5 Free Things To Do In Vancouver Now

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

Did you blow your entertainment budget on a Mother’s Day gift? A new spring wardrobe? A pre-booked summer getaway? No worries. I’m sure someone deserved it. Toward the end of May, the weather starts behaving (sun, sun, sun) and the jam-packed Vancouver summer event schedule begins. The result? A multitude of free events and activities for local adventurers.

So what are you waiting for? From stunning hikes, to summer night markets and admission-by-donation gallery days, get out and experience Vancouver’s best cheap fun.

5 Free Things To Do In Vancouver Now

1) Experience the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market makeover
Vancouver’s oldest summer night market, the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market, has stepped up its game by involving new players from the growing Vancouver Chinatown community. Traditional Chinese cuisine and crafts will appear alongside Vancouver’s hottest new food trucks and the young creatives moving into the historic neighbourhood, ranging from pie makers to to purveyors of Chinese cuisine 2.0. Don’t miss a wild new program of arts and entertainment such as Mah Jong Socials, ping pong and outdoor movies. Fridays-Sundays, 6pm to 11pm May 17 through September 8, rain or shine. It’s located on Keefer Street between Main & Columbia.

2) Leg it on a great Vancouver hike
Whether you stick close to town and walk the Stanley Park Seawall or head up the fierce 2.9km ascent up Grouse Mountain, known to local masochists as the grind, it’s time to get outside.

3) Browse Vancouver farmers markets
Some of Vancouver’s farmers markets (Trout Lake, Kitsilano) are already open for the summer season. Browse local produce, meat, cheese, plants and other sundries ranging from granola to handmade soap. Chat up a producer. Get inspired for your weekly menu. Find the weekend schedules here.

4) Kick it in a world-class Vancouver park
Want to play frisbee under the blooms in Queen Elizabeth Park? Or cross the stunning (and for some, nerve-wracking) Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge on your way to a waterfall picnic spot? Whatever your yen, Vancouver parks have got you covered. Use the Vancouver Parks App to find exactly what you’re after:  vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture.aspx

5) Reward your brain at the Vancouver Art Gallery
Scope the permanent collections and new exhibits  (we love Grand Hotel) at Vancouver Art Gallery–the largest art gallery in western Canada on Tuesday nights by donation, from 5pm – 9pm.

BONUS: Rock the Vancouver Jimi Hendrix Shrine
The free Jimi Hendrix Shrine opens in June. But you can start doing your research on Hogan Alley, once home to Vancouver’s African-American population including Jimi’s grandmother, Nora Hendrix, now. The shrine used to be part of Vie’s Chicken and Steak House, the destination for soul food and fantastic shows including performances by Louis Armstrong and Nat King Cole. Today, the shrine features old pictures and memorabilia of Jimi Hendrix and family as well as of the neighborhood. Here’s a short documentary to get you excited. You can easily reach it on foot from Gastown. Opening hours and map here.

Want more updates on Vancouver fun? Follow me on Twitter @TJerven

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