free spring activities Events

50 free & low-cost spring activities in metro vancouver

Spring has sprung and it’s time for a whole new list of fun free and inexpensive family-friendly activities in Metro Vancouver. Enjoy festivals, celebrations, art exhibits, birding walks, national parks, and everything else Metro Vancouver has to offer this season.

  1. Enjoy the Celtic Village at CelticFest, Vancouver’s fun Irish festival. Entry to the Village is free before 7 pm on March 17th and 18th.
  2. Jam with the cherry blossoms at this awesome free concert on March 30th, to kick off the Cherry Blossom Festival in Vancouver. Plus, enjoy the Spring Lights Illumination (date TBD once the blooms appear), and have fun with free tree talks and walks happening in March and April, all part of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.
  3. Browse the stalls at your local winter farmers’ market and wait patiently for the summer markets to open (typically in May).
  4. Learn all about the maritime history of the Pacific Northwest at the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Admission is by donation on Thursday nights from 5 pm – 8 pm.
  5. Enjoy a free kids workshop through the ArtStarts Weekend Programs. Programs run once a month and feature a variety of different activities – from ballet to music to arts & crafts.
  6. Dust off your bikes and head out on a fun family bike ride.
  7. Visit the Capilano Salmon Hatchery (for free!), and learn all about our fishy friends. Spring is a great time to see chinook juveniles.
  8. Join a reading program at your local library, like the awesome 1,000 Stories Pre-K program at the Fraser Valley Regional Library.
  9. Build something great! Home Depot has free builds for kids the second Saturday of every month.
  10. Gaze into outer space at the GMS Observatory. The observatory is open on Saturday evenings and is located right next to the Space Centre. Entry to the observatory is by donation.
  11. Visit the Kids Gallery at the Surrey Museum (admission is free!)
  12. Head to your local library for a fun and interactive story or show. Especially when the spring rain sets in! You’ll also find Lego builds, board game nights and family movie afternoons. All free.
  13. Visit your local library and grab all the spring-themed books you can find. Read them outside, weather permitting!
  14. Head to any national park in Canada in 2017 for free entry to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Pick up your free Discovery Pass here or at your local national park office.
  15. Experience art on Tuesday evenings at the Vancouver Art Gallery admission is by donation!
  16. Visit the Burnaby Art Gallery where entry is always by donation.
  17. Hop on the Skytrain to the new Evergreen Extension and explore the tri-cities.
  18. Drop into your local community centre for family playtime. It varies from centre to centre, but you’ll find a variety of toys and activities waiting for your rambunctious kids! Drop-in fees are typically only $1 – $2 per kid.
  19. Take a 30-minute crafting class at Michaels Crafts, every Saturday, for only $2! For kids aged 3 and up.
  20. Head to the Lego Store for a free Monthly Mini Build event, the first Tuesday of every month.
  21. Visit Wesbrook Village in Vancouver by UBC for all sorts of great free family-friendly fun – On Mondays, there’s Baby Time, Wednesdays there are free family moviesand Saturdays you can join in on story time!
  22. Visit the Family Place at River District Centre every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am for fun free activities for kids aged 0 – 5.
  23. Drop into the Contemporary Art Gallery for a free CAG Family Art Day, the last Saturday of each month from 12 pm – 3 pm.
  24. Plan a funny trick for April Fool’s Day.
  25. Head to Locomotive No. 374at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown to satisfy the train lover in your family. It’s open daily and it’s free to tour.
  26. Be one with nature at an awesome Metro Vancouver outdoor program. Many are free and most are family and kid-friendly.
  27. Turn off your lights to take part in Earth Hour on March 25th from 8:30 pm – 9:30 pm. Let the kiddos stay up late and play board games by candlelight.
  28. Enjoy a fun family movie at the theatre for only $2.99. Cineplex Family Favourites run Saturday mornings at 11 am at select theatres in Metro Vancouver. Proceeds go to Feed the Children.
  29. Get ready for the Easter bunny by naturally dying eggs using vegetables.
  30. Join a naturalist for a free monthly birding walks in Surrey parks.
  31. Join in a neighbourhood Easter egg hunt.
  32. Celebrate your spring baby by snagging a whole bunch of free stuff on their birthday!
  33. Hop in the car and head up to Whistler for the day to watch the best compete at the World Ski & Snowboard Festival from April 7th – 16th. Lots of free concerts, activities and of course, skiing and snowboarding competitions to watch!
  34. Take a Saturday Stroll around Darts Hill Garden where entry is by donation. You’ll get to see an immense variety of shrubs, trees, and flowers from all around the world.
  35. Celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd. Head to a free concert and party in Surrey or enjoy a free parade and festival in Vancouver.
  36. Cheer on runners at a local race. There are dozens happening all over Metro Vancouver this spring, including the Sun Run (April 23rd). Make some signs, break out the cowbell, and cheer away!
  37. Visit the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre for nature films, displays, models, puzzles and a puppet theatre. While there, take a walk across the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge (if you dare). Ecology Centre entry is by donation, but the walk across the bridge is free!
  38. Enjoy the awesome and free concert series, “Music on the Bow”, presented by the Trout Lake Community Centre and featuring great local artists.
  39. Head to Steveston May 5th – 7th for the annual Ships to Shore Festival to experience a weekend full of free adventure on the river!
  40. Celebrate Youth Week at North Vancouver’s free CityFest on May 6th. Enjoy local musicians, dance showcases, free photobooths, an art show, BBQ, prizes, and games.
  41. Visit historic Fort Langley for the 95th annual May Day Parade and celebration on May 22nd. Ladner also has May Day festivities from May 26th – 28th.
  42. Celebrate all things kid at the Surrey International Children’s Festival May 25th – 27th. While most performances and activities are ticketed (passes are around $12), entry to the Surrey Arts Centre, festival and parade are all free.
  43. Take part in Hats Off Day in Burnaby on Saturday, June 3rd. This annual parade and festival is always a ton of fun!
  44. Head to Commercial Drive for the infamous Italian Day on the Drive on June 11th for a day full of cultural celebrations and delicious food.
  45. Leave your vehicle parked and celebrate Car Free Day at a street party on Main Street or Denman Street on June 17th and 18th.
  46. Join the letter-writing club at The Regional Assembly of Text in Vancouver. They meet the first Thursday of every month at 7 pm, the events are open to everyone and are free. Supplies are even provided!
  47. Drop into the Stanley Park Nature House (free admission) to learn all about the ecology of the park.
  48. Go for a walk around your neighbourhood and see what you can find with a fun spring scavenger hunt.
  49. Head outdoors when it rains (which it does a lot in spring). Check out our list of 10 great ideas for outdoor rainy day fun.
  50. Explore Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. Bring along a picnic and enjoy sweeping views of the Straight of Georgia.

Looking for more affordable spring fun? Sign up for our weekly email newsletter and you’ll receive our weekend event guide which is chock-full of great family-friendly events and activities, many free! And download our (free) app, OnTheGoKids, for easy event and activity ideas while you are out and about.

By: Michelle Hughes

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