10 Weirdest Events and Attractions In Vancouver


We have some top notch, world class events and attractions in Vancouver but every now and then, hundreds and even thousands of people gather to participate in something a little out of the ordinary. A roving event that has no venue, a unique pop culture history hub or sporting event, or a locally-invented event that fuses cultures. They all have a place in Vancouver and that’s what truly makes this city so fun!

10. World Naked Bike Ride (June)

naked bike ride

Image courtesy of Carlos Felipe Pardo | Flickr.com

Bare all on your bike at the World Naked Bike Ride in Vancouver. Decorate your bike, enjoy a leisurely ride around the city, and it all hang out. This global event, that began in Europe around 2001, now happens from Auckland to Apeldoorn, with the Vancouver Naked Bike Ride taking place annually since 2010.

9. Underwater Hockey (May)

Photo credit: Wouss | Wikipedia

Photo credit: Wouss | Wikipedia

It’s Canada and we love hockey. Hockey in an arena, hockey in the street, hockey in a basketball court, hockey on a frozen pond… hockey in a pool? Yes! Vancouver recently hosted the Canadian Underwater Hockey Championships and is home to several clubs. The Canadian Underwater Games Association hosts several sporting tournaments for underwater hockey, underwater rugby, underwater orienteering, fin swimming and target shooting. Local teams practice several times a week at the UBC Aquatic Centre and CG Brown Memorial Pool in Burnaby.

8. Pink Floyd the Sea Wall (June)

Stanley Park Seawall

Stanley Park Seawall; Ted McGrath|Flickr

Another cycling themed event that’s one of a kind is Pink Floyd the Sea Wall, and event that will wrap up Velopalooza (the city’s largest cycling festival) this year in Vancouver. The 5th annual Pink Floyd the Sea Wall will see participants riding the Sea Wall while the entirety of the popular Pink Floyd album, The Wall, is played.. all 1 hour and 21 minutes of it. The event culminates with a beach party and riders are encouraged to deck out their bikes with lights.

7. Jimi Hendrix Shine (June to September)

Jimi Hendrix Shrine. Photo: T. Jerven

Jimi Hendrix Shrine. Photo: T. Jerven

One of Vancouver’s most fascinating urban curiosities, the Jimi Hendrix Shrine (207 Union St), opens every summer where the legendary musician’s grandmother once lived. Nora Hendrix lived in Vancouver’s African-American community of Hogan’s Alley in Strathcona and during his boyhood, Jimi spent many summers with Nora, who owned the former Vie’s Chicken and Steakhouse where the shrine is located. Vie’s hosted a number of visiting black performers such as Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong. These artists would eat at Vie’s after concerts, once the restaurant had closed to the general public. It is believed that Jimi and his cousins would stay up late helping their grandmother serve these famous musicians. For 2015, artifacts will be displayed at a new location at 432 Homer Street.

6. World Wide Water Fight & Pillow Fight (April and August)

Pillow Fight Day Vancouver 2015

Image courtesy of kennymatic | Flickr.com

We’re a kind and loving people in Vancouver however a few times a year you’ll find locals turning on each other, with water and feather-stuffed casings, to battle it out in a public place. The World Wide Water Fight is a staple of summer in Stanley Park, especially when it’s not raining and the soakings are appreciated by participants. Earlier in the year, the International Pillow Fight makes its way to Vancouver, as hundreds gather at the back of the art gallery.

5. Zombie Walk and Thrill the World (September or October)

Vancouver Zombie Walk 2014

Image courtesy of Matthew Grapengieser | Flickr.com

As much as Vancouverites love cycling, they also love walking (shuffling) around dressed as zombies. There’s the annual Zombie Walk as well as Thrill The World, which syncs up with dozens of other cities who, at the very same moment in time, all dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller while raising funds for a local food bank.

4. Gung Haggis Fat Choy (February)

Photos sourced from GungHaggis.com

Photos sourced from GungHaggis.com

Gung Haggis Fat Choy is one unique event where you can catch poetry and Kung Fu, highland dancers performing with sheng players, and delicious deep-fried haggis dumplings. It’s an annual Vancouver tradition that combines Chinese New Year with Robbie Burns Day in a single event. There is poetry, music, and sing-along tunes like My Chow Mein (Bonny) Lies Over the Ocean and When Asian Eyes Are Smiling.

3. Movies at the Police Museum in the Old City Morgue (Excluding June, July, August)

The Vancouver Police Museum, located in the old city morgue at 240 East Cordova St, hosts a variety of exhibits, tours (like Sins of the City) as well as a new movie series. Sit among old cold case evidence displays and the stainless steel drawers of the old morgue as you enjoy a film screening with buttery popcorn.

2. Sleepovers at the Vancouver Aquarium (Year-Round)

Vancouver Aquarium Sleepover | Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

Photo Credit – Vancouver Aquarium

Watch otters feed, sharks dive, and learn about the other 50,000 aquatic creatures at the Vancouver Aquarium, Canada’s largest aquarium that also features a 4D Experience Theatre and special events throughout the year. You could have so much fun that you won’t want to leave, and staying the night is actually an option! After the Aquarium has closed its doors for the night, you and your group can book a sleepover where you’ll head into the behind-the-scenes marine lab, touch local invertebrates including live sea stars, sea urchins, anemones and more, then bed down in front of one of the Aquarium’s spectacular marine galleries. You’ll also receive a continental breakfast when you wake up. This experience is offered to student groups, families, and Valentines.

1. Polar Bear Swim (January)

Polar bear swim vancouver 2014

Image courtesy of GoToVan | Flickr.com

In 1920 Peter Pantages created the Polar Bear Swim Club and the brisk ocean dip has been a New Year’s tradition ever since. Peter’s family still carries on the tradition of the swim club today and frigid plunges take place in the same waters of English Bay, where Peter first set out, as well as in White Rock, North Vancouver, and around the Metro Vancouver region. The event sees up to 2,500 participants each year with three times as many spectators lining the beaches of Downtown Vancouver to watch the brave souls run into the water to ring in the new year.

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