May 2017 Vancouver Free Events

May 1 – 7  BC Youth Week Check out what’s happening in your community:

May 1 – 31 Explorasian 2017, Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Free and paid events. May 1 Vancouver City Hall will be illuminated in red!

May 4 – 6  Health, Sports, and Lifestyle Expo, Vancouver Convention Centre West. Thurs 5pm-8pm; Fri 11am-8pm; Sat 10am-6pm:

May 5 – 7  Ships to Shore: King of the Sea 2017 Festival, Garry Point Park, Richmond.  Visit Kaiwo Maru, one of the world’s largest tall ships, + other activities:

May 5 – 7  Illumination Summer Night Market, 12631 Vulcan Way (behind Home Depot on Sweden Way).  Fri–Sat 7pm – 12am; Sun 7–11pm. Get your free ticket for this opening weekend at  When you “buy ticket” for the opening weekend, it will show $0.  Sep 10 last day of Market. Enjoy the numerous lanterns, light displays, + 17′ tall lit Eiffel Tower!

May 5 – Sep 29 (Fridays)  North Vancouver Shipyards Night Market, 5 – 10 pm, Shipyard Plaza, 138 Victory Ship Way.  Admission always free.   

May 6 – 13  Vancouver Bird Week  Reserve early for these free workshops.

May 6 – Sep 4  Burnaby Village Museum, free admission:

May 6  Free Comic Book Day

May 7 Emergency Preparedness Week Opening, Science World, 10 am – 6 pm.  City of Vancouver and Science World team up with 10 other organizations for this interactive event.  Free admission to Science World.

May 7, Jun 3, Jul 8  Community Paddling Days with Dragon Zone Paddling Club & Creekside Kayaks, 12:30-3:30 pm, Creekside Community Centre, # 1 Athletes Way, Vancouver.  Try your hand at dragon boating and kayaking for free.  Registration required.

May 7 – 13 Burnaby Festival of Learning  Lots of free events but pre-registration may be required. eg. May 7: Rhododendron Festival; May 8: History of Burnaby by Skytrain; May 10: Walk with Dr. Davidicus Wong.

May 11  Traces of Words: Art & Calligraphy From Asia, Museum of Anthropology, 7–10 pm. Free admission to the opening of this new exhibition by Prince Amyn Aga Khan. No RSVP required. Parking is just $2 after 5 pm with coupon code TRACES.

May 13  Surrey RCMP Open House, 12 -3 pm, 14355 – 57 Avenue

May 13  Science Rendezvous and International Astronomy Day, SFU, 11-3:—events-for-the-general-public/science-rendezvous.html

May 13  BC Water Week: Free Coquitlam Watershed Tour 9 am – 12 pm or 12:30 – 3:30 pm.  Call 604-432-6359 to register.

May 14  10 am – noon Bring Mom to Playland, and she gets in for free!

May 18  Salish Singing and Drumming Workshop with Russell Wallace 7-9pm, 149 West Hastings. Drop-in.

May 18 Artists In Our Midst Group Show at Roundhouse, 10 am – 9 pm.  Reception 7 – 9 pm

May 20 – 21  Vancouver Comic Arts Festival, 10 am – 5 pm,  Roundhouse.  Manga/comic/cartoon heaven. See schedule for special guest speakers. Caricaturists also at hand to sketch you as an animal, super hero, etc!

May 20 – Sep 2 (Weekends)  Dance In Transit by Sam’s Dance. Free outdoor dancing downtown in various venues–Robson Square, Jim Deva Plaza, Queen Elizabeth Plaza, and Plaza of Nations–in the afternoon or evening.  For schedule:

May 26 – 28  Ladner Pioneer May Days Fair (est. 1896!), Memorial Park:

May 27 – 28  Artists In Our Midst: West of Main Art Work 11 am – 5 pm  Visit over 50 art studios from Main St to West Point Grey.

May 27  Art Starts 11 am and 1 pm 45-min sessions: Eco-Logical Show with CréaSon (ages 5+).  Jam with the musicians on recycled instruments! 808 Richards, Vancouver:

May 28 Art Starts.  Same as above except at River Market in Westminster Quay, New Westminster, 810 Quayside Drive, New Westminster.

May 29 – Jun 3  Arts & Health Project! Healthy Aging Through the Arts, Roundhouse Community Centre.  Exhibition and gala performance free.  Lunch $12: preregister at Roundhouse.

Register your kids (15 yrs and younger) for free bowling all summer long.  Two free games per day per child at participating bowling allies, usually July to early Sep:

Ongoing Free Events:

All Parks Canada sites  offer free admission in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday as a nation eg. Fort Langley, Gulf of Georgia Cannery.  Note: pass not needed to receive free admission.
Bill Reid Gallery, first Friday of the month, 2-5pm, free admission thanks to partnership of Vancouver Airport.  SFU students are always free with student card.
Toys R Us has free family events where children make and take their creations. Check out the events each Sat in May:

Hiking trails

Free Geek Vancouver: Open Night Help Wednesdays, 6-9 pm, 1820 Pandora St, Vancouver.  Free drop-in tech-support workshops…Entry via back door.  Indoor bike parking. ..Assistance by donation”


Inexpensive Events:

Saturday 11 am Cineplex $2.99 Family Favourites:

  • May 6  The Lego Movie
  • May 13  Heidi
  • May 20 Storks
  • May 27  Trolls

Vancouver Art Gallery, Tuesdays, 5 – 9 pm, admission is by donation ($5 posted minimum).

Maritime Museum, Thursdays, 5 – 8 pm, admission by donation.

Museum of Vancouver, last Thurs of every month, 5 – 8 pm, admission by donation.

Capilano Suspension Bridge.  If you’re a BC resident, show your photo ID and get an annual pass for just the price of a regular daily ticket (discounted tickets do not apply).  Annual pass provides you with 10%-15% off regular prices at site gift shops and eateries plus more!

BC Sports Hall of Fame  1/2 Price Admission “Be sure to save that ticket stub for all BC Place events, Vancouver Whitecaps, BC Lions and Vancouver Canucks games! Show it at the front desk for 1/2 price admission to the BC Sports Hall of Fame valid 2 weeks before or after the game day.”

May 12 – Oct 9  Richmond Night Market, 8351 River Road (nearby Bridgeport Station).  Fri–Sat 7pm – 12am; Sun/Holidays 7–11pm. $3.75/adult, kids 10 and under, seniors 60 and up are free. Zoom pass (up to 7 visits) is $20.  Kids will enjoy the Dino Park!

May 20 to Sep 23  Sea to Sky Gondola–Half Price Sunset Saturdays  Only valid for individual tickets purchased at the ticket window from 5:00pm onwards every Saturday until September 23, 2017.

May 24  World Orienteering Day, Q.E. Park, 6:30 – 8:00 pm.  Cost TBA, about $5.

May 27 – 28 European Festival 11 am start, Swangard Stadium, Burnaby. $10 weekend pass at gate.


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