It is officially summer, and Vancouverites have already been out enjoying the patio weather and beach days for weeks! It’s only the beginning, and whether you prefer to relax, to be entertained, or to have an adventure, there is something for everyone in Vancouver during our sunniest months.
Celebrate Canada Day
Of course this is a must-do activity, with a variety of options to best suit your celebratory preferences. Head to Granville Island for all the usual art, street performers and restaurants with a little extra Canadian flare. They will be holding their 20th annual Canada Day parade this year from 1:30pm to 2pm, starting at Ocean Concrete and ending at Ron Basford Park. And of course, festivities will include the singing of the national anthem and plenty of cake for everyone! If you are downtown, visit Canada Place for live entertainment and food trucks galore. This year, their Waterfront Party will be held from 10am to 6pm, and includes a parade as well, starting at 7pm. Stick around until 10:30pm to see the Burrard Inlet Fireworks Show. Crowds not your scene? Parks Canada is offering free admission to all of its national parks and historic sites on July 1st.
Whether your version of playing outside is lying on the beach and getting a tan or going on a 6-hour hike, Vancouver and its surrounding areas offer it all. Enjoy some fun in the sun on one of Vancouver’s many beaches, including Second Beach, English Bay, Sunset Beach, Kitsilano, or Spanish Banks. If sand isn’t your thing, take a swim in an outdoor pool, which you can find in Kitsilano or at Second Beach in Stanley Park. If you’re willing to drive a bit out of the city, you can also find some amazing lakes, such as Brohm Lake, Garibaldi Lake, Cabin Lake, Alice Lake or Buntzen Lake, to name only a handful. Some, like Brohm, are just a short walk from the parking lot, while others, such as Garibaldi, can only be accessed after a lengthy hike through the woods.
Live it up at a Festival
Every summer festival in Vancouver has it’s own specialty, whether it be an amazing cultural experience, live music, performance artists, endless food trucks, or amazing local artisans. What they all have in common is that they are always a great way to get together in your community and have a good time with friends. There are so many of them that it is almost impossible to attend every one, but here are some of the most notable:
Khatsahlano! Music + Art Festival | July 6
42nd Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival | July 19
34th TD International Jazz Festival | June 21 – July 1
Caribbean Days | July 27 – July 28
Carnaval del Sol | July 6 – July 7
Commercial Drive Car Free Day Festival | July 7
Greek Summerfest | July 4 – July 14
Honda Celebration of Light | July 27 + 31 and Aug 3
Vancouver Pride Parade and Festival | Aug 5
Enjoy an Outdoor Movie or Live Theatre
Grab a blanket and some chairs and head to an outdoor movie! Free outdoor movie showing locations include:
Second Beach at Stanley Park – Every Tuesday July 2 – Aug 20
The plaza at Queen Elizabeth Theatre – Every Thursday July 18 – Aug 8
Promenade deck (north end) at Canada Place – Every Thursday July 11 – Aug 29
Vancouver Art Gallery – Every Wednesday July 3 – Aug 21
Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival
June 5, 2019 – September 21, 2019
This year, Bard on the Beach brings The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare in Love, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Coriolanus to the stage to Vanier Park. Visit the mainstage under the tent for a theatre experience like no other. And don’t forget to visit the gift shop and pick up some tasty snacks to enjoy as you watch the show!
Theatre Under the Stars
July 5, 2019 – August 17, 2019
An outdoor live theatre event in Stanley Park! This summer they bring Mamma Mia! and Disney’s NEWSIES to the stage, so grab your popcorn, your blanket, and enjoy an entertaining and memorable performance under the stars!
Vancouver TheatreSports: Avocado Toast – Ok Tinder – Swipe Right Comedy
Have you ever been to an improv theatre show? One where you have the chance to control the destiny of the actors? At a Vancouver TheatreSports production, you can do just that! Totally unscripted, this show is an always-hilarious experience sure to delight you. This show in particular is based on the dating scene in Vancouver, so it’s sure to be a hilarious evening of entertainment.
Attend a Sporting Event
BC Lions Games
Check out all the action at a BC Lions football game!
Grab your peanuts and crackerjacks and enjoy a Canadians game at Nat Bailey Stadium.
A Whitecaps game is always a goo time.
We would be remiss not to also make mention of just a couple more things to do: the great night markets in Vancouver, such as Richmond Night Market and Shipyards, as well as of course, Playland and the PNE. Vancouver is a beautiful city, but never more so than in the summer. The sunny months here are short lived, so get out there and enjoy them!