13 ways to beat the heat this summer in Vancouver

Jul 27 2016, 4:19 am

After being drenched in rain this winter, Vancouverites are understandably eager to soak up the sun for the remainder of the summer. But what about those days when it’s just too hot?

If you can fry an egg on the sidewalk, chances are you’re just as miserable as if you were caught in the rain.

Thankfully there are a plethora of fun activities you can do around the city to beat the heat. Here are 13 ways to cool off in Vancouver this summer.

Head to the beach

Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver. (Michel Elsenbroek / Flickr)

Vancouver’s beaches are some of the best in the world. Check out our comprehensive guide to all of Vancouver’sbest beaches.

Go to the cinema

Movie theatre (Liu zishan / Shutterstock)

Whether you’re looking to watch the latest blockbuster action flick at a major cinema or a throwback film at The Rio Theatre, one thing is certain: air conditioning is a godsend.

Grab some ice cream


There are so many great ice cream spots in the city, it can be hard to choose where to go. From ice cream sandwiches to endless pints, we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Sneak in some cheeky shopping



Malls are one of the best ways to cool down on a hot day – and who doesn’t enjoy needlessly spending money they don’t have in an air conditioned building? If you go to Metrotown, you can indulge your shopping habits and go to the cinema – two birds, one stone. Bonus: if you go to Nordstrom, you can admire everything you can’t afford and then drink your woes away at their bar.

Check out one of the city’s air conditioned facilities

Vancouver Skyline

Engel Ching / Shutterstock

During hot weather the City opens up some of their air conditioned facilities to the public to help them cool off. Perfectly chilled lobbies and lounges are on hand at community centres across Vancouver. Click here a full list of facilities where you can cool off when the weather warms up.

See a cool exhibit at the Museum of Vancouver

If shopping isn’t your bag and you’ve seen all the movies, hit up the Museum of Vancouver. And yes, they have air conditioning. We called and asked.

Where: 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver

Go indoor ice skating

Image: Ice skating / Shutterstock

While the number of indoor skating rinks around Vancouver declines during the summer months, there are still some year-rounders that you can visit for a cool-off and some exercise. Winter might still be far off (thank goodness), but you can still experience a little slice of the cold to beat the heat. Check out which ice rinks are open by clicking here.

Go for a dip

Kitsilano Outdoor Pool (Pete Spiro / Shutterstock)

The warm weather is officially here, so you might want to think about taking a swim. Thankfully the city is full of amazing outdoor pools where you can cool off in perfectly chlorinated water.

Jump in a lake

Muncho Lake Provincial Park / Andrew Strain

Muncho Lake Provincial Park / Andrew Strain

Vancouver’s beaches, while lovely, can get a bit crowded in the summer months. If you’re looking to take a dip and enjoy a bit of wilderness, there are plenty of lakes to swim in around town – 20, in fact. Check out our guide to Vancouver’s lakes here.

Get cultured at the Vancouver Art Gallery

(Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Vancouver Art Gallery is an amazing place to spend an afternoon that’s a little too hot for comfort. Get in some culture and a little slice of air-conditioned heaven, and maybe even a glass of chardonnay in the cafe. Don’t forget, on Tuesdays entry is by-donation which is perfect if you’re on a budget.

Take off all your clothes

The best way to cool off is to work what your mama gave you. Wreck Beach allows a place for you to comfortably let it all hang out on a hot summer’s day. Take a dip in the ocean in the buff and then track down that guy who sells freezies for grown-ups.

Visit the Night Markets

Night market/Shutterstock

When all else fails, just wait until the sun goes down before you venture out and about.

Vancouver and the surrounding areas boast a collection of night markets that showcase the city’s best food trucks, bakers, and artisans. These night markets bring together communities for entertainment, shopping, and wonderful food. Check our guide to night markets in Vancouver.

Visit a waterfall

The rushing water and refreshing mist of a waterfall are all you need to escape the summer heat. Check out our list of 20 waterfalls near Metro Vancouver and spend the day lounging next to one of them.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2016, but updated to include current information. 

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff