Trying to stay on budget this season? There are plenty of ways to enjoy fall and indulge a little here and there without breaking the bank. Check out a new cafe, get involved with your local arts scene, and ready yourself for the return of holiday markets and light festivals galore! Here are 12 of the best free & cheap things to do around Vancouver this November.

DTES Heart of the City Festival

The 20th annual DTES Heart of the City Festival is coming up at the end of October and will last through mid-November, and will feature over 100 local events across 40 venues – both indoors and out. Highlighted events include the multi-media Homeless Project, Spontaneous Street Poetry by Poet, writer and activist Gilles Cyrenne and Vancouver’s Poet Laureate Fiona Tinwei Lam, and the 9th Symposium on Reconciliation & Redress in the Arts.

When: October 25th to November 5th
Where: 401 Main Street

Eastside Culture Crawl

Now, we come to this year’s Eastside Culture Crawl, which brings over 500 presenting artists to open studios and locations across Vancouver’s Eastside. Visitors can expect to engage with the local art scene and see a variety of mediums, from paintings, sculptures, pottery, and prints to glassware, furniture, and jewelry.

When: November 16th to 19th
Where: Venues at Columbia Street, First Avenue, Victoria Drive, and the Waterfront
Cost: Free admission

STAND Festival

Starting November 2nd, Presentation House Theatre in North Van is co-presenting a series of events with Blackout Art Society as part of the 3rd annual STAND Festival, which celebrates emerging immigrant and refugee performing artists. The festival aims to offer the chance to connect newcomer artists with the community so they may share their stories.

When: November 2nd to 12th
Where: 333 Chesterfield Avenue, North Vancouver
Cost: Varies per event

Vancouver Christmas Market

Sooner than you may think, Jack Poole Plaza will transform into the ultimate winter wonderland, complete with mulled wine, freshly made pretzels, and bratwurst – all thanks to this year’s Vancouver Christmas Market.

When: November 16th to December 24th
Where: 1055 Canada Place
Cost: $14 for advanced bookings

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Vancouver Etsy Market Holiday Pop-up

From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 25th and Sunday, November 26th, The Pipe Shop is hosting a Holiday pop-up by the Vancouver Etsy Market, with over 100 local businesses to peruse. According to the event page, the curated vendor list ranges from ceramics and one-of-a-kind jewelry to charcuterie boards.

When: Saturday, November 25th and Sunday, November 26th
Where: 115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver
Cost: $5 admission

Christmas Gift & Craft Show  

From 10 am to 3 pm on Sunday, November 26th, the Vancouver Flea is hosting a special Christmas-themed gift and craft show, complete with 50 tables of unique and rare finds ranging from handmade jewelry to vintage finds.

When: Saturday, November 25th and Sunday, November 26th
Where: 703 Terminal Avenue
Cost: $5 admission

Vancouver Art Gallery

It never hurts to see what exhibitions are going on at Vancouver Art Gallery at any given time. This month, you can check out the Emily Carr exhibit: “A Room of Her Own,” “Conceptions of White,” and “Offsite” by Pedro Reyes – to name a few.

When: Open throughout November
Where: 750 Hornby Street
Cost: $29 GA, free on the first Friday of every month

Vancouver Giants

Now, for a more casual date option that has no dress code. For the hockey lovers out there, the Vancouver Giants are playing home games at the Arena Bowl at the Langley Events Centre on November 10th, 17th, 18th, and 25th. Tickets start at just over $20 a pop, and you can view the full list of home games scheduled for this season here.

When: Several dates in November
Where: 7888 200 Street Langley
Cost: $23.70+

Thrift some vintage fits

From Community Thrift to Mintage Mall, to all the hidden gems in between, here are some fantastic places to peruse if you’re looking to spruce up your wardrobe with some cool vintage finds this month.

Where: See our picks above

Indulge in a London Fog 

It might not be a PSL, but the delicious London Fog is no less enjoyable during the colder months. And since it was created right here in Vancouver, we think the foamy latte beverage deserves its own spotlight this season.

Where: See our picks above

Go on a fall hike 

Hiking through some of BC’s most scenic, picturesque trails is what makes seeing the changing foliage so worthwhile, in our opinion. So if you’re itching for a good hike that’s rewarding in fall scenery, check out some of the trails above.

Where: See our picks above

Check out the Bloedel Conservatory

Lastly, if you’re more of a tropical nature lover, the Bloedel Conservatory has you covered this fall and winter with the potential for a colourful getaway from the rain and gloom. Escape the downpour and meet some pretty cool tropical birds in the process, and while you’re at it – you can take a stroll around Queen Elizabeth Park as well!

Where: 4600 Cambie Street
Cost: $8.29 

And that’s a wrap on some amazing things to do around the city that won’t hurt your wallet.