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Free May Events in Vancouver

Free Events 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 Marathon to watch, and a number of other free fun events. See below for details.

Free Activities in May 2018

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.

Vancouver and Fraser Valley Entertainment Coupon Book

Tuesday, May 1st

  • 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 2nd

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

Thursday, May 3rd

  • 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 4th

  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.

Saturday, May 5th

Kidsworld Program

Sunday, May 6th

  • Vancouver 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).
  • Memorial Parade – a small military ceremony at 10:00 am at Waterfront Park in North Vancouver to commemorate the end of the Second World War’s Battle of the Atlantic in which over 4600 Canadians lost their lives.
  • 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.
  • Jazz Vespers – from 4:00 until 5:00 pm at Vancouver’s St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church. Admission by donation.

Monday, May 7th

  • 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 8th

  • Vancouver Art Gallery – cost today is by donation between 5:00 and 9:00 pm (but regular price at other times).
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Lower Mainland cinemas (so films aren’t free, but they are extra inexpensive).

Wednesday, May 9th

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

Thursday, May 10th

  • 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 11th

Saturday, May 12th

Mother's Day in Vancouver

Sunday, May 13th

  • 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!”
  • Playland – the city’s amusement rides and midway are open between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm (with a chance that admission is free for moms arriving within a specific period of time – or at least that’s been the case other years).
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Free Jazz
    • Jazz Vespers – from 4:00 until 5:00 pm at Vancouver’s St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church. Admission by donation.
    • Jazz Vespers in Surrey – at 4:00 pm at Surrey’s Northwood United Church at 8855 156th Street.

Monday, May 14th

  • 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 15th

  • Vancouver Art Gallery – cost today is by donation between 5:00 and 9:00 pm (but regular price at other times).
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Lower Mainland cinemas (so films aren’t free, but they are extra inexpensive).

Wednesday, May 16th

  • Music on the Bow – a mini concert at the Trout Lake Community Centre at 3360 Victoria Drive. Tonight features the Soda Crackers from 7:00 until 9:00 pm.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be!




Thursday, May 17th

  • Beaty Nocturnal – admission to UBC’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum is by donation today between 5:00 and 8:30 pm.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be!

Friday, May 18th

  • Whistler Go Fest – the “Great Outdoors Festival” today features free street entertainment throughout the afternoon in Whistler Village and a free concert starting at 7:30 pm in the Village Square.
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • North Vancouver’s Shipyards Night Market – market activities and a free concert from 5:00 until 10:00 pm not far from Lonsdale Quay.

Saturday, May 19th

Sunday, May 20th

  • Whistler Go Fest – the “Great Outdoors Festival” today features all kinds of free activities including free concerts in the Village Square starting at 3:00 and 7:30 pm.
  • All-British Vancouver-Whistler Run – up to 100 or so classic British cars are on display at Whistler’s Creekside Plaza as part of the Whistler Go Fest event.
  • Royal Victorian Party – free Victoria Day festivities at Surrey’s Stewart Farm.
  • Engine 374 Anniversary Celebration – 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.
  • Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair – the rodeo’s shows and amusement rides aren’t free, but the pancake breakfast is available for a minimum $3 donation and attendees arriving between 9:30 and 9:59 am get free admission to the country fair.
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Sunday Markets
  • Jazz Vespers – from 4:00 until 5:00 pm at Vancouver’s St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church. Admission by donation.

Victoria Day in Vancouver

Monday, May 21st

  • Victoria Day – the statutory holiday day of the May Long Weekend.
  • Victoria Day at Burnaby Village – entertainment with the Tiddly Cove Morris Dancers and British Columbia Regiment Band, plus various family-friendly activities.
  • Victoria Day at TLCC – activities for little kids and their families at the Trout Lake Community Centre from 10:00 am until noon. Free with advanced registration.
  • Whistler Go Fest – a “Great Outdoors Festival” which includes free yoga in the morning and live entertainers in the streets of Whistler Village.
  • Fort Langley May Day Parade a large parade along Glover Road followed by a small fair with family-friendly activities at Fort Langley Community Park.
  • Vancouver Comic Arts Festival – an event for people who love comics. Admission is free, as are most (but not all) of its activities.

Tuesday, May 22nd

  • Vancouver Art Gallery – cost today is by donation between 5:00 and 9:00 pm (but regular price at other times).
  • Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – drumming takes place at Stanley Park’s Third Beach from early evening until sunset (assuming sunny weather). (Note: don’t be surprised to smell “smoking weed” in the air!)
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Lower Mainland cinemas (so films aren’t free, but they are extra inexpensive).

Wednesday, May 23rd

  • 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 24th

  • Surrey International Children’s Festival – a festival for children at Bear Creek Park and the Surrey Arts Centre. Admission to the site is free, but shows and most activities require payment for tickets and a wristband.

Friday, May 25th

  • Ladner May Days – a community fair at Memorial Park. The amusement rides cost just $2-$4 each (but today only), and the live music and admission to the site are free.
  • Surrey International Children’s Festival – a festival for young children at Bear Creek Park and the Surrey Arts Centre. Admission to the site is free, but shows and most activities require payment for tickets and a wristband.
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • North Vancouver’s Shipyards Night Market – market activities and a free concert from 5:00 until 10:00 pm not far from Lonsdale Quay.

Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festivals

Saturday, May 26th

Ladner May Days

Sunday, May 27th

  • 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. Today is also the day for the parade starting at noon.
  • Dano-Korean Festival – a free event featuring various Korean cultural activities between 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock at the Trout Lake Community Centre.
  • Vancouver Turkic Festival – a live music and family-friendly cultural activities at Shipbuilders’ Square in North Vancouver.
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.
  • Paper Collectibles & Postcard Show – the Vancouver Postcard Club’s annual Show & Sale event takes place at the Hastings Community Centre from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm. Admission is by donation.
  • Farmers 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.
  • Free Jazz
    • Jazz Vespers – from 4:00 until 5:00 pm at Vancouver’s St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church. Admission by donation.
    • Jazz Vespers in Surrey – at 4:00 pm at Surrey’s Northwood United Church at 8855 156th Street.

Monday, May 28th

  • Bike to Work Week – a good day to commute to work using pedal power! It’s free and good for you!
  • Music Mondays – free live music featuring musicians from the area between 5:30 and 6:30 pm at Sunset Community Centre at 6810 Main Street.

Tuesday, May 29th

  • 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 – drumming takes place at Stanley Park’s Third Beach from early evening until sunset (assuming sunny weather). (Note: don’t be surprised to smell “smoking weed” in the air!)
  • Vancouver Art Gallery – cost today is by donation between 5:00 and 9:00 pm (but regular price at other times).
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Lower Mainland cinemas (so films aren’t free, but they are extra inexpensive).

Wednesday, May 30th

  • Bike to Work Week – a good day to commute to work using pedal power!
  • Sounds of Spring – a free live music event at Blackie Spit in Surrey between 6:30 until 8:00 pm.

Thursday, May 31st

Other Information

For a more complete list of things to do in May, 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.