31 things to do in Vancouver over the long weekend

Jul 30 2016, 12:22 am

From the Honda Celebration of Light to the Pride Parade, this long weekend is jam-packed with fun things to do.

Here are 31 things to do this long weekend, July 30 to August 1.

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Saturday, July 30

Honda Celebration of Light 2016

Image: Meimento

Image: Meimento

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

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

Stuff yourself at the Eat Rich Food Truck Festival

Facebook / Eat Rich Food Truck Festival

Facebook / Eat Rich Food Truck Festival

  • What: With only three dates this summer (one has already passed!), this food truck festival is a limited time engagement. Featuring food trucks like Rocky Point Ice Cream, Zee’s Grilled Cheese, and This Little Piggy, you won’t want to miss the next dates on July 30 and August 27
  • When: June 11, July 30, and August 27 from 11 am to 7 pm
  • Where: South Arm United Church, 11051 No.3 Road, Richmond
  • Price: $2.50 admission or free admission with a non-perishable food item for the Richmond Food Bank (one item per person), free for kids under 10

Powell Street Festival

  • What: Vancouver’s annual celebration of Japanese culture and the largest event of its kind in Canada. Headliners include Australian koto virtuoso Miyama McQueen-Tokita and Tutchone-Japanese Tlinget-Scottish folk singer Diyet – all totally free.
  • Where: Oppenheimer Park and surrounding streets and venues – Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31, from 11:30 am to 7 pm

The Downlow Mask 4 Mask Masquerade Ball

  • What: A masquerade ball to celebrate Pride in the basement of Celebrities Nightclub. Everyone is welcome, as long as they wear a mask.
  • Where: Celebrities basement – 1022 Davie Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, July 30; 10 pm to 4 am

Ping Pong Fundraiser

  • What: Come down on the 23rd of July for our Ping-Pong tournament, a fundraiser for our members in need. La Boussole will supply equipment, food, and drinks for a relaxed, fun event in our brand-new space at 651 East Broadway, near the intersection with Fraser Street.
  • Where: La Boussole – 651 East Broadway, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, July 30; 11 am to 2 pm

Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival


Facebook / Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival

  • What: The festival will feature two large stages with continuous music provided by 15 live bands from the Lower Mainland’s Caribbean community, featuring Reggae, Calypso, Salsa and Soca music. There will also be a variety of food vendors onsite.
  • Where: Maple Ridge Fairgrounds – 23448 105 Avenue, Maple Ridge
  • When: Saturday July 30 and Sunday, July 31; 1 to 10 pm

Tomboy Pride

  • What: Tomboy Pride is back once again and is here to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community in all it’s beautiful glory. Tomboy Pride welcomes all to join them for a night of uncensored debauchery at the legendary Astoria, featuring DJs, burlesque babes, best friends, beers, boobs, dance offs, pool, tacos, contests and most importantly in light of recent events, all the Pride.
  • Where: The Astoria – 769 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, July 30; 9 pm

Shorefest 2016

  • What: Featuring performances by Loverboy, Trooper, The Matinee, and Gay Nineties, this pre-fireworks festival is not to be missed.
  • Where: English Bay, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, July 30; performances start at 3 pm

Sunday, July 31

Check out the Pride Parade

  • What: Show your true colours at Vancouver’s 38th annual Pride Parade. The family-friendly event is fun for everyone and is an important way to show diversity and love. Plus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be marching – how can you resist?
  • When: Sunday, July 31; noon
  • Where: West End, Vancouver

Pride Festival at Sunset Beach

  • What: Browse more than 100 exhibitors in the Pride Market, including local artisans and community organizations. Bands, drag performers, and speakers will be featured on the main stage, with DJs spinning in the beer garden throughout the day.
  • Where: Sunset Beach Park – 1204 Beach Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, July 31, at 11 am

Dance the night away at a post-parade Pride party

Berlin, Alternative Pride Festival lead queen and festival empress (image: Chase Porter)

Berlin, Alternative Pride Festival lead queen and festival empress (image: Chase Porter)

The fun doesn’t stop once the parade ends. Check out our roundup of 11 post-Pride parade parties. Choose wisely, or hop to all of them.

Sunday Afternoon Salsa

  • 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

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

Find some nicknacks at the Eastside Flea

Whatever you’re looking for, the Eastside Flea probably has it. With over 50 vendors, five artisan showrooms, DJs, and even a pinball machine, it’s a great way to spend a summer Sunday afternoon. It’s now open for the season.

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

Gastown Night Photography Tour

  • What: This night photowalk begins at the magical hour of twilight, where we capture the rich blue sky and continue with darker night photography. This is more of an intermediate level tour, but beginners are welcome. A DSLR camera with manual settings is required, as well as a tripod (both are available for rent). In addition to a kit (or wide angle lens) we also recommend that you bring a prime lens (50mm f/1.8 or wider), but any wide aperture lens will work.
  • Where: Canada Place Welcome Centre – 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, July 31; 8:45 to 10:45 pm

Visit a Farmers’ Market

Port Coquitlam Farmers' Market / Facebook

Port Coquitlam Farmers’ Market / Facebook

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.

Visit the 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. Here’s a shortlist of a few – for full details check our guide to night markets in Vancouver.

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.

Monday, August 1

Pride Recovery Cruise

  • What: This event takes place on the MV Britannia, and has been nicknamed the industry cruise – this boat tends to be much more chill and laid back compared to Sunday, and is known for hosting many locals, industry staff, The Vancouver Pride Board, extended visitors and special out of town guests.
  • When: Monday, August 1; boarding is at 3 pm, sailing 4 to 8 pm
  • Where: Harbour Cruises – 501 Denman Street, Vancouver
  • Tickets: $65. Click here to purchase.

Catch ‘Em All

pim pic / Shutterstock.com

Pokemon GO / Shutterstock.com

  • What: It’s a Pokémon showdown at the BC Sports Hall of Fame. Get 50% off when you show your Pokédex at the door, visit Pokéstops within the stadium, and watch out for lures that will be activated throughout the day.
  • Where: BC Sports Hall of Fame – 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
  • When: Monday, August 1; 10 am to 5 pm

Holi Colour Festival 2016

  • What: A day full of colour, music, dance, vendors, food, and stuff for kids, the Holi Colour Festival promises fun for people of all ages from just $5.
  • Where: Lakshmi Narayan Mandir – 8321 140th Street, Surrey
  • When: Monday, August 1; from 2 to 7 pm

Eight And A Half: August Long Time Coming

  • What: Eight And A Half is open for the first time ever on a Monday long weekend, so they’re celebrating with some hilarious comedy acts.
  • Where: Eight and a Half, 151 East 8th Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Monday, August 1; 7 pm

Queer Prov

Queer Prov

Image: Queer Prov

  • What: Enjoy queer improv every Monday night at XY. Everyone is welcome.
  • Where: XY – 1216 Bute Street, Vancouver
  • When: Monday, August 1; 8 pm


  • What: Chicago indie-rock band Whitney tours in support of their debut release “Light Upon the Lake”, with guest Michael Rault.
  • Where: The Cobalt – 917 Main Street, Vancouver
  • When: Monday, August 1; doors open at 8 pm

Vancouver Lift-Off Festival: Shorts Programme 1

  • What: Since its humble beginnings in 2011 the Lift-Off Film Festival Network has spread around the world, bringing new independent cinema to global audiences. Lift-Off’s motto is in its name. We focus on supporting emerging talent in independent cinema, providing platforms for new voices, a network for them to grow and the fuel to launch their careers.
  • Where: Vancity Theatre – 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver
  • When: Monday, August 1; Various times. Click here for more.


  • What: High-energy rockers FKB from Bonnyville, Alberta and singer-songwriter Nolan Hubbard from the Greater Toronto Area take to the stage at The Roxy in Vancouver.
  • Where: The Roxy – 932 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: Monday, August 1; 8 pm

Swim in one of Vancouver’s outdoor pools

Image: Clayton Perry Photography

Image: Clayton Perry Photography

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.

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