The Fair at the PNE is a summer must-do for most Metro Vancouver families. The rides, the shows, the mini doughnuts — we love it all! We’ve given some tips over the years of how to make the most out of a day at the PNE (check out those articles here and here). But we know a day at The Fair can get pretty pricey, and we think summer fun shouldn’t break the bank, so here are a few ways to save money and some ideas on free things you can do once you are in the gates. Remember that there is so much more to the PNE than the rides, it’s a great outing for the entire family, even if you have really young kids.
Ways to get in to the PNE for free or less than $5
Celebrate Canada 150 on Opening Weekend
August 19th – 20th, 11 am – 1 pm
Show your Canadian pride by visibly wearing red or a maple leaf and receive Fair Gate admission for just $1.50.
Heroes’ Opening Weekend
August 19th – 20th, 11 am – Late
FREE gate admission for First Responders and a guest. This promotion is valid for current and retired police, RCMP, Paramedics, firefighters and military plus one guest. First Responder must present a valid First Responders service card at the gates. Guest does not require a service card.
FREE Gate Admission for all Guests
Tuesdays, August 22 & 29, 11 am – 1 pm
Re-entrance hand stamps will only be given after 1 pm. Guests are welcome to re-enter the gates prior to 1 pm without hand stamp.
August 23, 11 am – Late
Show any BC library card to receive $5 gate admission!
August 24, 11 am – Late
Seniors 65+ receive FREE gate admission and FREE Ferris Wheel rides.
Vancity Member Special
Every Day of the Fair, 11 am – Late
NEW extended Special – Vancity members receive $5 gate admission every day of the Fair!
After Dark Gate Pass
After 9 pm nightly, purchase a Fair Gate Pass for just $5.
Just remember, expect bigger line-ups on promotional days, since more people will likely be taking advantage of the low-cost entry fee. Our best advice is to arrive early if you can!
Awesome free things to do at the PNE
Once you are beyond the gates there are lots of ways to have fun without spending another dime. Included in your gate ticket are a ton of great shows, exhibitions, and activities. Here are a few of our favourites and ones we are excited to check out this year.
The President’s Choice SuperDogs
Daily shows at 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm & 5 pm
This year the President’s Choice SuperDogs are throwing a birthday party for Canada and everyone’s invited! An all-Canadian cast, all-Canadian music, and even some Canadian breeds come together for this fun and furry celebration that will have you laughing and cheering on the world’s most amazing dogs.
RCMP Musical Ride
August 19th, 20th, 22nd & 23rd
A Canadian tradition since 1876, a troop of 32 scarlet-coated Mounties on majestic black horses will present a 30-minute show of intricate figures and cavalry drills choreographed to music.
Hockey Hall of Fame Exhibit
Open daily, 11 am – 10 pm
This is an amazing opportunity to explore the largest Hockey Hall of Fame exhibition outside of the Hockey Hall of Fame itself. There are over 5,000 square feet of memorabilia, artwork, photography, and video. A must visit for every hockey fan, young and old.
Open daily, 11 am – 11 pm
If you and your family enjoyed Dinosaurs Alive at The Fair, you’re going to love Xtreme Bugs! This new outdoor imaginative immersive experience features 19 giant animatronic models along with over 110 static creatures. Learn about how these insects live and travel, experience their movement, appearances, and behaviours, and understand their role in the environment.
A few more ways to save:
- Take transit so you don’t have to pay for parking – parking can run upwards of $20, so save that money and hop on a bus instead.
- Bring your own food and drinks – outside food and beverages are allowed into the PNE, so pack up a lunch kit full of delicious snacks and save your moola for those tasty mini doughnuts!
- Buy your passes online – if you aren’t able to make it to one of the promotional days, get your gate tickets online where you can save $3 for each entry ticket.
Remember, kids 13 and under always get free gate admission!
The Fair at the PNE
August 19th – September 4th (closed Mondays), 11 am – late
2901 E. Hastings Street, Vancouver
By: Michelle Hughes