With longer days and warmer weather on the way, there’s never been a better time to plan your next afternoon date or date night. Since making plans can be stressful enough without factoring in the money you’ll spend, we thought we’d give you some wallet-friendly ideas to kickstart your summer of romance. So with that in mind, here are 12 charming free (and cheap) date ideas to try out in Vancouver.

Walk the False Creek Seawall

Hey, this is a classic date destination for a reason. Sweeping views of the water, mountains, and downtown, winding path perfect for hand-holding (or not), and plenty of secluded benches to get comfy on.

If cycling is more your jam, then this is the perfect place to do it. Link up with your date on Granville Island and burn off those Lee’s doughnuts ($2.50 each!) with a gorgeous bike ride along the seawall.

Where: False Creek

Shipyards Night Market

The beloved Shipyards Night Market is officially back every Friday from May 10th to September 13th, so get ready to enjoy the iconic beer garden and outdoor market, and peruse many mouthwatering food trucks. Since admission is free, you and your date only need to worry about covering the cost of any potential snacks or sips!

When: Every Friday from May 10th to September 13th
Where: The Shipyards, North Vancouver
Cost: Free admission

Check out a free jazz show


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Coastal Jazz (@coastaljazz)

The season of outdoor concerts is nearly upon us, and jazz lovers have no shortage of shows to check out at this year’s Vancouver Jazz Festival. Best of all? Tons of them are completely free to attend, and they’re scheduled to take place at venues across the city.

When: Dates between June 22nd to 30th
Where: Multiple locations in Vancouver
Cost: Free admission

Attend a free street party 

The season of live music and food festivals has taken off in Vancouver, with a number of street festivals set to celebrate the city’s cultural diversity this spring and summer. What’s more, the majority of them are completely free to attend – from Khatsahlano to Greek Day on Broadway!

Where: See our picks above

Visit a free museum

Thankfully for art lovers, there are plenty of museums and art galleries in Vancouver offering free admission to their exhibits year-round. And while the list is by no means complete, we think this is a solid place to start if you’re looking to get into the local art scene.

Where: See our picks above

Free nights at Vancouver Art Gallery 

Speaking of art galleries, the Vancouver Art Gallery offers visitors free admission the first Friday of every month, from 4 to 8 pm, which means the next free night is on June 7th!

When: Friday, June 7th
Where: 750 Hornby Street

Visit a Japanese garden

The Nitobe Memorial Japanese Garden has reopened for the spring! Located at UBC, this incredible garden prompted the former Japanese Emperor to say “I am in Japan” during a visit. If that’s not a mark of authenticity, then we don’t know what is. Plus, admission is just $5 per person.

When: Open throughout the spring
Where: 1895 Lower Mall, UBC
Cost: $5 per person

Saturday Skate Nights at the Rolla Skate Club 

On Saturdays this May, the Rolla Skate Club is hosting Saturday Skate Nights from 5 to 7 pm, with hosted DJs to set the mood. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, it’s the perfect opportunity to lace up your skates and hit the roller rink.

When: Every Saturday in May
Where: 2901 East Hastings
Cost: $20

Watch the sunset at Lighthouse Park 

Yes, this requires going over to the North Shore, but the views are so worth it. You and your date can pack some nice snacks and cocoa and wait for the sun to give you a show. We promise you’ll both love it.

Where: 4902 Beacon Lane

Recent Posts:
Back for round two! Here’s the schedule for the Canucks playoffs against the Oilers in Vancouver
From parks to a pool party: This outdoor music series in Vancouver kicks off next month

Go on a scenic hike

It probably goes without saying that springtime is among the best times of year for hiking, and call us biased, but we think BC’s beauty is the perfect backdrop for falling love. So whether you want to challenge yourself and your beaux to a mountain hike/climb or go with something more chill and scenic, here are some spots to get you started.

Where: Click the link above for our picks

Spring stroll at VanDusen

While there might not be an official festival to mark the occasion, VanDusen Botanical Garden has plenty of horticulture shows & events going on this season. In May, the garden fully comes to life, with blooming magnolias, Pacific Dogwood, and much more.

Admission is just under $10 per person, and you get access to the garden’s entire grounds.

When: Open throughout May
Where: 5251 Oak Street
Cost: $10 admission

See what’s on at The Cultch

Meanwhile, The Cultch also has a great lineup for the season. Their options are more for the classic play experience, but of course, expect some contemporary premises and tour-de-force performances from them. Until May 12th, you can check out “Homecoming” by Kamila Sediego at the Historic Theatre, as part of this year’s Femme Festival. This pick might cost you a little more than the rest, but it’s well worth it!

When: Showtimes throughout May
Where: 1895 Venables Street
Cost: Varies per show

And that’s a wrap on some charming date ideas to try out around Vancouver if you’re looking to be kind to your wallet. Enjoy!