56 FREE things to do in Vancouver this September

Aug 30 2018, 6:24 pm

Head into fall without breaking the bank. Check out our list of fun free events happening in Vancouver this month.

From outdoor celebrations to foodie events and everything in between, here are 56 free things to do around the city this September.

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

Long Weekend fun

Richmond World Festival 2018

Richmond World Festival

Lights is performing at Richmond World Festival next month. (Submitted)

  • What: Canadian and international music stars Magic! and Lights will headline the fourth annual Richmond World Festival, taking place next month. Presented by Coast Capital Savings, the nationally award-winning festival will once again present a smorgasbord of music, arts, food and culture from around the globe.
  • When: Friday, August 31 to Saturday, September 1, 2018
  • Time: 4 to 10 pm (Friday) and 11 to 10 pm (Saturday)
  • Where: Minoru Park & Richmond Cultural Centre Plaza – 7191 Granville Avenue, Richmond
    Admission: Free

Nikkei Matsuri Festival 2018

  • What: Nikkei Matsuri is Burnaby’s family-friendly Japanese cultural festival. Enjoy special guests, games, food, performances, a beer garden, marketplace and more.
  • When: Saturday, September 1 to Sunday, September 2, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 7 pm
  • Where: Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre – 6688 Southoaks Cres., Burnaby
  • Admission: Nikkei Matsuri activities that take place in the Garden are free to all attendees. A $3 admission fee will be collected at the entrance of the building for attendees wishing to partake in the Game Zone, Matsuri Marketplace, special workshops and main stage performances (all indoor activities). Children under the age of 5 are free all weekend.

Labour Day Long Weekend at Tsawwassen Mills

  • What: Enjoy exclusive savings at over 60 retailers at visit Tsawwassen Mills during the Labour Day long weekend.  Download the savings e-booklet online or pick up a copy at Guest Services when you arrive at the mall. Plus check out the Science World pop-up activation and the numerous other entertainment options!
  • When: Saturday, September 1 to Monday, September 3, 2018
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: Tsawwassen Mills Mall – 5000 Canoe Pass Way, Tsawwassen
  • Price: Free

TAIWANfest 2018

  • What: TAIWANfest 2018 is making its annual return to downtown Vancouver this Labour Day weekend. Continuing the Dialogues with Asia series, this year’s event celebrates a ‘Fête with the Philippines.’ visitors of the festival will be able to experience some of the untold stories connecting Taiwan and the Philippines through live music and performances, food, fashion, film, workshops, and even a culinary competition.
  • When: Saturday, September 1 to Monday, September 3, 2018
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: Vancouver Art Gallery – 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Summer Cinema Series – Coco

  • What: Enjoy an outdoor screening of the modern Pixar classic, Coco. Arrive early for best lawn seating selection and don’t forget to bring a blanket. Presented by Panatch Group.
  • When: Sunday, September 2, 2018
  • Time: Dusk
  • Where: Main Lawn, Rocky Point Park, Point Moody
  • Admission: Free

Show and Shine

  • What: The MBCA Show and Shine 2018 at Waterfront Park is dedicated to the preservation, restoration & enjoyment of the Mercedes-Benz automobile. This year celebrates 35 Years of the W201. Register online.
  • When: Sunday, September 2, 2018 
  • Time: 9 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Waterfront Park, North Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Summer Sundays: Big City Soul

  • What: Enjoy free concerts every Sunday at Rocky Point Park. Big City Soul plays a high-energy mix of new music and classic songs that they guarantee will get you up dancing.
  • When: Sunday, September 2, 2018
  • Time: 2 pm
  • Where: Rocky Point Park – 2800 block Murray Street, Port Moody
  • Admission: Free

Victory Square Block Party 2018

  • What: CiTR Radio 101.9FM and Discorder Magazine annual summer party to bring summer to a close. Featuring live music, an ice cream truck on site, and a raffle for great local prizes. Proceeds from the raffle and sponsorship go towards Megaphone, Vancouver’s street magazine sold by homeless and low-income vendors.
  • When: Sunday, September 2, 2018
  • Time: 1 to 9 pm
  • Where: Victory Square – corner of Hastings and Cambie, Vancouver,
  • Admission: Free

Labour Day at Burnaby Village Museum

february 12

(Burnaby Village Museum / Facebook)

  • What: Old-fashioned fun at Burnaby Village Museum, complete with games of chance, entertainment, demonstrations, a children’s craft, and market vendors.
  • When: Monday, September 3, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 4:30 pm
  • Where: Burnaby Village Museum – 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby
  • Admission: Free, plus free Carousel Rides

Check out the city

AI & Big Data: better customer engagement and smarter business decisions

  • What: Discuss and learn about the impacts of big data and artificial intelligence on eCommerce and omnichannel retailing. Featuring speakers Nancy Blair, CIO at Mountain Equipment Co-op; Milan Veverka, Partner at Keboola; and more.
  • When: Wednesday, September 5, 2018
  • Time: 5:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Where: MEC Head Office – 1077 Great Northern Way Vancouver
  • Tickets: Online, free

Transportation Talks

Holland Park Surrey

Image: Holland Park/Shutterstock

  • What: Transportation Talks is your chance to connect directly with transportation professionals to hear how concepts of community, walkability, accessibility, mobility, safety and more impact how transportation is planned. Presented in partnership by the City of Surrey and the SFU City Program, the program tackles hot topic urban issues through a comprehensive introduction to the transportation system in the Lower Mainland, with a particular focus on Surrey.
  • When: Every Thursday from September 6 to November 1, 2018
  • Time: 6 to 9 pm
  • Where: Surrey City Hall, 13450 104 Ave and SFU Surrey Campus, 13450 102 Ave
  • Admission: Free

Vancouver Fringe Bar

  • What: For the 11 days of the Vancouver Fringe, the Fringe Bar features a variety of local bands and artists each night. Acts include Ponytails on September 6, Harlequin Gold on September 9, and Kimmortal on September 13.
  • When: Thursday, September 6 to Sunday, September 16, 2018
  • Time: 6 pm to late from Monday to Friday, and 1 pm to late on Saturday and Sunday
  • Where: Ocean Art Works on Granville Island
  • Admission: Free

Surrey’s Pie in the Plaza 2018

  • What: This annual celebration of the city’s local agri-food sector is running for its third consecutive year. This free event features live music by local Celtic-Canadian folk-rock group the Pat Chessell Band, a ventriloquist performance by Norma McKnight, pony rides, face painting, an inflatable corn maze, vendor booths, and the pièce de résistance – a giant, 8-foot 2,000-slice blueberry pie. Pie will be served right after the opening ceremonies at 12:30 pm, so be sure to plan accordingly.
  • When: Saturday, September 8, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 4 pm
  • Where: Central City Shopping Centre’s outdoor plaza – 10153 King George Boulevard, Surrey
  • Price: Free

Boob Tube Bingo

  • What: Boob Tube Bingo is like a drag, comedy and bingo cross-over episode. Hosted by Dick & Dee.
  • When: Second Wednesday of every month starting September 12, 2018
  • Time: Bingo cards handed out at 6 pm, event starts at 7 pm
  • Where: Storm Crow Tavern – 1305 Commercial Dr, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Xiaojing Yan – In Suspended Silence

  • What: In this meditative installation, Ontario artist, Xiaojing Yan, navigates natural and cultural realms deeply grounded in Chinese philosophies, myths and folklore. Combining two bodies of work that derive from classical Chinese ink wash painting and portrait sculpture, Yan’s poetic explorations delve into the meaning of spirituality and the transformation of self.
  • When: Artist Talk and Tour and Opening Reception on Thursday, September 13, 2018. Exhibition runs from Friday, September 14, 2018, to Saturday, November 10, 2018
  • Time: Artist Talk and Tour from 6 to 7 pm, Opening Reception from 7 to 9 pm
  • Where: Richmond Art Gallery – #180 – 7700 Minoru Gate, Richmond
  • Admission: Free

Free Yoga in Elks Park

yoga mtl


  • What: Free family event with certified Hyde Creek yoga instructors in Elks Park. All levels welcome and please bring your own water and mat or towel. Weather permitting.
  • When: Saturday, September 15, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 12 pm
  • Where: Elks Park – 2370 Shaughnessy St, Port Coquitlam (Donald Walkway – between Welcher and Kelly Ave.)
  • Admission: Free

Kensington Prairie 8th Annual Fall Fair

  • What: Celebrate the harvest with games, snacks and more. All ages are welcome.
  • When: Saturday, September 15, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Kensington Prairie Community Centre – 16824 32 Ave, Surrey
  • Admission: Free

Pirate Weekend at the Cannery

  • What: Pirates (the friendly kind) invade the Cannery in celebration of Talk Like a Pirate Day. TheShady Isle Pirates will set up a pirate encampment inside the historic cannery, with lots of games and swashbuckling fun for the entire family to enjoy. Wear your best pirate gear, or try some from their collection, and be sure to brush up on your pirate-speak before you dare to enter the pirate zone.
  • When: Saturday, September 15 to Sunday, September 16, 2018
  • Time: 12 to 4 pm
  • Where: Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site – 12138 Fourth Avenue, Richmond
  • Admission: Adults $11.70, children 17 and under are free

Mackin House 109th Anniversary – Open House

  • What: Step back in time to 1909 as you explore Mackin House in an immersive way. Join the heritage performers as they give demonstrations, tell stories and share traditions throughout the different rooms in Mackin House. Enjoy the Celtic sounds of Black Sheep, then make crafts, watch baking demonstrations, and participate in interactive activities for all ages.
  • When: 
  • Time: 12 to 3 pm
  • Where:  Coquitlam Heritage – 1116 Brunette Avenue, Coquitlam
  • Admission: By Donation

The Future of the Asia Pacific Economy and Trans-Pacific Trade

  • What: The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s policy expert Stewart M. Patrick speaks to what the implications are or could be of the U.S.’s non-participation in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, especially as China proceeds to deepen trade and economic engagement around the world through the Belt and Road Initiative and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
  • When: Tuesday, September 18, 2018
  • Time: 5:30 to 7:30 pm
  • Where: SFU Harbour Centre Campus – Room 1400-1410, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • Register: Online, Free

Guildford Recreation Centre’s Fall Open House

  • What: Drop by Guildford Recreation Centre’s Fall Open House and learn about programs and services in Guildford’s community. Aquatics, library and recreation staff will be on site to answer all of your questions about fall programs. There will be free activities for everyone to participate in, including Zumba (ages 13+), Aquafit, Stay & Play, games for youth, and ice cream in the seniors’ lounge. Enjoy live music and refreshments too.
  • When: Wednesday, September 19, 2018
  • Time: 5 to 7 pm
  • Where: Guildford Recreation Centre – 15105 105 Ave, Surrey
  • Admission: Free

Small Business BC – Ladner Popup

  • What: Learn the key steps in the business start-up and growth process, while learning about the support services available at every step of the way. There’s also the opportunity to book a free 15 to 20-minute consultation with a Small Business BC business advisors (subject to availability).
  • When: Thursday, September 20, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 4 pm
  • Where: Port Of Vancouver Delta Community Office – 5225A Ladner Trunk Rd, Delta
  • Admission: Free

Exhibition Opening – Watermarks

  • What: Watermarks is a visually immersive experience of various perspectives of aquatic scenes of Coastal British Columbia. Featuring the works of Amelia Alcock-White, Michael Abelman, and Graham Coulthard; hosted and organized by the Burnaby Arts Council.
  • When: Thursday, September 20, 2018 
  • Time: 7 to 9 pm
  • Where: Deer Lake Gallery – 6584 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
  • Tickets: Online, Free

Olde Harvest Fair

  • What: Celebrate the harvest with food, neighbourly competitions and music. While the kids play in the hay, enjoy local vendors and artisans, live music and dancing, warm apple cider, performances by The Re-Enactors, tours of the 1894 farmhouse, and more.
  • When: Saturday, September 22, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Historic Stewart Farm – 13723 Crescent Rd, Surrey
  • Admission: Free

Active Aging Week

  • What: Active Aging Week, the annual health promotion event for adults over 50 years, is organized by International Council on Active Aging. Learn more about the various events around Burnaby here.
  • When: Sunday, September 23 to Friday, September 28, 2018.
  • When: Various times
  • Where: Various locations in Burnaby
  • Admission: Free

World Rivers Day

  • What: A free family-friendly celebration of rivers and waterways. Activities include demonstrations, displays, tours, activities, crafts, music. and a headline musical performance by Ginalina. Plus the Burnaby Village, Carousel (rides $2.65 each) and Ice Cream Parlour will be open.
  • When: Sunday, September 23, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 4:30 pm
  • Where: Burnaby Village Museum – 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby
  • Admission: Free

Burnaby Community Dialogues

  • What: The Burnaby Taskforce on Homelessness and other community members welcomes you to an open and inclusive time for dialogue and learning on the overdose and opioid crisis in the municipality of Burnaby. Registration is free but sign-up soon since seating is limited. There will be free food and drink served in the first half-hour. Child-minding will be provided. Naxolone training is also offered.
  • When: Wednesday, September 26, Tuesday, October 16, Saturday, October 27, and Thursday, November 8, 2018
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: Various locations
  • Tickets: Online, Free

North Vancouver’s Shipyards Night Market

North Vancouver

Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism/ Facebook

  • What: Shipbuilders’ Square in North Vancouver will be transformed into a vibrant night market with 100+ vendors every Friday night. Gathering some of Vancouver’s best food vendors, this free event will feature a full farmers’ and artisan marketplace along with local food trucks and live entertainment.
  • When: Every Friday night to September 28, 2018
  • When: 5 to 10 pm
  • Where: Shipbuilders’ Square – 15 Wallace Mews, North Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

National Seniors Day Celebrations

  • What: Celebrate National Seniors Day in Surrey with a variety of activities from September 28 to October 3. As part of the Age Friendly Strategy for Seniors, Surrey recognizes all of the important and valuable contributions from the 55+ community and wants to celebrate with these free and fun events. Grab a friend or two and come on out.
  • When: Friday, September 28 to Wednesday, October 3, 2018
  • Time: Various times
  • Where: Various locations
  • Admission: Free

Museum of Surrey Grand Opening

  • What: Be among the first to play, laugh and explore Surrey’s very own museum. In addition to Dinosaurs Unearthed, see the TD Explore Zone and everything else Museum of Surrey has to offer. Bring the family to experience live performances, textile demonstrations, crafts, activities and scavenger hunts.
  • When: Saturday, September 29, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Museum of Surrey – 17710 56a Ave, Surrey
  • Admission: Free

Venosta Radio Show – Ioco Ghost Town Days Festival

  • What: Venosta Radio Show takes the audience back to the days before television when families would gather around the radio to be entertained by stories, ads, and music. Enjoy a free behind-the-scenes look at how a 1920’s radio show was executed. Performed by the Expect Theatre as part of Culture Days.
  • When: Sunday, September 30, 2018
  • Time: 3 pm
  • Where: Inlet Theatre – 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody
  • Admission: Free

Enjoy the great outdoors

Campbell Valley Nature Walks – A World of Colours

  • What: Learn about wildlife and wildflowers on these casual walks with veteran naturalist Al Grass. The park’s plants and animals show a marvellous diversity of colours. But what does it all mean? All ages. Bring your camera.
  • When: Monday, September 3, 2018
  • Time: 1 to 2:30 pm
  • Where:  Campbell Valley Regional Park
  • Admission: Free

Get to Know: Blackie Spit Park

  • What: Drop in to relax, unwind, and connect with the urban forest. Go at your own pace and explore Blackie Spit Park. Discover some of the plants, animals, and stories that make this place special through a variety of themed activities, including guided walks and hands-on stewardship.
  • When: Wednesday, September 5, 2018
  • Time: 5 to 7 pm
  • Where: Blackie Spit – 3136 Mcbride Ave, Surrey
  • Admission: Free

Treefest 25 – Riverview Arboretum 2018


(Government of BC)

  • What: Enjoy guided tree and heritage walks, talks and tours. Yes, there will be cake.
  • When: Sunday, September 9, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 4 pm
  • Where: Riverview Lands. Enter the site from Colony Farm Road. Event is held in the Arboretum above Pine Terrace. Parking is available on Pine Terrace.
  • Admission: Free

We’re Lichen it!

  • What: If you like fungus and algea, then lichen is your new best friend.  Learn about this mutually beneficial relationship in a single body. Ages 8+.
  • When: Wednesday, September 12, 2018
  • Time: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Where: Kanaka Creek Regional Park
  • Admission: Free

2018 Annual Seymour Salmonid Society Hatchery Open House

  • What: Find out what’s been going on at the hatchery and learn more about the Seymour Salmonid Society. There will be an unveiling of the wall mural by Ron Den Daas, hatchery tours, games, giveaways, live band and food truck. Free shuttle bus transport starts at 9:30 am.
  • When: Sunday, September 16, 2018
  • Time: Free shuttle starts at 9:30 am, event starts at 10 am.
  • Where: Seymour Hatchery – Rice Lake Gate- 4900 Lillooet Road
  • Admission: Free

World Rivers Day – Watershed Tour

  • What: Through games and activities, explore big concepts in some of the most beautiful parts of the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. Take a trip over the Seymour Falls Dam on a magic school bus and walk along the lower river through beautiful trails.
  • When: Sunday, September 23, 2018
  • Time: 9 am to 12 pm
  • Where: Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, North Vancouver
  • Admission: Free. Ages 3+. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Registration Required 604-432-6430. Barcode 7488

Rivers and Trails Festival

  • What: Celebrate Port Coquitlam’s rivers and trails and enjoy a day of music, art and culture. There will be children’s  activity passport stations and prizes, food trucks, a salmon smolt release, an art station, live music by Jessica Barbour, instruments from around the world and an interactive drumming workshop with Boris.
  • When: Sunday, September 23, 2018
  • Time: 12 to 4 pm
  • Where: Lions Park – 2300 Lions Way, Port Coquitlam
  • Admission: Free

Heritage Apple Day

Maria Dryfhout/Shutterstock

  • What: Sample a variety of apples, learn about pollinators, try your hand at old-fashioned chores and enjoy fiddlers, artists and historians. All ages.
  • When: Saturday, September 29, 2018
  • Time: 11 am to 2 pm
  • Where: Derby Reach Regional Park – Meet at Heritage Area on Allard Crescent, north of 96th Ave, 4 km west of Fort Langley
  • Admission: Free

Eat fresh with farmers’ markets

Downtown Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Thursday from Thursday, June 7 to Thursday, October 4, 2018
  • Time: 3 to 7 pm
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 650 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Kitsilano Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Sunday to Sunday, October 21, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 2 pm
  • Where: Parking lot of Kits Community Centre – 2690 Larch Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Trout Lake Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Saturday to Saturday, until October 20, 2018
  • Time: 9 am to 2 pm
  • Where: Lakewood Drive and 13th Avenue, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

West End Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Saturday to Saturday, October 20, 2018
  • Time: 9 am to 2 pm
  • Where: West End Farmers Market – 1100 Comox Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Main Street Station Farmers’ Market


Image: Vancouver Farmers Market

  • When: Every Wednesday from Wednesday, June 6 to Wednesday, October 3, 2018
  • Time: 2 to 6 pm
  • Where: Main Street Station – 1100 Station Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Sunday from Sunday, May 27 to Sunday, October 7, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 2 pm
  • Where: Dude Chilling Park – 2390 Brunswick Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Riley Park Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Saturday to Saturday, ends October 27, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 2 pm
  • Where: Riley Park – 50 East 30th Avenue, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

River District Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Saturday to Saturday, ends October 14, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Kerr Street Plaza – 8683 Street, Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Ambleside Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Sunday to Sunday, ends October 28, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Ambleside Park – 1000 Argyle AveWest Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Lonsdale Quay Farmers’ Market

farmers market

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

  • When: Every Saturday to Saturday, ends October 27, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Where: East Plaza of the Lonsdale Quay Market – 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
  • Admission: Free

Clayton Community Farmers’ Market

  • When: Select Sundays until September 30, 2018
  • Time: 10 am to 3 pm
  • Where: Clayton Heights Secondary School, 7003 188 St, Surrey
  • Admission: Free

Kwantlen Street Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Tuesday to Tuesday, ends October 2, 2018
  • 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

Steveston Farmers & Artisans’ Market

  • When: Alternate Sundays to September 16, 2018
  • Time: 10:30 am to 3:30 pm
  • Where: Easthope Parking Lot (across the street from the Steveston Community Centre) – 4111 Moncton Street, Richmond
  • Admission: Free

Burnaby Artisan Farmers’ Market

  • When: Every Saturday to October 27, 2018
  • Time: 9 am to 2 pm
  • Where: North Parking Lot of Burnaby City Hall (4949 Canada Way at Deer Lake Pkwy)
  • Admission: Free

New West 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.
  • When: 
  • Time: 3 to 7 pm
  • Where: Tipperary Park – 315 Queens Ave, New Westminster
  • Admission: Free

Poirier Street Market

  • What: Launched in 1996, the Poirier Street Farmers’ Market is the longest running suburban farmers market in the Lower Mainland. The Poirier Street Market hosts a diversity of vendors and products from May through October. Each week a wide variety of vendors gather to showcase their products – made, baked, grown, or raised in BC.
  • When: 
  • Time: 9 am to 1 pm
  • Where: Dogwood Pavilion Parking Lot – 624 Poirier Street, Coquitlam
  • Admission: Free

Surrey Urban Farmers’ Market

Surrey Urban Farmers Market

Image: Surrey Urban Farmers Market / Facebook

  • What: A vibrant, multi-cultural Farmers’ Market, promoting small-scale farmers, food producers, and artisans. Meet farmers, bakers, distillers, artisan and crafters, food trucks, community groups, and more.
  • When: Every Wednesday from June 6 to October 3, 2018
  • Time: 2 to 6 pm
  • Where: North Surrey Rec Centre – 10275 City Parkway, Surrey
  • Admission: Free
See also
Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

+ Listed