8 Free (or almost free) Things to do in Vancouver this Month

Hip Hop Karaoke Photo Credit: Mark Gutknecht

Hip Hop Karaoke Photo Credit: Mark Gutknecht

The holiday season can be hectic. It can also be pretty pricey. Having fun in Vancouver through the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa season doesn’t have to break the piggy bank though.

If you’re pinching your loonies for that perfect gift or saving your bills for a mid-winter trip to the tropics, then finding fun, thrifty stuff to do is a priority.

I’ve compiled a list of free or almost free Vancouver activities this December. Grab a handful of change, bundle up and explore the budget-friendly activities on offer in chilly Vancity.

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8 Free (or almost free) Things to do in Vancouver this Month

Vancouver Hidden Gem Alert: Cape Roger Curtis on Bowen Island

Photo credit: JeremyOK | Flickr

Photo credit: JeremyOK | Flickr

It’s the classic, end-of-summer dilemma in Vancouver. The clouds are rolling in and the window for good weather is closing fast.  You’ve already blown your travel budget on summer adventures, and you don’t have enough vacation days left for a real holiday.  But you’ve got the itch for one more getaway.

Why not Bowen Island? The tiny, heavily forested island in Howe Sound feels a world away, even though it’s just a few kilometres off the mainland.  It makes an easy day trip and, with a bit of planning, a really cheap one.

I checked out Bowen Island on a recent Saturday, when big clouds were gathered over the North Shore mountains.   Continue reading:
Vancouver Hidden Gem Alert: Cape Roger Curtis on Bowen Island

Ten Vancouver Activities on a Budget

Aquabus

  1. Watch a movie being made on the streets. Just look for the large white trailers or cut to the chase by checking out the current productions listed on the BC Film Commission website (www.bcfilmcommission.com).
  2. Plunge into the rainforest at Lighthouse Park on the North Shore. The park’s winding trails pass among some of Vancouver’s oldest trees and lead to the landmark Point Atkinson Lighthouse, built in 1912.
  3. Continue reading:
    Ten Vancouver Activities on a Budget

Travel by transit to Vancouver Aquarium and get a discount

Courtesy: Vancouver Aquarium

TransLink has just announced a “new permanent policy” that will give Vancouver Aquarium visitors a $2 discount on admission when they present a valid transit ticket or pass.

It works for tourists and locals alike: just show your valid monthly Fare Card or Employer pass, a same-day fare receipt/transfer, or a DayPass when you arrive.

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Travel by transit to Vancouver Aquarium and get a discount

Where to eat in Vancouver? Just eavesdrop on the bus…

Disclosure: I love to eavesdrop. Especially on the bus. Especially when it involves food and Vancouver restaurants.

So today I was sitting on the 135 in front a trio of students who–in a refreshing change from the intellectual one-upmanship I usually endure on the SFU-bound bus–began one-upping each other on the topic of local restaurants.

Students are better than guidebooks for restaurant recommendations because they are chronically broke, chronically hungry and relentlessly cutting-edge.

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Where to eat in Vancouver? Just eavesdrop on the bus…

Free daily walking tours in Vancouver during the 2010 Games!

Free walking tours every day with TourGuys

Ok, so the roads are little crowded these days. Why not explore Vancouver on foot during the Olympics?

TourGuys.ca offer daily walking tours at 1 pm starting from the Countdown Clock in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

They’re free–but if you enjoy the experience a tip of around ten bucks is de rigeur.

Get all the details here

Neighbourhood cinemas: cheap, close, current and comfy

The Dolphin on E. Hastings in Burnaby near SFU
The Dolphin on E. Hastings in Burnaby near SFU

Took in the charming Julie and Julia at my favourite neighbourhood cinema this past weekend: the Dolphin Theatre at 4555 E. Hastings in Burnaby.

It’s not actually in my ‘hood–I live on Bowen Island–but I drive by on my way up to SFU on Burnaby Mountain once a week and I always slow down long enough to check what’s playing. There are two films, newish, usually well-reviewed and one’s always something appropriate for family viewing.

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Neighbourhood cinemas: cheap, close, current and comfy