Entertainment & Activities
A gem that is near the water and parks naturally attracts a lot of activities to it. And if amidst taking in the sunset at English Bay or biking the Stanley Park Seawall you feel like taking in something more grandiose, there are plenty of year-round things to do.
Start the year off with Vancouver’s annual Polar Bear Swim. Held every year on January 1st in English Bay, you’ll enjoy the festive atmosphere as participants dress up in unique outfits before plunging into the frigid water. Then, kick-off summer with the West End’s Car Free Day. A family friendly event, it features art, music, food, and activities for the kids as Denman Street closes down to vehicles and invites pedestrians to take over the street. As we move into the summer months, the list of activities kicks up a notch.
Grab your blanket, popcorn and drinks, and enjoy the EVO Summer Cinema Series, which hosts free outdoor movies at Stanley Park’s Second Beach in July and August. Then it’s onto one of Vancouver’s biggest events, as people from all over the Lower Mainland come to enjoy the fireworks spectacular that is the Honda Celebration of Light. Watch from any one of the beaches surrounding False Creek, a West End apartment balcony, or from a dinner cruise on English Bay.
With the fireworks festival running on multiple days in both July and August, it’s time for one more epic party before fall’s coloured leaves start to abound the tree-lined streets. Take in one of Vancouver’s beloved traditions as the Vancouver Pride Parade caps off a week of celebrating the LGBTQ community. The parade routes through the West End, beginning on Robson Street and winding its way down Denman and Davie Street, before coming to a close at the Pride Festival at Sunset Beach.
Finally, for something that can be taken in any time of the year, Stanley Park has plenty to offer. As one of the most famous urban parks in the world, its 1001 acres sits surrounded by water, offers plenty of trails into the urban forest, and borders the West End and Downtown neighbourhoods. It’s also home to stunning attractions such as the Vancouver Aquarium, which offers a chance to meet otters, penguins, belugas, and more, and the Stanley Park Train, which has been a favourite of Vancouver children for decades and hosts popular events around Halloween and Christmas.