Spring is here and it’s time for a whole new list of free and inexpensive family-friendly activities in Metro Vancouver, after all, fun with your family shouldn’t break the bank. Everything listed here is either free or just a few dollars to attend. Enjoy festivals, celebrations, art exhibits, birding walks, and everything else Metro Vancouver has to offer this season.

  1. Enjoy a free kids workshop through the ArtStarts Weekend Programs. Programs run once a month and feature a variety of different activities – from ballet to music to arts & crafts.
  2. Dust off your bikes and head out on a fun family bike ride.
  3. Visit the Capilano Salmon Hatchery (for free!), and learn all about our fishy friends. Spring is a great time to see chinook juveniles.
  4. Head to your local library for a fun and interactive story or show. Especially when the spring rain sets in! You’ll also find Lego builds, board game nights and family movie afternoons. All free.
  5. Visit your local library and grab all the spring-themed books you can find. Read them outside, weather permitting!
  6. Experience art on Tuesday evenings at the Vancouver Art Gallery admission is by donation!
  7. Visit the Burnaby Art Gallery where entry is always by donation.
  8. Browse the stalls at your local winter farmers’ market and wait patiently for the summer markets to open (typically in May).
  9. Build something great! Home Depot has free builds for kids the second Saturday of every month.
  10. Gaze into outer space at the GMS Observatory. The observatory is open on Saturday evenings and is located right next to the Space Centre. Entry to the observatory is by donation.
  11. Drop into your local community centre for family playtime. It varies from centre to centre, but you’ll find a variety of toys and activities waiting for your rambunctious kids! Drop-in fees are typically only $1 – $2 per kid.
  12. Take a 30-minute crafting class at Michaels Crafts, every Saturday, for only $2! For kids aged 3 and up.
  13. Head to the Lego Store for a free Monthly Mini Build event, the first Tuesday of every month.
  14. Drop into the Contemporary Art Gallery for a free CAG Family Art Day, the last Saturday of each month from 12 pm – 3 pm.
  15. Plan a funny trick for April Fool’s Day.
  16. Head to Locomotive No. 374 at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown to satisfy the train lover in your family. It’s open daily and it’s free to tour.
  17. Be one with nature at an awesome Metro Vancouver outdoor program. Many are free and most are family and kid-friendly.
  18. Turn off your lights to take part in Earth Hour on March 24th from 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm. Let the kiddos stay up late and play board games by candlelight.
  19. Enjoy a fun family movie at the theatre for only $2.99. Cineplex Family Favourites run Saturday mornings at 11 am at select theatres in Metro Vancouver. Proceeds go to Feed the Children.
  20. Get ready for the Easter bunny by naturally dying eggs using vegetables.
  21. Join a naturalist for a free monthly birding walks and guided nature walks in Surrey parks.
  22. Join in a neighbourhood Easter egg hunt.
  23. Celebrate your spring baby by snagging a whole bunch of free stuff on their birthday!
  24. Visit the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre for nature films, displays, models, puzzles and a puppet theatre. While there, take a walk across the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge (if you dare). Ecology Centre entry is by donation, but the walk across the bridge is free!
  25. Jam with the cherry blossoms at this awesome free concert on April 5th, to kick off the Cherry Blossom Festival in Vancouver. Plus, enjoy the Spring Lights Illumination (date TBD once the blooms appear), and have fun with free tree talks and walks happening in March and April, all part of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.
  26. Join a reading program at your local library, like the awesome 1,000 Stories Pre-K program at the Fraser Valley Regional Library.
  27. Head to Surrey for 5 weeks of free environmental programs for Environmental Extravaganza. Programs include walks, hikes, arts & crafts, and lots of hands on nature fun.
  28. Got an older kid? Teens can check out free art and theatre classes at Arts Umbrella in Surrey.
  29. Take in a free family-friendly movie at your local library. Check the event listings, libraries in Vancouver, Coquitlam, and North Vancouver all have regular movie matinees for families!
  30. Enjoy Family Day at Place des Arts in Coquitlam. On April 8th you and your kids can take part in three drop-in art activities for free!
  31. Groove with your babies every Wednesday at Brentwood Town Centre at a fun parent and tot dance class.
  32. Go for a walk around your neighbourhood and see what you can find with a fun spring scavenger hunt.
  33. Hop in the car and head up to Whistler for the day to watch the best compete at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival from April 10th – 15th. Lots of free concerts, activities and of course, skiing and snowboarding competitions to watch!
  34. Head outdoors when it rains (which it does a lot in spring). Check out our list of 10 great ideas for outdoor rainy day fun.
  35. Celebrate Earth Day on April 14th. Head to a free concert and party in Surrey or enjoy a free parade and festival in Vancouver on April 21st.
  36. Check out a spring craft fair, entry is usually free (or just a dollar or two), you’ll be able to see all sorts of great handmade wares, and maybe event sample a bite or two of some tasty jams or preserves.
  37. Enjoy the annual Vaisakhi Day Parade in Surrey on April 21st – everyone is welcome! Enjoy cultural floats, community performers, and live music.
  38. Cheer on runners at a local race. There are dozens happening all over Metro Vancouver this spring, including the Sun Run (April 22nd). Make some signs, break out the cowbell, and cheer away!
  39. Take a stroll around Darts Hill Garden where entry is by donation Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays. You’ll get to see an immense variety of shrubs, trees and flowers from all around the world.
  40. Celebrate Youth Week at North Vancouver’s free CityFest on May 5th. Enjoy local musicians, dance showcases, free photobooths, an art show, BBQ, prizes and games.
  41. Visit historic Fort Langley for the 96th annual May Day Parade and celebration on May 21st. Ladner also has May Day festivities from May 25th – 27th.
  42. Celebrate all things kid at the Surrey International Children’s Festival May 24th – 26th. While most performances and activities are ticketed (passes are around $12), entry to the Surrey Arts Centre, festival, and parade are all free.
  43. Take part in Hats Off Day in Burnaby on Saturday, June 2nd. This annual parade and festival is always a ton of fun!
  44. Head to Commercial Drive for the infamous Italian Day on the Drive on June 10th for a day full of cultural celebrations and delicious food.
  45. Drop into the Stanley Park Nature House (free admission) to learn all about the ecology of the park.
  46. Head to Town Centre in Coquitlam with your teddy bear in hand — it’s picnic time! The annual Teddy Bear Picnic on June 10th is full of awesome family-friendly fun concerts, parades and activities. Entry is by donation.
  47. Leave your vehicle parked and celebrate Car Free Day at a street party on Main Street or Denman Street on June 16th and 17th.
  48. Get outside! Take a hike with your kiddos.
  49. Try out a free family yoga class at Orijin Yoga the first Saturday of the month or practice some family yoga on your own.
  50. Enjoy family days at the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam. You and your kiddos can take part in arts and crafts classes once a month for free.

Looking for more affordable spring fun? Sign up for our weekly email newsletter and you’ll receive our weekend event guide which is chock-full of great family-friendly events and activities, many free! 

By: Michelle Hughes

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