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39 FREE things to do in Vancouver this April

Daniel Chai Apr 01, 2019 9:54 am 2,981

Keep the springtime fun going without busting your wallet! Here is our checklist of 39 FREE events happening in Vancouver this April, including Party for the Planet, Vaisakhi Day Parade, and more.

For more things happening around town check out our events section.

Get outside

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2019

cherry blossom festival

Cherry Blossom Vancouver/Shutterstock

What: Vancouver’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration of the city’s gorgeous pink cherry trees and a welcome sight for the winter-weary Vancouverites. The Cherry Blossom Festival looks to show off close to 40,000 trees, many of which originated as gifts from Japan. The festival looks to express the city’s gratitude while celebrating the beauty and joy that the blooms with the flowers. New to this year, festival organizers have made the point of asking anyone taking photos in neighbourhoods to be respectful when visiting.

When: April 4 to 28, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Various locations throughout the city
Admission: Many free events and some ticketed events

Seedy Saturday

What: Spring is in full bloom at Seedy Saturday. Whether you’re a budding green thumb or expert seed saver, there’s something for everyone at Stewart Farm House’s annual seed and plant sale. Purchase heirloom seeds and plants from local vendors, swap and exchange seeds, and chat with gardening experts.

When: Saturday, April 6, 2019
Time: 11 am to 3 pm
Where: Stewart Farm House – 13723 Crescent Rd, Surrey
Admission: Free

Birding for Beginners

What: Learn bird-watching basics and strategies for identifying birds. Enjoy an outdoor walk to get to know the birds at the park. Ages 13+. Registration is required.

When: Sunday, April 7, 2019
Time: 9 am to 11 am
Where: Colony Farm Regional Park, Port Coquitlam
Admission: Free, register online

3rd Annual Richmond Cherry Blossom Festival

What: In its third year running, the festival celebrates the arrival of spring and the blooming of cherry blossoms. The festival, situated right beside the Fraser River, includes a day full of Japanese music, as well as traditional Japanese food and activities. Attendees can also expect traditional Japanese dance, Taiko drumming, and a number of talented musicians.

When: Sunday, April 7, 2019
Time: 11 am to 4 pm
Where: Garry Point Park – 12011 Seventh Avenue, Richmond
Admission: Free

Piper Spit Bird Count

What: Whether you’re just getting to know the birds in your backyard or are on the lookout for rarities, grab your binoculars and join a park interpreter to watch the seasonal changes in the birds at Burnaby Lake. Ages 15+ only, please.

When: Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Time: 9 am to 11 pm
Where: Burnaby Lake Regional Park – Meet at Burnaby Lake Nature House, 4519 Piper Avenue, Burnaby
Admission: Free

Hyde Creek Watershed 13th Annual Fish Release & Open House


Sekar B / Shutterstock

What: Help the Hyde Creek Watershed Society members release thousands of salmon into Hyde Creek. Members have spent 18 months raising coho from eggs through to fry and smolt stages and these coho are now ready to travel to the ocean. While you’re at the hatchery, visit the Education Centre and have a tour with one of the volunteer members. Exhibits and crafts are part of the day, along with a fundraising hot dog BBQ.

Parking is available at the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre on Laurier Avenue. It’s a short walk west along the Poco Trail to the Hyde Creek Education Centre & Hatchery.

When: Saturday, April 13, 2019
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Hyde Creek Watershed Education Centre & Hatchery – 3636 Coast Meridian Road, Port Coquitlam
Admission: Free

Earth Day in Port Moody

What: Port Moody is full of Earth Day events on Sunday, April 14. Head out on a bird walk with the Burke Mountain Naturalists, participate in Portrait of a City, help plant Port Moody’s Canada 150 eco-sculpture and enjoy earth-friendly crafts, activities, and more. Plus enjoy a curated selection of Earth-inspired art by the Port Moody Art Association from April 14 to 18 in the Galleria.

When: Sunday, April 14, 2019
Time: 2 to 5 pm (Various start times for different activities)
Where: Inlet Theatre – 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody
Admission: Free

Hummingbird Homecoming

What: Attract birds to your own backyard by understanding what helps them survive.
Presentations at 11 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm.

When: Sunday, April 14, 2019
Times: 11 am to 4 pm
Where: Richmond Nature Park – 11851 Westminster Hwy, Richmond
Admission: Free with donations appreciated

Bats at Night

What: Check out local habitat and watch for bats with the Burke Mountain Naturalists.

When: Sunday, April 14, 2019
Time: 7:30 pm
Where: Rocky Point Spray Park – 2800-block Murray Street, Port Moody
Admission: Free

Critter Capers: The Case of the Missing Blossoms

What: Hoskins the hummingbird’s favourite blossom patch has mysteriously vanished.  Can you discover what happened to it and keep Hoskins humming along? Allow one hour to crack the case at this Easter Monday mystery.

When: Monday, April 22, 2019
Time: 12 to 3 pm
Where: Burnaby Lake Regional Park – Meet at Burnaby Lake Nature House, 4519 Piper Avenue, Burnaby
Admission: Free

Goodbye Chums!

Sockeye salmon/Shutterstock

What: Release salmon fry into the creek where they will start their journey to the sea.  Tour the hatchery. Take part in fun activities and games to find out how to help salmon. Presented with Kanaka Education & Environmental Partnership Society.

When: Sunday, April 28, 2019
Time: 11 am to 3 pm
Where: Kanaka Creek Regional Park – meet at 11450 256th Street, Maple Ridge
Admission: Free

Explore the city

Thursday Artist Talk: Indigenous Contemporary Art Intensive, “Sharing Perspectives”

What: Five local, emerging artists share their perspectives from a Gallery residency. Working in a range of mediums from painting to beadwork and carving, artists Kelsey Sparrow, Naomi Kennedy, Alanna Edwards, Atheana Picha, and Avishka Lakwijaya will discuss their residency in the TechLab last summer, their resulting artworks, and their individual art practices. Along with displaying some of their work, they will present the videos they created for UrbanScreen.

When: Thursday, April 4, 2019
Time: 7:30 to 9 pm
Where: Surrey Art Gallery, 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey
Admission: Free

Parkside Comedy Nights

What: Vancouver comedians Ryan Williams and Alistair Ogden host a night of comedy in the Parkside Tasting Room with a rotating cast of comedians monthly.

When: April 4, 2019
Time: 8 pm
Where: Parkside Brewery – 2731 Murray Street, Port Moody
Admission: Free

Lulu Series: Debra Sparrow

What: Debra Sparrow’s ties to this land are centuries old. As she weaves, she draws connections to her ancestors and to the people whose traditional lands once encompassed Richmond and much of Vancouver. Growing up in Musqueam, Debra remembers spending time in Richmond gathering knowledge from her family and from the land itself.

In this talk, Debra will share some of the Indigenous histories of this place and discuss the links between her ancestors, her creative practice and the modern city we now call Richmond.

When: Thursday, April 4, 2019
Time: 7 to 9 pm
Where: Richmond City Hall – 6911 No.3 Road, Richmond
Tickets: Online, Free

Burrard Arts Foundation Opening: Holly Schmidt, Charlene Vickers, Alex Achtem

What: Join Burrard Arts Foundation to celebrate the opening of BAF Gallery’s new Spring Exhibitions: ‘Quiescence’, from Holly Schmidt, and ‘Chrysalis’, from Charlene Vickers. They will also be unveiling a new installation in The Garage: ‘Painting a Room Blue’, by Alex Achtem.

When: Friday, April 5, 2019. Exhibition runs April 5 to May 25, 2019
Time: Opening Night Party from 7 to 11 pm. Exhibition is open 12 to 5 pm, Tuesday to Saturday
Where: Burrard Arts Foundation – 258 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Luminescence IV Closing Event

Deer Lake Art Gallery / Facebook

What: Mind-bending optical illusions are just part of the story, the professional jam of the artists exhibiting is another. The evening event features one last chance to see the fire-breathing dragon by local icon Rom Simmer and live music from two amazing musicians: Eddie Lam & Leonard Pallerstein! The Berzerkatroid Dragon will be breathing fire on-site during the Luminescence IV closing event.

When: Saturday, April 6, 2019
Time: 7 to 9 pm
Where: Deer Lake Gallery – 6584 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
Tickets: Online, Free

KidPreneur Market Day Expo

What: Build a Biz Kids students show off their businesses as they launch them for the 1st time. There will be lots of tasty treats, fun gift ideas and crazy inventions plus activities & inspiration for the whole family.

When: Saturday, April 6, 2019
Time: 12 to 4 pm
Where: The City of Lougheed (Lougheed Town Centre) – Austin Avenue & North Road, Burnaby. Top Floor between Wal-Mart and the Food Court.
Admission: Free

Pixel Art Party

What: Join Surrey Art Gallery at UrbanScreen for an evening of hands-on art activities, digital art, and electronic music. They will screen work created during the animation intensive from March, followed by a full playthrough of Sassoon’s current artwork on UrbanScreen showcasing Surrey’s geography in Liquid Landscapes. Music inspired by Liquid Landscapes will also be debuted. The artist lineup includes Yu Su (You’re Me), JS Aurelius (Ascetic House), Jean Brazeau, Scott W., Baby Blue (S.M.I.L.E), NuZi Collective, and Veron X/O.

When: Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Time: 8 to 9:30 pm
Where: Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre – 13458 107a Ave, Surrey
Admission: Free

Party for the Planet

Party for the Planet, Surrey

What: The City of Surrey will host its ninth annual Earth Day celebration ‘Party for the Planet’ at Civic Plaza on Saturday, April 13 from 10 am to 6 pm. The signature Surrey event will feature the new Live Green World, offering environmental workshops, a sustainable marketplace, acoustic concert series and local vendors. Soulful singer Colin Bullock, indie pop duo Harlequin Gold, and children’s performers Bobs & Lolo will perform on the TD Main Stage, located inside Council Chambers.

When: Saturday, April 13, 2019
Time: 10 am to 6 pm
Where: Civic Plaza at Surrey City Hall – 13450 104 Ave, Surrey
Admission: Free

Heritage Writers’ Group

What: Start capturing your life story for family and posterity. No preparation required; just bring a pen and paper, or your laptop.

When: April 15, May 27, June 17, 2019
Time: 10:30 am to 12 pm
Where: PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives – 150-2248 McAllister Ave., Port Coquitlam
Admission: Free

Vaisakhi Day Parade

What: Everyone is welcome at the annual Vaisakhi Day Parade, featuring cultural floats, community performers and live music. To pay tribute to the harvest celebration roots of the parade, attendees are given free food and drink from hundreds of local residents and businesses.

When: Saturday, April 20, 2019
Time: 9 am to 6 pm
Where: Parade starts at Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar – 12885 85 Ave, Surrey
Admission: Free

Burnaby Mountain Golf Festival

What: Free golf clinics, custom club fitting, demo days, prizes, and fun for the whole family.

When: Saturday, April 20, 2019
Time: 10 am to 1 pm
Where: Burnaby Mountain Golf Course & Driving Range – 7600 Halifax Street, Burnaby
Admission: Free

Welcome Ramadan, Celebrate Eid!

What: Welcome Ramadan, the holy month of fasting in the Islamic calendar. Learn about the meaning of Ramadan and enjoy family activities including calligraphy, crafts, henna tattoos, and more. This event is held in partnership with City of Richmond, Touchstone Family Association, Welcome Ramadan & Eid Celebration Committee and BC Muslim Art House.

When: Saturday, April 27, 2019
Time: 12 to 4 pm
Where: Richmond Public Library Brighouse Branch – 100-7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond
Admission: Free

Home & Decor Lifestyle Expo 2019

What: The Home Decor & Lifestyle Expo 2019 offers attendees the opportunity to see first-hand consumer lifestyle and product trends for all areas of the home, both inside and out, under one roof. The fair will feature giftware, kitchenware, electronics, realtors, insurance, immigration, security, information technology, decor, furniture and housewares.

When: Saturday, April 27, 2019
Time: 11 am to 6 pm
Where: Punjab Banquet Hall – 8166 128 St, Surrey
Admission: Free

Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival 2019

What: The Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival is back for its sixth year featuring delicious grub-on-wheels, drinks, and more. This year brings seven drool-worthy events from the Fraser Valley Food Truck Association, each featuring 28 trucks to enjoy.

When: April 27, May 4, May 11, May 25, June 2, June 15 to June 25, and June 16, 2019
Time: 11 am to 6 pm
Where: Locations across Greater Vancouver
Admission: Free

Earth Day at Hamilton Community Centre

What: Head to Hamilton Centre for a family-friendly event with a neighbourhood cleanup that includes a free electric shredder, crafts and junk disposal by donation. Rock Art Canada will also be leading rock painting.

When: Saturday, April 27, 2019
Time: 10:30 am to 12 pm
Where: Hamilton Community Centre – 5140 Smith Drive, Richmond
Admission: Free

Art On The Spot

What:  A free event celebrating International Dance Day.

When: Saturday, April 27, 2019
Time: 11 am
Where: Shadbolt Centre for the Arts – 6450 Deer Lake Avenue Burnaby, BC
Admission: Free

Vancity Richmond Clothing Fix it

What: Bring your clothes that need to be repaired and a team of expert fixers will show you how you can repair the clothes yourself. Sewing machines, threads, needles and all sewing supplies will be provided on site. No experience necessary and all are welcome.

When: April 27, May 5, 2019
Time: 11 am to 2 pm
Where: Vancity Blundell Centre community branch – 6020 Blundell Rd Unit 130, Richmond,
Register: Online, Free

The Art of Dance: An International Dance Day Celebration

What: Enjoy a cultural and artistic fusion of dance on two stages. Featuring performances by XBa School of Dance, The Wee Drams, Keri’s Highland Dance Studio, Vancouver Chinese Folk & Minorities Dance Association, Flamenco Del Mar, Tamanawis Secondary, Earl Marriott Secondary, and more. Also music performances, artists and exhibitors’ booths, and two food trucks.

When: Sunday, April 28, 2019
Time: 12 to 3 pm
Where: Surrey City Hall – Atrium and Civic Plaza – 13450 104 Ave., Surrey
Admission: Free

International Dance Day – Free Dance Workshops and Performances

What: 2019 marks the 5th annual celebration of International Dance Day in Richmond. Sudnya Dance Academy and Clarkson Events have partnered with Aberdeen Centre to provide free dance celebrations, performances and workshops.

When: Sunday, April 28 and Monday, April 29, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Aberdeen Centre – 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond
Admission: Free

Eat fresh with farmers’ markets

Riley Park and Nat Bailey Stadium Farmers’ Market

What: Each week you can look forward to finding locally grown vegetables and fruit, meat and seafood from local ranchers and fishermen, artisan cheese and bread, herbs and seasonal nursery items, baked goods, prepared foods and artisanal crafts.

When: Open year round
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Riley Park Plaza – 50E. 30th Ave., Vancouver, Nat Bailey Stadium – 4601 Ontario Street, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Hastings Park Farmers’ Market

What: Find a great selection of local produce, fish, meat, dairy, artisan prepared foods, baked goods, local crafts, craft alcohol producers, and food trucks. There is free parking for market shoppers at Gate 2 off of Renfrew St.

When: Every Sunday to Sunday, April 28, 2019
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Hastings Park Centregrounds – 2901 East Hastings Street
Admission: Free

New West Farmers Winter Market

What: The market features farm-fresh produce, plants, quality crafts from local artists and artisans, gourmet prepared foods, community information, live entertainment, and more.

When: April 6 and April 20, 2019
Time: 11 am to 3 pm
Where: Belmont Street between 6th Street and 7th Street, New Westminster
Admission: Free

Kwantlen Street Winter Market

When: Every Saturday from now to June 29, 2019
Time: 11 am to 3 pm
Where: Kwantlen Polytechnic University – 12666 72nd Avenue, Surrey
Admission: Free

Port Moody Winter 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.

When: Every Sunday to April 28, 2019
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Port Moody Recreation Complex – 300 Ioco Rd, Port Moody
Admission: Free

Langley Community Farmers’ Winter Market

What: Find vendors inside and out of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University courtyard and parking lot. Look out for new and returning vendors, and tons of fun activities at each market

When: Saturday, April 13, 2019
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Kwantlen Langley Campus Courtyard – 20901 Langley Bypass, Langley
Admission: Free

Haney Farmers’ Market

What: A vibrant outdoor Saturday market in downtown Maple Ridge, Haney Farmers’ Market sells fresh farm produce, locally-grown fruit and veg, preserves, baked goods, artisan crafts, fine art, and more.

When: Saturday, April 13, 2019
Time: 9 am to 2 pm
Where: Memorial Peace Park – 224th Street, Maple Ridge
Admission: Free

Cannery Farmers’ Market

What: The Cannery Farmers’ Market is Steveston’s indoor winter market, held at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site. This unique market features local food and artisan merchants, inside a historic cannery setting. Admission to the museum is free on market days, with guided heritage tours by donation.

When: April 14 and April 28, 2019 
10 am to 3 pm
 Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site – 12138 Fourth Avenue, Richmond

Kwantlen Street Farmers’ Market

When: Every Tuesday from April 16 to October 8, 2019
Time: 12 to 4 pm
Where: Plaza in between the Richmond Public Library and the Minoru Place Seniors’ Centre – 7660 Minoru Gate, Richmond
Admission: Free

See also
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