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Vancouver Summer Activities

Best Summer Activities

Vancouver is usually vibrant in the summer with its tourist attractions, Playland rides, beaches, parks, outdoor entertainment and festivals.

The same as last year, 2021 is very different from normal, thanks to the coronavirus. There are still lots of things to do this summer, just not as much as usual.

Check out our list of top summer things to do below, or see our article about What’s Open in COVID-19 Vancouver to see what attractions are currently operating.

Some of the top attractions scheduled to take place in the City of Vancouver in the summer of 2021 include Imagine Van Gogh and Playland. There are also walking tours with Forbidden Vancouver and adventure games with Vancouver Mysteries. Art Downtown happens a few times a week and Hawaii from Above shows daily at FlyOver Canada. For the full list of what’s happening, see our June, July, August and September calendars of events.


Vancouver’s Best Places for Summer Activities

The Lower Mainland typically has amazing summers, with July, August and September usually having the best (i.e., sunniest and warmest) weather. Vancouver is rated as one of the best cities in which to live, and summer is when it’s at its peak – there is just so much to see, do and enjoy in Vancouver in the summer.


Kitsilano Beach
Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach


Vancouver’s Best Summer Outdoor Places

Below are the best places to spend summer days outdoors in Vancouver:


Playland in 2021


Playland is open for family-friendly fun on weekends and select weekdays this year between June 11th and mid-September!


Vancouver’s Top Summertime Attractions

Wondering what to do in town from June until September? Below are Vancouver’s top tourist attractions to visit in the summer. There are many more, which you can find at Metro Vancouver’s Top 24 Attractions. The following Vancouver attractions, however, are, in our opinion, five of the absolute best tourist destinations specifically during the summer.


Granville Island

Granville Island comes alive in the summer with street performers and all sorts of things to see and do, including the wonderful and free water park for kids, walks along the seawall and shopping in the market.


Grouse Mountain

After the snow disappears Grouse Mountain turns into a summer play area with its movie theatre, grizzly bear habitat, mountain biking, summer Lumberjack and Birds in Motion shows, and scenic rides up the chairlift. The temperature up the hill is usually cool and comfortable, which makes it a great place for hiking too. Want to get some serious exercise and save on the price of admission? Then hike to the top via the grueling Grouse Grind!


Playland and the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE)

Playland is Vancouver’s amusement park. It usually runs from early May until late September (with a break starting in the second half of August because of the PNE). In 2021, the first day of the season is June 11th. Between then and September, the rides operate on weekends and select weekdays.

The last 3 weeks of the summer the Pacific National Exhibition is the place to find amusement rides, agricultural displays, outdoor concerts and performances of all kinds. 2021 details are to be confirmed.


Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours



A fun, educational and entertaining activity to do in the summer is take a walking tour. Forbidden Vancouver offers tours around Stanley Park, Gastown, the West End and other parts of downtown Vancouver. They are highly recommended for folk ages 14+.


Stanley Park

Stanley Park is one of Vancouver’s best places to visit any time of the year, Stanley Park is especially popular in the summer with its beautiful sandy beaches, giant outdoor children’s pool at Second Beach, and the Stanley Park seawall for cycling, walking, jogging and roller-blading around.


Whistler BC

Whistler is a couple of hours out of town, and most famous for its winter activities, but it is also a prime destination in the summer. The village is a beautiful place to walk around and enjoy a drink or meal at an outdoor patio restaurant. The Peak-to-Peak gondola offers access to world-class mountainous views, and the whole area is a hiking, mountain biker, cyclist and golfers’ paradise. On the way to Whistler, travelers can enjoy the Sea to Sky Highway views and places of interest along the way.


Ropes Courses in Maple Ridge

One of the most fun places to spend the day in summer in the Lower Mainland is at WildPlay in Maple Ridge. The attraction features ropes courses up in the trees as well as a number of ziplines.

For an idea of what to expect, check out the following video. It features ziplines and ropes course elements on both the attraction’s Classic and Extreme courses.

WildPlay is recommended any time of the year. It’s especially popular though in the summer. It’s a great place for adults, youth and children ages 5 and older.



Vancouver’s Best Summer Festivals

Some of the Lower Mainland’s best summer festivals and special events are the following:

For a full list of summer festivals and other special activities, check out Vancouver’s Top Festivals and Events.

For a complete list of the best summer events in the Lower Mainland, check out our July and August calendars.


Free Outdoor Movies


Other Information

Other articles that might be of interest include the following: