27 free things to do in Vancouver in August

Jul 30 2016, 4:36 am

You might be on a budget, but that doesn’t mean you need to sit around at home. Here are 27 things to do in Vancouver through the month of August that won’t cost you a dime.

Get outside

Outdoor Movies in Stanley Park

Hundreds of people gather throughout the summer to watch free outdoor movies in Stanley Park (freshaircinema.ca)

Thousands of people gather every week to watch free outdoor movies in Stanley Park (freshaircinema.ca)

  • What: The Evo Summer Cinema Series of free outdoor movies, shown on a four-storey inflatable movie screen in Stanley Park. This year’s schedule includes Purple Rain and Dirty Dancing.
  • Where: Ceperley Meadows (Second Beach), Stanley Park
  • When: Every Tuesday from July 5 to August 23, movies start at dusk
  • Schedule: Free outdoor movies Vancouver 2016 at Stanley Park schedule

Free yoga at Dude Chilling Park

  • What: Get out your yoga mats and put away your wallets, free yoga is back for another year! Two sessions, twice a day, seven days a week. All abilities welcome.
  • Where: Dude Chilling Park – 2390 Brunswick Street, Vancouver
  • When: Now until fall; from 10 to 11:15 am and 6 to 7:15 pm

Free outdoor movie Inside Out Kitsilano August 2016

  • What: The award-winning Disney Pixar movie Inside Out will be showing at Connaught Park on Sunday, August 14 at 8 pm, completely free. Before the movie, there’ll be a family-friendly picnic, starting at 11 am, with BBQ supplied by Pete’s Meat, live entertainment, plus rides, games, and family activities. While the movie is free, the picnic costs $5.
  • Where: Connaught Park – Larch St at 12th Ave, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, August 14, picnic from 11 am to 4 pm, pre-show starts at 6 pm, movie starts at 8 pm

Do the Grouse Grind

Grouse Grind

Grouse Grind / Facebook

Get your hiking legs ready, it’s time to tackle Mother Nature’s Stairmaster for another year. The Grouse Grind trail at Grouse Mountain is open for hiking from 6:15 am to 7 pm.

Swim in one of Vancouver’s outdoor pools

Take a dip in one of the city’s outdoor pools, including Vancouver’s largest salt water pool at Kitsilano Beach. Click here for our complete guide.

Run or bike ride along the seawall

Whether you rent or own, you have to do this route at least once. With views of the ocean, North Shore mountains, and the Lions Gate Bridge, it’s enough to take your breath away.

Get your nude on at Wreck Beach

Vancouver’s best and only nude beach is, well, an experience. Even if you don’t feel comfortable stripping down (you won’t know until you try it), Wreck offers a variety of fun things, interesting people, and cool vendors.

Perseid meteor shower viewing party 2016

Meteor Shower / Shutterstock

Meteor Shower / Shutterstock

  • What: A viewing party is planned on Mount Seymour for the height of the Perseid meteor shower on August 12. As an added bonus, this year’s Perseids will be more spectacular than ever.
  • Where: Parking lot 2, Mount Seymour – Mount Seymour Road, North Vancouver
  • When: Friday, August 12; 11 pm

Go on a leisurely hike

Quarry Rock

  • What: A classic North Shore hike, up wooden stairs, over tree roots and small creeks, among Douglas Fir and Hemlock trees, to a rocky outcrop and beautiful views of Deep Cove.
  • How long: 1.5 hours or 3.8 km
  • Where: Starts and ends at the Baden Powell Trailhead – Panorama Drive, Deep Cove.
  • Get there: A 30-minute drive from downtown, or take the Seabus plus buses 239 then 212 instead.

Lighthouse Park

Image: Lighthouse Park / Shutterstock

Image: Lighthouse Park / Shutterstock

  • What: Lots of short, easy trails offering breathtaking ocean views, huge, old-growth Western Red Cedars and the picturesque picnic spot of Starboat Cove.
  • How long: Up to 2 hours or 6 km
  • Where: Starts and ends at Lighthouse Park parking lot – Beacon Lane, West Vancouver.
  • Get there: A 40-minute drive from downtown, or take bus 250 all the way there instead.

Capilano Pacific Park

  • What: This trail follows the Capilano River, taking you from pavement, rocky shores and beaches past steep cliffs and through thick rainforest to the imposing Cleveland Dam.
  • How long: 2 hours or 7.5 km
  • Where: Starts at Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver, finishes at the Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver.
  • Get there: A 15-minute drive from downtown, or take bus 250 or 251 to a stop nearby instead.

Lynn Loop

  • What: Enjoy a forest hike among Cedar and Hemlock trees, with views of Vancouver Island and some of the Gulf Islands, then stroll back along the gushing waters of Lynn Creek.
  • How long: 1.5 hours or 5.1 km
  • Where: Starts and ends in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park – Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver.
  • Get there: A 40-minute drive from downtown, or take the Seabus then 228 bus instead.

Cypress Falls

  • What: This easy hike takes you along Cypress Creek, through forests of moss-covered, old-growth trees, past views of two gorgeous waterfalls as they pour into the canyon below.
  • How long: 1.5 hours or 3 km
  • Where: Trail starts and ends at Cypress Falls Park – Woodgreen Place, West Vancouver.
  • Get there: A 30-minute drive from downtown, or take bus 253 Caufield all the way there instead.

Listen to some music and dance

Sunday Afternoon Salsa

Dancing Robson Square / Flickr

Dancing Robson Square / Flickr

  • What: Salsa dancing returns to Robson Square for the Summer 2016 season, offering free lessons, performances and social dancing. Swing by and check it out – it’s fun just to watch if you’re too scared to hit the dancefloor!
  • Where: Robson Square – 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Sunday in July and August; lessons at 3 pm, performances at 5 pm, social dancing all afternoon

Cates Park Concert Series

  • What: Original bands and artists will be performing free, outdoor concerts in Cates Park again this summer, so bring a picnic and spend your Saturday afternoons enjoying the immense local talent that Vancouver has to offer.
  • Where: Cates Park – Deep Cove, North Vancouver
  • When: Every Saturday from July 16 to August 27

CBC Musical Nooners

  • What: A series of free, live concerts at the CBC Plaza, every weekday at lunchtime. The lineup this year includes The Tourist Company, Jordan Klassen, Big Little Lions and for the kids, Will Stroet, co-creator and star of the musical TV series Will’s Jams.
  • When: From July 8 to August 19, Monday to Friday, noon to 1 pm
  • Where: CBC Plaza – 740 Hamilton Street, Vancouver

Free live stream of Tragically Hip concert at Commodore Ballroom

  • What: CBC will be live streaming the Tragically Hip’s Kingston, Ontario concert at the Commodore Ballroom on Saturday, August 20 for free.
  • Where: Commodore Ballroom – 868 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 20; doors open at 4:30 pm, screening starts at 5:30

Odds and ends

MIRAGE art installation at Metropolis at Metrotown

  • What: The virtual experience coined MIRAGE is an art installation that offers a two minute walk through experience for customers. It uses digital, audio, and state of the art projection technology with a mirrored ceiling to help visitors create lasting memories.
  • Where: Metropolis at Metrotown – Grand Court, Lower Level
  • When: June 27 to September 5

Hastings Racecourse

  • What: Cheer on those jockeys and their steeds at the horse racing track in Hastings – entry is always totally free. The race schedule runs through October.
  • Where: Hastings Racecourse – 188 N Renfrew St, Vancouver
  • When: Mostly Saturday and Sunday afternoons with 1:50 pm start times. In August, Friday night races start at 7 pm, while two Monday afternoon races start at 4 pm.
  • More info: hastingsracecourse.com

Farmers’ Markets

Farmer's Market/Pixabay

Farmer’s Market/Pixabay

Popular among chefs, home cooks, and local gastronomes, farmers’ markets have become an integral part of Vancouver’s food landscape. Not only do these community events grant local farmers, growers, and bakers the opportunity to connect with urban folk but they also provide them with a space to show off their seasonal favourites. Here’s a quick list of a few – for full details check our guide to Vancouver farmers’ markets.

Night Markets

In addition to a variety of farmers’ markets, the city and surrounding areas boast a collection of night markets that showcase the city’s best food trucks, bakers, and artisans. These night markets bring together communities for entertainment, shopping, and wonderful food:

Granville Island

  • What: One of the biggest attractions in Vancouver, Granville Island is a great place to go for free. Enjoy the hustle, bustle and bounty of the Public Market and marvel at the island’s unique arts and crafts, while enjoying the spectacle of street buskers.
  • When: Granville Island Public Market is open seven days a week, from 9 am to 7 pm, most other retail stores are open seven days a week, from 10 am to 7 pm

Il Mercato Italian Market

  • What: Vancouver’s only Italian market, Il Mercato is about bringing together the tastes of Italy with the produce grown in local farms. Come and enjoy a vibrant assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables, and handmade products from local artisans.
  • Where: Italian Cultural Centre, Vancouver
  • When: Third Friday of every month, starting June, ending August – this year that’s June 17, July 15 and August 19 – from 4 to 8 pm

Vancouver Chinatown Festival

TD Vancouver Chinatown Festival

Image: Vancouver Chinatown Festival

  • What: A celebration of the area’s heritage and culture, with tea ceremonies, calligraphy demonstrations and a Hong Kong-style outdoor bazaar. Vendors sell traditional handicrafts, while hawkers serve up a range of culinary delights.
  • Where: Chinatown – Columbia and Keefer streets, Vancouver
  • When: August 13 to 14, from noon to 6 pm

Play a little Pokémon GO

If you haven’t already been playing, are you living under a rock? At any rate, get out and continue (or start!) the journey. To help, we’ve compiled a massive list of 154 Metro Vancouver Pokémon GO locations.

Get soaked at Vancouver’s Largest Water Fight

  • What: Prepare your water balloons and Super Soakers, Vancouver’s Largest Water Fight is returning to Stanley Park on August 6.
  • Where: Lumberman’s Arch, Stanley Park, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 6; 1 pm

Free PNE Admission Days

Wooden Rollercoaster

PNE/Playland / Facebook

  • What: You may think The Fair is overpriced and far too small for a metro region of 2.5 million, but it’s hard to say no when admission is free. Expect long lineups if the weather cooperates. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
  • Where: The Fair at the PNE – 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Tuesday, 23 August and Tuesday, 30 August, from 11 am to 1 pm
DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

+ Listed