The season of pop-ups, food festivals, and outdoor events is rapidly approaching, and the month of April is when many of them kick-off. So if you’re trying to make the most of the season without putting too large a dent in your wallet, this list is for you. Here are 15 of the best free and cheap things to do in Vancouver this April.

Vegan Night Market

Peaces’ Vegan Night Market kicked off last month, with monthly markets to follow on the first Thursday of every month. The beloved plant-based, pet-friendly market will feature delicious eats and drinks, cruelty-free clothing and cosmetics, and much more.

While it’s still too early to talk vendors, the night market promises an “unforgettable evening” with “mouthwatering dishes crafted by local chefs.” And if last year’s markets are any indication, we’re in for everything from plant-based tacos and Chickpea fries to desserts.

When: Thursday, April 4th and every first Thursday of the month
Where: 1489 East Hastings Street
Cost: $4 minimum donation

The Vancouver Art Gallery

You don’t need to know Monet from Cézanne to enjoy a day at the Vancouver Art Gallery. With new exhibits popping up all the time, it’s a fun, educational and culturally enriching place to check out. And of course, who doesn’t love ‘hmm-ing’ and ‘hah-ing’ at some crazy paintings, especially on Free Nights at the Gallery? 

The next one will be on Friday, April 5th.

Where: 750 Hornby Street
Cost: $6.50 – $24, free on the first Friday of every month

Portobello West Roundhouse Spring Market

On Saturday, April 6th, visitors of Yaletown’s Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre can enjoy the next instalment of the Portobello West Roundhouse Spring Market. Here, you can treat yourself to some amazing finds from over 65 local BC makers.

When: Saturday, April 6th
Where: 181 Roundhouse Mews
Cost: $6.66 per adult (children 12 and under are free)

Food Truck Wars 

The biggest food truck festival in Canada is going on its third year in Langley this April, so get ready to enjoy bites from over 40 participating food trucks at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Hosted by the Greater Vancouver Food Truck Fest, the event will include live roaming and stage entertainment, site-wide beer, wine, and coolers, a local market, and a kid’s zone.

Note that there will be a complimentary shuttle service to the festival from three locations in Langley.

The event will take place at the following times from Friday, April 19th to Sunday, April 21st:

  • Friday, April 19th: 3 PM to 9 PM
  • Saturday, April 20th: 11 AM to 9 PM
  • Sunday, April 21st: 11 AM to 8 PM

When: April 19th, 20th, and 21st
Where: 20901 Langley Bypass, Langley
Cost: By donation

Made in the 604 Spring Market 

If you missed last month’s ‘Made in the 604’ pop-up market at Heritage Hall, now’s your chance to take advantage of the next one, which is scheduled for Sunday, April 21st. Admission is completely free and you’re sure to find something unique and handmade that you’ll love!

When: Sunday, April 21st
Where: 3102 Main Street
Cost: Free admission

Lapu-Lapu Day Block Party 

Believe it or not, the season of block parties and outdoor events is just around the corner, and the first-ever Lapu-Lapu Day Block Party is set to kick them off. As one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in Vancouver, Sunset is the perfect place to embrace the spirit of unity – and Filipino BC is putting on the neighbourhood’s first multi-block party this upcoming month.

When: Saturday, April 27th
Where: John Oliver Secondary (East 41st Avenue) to East 47th Avenue

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Food Festival  

The first-ever Vancouver Cherry Blossom Food Festival will bring spring lovers together on a self-guided journey to 10 participating vendors in Metro Vancouver with cherry blossom-themed treats. So whether you’re planning a cute spring date, going on a food crawl, or just want to support a local business near the end of the month, this is a great reason to do it all.

When: March 29th to April 28th
Where: 10 participating locations in Metro Vancouver

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Vancouver Career Fair – Career Fair Connection

This one’s a bit further down the line, but Career Fair Connection is hosting a massive hiring fair in April at the Hilton that job seekers won’t want to miss. The fair will feature top employers in government, sales, retail, education, IT, engineering, healthcare, financial services, and customer service – to name a few areas.

When: Tuesday, April 30th
Where: 433 Robson Street

Richmond Night Market

The Richmond Night Market is North America’s largest outdoor market, and while specific dates have not yet been confirmed, the market is currently accepting vendor applications. So sit tight for now, and get ready to enjoy hundreds of delicious street food eats from around the globe this upcoming month.

When: TBA April 2024
Where: 8351 River Road, Richmond

Vancouver Canadians 

It’s officially baseball season! This month, the Vancouver Canadians are up against the UBC Thunderbirds, Hillsboro Hops, and the Spokane Indians.

When: Multiple dates in April
Where: Nat Bailey Stadium
Cost: $20+

Check out a free museum

By the same token, 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 this month.

Where: See our picks above

Check out some cherry blossoms

There’s nothing better than going on a cherry blossom walk in April, surrounded by beautiful pink and white blossoms. Fortunately, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival has mapped out over 3,000 locations of cherry blossom trees and around 50 different varieties, so you can check them out depending on their bloom dates!

Where: See map above

See an improv show

From Date Night improv to monthly standup sessions, House Team showcases, and more – there’s always something exciting going on at The Improv Centre on Granville Island. And why not start off the month with a couple of laughs and libations with your loved ones?

When: Shows throughout April
Where: 1515 Anderson Street
Cost: $26.50

Go for a swim

That’s right, it doesn’t need to be summer to dive into a pool or get some laps in. Vancouver’s indoor swimming pools are open all month long, and it won’t hurt your wallet to go for a swim.

When: Open throughout April
Where: Locations around Vancouver
Cost: $6.66 for GA

See what’s blooming 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 April, the garden fully comes to life, with blooming magnolias, Japanese Cherry Blossoms, Pacific Dogwood, and much more.

Where: 5251 Oak Street

And that’s a wrap on some free and cheap things to do around Vancouver this April. Enjoy!