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Summer 2013 - Free Things to Do in Vancouver, BC This Summer

What to Do in Vancouver, BC for Summer


The Top 10 Free Things to Do in Vancouver, BC, are activites you can do year-round, but summer in Vancouver is a special time. There are so many free things to do in Vancouver, BC, during summer that these free Vancouver summer events deserve their own list!

Use this list to find Summer 2013's best free things to do in Vancouver, BC, from watching the annual Celebration of Light Fireworks to free festivals, markets, kids' activities, and more.

For even more summer fun, see also: Summer in Vancouver: Top 10 Summer Events & Activities

1. Free Vancouver Summer Festivals

Free Vancouver Summer Events: Free Vancouver Summer Festivals
Image Courtesy of Caribbean Days Festival

Summer's free festivals--which feature live music, roving performers, street fairs and more--are some of the best free things to do in Vancouver!

2. Free Summer Music Concerts & Music Festivals

Free Vancouver Summer Events: Free Music Concerts
Image Courtesy Coastal Jazz

Enjoying free music concerts and festivals are some of the best free things to do in Vancouver this summer!

3. Free Vancouver Summer Night Markets

Free Vancouver Summer Events: Richmond's Summer Night Market
Photo by Dana Lynch

Along with the annual Fireworks Competition, there are no free summer events more beloved by Vancouverites than the seasonal summer night markets in Richmond and Vancouver's Chinatown, all of which include free entertainment and are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. These Asian-style night markets are free (or nearly free--the Richmond Night Market has a $1 admission charge) to explore, though you will want to bring cash for the fabulous food!

4. Vancouver Fireworks - Celebration of Lights Fireworks

Free Vancouver Summer Events: Celebration of Light Fireworks Competition
Photo © Sherwin Andal

If there is one event that defines summer in Vancouver, it's the Celebration of Light international fireworks festival: three nights of the best fireworks displays you've ever seen. This may be the best of all the wonderful free things to do in Vancouver this summer!

5. Free Salsa Dancing in Robson Square

Free Vancouver Summer Events: Sunday Afternoon Salsa in Robson Square
Image Courtesy of Salsa Vancouver

One of the more unique free things to do in Vancouver this summer is the free salsa dancing series in downtown Vancouver's Robson Square (across from the Vancouver Art Gallery). Every Sunday Afternoon Salsa event includes free beginner salsa lessons and "social dancing" that's open to everyone, regardless of skill level.

6. Free Vancouver Water Parks for Kids

Free Vancouver Summer Events & Activities: Granville Island Water Park
Photo by Dana Lynch

Looking for free things to do in Vancouver when the weather is hot? Head to one of Vancouver's gorgeous beaches or let the kids run wild at one of Vancouver's free summer water parks.

7. Free Ballroom Dancing in Robson Square

Image Courtesy DanceSportBC

Organized by DanceSport BC, the Robson Square Summer Dance Series offers ballroom dance lessons every Friday at 8pm, show dances at 9pm and 10pm, and a chance to dance the night away under the Robson Square dome, in the heart of downtown Vancouver.

8. Free Vancouver Outdoor Movies

Free Vancouver Summer Events: Outdoor Movies in Stanley Park
Image Courtesy of FreshAirCinema

Outdoor movies are a summer tradition in Vancouver, with several different venues offering free outdoor movies throughout July and August. Showtimes start at dusk (around 9pm). Get details on locations from the Fresh Air Cinema site

  • The Neverending Story at Stanley Park - July 9, 2013
  • Enter the Dragon at the Chinatown Night Market - July 13, 2013
  • Clueless at Stanley Park - July 16, 2013
  • The Breakfast Club at Stanley Park - July 23, 2013
  • Mamma Mia at Stanley Park - July 30, 2013
  • Poltergeist at Stanley Park - August 6, 2013
  • Dirty Dancing at Stanley Park - August 13, 2013
  • Courageous at Jericho Beach Park - August 17, 2013
  • Austin Powers at Stanley Park - August 20, 2013
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark at Stanley Park - August 27, 2013.
  • Movies can get canceled due to rain, so stay updated with Outdoor Movies in BC on Twitter and the Fresh Air Cinema Facebook page.

    9. Special for 2013: Stanley Park 125th Anniversary Celebration

    free things to do in vancouver summer
    Image Courtesy of Vancouver Park Board

    Stanley Park celebrates its 125th anniversary in August 2013 with a free, two-day celebration at the park. The party features five entertainment zones at Stanley Park's biggest attractions, including all-day outdoor concerts at Second Beach, kids' performers and activities at Lumberman's Arch, sports at Brockton Point, and a sing-a-long with TUTS.

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