Home Special Events Free May Events in Vancouver

Free May Events in Vancouver

Free Events in Vancouver in May

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

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

 

Free Vancouver Activities in May

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.

(Note: Schedules are subject to change. Check official websites for exact details.)

 

Monday, May 1st (2023)

 


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.


 

Tuesday, May 2nd (2023)

 

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

 

Wednesday, May 3rd (2023)

 


THE CIRCUS IS IN TOWN!

The Royal Canadian International Circus is in the Lower Mainland between May 4th and May 22nd. It’s not free, but if you use the promo code VANSBESTPLACES you can get 2-for-1 pricing on general admission, which is a fabulous deal! The circus has shows in Surrey from May 4th to 7th, in Vancouver from May 11th to 14th, and in Richmond from May 18th to 22nd.


 

Royal Canadian International Circus

 

Thursday, May 4th (2023)

 

Friday, May 5th (2023)

 

Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair

 

Saturday, May 6th (2023)

 

Mother's Day in Vancouver

 

Sunday, May 7th (2023)

  • 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!”
  • Community Block Party – a food truck event featuring more than twenty food vendors, an artisan market and live entertainment at Town Centre Park in Coquitlam. Admission to the venue is free.
  • Navy Fleet Weekend – Canadian Navy ships are at Shipbuilders’ Pier in North Vancouver for people to see. You can go aboard the ships and explore them. Today there is also a ceremony and small parade to commemorate the Battle of the Atlantic which took place during the Second World War.
  • TJ Fest – a free community event with Taiwanese food, market vendors and live entertainment at the Taoist Tian Jin Temple in Burnaby.
  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Museum of Vancouver – admission to the museum at Vanier Park is by donation today. (TIP: The Vancouver Maritime Museum is just a couple of blocks away. If you want to visit that museum too, while you’re in the area, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when booking your tickets online to save 25%.)
  • C.P.R. Engine 374 – an indoor train museum with a real locomotive and free admission at the Roundhouse in Yaletown.
  • Farmers Markets
  • Flea Markets
    • Cloverdale Flea Market – a giant market 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. Admission ranges from $2 to $4 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. Admission is just $2.00, but free for kids under 10 years of age.

 

Monday, May 8th (2023)

  • Navy Fleet Weekend – Canadian Navy ships are at Shipbuilders’ Pier in North Vancouver for people to see. You can go aboard the ships and explore them.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be. Other great areas to enjoy include Best Places to Walk, Jog and Cycle.
  • Vancouver Beaches – if the weather is warmer then go check out some of Vancouver’s best beaches! It might not be warm enough to swim in the ocean, but it might be good enough for a picnic or lying on the sand.

Other Places on a Budget

 

Tuesday, May 9th (2023)

  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – an informal drumming event at Third Beach in Stanley Park from early evening until sunset (but only on sunny days). A few people arrive with their drums and many more just show up for the fun!
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Metro Vancouver cinemas (so it’s not free, but it is extra cheap).
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.

Other Places on a Budget

 

 

Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair

 

Wednesday, May 10th (2023)

  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be. Other great areas to enjoy include Best Places to Walk, Jog and Cycle.
  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Vancouver Beaches – if the weather is warmer then go check out some of Vancouver’s best beaches! It might not be warm enough to swim in the ocean, but it might be good enough for a picnic or lying on the sand.
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.

Other Places on a Budget

 

Royal Canadian International Circus

 

Thursday, May 11th (2023)

  • 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.
  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be. Other great areas to enjoy include Best Places to Walk, Jog and Cycle.
  • Vancouver Beaches – if the weather is warmer then go check out some of Vancouver’s best beaches! It might not be warm enough to swim in the ocean, but it might be good enough for a picnic or lying on the sand.
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.

Other Places on a Budget

 

Friday, May 12th (2023)

  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Shipyards Night Market – artisan vendors, food trucks, and live entertainment in North Vancouver’s Shipyards District.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be. Other great areas to enjoy include Best Places to Walk, Jog and Cycle.
  • Vancouver Beaches – if the weather is warmer then go check out some of Vancouver’s best beaches! It might not be warm enough to swim in the ocean, but it might be good enough for a picnic or lying on the sand.
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.

Other Places on a Budget

 

Burnaby Artisan Farmers Market

Coquitlam Block Party

 

Saturday, May 13th (2023)

  • Coquitlam Block Party – a food truck event featuring more than twenty food vendors, an artisan market and live entertainment at Town Centre Park in Coquitlam. Admission to the venue is free.
  • Rotary May Day Parade & Party in the Square – a parade in downtown Port Coquitlam followed by live music at Terry Fox Hometown Square.
  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.

Saturday Markets

Other Places on a Budget

 

Mother's Day in Vancouver

 

Sunday, May 14th (2023)

  • Mother’s Day – today is a day to spoil moms, grandmother’s and mothers-in-law.
  • Mother’s Day at Greendale Acres – the Fraser Valley farm has all kinds of kid-friendly things to see and do. Today is the last day of their Sweet Spring season and mother’s get in for free!
  • Coquitlam Block Party – a food truck event featuring more than twenty food vendors, an artisan market and live entertainment. It takes place at Town Centre Park in Coquitlam. Admission to the venue is free.
  • Israeli Festival – a community festival with a food market, music and dancing  at the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver.
  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.

Sunday Markets

  • Ambleside Artisan Farmers Market – in West Vancouver at the foot of 13th Street just inside the entrance to Ambleside Park between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm.
  • Coquitlam Farmers Market – a market at Coquitlam’s Dogwood Pavilion at 624 Poirier Street between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm.
  • Kitsilano Farmers Market – between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm at the Kitsilano Community Centre.
  • 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 $2 to $4 depending on the day’s event, so it’s not free, but it is pretty cheap.
  • Cloverdale Flea Market – a giant market with primarily (but not exclusively) second-hand goods. It runs from 6:00 am until 3:00 pm in Surrey. Admission is $1.50, but free for kids ages 12 and under.
  • Abbotsford Flea Market – a market at 32470 Haida Drive in Abbotsford from 6:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon. Admission is just $2.00, but free for kids under 10 years of age.

Other Places on a Budget

 

Vancouver Maritime Museum 25% Discount Offer

 

Monday, May 15th (2023)

 

Tuesday, May 16th (2023)

  • Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – an informal drumming event at Third Beach in Stanley Park from early evening until sunset (but only on sunny days). A few people arrive with their drums and many more just show up for the fun!
  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Metro Vancouver cinemas (so it’s not free, but it is extra cheap).
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be. Other great areas to enjoy include Best Places to Walk, Jog and Cycle.
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.

Other Places on a Budget

 

All British Field Meet

 

Wednesday, May 17th (2023)

 


THE CIRCUS IS IN TOWN!

The Royal Canadian International Circus is in the Lower Mainland between May 4th and May 22nd. It’s not free, but if you use the promo code VANSBESTPLACES you can get 2-for-1 pricing on general admission, which is a fabulous deal! The circus has shows in Surrey from May 4th to 7th, in Vancouver from May 11th to 14th, and in Richmond from May 18th to 22nd.


 

Royal Canadian International Circus

 

Thursday, May 18th (2023)

  • West of Main Art Walk – previews of the types of art that will be on display in artist’s studios around Vancouver on May 28th and 29th. Today’s exhibition is at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown from 10:00 am until 9 :00 pm.
  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Beaty Nocturnal – admission to UBC’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum is by donation this evening between 5:00 and 8:30 pm.
  • 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.
  • Vancouver Beaches – if the weather is warmer then go check out some of Vancouver’s best beaches! It might not be warm enough to swim in the ocean, but it might be good enough for a picnic or lying on the sand.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be. Other great areas to enjoy include Best Places to Walk, Jog and Cycle.
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.

Other Places on a Budget

 

West of Main Art Walk

 

Friday, May 19th (2023)

  • Vancouver Comic Arts Festival – a comic-themed event at the Roundhouse in Yaletown. This evening there is a special pre-festival event featuring the launch of well-known BC author and artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’s new book, JAJ: A Haida Manga.
  • Shipyards Night Market – artisan vendors, food trucks, and live entertainment in North Vancouver’s Shipyards District.
  • Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair – admission to the fairgrounds is free for children ages 12 and under (and only about $15 for everyone else).
  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.
  • Vancouver Beaches – if the weather is warmer then go check out some of Vancouver’s best beaches! It might not be warm enough to swim in the ocean, but it might be good enough for a picnic or lying on the sand.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – on days with good weather, many of the region’s top parks are the best places to be! Other great areas to enjoy include Best Places to Walk, Jog and Cycle.

Other Places on a Budget

 

All British Field Meet

Vancouver Comic Arts Festival

 

Saturday, May 20th (2023)

Saturday Markets

 

Victoria Day in Vancouver

 

Sunday, May 21st (2023)

Farmers Markets

Flea Markets

  • Cloverdale Flea Market – a giant market with primarily (but not exclusively) second-hand goods 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. Admission ranges from $2 to $4 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. Admission is just $2.00, but free for kids under 10 years of age.

 


Save money with 2-for-1 coupons through the Entertainment Coupon App. The coupons used to come in a book. Now you can use them on your phone!


 

Entertainment Coupons

 

Monday, May 22nd (2023)

Other Places on a Budget

 

Tuesday, May 23rd (2023)

  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – an informal drumming event at Third Beach in Stanley Park from early evening until sunset (but only on sunny days). A few people arrive with their drums and many more just show up for the fun!
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Metro Vancouver cinemas (so it’s not free, but it is extra cheap).
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be. Other great areas to enjoy include Best Places to Walk, Jog and Cycle.

Other Places on a Budget

 

Wednesday, May 24th (2023)

  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be. Other great areas to enjoy include Best Places to Walk, Jog and Cycle.
  • Vancouver Beaches – if the weather is warmer then go check out some of Vancouver’s best beaches! It might not be warm enough to swim in the ocean, but it might be good enough for a picnic or lying on the sand.

Other Places on a Budget

 

Thursday, May 25th (2023)

  • Movie Night at the MuseumThe NeverEnding Story shows for free at MONOVA: The Museum of North Vancouver.
  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • 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.
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be. Other great areas to enjoy include Best Places to Walk, Jog and Cycle.
  • Vancouver Beaches – if the weather is warmer then go check out some of Vancouver’s best beaches! It might not be warm enough to swim in the ocean, but it might be good enough for a picnic or lying on the sand.

Other Places on a Budget

 

Ladner May Days

 

Friday, May 26th (2023)

  • 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.
  • Shipyards Night Market – artisan vendors, food trucks, and live entertainment in North Vancouver’s Shipyards District.
  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be. Other great areas to enjoy include Best Places to Walk, Jog and Cycle.

Other Places on a Budget

 

West of Main Art Walk

 

Saturday, May 27th (2023)

  • West of Main Art Walk – numerous art studios around Vancouver are open to the public today between 11:00 am and 5:00 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.
  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Hyack Parade – a parade and community festival in New Westminster.
  • White Rock Buskers & Comedy Fest – buskers perform at various locations in the streets of White Rock today.

Saturday Markets

Other Places on a Budget

 

Free Events and Activities in June

 

Sunday, May 28th (2023)

  • West of Main Art Walk – numerous art studios around Vancouver are open to the public today between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm.
  • BC Polish Festival – a fun event with music, dancing and food at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre from 1:00 until around 9:00 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.
  • Spot Prawn Festival – an event celebrating spot-prawn season at Fishermen’s Wharf in False Creek. Admission to the venue is free, but you have to pay for the prawns and any other food you purchase.
  • Brookswood Car Show – antique and collectible cars fill the parking lot at Langley’s Brookswood Secondary School. Admission for the public is by donation.
  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 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 $2 to $4 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 3:00 in the afternoon. Admission is just $2.00, but free for kids under 10 years of age.

Other Places on a Budget

 

Monday, May 29th (2023)

 

Tuesday, May 30th (2023)

  • Brahm’s Tam Drum Circle – an informal drumming event at Third Beach in Stanley Park from early evening until sunset (but only on sunny days). A few people arrive with their drums and many more just show up for the fun!
  • Bike to Work Week – the week of May 29th to June 4th people are encouraged to bike to work instead of driving or taking transit.
  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.
  • Cheap Movie Night – at most Metro Vancouver cinemas (so it’s not free, but it is extra cheap).
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be. Other great areas to enjoy include Best Places to Walk, Jog and Cycle.

Other Places on a Budget

 

Wednesday, May 31st (2023)

  • Burnaby Village – the outdoor museum is open from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Bike to Work Week – the week of May 29th to June 4th people are encouraged to bike to work instead of driving or taking transit.
  • Heritage Harbour at the Maritime Museum – you can wander around on the docks and admire the boats in front of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for free. Also, if you want to go inside the museum, use the promo code BESTVANCOUVER when purchasing your tickets online to save 25%.
  • Lower Mainland Parks – if good weather, various parks and places in nature are “best places” to be. Other great areas to enjoy include Best Places to Walk, Jog and Cycle.
  • Vancouver Beaches – if the weather is warmer then go check out some of Vancouver’s best beaches! It might not be warm enough to swim in the ocean, but it might be good enough for a picnic or lying on the sand.

Other Places on a Budget

 

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.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following:

For a list of things happening in communities within two or three hours of the Lower Mainland, see the calendars of events on the WhatToDoInWhistler.ca and VictoriasBestPlaces.com websites.