Summertime is festival season in Metro Vancouver and we can’t think of a better way to spend time together as a family than heading out to one of these great events. Pack the sunscreen, water bottles, and picnic blankets, and take the whole family out to enjoy a fun day. We’ve organized this giant list by festival start date, so it’ll be easy to find what you’re looking for.
Is there a festival we’ve forgotten to add to this list? Leave a comment below or drop us a line. We’ll be updating the list regularly throughout the summer, so look for the little sun symbol to find newly added events.
Bard on the Beach
June 6th – September 22nd, 1695 Whyte Avenue, Vanier Park, Vancouver
The BMO Mainstage will host a joyous new production of As You Like It, set in Vancouver and filled with Beatles music; it will alternate with a powerhouse classic production of Shakespeare’s epic drama Macbeth. On the Howard Family Stage in the Douglas Campbell Theatre there are two innovative new productions: Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens, redefined with a female-dominated cast, and a Bard-commissioned new adaptation of the Greek classic Lysistrata, transposing its ancient, bawdy story to our time.
Theatre Under the Stars
July 4th – August 18th, Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park, Vancouver
Each year TUTS produces two different musical shows that alternate performance nights throughout the summer. This years’ summer line-up includes Cinderella and 42nd Street. TUTS is the perfect way to get your kiddos hooked on theatre. We guarantee you’ll leave the show with a few new tunes to hum in your head and a kiddo who has newly found musical theatre aspirations.
Indian Summer Festival
July 5th – July 15th, various venues in Vancouver
Indian Summer is a festival of arts and ideas that takes place in Vancouver every July. It’s one of Vancouver’s most vibrant and eclectic festivals and definitely one you’ll want to add to your must-do list! Gather around a series of provocative multi-disciplinary events that feature some of the finest artists and visionaries from Canada, South Asia and beyond. The programming is rigorous and quirky with an appetite for experimentation, deep thinking, and curiosity.
2018 Whistler Children’s Festival
July 6th – 8th, Whistler Olympic Plaza, Whistler
Spend a fun weekend in the mountains! Kick off your weekend with a free, all ages dance party at Whistler Olympic Plaza on Friday, then come back on Saturday morning for the main event. This weekend will be jam-packed with live performances and music. There will be tons of on-site activities, like magic shows, a ventriloquist, face painting, balloon hats, and lots more! Best of all, you’ll be able to get your hands messy and take part in lots of creative workshops.
Harrison Festival of Arts
July 6th – 15th, various event times, Harrison Hot Springs
Take a trip to Harrison, and spend a day (or more) by the lake. Enjoy concerts, indoors or on the beach, and check out the market on the waterfront. Take a look at the art exhibits, and then sign up for one of the hands-on workshops, led by some of the festival’s performers.
Carnaval del Sol
July 7th – 8th, 9 am – 10 pm, Concord Pacific Place, 88 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
Carnaval del Sol recreates a Latin American fiesta in Downtown Vancouver! Enjoy a weekend of lively music, great food and exciting atmosphere. Join outdoor salsa and Zumba lessons; a mini world cup street soccer tournament; an arts and crafts market; a variety of children activities; environmental education activities; and much more.
July 7th, 11 am – 9 pm, West 4th Avenue between Burrard Street and MacDonald Street, Vancouver, Cost: Free
A long stretch of 4th Avenue is closed for traffic and taken over by people! Khatsahlano, features multiple stages showcasing more than 50 of Vancouver’s top musical performers as well as the eclectic work of local artisans and street performers. This 10-block street fair, spanning from Burrard to MacDonald Street also features a wide variety of food options, bustling patios, giveaways, special activities, and licensed beer gardens!
Vancouver Folk Music Festival
July 13th – July 16th, Jericho Beach, Vancouver
From global grooves and roots rhythm to songs old and new, tunes that will warm your heart, touch a nerve, or make you kick up your heels – have we got a music festival for you! On July 13 – 15 join us at Jericho Beach Park for another incredible weekend of music from close to home and around the globe.
Bastille Day Festival
July 14th, Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
Bastille Day Festival is a FREE public event to be held every year on July 14th. The French Community invites the Vancouverites to enjoy a day of French food, culture and entertainment! Join us for a taste of France on the Canadian West Coast! Open to the entire family!
July 14th – 15th, 10 am – 4 pm, Honeybee Centre, 7480 176th Street, Surrey, Cost: Free
Have you heard the buzz? Honeybee Festival is on again! Come by for some fun, including beekeeping demos, bee beards (yes, you heard that right!) and honey samples. The little ones will enjoy face painting, bouncy castles, and other activities to keep them buzzy.
Aldergrove Festival Days
July 20th – 22nd, Aldergrove Athletic Park, 26770 29th Avenue, Aldergrove
Come on down to the fair! From 4H animals to a tractor pull and from midway rides to a show and shine, there is a lot to see and do! Enjoy live music, great food and a wonderful atmosphere all weekend long.
The Port Moody RibFest
July 20th – 22nd, 11 am – 9 pm, Rocky Point Park, Port Moody
A Community Event featuring Three Days of Delicious BBQ, Free Live Music, Craft Breweries and Family Entertainment!
Fun City Festival
July 21st – 22nd, Lonsdale Avenue between Esplanade and Keith Road, North Vancouver
Fun City Festival is back for a whole weekend of non-stop fun! The City is hosting a two day community celebration on Saturday, July 21 & Sunday, July 22 from 10am to 6pm. Slide the City and its popular 1,000 foot long water slide return as the main attraction. This year, all activities will take place around Victoria Park, including food trucks and music. North Shore Neighbourhood House will offer a bag check as well, along with change rooms and a free shuttle to and from the slide. Parking for the event is limited and biking, walking or transit is encouraged.
Surrey Fusion Festival
July 21st – 22nd, 11 am – 10 pm, Holland Park, King George Boulevard & Old Yale Road, Surrey, Cost: Free
The Fusion Festival is truly the ultimate celebration of music, food & culture, bringing together many distinct cultural heritages represented by ethnic groups and service clubs within our community. The festival features over 70 acts on four stages, and over 45 pavilions representing the music, food, traditional clothing, and dance of many diverse national backgrounds. Come and celebrate international cooperation in the spirit of harmony.
Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Country Fest
July 28th – 29th, Albion Fairgrounds, 23448 105th Avenue, Maple Ridge, Cost: Free
Spend a weekend in the countryside without having to go too far. Check out the horse drill teams, sheep shearing demos and dog shows. Have fun with amusement rides, games and many other fair attractions.
Caribbean Days Festival
July 28th – 29th, Waterfront Park, North Vancouver
The largest Caribbean event in Metro Vancouver, this colourful festival draws thousands of people to celebrate rhythm, dance and summer. Join the festivities under the sun, starting with a street parade on Saturday, making its way down Lonsdale Avenue and 13th starting at 10 am. The party continues in the park, with live music and dance, great Caribbean food and lots of fun for the whole family.
Honda Celebration of Light 2018
July 28th, August 1st, & August 4th, English Bay Beach, Vancouver, Cost: Free
Honda Celebration of Light isn’t just about the fireworks! There are live music concerts starting early in the afternoon on each of the fireworks nights. So pack your blanket and a picnic, and come early to enjoy the sun, music and fun, and finally the fireworks when the sun goes down. English Bay Beach does get crowded – other great viewing spots are the Stanley Park seawall closer to English Bay, Vanier Park, or Kitsilano Beach.
Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest
July 28th, 4 pm – 10 pm, Columbia Street & 6th Street, New Westminster, Cost: Free
Dinner time! Come and enjoy an evening outdoors, and get your dinner from one of the food trucks. There are so many to choose from that you might just have to try a few different things.
Squamish Days Loggers Sports Festival
August 2nd – 6th, various locations around Squamish, Cost: Varies depending on the event
Come and see loggers compete in tree climbing, axe throwing, and many other sports requiring strength and skill. Afterwards, join in on the fun! There will be a parade, a pancake breakfast, dance parties, and kids’ own festival full of fun entertainment and activities.
Harmony Arts Festival
August 3rd – 12th, various times, West Vancouver waterfront from Ambleside Park to John Lawson Park, West Vancouver
The family-friendly Harmony Arts Festival is a 10-day open-air celebration of art, music, and food along the waterfront in West Vancouver. Enjoy kids art workshops, art exhibitions, concerts and family-oriented activities. There is plenty of family fun for children of all ages. The location is perfect for children with so much to see and do along the waterfront and close to John Lawson Park.
August 3rd – 5th, Abbotsford Exhibition Park, 32470 Haida Drive, Abbotsford
Spend the long weekend at the fair! Check out the rodeo, church wagon races, lumberjack shows, demolition derby, pig races, and many other great shows and entertainment. Then have fun with midway rides and games, enjoy fair food, and have fun with the family.
Tsawwassen Sun Festival
August 3rd – 6th, Winskill Park, 5575 9th Avenue, Delta
Celebrate summer and sunshine! Spend the weekend in the park, and enjoy live music, midway rides bouncy castles, classic cars, softball games, pie eating contests, pony rides, and many other fun activities for the whole family.
White Rock Sea Festival
August 4th – 5th, White Rock Beach, Marine Drive, White Rock
On August 4 & 5, join us for the annual White Rock Sea Festival at East Beach and enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities throughout the weekend.
Powell Street Festival
August 4th – 5th, 11:30 am – 7 pm, various East Vancouver locations, see website for details
Celebrate Japanese traditions and culture through arts, music and performances, including martial arts, taiko drumming, sumo wrestling and Japanese theatre.
Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival
August 4th – 5th, Maple Ridge Fairgrounds, 23448 105 Avenue, Maple Ridge
Enjoy a Caribbean weekend without the long flights. There will be non-stop music from two stages, featuring local musicians and a variety of musical styles. Check out the marketplace, and stop for some Caribbean food. Kids will have a blast with rides, music, dancing, puppet shows, and stories.
Vancouver Pride Parade
August 5th, Vancouver
Vancouver’s most colourful parade is hitting the streets under the summer sun. Come early to get a good spot on the sidewalk, and enjoy the floats, music and dancers as they go by. Follow the parade to Sunset Beach for the festival and be sure to bring your hat and wear sunscreen!
August 10th – 12th, Chilliwack Heritage Park, 7590 Lickman Road, Chilliwack
It’s time again for the Chilliwack Fair – the second oldest fair in BC. Come on down and join the community for a fun weekend of pie contests, 4H animal displays, great concerts, agricultural demos, magic shows, tractor pull, and a lot more fun!
Abbotsford International Airshow
August 10th – 12th, Abbotsford International Airport, 1595 Townline Road, Abbotsford, Cost: Varies, see website for details
Come and see the stunning aerial acrobatics, check out the ground displays, and be awed by what you see! This event is always a kid-pleaser!
Kaleidoscope Arts Festival
August 11th, 2 pm – 10 pm, Town Centre Park, 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
Coquitlam is excited to have the Juno award-winning band, The Philosopher Kings, take to the TD Community Plaza stage as the headlining act for this year’s full-day arts festival. This free, full-day event will feature dynamic live performances across two stages, including concerts by pop singer Mathew V and high-energy violinist Kytami, plus other unique and engaging artists. The schedule includes dancers, multicultural acts and interactive community art, as well as craft beer and food available for purchase.
Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival
August 11th, 1 pm – 10 pm, Deer Lake Park, 6450 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
Great music from three stages, and the park as a perfect backdrop. What a wonderful way to spend a summer Saturday. Come and enjoy the festival, and be sure to bring ear protectors for the kids!
Arts Alive Festival
August 18th, 10 am – 5 pm, Fraser Highway between 204th and 206th Street, Langley
With over 200 visual and performing artists, this “must attend festival” has become a signature event in the lower mainland. This free, family event features live musical performances, artists and artisans show casing a myriad of mediums, live demonstrations, a children’s venue and special performance surprises all day long!
The Fair at the PNE
August 18th – September 3rd, (closed on August 20th & 27th), 11 am – 11 pm, PNE Grounds, 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Summer just wouldn’t be the same without The Fair. From Superdogs to spinning rides, The Fair is full of fun for the whole family. Check the website and make a plan – it’s just about impossible to see everything in a day. But whenever you go, don’t forget to sample some of those mini donuts!
10th Annual Garlic Festival
August 19th, 10 am – 3 pm, Terra Nova Rural Park, 2771 Westminster Highway, Richmond, Cost: Admission by donation
Do you like garlic? Good! Then this festival is for you! Discover various ways to use garlic in your kitchen, and buy a bunch (or a few) to take home. Sample garlic goodies, including garlic ice cream, and enjoy many fun activities.
Steveston Dragon Boat Festival
August 25th, between Britannia Shipyard and Imperial Landing, Steveston, Richmond
Find a good spot on Steveston boardwalk, and watch the teams paddle their dragon boats on the river. Enjoy live music from the World Beat Stage, visit kids’ tent for crafts and other activities, and enjoy the fresh air on the shore. There will be a marketplace and food vendors as well.
Richmond World Festival
August 31st – September 1st, Minoru Park, 7191 Granville Avenue, Richmond, Cost: Free
Metro Vancouver is a home to people from all over the planet, and that’s reason enough to celebrate! Enjoy music and dance performances from around the world, check out great global cuisines and browse through the marketplace. Join a world soccer tournament, discover global arts, and have fun with many great activities for all ages.
September 1st – 3rd, various locations around Vancouver, Cost: Free
Celebrate Taiwanese culture and traditions all weekend long. You’ll find great performances, art, food, and much more for the whole family to enjoy.
Yo, mama! Looking for more fun things to do this summer in Metro Vancouver? We’ve got you covered:
- sign up to receive our weekly weekend event guide for great family-friendly activities
- outdoor pools in Metro Vancouver
- 100 (mostly) free summer activities in Metro Vancouver
- u-pick berry farms in Metro Vancouver
By: Michelle Hughes