Family Day provides the perfect excuse to leave work at the office and spend a full 24 hours with your nearest and dearest – and what better way to pass a day off in February than cuddle together on the couch, lay out a spread of snacks and watch a movie?
Since Family Day is for families (natch), we’ve compiled a list of must-see films perfect for enjoying with every member of your clan. Be extra observant while viewing, as all five movies feature scenes shot in Vancouver. Then, carry on the tradition of togetherness by following our Vancouver activities suggestions corresponding to each movie. Happy Family Day!
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Part of Rick Riordan’s popular Percy Jackson series, the second movie in the pentalogy follows the half-human son of Poseidon as he travels to the Sea of Monsters while battling an army of mythical beasts. The thriller was filmed in the U.S. and Canada with the latter sites including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Burrard Inlet, the Pacific National Exhibition grounds, and parts of West Vancouver and North Vancouver. Perfect for: families who adventure together and aren’t afraid to try something new. Find an experience the whole group will enjoy using this list of family-focused experiences in Vancouver.
Tomorrowland A budding scientist and her companion, a boy-genius inventor, embark on a journey to unearth the secrets of time and space – and stumble on a futuristic world called Tomorrowland. Starring George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, the movie was filmed in several locations – including Disneyland Park and the Kennedy Space Center – as well as closer-to-home sites like the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver. Perfect for: curious families who follow technology trends, keep a close eye on outer space news, and enjoy copious amounts of science fiction. Step into the movie by browsing the Space Centre’s engaging and interactive exhibits and shows.
Fantastic Four Young outsiders teleport to an alternate universe that gives them strange new powers – and as if that’s not enough, they also need to save Earth from a friend-turned-enemy. Vancouver is home to several superhero films and TV shows, and Fantastic Four is no exception, showcasing recognizable landmarks like the University of British Columbia’s downtown campus, Cypress Mountain and the Central City building in Surrey. Perfect for: families who love cheering for their favourite goodies (or baddies) in superhero sagas. Fun fact: superhero TV series shot in Vancouver include Supergirl, The Flash and Arrow. Follow in your favourite hero’s footsteps using this self-guided itinerary.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Security guard Larry Daley (played by Ben Stiller) sneaks into the Smithsonian Institute to rescue his friends, meeting historical characters like Amelia Earhart and General Custer along the way. Parts of the movie were filmed in Vancouver and North Vancouver, and in-studio work was completed at Burnaby’s Mammoth Studios. Perfect for: families who adore arts and culture, and enjoy visiting museums and galleries. For a fun afternoon outing, visit the Museum of Vancouver, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Vancouver Maritime Museum, which are situated close together in Vanier Park.
Godzilla Believe it or not, the action-packed retelling of this classic story is the 30th film in the Godzilla franchise. Viewers will recognize several Lower Mainland sites, including Steveston (which played Janjira, Japan, as well as San Francisco’s harbour); the Vancouver Convention Centre (Honolulu Airport); BC Place Stadium (the emergency hub); West Hastings Street (metro station) and many more. Perfect for: families who like lots of action, monsters and a surprisingly heartwarming end to a tale. Godzilla covers a ton of filming sites in Vancouver and surrounding areas: view the city’s top 10 filming sites here.