The second biggest shopping mall in Richmond after Richmond Centre, Lansdowne Centre is an older mall with the largest parking lot in all of Vancouver.
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Lansdowne Centre Shopping Mall
Lansdowne Centre is a pretty typical large-scale 1970s mall. It has big box anchor stores at each corner and a hundred plus stores in between.
Built in the late 1970s, the mall has over 130 stores including a Winners, Toys R Us, Home Outfitters, Best Buy and a T&T (Asian-style) Supermarket.
What makes the mall of special interest is the fact that it hosts a number of special events each year.
Mall Location and Hours
Located at 5300 No.3 Road, close to the Lansdowne SkyTrain Station, Lansdowne Centre is bordered by Alderbridge Road to the north and Lansdowne Road to the south.
The mall’s regular weekday hours are Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 am to 6 pm and Wednesdays to Fridays from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.
On most Saturdays throughout the year the mall is open from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm and on Sundays and holidays from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Events at the Mall
Most years, in either January or February, Lansdowne Centre offers Chinese New Year entertainment on a weekend. 2021 celebrated the Year of the Ox at the end of January, although not much happened because of COVID-19. 2022 is the Year of the Tiger, and the mall encouraged everyone to donate to the Richmond Food Bank.
Over the school Spring Break holidays each year, the mall’s giant parking lot is sometimes taken over by a chalk art festival with a carousel and train that can be ridden. In the summer, the parking lot becomes home to free weekly outdoor movies.
See below for details about each of these seasonal special events.
Chinese New Year at Lansdowne Centre
In years without pandemics, Lansdowne Centre celebrates the Lunar New Year in January or February with a traditional Lion Dance and afternoon of live entertainment.
In 2020 Chinese New Year’s Day was on Saturday, January 25th, and the mall’s main New Year’s celebrations took place the following day, on Sunday, January 26th. In 2021 the Year of the Ox began on February 12th. Because of COVID-19, however, there wasn’t much in the way of large in-person celebrations that year.
In 2022, the Year of the Tiger began on February 1st. To help those in need, everyone was encouraged to donate to the Richmond Food Bank. Those who donated at the mall had the chance to win gift cards. There was also a guessing contest for all to try.
In years when they aren’t cancelled, Chinese New Year celebrations at the mall usually run from around 12:30 until 4:30 pm or so. They feature performances by various local performing arts groups.
The event is usually hosted by the Richmond Chinese Community Society. Activities include visits from the Money God, lion dancing, Chinese opera performances, Taiko Japanese drumming, taekwondo demonstrations and artists making art.
Chinese New Year Event Schedule
Below was the performance schedule for 2020 (and future years will likely look similar).
- 12:30 pm – Opening Ceremonies and dotting of the lion’s eyes
- 1:30 pm – Rod Boss Stage Magic Show
- 2:00 pm – Korean Taekwondo Performance
- 2:30 pm – Chinese Opera
- 3:00 pm – Chinese Folk Dance Performance
- 3:30 pm – Irish Folk Dance
- 4:00 pm – Okinawa Style Drumming and Dancing
Click Chinese New Year for information about all the many Lunar New Year celebrations that take place in Metro Vancouver most years, including at Lansdowne Centre.
Spring Carnival at the Mall
Most years during Spring Break in March WCA Amusements sets up its rides and carnival midway in the parking lot of Lansdowne Centre. However in 2020, there was going to be a smaller scale event featuring a circus train and a carousel. It was going to run from March 14th until April 26th. In the end though, because of the coronavirus pandemic, it got cancelled.
In 2021 the Carnival initially looked like it would again be cancelled, but it was brought back as a summer event! It was open from July 23rd to August 2nd (with the exception of July 26th and 27th). Lansdowne Centre was again home to this fun fair.
The Spring (or temporarily Summer) Carnival is a medium-sized fair with the typical assortment of rides, vendors selling candy floss and midway games. There is usually a Ferris wheel, Tilt-a-Whirl, kiddy rides and the usual selection of rides that go up and down and round and round. Of course, not everything was able to be the same in 2021, but it was still a great place for kids and youth.
Carnival Hours and Rates
Hours of operation for the rides in 2021 were the following (weather permitting):
- Wednesdays to Fridays (July 23 & 28-30): 1:00 pm until 11:00 pm.
- Saturdays and Sundays (July 24-25 & July 31-August 1): 12:00 pm until 10:00 pm.
- Monday (August 2): 12:00 pm until 7:00 pm.
Ticket prices in 2021 were the following (and basically the same as in 2019):
- Single Tickets: $1.25 each
- Book of 20: $25 (so $1.25 each)
- Book of 40: $45 (so $1.125 each)
Individual rides last year cost between 3 and 7 tickets each (so between $3.38 and $8.75 per ride). All-day wristbands are also available for $40, as well as six-ride passes for $20. Both of those options are good deals for people who plan on being there for a while.
TIP #1: Lineups for rides were usually smallest at the beginning of the day and, obviously, on rainy days.
TIP #2: During Spring Break most years PlayDome also features amusement rides indoors at BC Place Stadium. PlayDome didn’t take place in 2020, 2021 or 2022. Hopefully it will again in 2023.
Click Spring Break to learn about March activities for kids elsewhere.
Starlight Theatre Drive-in Movies
Numerous outdoor movies take place in the Lower Mainland during the summer each year. Most are free and they take place everywhere from parks to shopping malls to convention centres and municipal plazas.
Each summer Lansdowne Centre hosts a weekly evening outdoor movie in its parking lot. It’s one of the region’s free drive-in-style movie venues where people are welcome to watch from their cars or bring their lawn chairs. The shows didn’t take place in 2020, because of COVID-19. Happily, they returned in 2021!
Starlight Theatre Drive-in Movies at Lansdowne Centre usually take place on Wednesday evenings and feature free drive-in parking for up to 200 vehicles on a first-come, first-served basis. There is always lots of space for people to set up and watch from their lawn chairs too.
Similar to free outdoor movies at other venues, films featured at Starlight Theatre Drive-in Movie nights are usually popular films that are no longer showing in major theatres.
2021 Starlight Theatre Movies
For an idea of what to expect in 2022, here’s what was showing for free at dusk on Wednesday evenings in 2021:
- August 5th, 2021 – Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker
- August 12th, 2021 – Avengers: Endgame
- August 19th, 2021 – Raya & The Last Dragon
- August 26th, 2021 – National Treasure
- September 2nd, 2021 – Knives Out
- September 9th, 2021 – Jumanji
- September 16th, 2021 – Mulan
Some weeks the Starlight Theatre Drive-in Movie feature presentation is perfect for kids and their families, and other days it’s more for adults and people who like action films (in some cases) or romance flicks (in other cases). Over the course of the summer there is always something for everyone!
For a list of dozens of free summer films at other locations, click Vancouver Outdoor Movies.
For more information about the mall, click Lansdowne Centre.
Another shopping place of interest in the summer is the Richmond Night Market.
Other topics of interest you might want to check out include the following:
- Best Places for Shopping
- The City of Richmond
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Places
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Chinese New Year Activities
- Summer Outdoor Movies
- The Lower Mainland at Spring Break
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Vancouver for Children