The school year is over, the warm weather has arrived, and Vancouver is bursting with an exciting summertime vibe. From energetic street parties to fun-filled festivals, there are plenty of free, family-friendly activities to take in.
We’ve put together a list of cool ways to experience summer in the city, whether you’d like to dance to live music, dabble in art in a park, or wander through a vibrant night market. Make room in your calendar for some of these fantastic events in July:
Khatsahlano Street Party
July 6, Vancouver
Vancouver’s largest free arts and music festival unfolds on a ten-block stretch of West 4th Avenue. Enjoy over 40 local bands and street performers, a variety of artisan and food vendors, and lots of kid-friendly activities. All events take place between Burrard and Macdonald Streets from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Parking will be at a premium because of road closures, so walk, take public transit, or use the bike valets.
Surrey Fusion Festival
July 20 & 21, Surrey
Celebrate food, music and culture from around the world at this award-winning festival. There will be more than 45 pavilions representing countries and cultures from South America, Africa, Asia and Europe, as well as a Métis Pavilion and an Indigenous Village. Sample authentic cuisine, watch demonstrations by notable local chefs, and enjoy dancers, drummers, musicians and other cultural performers. Kids will love the crafts, face-painting, storytelling, play area and activity zone with sports and games.
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July 27 & 28, North Vancouver
Soak up tropical rhythms, cuisine and culture at Caribbean Days in North Vancouver. Take in high-spirited live music featuring Soca, Reggae, Calypso, Latin, African and other international sounds. Sample tasty Caribbean fare as well as foods from around the world. On Saturday morning, catch colourful, costumed revellers in the Parade in the Park. Kids can join the Children’s Carnival Parade on Sunday. Drop by the Kids’ Zone for costume-making ideas, face painting, a children’s playground and other fun activities.
Summer Arts Festival
July 5 & 6, Burnaby
Take part in an outdoor celebration of arts and creativity at Deer Lake Gallery in Burnaby. Visit the Inspiration Station, where children can work on a hands-on mixed media project layering colour, texture and imagery. Watch a live painting competition as artists blend creative talent with lightning speed. Live music and entertainment, theatre performances, artisan vendors, food trucks and face-painting round out this engaging event, all set against the gorgeous backdrop of Deer Lake Park.
Shipyards Night Market
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Fridays until September 27, North Vancouver
Head to Shipyards Commons at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue for an evening of great food, art, music, entertainment and shopping. Local bands will take to the stage for live concerts, filling the air with music until 10 p.m. B.C. artisans, bakers and farmers will showcase locally-grown and handcrafted products such as produce, plants, preserves, chocolate, soaps, jewellery, clothing and art. Enjoy browsing the unique array of goods, then sample the delicious offerings from the many food vendors on site.
Various dates & locations
Grab your lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets, and enjoy a film under the night sky. Outdoor movies begin at dusk, but arrive early to get a spot. Here are some upcoming family favourites:
Hang out with the world’s most lovable ogre as the Evo Summer Cinema Series presents Shrek at Second Beach on July 16.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse screens on July 24 outside Queen Elizabeth Theatre. It’s followed by Dumbo on July 31. vancouvercivictheatres.com
Captain Marvel fills the big screen on July 11 at Canada Place. Then, enjoy Christmas in July with the Will Ferrell classic Elf on July 25. canadaplace.ca