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The Nanaimo Museum is pretty cool, especially if you're interested in Native artifacts and/or our Victorian coal mining history. Admission is dirt cheap.
Take the kids to Maffeo Sutton Park, our big waterfront public space with a huge playground.
There are a few good pubs downtown:
James St Billiards is open from 1pm every day to midnight (or 1am on Fri/Sat's).
If you like unique shops and boutiques instead of huge malls, you will certainly enjoy shopping in downtown Nanaimo.
Would you like to do a long walk in the city? There's an interesting Nanaimo walking tour that will bring you along the nicer part of the waterfront, and then ducks up into our industrial past, along the Millstone River through Bowen Park and finally to serene Buttertubs Marsh. The whole route keeps you within walking distance of downtown.
If you'd prefer a long walk completely outside of the city, but would like to stay close to downtown (here's a paradox), Newcastle Island is a big, mostly-wild island that serves as a giant inner-city park, but it's usually pretty deserted because you need to take a boat. Hike the island's 7+ km, checking out all sorts of historic objects and sites, as well as beautiful views and blonde raccoons.
Are we leaving out anything obvious that's fun to do downtown? Please let us know your ideas for this section.
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