Free Outdoor Movies in Stanley Park Start July 3, 2012

Summer movies in Stanley Park. Photo: Metro News

Get ready to grab a blanket and pop the popcorn: July and August are the months for free outdoor movies—a summer tradition in Vancouver.

Free outdoor movie season kicks off Tuesday, July 3, at Ceperley Meadow in Stanley Park, thanks to Fresh Air Cinema. Check out the list of cult-faves (“I’m being repressed!”) and Gen-X classics scheduled for summer 2012:

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Free Outdoor Movies in Stanley Park Start July 3, 2012

Free Ballroom Dancing in Robson Square Starts Friday, June 29, 2012

Photo: DanceSportBC

When it comes to free summer events and activities, Robson Square is the place to be! Not only will Robson Square host the free, two-day kick off of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2012 (Downtown Jazz Weekend, June 22 – 23), it will also host free ballroom dancing every Friday starting June 29 and free salsa every Sunday starting July 1.

The free, Friday-night ballroom dancing is organized by DanceSportBC and includes  a ballroom dance lesson at 8pm, show dances at 9pm and 10pm, and a chance to dance the night away in the heart of downtown Vancouver. It’s all free, and all skill levels are welcome; you don’t have to have any prior ballroom dance experience to participate!

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Free Ballroom Dancing in Robson Square Starts Friday, June 29, 2012

Free Vancouver Water Parks for Kids: Granville Island & Stanley Park

Granville Island Water Park. Photo: Dana Lynch

As usual, summer weather is taking a while to heat up in Vancouver. But even if the weather isn’t super hot, beautiful sunny days are warm enough for most kids to have fun running, splashing, sliding, and getting soaking wet at Vancouver’s two free water parks for kids.

Open in the summer season only (June 1 – September 3), Vancouver’s free kids’ water parks are both located in hotspots that are full of other kid- and family-fun activities, making it easy to enjoy a day full of outdoor play.

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Free Vancouver Water Parks for Kids: Granville Island & Stanley Park

Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2012 – June 22 – July 1


There are a few events that really define summer in Vancouver: Canada Day, the Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition, Vancouver Pride, and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival (VIJF). Called the “hippest jazz festival in the world” by The Seattle Times, the VIJF is Vancouver’s biggest, greatest music festival of the year, and its as beloved by locals as it is by the hundreds of thousands of visitors it attracts.

Back for its 27th year, the 2012 Vancouver Jazz Festival features 1800 musicians and 400 concerts (100+ of which are free) at 40 venues across Vancouver. There are major headliners, five free mini festivals-within-the-festival, intimate concerts in Vancouver bars and restaurants (the 2012 VIJF Club Series), and music virtually everywhere you look. So get ready to fall in love with the Vancouver Jazz Festival all over again!

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Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2012 – June 22 – July 1

5 Free Things to Do with Kids in Vancouver in June

Coquitlam's Teddy Bear Parade. Photo: Festival Coquitlam

One of the best things about summer in Vancouver is the uptick in free things to do, from the free festivals this month that appeal to everyone (check out our list of 20 Unmissable Vancouver Events in June 2012) to free fun for families with kids (and the young at heart of all ages), including June’s Pacific Rim Kite Festival in Vanier Park, Coquitlam’s Teddy Bear Parade and free admission to the Burnaby Village Museum!

5 Free Things to Do with Kids in Vancouver in June 2012

1. Free Admission to the Burnaby Village MuseumMay 5 – September 3, 2012
To celebrate the 100th birthday of their famous 1912 wooden carousel and their 1912 interurban tram, gate admission to the Burnaby Village Museum is free for the entire summer 2012 season! That means visitors can explore this outdoor 1920s village—home to a working blacksmith and lots of authentic 1920s shops—for free and pay just $2.30 per carousel ride!

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5 Free Things to Do with Kids in Vancouver in June

Bard on the Beach 2012

Bard on the Beach performs Shakespeare with the northern mountains as a backdrop. Photo: Tourism Vancouver

Summer theatre season kicks off a little early this year with Bard on the Beach—Vancouver’s beloved annual Shakespeare festival—returning for 2012 this Thursday, May 31.

One of the largest Shakespeare festivals in Canada and a summer tradition for many Vancouverites (our own Suzanne Raikes goes every year), Bard on the Beach is famous for the high-calibre of its performances as well as its eye-popping location: set at Vanier Park, Bard’s two main stage tents have open-backs, allowing the majestic northern mountains and Vancouver city views to function as the literal backdrop for its plays.

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Bard on the Beach 2012

Playland Vancouver Opens April 28, 2012

Playland Vancouver. Photo credit: Remy Scalza

It may seem hard to believe, but summer can’t be too far off when Playland, one of Vancouver’s biggest summer traditions, kicks off its 2012 season this Saturday, April 28.

The Playland Amusement Park at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) is one attraction that’s fun for all ages, from the littlest kids to full grown adults. Packed with rides—including the 218-feet-high AtmosFEAR, which debuted in summer 2011, and the famous/infamous Wooden Roller Coaster—as well as Midway games, fairground food, arcades, sports, and the Haunted Mansion, Playland truly has something for everyone. (Plus what better way is there to spend a sunny Saturday than riding the Playland Westcoast Wheel and munching on mini donuts?)

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Playland Vancouver Opens April 28, 2012