Home Special Events Free May Events in Vancouver in 2020

Free May Events in Vancouver in 2020

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.


COVID-19 AND FREE THINGS TO DO

NOTE: As a result of the current coronavirus pandemic, most events and attractions in the Vancouver area (and entire province) this spring have ceased operations temporarily or been cancelled or postponed.

Before heading out to an event or venue over the next few months, check out your destination’s official website to make sure that it’s still open to the public. Also, as much as possible, stay home, maintain appropriate physical distancing, wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. Together we can beat this virus!

For more information about the coronavirus and its impact on the Lower Mainland, see our article about Vancouver COVID-19 Closures & Cancellations. For a list of ideas of things to do while staying at home, see our article about Rainy Day Activities.


Free Vancouver Activities in May 2020

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, especially given the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. Check official websites for exact details.

Friday May 1st (2020)

  • 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. (CANCELLED)
  • Art in the City – admire local art for sale at Vancouver’s West End Community Centre between 7:00 and 9:00 pm. (CANCELLED)
  • Burnaby Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby. (POSTPONED, with future dates to be determined.)
  • 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). (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (CLOSED until further notice.)
  • Shipyard Night Market – market activities and a free concert from 5:00 until 10:00 pm not far from North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay. (POSTPONED until at least June.)

Saturday May 2nd (2020)

  • 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. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
  • CityFest – a skateboarding festival with free live entertainment and other youth-oriented activities in North Vancouver. (The live event is cancelled, but some activities are still happening online.)
  • Free Comic Book Day independent comic book stores often give away comic books for free on the first Saturday in May each year (but likely not in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • Nikkei 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. (POSTPONED until the fall.)
  • 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. (CANCELLED)
  • Burnaby Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby. (POSTPONED, with future dates to be determined.)
  • 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. (CANCELLED)
  • Art in the City – admire local art for sale at Vancouver’s West End Community Centre between 7:00 and 9:00 pm. (CANCELLED)
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (CLOSED until further notice.)
  • 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.
  • Family Favourites Movies – a family-friendly movie costs just $2.99 in the morning at select theatres in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Langley, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver. (CANCELLED)

Sunday, May 3rd (2020)

  • Farmers Markets
  • Art in the City – admire local art for sale at Vancouver’s West End Community Centre between 7:00 and 9:00 pm. (CANCELLED)
  • Burnaby Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby. (POSTPONED, with future dates to be determined.)
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (CLOSED until further notice.)
  • 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. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
    • 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. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
    • 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. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
  • Jazz Vespers
    • From 4:00 to 5:00 pm at the salons at St. Andrews-Wesley United Church at 1018 Nelson Street in Vancouver. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
    • At St. Stephen’s Anglican Church at 885 – 22nd Street in West Vancouver at 4 pm. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)

Monday, May 4th (2020)

  • May the Fourth/Star Wars Day – click May the Fourth in Vancouver to learn about the free family-friendly online event at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre this year as well as what (usually) happens in the Lower Mainland in years when there is no COVID-19.
  • Burnaby Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby. (POSTPONED, with future dates to be determined.)
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!

2020 Entertainment Coupon Book

Tuesday, May 5th (2020)

  • Cinco de Mayo – a Mexican celebration with various events around town most years (but not likely in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • 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. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
  • Seniors Day at MOV – for anyone over the age of 65 admission to the museum costs $5 today (so it’s not free, but it is extra cheap). (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
  • Burnaby Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby. (POSTPONED, with future dates to be determined.)
  • Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – if it’s sunny, informal drumming happens at Third Beach in the evening. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Metro Vancouver cinemas (so it’s not free, but it is extra cheap). (TBC, but likely cancelled.)

Wednesday, May 6th (2020)

  • Burnaby Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby. (POSTPONED, with future dates to be determined.)
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!

Thursday, May 7th (2020)

  • New West Farmers Market – a market with vendors selling fresh produce at New Westminster’s Tipperary Park at 315 Queens Avenue between 3:00 and 7:00 pm.
  • Burnaby Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby. (POSTPONED, with future dates to be determined.)
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!

Friday, May 8th (2020)

  • Burnaby Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby. (POSTPONED, with future dates to be determined.)
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (CLOSED until further notice.)
  • Shipyards Night Market – market activities and a free concert from 5:00 until 10:00 pm not far from North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay. (POSTPONED until June.)

Saturday, May 9th (2020)

  • Saturday Markets
  • Burnaby Festival of Learning – a selection of free learning events at various locations in Burnaby. (POSTPONED, with future dates to be determined.)
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (CLOSED until further notice.)
  • Family Favourites Movies – a family-friendly movie costs just $2.99 in the morning at select theatres in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Langley, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver. (To be confirmed, but likely cancelled.)

Mother's Day in Vancouver

Sunday, May 10th (2020)

  • 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 and you live in the same residence), or at least giving her a call and saying “thanks” and “I love you!”
  • 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. (TBC)
    • 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. (TBC)
    • 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. (TBC)
  • Free Jazz Vespers
    • From 4:00 to 5:00 pm at the salons at St. Andrews-Wesley United Church at 1018 Nelson Street in Vancouver. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
    • At 4:00 pm at Surrey’s Northwood United Church at 8855 156th Street. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)

Monday, May 11th (2020)

  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!

Tuesday, May 12th (2020)

  • Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – if a sunny day, informal drumming happens at Third Beach in the evening. (TBC)
  • 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. (TBC)
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Metro Vancouver cinemas (so it’s not free, but it is extra cheap). (TBC, but likely cancelled.)

Kidsworld Program

Wednesday, May 13th (2020)

  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!

Thursday, May 14th (2020)

  • New Westminster Farmers Market – a market with vendors selling fresh produce at New Westminster’s Tipperary Park at 315 Queens Avenue between 3:00 and 7:00 pm.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!

Friday, May 15th (2020)

  • Whistler Go Fest – a festival that includes free outdoor concerts in Whistler. (CANCELLED)
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (CLOSED until further notice.)
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!

Saturday, May 16th (2020)

  • Vancouver Comic Arts Festival – a comic trade show at the Roundhouse Community Centre at 181 Roundhouse Mews. Admission is free. (CANCELLED)
  • Whistler Go Fest – a festival that includes free outdoor concerts in Whistler. (CANCELLED)
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (CLOSED until further notice.)
  • Saturday Markets
  • Family Favourites Movies – a family-friendly movie costs just $2.99 in the morning at select theatres in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Langley, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver. (To be confirmed, but likely cancelled.)

Victoria Day in Vancouver

Sunday, May 17th (2020)

  • Royal Victorian Party – free Victoria Day festivities at Surrey’s Stewart Farm. (To be confirmed, but likely cancelled.)
  • Vancouver Comic Arts Festival – a comic trade show at the Roundhouse Community Centre at 181 Roundhouse Mews. Admission is free. (CANCELLED)
  • Whistler Go Fest – a festival that includes free outdoor concerts in Whistler. (CANCELLED)
  • 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. (POSTPONED)
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (CLOSED until further notice.)
  • 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.
    • Whistler Farmers Market – between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm at the bottom of Blackcomb Mountain. (POSTPONED until tentative start date of June 21st.)
    • White Rock Farmers Market – at 15154 Russell Avenue from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in White Rock.
    • 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. (TBC)
  • Jazz Vespers – from 4:00 to 5:00 pm at the salons at St. Andrews-Wesley United Church at 1018 Nelson Street in Vancouver. (To be confirmed, but likely cancelled.)

Monday, May 18th (2020)

  • Victoria Day – the statutory holiday of the May Long Weekend.
  • Fort Langley Parade and Fort Events – a large parade along Glover Road followed by a small fair with family-friendly activities at Fort Langley Community Park. (CANCELLED)
  • Whistler Go Fest – a festival that includes free outdoor concerts in Whistler. (CANCELLED)
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!

Tuesday, May 19th (2020)

  • 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. (TBC)
  • Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – if it’s a sunny day, informal drumming happens at Third Beach in the evening. (TBC)
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Metro Vancouver cinemas (so it’s not free, but it is extra cheap). (TBC, but likely cancelled.)

Wednesday, May 20th (2020)

  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!

Thursday, May 21st (2020)

  • New Westminster Farmers Market– a market with vendors selling fresh produce at New Westminster’s Tipperary Park at 315 Queens Avenue between 3:00 and 7:00 pm.
  • 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. (CANCELLED)
  • Beaty Nocturnal – admission to UBC’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum is by donation today between 5:00 and 8:30 pm. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)

Friday, May 22nd (2020)

  • 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. (CANCELLED)
  • 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. (CANCELLED)
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (CLOSED until further notice.)
  • Coastal Swap Meet – a giant car and car parts-themed swap meet at Abbotsford’s Tradex Centre. (NOTE: Admission for shoppers costs $8, so this event isn’t free to attend, but it is affordable because of the deals you’ll find.) (CANCELLED)
  • Shipyards Night Market – market activities and a free concert from 5:00 until 10:00 pm not far from North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay. (POSTPONED until June.)

Saturday, May 23rd (2020)

  • 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. (CANCELLED)
  • Hyack International Parade – a large parade in downtown New Westminster beginning at 11:00 am. (CANCELLED)
  • 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. (TBD)
  • Coastal Swap Meet – a giant car and car parts-themed swap meet at Abbotsford’s Tradex Centre. (NOTE: Admission for shoppers costs $8, so this event isn’t free to attend, but it is affordable because of the deals you’ll find.) (CANCELLED)
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (CLOSED until further notice.)
  • 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. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
  • Saturday Markets
  • Family Favourites Movies – a family-friendly movie costs just $2.99 in the morning at select theatres in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Langley, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)

Sunday, May 24th (2020)

  • 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. (CANCELLED)
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (CLOSED until further notice.)
  • 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. (TBC)
    • 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. (TBC)
    • 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. (TBC)
  • Free Jazz Vespers
    • From 4:00 to 5:00 pm at the salons at St. Andrews-Wesley United Church at 1018 Nelson Street in Vancouver. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
    • At Northwood United Church at 8855 156th Street in Surrey from 4 to 5 pm. Admission by donation. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)

Monday, May 25th (2020)

  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!

Tuesday, May 26th (2020)

  • Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – if today is a sunny day, informal drumming happens at Third Beach in the evening. (TBC)
  • 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. (TBC)
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Metro Vancouver cinemas (so it’s not free, but it is extra cheap). (TBC)

Wednesday, May 27th (2020)

  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!

Thursday, May 28th (2020)

  • New Westminster Farmers Market – a market with vendors selling fresh produce at New Westminster’s Tipperary Park at 315 Queens Avenue between 3:00 and 7:00 pm.
  • Museum of Vancouver – admission is by donation today between 5:00 and 8:00 pm. (TBC)
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!

Friday, May 29th (2020)

  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (CLOSED until further notice.)
  • Roedde House Museum – admission is by donation as today is the final Friday of the month. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
  • Shipyards Night Market – market activities and a free concert from 5:00 until 10:00 pm not far from North Vancouver’s Lonsdale Quay. (POSTPONED until June.)
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be (but only at parks that are still open and so long as you can stay far enough away from other people)!

Saturday, May 30th (2020)

  • Abbotsford Food Truck Festival – a food truck event at the Abbotsford Civic Plaza at 32388 Veterans Way between 11 am and 6 pm. (TBC)
  • Cloverdale Market Days – a street market along 176th Street in downtown Cloverdale between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. (TBC)
  • Darts Hill Garden – a semi-private garden in South Surrey that’s open by donation between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. (CLOSED until further notice.)
  • 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. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
  • Saturday Markets
  • Family Favourites Movies – a family-friendly movie costs just $2.99 in the morning at select theatres in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Langley, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver. (To be confirmed.)

Sunday, May 31st (2020)

  • Vancouver Turkic Festival – a live music and family-friendly cultural activities at Shipbuilders’ Square in North Vancouver. (CANCELLED)
  • Jazz Vespers
    • From 4:00 to 5:00 pm at the salons at St. Andrews-Wesley United Church at 1018 Nelson Street in Vancouver. Admission is by donation. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
    • At St. Andrew’s United Church in North Vancouver at 1044 St. George’s Avenue from 4:00 until 5:00 pm. (TBC, but likely cancelled.)
  • 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. (TBC)
    • 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. (TBC)
    • 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. (TBC)

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.