Vancouver is the place to be this summer! From camping in provincial parks to exploring scenic trails and participating in significant cultural experiences, there is no dearth of family friendly events and activities to do this summer in and around Vancouver! Get started by checking out this list of 100 things to do:
1. Celebration of Light
Sit back and enjoy great food, live entertainment and fireworks that light up the sky at this celebration of lights.
2. Theatre Under the Stars
Experience the irresistible story and unforgettable songs, as everyone’s favourite nanny swoops in to teach the Banks family a lesson or two about love & imagination.
3. Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Visit craft markets, activity areas and enjoy hours of great music throughout the park. This festival celebrates young artists and honours elders of the tradition. Revel in the free opening concert that showcases an eclectic range of amazing Canadian artists performing songs written by some of Canada’s most renowned and talented composers !
4. Whistler Children’s Festival
There’s fun for the whole family in this action-packed weekend of creativity. With dozens of workshops, live musical performances, and a host of activities, kids and adults alike can let their imaginations run wild!
5. The Tour de Delta
Cheer the participants or join for The Tour de Delta, a bike race which promises you three exciting days of the wildest and most competitive cycling action you can imagine.
6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ in Concert
Revel in an evening of music and magic in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ In Concert. Relive the magic of Harry Potter™ soaring across the big screen in high-definition and experience the music of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performing John Williams’ unforgettable score live on the Orpheum stage.
7. Indian Summer Festival
Listen to grammy winning artists as well as phenomenal indigenous creators that send forth a powerful message about the world.
8. Gathering of the Canoes
Experience this traditional 10-day paddling journey to traditional First Nation territories. Take your friends and family to an afternoon feast and celebratory gathering. Cheer on the Skippers and Canoe Families as they paddle to their next stop at Ambleside in West Vancouver.
9. The Vancouver Greek Summer Festival
Don’t forget to have a fun time at this an annual celebration of food, entertainment, and family fun — from the famous “BBQ Lamb” and “Loukoumades” to the dozens of live singers and dancers on the Performance Stage.
10. BC Lions
Shout “We love the L
The I The O, N, S” at the top of your voice as the pride of all BCbattles it out against the guest team!
11. Thunderbird Sharing Ceremony
Experience a canoe landing ceremony in a collaborative performance between Aeriosa Dance and Eagle Song.
12. Annual Harrison Festival of the Arts
Celebrate arts against the backdrop of magnificent mountains and the sandy beaches of Harrison Lake! While you’re there, take in the beautiful, lakeside Village of Harrison Hot Springs, where you can also experience the many fine restaurants, shops and other attractions.
13. Canada’s Alpine Blossom Festival
Summer season is when the alpine wildflowers are at the height of their bloom. Be sure to take a scenic ride on the Sunburst Express chairlift for access to hiking and biking trails. The wildflower meadows on Tod Mountain can be reached by a leisurely stroll to more challenging hikes!
14. Caribbean Days Festival
Enjoy the spectacle of a multitude of costumed revellers cavorting down the streets of North Vancouver, children’s carnival, stage performers, food, art market and so much more!
15. Powell Street Festival
Check out the longest running community arts festival in Vancouver which celebrates Japanese art and culture. Experience new, emerging, mid-career and senior professional artists of Japanese heritage working in literary, visual, performing, new media, and inter- and community arts fields originating from across the Lower Mainland, Canada, the US, and Japan.
16. Pinoy Fiesta
Head over to this festival for a fiesta parade, food and trade market, great entertainment, treats and family activities. See world renowned Philippine Festivals showcased right here in Vancouver! Prepare your taste buds for the delicious and tempting popular Filipino food like inasal, barbecue, pansit, lechon, lumpia, dinuguan, puto, laing etc. Masarap ang lutong Pinoy!
17. Taiwan Fest
Pack the whole family and enjoy this free festival featuring spectacular performances with incredible choreography reflecting the culture of Taiwan.
18. Waterfront Cinema
Enjoy weekly movies under the stars featuring Canadian talent.
19. Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
Experience Shakespeare’s great plays throughout the summer with ‘The Merchant of Venice’ on the Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre and other great favourites. Arrive at the Village early for family-friendly activities including the PIXSTAR Photobooth, a food truck and an exclusive pre-show talk designed just for kids on family nights!
20. Come Nose to Snout with Steller Sea Lions
Get up-close with Steller sea lions at Vancouver Aquarium’s new Steller’s Bay exhibit which spotlights these majestic and mysterious creatures.
21. Summer Night Market
Check out the largest summer lighting show with exquisite lanterns and other gorgeous lights set up around the market, great food, cultural spots and game areas.
22. Museum of Anthropology
See world’s finest displays of Northwest Coast First Nations arts in a spectacular Arthur Erickson designed building overlooking mountains and sea. Stroll the Museum’s grounds, where monumental Haida houses, poles and Musqueam house posts capture the dramatic beauty of traditional Northwest Coast architecture and design.
23. TD Concerts at the Pier
Enjoy free concerts featuring top national and international recording artists and the best of the thriving BC indie music scene! Artists include Platinum Blonde, Chilliwack and more!
24. Surrey Fusion Festival
Take a trip around the world all in one weekend through music, food & culture! Experience 70 performances on 4 stages over 2 days and food from around the world.
Clean the house this summer and visit Trout Lake Park for a free day of recycling, prizes and family fun. You can bring your broken or unwanted small appliances and power tools for recycling and enjoy some free food and games all day at Trout Lake.
26. Squamish Wind Festival
Experience fusion of local culture including art, film, performance and music and water sports at the free community block party.
27. Abbotsford Agrifair
Get to the Best little country fair featuring tons of roving entertainment including clowns, magicians, bands, balloon artists and a so much more.
Take part in Ivivva Kids Yoga on the Beach, Zumba, jump around in bouncy castles and more at Vancouver’s Hottest Sports & Healthy Living Beach Festival
29. Stanley Park Summer Cinema
Enjoy free movies every Tuesday – Movies include The Lego Batman Movie, The Goonies , Toy Story
National Lampoon’s Vacation, Beauty And The Beast – Sing-a-long, Jaws, Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 and more!
30. Abbotsford Air Show
Don’t forget to get your tickets for Abbotsford Air Show, the annual aviation festival that provides spectators an opportunity to watch one of the finest aerobatic performances in the world. Experience Friday evening twilight show with Fireworks Finale, get to know pilots and Aircraft and more!
31. Pacific National Exhibition (PNE)
Celebrate at BC’s legendary Fair at the PNE! This year there will special Canada 150 shows and entertainment, rides and food! Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride will be at the fair for their during their 2017 Canada 150th celebration tour!
32. Vancouver Zombie Walk
Watch the parade of undead!
33. Go Whale Watching
Get a closer look at these majestic marine mammals on a whale watching tour!
34. Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art
View monumental sculptures and unique exhibitions featuring contemporary Indigenous art. See Reid’s stunning gold and silver jewelry, monumental sculptures and a towering totem pole by James Hart of Haida Gwaii.
35. Alice Lake Campground
Spend the weekend camping at this provincial park with dense forests, mountains and beautiful grassy areas. It’s a great place to spot wildlife as well as enjoy cycling, fishing and canoeing.
36. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Visit west coast of Vancouver Island for this awesome park reserve. Watching the sun go down is absolutely breath-taking. There are also other great activities including kayaking and whale watching.
37. Whistler Adventure Passport
Experience a Scandinavian spa, helicopter tours and for an adrenaline rush try out zipling and rafting.
38. Grouse Mountain
Step outside downtown Vancouver for an exciting adventure of zipling, Skyride, Lumberjack Shows, Birds in Motion demonstrations, Ranger Talks at the Bear Habitat, and more!
Bike the Seawall!
40. Science World
Celebrate Canadian creativity and innovation, with Science World’s original exhibition, Made in Canada, presented by YVR — where you drive the creative process! Get hands-on and build the fastest bobsled, construct a stunning piece of Vancouver architecture and create your own Canadian sound mashup, to share with friends.
41. Lyn Canyon Park
Pack the kids and a picnic basket and head out to Lyn Canyon Park! Walk the suspension bridge, enjoy breathtaking waterfalls and popular swimming holes that are perfect for a refreshing swim during the summer months.
42. VanDusen Botanical Gardens
Explore the garden filled with summer blooms like Waterlilies, Southern Hemisphere bulbs, Fuchsias, Roses, Hypericums, Evergreen Magnolia, Spanish Broom, Yucca and Lilies, Roses and more! Don’t forget admire art installations, or attend ongoing lectures, fitness events and other great family activities!
43. H.R. MacMillan space Centre
Experience planets, meteor showers, nebulas, black holes, galaxies, and countless other astronomical wonders at Vancouver’s only Planetarium Theatre! Visit again on Saturday nights to explore observe the skies around Vancouver through for 1/2 metre Cassegrain telescope!
44. The Old Spaghetti Factory
Enjoy great food at great prices including steamed mussels, chicken parmigiana and many other great Italian dishes.
45. Queen Elizabeth Park
Smell the sweet roses, exotic trees, at this well-kept Gardens overlooking the city. Can you name the exotic birds and plants at the Bloedel Floral Conservatory?
46. Nitobe Memorial Garden
This summer, visit Nitobe Memorial Garden, considered to be the one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in North America and among the top five Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Experience traditional tea ceremonies as well as opportunities to learn about religion and spirituality.
47. Poetry in the Park
Let your budding Robert Frost write poetry this summer! Create some poetry, in Vancouver parks, inspired by food, nature or your favourite memories and share them with those in attendance.
48. Edible Canada
This restaurant offers a children’s market as well as great kids specials. It’s great family friendly restaurant option for great food.
Visit the oldest amusement park in Canada for thrilling roller coasters, great rides including drop zone, other attractions, games and food.
50. Walk the Lions Gate Bridge
This iconic suspension bridge and engineering masterpiece offers stunning city views. There is easy access from Prospect Point in Stanley Park.
51. Vancouver Maritime Museum
Explore St Roch, Canada’s celebrated RCMP Arctic schooner, collections of Maritime artefacts as well as unique exhibits!
52. Pacific Spirit Regional Park
How many kilometers of hiking trails of this park can you cover this summer?
53. Go Fishing
Check out some of the best places to fish in Vancouver with fishing and boating tours including Great River Fishing Adventures, which draws in thousands of tourists from all over the world.
54. Harbour Air Seaplanes
Take a scenic tour of the harbour on a seaplane, to experience Vancouver from a different perspective.
55. Contemporary Art Gallery
This public gallery features the work of both local and international artists. There are also great family day programs as well as unique exhibits including art installations on the windows of the gallery.
56. Children’s Tea
Gather the family to enjoy Children’s Tea, which includes kid-friendly tea sandwiches, scones, cookie, and other delicious sweets at Fairmont Vancouver!
57. Historic Stewart Farm
Do crafts, play dress up station, try the authentic water pump as you explore this historic farm telling the story of the Stewarts, an early Surrey pioneer family that lived on the site from 1880 to 1944.
58. Totem Poles
Check out the Totem poles at Brockton Point to learn more about First Nations people and their culture.
59. Vancouver Lookout
Head up to this observation deck for 360 degree views of the city and check out guided tours and kids programs to learn more about Vancouver.
60. FlyOver Canada
Take a thrilling ‘flying’ ride and witness some of Canada’s greatest sights including Niagara Falls, the Northern Lights, beautiful mountains, fjords and so much more! It truly is a beautiful experience.
61. Richmond Night Market
Enjoy this extravagant festival of a night market featuring live performances, carnival games, a dinosaur park, thrilling rides and great entertainment.
62. Vancouver Art Gallery
Visit one of the largest art galleries in Canada for a look for photo collections and work by local artists. There will also be several exhibitions on during the summer including ‘Claude Monet’s Secret Garden.’
Enjoy a cinematic experience of the salmon migration. This is a unique experience that tries to show the connections between humans, the environment and animals in a 25-minute cinematic spectacle.
64. False Creek Ferries
Take in the beautiful waterfront view of Vancouver with a ferry ride. Try to go around sunset for an even more spectacular view.
65. Vancouver Public Library
Do not let the summer go by with out attending free programs, classes, workshops, author readings and story time at your local library!
Have an evening out at this creative restaurant that features over 800 games and delicious pizza!
67. Garibaldi Provincial Park
If you haven’t already, go back country camping at this provincial park where you will be immersed in nature, peace and quiet.
68. CRAB Park at Portside
Get a close at Vancouver’s port and the passing cruise ships as well as monuments and sculptures found throughout the park.
69. Eat some Nanaimo Bars
Take a sweet self-guided adventure through Nanaimo bar trail for a feast of these delicious sweet treats from local cafes, bakeries and coffee shops.
70. BC Water Bikes
Want to try something new? Why not attempt riding the tide on water bikes, it’s a unique experience to view the city while doing something adventurous.
71. David Lam Park
Bring a kite and a picnic to enjoy the day at this beautiful park with sports courts, playgrounds and open fields.
72. Second Beach Swimming Pool
Spend the day cooling off at this huge, heated outdoor pool.
73. Maplewood Farm
Hang out with some fun farm animals like goats, pigs and chickens. You can also go for pony rides, feed the bunnies and enjoy great rides.
74. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Get an adrenaline rush walking across the Capilano river on this suspension bridge. There are also great treetop adventures and scenic lookouts at this beautiful park.
75. West Coast Railway Heritage Park
Take a trip to this heritage park for historic railcars, train technology and a look at pioneer villages and the transition into society today.
76. Bumbleberry Farms
Visit this home farm for an opportunity to pick your own fruit or purchase fresh, local berries to take home.
77. Cycling Tours
Enjoy nature and get active by taking a guided cycling tour of various areas around Vancouver including Vancouver Island, the city and other exciting areas.
78. Cultus Lake Waterpark
Cool off with waterslides, pools and splash parks at this epic waterpark!
79. BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
Take a field trip to this museum to learn about extraordinary sports accomplishments specifically those from British Columbia.
80. Beaty Biodiversity Museum
Check out unique photography and ecosystem exhibitions which are part of the current exhibitions. As well, their permanent ‘timeline exhibit’ is also a great opportunity to learn about the history of Earth.
81. Kids Market
Enjoy magic cards, Lego blocks, games, puppets and other great activities at this cool kids market.
82. Greater Vancouver Zoo
Head over to this zoo to learn about life in the wild. There are also various special events and programs to check out like their Canadian themed weekends in July, their safari trains and so much more!
83. Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.
Feast on delicious pizza and organic flatbread with your favourite toppings and a variety of kids specials.
84. Burnaby Village Museum
Enjoy carousels, costumes, exhibitions and unique collections at this village museum. Put Yourself in a Picture with Members of Iconic Royal Canadian Mounted Police in their Red Serge!
85. Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society
Feel the push and pull of the velocipede at the Cloverdale Station carbarn, Ride the rails and experience a transformative time in the regions’ history!
86. De Dutch
Try this dutch restaurant features the traditional popular dutch pancakes served with various unique toppings and combinations. As well there are variety of other options including eggs and toast.
87. Bird Watching
Go bird watching at various parks around Vancouver to see several different birds including herons at Stanley Park and bald eagles in Brackendale.
88. Visit an outdoor pool
Check out some of the various pools in Vancouver including Maple Grove pool and Kensington pool.
89. Fraserview Golf Course
Head over to this golf course to hit some hole in ones for a day full of family fun along majestic, tree-lined fairways overlooking the Fraser River.
90. Granville Island Public Market
Get ingredients for Halibut Cheek Ceviche, taste new things, discover new artisans at this world famous market!
91. Go paintballing
Check out the only indoor paintball field in Vancouver area which features great opportunities for kids and adult games.
92. Seasons in the Park
Treat the whole family to a delicious meal at this exquisite restaurant in a garden setting, which has hosted some memorable dining events and hosted various well-known people including Presidents, artists, and Olympic champions.
93. Prospect Point
Enjoy breathtaking views of the Lions Gate Bridge, North Shore Mountains and Burrard Inlet from Prospect Point lookout!
94. Visit ChinaTown
Experience authentic Chinese culture with markets, parades, festivals, gardens and of course authentic restaurants. Stroll Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, taste steaming hot Dim Sums and more this summer!
95. Vancouver Farmers Markets
Love organic, fresh, food? You’re in luck, there are various farmers markets to check out in this city like Downtown Farmers Market and Main Street Farmers Market.
96. Canada 150+ murals
Check out new murals that shows Vancouver as Indigenous land! New Indigenous artist-created murals and other 2-D artworks are appearing around Vancouver this summer.
97. Canada on Screen
Enjoy free movies, celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday and its rich cinematic heritage at Cinematheque, 1131 Howe St.
98. Summer Watershed Tours
Discover the treasures of the watersheds (Capilano Watershed, Coquitlam Watershed, Lower Seymour Conservation), where ancient trees tower in steep mountain valleys, wildlife abounds and water flows through natural landscapes to our drinking waters supply system.
Coquitlam tours run Thursdays and Saturdays
Capilano tours run Fridays and Sundays
Special tours for families are available at the LSCR on select weekends
99. Capilano Salmon Hatchery
Learn more about the salmon life cycle at this famous Hatchery!
100. Have a beach day!
It is summer, have a beach day at your favourite beach or at Stanley Park Beaches, English Bay, Kitsilano, Jericho, Ambleside, Locarno, or Spanish Banks!