Summer has officially rolled around in Vancouver, which means there are lots of outdoor activities and festivals to enjoy. This weekend? You can enjoy everything from Mediterranean food, to mountain-inspired films, to a music festival with an ‘underground’ feel. As well, there are several beloved annual events making their grand returns – including the 35th annual Dragon Boat Festival. So with that in mind, here are 10 of the best things to do in and around Vancouver this weekend (June 23-25).

35th annual Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival

The largest dragon boat fest in North America is back this month with new cultural programming and expanded food trucks and vendors. The highly-anticipated races in False Creek will be accompanied by free concerts from local names like Sabai and Dear Rouge. Oh, and it’s free to attend!

When: June 24th and 25th
Where: Concord Pacific Place, Creekside Park, and False Creek, Vancouver
Admission: Free

Greek Day on Broadway 

If you love Mediterranean food, you’ll definitely want to check out Greek Day on Broadway this weekend. After two years of cancelled and modified events, the festival is finally back with a full-on street party, complete with grilled kebabs, traditional dance performances, and pottery workshops.

When: Sunday, June 25th
Where: West Broadway

Sponsored: Grouse Mountain Annual Pass

The season of savings has begun thanks to the Grouse Mountain Annual Pass! The pass gives you the ultimate year-round access and is the only way to get the whole Grouse Mountain Experience. In addition to the Skyride admission, your pass includes free access to a host of mountain top activities, the mountain ropes, zipline adventures, an annual parking pass and to top it off, 20% off retail! What are you waiting for? Don’t skip this deal!

When: Year Round
Where: Purchase your annual pass here
Cost: Adult – $229 | Senior – $199 | Youth – $159 | Child – $119

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The Blind Pig Festival

Inspired by the Prohibition era in Vancouver, The Blind Pig Festival is named after the “Blind Pigs,” AKA the city’s first speakeasies, which date back to the early 1900s. The festival is on until September 2nd, and is a place for a mix of emerging, mid-career, and established local artists alike to share their musical talents onstage. And what better place to do that than on Granville Island?

When: Thursday, June 22nd to September 2nd
Where: 1412 Cartwright Street
Cost: $10+ for evening shows, free daytime performances starting July

Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival  

The Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) is celebrating Canadian Multiculturalism Day with a full day of family-friendly fun. Check out some award-winning mountain films, live performances, and fun outdoor activities like a group mountain bike ride and community run, for starters!

The festival will also feature a beer garden, food trucks, a climbing wall, and plenty of other activities, so prepare to spend the whole day at the Shipyards if you want to learn more about mountain culture.

When: Saturday, June 24th
Where: The Shipyards, North Vancouver

Sponsored: Whistler Summer Concert Series

Whistler is bringing back “music to the mountains” with its outdoor summer concert series starting on Thursday, June 29th. Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is kicking off the concert series, but all summer long, you will find a slew of large-scale live performances that will brighten up your summer. From classical music to live DJs to rock bands and everything in between taking over the Whistler Olympic Plaza. There is something for everyone!

When: Thursdays and Fridays throughout July and August starting at 6:30 pm
Where: Whistler Village Plaza – 4365 Blackcomb Way
Cost: Free

SUNWAVE At Koerner’s Secret Garden UBC Vancouver

You can still snag tickets to one of SUNWAVE’s open-air concerts happening at Koerner’s at UBC this weekend! Get your dancing shoes on and head over to campus for some major summer vibes.

When: Saturday, June 24th
Where: 1758 West Mall
Cost: $23

Check out a free jazz concert

It’s hard not to get jazzed up about the return of the Vancouver International Jazz Fest this summer, especially when it comes to the free concerts and performances popping up around town. Now in its 37th year, the Vancouver International Jazz Fest is a great opportunity to enjoy both local and international talent.

Here are all of the free concerts you can check out this weekend:

  • Wednesday, June 21st: Band on a Boat: Murphy and the Cats
  • Friday, June 23rd: See You Now
  • Friday, June 23rd: Bill Coon Trio
  • Friday, June 23rd: The Fits
  • Friday, June 23rd: Hayley Wallis and The Bright Futures
  • Friday, June 23rd: Late Night Open Jams
  • Saturday, June 24th: Anthem Sounds of Youth Stage
  • Saturday, June 24th: Jesse James Bonanza
  • Saturday, June 24th: Nazih Borish with Joutou / Silk Road
  • Saturday, June 24th: Mali Obomsawin Quartet
  • Saturday, June 24th: Brekky Boy
  • Saturday, June 24th: Will Clements’ Compass
  • Saturday, June 24th: Storry
  • Saturday, June 24th: Lido Pimienta
  • Sunday, June 25th: Steelin’ in the Years
  • Sunday, June 25th: Robyn Lane & the Rhythm Makers
  • Sunday, June 25th: The History of Gunpowder

When: Friday, June 23rd to Sunday, June 25th
Where: Venues around Vancouver

Grab some bikes & ride

Since we’ve been on the receiving end of some beautiful weather over the past few days, we thought we’d remind folks that Mobi now has e-bikes available for usage. The 24-Hour Pass gives you access to e-bikes for 25¢/min for the first 30 minutes and 35¢/min thereafter.

Picnic at a park

And finally – when in doubt, a solid picnic at the park never fails when it comes to relaxing on a weekend. Thankfully, there are plenty of prime picnic spots in and around Vancouver that boast stunning views, and large, grassy areas to sprawl out on.

Want to make it a boozy picnic? Check out these alcohol-friendly spots around Vancouver – including these year-round public plazas.

Where: Click the link above for our picks

And that’s a wrap on the weekend, Vancouver! Now get out there and enjoy it!