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43 FREE things to do in Vancouver this July

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Daniel Chai Jul 01, 2018 10:50 am 1,802
Waterfront cinema canada place outdoor movie

Enjoy the best of summer without breaking the bank! Check out our list of fun free events happening in Vancouver this month!

From Outdoor Movies to Canada Day and everything in between, here are 43 free things to do around the city this July.

For more things happening around town check out our events section.

Happy Canada Day

Canada Day at Canada Place

Canada Day

Canada Place

  • What: This year’s Port of Vancouver Canada Day celebration is gearing up to be the largest event outside the nation’s capital. Highlights include the Canadian Forces Zone, Citizenship Ceremony, Coast Capital Savings Youth Zone, a main stage headliner performance by JoJo Mason, the Innovation Zone, food trucks, and of course fireworks.
  • When: Sunday, July 1, 2018
  • Time: Festivities all day, with fireworks at 10:30 pm
  • Where: Canada Place and surrounding city streets
  • Admission: Free

O Canada Day on Granville Island

  • What: Head to Granville Island for their annual Canada Day Parade, as well as jazz concerts, live shows, festival food, and more.
  • When: Sunday, July 1, 2018
  • Time: Festivities all day, parade at 1:30 pm
  • Where: Granville Island
  • Admission: Free

Canada Day at Swangard Stadium

  • What: Celebrate the spirit of Canada Day in Burnaby with a free concert by Said the Whale, DJ Khanvict, and The Boom Booms, activities and exhibitors for the whole family, and a grand fireworks finale.
  • When: Sunday, July 1, 2018
  • Time: 5 to 10:30 pm
  • Where: Swangard Stadium – 3883 Imperial Street, Burnaby
  • Admission: Free

Canada Day at the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre

  • What: The Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre will have a plethora of Canada Day activities, including Strawberry Tea, food trucks, live performances by Serena Ryder and Brett Kissel, and more. The event wraps up with a massive fireworks display at dusk.
  • When: Sunday, July 1, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 11 pm
  • Where: Bill Reid Millenium Amphitheatre – 17728 64 Ave, Surrey
  • Admission: Free

Canada Day by the Bay

  • What: The Annual Canada Day by the Bay at White Rock Beach and features a variety of family-friendly activities from morning to night. The celebration attracts thousands of people and is one not to be missed.
  • When: Sunday, July 1, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 10 pm
  • Where: White Rock Beach
  • Admission: Free

Canada Day at Rocky Point Park

  • What: The City of Port Moody invites residents and visitors to a Canada Day celebration featuring free entertainment and activities for all ages, including live music, a community art project, and a giant inflatable slide. The City of Port Moody also presents Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts for a set of great music starting at 9 pm, as part of the Golden Spike Days Festival.
  • When: Sunday, July 1, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 6 pm
  • Where: 2800 Block Murray Street, Port Moody
  • Admission: Free

Canada Day at Waterfront Park

North Vancouver

Canada Day at Waterfront Park (Contributed)

  • What: For the 30th year in a row, the Rotary Club of Lions Gate will host a fun-filled, family afternoon full of events at Waterfront Park. The festivities will include an array of local performers, displays from North Shore community members, fun-filled games and activities, multicultural food, and free cupcakes. The event also features on-site entertainment such as balloon artists and a fire juggler, bouncy castles and a 24’ high climbing wall, to keep everyone entertained and active for the afternoon.
  • When: Sunday, July 1, 2018
  • Time: 12 pm to 4 pm
  • Where: Waterfront Park – 200 Block of West Esplanade, North Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Explore the city

David Lam Park Jazz Weekend 2018

  • What: The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival is finishing off strong this weekend with two full days of free concerts. The event features three indoor stages and one large outdoor stage, and includes performances by Red Baraat, Bend Sinister, Tanga, Raashan Ahmad, Ben Henriques Quintet, Sr. Mandril, and more. A huge LED-viewing screen will be brought back for this year’s concerts to complement the David Lam Park Mainstage by projecting close-ups of the artists as they perform onstage.
  • When: Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1, 2018
  • Time: 12 to 10 pm
  • Where: David Lam Park — 1300 Pacific Blvd., Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Steveston Salmon Festival

  • What: The people of Steveston have come together every year since 1945 to celebrate Canada’s birthday. The day will begin at 6:30 am with a pancake breakfast, followed by live entertainment and activities. The main attraction will be their famous salmon barbecue, where over 1,200 pounds of wild salmon filets are grilled over open fire pits.
  • When: Sunday, July 1, 2018
  • Time: 6:30 am to 8 pm
  • Where: 4111 Moncton Street, Richmond
  • Admission: Free, salmon BBQ $16 per plate

SV Dance at Kitsilano Showboat

  • What: Enjoy a night of outdoors performances featuring SV Dance and its international folk group, along with the SV belly dancers.
  • When: Monday, July 2, 2018
  • Time: 7 pm
  • Where: Kitsilano Showboat – 2300 Cornwall Ave, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

The Alimony Brothers – Summer Residency

  • What: The Alimony Brothers perform forgotten gems and the occasional classic from the golden age of country music every Monday in July. The Alimony Brothers are veterans from the roots and country music scene in Vancouver.
  • When: Every Monday until July 30, 2018
  • Time: 8 pm
  • Where: The Wise Hall & Lounge – 1882 Adanac Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Free Outdoor Movies in Stanley Park

Downsview Park

LeonWang/Shutterstock

  • What: One of the most popular summertime events in the city is back as free outdoor movies return to Stanley Park this summer for its 10th anniversary! The Evo Summer Cinema Series features a four-story inflatable movie screen showing film classics and modern blockbusters. Please bring your own blankets and/or lawn chairs and, since it’s a family-friendly event, smoking or alcohol is not permitted. Moviegoers are encouraged to walk, take transit, or bike to Stanley Park for the shows  – there will be a bike valet service offered on site each night too.
  • When: Every Tuesday from July 3 to August 21, 2018
  • Time: Dusk
  • Where: Ceperley Meadows near Second Beach, Stanley Park
  • Admission: Free

Starlight Theatre at Lansdowne Centre

  • What: Take a trip back to the days of poodle-skirts, greased hair, and doo-wop music – the Drive-In Movie Series returns to Lansdowne Centre for its third year, presented by Fresh Air Cinema. Enjoy classic, family-friendly, and even some of the latest hits on an outdoor screen. Take a drive and cuddle up, or bring a blanket and lawn chair and settle in. Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis (first 200 vehicles), and the movie audio will be broadcast over FM radio. Keep in mind that this is a family-friendly event, so smoking and alcohol are strictly prohibited.
  • When: Every Wednesday from July 5 to August 30
  • Time: Sunset (gates open at 6 pm)
  • Where: Lansdowne Centre, west parking lot – 5300 No. 3 Road, Richmond
  • Admission: Free

Summer Movie Nights on the Square

  • What: Vancouver is getting a whole new free outdoor movie series as šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (formerly Vancouver Art Gallery’s North Plaza) is set to play host to Summer Movie Nights on the Square. Each Wednesday evening from July 4 to August 29, Fresh Air Cinema’s large, four-storey inflatable screen will pop up, creating the perfect urban environment to take in a flick surrounded by the concrete jungle – just be sure to bring your lawn chairs and/or blankets.
  • When: Every Wednesday from July 4 to August 29, 2018
  • Time: Activities begin at 5 pm, movie begins at sunset (check sunset times as that will be your best indication of when movies will start)
  • Where: šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (formerly North Plaza at Vancouver Art Gallery) – 850 W Georgia Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Khatsahlano Street Party 2018

  • What: The free annual festival will take over 10 blocks along Kitsilano’s 4th Avenue between Burrard Street and Macdonald Street. This year features headliners Bif Naked, Frazey Ford, and Slow. As usual, local restaurants, and stores along 4th Avenue will be holding sales and giveaways, as well as providing samples and games on the street for everyone to enjoy. For the first time in the festival’s history, this year’s lineup will feature gender parity.
  • When: Saturday, July 7, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 9 pm
  • Where: Along 4th Avenue between Burrard Street and MacDonald Street
  • Admission: Free

Commercial Drive Car-Free Day Festival 2018

  • What: Commercial Drive Car-Free Day Festival stretches across 15 blocks, and features amazing local artisans, musicians, community activities, delicious food, tons of entertainment and activities for all ages.
  • When: Sunday, July 8, 2018
  • Time: 12 pm to 7 pm
  • Where: Venables to North Grandview on Commercial Drive
  • Admission: Free

Sunday Afternoon Salsa at Robson Square 2018

  • What: Now in its 12th year, Sunday Afternoon Salsa at Robson Square is an annual series of free, outdoor salsa dances held at Robson Square in downtown Vancouver during the summer months of July and August. Try the beginner dance lessons at 3 pm and 7 pm, watch the performances at 5 pm, or check out the social dancing throughout the afternoon.
  • When: Every Sunday from July 8 to August 26, 2018
  • Time: 3 pm to 9:30 pm
  • Where: Robson Square – 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Symphony in the Park 2018

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra/Facebook

  • What: A free, annual outdoor concert held every summer at the Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park. The concert is a fantastic opportunity to hear an evening of live music performed by some of Vancouver’s most talented musicians.
  • When: Sunday, July 8, 2018
  • Time:  7 to 9 pm
  • Where: Deer Lake Park – 6450 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
  • Admission: Free

Waterfront Cinema at Canada Place

  • What: Each week at dusk, a large inflatable screen will pop up, creating the perfect environment to take in a flick under the stars, all with the North Shore mountains in the background. To give your night two thumbs up, do yourself a favour and bring a lawn chair (or you’ll be sitting on the hard ground) and jackets and/or blankets (it gets cold). And keep in mind that this is a family-friendly event so neither smoking nor alcohol is permitted.
  • When: Every Thursday from July 12 to August 30, 2018
  • Start time: Dusk
  • Where: North Point of Canada Place
  • Admission: Free

Port Moody Rib Fest

  • What: Taking place over three days in Rocky Point Park, this FREE community event features live music, craft beers, and family entertainment. Come to enjoy three days of delicious barbecue with friends and family.
  • When: July 20 to June 22, 2018
  • Time: All Day
  • Where: Rocky Point Park — 2800 Murray Street, Port Moody
  • Admission: Free

Uptown Live 2018

  • What: Get your dance shoes on, bring your friends and family and spend a full day of fun with live performances, food trucks, interactive activities, art installations, artisan vendors, and more. Four main musical stages will feature the best of BC’s thriving indie music scene.
  • When: Saturday, July 21, 2018
  • Time: 12 to 9 pm
  • Where: 6th Street and 6th Avenue, New Westminstet
  • Admission: Free

Honda Celebration of Light fireworks 2018

Honda Celebration of Light/Jonathan Evans

  • What: English Bay in downtown Vancouver will once again be showered with fireworks for three nights this summer, as the 2018 Honda Celebration of Light fireworks competition returns to the city. Organizers announced this morning that the participating countries for the festival’s 28th year will be South Africa on July 28, Sweden on August 1, and South Korea on August 4. New this year, all three of the participating countries will be required to incorporate the same theme into their fireworks display and musical accompaniment. The theme, as voted by the public, will be “Love.”
  • When: Saturday, July 28, Wednesday, August 1 and Saturday, August 4, 2018
  • Time: 10 pm to 10:25 pm (25-minute duration each night). Rain or shine. Music simulcast on radio station LG 104.3 FM.
  • Where: English Bay, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free. Reserved seating on sale through the festival’s website.

Enjoy the great outdoors

Campbell Valley Nature Walks – Summer’s Songsters

  • What: Learn about wildlife and wildflowers on a casual walk with veteran naturalist Al Grass. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through a variety of habitats, and discover the park’s summer birds and how they live. Bring your camera.
  • When: Monday, July 2, 2018
  • Time: 1 to 2:30 pm
  • Where: Campbell Valley Regional Park, Langley
  • Admission: Free, registration required

Krause Berry Farms 5th Annual Butterfly Release 

butterflies

Sunny studio/Shutterstock

  • What: The 5th Annual Butterfly Release & Fundraiser is returning to the Krause Berry Farms and Estate Winery in Langley this summer. The annual fundraiser brings in hundreds of guests every year who join the celebration at the beautiful gardens onsite. On the day of the event, 400 Painted Lady Butterflies will take flight for the very first time, in an eclectic display of colour. The butterflies are released symbolically, in memory and honour of loved ones, by participants of all ages.
  • When: Saturday, July 7, 2018
  • Time: 12:30 to 3 pm
  • Where: Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery – 6179 – 248th St., Langley
  • Tickets: No admission required, butterflies can be purchased online.

Lynn Headwaters and the Mining Frontier

  • What: Join mines researcher Lloyd Knutsen for a 9-km return hike in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. Along the way, Lloyd will share his knowledge of the prospectors and history of mining in the area, look at historical artifacts and minerals, and tell stories using old maps and photographs. Bring water and lunch. Wear sturdy footwear and clothing suitable for the weather. 
  • When: Sunday, July 15, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.  Meet outside BC Mills House.
  • Admission: Free

Farmstead History Tour

  • What: Stroll the Annand/Rowlatt Farmstead in a unique nature setting. Learn about the evolution of farm equipment used before Campbell Valley became a park. Presented with BC Farm Museum & Langley Heritage Society
  • When: Saturday, July 28, 2018
  • Time: 1:45 to 3:15 pm
  • Where: Campbell Valley Regional Park, Langley
  • Admission: Free

Mat Collective Free Yoga

free outdoor yoga

Mat Collective/ Facebook

  • What: Mat Collective is the largest outdoor yoga program in Western Canada. Aside from offering free outdoor yoga classes all summer long, Mat Collective will also be hosting several special events, including an Acro Jam in partnership with MEC, and a class at BC Place in collaboration with the BC Lions.
  • When: Now to Friday, August 31, 2018
  • Time: Various times, check schedule for details
  • Where: Classes take place at Kitsilano Beach (1015 Maple Street), Downtown (800 Robson Street), Granville Island (Chain and Forge), and Main Street (95 E 32nd Ave.)
  • Admission: Free

Eat fresh with farmers’ markets

Downtown Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Thursday from Thursday, June 7 to Thursday, October 4, 2018
  • Time: 3 to 7 pm
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Kitsilano Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Sunday to Sunday, October 21, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 2 pm
  • Where: Parking lot of Kits Community Centre – 2690 Larch Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Trout Lake Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Saturday to Saturday, until October 20, 2018
  • Time: 9 am to 2 pm
  • Where: Lakewood Drive and 13th Avenue, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

West End Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Saturday to Saturday, October 20, 2018
  • Time: 9 am to 2 pm
  • Where: West End Farmers Market – 1100 Comox Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Main Street Station Farmers’ Market

Main-Street-Farmers-Market

Image: Vancouver Farmers Market

  • When: Every Wednesday from Wednesday, June 6 to Wednesday, October 3, 2018
  • Time: 2 to 6 pm
  • Where: Main Street Station – 1100 Station Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Sunday from Sunday, May 27 to Sunday, October 7, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 2 pm
  • Where: Dude Chilling Park – 2390 Brunswick Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Riley Park Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Saturday to Saturday, ends October 27, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 2 pm
  • Where: Riley Park – 50 East 30th Avenue, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

River District Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Saturday to Saturday, ends October 14, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Kerr Street Plaza – 8683 Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Ambleside Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Sunday to Sunday, ends October 28, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Ambleside Park – 1000 Argyle AveWest Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Lonsdale Quay Farmers’ Market

farmers market

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

  • When: Every Saturday to Saturday, ends October 27, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Where: East Plaza of the Lonsdale Quay Market – 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Clayton Community Farmers’ Market

  • When: Select Sundays until September 30, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Clayton Heights Secondary School, 7003 188 St, Surrey
  • Admission: Free

Kwantlen Street Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Tuesday to Tuesday, ends October 2, 2018
  • Time: 12 to 4 pm
  • Where: Plaza in between the Richmond Public Library and the Minoru Place Seniors’ Centre – 7660 Minoru Gate, Richmond
  • Admission: Free

Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market

  • When: Alternate Sundays to September 16, 2018
  • Time: 10:30 am to 3:30 pm
  • Where: Easthope Parking Lot (across the street from the Steveston Community Centre) – 4111 Moncton Street, Richmond
  • Admission: Free

Burnaby Artisan Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Saturday to October 27, 2018
  • Time: 9 am to 2 pm
  • Where: North Parking Lot of Burnaby City Hall (4949 Canada Way at Deer Lake Pkwy)
  • Admission: Free

Poirier Street Market

  • What: Launched in 1996, the Poirier Street Farmers’ Market is the longest running suburban farmers market in the Lower Mainland.  The Poirier Street Market hosts a diversity of vendors and products from May through October. Each week a wide variety of vendors gather to showcase their products – made, baked, grown, or raised in BC.
  • When: 
  • Time: 9 am to 1 pm
  • Where: Dogwood Pavilion Parking Lot – 624 Poirier Street, Coquitlam
  • Admission: Free

Surrey Urban Farmers’ Market

Surrey Urban Farmers Market

Image: Surrey Urban Farmers Market / Facebook

  • What: A vibrant, multi-cultural Farmers’ Market, promoting small-scale farmers, food producers, and artisans. Meet farmers, bakers, distillers, artisan and crafters, food trucks, community groups, and more.
  • When: Every Wednesday from June 6 to October 3, 2018
  • Time: 2 to 6 pm
  • Where: North Surrey Rec Centre – 10275 City Parkway, Surrey
  • Admission: Free
See also

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Daniel Chai
Daniel is a writer and comedian based in Vancouver, BC.

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