5 more free things to do in Vancouver this summer

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Drive-in Theatre/Shutterstock

Vancouver, while beautiful and fun, isn’t always the friendliest city on your wallet. That’s why in conjunction with Wesgroup, we’ve come up with five more free activities that promise to be a fun time, but won’t break the bank – and all are happening in the new River District.

River District Drive-In

Image: River District

Image: Wesgroup

This summer, Vancouver will be getting a drive-in movie experience like no other. There used to be several drive-in movies around the city, but they all closed more than 35 years ago – but starting July 12, that will all change. On a nine-acre, empty gravel lot in River District, an upcoming development along the Fraser River just west of Boundary, Wesgroup will be hosting a series of drive-in movie nights, free for the community, all themed and complete with a parallel food concept featuring food trucks and themed décor. On four nights throughout the summer, River District will welcome hundreds of cars for the following movies:

  • July 12: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, featuring ’80s Chicago-style diner and baseball themed food
  • July 26: Star Trek
  • August 30: The Outsiders, featuring BBQ food trucks like Blu Smoke BBQ and Big Dog Diner
  • September 6: Stand by Me, featuring comfort and campfire food as well as fake campfire stations for relaxing with your food.
  • When: 7 p.m.
  • Where: Corner of East Kent Road and Boundary, Vancouver
  • Website: riverdistrict.ca/events

Free Outdoor Yoga

Image: River District

Image: Wesgroup

What’s better than doing yoga outside in the sun, on the grass? YYoga will be hosting a series of four outdoor yoga classes on the grass fronting the Fraser River, at the foot of Kerr Street. This is a stunning location, and one of a small handful of outdoor yoga classes in the city. The best things in life – just like these classes – are free. Check out one of the sessions in this super cool video.

  • When: July 12 and 19 from 11 a.m. to noon
    Where: 
    Grass field in front (south) of the River District Sales Centre (8700 Kinross Street, Vancouver)
  • Website: riverdistrict.ca/events

Historical Walking Tours of Vancouver’s Other Waterfront

Explore Vancouver’s “other waterfront,” River District, with civic historian and author, John Atkin, as he leads historical walking tours along the North Arm of the Fraser River. Industry still occupies much of the shoreline and log booms, barges and tugs make for a fascinating and changing parade of activity. Learn about the history of sawmills in the area and what is now emerging as a new, master-planned and award-winning community.

  • Dates: July 19 and August 9, 10 a.m. start (90 minute tours)
  • Location: Corner of East Kent Road and Kerr Street, Vancouver
  • Cost: $10 per person (But first 10 people to sign up are FREE!)
  • Website: riverdistrict.ca/events

Artists on the River with ArtsAlly

What better way to spend a summer Saturday than wandering a farmer’s market and watching professional artists paint the natural setting around them on the River District pier. The Fraser River will be the inspiration for painters like the “queen of green” Marion Webber and master painter Paul Chizik. Come watch these talented local artists as they capture the spirit and essence of the working river, and wander the dock to view the collection. This event is put on by ArtsAlly, a super cool organization that connects independent artists in the city with interested buyers and collectors.

  • When: August 1, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Where: River District Doc – 8683 Kerr Street, Vancouver
  • Websiteartsally.com

Artists on the River with ArtsAlly Part 2

Bring the whole family and become art explorers for the afternoon in a unique, interactive art scavenger hunt through an outdoor art exhibit. Local artists will be displaying their work on the Fraser River pier at River District, and visitors will be searching for clues in their art and winning prizes. This is a unique way to introduce kids to art in a super fun way, while connecting with independent West Coast working artists. Bring your monocle and stare deeply into the bubbly works of Melanie Ellery and the Picasso-like urbanity of Laura Zerebeski. This event is put on by ArtsAlly, a super cool organization that connects independent artists in the city with interested buyers and collectors. It also coincides with the River District Farmer’s market so you can shop for veggies after.

  • When: Saturday August 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Location: River District Dock – 8683 Kerr Street, Vancouver
  • Website: artsally.com

River District Block Party

TD’s River District Block Party is the ultimate neighbourhood event – brimming with the best of Vancouver’s street food, live music, games and art. This event will offer visitors the chance to experience the up-and-coming neighbourhood of River District like they’ve never seen it before.

On August 15, the parking lot will be transformed into a lively, family friendly, open-air hub that features live music, dance, free games and prizes; free summer treats; an activity zone with games and creative play for kids; popular Vancouver food trucks and street eats, and carnival games. Come out to this event and meet your neighbours, plant roots in your community and celebrate this new waterfront community.

  • When: Saturday, August 15, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Where: TD branch at Marine Way & Kinross Street, Vancouver
  • Website: riverdistrict.ca/events
free things to do in vancouver this summer

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