50 things to do in Vancouver this May

Dec 19 2017, 9:40 pm

May is upon us and although we’re sure to be heading to the beach in the sunshine, there’s still plenty going in the city to keep you busy.

Here are 50 things for you to check out this May.

Enjoy the great outdoors

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 now open for hiking from 6:15 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Do a 5K, 10K, half or full marathon

Vancouver has a plethora of different runs to offer. Whether you’re looking for a 5km, a 10km, a half or full marathon, there’s something out there for everyone from beginners to seasoned runners. Check out our rundown here.

Colour Me Rad Surrey

  • What: The Surrey edition of the Colour Me Rad Tour, will take place at the Cloverdale Rodeo grounds. Take a jaunt around Surrey and return a hundred times more colourful than you were when you left. For all participants there are free t-shirts, Goo Guard phone cases, and a great time with friends and with your community.
  • Where: Cloverdale Rodeo – 6050 176 Street, Surrey
  • When: Saturday, May 14

World Partnership Walk

  • What: Step forward and be part of the World Partnership Walk, Canada’s largest fundraising event dedicated to helping end global poverty.
  • Where: Sunday, May 29
  • When: Lumbermen’s Arch – Stanley Park, Vancouver

Free yoga at Dude Chilling Park

  • What: Get out your yoga mats and put away your wallets, Vancouver – free yoga at Dude Chilling Park is back. Sessions run seven days a week until fall and are open to people of all levels.
  • When: Every day until fall; 10 to 11:15 a.m. and 6 to 7:15 p.m.
  • Where: Dude Chilling Park – 2390 Brunswick Street, Vancouver

Kits pool opens

Get your swim on, Vancouver’s only saltwater pool is opening for the season on May 21 until September 11. Rates start at $2.95 for individual people. For the full summer schedule, click here.

Take a hike

Hiking season is in full swing, so strap on some runners (or even better, actual hiking boots) and get out there. From easy hikes for lazy people, to harder hikes for the less lazyjaw-dropping scenic hikes around Vancouver or even some epic hikes around B.C. – there’s something out there for everyone!

Bike to Work Week

  • What: Get on your bike and register online for a chance to win tons of prizes, including new bikes each day and a trip for two to Amsterdam.
  • Where: Everywhere!
  • When: Monday, May 30 – Friday, June 5
  • More: bikehub.ca

Shop till you drop

Frank & Oak Warehouse Sale

  • What: Hosted by StyleDemocracy, Frank & Oak’s first warehouse event will arguably be one of the best that Vancouver has ever seen – including a massive selection of more than 25,000 clothing items, footwear, and accessories from 50% to 80% off.
  • Where: 551 West Broadway, Vancouver
  • When:Wednesday May 4, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    Thursday May 5, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    Friday May 6, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    Saturday May 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Sunday May 8, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tickle those tastebuds

Taste of the States

  • Price: Tickets are priced at $45 per person (taxes and gratuity not included). Reservations are a must and can be made online at www.mamietaylors.ca
  • Where: Mamie Taylor’s, 251 East Georgia Street
  • When: Wednesday, May 11 from 6:30 p.m.
  • What: Mamie Taylor’s regional longtable dinner is back, introducing guests to the traditional flavours of a chosen American culinary region with a native welcome cocktail and a four-course menu. Diners at the sit-down meal will be rewarded with a South Carolina Seafood Boil prepared by Chef Tobias Grignon.

After Hours at Vancouver Aquarium

  • What: Ever wondered what the Vancouver Aquarium is like after dark? The aquarium is hosting an adults-only After Hours event, where attendees can grab a beer or glass of wine and enjoy access to all the galleries while exploring the Aquarium after dark.
  • When: Thursday, May 5 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Where: Vancouver Aquarium, 845 Avison Way
  • Price: Tickets are priced at $23 per person for members, and $31 per person for non-members, and can be purchased online here

Tasting Plates

  • What: An event series of culinary roving tours in different areas of the city, featuring a multitude of different ethnic restaurants. On May 18 attendees will get the chance to mingle with fellow foodies within the East Village, in the Hastings area from Clark to Renfrew.
  • When: Wednesday, May 18 from 6 to 10 p.m.
  • Where: Registration for the evening is TBA, for updates check here
  • Price: Advanced tickets are priced at $40 per person and can be purchased online here

Sushi and the City

  • What: An exclusive two-hour sushi and sashimi making class with Charlie Lee, a master sushi chef who was trained by two-Michelin-starred sushi chef Matsumoto Mizuho. In this unique class, attendees will learn the how to make restaurant quality sushi and sashimi using the latest techniques in Japanese gastronomy.
  • When: Various dates and times throughout May (please check here)
  • Where: Address provided after booking
  • Price: Tickets range from $119 to $137.35 and can be purchased online here

Sunday Paella Series at Boulevard

  • What: Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar will continue their ongoing Sunday Supper Series this spring when Executive Chef Alex Chen conjures up the rustic flavours of Spain’s national dish with a string of events featuring Paella as the centrepiece.
  • Where: Boulevard – 845 Burrard Street (at the Sutton Place Hotel)
  • When: Every Sunday in May (8, 15, 22, 29) at 6 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available online here, $49 per person plus tax and gratuity (two-guest minimum)

Indian Summer Supper Club

  • What: Open to Indian Summer Arts Society members, patrons and artist alumni, the Urban Tea Merchant will be serving up a sumptuous four-course tea-pairing menu – including a guided tea tasting with their in-house certified Tea Sommelier.
  • Where: The Urban Tea Merchant – 1070 West Georgia, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, May 12 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available from indiansummerfest.ca, $75

Salty Brine Fermentation Fair

  • What: Celebrate the glory of fermenting beer and everything else, with workshops, demonstrations, a speaker’s panel wth local fermenters, and of course, lots of delicious, locally fermented eats for sale!
  • Where: Homestead Junction – 649 E Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, May 14, noon to 5 p.m.
  • More: homesteadjunction.ca

10th Annual Spot Prawn Festival & Boil

  • What: Get ready to get your fill of B.C.’s favourite seasonal seafood: Spot Prawns. The 10th annual Spot Prawn Festival & Boil will take place Sunday, May 15, along the False Creek Fisherman’s Wharf. Limited tickets to the boil are $17.50 (plus taxes and fees).
  • Where: False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf – 1505 W 1st Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, May 15, events all day
  • Price: Tickets to the boil available online, $17.50; otherwise entry is free

Gastown Chicken Fight

  • What: A collection of Gastown restaurants are coming together to compete in a whisky inspired wing cook-off. A mix of judges scores and audience voting will determine which team has created the most delicious, awesome, whisky-flavoured wings.
  • Where: The Lamplighter Public House – 92 Water Street, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, May 22 at 4 p.m.
  • More: donnellygroup.ca

Make for the markets

Farmers’ Markets

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 those opening in May – 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. Here’s a shortlist of those opening in May – for full details check our guide to night markets in Vancouver.

Take in a show


  • What: Winner of 7 Tony Awards, Evita is the story of the charismatic Eva Perón, whose beauty and ambition vaulted her from poverty to power as the First Lady of Argentina.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 600 Block Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: Now until Sunday, May 8
  • Tickets: Available from Vancouver Opera, $60-$175

Vancouver International Burlesque Festival

  • What: Vancouver Uncovered will feature local burlesque stars baring their creative souls – expect an evening of innovative and modern striptease like you’ve never seen before!
  • Where: Vancouver Playhouse – 600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, May 7, 8 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available from Brownpaper Tickets, $35-$65, 19+

Ballet BC: Program 3

  • What: Ballet BC’s 30th anniversary goes out with a spectacular bang, with work by two audience favourites and a newcomer who is making waves around the world.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 630 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, May 12 – Saturday, May 14, at 8 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available from balletbc.com, $30- $90

The Cultch Presents: Take a Bow

  • What: An evening of dance celebrating the life and music of a legend, David Bowie, exploring the many different faces and genres of Bowie’s music through different dance styles.
  • Where: Historic Theatre – 1895 Venables Street, Vancouver
  • When: May 6 and 7 at 8 p.m.
  • Tickets: $25 from The Cultch

Catch a concert

Said The Whale

  • What: Vancouver’s own Juno award-winning indie rock band Said The Whale are coming home for a highly anticipated show at the Fox Cabaret.
  • Where: The Fox Cabaret – 231 Main Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, May 7, at 7 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available from Ticketmaster for $25. 19+

The Who Hits 50!

  • What: Quintessential rockers The Who are touring Canada, bringing classic hits like Baba O’Riley and My Generation to a whole new generation of CSI fans.
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available from Ticketmaster from $51.70 to $161.70. All ages.

Violent Femmes

  • What: The punk legends are on the road promoting We Can Do Anything, their first album in 16 years but don’t worry – they’re sure to play Blister In The Sun anyway!
  • Where: Commodore Ballroom – 868 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, May 15 at 7 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available from Ticketmaster for $39.50. 19+

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

  • What: The hip hop duo are heading to Vancouver to promote new album This Unruly Mess I’ve Made. Worth a trip to the thrift shop for some new concert-going threads.
  • Where: PNE Forum – 2901 E Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Wednesday, May 25 at 7 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available from Ticketleader for $77.60. All ages

Paul Simon

  • What: The legendary singer-songwriter of Simon & Garfunkel fame is in town to regale you with classics like 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover and You Can Call Me Al.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 600 Block Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, May 26 at 8 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available from Ticketmaster from $104.50 to $164.50. All ages.

Get sporty

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Portland Timbers

  • What: Catch the ‘Caps as they take on Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers.
  • Where: BC Place – 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, May 7, 2 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available via Ticketmaster

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Chicago Fire

  • What: Catch the ‘Caps as they take on Chicago Fire.
  • Where: BC Place – 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
  • When: Wednesday, May 11, 7 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available via Ticketmaster

Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Houston Dynamo

  • What: Catch the ‘Caps as they take on Houston Dynamo.
  • Where: BC Place – 777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, May 28, 3 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available via Ticketmaster

Terminal City Rollergirls Bout 2

  • What: Watch Public Frenemy take on the Faster Pussycats, and Bad Reputations battle Riot Girls.
  • Where: Royal City Curling Club –  75 6 Avenue E, New Westminster
  • When: May 7, doors to 5 p.m., first whistle at 6 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available via Brown Paper Tickets

Terminal City Rollergirls Bout 3

  • What: Watch Riot Girls take on Faster Pussycats, and Bad Reputations battle Public Frenemy.
  • Where: Royal City Curling Club –  75 6 Avenue E, New Westminster
  • When: May 28, doors to 5 p.m., first whistle at 6 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available via Brown Paper Tickets

Join an Urban Rec team

If you fancy getting out on the pitch/field/court yourself, there are still leagues available to play through Urban Rec Sports and Social Club.  Leagues open for registration – either as a team or an individual – for play in May include beach volleyball, flag football, softball, volleyball train and play.

See a movie

Friday The 13th

  • What: The original Friday The 13th, that 1980 sleepaway camp slasherfest that started it all. On the big screen. On… Friday, May 13.
  • Where: Rio Theatre – 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, May 13, doors 11:30 p.m., movie 11:55 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available from the Rio Theatre, $6 advance or in costume, $8 at the door and not in costume, 19+

DOXA Documentary Film Festival

  • What: This year’s festival of independent and innovative documentaries include a host of panels and Q&As with directors and of course a myriad of screenings across the city.
  • Where: Various venues, full schedule here
  • When: Thursday, May 5 to Sunday, May 15
  • Tickets: Available from doxafestival.ca

Other events

Big Sisters Spring Lunch

  • What: The signature fundraising event of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland celebrates the power of mentorship, and raises important funds to support Big Sisters mentoring programs that help hundreds of vulnerable young girls every year.
  • Where: Fairmont Waterfront – 900 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, May 26, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available from bigsisters.bc.ca, $125

Locked Up and Innocent!

  • What: If you’re a fan of Serial or Making a Murderer, you’ll be fascinated by these real, local stories of wrongful convictions and exonerations, as told by attorney Mark Gervin, of the UBC chapter of the Innocence Project.
  • Where: Vancouver Police Museum – 240 E Cordova Street, Vancouver
  • When: Wednesday, May 4, 7 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available from vancouverpolicemuseum.ca, $10

TEDx StanleyPark

  • What: A not-for-profit, annual intellectual variety show, where live speakers share innovative and optimistic ideas that address humanity’s tough challenges.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 630 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, May 28, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tickets: Available from tedxstanleypark.com, $117

Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle

  • What: All are welcome to join this family-friendly, free drum circle. Bring an instrument, bring your friends…simply bring yourself!
  • Where: Third Beach – Stanley Park, Vancouver
  • When: Every sunny Tuesday, after work until the sun sets

Pro-Am at the Comedy MIX

  • What: See amateur comedians of all skill levels perform alongside a professional headliner and a professional host and MC – come on out and discover Vancouver’s rising stars!
  • Where: The Comedy MIX – 1015 Burrard Street, Vancouver
  • When: Every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. until the end of May

Don’t forget Mother’s Day!

Take mom out for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is just around the corner (it’s Sunday, May 8 this year!) and it’s time to start thinking about how you want to spoil your mom. If you’re looking for a charming culinary experience, Vancouver is full of great options. Just remember – it’s best to call ahead to make reservations. Here is our guide to where to eat in Vancouver on Mother’s Day 2016.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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