8:00am Breakfast At Spoons Diner
Spoons is a great breakfast joint with a fun atmosphere and at this hour you'll miss the brunch line-up. Stay tuned as Hotel Zed's breakfast joint will be opening up in a few months and then you'll just have to roll out of bed.
Mid Morning Hanging At the Hotel
Sip free but really good coffee either in the lobby, the pool deck, or in the comfy plush chair in your room while the kids are either playing ping pong or Wii in the Ping Pong Lounge, swimming and sliding in the pool, or quietly reading the comic book that came with the room. Yeah, that last one is a bit farfetched, so let's say they are in the lobby at the vinyl listening station discovering records for the first time or how to work that clunky typewriter that has no delete button. No matter what, everyone is happy, and it's a nice relaxed morning.
Noonish Exploring Downtown
The Royal BC Museum does not disappoint any age category with its life-size streets of Old Town; there's Charlie Chaplin films in the old theatre, trains going by the station, and one can even pan for gold. Other noteworthy items are the magical yet solemn vibe of First Nations Gallery and of course the Woolly Mammoth. After, a stroll along the Inner Harbour is always in order with buskers playing, live acts and sweet treats around. As for lunch, here are my family's non-touristy faves: we love Don Mees for dim sum in Chinatown or really any Chinese restaurant in the heart of Old Town for that matter, Fisherman's wharf for a variety of quick yet really good food shacks (and you can even buy raw fish to feed the very fat seals that lead a pretty cushy life here), or try Bin 4 Burger Lounge which is our new favorite as it's got something for everyone.
Afternoon Hit the Beach, Park or Playground
Hit them all in one stop at Gyro Park, a waterfront park with giant cement sculptures kids love to play on and it's located on a gorgeous beach. This is where the locals go to spend an afternoon. Or closer to town is Beacon Hill park which also has it all, including a waterpark for the kids, lagoons to feed ducks, a petting zoo, ample gardens and lush grass to flake out on while the kids run around. Lots more tourists here, but there's a good reason for it.
Ice Cream or Treat Break
How to choose? Sometimes is by location. So if you are near the Inner Harbour there is an old fashioned Malt Shop on Government Street that is great. A couple doors up is Roger's Chocolates. Murchie's Tea Room has lovely little bakery treats and cakes. From here you could deek down to Bastion Square which has a great place to get good Gelato and sit and watch the world go by. Not downtown but near Beacon Hill Park? Bubby Rose has got the best chocolate chip cookies in town. The Beacon Drive in is perfect for a soft cone and stroll along the Dallas Road waterfront.
My family are White Spot and Boston Pizza fans but you should try new things while on vacation, different than what you eat at home! Check out these great spots to take the family: Prima Strada makes that yummy handmade pizza in a laid back yet modern environment. Pagliacci's is a local institute in Victoria and a perfect one for kids as they eat free (seriously). Trust me, not the same environment as a Denny's. Excellent local food and a fun lively vibe. The problem is that there is often a line up, so go early. For something completely different, grab an awesome Noodle Box and take it to eat on the lawns of the Legislature, on the beach overlooking the Olympic Mountains on Dallas Road, the Ogden Point Breakwater or on top of Mt. Tolmie for a view of the whole city!
A quick hot tub and a waterslide will tucker those kids out if there's anything left in them.