10 Things to Do Outdoors in Vancouver on Victoria Day Weekend 2023

People walk on a suspended walkway at the Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver

Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

For many Vancouverites, Victoria Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and is a great excuse to spend time outside. Here are our picks for the best thing to do outdoors in Vancouver on the 2023 Victoria Day Long Weekend.


Fort Langley May Day Parade and Celebration

Each year Fort Langley welcomes spring with its annual May Day event on May 22nd. The event is in its 101st year and includes a pancake breakfast at the Lions Hall in the morning, a parade on Glover Road starting at 11 am, and a community celebration at Fort Langley Community Park in the afternoon.


Take a Hike

While the calendar says it is spring, it is still winter in the mountains. Choose a hike close to sea level to avoid snow. Check out our lists of spring hikes or more spring hikes to choose a destination. Or take on our May 2023 hike of the month, Whistler Train Wreck Trail. Be sure to read our tips for safe spring hiking before you go.

Walking across the new Twin Bridges suspension bridge in North Vancouver

Walking across the new suspension bridge at Twin Bridges over the Seymour River. Photo: Taryn Eyton/HappiestOutdoors.ca


Big Dig Day at the Britannia Mine Museum

The Britannia Mine Museum’s family-friendly Big Dig Day event takes place on May 20th. Learn about how geosciences are applied in the real world with displays of fossils, minerals, and rocks as well as demonstrations of seismometers and stereoscopes. You can also try gold panning.

A view of the Britannia Mine Museum from the air

The Britannia Mine Museum. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Heath Moffat


Take a Day Trip to Bowen Island

Bowen Island is a short ferry ride away from Vancouver, but it feels worlds apart. Leave the car behind and walk or bike onto the ferry. Once you arrive, go for a hike, paddle a kayak, hit the beach, or have a picnic. Our guide to getting outdoors on Bowen Island has all the details you need to plan a trip.

kayaks on a beach on Bowen Island

Kayaking on Bowen Island. Photo: Rod M/Unsplash


Whistler Children’s Festival

The 2023 edition of the Whistler Children’s Festival runs May 19-21 and 27-28. You can attend ticketed performances at the Maury Young Arts Centre. But there are tons of free kid-friendly activities outdoors too. Enjoy free music and dance performances at Whistler Olympic Plaza as well as roving entertainers along Village Stroll.

People dance at the Whistler Children's Festival.

Whistler Children’s Festival. Photo: Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane


Visit a Garden

Spring is in full swing. Vancouver has over two dozen beautiful gardens where you can enjoy gorgeous spring flowers. Explore rose gardens, Asian gardens, botanical gardens, walled gardens, and lots more. Pro tip: Some gardens require tickets and advance booking.

VanDusen Garden

VanDusen Botanical Garden Photo credit: Tourism Vancouver/Sombilon Studios


Shop at a Farmer’s Market

At this time of year, Vancouver’s farmers’ markets are in full swing. Browse through the stalls to find locally grown produce, baked goods, and prepared foods like jams and beverages. On Victoria Day Weekend check out the Trout Lake, Riley Park, and West End markets on Saturday. On Sunday you can visit the Kitsilano, Mount Pleasant, and Hastings Park markets.

Vegetables at a farmers' market

Photo: Shelley Pauls/Unsplash


Enjoy Easy-Access Views

You don’t have to be an expert hiker to enjoy the outdoors in Vancouver. Let the Grouse Mountain Skyride and the Sea to Sky Gondola whisk you right up to the peaks. Keep in mind that it’s still winter in the mountains, so bring warm clothing and appropriate footwear. Or brave the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. It is particularly impressive in the spring when rain and snowmelt swell the river.

Grouse Mountain gondola

Grouse Mountain Skyride. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Grouse Mountain


Attend a Nature Program

Learn about Vancouver’s ecology at a nature program. Little explorers will love the Forest Fairy Gathering at Burnaby Lake Nature House on May 20. Participants at the free event can build a fairy house with supplies from ‘Gnome Depot’. Drop by Campbell Valley Regional Park for the Spring into Summer Event on May 20. The nature house will be open with entertainment, games, crafts, and educational displays. Or register for a Wild Bird Photography Workshop on May 20 through the Stanley Park Ecology Centre. Pro photographer Kris Cu will help you learn the best camera settings and skills for capturing images of wild birds.


Explore the Urban Wilderness

Vancouver is full of green spaces, with pockets of nature tucked into nearly every neighbourhood. Explore an offshore island and ocean views at Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver. Head to Maple Ridge to explore the waterfalls and river views at Kanaka Creek Regional Park. Or visit Coquitlam’s Colony Farm Regional Park for some easy biking and spectacular bird watching. Find even more suggestions in our park guide archives.

Whyte Islet in Whytecliff Park. Photo: Destination BC/Alex Strohl

People walking on rocks by the ocean in Whytecliff Park, West Vancouver.

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