41 FREE things to do in Vancouver this February

Jan 27 2019, 3:36 pm

Want to have a frugal February? We’ve got your hookup to 41 FREE events happening in Vancouver this month, including Lunar New Year, Robson Square Ice Skating, and more.

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

Get outside

World Wetland’s Day at MacKay Pond

What: A maintenance and clean-up of MacKay Pond for World Wetland’s Day. Wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Tools will be provided.

When: Saturday, February 2, 2019
Time: 10 am to 1 pm
Where: 1st St W and Lloyd Ave – North Vancouver
Admission: Free

Owl Walk

What: Whooo can see in the dark and fly on silent wings? Listen for owls and other night sounds on this winter night 3.5 km walk. All ages.

When: Sunday, February 3, 2019
Time: 5:30 to 8 pm
Where: Burnaby Lake Regional Park – Meet at Burnaby Lake Nature House, 4519 Piper Ave., Burnaby
Admission: Free

Cool Cats and Canines



What: Sink your claws into the world of cougars, bobcats, coyotes and wolves. All ages.

When: Sunday, February 17, 2018
Time: 1 to 4 pm
Where: Kanaka Creek Regional Park – Meet at 11450 256th Street, Maple Ridge
Admission: Free

Nature Work Parties

What: Get your hands dirty removing invasive plants with friends and family and join others in caring for Surrey’s unique urban forest. Everyone is welcome to participate – no experience is required. Tools, training, and light refreshments are provided.  These events are drop-in, rain or shine (events may be cancelled in high winds or extreme weather conditions). Stay comfortable by wearing appropriate clothing for winter activities.

When: February 9 and March 9, 2019
Time: 10 am to 12 pm
Where: Hazelnut Meadows Community Park – 14069 68 Ave, Surrey
Price: Free

City of New Westminster Family Day 2019

What: Explore the City of New Westminster on Family Day for the Lower Mainland’s largest free event. All City Parks & Recreation facilities along with the Anvil Centre and River Market will be offering Family Day fun for free.

Anvil Centre’s Family Fun Zone will feature Science World on the Road, Magician Peter Rooke, Nintendo games, photo booth fun, crafts and much more. The City’s Parks & Recreation facilities will be offering a variety of activities including swimming, fitness classes, skating, arts and crafts and entertainment.

When: Monday, February 18, 2019
Time: Various times
Where: Anvil Centre – 777 Columbia St, New Westminster
Admission: Free

Family Day Campfire

What: Drop by for a cozy campfire and learn about nature through story and song. All ages

When: Monday, February 18, 2019
Time: 12 pm to 3 pm
Where: Pacific Spirit Regional Park – Meet at the park centre on 16th Ave., 400 m west of Blanca St.
Admission: Free

Velo Voyages: An Evening of Bike Touring Talks

What: Sidesaddle is hosting a fun free social evening for folks who are interested in touring. Whether you’re a veteran world traveller or someone just interested in the idea, come by and listen to some of their customers share stories and photos from their favourite tours all around the world, with plenty of time for chatting and questions. Sidesaddle is providing the wine and snacks, you bring your questions, ideas, and experiences.

When: Thursday, February 21, 2019
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Where: Sidesaddle – 2496 Victoria Drive, Vancouver,
Admission: Free

Robson Square Ice Rink

Image: Dustan Sept / Flickr

What: The provincial government’s Robson Square Ice Rink is open for the 2018 and 2019 season. As per tradition, skating is free for all ages for those who bring their own skates. Those without skates can rent a pair on-site for a fee. An on-site concession stand will also serve warm drinks and snacks.

When: Now to February 28, 2019
Time: Sunday to Thursday from 9 am to 9 pm; Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 11 pm – Holiday hours vary
Where: 800 Robson Street, Vancouver (Robson Street and Howe Street)
Cost: Free for all ages, if you bring your own skates (Skate rentals are $5, and rentals end 30 minutes before closing time)
Note: Helmets are mandatory for children 12 years and under. Robson Square Ice Rink accepts cash only

Explore the city

Book Sale & Flea Market

What: Browse and discover thousands of Japanese/English books, manga, CDs and DVD.  The widest selection of used Japanese books in Metro Vancouver. Valentine-themed craft activities will be offered onsite.

When: Friday, February 1 and Saturday, February 2, 2019
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre – 6688 Southoaks Crescent, Burnaby
Admission: Free

Lunar New Year at Metropolis at Metrotown

What: To celebrate the Lunar New Year, the mall will be hosting more than two weeks of activities to welcome in the Year of the Pig. The highlight, perhaps, is 399 lanterns that will be taking over the Grand Court. The hundreds of lanterns will act as a backdrop for visitors to take photos with their family or friends. A handful of other activities will also be taking place, including Chinese calligraphy, lantern making, traditional Chinese Dance performances, and a “travel through Asia” photo booth.

When: Friday, February 1 to Monday, February 18, 2018
Time: Various times
Where: Metropolis at Metrotown – 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby
Admission: Free

Driverless Vehicle Demonstration Surrey 2019

EZ10 Driverless Shuttle Autonomous

EZ10 Driverless Shuttle in Dubai. (Easy Mile)

What: An autonomous shuttle vehicle will be making loops in and around Surrey Civic Plaza over the span of more than two weeks in February 2019 to provide Metro Vancouver residents with an opportunity to experience the future of driving. This free public demonstration is a part of the joint partnership between the City of Surrey and the City of Vancouver for their Infrastructure Canada Smart Cities Challenge bid of creating Canada’s first two collision-free multimodal corridors with driverless vehicles.

When: Wednesdays to Sundays from February 1 to 18, 2019
Time: 10 am to 4 pm
Where: Surrey Civic Plaza — 13450 104 Avenue, Surrey
Cost: Free. Book online to avoid lines

Women’s Personal Safety Workshops 2019

What: Women looking to learn more about self-defence are invited to join the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) for women’s personal safety workshops this winter. Participants will be able to learn easy self-defence tactics, and no prior training is required. The safety team encourages skills that involve “effective” self-defence.

The workshop is hosted by the VPD’s Women’s Personal Safety team. The VPD says the workshop is open to all women, but the minimum age to sign-up is 16-years old. Anyone under 18 must come with a parent to sign a waiver. More information is available online.

When: Thursday, February 7, 2019
Time: 6 to 8 pm
Price: Free, register via email [email protected] or call 604-717-3434

Mission: Possible — Surrey Escape Room 2019

What: The City of Surrey and City of Vancouver’s Smart Cities partnership will be hosting a free escape room experience in Surrey Civic Plaza, just outside Surrey City Hall. Over the span of a 60-minute session on Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10, participants will have to strategize, solve riddles, and collaborate through a series of puzzles and riddles to help create a smarter city. This experience is suitable for all ages given its varying difficulties, but parents must accompany elementary-aged children on challenges.

When: Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10, 2019
When: 10 am to 4 pm (Saturday), 10 am to 2 pm (Sunday)
Where: Surrey Civic Plaza — 13450 104th Avenue, Surrey
Cost: Free. Online registration required.

Art on the Loose

What: Bring your detective hat and track down clues at Surrey Art Gallery’s first art scavenger hunt. Given a list of clues, you’ll use your senses and detective skills to complete the challenge. Through the process, you’ll discover a variety of artwork in the Gallery and around the Surrey Arts Centre, such as a responsive sound piece and a spinning artwork. Attendees are welcome to dress like a detective.

When: Saturday, February 9, 2019
Time: 12 to 3 pm
Where: Surrey Art Gallery – 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey
Admission: Free

Lunar New Year 2019

What: Join the Heights Merchants Association for their annual Lunar New Year celebration of the multiculturalism in our community. Spot the lion dancers on Hastings Street (between Boundary Road and Gamma Avenue) from 12 to 4 pm and receive a fortune cookie, a lucky red envelope and a chance to win prizes.

When: Saturday, February 9, 2019
Time: 12 to 4 pm
Where: Burnaby Heights
Admission: Free

Heritage Detectives

What: Join PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives’ resident local historian Bryan Ness in a weekly exploration of different aspects of Port Coquitlam’s heritage and history.

When: Every Tuesday in February
Time: 10 am to 12 pm
Where: PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives – 150-2248 McAllister Ave., Port Coquitlam
Admission: Free

Aberdeen Centre Countdown Night to Chinese New Year of the Pig

What: Countdown night to Chinese New Year will kick off with a live variety stage show from 8:30 to 10 pm featuring dance, music and games. Starting at 10:30 pm, there will be a live broadcast countdown to Chinese New Year and personal blessings from The Chinese God of Fortune, who makes a special appearance to greet customers and bring good luck.

When: Monday, February 4, 2019
Time: 8:30 pm to 12:10 am
Where: Aberdeen Centre -4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond
Admission: Free

Flower Market at Yaohan Centre

What: Visit to the Yaohan Centre Flower Market during this time of the year is a great way to get into the spirit of Chinese New Year. The market is the perfect place to soak up in the joy of the festivities and pick up a few items to decorate the house.

When: Now to Monday, February 4, 2019
Time: 11 am to 7
Where: Yaohan Centre – 3700 No. 3 Rd #2220, Richmond
Admission: Free

Aberdeen Centre’s Chinese New Year Flower & Gift Fair

What: The hallways of Aberdeen Centre will be transformed into a Chinese New Year Flower & Gift Fair, featuring vendors selling including gifts, decorations, fresh flowers, crafts, food, home goods and more. Your one-stop-shop for all Chinese New Year essentials.

When: Now to Tuesday, February 5, 2018
Time: 11 am to 7 pm
Where: Aberdeen Centre – 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond
Admission: Free

Blessing Ceremony and Lion Dance at River Rock Casino Resort

What: Celebrate the Year of the Pig at River Rock Casino Resort. Watch the colourful lions and dragon come to life and join us in the resort lobby for our Blessing Ceremony and Lion Dance.  All ages are welcome.

When: Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Time: 6:15 to 8 pm
Where: River Rock Casino Resort Lobby – 8811 River Road, Richmond
Admission: Free

Chinese New Year Celebration at International Village Mall

What: International Village Mall’s celebration will bring traditional Chinese Spring festivities and rituals to the community of Vancouver, with exhibition and sales booths on both the Main and Upper Mall Levels. Come out for Chinese New Year festive items, souvenirs, culinary delights, giftware, multicultural live performances on stage, a lucky draw and more. This three-day event includes an opening celebration with a ceremonial lion dance.

When: Friday, February 8 to Sunday, February 10, 2018
Time: Various times
Where: International Village Mall – 88 W Pender St, Vancouver
Admission: Free

LunarFest Celebrations


(Image: Christophe Testi / Shutterstock)

What: Start your Lunar New Year celebration with a “gong” and take a money bath. LunarFest brings cultures and traditions outdoor in downtown Vancouver. Win a prize in the Universe of Piggy Banks and learn about cultures and currencies around the world. Be sure to meet the Pig Heroes, DIY a lantern and take home lots of crafts. Presented by TELUS.

When: Saturday, February 9 to Sunday, February 10, 2018
Time: Various times
Where: Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza – 750 Hornby St, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Chinese New Year Cultural Showcase

What: Colourful dance shows and Chinese Orchestra performance featuring hundreds of spectacular talents from the Vancouver Academy of Dance, Colors of Dance Academy, B.C. Chinese Music Association, and more.

When: Saturday, February 9, 2018
Time: 1 to 4 pm
Where: Aberdeen Centre – 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond
Admission: Free

Lunar New Year

What: Come celebrate Lunar New Year at the Museum of Surrey with Dragon and Lion Dances, sample festive Chinese New Year cuisine, learn Chinese Calligraphy, and more. In partnership with the Chinese Village Club.

When: Saturday, February 9, 2019
Time: 1 to 4 pm
Where: Museum of Surrey – 17710 56a Ave, Surrey
Tickets: Admission, Free

Lion Dance Centre at Richmond Centre

What: Celebrate the Year of the Pig and welcome the Lunar New Year at Richmond Centre. Marvel at large-scale and eye-catching lantern displays suspended from the ceilings, and enjoy exciting cultural experiences including a traditional Lion Dance. Enjoy visits with the God of Fortune who will be handing out Lucky Red Pockets with a chocolate coin.

When: Sunday, February 10, 2019
Time: 11 am
Where: Main Galleria, Richmond Centre – 6551 No. 3 Rd., Richmond
Admission: Free

Anne Dublin reading at Vancouver Jewish Book Festival

What: As part of the Vancouver Jewish Book Festival award-winning author Anne Dublin will be reading from her new book A Cage Without Bars at the Burquest Jewish Community Centre. No ticket purchase is necessary to attend.

When: Sunday, February 10
Time: 5 to 6 pm
Where: Burquest Jewish Community Centre – 2860 Dewdney Trunk Road, Coquitlam
Admission: Free

Westminster Savings Family Day

What: Westminster Savings Family Days aims to help build an appreciation of the arts by bringing families together in an Art Gallery setting. Visitors will tour the exhibition in the Art Gallery at Evergreen and participate in a variety of entertaining and illuminating activities led by our Art Gallery staff. All Family Days are drop-in and there is no charge to participate.

When: Saturday, February 16, 2019
Time: 1 to 4 pm
Where: Art Gallery at Evergreen – 1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
Admission: Free

Artists in Conversation

What: Hear exhibiting artists Camille Turner and Jérôme Havre, with special guest Wayde Compton, reflect on the collaborative film project Triangle Trade installed in Surrey Art Gallery’s TechLab.

When: Saturday, February 16, 2019
Time: 2:30 to 4 pm
Where: Surrey Art Gallery – 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey
Admission: Free

Open Mosque Day BC


Masjid Al-Salaam in Burnaby is one of the Mosques participating in the Open Mosque Day event/ (ralashrafi/ Instagram)

What: For the first time in Canada, major mosques across BC will be participating in Open Mosque Day on February 16, 2019. There will be a range of activities on site including hijab try-ons, henna tattooing, as well as delicious refreshments.

When: Saturday, February 16, 2019
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Various mosques around BC, check website for details 
Admission: Free

Free Roberts Bank Tour: The Container Trail 2019

What: Visitors will be taken on a driving tour through the container depots and logistics warehouses in Delta’s Tilbury Industrial Park, Port Authority’s Deltaport Truck Staging Area, Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility, and Delta iPort Logistics Centre. The tour will then end with a visit of Roberts Bank, where Canada’s busiest coal export facility and Canada’s largest container terminal are located. This includes an opportunity to get off the tour bus for an up-close look at container ships being loaded and unloaded at GCT Deltaport container terminal, which alone is 210 acres in size. Each tour takes about two hours and does not require any walking.

When: February 16 and February 26, 2019
Time: 9 am and 1 pm
Where: Meet at the Port of Vancouver’s Delta Community Office — 5225A Ladner Trunk Road, Delta
Cost: Free! Book online

Family Day at PdA

What: Gather up the clan and drop by Family Day at PdA to immerse yourself in art. Tour the galleries and create your own masterpieces in a variety of all-ages, drop-in-style art activities based on the subject matter and/or mediums of the exhibitions.

When: Sunday, February 17, 2018
Time: 2 pm
Where: Place des Arts – 1120 Brunette Avenue, Coquitlam
Tickets: Online, Free

Exhibition Opening – Horizons

What: Horizons is an exhibition that will be held at the Deer Lake Art Gallery featuring the works of Deb Chaney, Jan Rankin, Wolfgang Vogt and Ronald Watt, and is hosted and organized by the Burnaby Arts Council.

When: Saturday, February 16, 2019. Exhibition runs until March 9, 2019
Time: 12 to pm
Where: Deer Lake Art Gallery – 6584 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
Admission: Free

Family Day at the Museum

What: What did families do for fun before TVs and video games? Board games! Spend quality time with loved ones just like families would have done 100 years ago.

When: Monday, February 18, 2019
Time: 1 to 4 pm
Where: Museum of Surrey – 17710 56a Ave, Surrey
Admission: Free

Sketching with Dinosaurs

Sketching / City of Surrey

What: View the Jurassic beasts from Museum of Surrey’s feature exhibition, Dinosaurs Unearthed, to be inspired and sketch. Artists of all ages and skillsets welcome. Please bring your own supplies to this free, drop-in event.

When: Friday, February 22, 2019
Time: 5:30 to 8:30 pm
Where: Museum of Surrey – 17710 56a Ave, Surrey

Community Movie Night – Big Hero 6

What: Bring a blanket and get comfortable for a showing of this popular animated, action-packed and family-friendly movie of a band of high-tech heroes. Yummy treats will also be provided. All ages.

When: Friday, February 22, 2019
Time: 6:30 pm
Where: City Centre Community Centre – 5900 Minoru Blvd., Richmond
Admission: Free

91st Oscars Viewing Party

Oscars (Jaguar PS / Shutterstock)

What: Celebrate cinema with a viewing of the 91st annual Academy Awards. Light refreshments will be provided. This event is for All Ages.

When: Sunday, February 24, 2019
Time: 3:30 to 9:30 pm
Where: City Centre Community Centre – 5900 Minoru Blvd., Richmond
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: February 25, March 18, 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

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: Every Saturday to April 27, 2019
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 April 28
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Hastings Park Centre grounds – 2901 East Hastings Street
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

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: Various dates from now to Sunday, April 28, 2019 
10 am to 3 pm
 Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site – 12138 Fourth Avenue, Richmond

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