Hooray for April! For it brings tulips, cherry blossoms, and fun, family-friendly festivals to celebrate these beautiful blooms. There are tons of awesome events happening all over Metro Vancouver this month. You and your family can party with Bobs and LoLo, celebrate the Earth, and even plant a tree. There are carnivals, plays, interesting exhibits, and parades too. Take a look at our roundup and start planning some memorable family fun. If you like learning about great family-friendly activities happening in Metro Vancouver, make sure you sign up to receive our weekly emails.
Festivals & Celebrations
Richmond Cherry Blossom Festival
March 12th – April 7th, Garry Point Park, 12011 7th Avenue, Richmond
The 2nd annual Richmond Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the arrival of Spring and blooming of the cherry blossoms. In Japan, cherry blossoms are known as sakura, which are a special flower to the people and the country. The cherry blossom signifies a time of renewal and the cycle of life. Two weeks after the peak of the cherry blossom’s bloom, the pedals begin to fall. The cherry blossom celebration includes picnics under the cherry trees with food and drinks, shared with friends and family—this is a tradition known as hanami which translates to “watching blossoms,” and can be traced back hundreds of years.
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
April 3rd – 29th, Various venues in Vancouver
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival FREE events from April 3-29! 400 voices will fill up Christ Church Cathedral at Vancouver Sings One Song on April 3 and Cherry Jam Downtown free concert features exciting local talent at Burrard Skytrain Station on April 5. The family-friendly Sakura Days Japan Fair presented by JTB International & Silkway Travel on weekend April 14-15 excites audiences with Japanese arts and cultural crafts, food and performances at VanDusen Botanical Garden and The Big Picnic under Queen Elizabeth Park’s iconic cherry blossoms presented by TD Bank Group on April 14. Sakura Night Gala presented by McMillan LLP is a memorable fundraiser featuring Vancouver’s top local restaurants with an exquisite evening of Asian-fusion flavours at the Stanley Park Pavilion on April 22.
16th Annual Early Years Festival
Saturday, April 7th, 11 am – 3 pm, Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, 13458 107a Avenue, Surrey
Bring your child (birth to 6 years old) to the 16th Annual Early Years Festival! Children can participate in fun activities while parents or caregivers learn about community resources for young children. Free.
Autism Sensory Friendly Event at Toys R’ Us
Sunday, April 8th, the first hour of business, various Toys R Us locations in Metro Vancouver
ALL Month: Celebrate world Autism month at Toys”R”Us in partnership with Autism Speaks. Donations can be made in-store or online! On April 8th, join us in store for a sensory shopping hour that includes: In-store activities brought to you by Crayola, Tutti Frutti, Mattel and Magformers, No in-store music or announcements, Dimmed lighting, and Designated quiet areas.
Bloom Tulip Festival
April 9th – 30th, 36737 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford
Now in its third year, BLOOM has gained international attention for its magnificent array of endless tulip varieties and stunning country scenery. Attracting an average of 90 thousand visitors during the typically 5-week festival, BLOOM has become a must-see springtime attraction. With over 2.5 million tulips in bloom at various stages throughout the festival, visitors are able to walk through 10 acres of fields and marvel at one of the most vivid displays of floral beauty British Columbia has to offer.
Westcoast Amusements is at Tsawwassen Mills
April 11th – 15th, Tsawwassen Mills, 5000 Canoe Pass Way, Tsawwassen
Westcoast Amusements is coming to Tsawwassen Mills with over 20 rides and games to enjoy! Pre-purchase your tickets and save! Visit Guest Services from March 26 – April 9 and save $5 on your ride ticket. Plus, $1 of every pre-sale ticket will go to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Party for the Planet
Saturday, April 14th, Surrey Civic Plaza, 13450 104 Avenue, Surrey
The City of Surrey will host its eighth annual Party for the Planet—BC’s largest Earth Day celebration—at Surrey Civic Plaza on Saturday, April 14 from 10am–6pm. The Surrey signature event will feature an intimate matinee headline performance by Canadian rock singer-songwriter and five-time JUNO award winner Sam Roberts at 3:15 pm. Presented by TD, this year’s free festival will also include multiple performances by Vancouver-based children’s musical duo Bobs & Lolo. Additional entertainers include Vancouver’s up and coming pop and R&B group Star Captains, DJ and production group The Freshest, children’s entertainers Rockin’ Robin, the Colin Bullock Duo and the Smile Band. Festival attractions include the annual tree and plant sale, bike-powered smoothie stop, storytelling, kid’s eco-crafts, road hockey, a zip line, enviro-bungee, rides, an urban farmers market, food trucks and a variety of local and environmental vendors.
Surrey Vaisakhi Day Parade
April 21st, 9 am – 6 pm, Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, 12885 85 Ave, Surrey
Everyone is welcome at the annual Vaisakhi Day Parade, featuring cultural floats, community performers, and live music. To pay tribute to the harvest celebration roots of the parade, attendees are given free food and drink from hundreds of local residents and businesses.
Chinatown Cultural Day
Sunday, April 22nd, 1 pm – 4 pm, Chinatown, 50 E Pender Street, Vancouver
Come and enjoy, learn and experience Chinese culture through a variety of activities including food tasting, games, crafts, dancing, music, tours, ceremonies and much more! Activities are taking place at different locations throughout Vancouver’s Chinatown.
Nature & Outdoors
Neighbourhood Tree Care Parties
Wednesdays in April, Various locations in Surrey
Let’s celebrate trees! Join us on Wednesday evenings in April and help grow Surrey’s urban forest. Bring your friends and family and get your hands dirty planting shade trees and improving tree wells. Enjoy tree-themed activities and a free pizza dinner. No experience necessary and all ages welcome. Come prepared to get dirty! All tools and training are provided. Groups of 5+ please call 604-501-5132 to RSVP. Neighbourhood Tree Care Party Schedule: April 4: Amelia Adams Park (8546 – 121A Street), April 11: Chantrell Creek Park (13741 – 24 Avenue), April 18: Shannon Park (7312 – 192A Street), April 25: Queen Elizabeth Meadows Park (9400 – 134 Street).
Earth Day at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve
April 21st, 12 pm – 4 pm, Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve, 5200 Sumas Prairie Road, Chilliwack
Join us in celebrating Earth Day at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve from 12:00 to 4:00. This family-friendly event will include crafts, our touch table, and a variety of free nature programs, including heron walks, pond dipping, and a hunt for beaver clues. Come for the morning river cleanup with the Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society (8:30 to 11:30) and stay for some fun education surrounding conservation and the importance of our local nature reserve.
Earth Day Pilgrimage to Burns Bog
April 22nd, 1:30 pm, Delta Nature Reserve, 10388 Nordel Court, Delta
This family event celebrates Burns Bog and global peatlands. Performers sing, drum, and dance as we walk through the Delta Nature Reserve. Recharge your spirits while surrounded by nature and good company. Join us in appreciating this natural green space in your community! Pilgrimage begins at 1:30pm at the Delta Nature Reserve.
Sunday, April 29th, 11 am – 3 pm, Kanaka Creek Regional Park, 11450 256th Street, Maple Ridge
Release salmon fry into the creek where they will start their journey to the sea. Enjoy fun activities, games and live entertainment. Presented with Kanaka Education & Environmental Partnership Society. Free drop in for all ages. Meet at 11450 256th St, Maple Ridge.
Plays, Shows & Concerts
March 31st – April 15th, Waterfront Theatre, 1412 Cartwright Street, Granville Island, Vancouver
Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood. Searching for hazelnuts, Mouse meets the cunning Fox, the eccentric old Owl and the party mad Snake. Will the story of the terrifying Gruffalo save Mouse from ending up as dinner for these hungry woodland creatures? After all, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo – is there? Showcasing Tall Stories’ distinctive physical, visual performance style, The Gruffalo is full of songs, laughs and scary fun for everyone. Following sell out performances in London’s West End, Broadway’s New Victory Theater & Sydney Opera House, Tall Stories continue to tour the world with this much-loved monster of a show! The Gruffalo is recommended for ages 3-8 and their grown-up companions
Cirque de Soleil Crystal
April 11th – 15th, Abbotsford Centre, 33800 King Road, Abbotsford
Cirque du Soleil is coming to Abbotsford with a brand-new arena creation. Cirque du Soleil’s CRYSTAL, explores the artistic limits of ice for the first time in the company’s 33-year history. This unique production pushes boundaries of performance by combining stunning skating and acrobatic feats that defy the imagination. CRYSTAL will perform at the Abbotsford Centre for 8 performances only, Wednesday, April 11 to Sunday, April 15, 2018.
Xtreme Theatre Presents Disney’s Aladdin Jr. & Pirates Past Noon
April 12th – 14th, The ACT Arts Centre, 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge
Xtreme Theatre’s Junior and Mini’s classes return to the stage this Spring as they take us along for a ride to exotic lands with characters you’ll never forget! **Please note there are two casts. Please confirm which show you are interested in, prior to purchasing tickets.** Our Junior Students present Aladdin Jr. Based on the iconic animated film, with an Academy Award-winning score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, Disney’s Aladdin JR. is sure to send audiences soaring on a flying carpet ride. Our Mini’s start things off right with a Pre-Show based on the Magic Tree House Books. Two siblings return to visit the magic tree house on a dreary, rainy day. They find a book where the sun is shining and the waves are crashing, so they wish to travel to this tropical place. They realize that they are in the eighteenth-century Caribbean, the time of pirates! Join us and have a blast as these young stars give you a great night out with family-friendly fun!
Science World: The Science Of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
January 25th – April 22nd, Science World, 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver
Prepare for an incredible journey through the curious collections of Mr. Ripley, the explorer extraordinaire who traveled the world collecting artifacts and stories from the remarkable people and places he encountered. Explore the collections for yourself and learn the science behind the most extreme animals to have ever lived, dive into the complexities of human biology and marvel at the seemingly impossible collection of remarkable objects. Get hands-on with some amazing artifacts, take a wander through a model of the world’s largest snake and see how you measure up to the world’s tallest person. You might even discover a new dinosaur! Tap into your inner explorer at The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
BrickCan 2018 Returns! The largest public exhibition of LEGO® creations!
April 21st – 22nd, River Rock Casino Resort, 8811 River Road, Richmond
BrickCan is the largest public exhibition of LEGO® creations ever held in British Columbia! We invite guests of all ages to check out hundreds of models built by LEGO fans from all over the world, shop with dozens of unique LEGO vendors, and let your imagination run wild in the BrickCan Creation Station! All ages welcome! General admission is $15. Children 3 and under do not require a ticket. No strollers or wagons. Wheelchair accessible.
Vancouver Art Gallery: Takashi Murakami
Ongoing until May 6th, Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver
Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is a major retrospective exhibition of the monumental paintings of international art icon Takashi Murakami. From his early works to new, never-before-seen paintings and selected sculptures from different periods, the more than fifty works in this exhibition reflect Murakami’s exquisite level of craft, his insightful engagement with history and the consistent, universal themes that have guided his practice over the past three decades.
Vancouver Maritime Museum: The Lost Fleet
Ongoing until May 27th, 2018, Vancouver Maritime Museum, 1905 Ogden Avenue, Vancouver
This unique exhibition will showcase a series of photographs as well as several models of Japanese-Canadian-built fishing vessels in its collection, made by the late model shipbuilder, Doug Allen. The beautifully crafted models replicate some of the fishing boats seized during the war that have since been lost to history. Visitors will see replicas of the registry created in order to redistribute the seized boats. The display will also include shell fragment from Estevan Point lighthouse. In June 1942, a Japanese Imperial submarine fired shells at the lighthouse, just shortly after it had attacked a US merchant vessel in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This artifact highlights the little known fact that enemy fire did land on Canadian soil during WWII, and adds a level of reality to the threat that was feared by many in BC.
Don’t forget to check out our round-up of all the winter farmers’ markets in Metro Vancouver – they are all ending soon! Keep an eye out for our Spring & Summer Farmers’ Markets guide, coming soon.
We hope this big giant list has inspired you and your family to get out and enjoy everything Metro Vancouver has to offer in April! For more great family fun make sure to join our mailing list to receive weekly Metro Vancouver events right in your inbox.
By: Michelle Hughes