We’ve gathered 100 awesome, free and low-cost things to do with your family in Metro Vancouver this summer. After all, summer days are made for family time and it shouldn’t cost a fortune just to have fun together. Make this your family’s summer bucket list and get ready for the most epic summer ever!

  1. Check out the free programs at your local library branch, they’ve got everything from board game nights to LEGO builds to family movies.
  2. Visit your local water spray park for a free way to cool off in the summer heat.
  3. Jump in an outdoor public pool to beat the heat.
  4. Explore your local Farmers’ Market for a great way to learn about local eating and farming.
  5. Take a walk around Commercial Drive on July 8th for Car Free Day on the Drive. The street is lined with food trucks, vendors, and all kinds of display tables.
  6. Watch a FREE outdoor movie in Stanley Park. Every Tuesday at Second Beach from July 3rd – August 21st.
  7. Try geocaching for a free family treasure hunt.
  8. Visit Burnaby Village Museum, entry is free for the summer and carousel rides are only $2.65.
  9. Visit a beach, bring along a picnic.
  10. Hike through Lynn Canyon for a free trip over a suspension bridge.
  11. Watch the fireworks at the Honda Celebration of Light on July 28th, August 1st, and August 4th.
  12. Go play at Hastings Park in Vancouver, one of Vancouver’s largest urban parks.
  13. Cool off with a free Slurpee from 7-11 on July 11th
  14. Visit the PNE during free gate admission, both Tuesdays this year! From 11 am – 1 pm, August 21st & 28th.
  15. Join a summer reading club, you can attend free events and earn a medal if you read 15 minutes a day for 50 days.
  16. Set up the tent in your backyard for a free campout. Make s’mores, watch for shooting stars, and tell funny bedtime stories before cuddling up together.
  17. Visit the fairy doors at Redwood Park in Surrey, or visit the dinosaur garden in West Cloverdale.
  18. Walk, bike, or roll the Stanley Park seawall
  19. View the latest exhibits at the ArtStarts Gallery in Vancouver, the first gallery in Canada devoted exclusively to young people’s art. Admission is free!
  20. Go fishing.
  21. Walk rows of classic cars at the Edmonds City Fair & Classic Car Show on July 15th.
  22. Go on a free walking tour in one of four distinct Vancouver neighbourhoods.
  23. Head to the Lego Store for a free Monthly Mini Build event, the 2nd Tuesday and Wednesday of every month. You have to sign up for the LEGO VIP program (it’s free) and remember to register in store or online.
  24. Enjoy a family-friendly movie under the stars at the Waterfront Cinema at Canada Place. Thursdays from July 12th – August 30th you and your family can watch great shows like The Greatest Showman, Coco, and Mama Mia. Admission is free!
  25. Hike the Coquitlam Crunch. It’s like a “starter” Grouse Grind, and there’s no gondola fee to get down, you just have to use your two feet!
  26. Visit Granville Island, explore the Kids Market and play at the big outdoor playground and water park.
  27. Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery on a Tuesday evening when entry is by donation.
  28. Grab some chalk and make beautiful artwork all over the sidewalks or on your driveway. Try dipping the chalk in water before drawing; it turns the chalk into vibrant paint!
  29. Ride the rails: Hop on the Skytrain and then jump on the Seabus. Spend the day exploring Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver before heading home. Or head the other direction into the Tri-Cities on the Evergreen Extension.
  30. Listen to the Sounds of Summer (that’s live music, for free) every Wednesday evening at a different park in Surrey.
  31. Visit the Gordon MacMillan Observatory, next door to the Space Centre, where admission is by donation.
  32. Watch the cruise ships and other water vessels go by from Dundarave Pier in West Vancouver.
  33. Head out to Fraser Valley and pick some berries at a U Pick farm.
  34. Build a fort in your backyard with blankets and pillows and have a summer reading marathon.
  35. Learn all about biodiversity at Beaty Nocturnal – every month, the Beaty Biodiversity Museum will stay open late offering activities until 8:30pm. Admission by donation, all ages welcome!
  36. Watch some of the world’s best cyclists compete in the Tour de Delta race on July 6th – 8th, the Gastown Grand Prix on July 11th, or at the Tour de White Rock on the 14th and 15th of July.
  37. North Vancouver’s Shipyard Night Market has free admission and tons of delicious food trucks, live music, and lots of local vendors.
  38. Head to your local community centre for fun drop in programs for kids.
  39. Build something great! Home Depot has free builds for kids the second Saturday of every month.
  40. Say hello to fish at the Hyde Creek Hatchery, open every Saturday from 9 am – 11:30 am for free tours.
  41. Take a 30-minute crafting class at Michaels Crafts, every Saturday, for only $2 – $5! For kids aged 3 and up.
  42. Enjoy Concerts in the Park in Delta and Music at the Cannery in Steveston.
  43. Enjoy a fun scavenger hunt set in pioneer days at Historic Stewart Farm on August 11th.
  44. Kick it up a notch at Carnaval del Sol, Vancouver’s Latin festival, and the biggest one in the Pacific Northwest. This free family-friendly event runs from July 7th – 8th at Concord Pacific Place.
  45. Enjoy a free Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performance at Deer Lake Park on July 8th.
  46. Visit over 130 different types of birds at the Sanctuary at Hastings Park Conservancy and take a free guided nature walk.
  47. Ye-haw, head to Maple Ridge for Country Fest on July 28th & 29th, an annual festival featuring shows, rides, fair food, and more! Admission is free.
  48. Check your local shopping centre to see what fabulous, fun and free events they have this summer. Many put on weekly activities for kids, from arts and crafts, to musical entertainment to LEGO building.
  49. Bike Barnston Island in Surrey. Bonus: You get to ride on a ferry!
  50. Enjoy free Summer Sunday Concerts in Port Moody, every Sunday at 2 pm.
  51. Let the kiddos stay up late to stargaze. Boundary Bay Regional Park in Delta is a good viewing spot.
  52. Free fun at the Whistler Children’s Festival: on Friday, July 6th have a ton of fun at the Free Friday night dance party hosted by Whistler’s own Ira Pettle, and entertainment from Stephen Vogler with local band, Some Assembly Required
  53. Enjoy a day of celebration at the Steveston Salmon Festival on July 1st.
  54. Celebrate all things Caribbean at the free Caribbean Days Festival in North Vancouver, July 28th & 29th. It’s BC’s biggest Caribbean Celebration!
  55. For the ultimate celebration in music, food and culture, head to Fusion Festival, a free event in Surrey’s Holland Park, July 21st & 22nd.
  56. Join in on Khatsahlano, Vancouver’s largest block party on July 7th.
  57. Pack a picnic and head to your favourite park.
  58. Fly a kite.
  59. Visit a petting zoo and other fun places in Metro Vancouver where your kiddos can interact with animals.
  60. Take a daytrip to Fort Langley.
  61. Discover Barnet Marine Park, Burnaby’s only salt-water beach.
  62. Head down 1001 Steps to a spectacular beach in South Surrey
  63. Enjoy Newton Days a fun community celebration every Saturday in July. There will be a farm market, kid fun zone, face painting, food trucks, henna & Science World demos. Free admission!
  64. Visit feathered friends at the George C Reifel Bird Sanctuary.
  65. Watch planes take off and land at the public observation area at the Vancouver International Airport.
  66. Celebrate our lovely nation at a Canada Day celebration in your neighbourhood.
  67. Explore River Market in New Westminster.
  68. Have a kiddo with a summer birthday? Enjoy some free goodies at local shops and restaurants around Metro Vancouver.
  69. Channel your inner train conductor by visiting Engine 374 at the Roundhouse Community Centre. Admission is free!
  70. Walk through beautiful gardens full of traditional Chinese architecture, bridges and pavilions at Sun Yat-Sen Park, located right next door to the Classical Chinese Garden, but entry to this park is free!
  71. On August 19th, enjoy free entry for the whole family to the Fresh Family Fun Field at Krause Berry Farms. Jumping pillows, games, tetherball, pedal cart racetrack, and more.
  72. Learn all about fish at the Capilano River Hatchery.
  73. Kids bowl free all summer long at many lanes in the Lower Mainland, including Grandview Lanes in Vancouver. You just need to sign up.
  74. Make your own popsicles at home with fruit, yogurt, and juice. Get creative with your combos.
  75. Celebrate the city’s LGBTTQ community at the world famous Vancouver Pride Parade on August 5th.
  76. Take a self-guided tour of farms in the Fraser Valley, there are five different tours to choose from at Circle Farm Tours.
  77. Hike in Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, one of the most scenic and beautiful spots in all of Metro Vancouver.
  78. Visit the super cool Terra Nova Adventure Play Environment in Richmond. It’s not your average playground and definitely worth a daytrip into Richmond to go play.
  79. Get up early and watch the sunrise. Burnaby Mountain Park is a good viewing spot.
  80. Encourage your kiddos to write their own book.
  81. Visit Flowers From a Country Garden, a flower farm in Langley.
  82. Take your kiddos on a tour of the neighbourhood you grew up in. Show them your elementary school, your best friend’s house, then stop and play at your favourite playground.
  83. Find the White Rock at White Rock Beach and then wait for low tide to hunt for crabs and clams on the beach.
  84. Set up a lemonade stand and teach your kiddos how to make change.
  85. Visit the Honeybee Centre in Surrey for an education in all things bee. A great weekend to visit is during the Annual Honeybee Festival, July 14th & 15th.
  86. Rock out to the Live & Local summer concert & culture series in North Vancouver. Cost: Free!
  87. Take part in free salsa lessons in the afternoon at Robson Square and then stick around for a free performance in the evening, Sunday’s July 8th – August 26th.
  88. Go foraging for edible plants.
  89. Visit the Burrard Dry Dock Pier in North Vancouver for a history lesson on shipbuilding.
  90. Explore Burns Bog.
  91. Try out some fun yoga moves for the whole family.
  92. Visit a new-to-you playground in Metro Vancouver.
  93. Discover the City of Arts, also known as Port Moody.
  94. Throw on your favourite plaid shirt and head to Squamish for the 61st annual Loggers Sports Festival, August 2nd – 6th. Many events are free, and fun for the whole family to watch.
  95. View vintage cars at the Langley Good Times Cruise-In on September 8th. Free Admission!
  96. Go for a walk around your neighbourhood, but let your kiddos be the guide. They get to decide which direction to go, when to turn, and which playgrounds to stop at!
  97. Head to Hope to explore the Othello Tunnels, originally built for railway access, they now form part of the Trans Canada Trail system.
  98. Build your own fairy garden with found objects. Look for rocks, sticks, and moss while out for a walk. Place them in a special spot in your garden. Sprinkle with glitter and wait for the fairies to arrive.
  99. Wait until dark and play flashlight tag.
  100. Dance and sing along to The Philosopher Kings and other great Canadian artists at the free Kaleidoscope Arts Festival in Coquitlam on Saturday, August 11th.

If you are on the hunt for affordable fun for your kids this summer, 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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