Come on spring! We can’t wait for tulips, cherry blossoms, spring break, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter,  and (hopefully) no more snow. But while we wait for spring, there are tons of great family-friendly events happening around Metro Vancouver to enjoy this month, like a play about a rabbit, lantern-illuminated gardens, dance festivals, fun kids concerts and tons of great exhibits. Take a look at our round up and start planning some memorable family fun. If you like learning about great family-friendly activities happening in Metro Vancouver, make sure you sign up to receive our weekly emails.

Festivals & Celebrations

18th Annual Chutzpah! Festival
Thursday, February 15th – Thursday, March 15th, various venues around Vancouver
Chutzpah! The Lisa Nemetz International Jewish Performing Arts Festival is the Lower Mainland’s winter music, dance, comedy and theatre festival presenting international, national and local artists. The Chutzpah! Festival delivers audiences’ work that is forward-looking, multi-layered, and entertaining. The upcoming 2018 Festival will run from February 15 to March 15 at the Norman Rothstein Theatre and other venues in and around Vancouver. Over four weeks, we will welcome performers from cultural hubs such as Canada, Bulgaria, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, the USA and Mexico.

Lanterns in the Garden
Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays, February 16th – March 4th, (closed Feb 18th), 5 pm – 10 pm, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, 578 Carrall Street, Vancouver
Experience an authentic Chinese lantern festival (yuánxiāo jié) in Vancouver’s classical Chinese garden. The dazzling display of handmade lanterns showcases various Chinese legends, adding spark to the Year of the Dog celebration. Enjoy live performances and participate in various activities, including classic lantern riddles and Chinese sugar painting. Don’t forget to warm up with some festive nibbles and beverages at the food market.

The Coastal First Nations Dance Festival
February 27th – March 4th, UBC Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver
The Dancers of Damelahamid produce the annual Coastal First Nations Dance Festival in partnership with the UBC Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. The Festival is a celebration of the stories, songs and dances of the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast of North America. The festival presents the rich artistic practices of artists from British Columbia, the Yukon, Alaska and Washington State as well as guest national and international artists and demonstrates that these practices are very much alive, vibrant and relevant today.

2018 Vancouver International Dance Festival
March 1st – 24th, various venues in Vancouver
The Vancouver International Dance Festival (VIDF) proudly announces its sweeping 2018 festival season: a diverse and dynamic roster of internationally celebrated artists and local favourites, presenting three weeks of endlessly enriching performances, workshops, and a host of dance activities from March 1 to 24, 2018, at various venues throughout Vancouver.

Healthy Family Expo 2018
Sunday, March 18th, 9 am – 6 pm, Healthy Family Expo, Vancouver Convention Centre East, 999 Canada Place, Vancouver
Enjoy a fun-filled day for Metro Vancouver families showcasing small steps & simple solutions to eco-friendly, healthy, active living. Free child admission for kids aged 0-16 this year courtesy of Kiju Organic Juice! There’s a Bobs & LoLo concert, a Jessie Farrell Concert, plus special appearances by Daniel Tiger and SuperWHY!

Festival du Bois
March 23rd – 25th, Mackin Park, Coquitlam
Welcome to FESTIVAL DU BOIS 2018! The 29th annual Festival du Bois is slated for March 23 to 25 at Mackin Park in the Maillardville area of Coquitlam, the centre of francophone culture in BC – and you’re invited! It’s a weekend celebration of francophone and French-Canadian culture – the largest in BC. Come enjoy amazing music and dance, great traditional food, shows for kids, fun activities, and so much more. The festival opens on Friday night, March 23, with a Contra Dance in the Grand Chapiteau (Big Tent) in Mackin Park, with live music by The Sybaritic String Band. On Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25, the festival welcomes outstanding music artists from BC and beyond, including Le Vent du Nord, Bon Débarras, Les Chauffeurs à pieds, and more! Everyone is welcome to our fun, affordable, family-friendly event! Come visit our friendly community, and learn more about French Canadian culture and roots in BC.

Plays, Shows & Concerts

Monster Jam
March 2nd – 4th, Pacific Coliseum, 2901 E Hastings Street, Vancouver
Monster Jam® is adrenaline-charged family entertainment featuring some of the most recognizable trucks in the world including Grave Digger®, Max-DTM and many more. Our world-class drivers push these perfectly engineered Monster Jam trucks to their limits in Freestyle, “2-Wheel Skills” and Racing competitions that promise to put families on the edge of their seats in this unexpected, unscripted and unforgettable event!

The Velveteen Rabbit
March 3rd – 25th, Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright Street, Granville Island, Vancouver
This charming tale celebrates boundless imagination and the power of believing. With a dash of magic, three actors transform their playspace into a children’s nursery with a rocking horse, a cavalcade of mechanical toys, a kind-hearted fairy and a toy rabbit who is transformed by one little boy’s love. The Velveteen Rabbit is recommended for ages 3-8 and their grown-up companions

Sue Malcolm Family Music Party
Tuesday, March 6th, 11 am – 11:45 am, Trout Lake Community Centre, 3360 Victoria Drive, Vancouver
Bring your singing voices, dancing shoes and rhythm instruments and join in the fun with all your favourite songs!

Highlands United Productions: The Music Man
March 21st – 25th, Highlands United, 3255 Edgemont Blvd, North Vancouver
It’s time for another wonderful community theatre performance by Highlands United Productions. Our cast of 45 and 8 piece orchestra has over 100 volunteers working behind the scenes to ensure a great night’s entertainment.

The Gruffalo
March 31st – April 15th, Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright Street, Granville Island, Vancouver
Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood. Searching for hazelnuts, Mouse meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the party mad Snake. Will the story of the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from ending up as dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? After all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo – is there? Showcasing Tall Stories’ distinctive physical, visual performance style, The Gruffalo is full of songs, laughs and scary fun for everyone. Following sell out performances in London’s West End, Broadway’s New Victory Theater & Sydney Opera House, Tall Stories continue to tour the world with this much-loved monster of a show! The Gruffalo is recommended for ages 3-8 and their grown-up companions


Science World: The Science Of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
January 25th – April 22nd, Science World, 1455 Quebec Street
Prepare for an incredible journey through the curious collections of Mr. Ripley, the explorer extraordinaire who traveled the world collecting artifacts and stories from the remarkable people and places he encountered. Explore the collections for yourself and learn the science behind the most extreme animals to have ever lived, dive into the complexities of human biology and marvel at the seemingly impossible collection of remarkable objects. Get hands-on with some amazing artifacts, take a wander through a model of the world’s largest snake and see how you measure up to the world’s tallest person. You might even discover a new dinosaur! Tap into your inner explorer at The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Family Sleepovers at the Aquarium
Saturday, March 24th, Vancouver Aquarium, 845 Avison Way, Vancouver
Family Sleepovers are programs that are offered to the general public: Aquarium members, families; adults; and individuals. Participants explore the galleries through a variety of special activities, presentations, tours and guest speakers based on the evening’s programming. Saturday March 24 – Sharks Attack! The sharks have been around stalking prey in the oceans for more than 400 million years. With more than 440 species worldwide, come explore the fascinating world of Sharks as we take a closer look at some of the sharks who call the Vancouver Aquarium home. Learn everything you need to know about the 7 senses the Sharks have at their disposal through a Shark dissection, take a look at various shark jaws including a great white shark, and a tour to the Shark Penthouse.

Vancouver Art Gallery: Emily Carr – Into the Forest
Ongoing until March 4th, 2018, Vancouver Art Gallery, 650 Hornby Street, Vancouver
The Vancouver Art Gallery is home to the finest collection of Emily Carr works in the world. While we are fortunate to have major works from throughout her career, the Gallery’s collection is particularly rich in her forest paintings from the 1930s. These include both her canvases and oil on paper works, a medium she began using during that period. Supplemented with a generous loan of three key early works completed during 1913-1918, and the remarkable Grey, both from private collections, this exhibition highlights her continued explorations of the natural environment—from the formative days of her career to the final stages of her life.

Vancouver Maritime Museum: The Lost Fleet
Ongoing until May 27th, 2018, Vancouver Maritime Museum, 1905 Ogden Avenue, Vancouver
This unique exhibition will showcase a series of photographs as well as several models of Japanese-Canadian-built fishing vessels in its collection, made by the late model shipbuilder, Doug Allen. The beautifully crafted models replicate some of the fishing boats seized during the war that have since been lost to history. Visitors will see replicas of the registry created in order to redistribute the seized boats. The display will also include shell fragment from Estevan Point lighthouse. In June 1942, a Japanese Imperial submarine fired shells at the lighthouse, just shortly after it had attacked a US merchant vessel in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This artifact highlights the little known fact that enemy fire did land on Canadian soil during WWII, and adds a level of reality to the threat that was feared by many in BC.

Don’t forget to check out our list of awesome Spring Break activities in Metro Vancouver and our round-up of all the winter farmers’ markets in Metro Vancouver.

We hope this big giant list has inspired you and your family to get out and enjoy everything Metro Vancouver has to offer in March! For more great family fun make sure to join our mailing list to receive weekly Metro Vancouver events right in your inbox.

By: Michelle Hughes

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