Home Special Events Free May Events in Vancouver in 2019

Free May Events in Vancouver in 2019

Free Events in Vancouver in May

There are so many free things to do in May in Vancouver including Victoria Day celebrations, Ladner May Days, markets and other fun activities.

In May there are also night markets, food truck festivals, parades, the BMO Vancouver Marathon to watch, and a number of other free fun events. See below for details.

Free Activities in May 2019

For a list of May events including activities that aren’t free, click May Events Calendar.

For a list of FREE (and almost free) activities and events this month, see below.


Vancouver on a Budget

In addition to checking out all the free activities listed below on specific dates, click Vancouver on a Budget for a list of great activities that don’t cost a lot of money throughout the year.


Note: schedules are subject to change – check official websites for exact details.

Mother's Day in Vancouver

Wednesday, May 1st

  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be!

Thursday, May 2nd

  • Lower Mainland Parks – if it’s nice out, then enjoy the outdoors in one of the region’s best parks and places in nature.

Friday, May 3rd

  • Vancouver Marathon Health & Sports Expo – a running and sports-themed trade show at the Vancouver Convention Centre between 10:00 am and 8:00 pm.
  • Art in the City – admire local art for sale at Vancouver’s West End Community Centre between 7:00 and 9:00 pm.
  • Bill Reid Gallery – free admission to the Indigenous art gallery between 2:00 and 5:00 pm (because today is the first Friday of the month).
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Shipyard Night Market – market activities and a free concert from 5:00 until 10:00 pm not far from North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay.

Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festivals

Saturday, May 4th

  • Chilliwack Food Truck Festival – a food truck event featuring close to 3 dozen food and artisan vendors at Chilliwack Heritage Park in the Fraser Valley.
  • The Pull of the Net – a free multicultural event featuring various performances at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm.
  • CityFest – a skateboarding festival with free live entertainment and other youth-oriented activities in North Vancouver.
  • Burnaby Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby.
  • Japanese Spring Bazaar – a garage sale-style event at Burnaby’s Nikkei Museum and Cultural Centre at 6688 Southoaks Crescent. There are also a couple of workshops with one being free and the other requiring advanced registration and a $5 fee.
  • BC Veggie Greenhouse Tours – free public tours of three Lower Mainland greenhouses. Participating venues are Westcoast Vegetables (at 3975 46A Street in Delta), Sunnyside Produce (at 1133 176 Street in Surrey) and Gravis Farms (at 4653 Bell Road in Abbotsford).
  • Vancouver Marathon Health & Sports Expo – a running and sports-themed trade show at the Vancouver Convention Centre between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.
  • Art in the City – admire local art for sale at Vancouver’s West End Community Centre between 12:00 and 5:00 pm.
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Glades Garden Open House – the semi-private garden park is open between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm at 561-172nd Street in Surrey. Admission is by donation.
  • Farmers Markets
  • Vancouver Flea Market – an indoor flea market at 703 Terminal Avenue in Vancouver between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Admission ranges from $1.50 to $3.00 depending on the day’s event, so it’s not free, but it is pretty cheap.
  • Family Favourites Movies – the movie Instant Family costs just $2.99 in the morning at select theatres in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Langley, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver.

Sunday, May 5th

  • Cinco de Mayo at TLCC – family-friendly activities celebrating the Mexican festival day at the Trout Lake Community Centre from around noon until 3:00 pm. (Note: Although there is no charge to attend, participants are asked to register in advance.)
  • BMO Vancouver International Marathon – a major sporting event with close to 18,000 runners (who pay to participate) and live music along the way (which is free to enjoy).
  • Art in the City – admire local art for sale at Vancouver’s West End Community Centre between 12:00 and 5:00 pm.
  • Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby.
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Farmers Markets
  • Flea Markets
    • Cloverdale Flea Market – a giant market with primarily (but not exclusively) second-hand goods between 6:00 am and 3:00 pm in Surrey. Admission is $1.50, but free for kids ages 12 and under.
    • Vancouver Flea Market – an indoor flea market at 703 Terminal Avenue in Vancouver between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Admission ranges from $1.50 to $3.00 depending on the day’s event, so it’s not free, but it is pretty cheap.
    • Abbotsford Flea Market – a market at 32470 Haida Drive in Abbotsford from 6:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. Admission is just $1.00, but free for kids under 10 years of age.
  • Jazz Vespers
    • From 4:00 to 5:00 pm at First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Note: this is a new location while the regular St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church venue is undergoing renovations).
    • At St. Stephen’s Anglican Church at 885–22nd Street in West Vancouver with the Jazz Connexion Band at 4:00 pm.

Monday, May 6th

  • Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if it’s nice out, then enjoy the outdoors in one of the region’s best parks and places in nature.

StayVancouverHotels.com

Tuesday, May 7th

  • Vancouver Art Gallery – admission to the city’s main art gallery at 750 Hornby Street is by donation today between 5:00 and 9:00 pm.
  • Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby.
  • Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – if it’s sunny, informal drumming happens at Third Beach in the evening.
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Metro Vancouver cinemas (so it’s not free, but it is extra cheap).

Wednesday, May 8th

  • Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if it’s nice out, then enjoy the outdoors in one of the region’s best parks and places in nature.

Royal Canadian Family Circus 2019


TWO-FOR-THE-PRICE-OF-ONE CIRCUS TICKETS!

The Royal Canadian Family Circus is an amazing circus! Although it’s not free, if you use the promo code VANSBESTPLACES you can get 2-for-1 general admission tickets, which is a fabulous deal! Shows take place Richmond from May 9th to 20th (as well as in Tsawwassen on May 24th to 26th and in Surrey May 31st to June 9th).


Thursday, May 9th

Friday, May 10th

  • Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby.
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Shipyard Night Market – market activities and a free concert from 5:00 until 10:00 pm not far from North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay.

Saturday, May 11th

Mother's Day in Vancouver

Sunday, May 12th

  • Mother’s Day – an important day to remember Mom! Free ways to make her feel special include spending time with her (like at a park or outdoors in nature, if the weather is good), or at least giving her a call and saying “thanks” and “I love you!”
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Sunday Farmers Markets
  • Other Sunday Markets
    • Cloverdale Flea Market – a giant market with primarily (but not exclusively) second-hand goods between 6:00 am and 3:00 pm in Surrey. Admission is $1.50, but free for kids ages 12 and under.
    • Vancouver Flea Market – an indoor flea market at 703 Terminal Avenue in Vancouver between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Admission ranges from $1.50 to $3.00 depending on the day’s event, so it’s not free, but it is pretty cheap.
    • Abbotsford Flea Market – a market at 32470 Haida Drive in Abbotsford from 6:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. Admission is just $1.00, but free for kids under 10 years of age.
  • Free Jazz Vespers
    • From 4:00 to 5:00 pm at First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Note: this is a new location while the regular St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church venue is undergoing renovations).
    • At 4:00 pm at Surrey’s Northwood United Church at 8855 156th Street. This afternoon’s performance is with the Glenda Rae Trio. Admission is by donation.

Monday, May 13th

  • Lower Mainland Parks – if it’s nice out, then enjoy the outdoors in one of the region’s best parks and places in nature.

Tuesday, May 14th

  • Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – if a sunny day, informal drumming happens at Third Beach in the evening.
  • Vancouver Art Gallery – admission to the city’s main art gallery at 750 Hornby Street is by donation today between 5:00 and 9:00 pm.
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Metro Vancouver cinemas (so it’s not free, but it is extra cheap).

Wednesday, May 15th

  • Lower Mainland Parks – if it’s nice out, then enjoy the outdoors in one of the region’s best parks and places in nature.

Thursday, May 16th

  • Beaty Nocturnal – admission to UBC’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum is by donation today between 5:00 and 8:30 pm.
  • Music on the Bow – a mini concert at the Trout Lake Community Centre at 3360 Victoria Drive. Tonight features the Rain City Swing between 7:00 and 9:00 pm.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if it’s nice out, then enjoy the outdoors in one of the region’s best parks and places in nature.

Cloverdale Rodeo Banner Ad


Click Cloverdale Rodeo for full details about the Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair which runs from Friday May 17th until Monday 20th. Children ages 12 and under are free when accompanied by a paying adult (for both the fairgrounds and the rodeo performances)!


Friday, May 17th

  • Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair – admission to the fairgrounds and rodeo shows are free for children ages 12 and under. Tonight is also fireworks night!
  • Whistler Go Fest the “Great Outdoors Festival” today features a free concert with Corb Lund starting at 7:30 pm.
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Shipyard Night Market – market activities and a free concert from 5:00 until 10:00 pm not far from North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay.

All British Field Meet 2019

Saturday, May 18th

  • Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair – the rodeo’s shows, amusement rides and admission to the fairground aren’t free (unless you are age 12 and under). The parade, which runs between 10:00 am and noon, however, is free for everyone.
  • Whistler Go Fest – the “Great Outdoors Festival” today features free street entertainment and concerts with Jesse Roper at 3:00 and Said the Whale starting at 7:30 pm.
  • Vancouver Comic Arts Festival – a comic trade show at the Roundhouse Community Centre at 181 Roundhouse Mews. Admission is free.
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Saturday Markets
  • Family Favourites Movies – the movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse costs just $2.99 in the morning at select theatres in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Langley, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver.

Victoria Day in Vancouver

Sunday, May 19th

  • Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair – admission to the fairgrounds and rodeo shows are free for children ages 12 and under.
  • All-British Vancouver-Whistler Run – up to 100 classic British cars are on display at Whistler’s Creekside Plaza as part of the Whistler Go Fest event.
  • Whistler Go Fest the “Great Outdoors Festival” today features free street entertainment and concerts with Buckman Coe & Tonye Aganaba at 3:00 and the Lazy Syrup Orchestra starting at 7:30 pm.
  • Royal Victorian Party – free Victoria Day festivities at Surrey’s Stewart Farm.
  • Spot Prawn Festival – at False Creek’s Fishermen’s Wharf at 1505 West 1st Avenue. Access to the Spot Prawn chowder area costs money, but some parts of the venue don’t.
  • Vancouver Comic Arts Festivala comic trade show at the Roundhouse Community Centre at 181 Roundhouse Mews. Admission is free.
  • Engine 374 Anniversary – free birthday cake, kid-friendly activities and a brass band from 12:00 until 3:00 pm at the Roundhouse Community Centre to commemorate the 1887 arrival of the first passenger train in Vancouver.
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. Today is Member’s Day and features a plant sale. All are welcome.
  • Farmers and Other Markets
    • Coquitlam Farmers Market – a market at Coquitlam’s Dogwood Pavilion at 624 Poirier Street between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm.
    • Ambleside Artisan Farmers Market – in West Vancouver at the foot of 13th Street just inside the entrance to Ambleside Park between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.
    • Kitsilano Farmers Market – between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm at the Kitsilano Community Centre.
    • Steveston Village Farmers Market – at the Steveston Community Centre at 4111 Moncton Street between 10:30 am and 3:30 pm.
    • Whistler Farmers Market between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm at the bottom of Blackcomb Mountain.
    • White Rock Farmers Market – at 15154 Russell Avenue from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in White Rock. Today’s live music is likely with Arianna Loudegouski.
    • Vancouver Flea Market – an indoor flea market at 703 Terminal Avenue in Vancouver between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Admission ranges from $1.50 to $3.00 depending on the day’s event, so it’s not free, but it is pretty cheap.
  • Jazz Vespers – from 4:00 to 5:00 pm at First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Note: this is a new location while the regular St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church venue is undergoing renovations).

Monday, May 20th

Tuesday, May 21st

  • Vancouver Art Gallery – admission to the city’s main art gallery at 750 Hornby Street is by donation today between 5:00 and 9:00 pm.
  • Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – if it’s a sunny day, informal drumming happens at Third Beach in the evening.
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Metro Vancouver cinemas (so it’s not free, but it is extra cheap).

Wednesday, May 22nd

  • Music on the Bow – a mini concert at the Trout Lake Community Centre at 3360 Victoria Drive. Tonight features the Soda Crackers between 7:00 and 9:00 pm.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if it’s nice out, then enjoy the outdoors in one of the region’s best parks and places in nature.

Thursday, May 23rd

  • Surrey Children’s Festival – a kid-focused event at Bear Creek Park and the Surrey Arts Centre. Shows and main activities cost money, but admission to the site and some activities are free.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if it’s nice out, then enjoy the outdoors in one of the region’s best parks and places in nature.

Royal Canadian Family Circus 2019


The Royal Canadian Family Circus is an amazing circus! Although it’s not free, if you use the promo code VANSBESTPLACES you can get 2-for-1 general admission tickets, which is a fabulous deal. Shows take place in Tsawwassen from May 24th to 26th (as well as in Surrey May 31st to June 9th).


Friday, May 24th

  • Ladner May Days – a community fair at Memorial Park. The amusement rides cost money, but the live music and admission to the site are free.
  • Surrey International Children’s Festival – a kid-focused event at Bear Creek Park and the Surrey Arts Centre. Shows and main activities cost money, but admission to the site and some activities are free.
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Shipyard Night Market – market activities and a free concert from 5:00 until 10:00 pm not far from North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay.

Saturday, May 25th

  • Ladner May Days – a community fair at Memorial Park. The amusement rides cost money, but the live music and admission to the site are free.
  • Surrey International Children’s Festival – a kid-focused event at Bear Creek Park and the Surrey Arts Centre. Shows and main activities cost money, but admission to the site and some activities are free.
  • Hyack Parade – a large parade in downtown New Westminster beginning at 11:00 am.
  • Cloverdale Market Days – a street market along 176th Street in downtown Cloverdale between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Cloverdale Food Truck Festival – over two dozen food trucks and market vendors at the Cloverdale Exhibition Grounds in Surrey from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm.
  • Alexandra Festival – a family-friendly event at Alexandra Neighbourhood House at 2916 McBride Avenue in South Surrey.
  • Glades Garden Open House – the semi-private garden park is open between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm at 561-172nd Street in Surrey. Admission is by donation.
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Saturday Markets
  • Family Favourites Movies – the movie Aquaman costs just $2.99 in the morning at select theatres in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Langley, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver.

Ladner May Days

Sunday, May 26th

  • Fair in the Square – a mini festival with free barbecued hamburgers and live music at Victory Square from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm.
  • Ladner May Days – a community fair at Memorial Park. The amusement rides cost money, but the live music and admission to the site are free.
  • Vancouver Turkic Festival – a live music and family-friendly cultural activities at Shipbuilders’ Square in North Vancouver.
  • BC Polish Festival – a cultural festival at Port Coquitlam’s Leigh Square between 1:00 and 9:30 pm.
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Farmers Markets
  • Flea Markets
    • Cloverdale Flea Market – a giant market with primarily (but not exclusively) second-hand goods between 6:00 am and 3:00 pm in Surrey. Admission is $1.50, but free for kids ages 12 and under.
    • Vancouver Flea Market – an indoor flea market at 703 Terminal Avenue in Vancouver between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. Admission ranges from $1.50 to $3.00 depending on the day’s event, so it’s not free, but it is pretty cheap.
    • Abbotsford Flea Market – a market at 32470 Haida Drive in Abbotsford from 6:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. Admission is just $1.00, but free for kids under 10 years of age.
  • Free Jazz Vespers
    • From 4:00 to 5:00 pm at First Baptist Church at 969 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. (Note: this is a new location while the regular St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church venue is undergoing renovations).
    • At Northwood United Church at 8855 156th Street in Surrey from 4 to 5 pm. Admission by donation. Today features Seven Women in Jazz.
    • At 4:00 pm at Surrey’s Northwood United Church at 8855 156th Street. This afternoon’s performance features Seven Women in Jazz. Admission is by donation.
    • At St. Andrew’s United Church in North Vancouver at 1044 St. George’s Avenue from 4:00 until 5:00 pm. Today’s music is with Siobhan Walsh. Admission is by donation.

Monday, May 27th

  • Bike to Work Week – a good day to commute to work using pedal power! It’s free and good for you!
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if it’s nice out, then enjoy the outdoors in one of the region’s best parks and places in nature.

Tuesday, May 28th

  • Bike to Work Week – a good day to commute to work using pedal power! It’s free and good for you!
  • Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – if today is a sunny day, informal drumming happens at Third Beach in the evening.
  • Vancouver Art Gallery – admission to the city’s main art gallery at 750 Hornby Street is by donation today between 5:00 and 9:00 pm.
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Metro Vancouver cinemas (so it’s not free, but it is extra cheap).

Wednesday, May 29th

  • Bike to Work Week – a good day to commute to work using pedal power! It’s free and good for you!
  • Sounds of Spring – a free music event at Glades Garden at 561 172nd Street in South Surrey from 6:30 until 8:00 pm.
  • Music on the Bow – a mini concert at the Trout Lake Community Centre at 3360 Victoria Drive. This afternoon features the Blue Lasso Band from 1:00 until 3:00 pm.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if it’s nice out, then enjoy the outdoors in one of the region’s best parks and places in nature.

Thursday, May 30th

  • Bike to Work Week – a good day to commute to work using pedal power! It’s free and good for you!
  • Museum of Vancouver – admission is by donation today between 5:00 and 8:00 pm.

Royal Canadian Family Circus 2019

Friday, May 31st

  • West Vancouver Bridge Festival – a two-day family-friendly event at Ambleside Park (formerly a one-day event called West Van Community Day).
  • Bike to Work Week – a good day to commute to work using pedal power! It’s free and good for you!
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Shipyard Night Market – market activities and a free concert from 5:00 until 10:00 pm not far from North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay.

Other Information

For a more complete list of things to do in April, including activities that aren’t free, see Vancouver’s May Events Calendar.

And for a list of great activities that don’t cost a lot of money throughout the year, click Vancouver on a Budget.