35 FREE things to do in Vancouver this March

Feb 26 2020, 8:48 pm

Loads of free fun to be had! Check out these 35 things to do in Vancouver this month, including I Heart Tulips, Vancouver International Dance Festival, and more.

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

Explore the city and the great outdoors

Vancouver’s Biggest Dog Meet-Up


Dogs Running (HQuality / Shutterstock)

What: Vancouver’s biggest dog meet-up is returning to Trout Lake Park for another year, and more than 1,300 people have already expressed interest in attending. The event takes place on Sunday, March 1, and is hosted by Dogs of Vancity.

Any dog owners with a furry friend that loves to play well with others are invited to join in the festivities and meet hundreds of other canines. Those who don’t have pets are also more than welcome to pay a visit and meet some new friends.

When: March 1, 2020
Time: 12 to 4 pm
Where: Trout Lake Park — 2100 E 13th Avenue, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Galleria Photography Exhibition: Visibility by Ya-Wei Lin

What: Visibility documents Ya-Wei Lin’s daily observation of the urban landscape. The ongoing series of observational photographic images reflect on and ponder the meaning of the word visibility in the broadest sense. The exhibition, in the works since 2016, showcases 11 images taken in the greater Vancouver area.

When: Monday to Friday until March 2, 2020
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Where: Richmond City Hall — 6911 No. 3 Road, Richmond,
Admission: Free

Healthy Kids Fair

What: Healthy Kids Fair features free activities for parents and preschoolers up to five years old. Attendees can meet community health professionals specializing in preschool services while playing and learning how to keep children healthy and active. Children need to be accompanied by an adult, and all adults need to be accompanied by a child.

When: March 3, 2020
Time: 9:30 to 11:30 am
Where: Cameron Recreation Complex — 9523 Cameron Street, Burnaby
Admission: Free

Study and Go Abroad Fair

What: The Study and Go Abroad Fair is a free event for students looking for undergraduate or postgraduate options at home or abroad. The expo offers an opportunity to meet directly with universities from around the world, and to learn about scholarships, admission requirements and program options. Also featured is a Travel Zone with work abroad, volunteering, internships and language travel programs.

When: March 3, 2020
Time: Feature Seminar starts at 1 pm. Expo hours from 2 to 6 pm
Where: Vancouver Convention Centre, East Building
Admission: Free, visitors can pre-register online or sign up on the day

Thursday Artist Talk: Ron Long, “The Art, Technique, and Challenge of Nature Photography” Part 2

What: Ron Long was a professional photographer at SFU for 36 years, with most of those years photographing exclusively for the Bio-Sciences Department. In his retirement, Ron has travelled to many nature hot spots around the globe, including recent visits to southern Africa, South America, Australia, and across North America. Ron will share photos from his extensive portfolio and share photography techniques that anyone can use.

When: March 5, 2020
Time: 7:30 to 9 pm
Where: Surrey Art Gallery – 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey
Admission: Free

Free Tour: The Container Trail

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 Deltaport 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: March 6 and March 21, 2020
Time: 9:30 am and 1 pm
Where: Meet at the Port of Vancouver’s Delta Community Office — 5225A Ladner Trunk Road, Delta
Admission: Free, registration details online

Vancouver International Dance Festival

What: The Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) is a three-week-long festival with internationally revered artists and lauded Vancouver performers, workshops, and interactive dance activities. The festival features ticketed shows at Vancouver Playhouse, Roundhouse Performance Centre, and KW Production Studio. The 2020 VIDF will also showcase free shows at the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall and Woodward’s Atrium, plus free photography exhibition and life-drawing sessions at the Roundhouse Exhibition Hall.

When: Various dates from March 6 until March 28, 2020
Time: Various times
Where: Various locations
Tickets: Online, with many free events

I Heart Tulips

tulips metro vancouver

I Heart Tulips 2020/ Supplied

What: The second annual I Heart Tulips event celebrates the arrival of spring by filling Metropolis at Metrotown’s Grand Court with 14,000 multicolour tulips arranged in multiple heart shapes. Made by the creators of the Chilliwack Tulip Festival, the installation will be viewable from all three levels of the mall from 10 am to 11 am. Following that, tulips will be available for picking at eight stems for $5 or 20 stems for $10.

Proceeds from the installation will go to Variety — the Children’s Charity, an organization that has been providing direct help to BC children with special needs for more than 50 years. I Heart Tulips will also include plenty of tulip photo-ops including life-sized photo frames, a replica mini flower stand, and an adorable tulip-filled baby carriage. Take-home Polaroids are available for an additional donation.

When: March 7, 2020
Event starts at 10 am
Where: The Grand Court, Metropolis at Metrotown — 4700 Kingsway, Burnaby
Admission: Free of charge, tulips by donation

Celtic Fest

What: Museum of Surrey hosts Celtic Fest, with Celtic crafts, scavenger hunt, live entertainment, community booths from groups with Celtic connections, and more.

When: March 7, 2020
Time: 1 to 4 pm
Where: Museum of Surrey – 17710 56a Avenue, Surrey
Admission: Free

Burrard Arts Foundation Winter 2020 Exhibitions: Cindy Mochizuki, Howie Tsui, Candice Okada

What: Burrard Arts Foundation Gallery’s Winter 2020 exhibitions include The Sakaki Tree by Cindy Mochizuki, Parallax Chambers by Howie Tsui, and new Garage installation Emergency Situation from Candice Morgan Okada.

When: Tuesday to Saturday until March 7, 2020
Time: 12 to 5 pm
Where: Burrard Arts Foundation – 258 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Pacific Spirit Quilters’ Guild Expo


What: Pacific Spirit Quilters Guild present an expo at Edmonds Community Centre. See completed quilts from guild members, check out the live demonstration room, and take part in the children or adult quilting activities.

When: March 7, 2020
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Edmonds Community Centre — 7433 Edmonds Street, Burnaby
Admission: Free

International Women’s Day with Marlene Lowden: artist talk and blind contour drawing

What: Place des Arts’ welcomes exhibiting artist Marlene Lowden for an artist talk about her exhibition Blind Contour Homage Series for International Women’s Day. Lowden will share stories and explain her artistic process. Afterwards, attendees can try their hand at blind contour drawing.

When: March 8, 2020
Time: 2 to 3:30 pm
Where: Place des Arts — 1120 Brunette Avenue, Coquitlam
Register: Online, free

Book Reading of “In My Own Moccasins” by Helen Knott

What: Douglas Indigienous Student Services presents a book reading of In My Own Moccasins by author Helen Knott. There will be a Q&A, a showcase of new material, and a book signing. Light refreshments will also be served.

When: March 10, 2020
Time: 6 to 9 pm
Where: Douglas College, Coquitlam Campus – Room — C1008 1250 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam,
Tickets: Online, free

Women & Queer Night at The Bike Kitchen

What: Learn how to tune up your bike in a positive space for trans women, cis women, and queer and genderqueer folks in a relaxed environment led by female- and/or LGBTQ2I-identified mechanics and volunteers. All bicycle and mechanical skill levels are welcome, and pizza will be provided.

When: March 11, 2020
Time: 6:30 to 9 pm
Where: The Bike Kitchen – 1896 East Mall, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Richmond Seedy Saturday 2020

What: Richmond Food Security Society hosts Seedy Saturday 2020, where attendees can meet seed, gardening, and plant vendors to help start the new growing season. There will also be community groups and workshops for gardeners to learn new skills.

When: March 14, 2020
Time: 12 to 4 pm
Where: Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site — 5180 Westwater Drive, Richmond
Admission: Free

Family Sunday at Surrey Art Gallery

What: Family Sunday at Surrey Art Gallery features artist educators and volunteers leading art activities that explore the various themes of the latest exhibition. Attendees can create with paint, clay, or printmaking, take part in a scavenger hunt, an interactive performance, and more.

When: March 15, 2020
Time: 11 am to 3 pm
Where: Surrey Art Gallery – 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey

Spring Break at Burnaby Village Museum

Carousel/Burnaby Village Museum

What: Burnaby Village Museum invites everyone to enjoy Spring Break in their 1920s village. Enjoy demonstrations, ride the carousel, play games and activities, and more.

When: March 16 until March 27, 2020
Time: 11 am to 4:30 pm
Where: Burnaby Village Museum & Carousel — 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
Admission: Free, carousel rides $2.65 each

Persian Fire Festival

What: TriCity Iranian Cultural Society presents the Persian Fire Festival, a cultural celebration to mark the start of the Persian New Year. There will be food, music, and fire jumping stations to check out.

When: March 17, 2020
Time: 5 to 9 pm
Where: Town Centre Park — 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
Admission: Free

Spring Break Movie – Angry Birds 2 and Abominable

What: Enjoy afternoon screenings of Angry Birds 2 and Abominable with the family this Spring Break at Inlet Theatre. Seating is first come, first served, and children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. Presented by Port Moody Public Library.

When: March 18 and March 25, 2020
Time: Doors at 1:30 pm, screening at 2 pm
Where: Inlet Theatre — 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody
Admission: Free

The 2020 Lulu Series presents The Blue Cabin – Year One

What: Blue Cabin Committee member Barbara Cole will give a talk on the history of the Blue Cabin, from its start as the home of North Shore Maritime labourers, its time as the creative home of Vancouver artists Al Neil and Carole Itter, to the restoration and first year of programming as a floating artist residency. There will be a short performance by members of the Canadian YC Chinese Orchestra before the presentation.

When: March 19, 2020
Time: 7 to 9 pm
Where: Richmond City Hall — 6911 No. 3 Road, Richmond,
Admission: Free

Westminster Savings Family Day

What: Westminster Savings Family Day invites visitors to tour the exhibition in the Art Gallery at Evergreen and participate in a variety of activities led by Art Gallery staff. On March 21, they can experiment with Illuminated Sketchbooks. There will also be gallery tours at 2:30 pm (English) and 3:30 pm (Korean).

When: March 21, 2020
Time: 1 to 4 pm
Where: Art Gallery at Evergreen – 1205 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
Admission: Free

Competitive Paint Off

What: Surrey Art Gallery Association present twelve artists facing off in four 20-minute rounds using oil sticks. Audience members will see the process of the art being created and meet fellow art lovers at the event. This year’s medium is multi-media, and after the competition, artists can keep their paintings or sell them through SAGA’s Art Rental Program.

When: March 21, 2020
Time: 6 to 9 pm
Where: Surrey Art Gallery – 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey

Birding Walks in Surrey Parks

What: A local naturalist leads a birding walk through a Surrey park where you can see the various birds of the city.

Walks are drop-in and will happen rain or shine but may be cancelled due to high winds or extreme weather conditions. Wear appropriate footwear and clothing, and bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them. Binoculars will be available to borrow as well.

When: March 21, April 18, May 16, 2020
Time: 9 am to 11 am
Where: Various parks in Surrey
Admission: Free

Luminescence V


Deer Lake Art Gallery / Facebook

What: Luminescence V is a group exhibition of artists and works that explore the usage of light in 2D and 3D creations, including the popular and interactive Berzerkatroid Dragon by Ron Simmer. Artworks will be on display inside the gallery, as well as on the front and back yards. There is also a free opening reception on March 21 from 7 to 9 pm, with live entertainment, refreshments, and artists in attendance.

When: March 21 to April 25, 2020
Time: 12 to 4 pm (opening reception on March 21 is from 7 to 9 pm)
Where: Deer Lake Gallery — 6584 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
Admission: Free

Tri-City Spring 2020 Home Expo

What: The Tri-City Spring 2020 Home Expo features a variety of local companies ready to help with your home improvement. Experts will be on location, ready to share advice for home, garden, and outdoor living needs.

When: March 27 to 29, 2020
Time: Various times
Where: Poirier Sport Complex — 633 Poirier Street, Coquitlam
Admission: Free

Flea Market

What: ​Find a great bargain at the Confederation Community Centre Flea Market. There will be more than 50 tables of pre-loved items to shop through.

When: March 28, 2020
Time: 9:30 am to 2 pm
Where: Confederation Community Centre — 4585 Albert Street, Burnaby
Admission: Free for buyers

Family Board Games

What: Vancouver Public Library – Renfrew Branch hosts a weekly Family Board Games gathering on Sunday afternoons. Everyone is invited to play one of the library’s games while making new friends. For grades K to 7.

When: Every Sunday until March 29, 2020
Time: 1:30 to 4:30 pm
Where: Vancouver Public Library – Renfrew Branch — 2969 East 22nd Avenue, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Jams in the Key of Green

What: 12 Kings Pub hosts a weekly music jam for all skill levels and backgrounds. Guitars, drums, keyboards, microphones, and many more instruments and equipment are available to play with.

When: Every Wednesday
Time: 9 pm to 1 am
Where: 12 Kings Pub — 395 Kingsway, Vancouver
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 on Saturday
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Riley Park Plaza — 50E 30th Avenue, Vancouver; Nat Bailey Stadium – 4601 Ontario Street, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Granville Island Public Market

Granville Island Public Market on May 10, 2014 in Vancouver, Canada (Julien Hautcoeur/Shutterstock)

Granville Island Public Market (Julien Hautcoeur/Shutterstock)

What: Open year-round and boasting stalls of fresh, colourful produce, homemade products, and must-try eats. From the ocean, oven, or field — Granville Market has got it all. Grab items to-go or order some grub from one of the many established food vendors at this indoor market. You’re going to leave happy and full.

When: Open year-round, seven days a week
Time: 9 am to 7 pm
Where: 1661 Duranleau Street, Granville Island
Admission: Free

Richmond Country Farms

What: Family-owned and operated for nearly 40 years, Richmond Country Farms is the farm stand adjacent to Highway 99 off Steveston. Open from early spring to just ahead of Christmas, the market has a bounty of fresh local produce and prepared goods.

When: Open daily
Time: 9 am to 7 pm
Where: 12900 Steveston Highway, Richmond
Admission: Free

Burnaby Artisan Farmers’ Market

What: Launched in June 2008, this open-air market, situated in the North Parking Lot of Burnaby City Hall, offers visitors an assortment of food and craft stalls to peruse on Saturday mornings every Saturday.

When: Every Saturday
Time: 9 am to 2 pm
Where: North Parking Lot of Burnaby City Hall (4949 Canada Way at Deer Lake Parkway), Burnaby
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 until April 26, 2020
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: Port Moody Recreation Complex – 300 Ioco Road, Port Moody
Admission: Free

New West Winter Farmers’ 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.

Time: 11 am to 3 pm
Where: Belmont Street, New Westminster
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, as well as live entertainment, inside a historic cannery setting. Admission to the museum is free on market days.

When: March 8 and 22; April 5 and 19
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site – 12138 Fourth Avenue, Richmond
Admission: Free

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