The 6 best free family activities in Vancouver this summer

It’s almost summertime in Vancouver, and that means it’s time to put all of that winter energy that we’ve been saving up to use. Vancouver is an expensive city, but that doesn’t mean that your summer has to be. I’ve put together a list of free things to do with your family in Vancouver this summer that will help you get the most of the sun and your budget.

Here is your list of free activities for your family this summer.


Lynn Canyon is a fun and free family activity to check out this summer in Vancouver

Swim at Lynn Canyon

Lynn Canyon is a true gem, hidden away in North Vancouver. Accessible to visitors from the Greater Vancouver area by public transit, Lynn Canyon is a great day trip during the summer months.

Lynn Canyon has something for everyone. It is loaded with hiking trails, plenty of relaxing natural swimming pools and the kids will love the range of cliff jumping options available. You can bring your dog along and it is a great, easy and free activity to lend some time to this summer.

A message of notice – the pools are a bit cold, so make sure you go on a hot day!


Granville Island is great free activity to check out this summer

See and Eat at Granville Island

Granville Island is home to many awesome summer activities and is a great time for locals and non-locals alike. Catch public transit, walk or ride a bike down to Granville Island and plan to spend a couple of hours wandering around the market and checking out the boutique shops. I’d recommend stopping by Sterling Glassworks to watch the glassblowers spin out some art, or stop by the floating homes and imagine what being rocked to sleep each night must feel like.

There are tons of cheap food options to check out in the market, with anything from sushi to donuts. Follow your nose and track down something that works for your lunch.

Careful following your nose too much though, because the donuts, sushi and cold beers can add up quick!


Biking the seawall is fun in Vancouver

Bike the Seawall

Biking Vancouver’s seawall can is a great summer activity for anyone who wants to see a lot and do a lot. The seawall ride can go for as long as 22 kilometres, depending on how committed you are. The route starts at Canada Place in downtown Vancouver and heads west towards Stanley Park, before curving down through English Bay and looping back up through Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks. Taking the kids along will ensure a solid sleep that night, so consider the exercise an investment .

If you decide to take the whole route you can visit some of the best landmarks Vancouver has to offer, including Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, Kitsilano and the Olympic Village. Along the route there are an infinite number of spots to stop to grab a lemonade or a bite to eat.

If you can’t bike, you can always jog, rollerblade or take a horse drawn carriage.

Sweat at the Grouse Grind

Another North Van classic is the Grouse Grind. Taking public transit to Grouse Mountain is easy, but getting up the hill is not. Prepare yourself for a 2.9-kilometre long trail up the side of Grouse Mountain.

The trail is not easy, but it is rewarding once you get to the top.

The trail includes 2.830 stairs and takes an average person as much as an hour and a half to the summit. The trail is accessible by anyone able-bodied from ages 7 to 90 which means you can bring the family along.


Kits beach is a great free summer activity for Vancouverites

Volleyball at Kitsilano Beach

More fun in the sun, and all you need to bring with you is a ball. Kits beach has everything from trendy restaurants to hotdog stands. There are 7 volleyball courts set up on the beach at any time, but you may have to wait your turn to get in.

You can also swim, or walk down to the dog beach to hang with some pooches. Kits beach is near the end of the seawall trip, so it could be a great spot to end your day. Close to the wonderful 4th avenue, head up from the beach to check out more restaurants and interesting shops.

Kits beach is close to the Burrard bridge which means you can easily walk home after, or catch public transit to take you to downtown to finish the day.

Bring water, sunscreen and a towel!

Do anything outdoors and active

Vancouver is a great city for staying fit and living a healthy life. I’ve touched on this in past blogs, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t only improve your quality of life but also saves you money down the road. Even if it just means visiting your local park, or going for a quick swim in the ocean, every bit of activity will improve your life.

The best thing about these outdoor activities is that they are free! Stay fit, stay healthy, and stay in your budget!

Thanks for reading!

If anything on this blog interests you further, please do not hesitate to reach out to me via email at [email protected] I’d love to talk about my financial services and advice in Vancouver, British Columbia’s lower mainland, and Canada in general.

  • Brad Blair, CFP, CIM, FCSI, CHS.