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

Signs of Summer: Vancouver Chinatown Night Market Launches Friday, May 17

chinatownnightmarket

The Vancouver Chinatown Night Market revamp is one of the most anticipated events on the 2013 Vancouver calendar. As you’ve probably heard from the buzz around town, Vancouver creative Ken Tsui and Bao Bei owner Tannis Ling have teamed up with the Vancouver Chinatown Merchant’s Association to revitalize the beloved 18-year-old market that takes place every summer, attracting 100,000 visitors to Keefer Street between Main and Columbia.

The grand opening is scheduled for June 1; the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market soft opening takes place this Friday, May 17. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wait any longer to check out the new program.

What’s different about Vancouver Chinatown Night Market 2013? The organisers have worked hard to curate something distinctly Vancouver. While there’s no denying the super-size appeal of Vancouver’s younger summer night markets (Richmond Night Market and the International Summer Night Market) Vancouver Chinatown Night Market is going for a more original community flavour.  Expect a heady mix of old-meets-new including elements from traditional Chinatown markets, along with fresh vendors, an outside-of-the-box entertainment schedule, food trucks and more.

On the shopping front, Chinese artisan trinkets and assorted cheap knick knacks will appear along side stalls purveying vintage goods, records, artsy books/mags and other eclectic offerings. On the entertainment front, there’s Chinatown-themed storytelling via Rain City Chronicles, Mahjong Socials, Street Fighter II showdowns, ping pong, hip hop karaoke, Chinese opera, outdoor movies and a Night Vision Chinatown photography show. On the food front, the market will feature a regular food cart pod with Roaming Dragon, Vij’s Railway, Le Tigre, Tacofino, and Mogu. Beo Bei is organizing a Dumpling Cook Off.

Get the full Vancouver Chinatown Night Market schedule and vendor list after the jump. Continue reading:
Signs of Summer: Vancouver Chinatown Night Market Launches Friday, May 17

5 Places to Enjoy Vancouver Cherry Blossoms Now

Vancouver cherry blossoms

Photo credit: TheVancouverGuy

While many North American cities have a few hundred cherry trees blooming in the downtown core, Vancouver is lucky enough to have 40,000 cherry trees spread throughout the city. Many of these pink and white beauties, in an impressive variety of cultivars including Akebono and Accolade, are blooming now.

You’ve probably spotted the cherry blossoms at Burrard Skytrain Station. And snapped a smartphone pic or two of the blossoms outside your front door. But where should you really commit and set up your picnic blanket?

Here are your five best options for a day of sunshine and petals: Continue reading:
5 Places to Enjoy Vancouver Cherry Blossoms Now

5 Best Events at the 2013 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, April 4-30

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik

In springtime, Vancouver makes like the 1986 Molly Ringwald film and gets pretty in pink.  How? 40,000 cherry trees – many of which are gifts from Japan – burst into bloom. To mark the event, the city celebrates with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival which runs from April 4 to April 30.

The nearly month-long celebration is a prime opportunity to get out and explore beautiful patches of the city using the festival’s handy blossom map that shows you what’s blooming. You’ll also learn more about Vancouver’s Japanese cultural heritage including food, music and arts. All the events are family-friendly. Many are free.

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival began in 2005 as the brainchild of one Vancouverite: the tireless Linda Poole. Poole missed seeing the blossoms during her work abroad as a cultural attache. When she returned to Vancouver, she was inspired by sakura (blossom) festivals in Japan and launched the event.

In 2013, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is an exciting multicultural collaboration by several groups, ranging from Japanese Canadian cultural associations to cyclists, artists, architects, naturalists, world-famous Bollywood choreographer Shiamak Davar and more.

Thanks to all the participants, the festival event line up is packed with fun.  You don’t want to miss the Cherry Jam party in downtown Vancouver, the haiku contest, the World Umbrella Flash Mob, biking the blossoms, Sakura Days Japan Fair and more.

Find details on the 5 best Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival events after the jump.  Continue reading:
5 Best Events at the 2013 Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, April 4-30

Fun Things To Do In Vancouver: 15 Unmissable Events in March 2013

Vancouver St. Patrick's Day Parade. Photo credit: Flickr user 2sirius

Vancouver St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Photo credit: Flickr user 2sirius

March in Vancouver is awfully egg-citing. There’s just so much to do. Not only do we get Easter, with the wildly popular A-mazing Egg Hunt at VanDusen Botanical Garden (March 30), backtrack and there’s also International Women’s Day (March 8), the massive and free St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March 17), plus the first day of spring, which is celebrated by our city’s Iranian Canadian population as the holiday Nowruz, with a series of multicultural events (culminating March 20).

Don’t worry, Vancouver eaters. After you get your fill of green beer, craft beer and Irish comfort food for St. Paddy’s Day, there’s another sweet foodie festival to consume: Macaron Day (March 20).

For Vancouver-based or visiting families, Spring Break (March 18-22) means there’s more great kids’ and family activities than ever this month. And Vancouver is already ranked as one of the world’s best destinations for family travel.

Find the full list of fun things to do in March after the jump.  Continue reading:
Fun Things To Do In Vancouver: 15 Unmissable Events in March 2013

5 Free Things to Do This February

Winterruption Festival. Photo credit: Granville Island

Winterruption Festival. Photo credit: Granville Island

Wrangle family and friends and take advantage of all the budget-friendly fun in February.

Vancouverites will turn out en force to celebrate the Year of the Snake at LunarFest, a free Lunar New Year festival with live performances and great eats taking place at Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza all weekend, February 15-17.

Rain or shine, get out and witness the 40th annual Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade, Sunday, February 17  – the city’s biggest free Chinese Lunar New Year bash. Right now, they’re predicting sun.

Winterruption brings free entertainment for kiddos and grown-ups to Granville Island, February 22-24.

Winter won’t last forever; we recommend taking a spin around the free Robson Square ice rink while you can. And don’t forget to discover Vancouver’s free snowshoeing trails, while they’re still fluffy white.

Find the full list of free Vancouver events and activities after the jump.

Continue reading:
5 Free Things to Do This February

Vancouver LunarFest Brings Dumplings, Lanterns and Lion Dancing to Art Gallery Plaza, February 15 – 17

Lunar New Year Vancouver 2013 Events

Traditional lanterns at LunarFest. Photo credit: CIBC LunarFest

Lanterns! Lion dances! Dumplings galore! If you thought our city’s Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year festivities were limited to the annual Vancouver Chinese New Year Parade this Sunday, February 17, think again.

LunarFest –  a free, family-friendly, weekend-long Lunar New Year party – takes place February 15-17. Head on over to the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza from 12-8pm and get involved in welcoming the Year of the Snake.

Vancouver’s Asian community is diverse and LunarFest is a full-on, contemporary celebration of that diversity, showcasing lion dances, food and art from Korea, Japan, India, Taiwan and Northern China and Southern China.

Expect the largest display of multicultural lion dancers, a stunning animal lantern jungle  including many glowing versions of the snake, musical performances, lantern hat-making, DumplingFest and more.

Find highlights from the LunarFest schedule after the jump. Continue reading:
Vancouver LunarFest Brings Dumplings, Lanterns and Lion Dancing to Art Gallery Plaza, February 15 – 17