More than 20 FREE and cheap things to do around Metro Vancouver this April

Apr 3 2023, 11:51 pm

There’s loads of free and inexpensive fun to be had around town! So let’s get started!

Check out these 23 fun events in Vancouver in April that won’t break the bank, like Party for the Planet, Richmond Night Market, Drag For Dogs fundraiser and more.

And for more great events happening around town, be sure to check out our Listed section.

One-Time Only Events and Activities

Party for the Planet 2023

Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet/Submitted

What: The City of Surrey is set to host the 12th annual Party for the Planet at Surrey Civic Plaza, presented by TD, on Saturday, April 29.

Happening one week after Earth Day, this year’s event will be packed full of entertainment and activities for the whole family. The best part is that it’s free to attend and just steps from the Surrey Central SkyTrain station.

When: April 29, 2023
Time: 11 am to 7 pm
Where: Surrey Civic Plaza – 13450 104th Avenue, Surrey
Cost: Free

Raised In Chinatown

What: Chinatown Storytelling Centre presents Raised In Chinatown, an exhibition that explores Chinese Canadian youth culture in Saltwater City from the 1910s to 1960s. Presented in partnership with Langara College Design Formation.

When: Fridays to Mondays until June 12, 2023
Time: 11 am to 4 pm
Where: 168 East Pender Street, Vancouver
Cost: $10-$12.50. Free for members and children five and younger. Reserve tickets online

I want to think about feminism, but I have to think about climate change by Alex Sandvoss

What: I want to think about feminism, but I have to think about climate change by Surrey artist Alex Sandvoss is a fiery exhibition of 12 oil paintings at Place des Arts in Coquitlam.

In an artist statement posted on the not-for-profit arts education centre’s website, Sandvoss says that “it is time to hold accountable those who are responsible for emboldening a system that is racist, sexist, classist and destroying the planet. It is time to demand an overhaul and design a system and economy that is fair to everyone.”

Place des Arts has noted that the Leonore Peyton Salon is a multi-purpose space, and viewing times are limited. Visitors are asked to call for viewing availability before arrival.

When: Now until May 25, 2023
Time: Various times.
Where: Place des Arts – 1120 Brunette Avenue, Coquitlam
Cost: Free

Richmond Night Market 2023

Richmond night market (Sen Yang/Shutterstock)

What: Richmond Night Market is gearing up for another season filled with epic eats and live entertainment. This market draws crowds from across the province that travel to check out the rows on rows of vibrant cuisine and unique shopping along with the diverse lineup of nightly performances on the 50-foot stage.

When: Fridays to Sundays from April 28 to October 9, 2023, plus some holiday Mondays
Time: Friday from 7 pm to 12 am; Saturday from 6 pm to 12 am; Sunday from 7 pm to 11 pm (holiday hours may vary)
Where: 8351 River Road, Richmond (near Bridgeport Station)

Drag For Dogs – Book Release & Fundraising Party

What: The creators of the children’s book Good Girl Glady are hosting a dog rescue fundraiser with drag and burlesque performers and a live DJ.

All proceeds from ticket sales, raffles, merch and book sales will go to support Rescue All Dogs (R.A.D rescue). Performers include Hotmale dotcom, Maiden China, Jas Minh, Gushy, Karlie Hart, SKIM and DJ Skylar Love.

When: April 15, 2023
Time: 1 to 6 pm
Where: Back and Forth Bar – 303 Columbia Street, Vancouver
Cost: $15 for general admission, $20 at the door. No one will be turned away for lack of funds

As We Rise: Photography From The Black Atlantic

What: As We Rise is an exhibition organized by Aperture and curated by Elliott Ramsey. The photography exhibit at The Polygon Gallery showcases more than 100 photographs from the Wedge Collection, Canada’s largest privately owned collection committed to championing Black artists.

Discover images chosen from Aperture’s recently published book of the same name, including photographs from African diasporic culture from both sides of the Atlantic.

When: Wednesday to Sunday until May 14, 2023
Time: 10 am to 5 pm (open until 8 pm on Thursdays)
Where: The Polygon Gallery – 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
Admission: By donation

Easter at the Cannery

What: This annual family-friendly weekend at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site features crafts, storytime, games, and the popular Easter Salmon Scavenger Hunt. Activities are suitable for children ages two to six years old.

When: April 7 to 9, 2023
10:30 am to 4 pm
 Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site – 12138 4th Avenue, Richmond
 Special event admission of $5.50 for children two years old and above, $8.50 for adults 18+

Surrey Khalsa Day Vaisakhi Parade 2023


Vaisakhi Parade/City of Surrey

What: The largest Vaisakhi parade in the world is taking place in Surrey for the first time since 2019, and organizers are expecting to draw one of its biggest crowds yet.

Surrey Khalsa Day Vaisakhi Parade, organized by Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, will take place on Saturday, April 22. Over 500,000 people are expected to enjoy the variety of floats, live music and dancers, and community groups.

Hundreds of booths along the parade route, sponsored by local businesses and families, will provide free food and treats to the crowds.

When: April 22, 2023
Time: 9:30 am to 4 pm
Where: Starts at the Gurdwara Dasmesh Darbar – 12885 85th Avenue, Surrey
Cost: Free

Free Movie Night – 8 Mile

What: Gordon Neighbourhood House presents a free screening of the Oscar-winning film 8 Mile. Admission to see the Eminem flick is free, but space is limited, so interested movie buffs are encouraged to reserve a ticket online.

Each ticket includes a bag of popcorn and a cold drink. This movie night is for ages 18+, and viewer discretion is advised.

When: April 13, 2023
Time: Doors 7 pm
Where: Gordon Neighbourhood House – 1019 Broughton Street, Vancouver
Tickets: Free; reserve online

Furbaby Pop-Up

What: The Local Scene hosts a Furbaby Pop-Up at Helena Gutteridge Plaza at Vancouver City Hall. The event features one-of-a-kind gifts and vendors, along with live music, vendors, food trucks and more.

When: April 8, 2023
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Where: Helena Gutteridge Plaza at Vancouver City Hall – 453 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Aethernet – International Dance Day

Kinesis Dance somatheatro

Kinesis Dance somatheatro/Eventbrite

What: Kinesis Dance somatheatro invites everyone to take part in its celebration of International Dance Day 2023 in partnership with The Dance Centre. Take part in the free community workshops on April 22 and 23, then join the free public performance on April 29 at Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza.

When: April 22 and 23, 2023 (free community workshops), April 29, 2023 (free public performance)
Time: Various times
Where: Various locations
Cost: Free

Bunny Kisses & Easter Wishes

What: Lulu Island Winery hosts an Easter Market showcasing local vendors and an Easter Egg scavenger hunt for adults and children. Rabbitats will also be hosting a meet-and-treat on both days.

When: April 7 and 8, 2023
Time: 1 to 5 pm
Where: Lulu Island Winery – 16880 Westminster Highway, Richmond
Cost: Free to visit the market, $5 for the Easter Egg scavenger hunt. Register online

The Identity Bureau

What: Some Assembly Theatre Company presents The Identity Bureau, set in the near future where all citizens are assigned identities and traits. The production was created by a diverse cast of Metro Vancouver youth along with playwright and director Valerie Methot.

When: April 28 and 29, 2023
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre — 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
Tickets: Free; register online

Recurring Events and Activities

Community Jam at The Improv Centre

The Improv Centre

The Improv Centre/Instagram

What: The Improv Centre welcomes performers of all levels to get up onstage with professionally trained improvisers at its free monthly community jam. The 18+ event features theatre exercises, improv games and scenes, and more.

When: The last Saturday of every month
Time: 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Where: The Improv Centre – 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
Cost: Free

Bill Reid Gallery – Free Admission Day

What: The Bill Reid Gallery is named after the renowned Haida artist and is the only public gallery dedicated to contemporary Indigenous Art of the Northwest Coast in the country. The gallery is home to the Simon Fraser University Bill Reid Collection and also hosts a variety of special exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, and more.

Guests can visit Bill Reid Gallery for free from 2 to 5 pm on the first Friday of each month.

When: The first Friday of every month
Time: 2 to 5 pm
Where: 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver
Cost: By donation

Vancouver Art Gallery – By Donation Evenings

What: The Vancouver Art Gallery was founded in 1931 and is renowned as one of North America’s leading visual arts institutions. There are a variety of exhibitions currently on display, including Guud san glans Robert Davidson: A Line That Bends But Does Not Break, Jin-Me Yoon’s About Time, and a SPOTLIGHT feature on Heiltsuk artist KC Hall.

Vancouver Art Gallery offers admission with a minimum $5 donation every Tuesday evening from 5 pm to 8 pm. Any support you can provide the gallery is helpful towards its operations. Admission is also free for children and youth up to 18 years old, as well as gallery members and caregivers of persons with disabilities.

When: Every Tuesday evening
Time: 5 to 8 pm
Where: 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver
Cost: By donation, minimum $5. Admission is also free for children and youth up to 18 years old, as well as gallery members and caregivers of persons with disabilities.

Heart of Vancouver Public Market

Cambie Village Market

Arina P Habich/Shutterstock | Cambie Village/Facebook

What: Visitors can shop for locally grown veggies and handmade goods, enjoy live entertainment, and more at the monthly Heart of Vancouver Public Market.

The event will showcase a few dozen vendors offering jams and jellies, kimchi, fresh flowers and seedlings, dog expertise, farm fresh eggs, Indigenous jewellery, and more.

When: April 15, May 13, June 10, July 22, August 26, September 9, October 21, November 18, and December 9, 2023
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Where: West 17th Avenue at Cambie Street, Vancouver
Cost: Free

Eat fresh with farmers’ markets

Trout Lake Farmers’ Market

Trout Lake Farmers' Market

Trout Lake Farmers’ Market/

What: This farmers’ market began back in 1995 and became the cornerstone of the Vancouver Farmers’ Market collective of markets. One of the most popular of the markets, Trout Lake has food trucks on-site and a variety of vendors selling fresh local produce, locally made goods, and all things food.

When: Every Saturday until October 28, 2023
Time: 9 am to 2 pm
Where: Lakewood Drive and East 13th Avenue, Vancouver

Port Moody Farmers’ Market

What: Established in 2008, the Port Moody Winter Farmers’ Market began as a bi-weekly market in the lobby and courtyard of the Port Moody Rec Centre. Now a weekly market, shoppers can stop by every Sunday for local BC produce, artisan crafts, and delicious baked goods. There will also be live music and hot coffee and food to enjoy.

When: Every Sunday until April 2023
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Port Moody Recreation Complex – 300 Ioco Road, Port Moody

Riley Park Farmers’ Market

This large farmers’ market takes place right by Nat Bailey Stadium. Expect stalls of fresh produce, food trucks, and other local goodies.

When: Every Saturday from April 1 to October 28, 2023
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: 50 East 30th Avenue and Ontario Street, Vancouver

New West Farmers’ Market

What: New West Farmers’ Market showcases dozens of vendors and food trucks each week. Shop for farm-fresh produce, local artisan items, gourmet prepared foods, and more while enjoying live entertainment.

When: Every Thursday until November 2, 2023
Time: 3 to 7 pm
Where: Tipperary Park next to New West City Hall – 315 Queens Avenue, New Westminster

Fort Langley Village Farmers’ Market

What: Shop for fresh groceries (fresh foods picked from local farmers’ fields in the Fraser and Okanagan Valleys), along with plants, flowers, and other artisan goods at this weekly market in Fort Langley.

When: Every Saturday from April 15 until December 2, 2023 (Then Christmas in the Village events from December 15 to 17, 2023)
Time: 9 am to 3 pm
Where: St. Andrews Historic Church – 9025 Glover Road, Fort Langley

Clayton Community Farmers’ Market

Meet over 70 local farmers and handmade vendors at the Clayton Community Market. Each week also features food trucks, live music and more at Clayton Community Centre.

When: April 30 until October 2023
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Where: The Clayton Community Centre – 7155 187A Street, Surrey

Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

+ Listed