia Parliament Buildings in Victoria, British Columbia is one of the activities we’ve all enjoyed.
You can take a guided or self-guided tour of the British Columbia Parliamentary Buildings. This option made more sense, since we were traveling with little people that have short attention spans and would tend to wander away in the middle of a tour. With this tour, there is a free booklet you can pick up in several languages. It's full of interesting information.
You can also take guided group tour. This looked like lots of fun because guides dressed in period costumes. This is not the case for every tour, so check the website if you'd like to catch one of the Parliamentary Players Tours. This month they’re led by a famous female gold miner, Nellie Cashman. I think that would be so much fun!
What You'll see
You'll enter the Parliament Building through the main entrance. Plan to go through a security screening when you enter the building. This wasn’t a huge issue for our family, since it was easier than airport security and fairly fast.
Once you’re through security, the fun begins. You can wander through the building and view the displays. The displays inside are similar to what you would find in similar buildings elsewhere. I enjoyed learning a little bit about the history of British Columbia. I really found the province's connection to England interesting.
Another thing that I found interesting was the Ceremonial Mace. The day we took the tour, it happened to be in the Parliament Building and out for photographs. The Mace isn’t always there or out, but last year was a celebratory year for British Columbia so they happened to be taking pictures of it.
The architecture of this building is beautiful! Both inside the building and outside, you’ll find new and beautiful things to look at. I loved the rotunda inside. And the outside of the building itself is fabulous. Make sure you take the time to see it lit up at night.
My family loved touring the British Columbia Parliament Buildings. If your family enjoys free, educational and cultural activities, we recommend it.
Good to Know
Where: 501 Belleville St, Victoria, British Columbia. The buildings are prominently located near the waterfront in downtown Victoria. There is no public parking lot for tours at the British Columbia Parliamentary Buildings. Look for parking on the street or in a public lot nearby.
When: The British Columbia Parliamentary Buildings are open for guided and self-guided tours during the day on Monday-Friday, year-round. Some guided tours are available on weekends during warm weather months, but not year-round.
How Much: FREE! Guided and self-guided tours of the British Columbia Parliamentary Building are free of charge.
How Long: An hour or more. Guided tours last 30-45 minutes. You may want more time to explore the building and grounds on your own.
Amenities: The Parliamentary Dining Room is open to the public. You'll also find a gift shop.