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
Friday, June 1st – Saturday, September 23rd, see website for show times, Vanier Park, 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver
The annual Shakespearean festival is back in town! Check the schedule for performances and special events, and spend an evening or two enjoying the Bard’s best work.
YVR Food Fest
Tuesday, June 27th – Sunday, July 3rd, Science World Patio & Olympic Village, Vancouver
Can’t decide what to do for lunch? Wander over and check out the food carts – there’s something for everyone. The festival is on all summer long, so if you miss one Sunday you can go on the next! New this year will be local and international culinary talent collaborating on long table dinners, food talks, private dinners, and cocktail parties. The flagship event is the Street Food Showdown: a two-day gathering of 80+ food carts, restaurants, wineries and breweries in the Olympic Village. During this event participating food vendors will be offering up an unlimited tasting menu for a two-hour feeding frenzy.
Indian Summer Festival
Thursday, July 6th – Saturday, 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.
Theatre Under the Stars
Wednesday, July 7th – Saturday, August 19th, 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 Mary Poppins and The Drowsy Chaperone. So whether you want to tap your feet to the musical styling of everyone’s favourite nanny or giggle along with the hilarious Man in Chair, 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.
2017 Whistler Children’s Festival
Friday, July 7th – Sunday, July 9th, Whistler Olympic Plaza, Whistler
Spend a fun weekend by 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 free 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 like beading, mosaic-making, birdhouse-making, theatre games, and the beloved patio stones workshop.
Carnaval del Sol
Saturday, July 8th – Sunday, July 9th, 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.
Saturday, July 8th, 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!
Harrison Festival of Arts
Saturday, July 8th – Sunday, July 16th, 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 at 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. Wednesday, July 12th is kids’ day – bring the little ones for a full day of creative fun!
Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Thursday, July 13th – Sunday, July 16th, Jericho Beach, Vancouver
Vancouver’s Folk Fest is a beloved summer tradition for many families. The festival site covers the entire beach with seven stages full of world-class music as well as local performers. There’s a market to browse, a community village where many community organizations are represented, and the Little Folks’ Village with many fun activities including hula hoops, lantern making, a costume parade, and so much more!
Bastille Day Festival
Friday, July 14th, Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
Bastille Day Festival Society is proud to invite all Vancouverites to celebrate the French National Day. It’s a FREE public festival taking place on Thursday, July 14 at the Yaletown Roundhouse Community Centre. Get “a taste of France” and shop at the French Food Market selling typical French delicatessen curated by local French businesses, chill out in the Beer Garden with friends and family, and participate in a variety of cultural activities (waiters’ race, French dog contest, mime performances, kids’ corner with balloon twister or face painting and more).
Aldergrove Festival Days
Friday, July 14th – Sunday, July 16th, 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.
Saturday, July 15th – Sunday, July 16th, 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.
The Port Moody RibFest
Friday, July 21st – Sunday, July 23rd, 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!
Surrey Fusion Festival
Saturday, July 22nd – Sunday, July 23rd, 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, tradition clothing and dance of many diverse national backgrounds. Come and celebrate international cooperation in the spirit of harmony.
Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Country Fest
Saturday, July 29th, 10 am – 10 pm & Sunday, July 30th, 10 am – 6 pm, 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
Saturday, July 29th – Sunday, July 30th, 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 2017
Saturday, July 29th; Wednesday, August 2nd & Saturday, August 5th, 2 pm, 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
Saturday, July 29th, 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
Thursday, August 3rd – Monday, August 7th, 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
Friday, August 4th – Sunday, August 14th, various times, West Vancouver waterfront from Ambleside Park to John Lawson Park, West Vancouver
The family-friendly Harmony Arts Festival is 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.
Friday, August 4th – Sunday, August 6th, 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.
White Rock Sea Festival
Saturday, August 5th – Sunday, August 6th, White Rock Beach, Marine Drive, White Rock
Enjoy a long weekend of fun in the sun! Build sandcastles, watch the paddleboard race and listen to live music, but beware of the pirates… Stay until Sunday night for the torchlight parade, which will make its way down the streets after sunset.
Powell Street Festival
Saturday, August 5th – Sunday, August 6th, 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.
Tsawwassen Sun Festival
Friday, August 5th – Monday, August 7th, 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.
Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival
Saturday, August 5th, 1 pm – 10 pm & Sunday, August 6th, 12 pm – 8 pm, Albion Fairgrounds, 23448 105th Avenue, Maple Ridge, Cost: Free
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
Sunday, August 6th, 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!
Friday, August 11th – Sunday, August 13th, 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
Friday, August 11th – Sunday, August 13th, 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
Saturday, August 12th, 2 pm – 10 pm, Town Centre Park, 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam
B.C.’s beloved rocker, Bif Naked, takes the outdoor stage as the headlining act to this highly anticipated, full-day arts festival on Saturday, Aug. 12 (from 2-10 p.m.). The musical lineup also features jazz/pop singer-songwriter Jennifer Hayes, West My Friend, Derrival, and The Matinée. Other festival highlights include dancers, circus performers, storytellers, artists, an artisans market, kids’ activities, local food trucks and craft beer. Admission is free and it’s located at Town Centre Park, 1299 Pinetree Way, at Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain station.
Richmond Maritime Festival
Saturday, August 12th, 11 am – 8 pm & Sunday, August 13th, 11 am – 5 pm, Britannia Shipyards, 5180 Westwater Drive, Richmond, Cost: Free
Celebrate all things waterfront at the Britannia Shipyards. From wooden boats to model boats, water safety to sea creatures, local lore to fishing history, the festival invites visitors to explore a spectacular heritage site and enjoy music, games, interactive exhibits, roving performers, food and much more.
Burnaby Blues & Roots Festival
Saturday, August 12th, 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!
Burrard Inlet Fish Fest
Saturday, August 12th, Rocky Point Park, Port Moody, Cost: Free
Enjoy live music, art making, an education station, and a bicycle, solar and wind-powered stage at this multidisciplinary arts and cultural experience that celebrates the aquatic ecosystem of the amazing waters that surround us. This free family-friendly event is proudly produced by the Canadian Sound Therapy Arts Society.
Fun City Festival
Saturday, August 12th – Sunday, August 13th, Lonsdale Avenue between Esplanade and Keith Road, North Vancouver
Fun City Festival is back for a whole weekend of non-stop family fun! The City is hosting a two day family-friendly community celebration on August 12 & 13, 2017 from 10am to 7pm. Slide the City and its popular 1,000 foot long water slide returns, turning Lower Lonsdale into a pedestrian and slider zone filled with vendors, food trucks, live music, DJs & entertainment. Enjoy local artisans, roving performers, the family zone, youth zone, giveaways and lots of outdoor patios and seating areas. Come ride the slide or just take in the sights and sounds.
Arts Alive Festival
Saturday, August 19th, 10 am – 5 pm, Fraser Highway between 204th and 206th Street, Langley
Arts of all styles are taking over Downtown Langley once again! Join the annual summer celebration of arts and discover the work of many local artists and artisans. There will be musical performances and magic shows to entertain the whole family throughout the day. Kids will have fun with bouncy castles, balloons, chalk art, and many other fun activities.
The Fair at the PNE
Saturday, August 19th – Monday, September 4th, closed on August 21st & 28th, 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!
9th Annual Garlic Festival
Sunday, August 20th, 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
Saturday, August 26th, 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
Friday, September 1st – Saturday, September 2nd, 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.
Saturday, September 2nd – Monday, September 4th, Granville Street between Dunsmuir Street & Smithe Street, 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
- check out the outdoor pools in Metro Vancouver
- here’s a great list of 100 (mostly) free summer activities in Metro Vancouver
By: Michelle Hughes