by HENRIETTE FREESE
Spring is finally around the corner and after many long and dark winter months we cannot wait to welcome this beautiful season! Here’s a list of some suggestions of what to do over the next few months that are either free or don’t cost much.
Celebrate the finest in Celtic culture and heritage with eight fun-filled days of cultural events including concerts, storytelling, dancing and bagpipe performances. Vancouver is home to Western Canada’s largest Celtic festival and it happens at various venues throughout the city.
Urban Grind Vancouver
Enjoy this unique opportunity to climb up the 633 steps to reach the top of the Harbour Tower. $5 will grant you admission and as a reward you can enjoy spectacular 360 degree views of the city, a free beer and receive a $5 Harbour Centre Food Court voucher! The Urban Grind can be done every Tuesday in March and you can go by yourself or with fellow VGC students in our school-wide activity on March 21st.
- Every Tuesday in March, 4:30 to 6:30pm
- Admission: $5
Cherry Blossom Festival
Every year at the beginning of spring you will see Vancouver’s streets in beautiful shades of pink and white. Vancouver is home to over 90000 flowering cherry trees including more than 40000 Japanese flowering cherry trees. You can either explore some of the streets of Vancouver yourself, or visit the annual Cherry Blossom Festival with several related events.
- March 30 – April 24
- Admission: Free (some events have a cover charge)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival
Each year thousands of Vancouverites gather in Abbotsford to celebrate the beginning of spring and the stunning tulip field. Even though this event is not free, it is worth to escape the city for a day and enjoy the thousands of flowers at the Abbotsford Tulip Festival!
- April 10 – May 7
- Tickets: from $8 to $15 (buy here)
Earth Day / Party for the Planet
The biggest event in Metropolitan Vancouver to celebrate Earth Day is taking place in Surrey. This all day festival includes free concerts and environmental activities! Check out the event website here.
- April 22
- Admission: Free
Annual VanDusen Plant Sale
Even though you may not want to buy a plant while you are here, you should take advantage of free admission for one day only at the beautiful VanDusen Botanical Gardens. Make sure to keep an eye on the event website to check for updates.
- April 30
- Admission: Free (one day only!)
The Shipyards Night Market
Starting May 5th, the Shipyard Plaza in North Vancouver will be transformed into a vibrant night market every Friday. Enjoy a full farmers and artisan market as well as a wide variety of local food trucks and live entertainment. You can also enjoy a beautiful view of Vancouver’s skyline, so it’s definitely well worth the trip!
- May 5th – September 29th 2017, Every Friday
- Admission: Free
City Fest North Vancouver
City Fest is the largest Youth Week event in the Lower Mainland and is an event organized by Youth to Youth. Enjoy plenty of activities including live local youth music and dance showcases, free photo booths, local youth art shows, a skateboard competition, food booths as well as prizes and games. More information here.
- May 7
- Admission: Free
Stanley Park is one of the must-sees in Vancouver and one of our favourite parks! With the weather forecast finally looking a bit better you should go out and explore this beautiful park. Whether it’s for a walk or bike ride along the seawall, a walk through the deep rain forest or a picnic on one of the lawns or beaches – this is a must visit place this spring!
Visit Granville Island
Granville Island is always a great area to explore – rain or shine! Explore local and exotic foods in the huge market hall, check out artisan vendors or wander through the many shops. Granville Island is also home to a big arts and crafts community and a brewery! To find out about their events, check out their website here. A nice way to get to Granville Island is through one of the mini ferries that offer services throughout False Creek (False Creek Ferries or Aquabus).
As you might already know, Vancouver is a major hub for film and TV productions and you will have the chance to see many film sets in the city during your stay. Movies filmed here include Godzilla, Fantastic Four, Fifty Shades of Grey or Twilight, just to name a few! There are several resources online, such as this blog, where you can check out what’s currently being produced. If the locations are convenient you can grab a friend and your camera and if you’re lucky you might spot some famous actors!
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Park + North America’s oldest Chinatown
Did you know that Vancouver actually has two Chinese Gardens that are located right by each other? While there is a $10 admission for the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park provides the public with an opportunity to experience different elements of a Chinese garden for free! Take an afternoon and enjoy the garden as well as the different streets and small shops of North America’s oldest Chinatown. You can find a suggestion for a walking tour here.
Visit Vancouver’s Museums
The weather might still be a little unstable in spring, so why not take the chance to explore one of Vancouver’s museums? You can find an overview here. If you want to save some money, visit the Vancouver Art Gallery on Tuesdays, as the entry is by donation. The observatory (next to the Space Centre) is by donation as well and the Burnaby Village museum offers complimentary admission throughout the year.
Explore Lynn Canyon
Accessible by public transportation, Lynn Canyon Park is a beautiful recreational area in North Vancouver. Take some time to explore the beautiful and lush rain forest and make sure to visit the Suspension Bridge for some epic views.
Last but not least – all throughout the year we offer plenty of fun activities after class and on weekends, so make sure to always check out our activities schedules to not miss out on our own activities to explore Vancouver and its surroundings!