Free or Low-Cost Summer Activities for Families in Metro Vancouver
Metro Vancouver is the best place to be when the sun is shining. Unfortunately, summer around here goes by fast. Before you know it, the kids are back to school, the sun is setting before 7pm and the rainy and dark days are once again upon us. Now is the time to make the most of the summer – and yes, it’s possible to have fun in the city even if you are on a tight budget!
We’ve put together a list of free and low-cost summer activities for families so you can create wonderful memories this August.
1) Outdoor Pools
Summer means swimming. Ask a child what they enjoy the most about the summer and the answer will probably be going for a splash in a swimming pool. The links below will take you to a list of all outdoor swimming pools by city:
Burnaby - Free for kids under three; drop-in rates range from $1 to $4
Coquitlam - $2 drop-in
Maple Ridge - Free all summer
New Westminster - Free for kids under three; $2 drop-in
Port Coquitlam - Free for kids under three; $2 drop-in
Port Moody - Free for kids under three; drop-in rates range from $2.80 to $4.55
Richmond - Free for kids under two; drop-in rates range from $3.70 to $4.55
Surrey - Free all summer
Vancouver - Free for kids under three; drop-in rates range from $2 to $6.10
2) Outdoor Movies
There is nothing like a free outdoor movie night to wrap up a busy day. Bring a beach blanket, popcorn and snacks to enjoy one of these open-air family movie nights:
August 3: Coco (North Vancouver City Library)
August 17: A Wrinkle in Time (North Vancouver City Library)
August 1: The Notebook (Lansdowne Centre)
August 8: Raiders of the Lost Ark (Lansdowne Centre)
August 22: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Lansdowne Centre)
August 29: Black Panther (Lansdowne Centre)
July 31: Spice World (Stanley Park, 2nd Beach)
August 7: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Stanley Park, 2nd Beach)
August 14: Grease (Stanley Park, 2nd Beach)
August 21: Titanic (Stanley Park, 2nd Beach)
August 26: Coco (Connaught Park Softball Diamond)
3) Water Spray Parks
A water spray park is a perfect way for kids to cool off, run around and have fun. The best part is that you have the choice to sit in the shade watching their joyful smiles or get wet with them. Here’s a comprehensive list of Metro Vancouver spray parks.
4) Krouse Berry Farms
5) Burnaby Village Museum
Take a tour in a 1920s village at this open-air museum located at Deer Lake Park. Gate admission is free throughout the summer, and a ride in the vintage carousel is $2.65 per person.
6) Family Hikes
British Columbia is the perfect place to explore nature with a well-planned family outing. Here is a list of our favourite family-friendly hikes – make sure you also follow the tips to ensure this will be a safe and memorable experience.
7) State-of-the-art Playgrounds
Let the kids be adventurous and defy their fears in the daunting slides at these state-of-the-art playgrounds (also known as the million-dollar playgrounds):
Port Coquitlam - Lions Park - 2300 Lions Way, Port Coquitlam
Richmond - Terra Nova Adventure Play Environment - 2340 River Rd, Richmond
Vancouver - Creekside Park Playground - 1455 Quebec St, Vancouver
Vancouver - Hastings Park or Plateau Park ‘Slidey Slides’ - 3311 East Hastings, Vancouver
8) The Fair at the PNE
The Fair at the PNE is one of the most iconic summer events in Canada. This year you can enjoy it for free or for only a Toonie on select days in August.
- August 18 and 19, (between 11am – 1pm) - admission is $2 for those who wear sports team gear or a concert t-shirt.
- August 21 and 22 (between 11am – 1pm) - free admission