8 things to do in Stanley Park on a sunny summer day

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With summer almost over, it can feel like all the best times for fun in the sun have passed us by. Thankfully, Vancouver’s own little urban oasis, Stanley Park, has plenty to occupy your time in the last hot, sunny days of the year.

Take a horse-drawn carriage tour

Ivan Lian / Flickr

Ivan Lian / Flickr

Hop on one of Stanley Park’s famous horse-drawn carriages and take a tour of the park in old-timey style. The narrated tours run every year from March 15 to October 31, and take you past Vancouver landmarks like Deadman’s Island, Vancouver’s Harbour, Lions Gate Bridge and Coastal Red Cedar Forest. They depart from the kiosk at the Coal Harbour parking lot once an hour.

Visit the water park

Dylan Passmore / Flickr

Dylan Passmore / Flickr

The water park at Stanley Park is open from June 1 to September 1 – prime summer splash time. In extreme drought, parts of the park might be out of commission, but as it stands everything is operational.

Visit the Vancouver Aquarium

Shawn O'Hara / Vancity Buzz

Shawn O’Hara / Vancity Buzz

The Vancouver Aquarium is an institution in this city. Not only is it a centre of marine biological research and education, it also houses live exhibits featuring some of the most beautiful, interesting, and unbelievable species that grace our wondrous oceans. There are daily shows featuring adorable beluga whales, and the current Sea Monsters exhibit features an in depth look at humanity’s misguided relationship with some of the oceans most misunderstood creatures.

Go for a picnic

Picnic / Shutterstock

Picnic / Shutterstock

Stanley Park is a bastion of natural beauty, and it’s all right next door to the urban landscape of downtown Vancouver. Why not pack a lunch and take advantage of the rolling fields, shady canopies and flowering fields that Stanley Park has to offer? Grab a map of the park and find your favourite spot.

Walk the trails

Flightlog / Flickr

Flightlog / Flickr

Stanley Park is home to over 27 kilometres of forest trails, winding through beautiful, quiet evergreen woods on one side, and along the waters of English Bay on the other. After treading the sidewalk day in and day out, it can be nice to get a little fresh air in your lungs, straight from the source.

Stanley Park Pitch and Putt

Golf / Shutterstock

Golf / Shutterstock

Looking to get a little off that work week energy out? Hit the course at the Stanley Park Pitch and Putt for 18 glorious holes of groomed and manicured green. Ranging from 40 to 100 yards, it’s the perfect place for all your putting passions.

Go for a swim at Second Beach

Matt Magnum / Flickr

Matt Magnum / Flickr

Along the Seawall sits one of Vancouver’s most loved beaches. Pack up your swim gear, grab some snacks, and hit the waves with your friends and family. The beach is open all year round, and doesn’t cost you a penny. If you aren’t into all that salt water and sea weed and stuff, the Second Beach Pool is also open for business. Swim to your heart’s content!

Watch an outdoor movie

Fresh Air Cinema

Fresh Air Cinema

The Evo Outdoor Movie series hosts a new movie every Tuesday night, next to the beautiful Lost Lagoon. Grab a blanket and some snacks, cuddle up with your friends and family, and enjoy movies the way they were meant to be enjoyed: together. If you’re looking for other outdoor movie events, chek out our Outdoor Movie Listing for a full schedule.

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About the author

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Shawn O'Hara Shawn is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. He loves writing about news, arts, movies, comedy, and culture. Some would argue Shawn is too old to still play Dungeons & Dragons. Shawn would disagree.

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