May is a month of transition to warmer, sunnier days, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome the second half of spring. And for the gloomier days, just look to this list for some of the best ways to stay cozy. From flower festivals and night markets to the return of the Cloverdale Rodeo, here are 42 of the best things to do in and around Vancouver this May.

Live events & concerts

Shania Twain

Dust off your dancing boots, because ‘from this moment on,’ 2023 will see you two-stepping with the queen of country! Canadian legend and fashion icon, Shania Twain is currently on her worldwide tour, which is stopping in Vancouver on May 2nd and 3rd.

When: May 2nd and May 3rd
Where: 800 Griffiths Way
Cost: $204.68+ or $184.50


M83 is the project of multi-instrumentalist Anthony Gonzalez, who perfectly blends together multiple inspirations into an immersive, synth-pop sound. He and guest artists are bringing the Fantasy 2023 Tour to the Commodore on Tuesday, May 9th.

When: Tuesday, May 9th
Where: 868 Granville Street
Cost: $150.75

Haley Kiyoko

A fun fact about singer, dancer, and actress triple-threat Haley Kiyoko: She’s appeared in several iconic movies from the 2000s, including the Scooby-Doo! series, Lemonade Mouth, and Insidious: Chapter 3. As for her music career, she got her start in 2013 with the release of her EP A Belle to Remember, and she’s been on the creative rise ever since.

When: Saturday, May 13th
Where: 868 Granville Street
Cost: $65

Matchbox Twenty

Matchbox Twenty is an ever-popular American rock band formed in Orlando, Florida, in 1995. The group currently consists of Rob Thomas, Brian Yale, Paul Doucette, and Kyle Cook.

When: Tuesday, May 16th
Where: 800 Griffiths Way
Cost: $57.95

Jurassic World Live Tour

things to do may vancouver
Photo via Jurassic World Live Tour

Love dinosaurs? You’ll definitely want to mark your calendars for the Canadian premiere of the Jurassic World Live Tour this May. Guests can expect to see over 24 film-accurate, life-sized dinosaurs, including fan-fave Velociraptor Blue and a 40-foot-long T.rex.

The dinos will be operated by animatronics and performers, so visitors are definitely in for an exciting show. Fans of the popular Netflix series Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous will also recognize Bumpy, the friendly, food-motivated dino, according to the release.

When: Friday, May 19th to Sunday, May 21st, and Friday, May 26th to Sunday, May 28th
Where: 100 North Renfrew Street
Cost: Sign up for pre-sale tickets here

Kali Uchis 

Coming to UBC’s Doug Mitchell is none other than Kali Uchis, AKA Karly-Marina Loaiza. The American singer-songwriter released her debut mixtape Druken Babbie in 2012, followed by her debut EP, titled Por Vida in 2015. In 2018, she released her debut studio album Isolation, which received widespread acclaim.

When: Tuesday, May 23rd
Where: 6066 Thunderbird Boulevard
Cost: $47.01

Luke Combs

Luke Combs’ World Tour is coming to BC Place on Saturday, May 27th, so get ready to lace up your dancing boots, and don’t forget your cowboy hat!

When: Saturday, May 27th
Where: 777 Pacific Boulevard
Cost: $116.62+

Tove Lo

One of the bigger performers slated to take the stage this month, Tove Lo is known for her raw, “grunge take” on pop. And the Swedish singer-songwriter is bringing her Dirt Femme Tour to Vancouver along with special guest Slayyyter on Monday, May 29th (rescheduled from February).

When: Monday, May 29th
Where: 868 Granville Street
Cost: $161.84

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo 

If you don’t have Cinco de Mayo plans just yet, consider this list a great place to start. From boat parties to food-focused festivities and deals, here are 8 exciting ways to spend Cinco De Mayo in Vancouver this year.

Where: See our picks above

Arts & culture

Art Vancouver 2023

Every year, Art Vancouver’s international art fair hosts new artists and galleries from around the globe, celebrating voices from a diverse cultural breadth. Taking centre stage are 37 Canadian and Indigenous artists, who will have the chance to exhibit their work on a global platform and sell it to an audience of collectors and galleries.

When: Thursday, May 4th to Sunday, May 7th
Where: 1055 Canada Place
Cost: $20+

Visual Arts Open House and Pop-Up Opera 

This coming month, Vancouver Civic Theatres is hosting a free pop-up opera show and open house in the lobbies of Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The free event will include a 2 pm artist talk and a performance at 3 pm by company members of the Vancouver Opera – so if you enjoy classical music, be sure to reserve your ticket online!

When: Saturday, May 6th
Where: 630 Hamilton Street

Festival of Israeli Culture

Vancouver is getting a huge one-day festival & market celebrating Israeli culture, food, music, and art – and there will be plenty of events to check out.

In addition to delicious food and drink from local vendors and food trucks, guests can expect to see a wide variety of music and dance performances, a “sassy sesame” cooking workshop, intuitive painting, calligraphy, and more.

Best of all? The fun-filled day is completely free to attend!

When: Sunday, May 14th
Where: 950 West 41st Avenue
Cost: Free admission

CATS – Broadway Across Canada

Theatre lovers, this one’s for you! This May, CATS the musical is coming to Vancouver as part of a multi-season North American tour. One of the biggest hits in theatrical history, you definitely won’t want to miss this.

When: May 23 to May 28th
Where: 630 Hamilton Street
Cost: $41.50

Happy Valley at Firehall Arts Centre

The Firehall is closing its 2022-23 season with the premiere of rice & beans theatre’s Happy Valley from Thursday, May 25th to Sunday, June 4th. Performed by award-winning playwright Derek Chan 陳嘉昊, Happy Valley dissects the historic, political, and cultural context surrounding Hong Kong’s current democratic struggles.

When: May 25th to June 4th
Where: 280 East Cordova

Science World After Dark

Science World’s popular “After Dark” series is officially back, which means adults get free reigns over all the exhibits, with optional flowing drinks available. So if getting tipsy at Science World on a Thursday sounds like a good time (which we definitely think it is), you won’t want to miss this.

When: Thursday, May 18th, and the third Thursday of every month
Where: 1455 Quebec Street
Cost: $37 per person

Bright Futures at the Bill Reid Gallery

Bright Futures is the Bill Reid Gallery’s newest exhibit, examining the lasting influence of the artist’s iconic work on the development of contemporary Northwest Coast art today. Alongside a selection of works from Bill Reid Gallery’s permanent collection, the group exhibition showcases works from 14 emerging and established artists from a broad variety of disciplines and cultures from throughout BC and the Yukon.

When: Open throughout May
Where: 639 Hornby Street

As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic

If you haven’t yet checked it out, the Polygon Gallery is hosting a curated exhibit by Elliott Ramsey celebrating the Black community and identities in Canada. The As We Rise exhibit features more than 100 photographs from the Wedge Collection – the largest privately owned collection championing Black artists in the country.

From African diasporic culture to the civil rights movement, the new exhibit (organized by Aperture) features powerful photography by a number of talented artists.

When: February 24th to May 14th
Where: 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
Cost: By donation

The Percy Jackson Musical

If you grew up reading the Percy Jackson & The Olympian series, this is for you. An exciting musical stage adaptation of the novel is coming to Vancouver this May, complete with a five-piece live orchestra. Mark your calendars for May 18th through 28th at the Norman Rothstein Theatre.

There will be nightly shows from Thursday to Sunday at 7 pm and matinee shows at 2 pm from Saturday to Monday.

When: May 18th to 28th
Where: 950 West 41st Avenue
Cost: $18 to $58 plus fees

See what’s on at The Cultch

Meanwhile, The Cultch also has a great lineup for the season. Their options are more for the classic play experience, but of course, expect some contemporary premises and tour-de-force performances from them.

When: Showtimes throughout May
Where: Online and in-person options
Cost: Varies per show

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 5th – so mark your calendars and get ready to enjoy some after-work art!

When: Friday, May 5th
Where: 750 Hornby Street

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Food & drink

Shipyards Night Market

The beloved Shipyards Night Market is officially making a comeback this spring after a three-year hiatus, just in time for its 10th anniversary. And you won’t have to spend a dime on admission!

Visitors can once again enjoy their iconic beer garden and outdoor market, and peruse the many mouthwatering food trucks in attendance. As well, the market is bringing back live music and DJs – so consider your Friday night plans made.

When: Every Friday from May 12th to September 15th
Where: The Shipyards, North Vancouver
Cost: Free admission

Planted Expo

Planted Expo, Canada’s largest plant-based event, is slated to return to Vancouver this May, bringing over 200 tasty vegan and plant-based vendors with it!

When: Saturday, May 27th and Sunday, May 28th
Where: 1055 Canada Place
Cost: $21.47 for one day, $26.84 for two days

Richmond Night Market

While it’s a little early in the year to talk about this year’s lineup of street food, we couldn’t be more excited for the return of the Richmond Night Market. From candy sticks to boba, to customizable noodles — it’s easy to see why the market attracts over one million visitors each year. So mark your calendars for Friday, April 28th, the official opening date of this year’s annual market series!

When: Opens Friday, April 28th
Where: 8351 River Road, Richmond

Indonesian Night Market

If you’ve ever wanted to try a ton of Indonesian eats and drinks all in one place, early May is the perfect chance to do just that. Pacific Arts Market is hosting an Indonesian Night Market next month, and it’s completely free to attend!

When: Saturday, May 6th
Where: 1448 West Broadway
Cost: Free admission

Vancouver’s ‘PattyPass’ 

Created by The Real Beef Buddies, the $15 PattyPass gets you 50% off a burger at both casual at upscale spots in Vancouver between May 1st and August 31st. Even better is that $1 from each pass goes toward the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

New this year? An optional 2023 Supper Club membership, which allows members to meet new people and enjoy burger-focused events via the RSVPlist.

Where: See participating locations above

Hit up a weekend happy hour

With the sun shining and the blossoms blooming, it feels like patio season is already upon us. And if you’re looking for a fun spot to check out on the weekend, there are plenty of happy hours to take advantage of around the city. Whether you’re out shopping on Main or taking a stroll through Gastown, here are 8 of the best weekend happy hours to check out in Vancouver.

Where: See our picks above

Cherry Blossom-Inspired Afternoon Tea

Notch8 at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is now hosting a new cherry blossom-themed afternoon tea service, complete with specialty cocktails, spring-inspired decor, and a plethora of themed treats to enjoy. Guests can choose from three seatings, available at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm. Reservations can be made online from Thursdays to Sundays until May 21st.

When: Available until May 21st
Where: 900 West Georgia Street
Cost: $74 per person

Swing by your local Farmer’s Market

You better believe that we think a trip to the farmers market is worthwhile any time of year, but especially so in the spring! Picking up great groceries from local producers? This requires no selling on our part.

Where: Locations around Vancouver

Outdoor & sports

Sponsored: Wind down amongst the blooms at VanDusen Botanical Garden

Spring has officially sprung on a new level at VanDusen Botanical Garden, folks! And it’s the perfect city escape to enjoy nature in all its vibrant glory.

Catch the last of the cherry blossoms and look forward to all of the May blooms including rhododendrons, tree peonies, magnolias and of course, VanDusen’s famous Laburnum Walk!
Grab your friends & get ready to take in the blooms, views & vibes!

Where: 5251 Oak Street
Cost: $12.30+

VBGA Plant Sale 2023

The Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association is having its annual plant sale at Queen Elizabeth Park next month, and visitors will be able to peruse over 500 stunning varieties of 5,000 plants, including native plants, tropical fruit trees, temperate trees, vines, shrubs, orchids, herbs, mushrooms, and even carnivorous plants!

When: Saturday, May 13th
Where: 4600 Cambie Street

Chilliwack Tulip Festival

Speaking of tulips, the beloved Chilliwack Tulip Festival has officially returned with over seven million stunning tulips in bloom. If you’re looking to take in the spring colours and maybe get in a few family photos for the season, this is the perfect opportunity to do both.

When: Open from April 19th to three or four weeks later, 10 am to 6 pm daily
Where: 41310 Royalwood Drive, Chilliwack
Cost: $11.86 GA

Abbotsford Tulip Festival

What better place to start than with the largest tulip festival in Canada?? Presented by Lakeland Flowers, the Abbotsford Tulip Festival marks the first of six months worth of flower festivals to come. And with over 70 stunning tulip varieties lined across 27+ acres, this fest is poised to be quite the kick-off!

Visitors can expect to roam kilometres of scenic walking trails, complete with rotating food trucks and live music nights!

When: April 14th to May 14th
Where: 39171 No 4 Road, Abbotsford
Cost: Available online one week in advance

Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair 


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Returning after a three-year hiatus is Cloverdale’s Rodeo and Country Fair, which will be in full swing with live entertainment, over 40 food trucks, Midway rides & games and featured attractions for the whole family.

When: May 19th to May 22nd
Where: 6050 176 Street, Surrey
Cost: $11.57 for early bird tickets

The Greatest Show on British Wheels 

If you’re a fan of classic cars, you’ll definitely want to check this one out. On Saturday, May 20th, an ElectraClassic vehicle display is coming to VanDusen Botanical Garden, allowing visitors to learn more about the converted British-built classics for themselves.

When: Saturday, May 20th
Where: 5251 Oak Street

Take a weekend trip to Whistler Blackcomb

Of course, another option is to get a little bit of spring skiing done! While the Whistler side is set to close in mid-April, Blackcomb Mountain is slated to stay open until late May. If you didn’t get the chance to hit the slopes this winter, then this is a great time to go.

When: Slated to close May 23rd
Where: Whistler

Spring Strings 2023

VanDusen is bringing back its Regency-era-inspired outdoor concert, Spring Strings. With a backdrop of golden laburnum trees and violet wisterias, this spring event is a must-visit. If you love any chance to dress up and feel like a main character, now is the perfect chance to do so!

Guests can don their finest picnic attire and roam the 55 acres of the garden, settling in on the Great Lawn for a special performance by Low Strung, a classically-trained cello-rock group from Yale University performing everything from Coldplay to the Eagles.

When: Saturday, May 27th
Where: 5251 Oak Street
Cost: $29 GA, $25 for VBGA members

Work out at one of these parks

With a rainy April behind us, we’re hoping for some serious sunshine this May, which would be an opportune time for outdoor workouts! Thankfully, there are plenty of parks in Vancouver with exercise equipment you can use.

Where: See our picks above

Vancouver Canadians

It’s officially baseball season, and the Vancouver Canadians have returned to Nat Bailey Stadium. This month, they’re up against the Everett AquaSox and the Eugene Emeralds.

When: Games throughout May
Where: 4601 Ontario Street
Cost: $10+

Enjoy some spring views 

In addition to the cherry blossom map, you’re pretty much guaranteed a stunning view at these classic city lookout spots. And thankfully, taking in the views doesn’t cost a thing!

Where: See our picks above

Go on a dog-friendly hike

With so many beautiful spring hikes in BC to choose from, it can be difficult to narrow down your top choices. Luckily, there are plenty near Vancouver that offer unparalleled views, for both you and your dog to enjoy!

Where: See our picks above

And that’s a wrap on some amazing things to do this May, Vancouver!