Hooray for May! We’re hoping for a month full of sunny days, blooming flowers, and fun times with the whole family. This month, make sure you celebrate mom on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14th. You can also celebrate our feathered friends during bird week, watch a parade in historic Fort Langley, or take part in the City of Surrey’s Environmental Extravaganza. You can walk through fields of tulips, take in a fun family-friendly play or two, or head to the Cloverdale Rodeo for rides, animals and lots of fun. 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.
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14th and there are lots of fun things to do to with mom in Metro Vancouver. Take a peek at our list of 8 fun ideas on how to celebrate the mamas in your life!
Festivals, Fairs, Markets & Expos
Ships to Shore Festival
May 5th – 7th, Garry Point Park, 12011 Seventh Ave, Richmond
Set at Garry Point Park, Ships to Shore King of the Sea is a three-day family festival where visitors are invited to view one of the world’s largest tall ships and enjoy dockside programs and entertainment. Ships to Shore King of the Sea has something for boat enthusiasts, foodies, music lovers and those looking for a fun way to spend time with family and friends. For more details, check out the free family fun page.
BLOOM: Abbotsford Tulip Festival
On unil May 14th, 36737 North Parallel Road, Abbotsford
The Abbotsford Tulip Festival was created to celebrate the beauty of tulips and the Dutch heritage in the Fraser Valley. You are welcome to stroll through the tulip field and enjoy the brilliant display of color along with other activities offered at the festival. Pack a picnic or visit one of the food trucks and enjoy a fun filled day with family and friends. With photo cut out boards, a covered picnic area and children’s play area; there is something for everyone! *Note – you MUST pre-purchase your tickets online.
Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair
May 19th – 22nd, Cloverdale Rodeo Grounds, 6050A-176th Street, Surrey
29th Annual Country Fair features more family-friendly entertainment than ever before. Here’s just some of the great family fun you can enjoy: The area’s largest Midway including rides for daredevils and little buckaroos, the Agri Zone – lots of animals, including their babies, and 4H displays, Kidz Zone – Cowboy & Cowgirl Training, spectacular interactive Kidz Zone to keep kids of all ages laughing, Cone Zone – kids steer go-karts through a construction zone, the West Coast Lumberjack Show – competition with flying axes and log rolling, the World Freestyle Skateboard Round-Up, BCCMA -BC Country Music Artists, the West Fine Art Show– Featuring Western Art from Artists around the world, Cowboy Rib Fest – Back by popular demand – the best ribs in town! Plus, great music on the Live Outdoor Entertainment Stage with free performances throughout every day and there is even pig races!
Surrey International Children’s Festival
May 25th – 27th, Bear Creek Park 13750 88th Ave, 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. Access to the site is free, as well as participation in Saturday’s parade. However, most performances and activities are ticketed. This year the festival is focusing on performances and experiences where people will feel moved: physically, emotionally and demographically. There is a performance coming from Korea and Australia, there will be a dance piece where the children are part of the performance, and as usual, all the performances are of the highest artistic excellence; people will be moved by them.
Vancouver International Children’s Festival
Monday, May 29th – Sunday, June 4th, Granville Island, Vancouver
The Vancouver International Children’s Festival is right around the corner! This annual Festival in celebration of all things kid is something we look forward to every year. This year they are celebrating their 40th Festival, so they are pulling out all the stops to make it the best Festival yet! The Festival runs from May 29th to June 4th on Granville Island and features a ton of fabulous performers like Charlotte Diamond and Fred Penner. There are theatrical performances, puppetry, storytelling, circus acts and dance performances too — something for every kid!
May Day & Victoria Day Celebrations
2017 May Day Festival
May 5th – 14th, Port Coquitlam
The City of Port Coquitlam has been celebrating May Day since 1923. PoCo’s modern-day celebration includes more than a week of fun-filled activities including May Pole dancing, the May Day Rotary Parade followed by the May Day Block Party with food trucks artisans, outdoor concerts, children’s activities, and BizAlley, and a Mother’s Day Picnic the next day.
Royal Victorian Party
Sunday, May 21st, 11 am – 3 pm, Stewart Farm House, 13723 Crescent Road, Surrey
Party like it’s 1845! The whole family will enjoy this royal celebration with dancing, birthday cake and a chance to meet Queen Victoria herself. The “faux” queen will cut birthday cake and grace visitors with selfies and royal portraits. Waistcoats and feathered hats are encouraged but not mandatory. Subjects attending the free, all ages event are invited to: Watch the Vancouver Morris Men perform their colourful and lively dances, enjoy new-style comfort cooking from Hot Grandma’s Kitchen food truck, create a bejewelled crown and craft a sceptre fit for royalty, take a turn churning ice cream the old fashioned way, play croquet, make bubbles and hula hoop on the farmhouse lawn, and enjoy a family picnic on the scenic grounds.
95th Annual Fort Langley May Day Parade and Fair
Monday, May 22nd, Fort Langley
Spend a fun day with the family in historic Fort Langley! The 95th Annual Fort Langley May Day Parade starts at 11 am and can be viewed all the way along Glover Street. The parade finishes at Fort Langley 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 22nd and come out and join in for a great family day!
2017 Ladner May Days
May 26th – 28th, 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. Enjoy midway rides for kids, a broad range of top-notch family entertainers, plus many free activities and entertainment for children. Then on Sunday, enjoy a pancake breakfast followed at noon by the May Days Parade featuring the May Queen float. The parade culminates at the stage in Memorial Park where the traditional May Pole Dance and May Queen Crowning Ceremony take place. The remainder of the fair is filled with live music, entertainers and a Craft Fair for mom and dad.
Opening day – May 6th, 10 am – 6 pm, 2901 E Hastings Street, Vancouver
Playland opens May 6th with three new family rides! Spin your way through a magical land on the new coaster ride, Bug Whirled, peddle your way to the clouds flapping your wings on The Flutterbye, then take the plunge on the marvelous mechanical Dizzy Drop. All three rides will accommodate the entire family, so get ready to share even more memories and screams this coming spring and summer.
Environmental Extravaganza Surrey
April – June, Various Locations in Surrey
It’s the Environmental Extravaganza’s 20th birthday – come out and celebrate with us! We’ve got over 100 free programs and events happening throughout Surrey from April 22 to June 11, 2017. There’s something for everyone!
Free Early Bird Garden Entry at VanDusen
May 8th – May 12th, VanDusen Botanical Garden, 5251 Oak Street, Vancouver
To celebrate Vancouver Bird Week, you can enjoy free admission to VanDusen Botanical Garden from 7am to 9am between May 8 and May 12. Enjoy a quieter morning experience in the garden where you can spend some time with your local feathered friends for free!
Saturday, May 13th, 11 am – 3 pm, Tynehead Regional Park, Surrey
Discover how salmon are raised in the hatchery, release salmon into the Serpentine River and have fun making salmon crafts. Concession available. Meet at 96th Ave entrance by Tynehead Hatchery.
Coquitlam’s Como Lake Fishing Derby
Sunday, May 28th, 7 am – 12 pm, Como Lake, 700 Gatensbury Street, 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. 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. The event is hosted by the Coquitlam Festival Society, the Kinsmen Club of Coquitlam and the Port Coquitlam District Hunter and Fishing Club.
Plays & Shows
Royal Canadian Family Circus SPECTAC! is coming to town!
May 5th – 22nd, shows in Cloverdale, Abbotsford and Vancouver
The all new Royal Canadian Family Circus SPECTAC!™ 2017 is touring Metro Vancouver this May. This spectacular performance showcases an amazing circus tradition under the BigTop. SPECTAC! is coming to Cloverdale Exhibition in Surrey, Vancouver’s PNE & SevenOaks Shopping Centre in Abbotsford from May 5 to May 22 for 24 shows. The internationally renowned acts include the thrilling High Wire and Flying Trapeze, the Platform Motor Cycle Cyclone, the Acrobatic Aerial Strap & Silk act, beautiful Liberty Horses, Acrobats, Hula Hoop maze, world class performing Poodles, Motorcycle Wheel of Destiny, Clowns and much more. For 2 for 1 Tickets go to www.royalcanadiancircus.ca and use Promo Code yoyomama
Into the Woods Jr. The Musical
May 6th – May 7th, Jules Verne Theatre, 5445 Baillie Street, Vancouver
April 24th, 2017 – Vancouver, BC: Vancouver Performing Stars is excited to present Into the Woods Jr. with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, based on the book by James Lapine. Our 19 performers aged 12-17 have been working tirelessly to create a magical show that takes us on an adventure of growth through the woods! They wish, and hope and strive to fulfill their greatest desires but will they come true?
Munsch Upon a Time
Sunday, May 7th, 2 pm, Chilliwack Cultural Centre, 9201 Corbould Street, Chilliwack
Lots of high-octane energy and loads of laughs! In this madcap presentation of the stories of Robert Munsch, books come to life on stage with the help of Professor Pim’s time machine, which zips back and forth 40 years into the past and 40 years into the future – all with lots of high-octane energy and loads of laughs. You’ll see three classic stories from Canada’s most beloved children’s author – The Paper Bag Princess, The Fire Station & David’s Father – plus new favourites, Give Me Back My Dad! and It’s My Room!
Alice in Wonderland Jr.
May 16th – 20th, Chilliwack Cultural Centre, 9201 Corbould Street, Chilliwack
The ever-curious Alice’s journey begins innocently enough as she chases the White Rabbit. Her adventures become increasingly more strange as she races the Dodo Bird, gets tied up with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, raps with a bubble-blowing Caterpillar and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own game!
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
May 25th – 27th, Chilliwack Cultural Centre, 9201 Corbould Street, Chilliwack
Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney’s best accomplishments at heralding the themes of trust, redemption, love, true beauty and family. Prince Adam, whom is deeply entrenched in his narcissistic path, finds himself sentenced to a life as a Beast, which outwardly reveals the ugliness of his selfish ways, until one day he is redeemed through the love of another. This transforming love heals his heart first and then his beastly appearance, thus restoring him back to a Prince once more. Lighthouse Theatre, a dynamic group of students ranging from Grades 2-12, is committed to a high standard of excellence from the acting, singing, and choreography to the costumes and impressive set design. It’s an event you won’t want to miss. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!
VSO Kids’ Koncerts – Classical Kids: Tchaikovsky Discovers America
Sunday, May 28th, 2 pm, Orpheum Theatre, 601 Smithe Street, Vancouver
This story tells of the great composer’s arrival in New York for the grand opening of Carnegie Hall in 1891.A surprise encounter with a young American girl, Jennie, reveals much about Tchaikovsky – his life in Russia, his love of music and his fears of conducting.This is a poignant story of the meeting of old world influences and new world experiences; a tale of contrast, courage and classical music. Concerts for children four to eleven years of age and their families in five fun and educational musical presentations. The Kids’ Koncerts series features the full orchestra, and the very best in children’s musical entertainers.
Don’t forget to check out our list of 50 low-cost and free activities to do with you family this spring and dust off your bike and head out for a fun family bike ride on one of these awesome trails.
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:
- Join our mailing list to receive weekly Metro Vancouver events right in your inbox
- Download our On The Go Kids app for weekly event listings right in the palm of your hand
By: Michelle Hughes