19 Quintessential Summer Activities in Vancouver

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Summer is officially here, and to celebrate its arrival we’ve put together this ultimate guide of the goings-on around here for the next couple of months. Make plans!

19 Can't Miss Summer Activities in Vancouver

By Olivia Lam

After months of gloomy weather, hibernation and curling up with a warm cup of coffee, we can finally rejoice in the return of long summer days and sunshine. And if there's one thing we do best, it's taking advantage of all that Vancouver has to offer during these blissful warm months.

  • Farmers' Markets

    By Olivia Lam

    BC is abundant with nature's goodies, and [farmers' markets](http://eatlocal.org/) are the best way to showcase these treats alongside the land, community and summer spirit. Wherever you live in the Lower Mainland, you'll be sure to find a reliable ol' farmers' market to stock up on seasonal fruit and artisinal goods.

  • The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE)

    By Olivia Lam

    Food, exhibitions, entertainment (including [free summer night concerts](http://www.pne.ca/thefair/live-shows/summer-night-concerts.html)), games and death defying rides make the PNE a reliable go-to summer activity. You'll enjoy at least some part of this giant shindig, and if not, there are always mini doughnuts to win you over. 

  • Squamish Music Festival

    By Olivia Lam

    Headliners Sam Smith, Drake and Mumford & Sons will dazzle the August weekend crowd at [Squamish](http://squamishfestival.com/) this year. Prepare yourselves for music, fun and (drunken) good times. [Be safe](http://squamishfestival.com/?q=general-info/stay-safe) though, you do want to actually remember seeing your favourite band.   

  • Beaches and Gelato (or Ice Cream) Dates

    By Olivia Lam

    Sometimes one of the best summer activities is simply grabbing a [gelato cup or ice cream cone](http://vancouverisawesome.com/2015/05/28/vancouvers-best-ice-cream-spots/) and heading down to one of Vancouver's beaches to bask in the sunshine. Don't forget to slap on that SPF.

  • Honda Celebration of Light

    By Olivia Lam

    The [Honda Celebration of Light](http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/) is an annual festival and fireworks competition that brings over a million people to Vancouver's English Bay for 3 days. It's one of the biggest festivals in the city and fun for people of all ages. After all, who doesn't love watching bright colourful explosions in the sky?

  • Night Markets

    By Olivia Lam

    Night markets are a quintessential Metro Vancouver summer activity. Eclectic foods, inexpensive knockoff items and entertainment equate to a unique night market experience. Check them out at [North Van's Shipyards Night Market](http://www.northshoregreenmarkets.com/), [Plaza of Nations Saturday Night market](http://www.northshoregreenmarkets.com/), [Richmond Night Market](http://www.richmondnightmarket.com/), [International Summer Night Market](http://www.summernightmarket.com/) and [Surrey Night Market](http://surreynightmarket.com/).    

  • Velopalooza

    By Olivia Lam

    From June 12–28, take part in Vancouver's [Velopalooza](http://velopalooza.ca/about-velopalooza/) bike extravaganza. They promote cycling fun and coordinate all sorts of bike events for their festival. Check out their [calendar ](http://velopalooza.ca/)of events for more details.

  • Drum Circle Nights

    By Olivia Lam

    [Brahm's Tams](http://www.brahmstams.com/about-brahm.html) welcomes everyone to join the community drum circle on sunny Tuesday nights during the summer at Third Beach. Bring a drum, bring friends and family and bring a whole lot of spirit.

  • Bard on the Beach

    By Olivia Lam

    Shakespeare enthusiasts, literary nerds, literature majors and all you other folk who enjoy comedy, tragedy and iambic pentameter, [Bard on the Beach](http://bardonthebeach.org/) awaits your arrival. Four plays are performed annually at this cultural event, so buy your tickets now "thou crusty batch of nature!"

  • Vancouver Pride Parade

    By Olivia Lam

    Vancouver is proud to promote inclusion and diversity in its community. On August 2, the [Pride Parade](http://vancouverpride.ca/events/pride-parade/) will be on route from Robson to Denman showcasing love, support and equality in the form of "Gender Super Heroes."

  • Anime Revolution

    By Olivia Lam

    [ANIREVO 2015](http://www.animerevolution.ca/) takes over the Vancouver Convention Center from August 14–16. Better get your cosplay together, because it'll be here before you know it. Not into cosplay? Head down to the waterfront and enjoy the spectacle.

  • Slide the City

    By Olivia Lam

    North Vancouver will host a 1000 foot slip and slide event called Slide the City on August 22. There are [three different registration packages](http://www.slidethecity.com/events/northvancouver/) to choose from, so get on it! How often do you get to ride a 1000 foot slip and slide?

  • Block Parties

    By Olivia Lam

    Summer is the season of block parties. [Vancouver Pride Society](http://vancouverpride.ca/events/davie-street-block-party/) is one of the major ones to check out and [Greek Day on Broadway](http://www.greekday.com/) is another major hit. Check them out for a mix of nice weather, free entertainment and delicious snacks.

  • Food Cart Fest

    By Olivia Lam

    [Food Cart Fest](http://www.foodcartfest.com/#about-food-cart-fest) takes place every summer Sunday from 12–5 PM starting June 28. Vancouver's yummiest food carts will be attendance, so grab all your friends and indulge your inner foodie. Ride your bike there so you'll be nice and hungry to nosh on more than one lunch.

  • Free Outdoor Yoga

    By Olivia Lam

    Every now and then you'll come across an organization that will host a free yoga day, but if you're looking for consistency, the lovely people behind [Yoga at Dude Chilling Park](https://www.facebook.com/dudechillingyoga) are out every day to give back to the community. We'll "namaste" to that.

  • Dragon Boat Festival

    By Olivia Lam

    Head to False Creek June 19–21 to catch the [Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival](http://dragonboatbc.ca/events/month/). Admission is free and there will be activities for kids, food stations, shopping and of course, high caliber boat racing.

  • Vancouver Jazz Festival

    By Olivia Lam

    There are several events to attend to during the[ Vancouver Jazz Festival ](http://www.coastaljazz.ca/about)(June 19–July 1)—including a mix of big and up and coming acts. If you're not willing to fork out the dough to see some [award-winning performers](http://www.coastaljazz.ca/), then drop by one of their [free events](http://flashpageturn.com/?PID=1000648) and take it all in, economically.

  • FIFA Women's World Cup

    By Olivia Lam

    Soccer, women, and national pride – oh yes, Vancouver is all over that. This is the seventh FIFA Women's World Cup, and the first time Canada has hosted. [Individual tickets](http://www.ticketmaster.ca/fwwc2015#jump-to-van) are still available for games in Vancouver and the fan zones are fair game for all soccer fans.

  • Canada Day Celebrations

    By Olivia Lam

    Slap on those tattoos, pull out those flags and get ready to don all your red and white. July 1 is Canada's birthday which means [big celebrations](http://www.canadaday.canadaplace.ca/) and a whole lot of Canadian goodness. Who's buying the poutine?