If you’re looking for some fun to have in and around the city this summer without breaking the bank, we feel you. And we’ve got some great options to toss your way! We’ll get right to it… Here are 20 free & cheap things to do in Vancouver this August.

Free Latin dance classes


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Yup, you read that right. You can take free dance lessons courtesy of Dance in Transit at Queen Elizabeth Theatre on two different Friday evenings this month. And if you can’t make it for those dates, there’s multiple other dates available at Robson Square and Granville Island to take advantage of! Explore new Latin styles including salsa, bachata, and tango – and take your moves to the next level. This doubles as a great budget-friendly date option if you want to spice things up.

There’s also Sunday Afternoon Salsa at Robson Square if you want to keep the good times going!

When: Friday, August 5th and Friday, August 12th (other dates available)
Where: Multiple locations
Cost: Free!

Car Free Day New West

New West is getting its first-ever car-free day and street fest, and the lineup of food vendors, live talent, and activity booths looks amazing. On August 6th from 12 pm to 8 pm, the event will turn Columbia Street between 4th and 8th into a car-free pedestrian paradise, complete with extended patios, food truck eats, and peak summer vibes. Plus, admission is free!

Where: Columbia Street, New Westminster
When: August 6th, 2022, 12 pm – 8 pm
Cost: Free admission

Check out the Granville Promenade


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This year’s outdoor street fest will transform Granville Street into a vibrant pedestrian-only promenade, and it’s free to attend! Stop by for tasty eats, patio sips, live music, art, and market vendors to peruse. If you’re looking for some specific events/live shows to put on your radar, we’ve got you covered here. The promenade will run every weekend this month from 1 pm to 7 pm.

When: Every weekend in August
Where: Granville Street and Smithe to Helmcken Street

Visit the outdoor pool at Kits Beach

Since the beloved outdoor pool at Kits Beach just reopened after a season of repairs, we think a dip or a lap swim is very much needed this month. Folks can view the pool’s schedule and book a time slot here.

When: Open throughout August
Where: Click the link above for more info

Free outdoor yoga 

Attention, yogis and yoga enthusiasts! Lululemon is offering free outdoor yoga sessions to folks at locations all around BC, including Vancouver, North Van, Whistler, Victoria, and Kamloops. BYO-mat and enjoy.

When: Now until August 31st
Where: All around BC
Cost: Free with registration! Click the link above for more info

Hit up a patio happy hour


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It probably goes without saying that patio-hopping is a must this summer, but we know it’s easy to rack up quite the bill. Thankfully, there are a ton of stunning patios with equally amazing happy hours to take advantage of.

Where: Check out our picks above

Cool off at a spray park

Ready to cool off after a hot start to summer? We sure are, so much so that we’ve rounded up a ton of great options for you. Whether you’re just heading out on a day trip or need an option for your next weekend getaway, there are quite a few spray parks in the Vancouver area (as well as waterparks) to stay cool.

Where: Click the link above for our picks

Check out Twilight Tuesdays at Science World 

The return of Twilight Tuesdays means visitors can now enjoy extended hours every Tuesday until 8 pm at Science World. Best of all? Folks who arrive after 5 pm will receive discounted admission! Discover attractions like the popular T. Rex exhibit, or explore new options like the Sacred Journey exhibit –

When: Every Tuesday until Tuesday, August 30th
Where: 1455 Quebec Street
Cost: $15 GA after 5 pm, $12 for ages 3 to 12

Try some new ice cream

Nothing sums up summer more than a scoop of delicious frozen ice cream, and Vancouver is absolutely filled to the brim with options. From plant-based treats to some truly zany flavours, you can have a scoop a week and still have ice cream shops left on your list when summer ends – though we’re determined to hit as many as we can this month!

Where: Click the link above for our picks

Watch an outdoor movie

Apart from checking out the showtimes at The Cinematheque, the Rio Theatre, and VanCity Theatre – there are also free outdoor movies playing in North Van for pretty much the remainder of the summer. For the movie aficionados on a budget (or for folks who just enjoy outdoor movies), there’s Sunset Cinema.

When: Dates until Wednesday, August 24th
Where: 125 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver

Enjoy a scenic picnic

If you want to mix in some quality picnicking with your beach days, we’ve got just the list for you. From the grassy hills and killer views at Queen Elizabeth Park to the shady spots at Trout Lake, here are some amazing summer picnic spots around Vancouver to check out.

Where: Check out our picks above

Visit the Polygon Gallery

In terms of new exhibitions in the area, the Polygon has a couple to offer visitors. First up is Gathering Darkness by Alexander Glyadyelov, showcasing the displacement of those impacted by the war in Ukraine. Another great option is Summer of Soul presented by Deckchair Cinema – the art gallery’s own outdoor cinema series.

When: Open throughout August
Where: 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
Cost: By donation

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Eat your way through Chinatown


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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Vancouver’s Chinatown has some of the best eats in town. What’s even better is that most options are very affordable – and there are so many to choose from. Our recommendation?? Start with Kam Wai Dim Sum or New Town Bakery.

Where: Chinatown
Cost: Varies

Go on a mural walk 

ICYMI, the Vancouver Mural Fest is officially back this week, and there are a ton of by-donation mural walks where guests can survey local public art and learn more about the artists and intentions behind them.

When: Thursday, August 4th to Sunday, August 14th
Where: Multiple Vancouver neighbourhoods
Cost: By donation (suggested $10-$20)

Go camping

The good thing about camping is that you can set whatever budget you want and actually stick to it – unlike a rowdy night out on the town, where a painful food & drink bill is pretty much guaranteed. When it comes to expenses, as long as you’ve got all the camping equipment you need and ample gas in the tank, you can definitely save some money elsewhere and enjoy the great outdoors this summer.

Where: Click the link above for our picks

Vancouver Canadians

It’s the season of cracker jacks and summer BBQ, folks – and for just 20 bucks a pop, you can score tickets to one of Vancouver Canadians’ home games. This month, they’ll be facing off against the Tricity and Hillsboro.

When: Games throughout August
Where: 4601 Ontario Street, The Nat
Cost: $20+

Kids Take Over at the Vancouver Art Gallery


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If you haven’t heard, all youth aged 18 and under can now visit the Vancouver Art Gallery for free, which means several field trips this summer is definitely warranted! With the onset of more child-friendly exhibits such as Kids Take Over,

Not only are they hosting more child-friendly exhibits lately, such as Kids Take Over, but starting July 1st, all children and teens 18 and under can visit the VAG completely free! (How do we get in on that??)

Shipyards Live

Shipyards Live is a classic way to spend a Friday summer eve in North Van. With shopping pop-ups, food trucks, and of course, a beer garden by Stanley Park Brewing – all that’s missing is a couple of dollars of fare for the sea bus from downtown Vancouver.

When: Every Friday in August
Where: Lonsdale Quay Area

Richmond Night Market

Believe us, it’s impossible to have a list of things to do without including Richmond’s iconic Night Market, especially when it comes to affordable summer events. Between 500+ amazing eats and inventive amusement park-esque games, the market never disappoints. Sharing good eats with friends is strongly encouraged!

When: On throughout August
Where: 8351 River Road, Richmond
Cost: $4 ($22 to skip the line)

Hang out at a Farmers Market

A farmer’s market is always a good idea if you’re looking for something more low-key but still delicious to do over the weekend. And now that summer weather is in full swing, there’s really no excuse not to go.

Where: Locations around Vancouver

And that’s our roundup of free and cheap things to do in Vancouver this August! We hope you check out some of these options for yourself and enjoy the remainder of this beautiful season.