21 things to do in Vancouver this weekend

Aug 12 2016, 7:27 pm

From getting in touch with your inner child at Slide The City to gazing at the majesty of the Perseids, this weekend is chockablock full of fun summer activities.

Here are 21 things to do in Vancouver this weekend, August 13 to 14.

Saturday, August 13

Vancouver Chinatown Festival

Facebook / TD Vancouver Chinatown Festival

Facebook / TD 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

Do the Grouse Grind

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.

Slide The City North Vancouver 2016

Slide The City/Ken Chan (Daily Hive)

Slide The City/Ken Chan (Daily Hive)

  • What: If you’re unfamiliar with what Slide The City is, picture this: a waterslide like you had growing up, but stretching 1,000 feet down Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver. Add in live music, entertainment, and local vendors, and you have all the ingredients for an awesome summertime party.
  • When: Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14; all day.
  • Where: Lonsdale Avenue at Keith Road, North Vancouver
  • Passes: Click here

 Run your heart out and party on at lululemon’s Seawheeze

  • What: Seawheeze is one of Vancouver’s biggest parties. Whether or not you compete in the half-marathon portion of the program, there’s always the giant Sunset Festival afterwards, with headlining bands Chromeo, Dear Rouge, and Young Blood set to perform.
  • Where: Brockton Field, Stanley Park, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 13

The 54th Abbotsford International Airshow

  • What: Taking place August 12 to 14, the 54th Abbotsford International Airshow will feature legendary key performers including the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the US Navy Super Hornets. That’s not to mention the full blown festival, featuring food trucks, a licensed flight club 19+ venue, an autograph tent, and much more.
  • When: August 12 to 14
  • Where: YXX Abbotsford International Airport
  • Price: Adult day passes $30, kids under six free. Carloads $120 (includes parking and admission up to 6 people in one vehicle). Ticket options available for purchase online or at any Lower Mainland Save On Foods location.

Surrey Kitten Adoption Fair and Open House

  • What: Hosted by BC SPCA, the event is designed to help educate people about the work that goes on at the Surrey Education and Adoption Centre, as well as helping to find some cutesy kitties a new fur-ever home.
  • Where: BC Spca Surrey Education and Adoption Centre, 16748 50th Avenue, Surrey
  • When: Saturday, August 13
  • Time: 1 to 4 pm

Check out the Perseids

Perseid meteor activity (Shutterstock)

Perseid meteor activity (Shutterstock)

The Perseids are in full swing right now, and with clear skies projected for the weekend, it’s time to take full advantage. Check out our guide for the best places to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower.

New West Pride Columbia Street Party

  • What: Pride may be mostly over in Vancouver for another year, but in New Westminsterthe pinnacle of Pride Season is yet to come. This free event will be packed with beer gardens and patio party areas, plus drag shows, choir recitals and more.
  • Where: Columbia Street, between Begbie and 4th streets, New Westminster
  • When: Saturday, August 13, from 3 to 8 pm
  • Info: newwestpride.ca

Movies Under the Stars

  • What: Free animated outdoor movies in Holland Park, courtesy of Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association. The August schedule includes Minions, Inside Out, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.
  • Where: Holland Park – 13428 Old Yale Road, Surrey
  • When: Every Saturday in August, family activities start at 5 pm, movie starts at dusk

Bike to Shop Day

  • What: HUB will be hosting celebration stations near shopping spots in Vancouver with free snacks, drinks, bike mechanics, and tips on how to carry items by bike. There will also be themed rides, discounts and a trip for two to the Okanagan to be won.
  • Where: All over Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, August 13, from 11 am to 3 pm
  • Register: At bikehub.ca, totally free

Sunday, August 14

Picnic and a Movie in Kits

  • What: This family-friendly event will start with a picnic, with BBQ supplied by Pete’s Meat, live entertainment, rides and games, followed by a pre-show with the chance to win prizes from local stores, then at sunset, a free screening of Pixar’s Inside Out.
  • 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
  • Admission: Picnic is $5, pre-show and movie are free

Summer Splash 2016

Image: Splashdown Park

Image: Splashdown Park

  • What: The 18th Summer Splash event will be hitting Splashdown Park in Tsawwassen in August, before the beloved waterpark closes forever. On August 14, Splashdown fans will be able to enjoy face painting, watermelon eating contests, egg toss, a 3-on-3 basketball competition and volleyball games.
  • Where: Splashdown Park – 4775 Nu Lelum Way, Tsawwassen
  • When: Sunday, August 14, from 10 am to 6 pm
  • Admission: $21.99, food available by $5 donation

Queer Film Festival

  • What:  A showcase of the best LGBTQ+ films from Cannes, Sundance and local BC artists, along with directors, performing artists, and free workshops, plus parties and talk backs. Opening movie is the lush and poetic Summertime.
  • Where: Various movie theatres across Vancouver; Summertime screens at Vancouver Playhouse – 600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, August 11 to Sunday, August 21
  • Tickets: At queerfilmfestival.ca, individual movies $12 or $8 for students, six-pack $66 or $42 for students, super pass $165 or $135 for student.

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 dance floor!
  • Where: Robson Square – 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Sunday through August; lessons at 3 pm, performances at 5 pm, social dancing all afternoon

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

Pakistan Festival

  • What: This festival marks the anniversary of Pakistan’s 1947 independence from the UK, and will showcase the cultural heritage, diversity, geography, music, dress, cuisine, customs and traditions of all corners of Pakistan.
  • Where: Jack Poole Plaza, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, August 14, from noon to 8 pm
  • More info: pakistanfestival.com

The Sunday Service

Comedy / Shutterstock

Comedy / Shutterstock

  • What: Whereas other successful improv troupes in Vancouver are comprised of dozens of performers, these guys opt to keep it simple – the Sunday Service is five top-notch performers that have been nationally recognized so many times they’ve lost count (just kidding, it’s 21). They perform every Sunday at the Fox Cabaret in Mount Pleasant and never fail to bring down the house, making it a popular spot for comedians and regular folk alike to take in a night of guaranteed laughs.
  • Price: $7
  • Time: Sundays at 9 pm
  • Address: The Fox Cabaret – 2321 Main Street

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

Go to Playland

  • What: Playland has officially opened for the season, so connect with your inner child and hop aboard the famous wooden roller coaster for a little throwback fun. This is the last weekend before the PNE starts, so if you don’t like crowds, get in now!
  • Where: 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

Visit the Night Markets


Richmond Night Market / Facebook

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. Here’s a shortlist of a few – for full details check ourguide to night markets in Vancouver.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

+ Listed