Make way for May! It’s a brand new month and there’s a ton of awesome, family-friendly activities and events happening around Metro Vancouver. Get out to Abbotsford or Chilliwack to see the tulips before they disappear for another year, head to Playland for opening day, or Richmond for the night market. There is a fish festival, the Cloverdale Rodeo, and the end of the month marks bike to school and work week. Head to the circus, enjoy children festivals, and celebrate May Day with parades and parties. Take a look at our round up 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.
Featured Event: Royal Canadian Circus Spectac! 2018
May 17th – 21st, Guildford Town Centre, 10355 152 Street, Surrey
May 25th – 27th, Tsawwassen Mills, 5000 Canoe Pass Way, Delta
May 31st – June 3rd, Lansdowne Centre, 5300 No 3 Rd, Richmond
June 7th – 10th, Tradex, 1190 Cornell St, Abbotsford
The all new Royal Canadian Family Circus SPECTAC!™ 2018 is touring Metro Vancouver this May and June. This spectacular exhibition showcases a circus tradition that goes back to medieval times. SPECTAC! is coming to Surrey, Delta, Richmond, and Abbotsford from May 17th to June 10th for 33 amazing shows. The internationally renowned acts include The Chinese Acrobats from the People’s Republic of China, the famed Guerrero 4 Man High Wire, the S Caleb Carinci-Asch Equestrian Acrobats, the Bilea Transformation Act, Gonzales Duo Aerial Act, the Juggling world record holder, Tommy Tequila, the sensational Trapeze, the TZ Aerialists, the death defying Wheel of Destiny with Joseph Dominik Bauer and more. For 2 for 1 Tickets go to www.royalcanadiancircus.ca and use Promo Code yoyomama
Festivals, Fairs & Celebrations
Bloom Tulip Festival
Ongoing until May 13th, 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.
26th Annual Fingerling Festival with Bobs and Lolo!
Saturday, May 5th 11 am – 3 pm, Port Moody Recreation Complex, 300 Ioco Road, Port Moody
On Saturday, May 5, 2018, from 11 am – 3 pm, the Port Moody Ecological Society invites everyone to attend our very special Fingerling Festival. Yes, it’s been more than 25 years since our volunteers first started our bucket brigade, putting chum salmon into Noons Creek. The ever popular Bobs & Lolo will be back again this year to give performances at 11:30 am and 1:00 pm in the arena.
Saturday, May 5th – Friday, August 17th, Playland, 2901 E. Hastings Street, Vancouver
The smell of Mini Donuts is in the air at Hastings Park! One of the surest signs that spring is in full swing and summer is right around the corner is the return of Vancouver’s most beloved family entertainment attraction, as Playland at the PNE is set to open its gates to the public for the 2018 season on May 5th.
Sunday, May 6th, 11 am – 3 pm, Burnaby Arts Gallery, Burnaby
This charming festival produced by the City of Burnaby in collaboration with the Burnaby Rhododendron & Gardens promotes the long-term sustainable, ecological health of our communities. It presents a unique venue for both horticulture and arts groups.
Richmond Night Market
May 11th – October 8th, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Stat Holidays, 8351 River Road, Richmond
Founded in the year 2000 by entrepreneur Raymond Cheung, the Richmond Night Market has grown from modest beginnings since its first location at the Continental Centre on Cambie Road. Richmond Night Market is the largest Night Market in North America and has become an international attraction, attracting over 1 million visitors each year. Richmond Night Market continues to be a must visit Summer attraction in the Lower Mainland, offering an amazing variety of street food, merchandise and games. Open every weekend from May to October, you certainly don’t want to miss it!
Friday, May 18th – Monday, May 21st, Cloverdale, Surrey
The 4-Day rodeo and country fair is one of Western Canada’s most popular family events, and it returns May Long Weekend. One of North America’s longest running and most entertaining rodeos returns for its 72nd year this May Long Weekend with more competitions, live entertainment food and fun for fans of all ages. The Cloverdale Invitational Rodeo will once again feature the World’s best Cowboys and Cowgirls as they compete for cash prizes in roughstock rodeo events like Saddle Bronc Riding, Bareback Riding and Bull Riding, as well as Ladies Barrel Racing.
Surrey International Children’s Festival
Thursday, May 24th – Saturday, May 26th, Bear Creek Park & Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88 Avenue, Surrey
The annual Surrey International Children’s Festival inspires young hearts and minds to greater possibilities, and celebrates our rich and diverse cultural heritage through performing and visual arts experiences. The 14th annual Surrey International Children’s Festival is investigating simple everyday play. Access to the site is free, as well as participation in Saturday’s parade. However, most performances and activities are ticketed.
2018 Vancouver International Children’s Festival
Monday, May 28th – Sunday, June 3rd, Granville Island, Vancouver
Head down to Granville Island for the Vancouver International Children’s Festival May 28 to June 3, 2018! Enjoy spectacular performances from around the globe for kids and families of all ages. Acrobatics, puppetry, theater, music and lots of arts activities. Get your tickets today at www.childrensfestival.ca. Let’s get creatively playful!
May Day Festivities
May Day Festival Port Coquitlam
May 4th – 13th, Port Coquitlam
Mark your calendar for May 4 to 13, 2018, when Port Coquitlam celebrates its 95th annual May Days with nine days of free family activities, local culture, live entertainment and more. Dating back to 1923, May Days is Port Coquitlam’s annual spring festival and one of its signature events. One of the main highlights is the Rotary May Day Parade (this year on May 12) followed by an afternoon of entertainment and activities in Leigh Square.
May Day Parade & Festival Fort Langley
Monday, May 21st, 11 am, Fort Langley
It’s time for the 96th annual May Day Parade in Fort Langley. This historic parade includes members of the community, local businesses, lots of music, dancing, and fun! The parade heads down Glover to the Community Park where the May Queens and the Royal Party will be piped in. There will then be May Pole Dancing followed by live entertainment through until 4:00. The Lions famous BBQ Chicken will be available at the park. There will be rides for the children, Mini Golf for Everyone, vendors, food and much more. Mark your calendar for May 21st and come out and join us for a great family day!
Ladner May Days
Friday, May 25th – Sunday, May 27th, Memorial Park, Ladner
Held in Memorial Park just steps from historic Ladner Village, the Ladner Pioneer May Days Fair (est. 1896) is one of British Columbia’s largest free family fairs. Featuring live bands, free entertainment, carnival rides and a beer garden for the adults, the Ladner May Days Fair offers a wide variety of entertainment and activities.
Nature & Outdoors
Forest Fairy Gathering
Saturday, May 19th, 11 am – 3 pm, Burnaby Lake Regional Park, 4519 Piper Ave, Burnaby
Visit the ‘Gnome Depot’ to get construction material for your fairy home. Enjoy free face painting and be prepared for a magical time. Fairy attire welcome. Meet at Burnaby Lake Nature House.
Wilderness at your Doorstep
Sunday, May 20th, 10 am – 2 pm, Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, North Vancouver
Nature and history live together in this beautiful wilderness park. Join us to find out more about some of its secrets! Meet at BC Mills House, north end of Lynn Valley Road.
Como Lake Fishing Derby
Sunday, May 27th, 7 am – 12 pm, Como Lake, Coquitlam
A free event for youth under 16 years of age, the Como Lake Fishing Derby has prize giveaways and a pancake breakfast available for a nominal charge. The event is hosted by the Coquitlam Festival Society, the Kinsmen Club of Coquitlam and the Port Coquitlam Rod and Gun Club. Hundreds of prizes are awarded each year for a variety of catches, from the largest and smallest fish to the strangest catch of the day. The fishing derby attracts hundreds of children each year. As the children fish, parents are welcome to enjoy a pancake breakfast cooked by the Coquitlam Kinsmen Club. Remember to bring your own fishing pole and bait.
Bike to School Week 2018: May 28 – June 1
Monday, May 28th – Friday, June 1st
Bike to School Week is a fun, free, week-long celebration for students of all ages and abilities. Schools across Metro Vancouver take part by biking to and from school and participating in activities and events at school and tracking their trips. Some schools also choose to track other forms of active transportation like walking, scooting and skateboarding. HUB Cycling offers support such as resources and event ideas, prizes for participating schools, and Bike to School Week packages to make tracking rides easy! Last year 109 Metro Vancouver schools participated, and were registered by parents, teachers, and administrators. Schools tracked how many individual riders participated as well as how much of student modeshare was cycling. Together students took over 23,000 bike trips to and from school during the event.
Plays, Shows & Concerts
VAM Symphony Orchestra: Carnival of the Animals
Sunday, May 6th, Orpheum Theatre, 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver
From the graceful reverie of a faun to the lumbering waltz of an elephant, the French flair for musical imagery pervades Debussy’s dream-like Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and Saint-Saëns’ cavalcade of comical creatures, Carnival of the Animals. Featuring Poulenc’s Concert champêtre for harpsichord and orchestra and VAM’s Mary Buckerfield White Choral program in works by Gabriel Fauré.
May 15th, 16th & 19th, Chilliwack Cultural Centre, 9201 Corbould Street, Chilliwack
Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat and all of your favorite Dr. Seuss characters spring to life onstage in Seussical JR., a fantastical musical extravaganza from Tony-winners, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. Seussical Jr. is just one of six shows running during CSOPA’s annual SpringFest.
Xtreme Theatre Presents Thoroughly Modern Millie
May 16th – 19th, ACT Arts Centre, 11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge
Students, ages 13 to 17, will present Thoroughly Modern Millie… The winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie was the 2002 season’s most awarded new show on Broadway! Based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film, Thoroughly Modern Millie takes you back to the height of the Jazz Age in New York City, when “moderns,” including a flapper named Millie Dillmount, were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce and rewriting the rules of love. This high-spirited musical romp is a delightful valentine to the long-standing spirit of New York City and the people who seek to discover themselves there.
Arts Umbrella’s Expressions Theatre Festival
May 17th – 26th, Waterfront Theatre, Granville Island, 1412 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
Arts Umbrella is thrilled to unveil the lineup of the 2018 Expressions Theatre Festival, running May 17 – 26, 2018 at the Waterfront Theatre. Showcasing the talented young artists in Arts Umbrella’s Intensive, Pre-Professional and Theatre Conservatory Programs, this annual festival boasts a bevy of captivating productions. From the whimsical family fun of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to the frontier hijinks of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!, the audacious programming capitalizes on students’ exceptional range and skill. This year, audiences will be treated to an array of thought-provoking works, including a modern take on the classic Greek tragedy The Phoenician Women and the perceptive student-created original Outside In. Additionally, the Theatre Conservatory Program will be make their festival debut with a performance of Charles Way’s Missing, a riveting modern interpretation of the classic fairy tale Hansel and Gretel featuring Vancouverite and Arts Umbrella graduate, Douglas Ennenberg.
Science World: The Science Of Pixar
May 19th, 2018 – January 6th, 2019, Science World, 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver
Take a peek into the Pixar process, and explore the science and technology behind some of your most beloved animated films and their characters with The Science Behind Pixar, presented locally by White Spot restaurants. This interactive exhibition showcases the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts used by the artists and computer scientists who help bring Pixar’s award-winning films to the big screen. With more than 40 interactive elements, the exhibition’s eight sections each focus on a step in the filmmaking process to give you an insider’s look at the production pipeline and concepts used at Pixar every day. Participate in fun, engaging hands-on activities, listen to firsthand accounts from members of the studios’ production teams and come face-to-face with re-creations of your favorite Pixar film characters, including Buzz Lightyear, Dory, Mike and Sulley, Edna Mode, and WALL·E!
Vancouver Art Gallery: Takashi Murakami
On going 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.
We hope this big giant list has inspired you and your family to get out and enjoy everything Metro Vancouver has to offer in May! 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