5 Free, Fun Things To Do in Vancouver In June 2013

5 free fun things to do in Vancouver

Photo credit: Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Fest

Happy first day of summer, folks. Looking for free summer activities in Vancouver? Browse our list of the top 5 free things to do in Vancouver in June below. From street festivals, to outdoor sporting events and romantic date nights, we’ve got your fun covered.

5 Free Fun Things To Do in Vancouver In June 2013

1) Shout “opa” and dance at Greek Day on Broadway, June 23
Don’t miss this free Vancouver summer festival produced by Vancouver’s longstanding Greek immigrant community in Kitsilano. Every year the party draws over 100,000 Vancouverites to West Broadway between MacDonald and Blenheim. Expect tasty Greek food, wine and olive oil tasting, cooking demos, folk dancing, live music, art, a kids’ zone with craft stations and an Athenian Agora with handicrafts for sale. Don’t worry, you’ll burn off the honeyed loukoumades by dancing in a circle.

2) Cheer on the competitors at Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival, June 21-June 23
From Remy’s round-up of free Vancouver summer festivals: Even though this fest is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, it’s still a bit of a hidden gem.  For two days, the shores of False Creek around Science World are packed with spectators taking in North America’s largest dragon boat race.  While paddlers in brightly painted boats churn up the water, landlubbers enjoy free live music and soak up the sun in the beer garden. Continue reading:
5 Free, Fun Things To Do in Vancouver In June 2013

Theatre Under the Stars 2012 at Stanley Park: The Music Man & TITANIC

TUTS at Stanley Park. Photo: TUTS

Stanley Park’s Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) is back for Summer 2012 with two new musical productions, The Music Man and TITANIC, starting July 8.

One of Vancouver’s largest musical theatre companies, TUTS performs two musicals every summer at Stanley Park’s outdoor Malkin Bowl, where you can sit in traditional seating or bring your picnic blanket and watch from the grassy lawns. It literally is “theatre under the stars.”

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Theatre Under the Stars 2012 at Stanley Park: The Music Man & TITANIC

Free Ballroom Dancing in Robson Square Starts Friday, June 29, 2012

Photo: DanceSportBC

When it comes to free summer events and activities, Robson Square is the place to be! Not only will Robson Square host the free, two-day kick off of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2012 (Downtown Jazz Weekend, June 22 – 23), it will also host free ballroom dancing every Friday starting June 29 and free salsa every Sunday starting July 1.

The free, Friday-night ballroom dancing is organized by DanceSportBC and includes  a ballroom dance lesson at 8pm, show dances at 9pm and 10pm, and a chance to dance the night away in the heart of downtown Vancouver. It’s all free, and all skill levels are welcome; you don’t have to have any prior ballroom dance experience to participate!

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Free Ballroom Dancing in Robson Square Starts Friday, June 29, 2012

Italian Day on Commercial Drive – June 10, 2012

This weekend, Vancouver kicks off the summer season of free multicultural events—including June’s upcoming Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival and Greek Day on Broadway—with Italian Day on Commercial Drive, a full day of free fun with Italian food, fashion, entertainment, games, and Euro Cup 2012 festivities that will transform the always-happening Drive into a street fair for all ages.

Newcomers to Vancouver may be surprised to learn that Commercial Drive—today an urban hub of multiculturalism and counterculture—used to be Vancouver’s “Little Italy;” you can see evidence of that cultural history in the Drive’s large number of Italian restaurants and delis (not to mention the wide spread support for Italy during the World Cup). For 15 years, from 1977 – 1982, Italian Day was an annual tradition on the Drive, but the event went on hiatus after the crowds became too much for the original organizers to handle.

Thankfully, Italian Day made its comeback in 2010, and over 50,000 people came out to celebrate. Now, thanks to Mayor Robertson’s 2011 designation of June as Italian Heritage Month, Italian Day on Commercial Drive looks like it’s here to stay!

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Italian Day on Commercial Drive – June 10, 2012

Vancouver Draw Down – June 9, 2012

Drawing at the Vancouver Draw Down. Photo: Melissa Baker / Vancouver Draw Down

Think you can’t draw? Think again!

That’s the tagline for the annual Vancouver Draw Down, a city-wide event that aims to change your mind about drawing—if you can make a mark, you can draw!—while challenging all Vancouverites to get in touch with their artistic, creative side.

The unique Vancouver Draw Down event brings together 18 different arts and cultural organizations across Vancouver for one day of drawing: the 18 venues—community centres, museums and art galleries—will host 27 free, hands-on drawing workshops on the same day. The workshops are open to all ages and cover a range of artistic expressions, from murals to pinprick drawing, doodling, sketching, still life, font creation, and more. The workshops are open-ended so you can come and go as you please and move to different events around the city, no registration required!

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Vancouver Draw Down – June 9, 2012

5 Free Things to Do with Kids in Vancouver in June

Coquitlam's Teddy Bear Parade. Photo: Festival Coquitlam

One of the best things about summer in Vancouver is the uptick in free things to do, from the free festivals this month that appeal to everyone (check out our list of 20 Unmissable Vancouver Events in June 2012) to free fun for families with kids (and the young at heart of all ages), including June’s Pacific Rim Kite Festival in Vanier Park, Coquitlam’s Teddy Bear Parade and free admission to the Burnaby Village Museum!

5 Free Things to Do with Kids in Vancouver in June 2012

1. Free Admission to the Burnaby Village MuseumMay 5 – September 3, 2012
To celebrate the 100th birthday of their famous 1912 wooden carousel and their 1912 interurban tram, gate admission to the Burnaby Village Museum is free for the entire summer 2012 season! That means visitors can explore this outdoor 1920s village—home to a working blacksmith and lots of authentic 1920s shops—for free and pay just $2.30 per carousel ride!

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5 Free Things to Do with Kids in Vancouver in June

Summer Night Market in Richmond Opens May 11, 2012

Summer Night Market in Richmond. Photo: Dana Lynch

Like practically everyone else in the Lower Mainland, I love our summer night market tradition: eating Pork Sui Mai with toothpicks, sharing twirled “Hurricane” potatoes, browsing cheap sunglasses after dark…. I love the intimacy and neighbourhood-feel of the Chinatown Night Market (opening for Summer 2012 on May 18) and I love the carnival-like, night-bazaar atmosphere and incredible selection of food at the enormous Summer Night Market in Richmond.

But this year, the massive Summer Night Market—the night market that’s been at 12631 Vulcan Way since 2008—will have some major competition: the “original” Richmond Night Market is re-opening on May 18 (at 8351 River Rd., near the River Rock Casino), and will have just as many vendors as the Summer Night Market.

Maybe that’s why the Summer Night Market is opening today, May 11—to get a jump on the competition!

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Summer Night Market in Richmond Opens May 11, 2012