The month of May is just around the corner, believe it or not, which means patio season is upon us, and there are tons of pop-up events, night markets, and outdoor concerts to look forward to around Vancouver. And if you’re looking for some to enjoy with minimal impact on your wallet, consider this list a great place to start. Here are 10 of the best free and cheap things to do in Vancouver this May.

Free nights at Vancouver Art Gallery 

Thanks to a new partnership with BMO, the Vancouver Art Gallery is set to launch free admission to the public on the first Friday of every month, from 4 pm to 8 pm. The first free Friday night will be on May 3rd – so mark your calendars and get ready to enjoy some after-work art!

When: Friday, May 3rd
Where: 750 Hornby Street

Got Craft Spring Market 

Got Craft is hosting a pet-friendly pop-up market at the Maritime Labour Centre, bringing together 80 local makers and small businesses. Here, visitors can also check out a Mini Makers Market with ‘kidpreneurs’ under the age of 16 years old, as well as an array of food trucks.

When: Saturday, May 4th and Sunday, May 5th
Where: 1880 Triumph Street
Cost: $5 for admission

Taylor Swift Dance Party at the Roxy

Vancouver’s popular live music bar, The Roxy will be hosting a special Taylor Swift-themed dance party in honour of the release of The Tortured Poets Department, and tickets are just under $20

When: Saturday, May 4th
Where: 932 Granville Street
Cost: $15

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.

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

Vegan Night Market

With plenty of summer and fall markets under its belt (including the city’s first beachside night market), the Vegan Night Market by is back this March with its first market of 2024. The event will take place on March 7th from 6 to 10 pm at The Waldorf.

When: March 7th
Where: 1489 East Hastings Street
Cost: $2 minimum donation

Bicycle Film Festival Vancouver

The Bicycle Film Festival (BFF) is a global festival celebrating bikes through art, film, and music, reaching cyclists and enthusiasts from around the world. In Vancouver, there will be two short films to check out this month: Adventure Shorts and Urban Bike Shorts, which will be screened at The Rio on Saturday, May 18th.

When: Saturday, May 18th
Where: The Rio
Cost: $20 to $23 at the door

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 May
Where: Nat Bailey Stadium
Cost: $20+

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: Saturday, April 13th
Where: 2901 East Hastings
Cost: $20

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 of the best free and cheap things to do in Vancouver this May. Cheers!