Things to do in the lower mainland. A listing of upcoming events and ongoing attractions in the Greater Vancouver Lower Mainland area

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Surrey Fusion Festival July 18 & 19

This looks like fun! This multicultural festival is a two day event celebrating food, culture and music with over 25 international pavilions.

Entertainment is on 3 concurrent stages at Surrey's Holland Park, located at King George Highway and Old Yale Road. Visitors are expected to be in the tens of thousands so bring your own food and drink to avoid standing in line and prevent any kiddie melt downs. Everything is out doors, so don't forget the sunscreen.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July 19: Visit a Firehall in Vancouver

Mount Pleasant, Killarney and West End firehalls are having open houses this day. If you're already going into Vancouver it's worth stopping by a firehall with the kids for a tour of the house and fire engines. The fire fighters are great at showing the kids around all the equipment and it's a great opportunity to show your little ones what the firefighters will be dressed like if they should ever have to enter the house for a rescue.

Locations are West End: 1001 Nicola Street, Killarney 3090 East 54th Avenue, Mount Pleasant 2801 Quebec Street

Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 19: Music at Lions Park Port Coquitlam

Every Sunday, July and August 2-4 pmLions Park (Click here for map and directions) Bring your lawn chair, a picnic and the enitre family to Lions Park this summer! Music in the Park is a series of free concerts held in Lions Park, located on Lions Way off Shaughnessy Street, every Sunday afternoon from 2 pm to 4 pm throughout the months of July and August. Free parking, shade trees, picnic tables and a large playgroud, make Lions Park a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon. You can also enjoy the original artwork of local artists provided by the Art Focus Artists' Association .

July 19 - Santa Lucia (latin funk) Listen to the early days of Latin Rock mixed with funk and a drop of rock. Grab the kids, a picnic blanket and pack some snacks for the kids and hang out for a while.

July 19: Discovery Day Festival in Burnaby

Sunday, July 19 is the 25th Annual Discovery Day Festival in Burnaby. Free Admission 10:00am-4:00pm at Deer Lake Park & Shadbolt Centre. More information is availablea at

July 11 & 12: Celebrate Carrbbean Days in Maple Ridge

This festival is loads of fun and the biggest Caribbean festival in Canada. It runs Saturday from 9-5 and Sunday 12-9, on 224th street (between Dewdney and Lougheed) and at the adjoining bandstand and Peace Park. Enjoy live bands on two stages, playing reggae, calypso, salsa and soca music. Stay for the colourful costume parade, street vendors with caribbean food and jewelry. A large kid zone will feature rides and street entertainers. In previous years the kids entertainment has featured face painting and some really great craft activities. I take the kids each year and this is one of the highlights of the summer, with a very festive, relaxed and happy atmosphere that the kids really love.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sunday July 12: Self-Guided Family Bird Watching at Campbell Valley Regional Park

From 1-4 starting at the Campbell Valley Visitor Centre at the corner of 8th Avenue and 204th Street in Langley, follow the path to the yellow building. Volunteers will be on site to answer questions, a Discovery Pack is available to families to take on the self-guided tour and there will be some puppets and crafts for the small ones. Nice little outing if you're in the area, be sure to dress for the weather, some areas may get muddy.

Sunday July 12: Learn orienteering at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park!

No need to register, but take note that kids should be at least 8 years old for this event. Dress for the weather and bring something to eat and drink. Meet at B.C. Mills house between 10:00 and 3:00 and allow 1-2 hours to navigate this self guided course using clues and a compass to find your way. Let the kids lead the way and learn as they go.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 22-24 Ladner Pioneer May Days

Held in Memorial Park just steps away from historic Ladner Village, the Ladner Pioneer May Days Fair (est. 1896) is one of B.C.'s largest free family fairs. Features activities and entertainment for all ages including live bands, craft fair, men's fastball tournament, jugglers, magicians, balloon artists, petting zoo, carnival rides and a food fair.
The Ladner May Days Parade will be held on Sunday, May 24th at 12:00 pm and will lead through historic Ladner Village and culminate at the stage in Memorial Park where the traditional May Pole Dance and May Queen Crowning Ceremony will take place.

May 23 BCSPCA Celebration of Animals

From 11:00 - 3:00 at the Vancouver Shelter, Vancouver Shelter at 1205 - East 7th Ave. BCSPCA is recognizing Be Kind to Animals month by celebrating their shelter animals. There will be live music, pancakes, face painting, kids activities, tours of the shelter, and meet the animals.

May 23 Silver Valley Spring Festival in Maple Ridge

If you're already in the Maple Ridge area, you may want to drop in to join the Silver Valley Association at the Maple Ridge Park for this family event. Take part in children's activities and enjoy a variety of vendors and entertainment. Aside from the event, this large park has a lot to offer. There's a top notch playground, divided into areas suited for different age groups, a great water park, picnic area and hiking paths. The park is at the north end of 232nd at Fern Crescent and has good parking.

May 24 at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park

Bring the family to this annual “Open House” to explore the park. Volunteers, local experts and park enthusiasts will be on hand to share information about Lynn Headwaters cultural and natural history, hiker safety and trail details. Explore the 100-year-old B.C. Mills House that contains lumbering and mining artifacts from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Sign out one of the new family-friendly Discovery Packs to help you explore the headwaters. Check out the delightful Varley Trail, named after one of Canada’s famous Group of Seven painters. From Highway 1 in North Vancouver, take the Lynn Valley Road exit and follow park signs.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Victoria Day Parade and Family Fesitval at Fort Langley

The Village of Fort Langley looks like the place to be with kids this Victoria Day. The parade begins at 11:00 on Glover road and includes fun floats and personalities, as well as the Vancouver Police Motorcycle Drill team.

The Festival in the Park picks up where the parade leaves off, 12:30 at the Fort Langley National Historic Site on Mavis and Royal.

The Festival is family oriented with kiddie rides, face painting, Dancing Bear Story Theatre, and live music and children's entertainment. As well, there will be concessions selling food and the usual carnival vendors. This is looking like a very special family fun day. It might rain, so bring your camera and snap some pictures of the kids with their faces painted before they get smudged!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Vancouver Children's Festival

The Vancouver Children's festival starts today and runs until Sunday May 18, at Vanier Park. Music, facepainting, dance and many other events. The Festival might be a little pricey for the whole family with a $10 per person admission fee. Expect to pay even more once inside as many shows require that you buy additional tickets. And of course there will be vendors. For more information, check out this link

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Spring into Summer Sunday at Burnaby Lake

On Sunday, May 17 from 10-4 the GVRD is celebrating the season opening of Burnaby Lake Nature House with the Spring into Summer event. Park interpreters will guide you on walks around the park. Visit displays or make a craft to take home; enjoy the view from the newly reconstructed viewing tower overlooking Burnaby Lake. Park and meet at the Nature House on Piper Avenue off Winston Street, or park at the Avalon Avenue lot and enjoy a half-hour walk to the Nature House.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

May Day Parade in Port Coquitlam

Starting at 11:00 at Port Coquitlam's on Shaughnessy Street at Welcher Avenue, the parade travels east on Elgin Avenue, south on Mary Hill Road, east on Hawthorne Avenue and disperses on Tyner Street at Rindall. The parade is expected to last 2 hours.

After the parade you can head on over to Leigh Square where the bandshell will feature musicians and performers until 4:30. A Taste of Port Coquitlam will also be at Leigh Square and the annual Show and Shine will feature vintage cars. (Map)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Coming Events

Haney Farmer's Market opens this weekend. Starting May 9, the market is open every Saturday to mid-october from 9 am to 2 pm. Local vendors and farmers sell from booths in the Memorial Peace Park. It's located on 224th street in Maple Ridge between Lougheed hwy and Dewdney trunk. (You can park at the mall next door, off 224th street). To celebrate opening weekend they are giving out cake at 11:00 am.

I've been to this market last year. It's OK for a short outing if you live around Maple Ridge and just want somewhere to walk around and look at things with the kids. If you're only planning to go once this summer, you will probably want to wait until later in the summer when other events occur at the same location (Canada Day and Caribbean days come to mind).

Looking for things to do with the kids?

We've all been there. Weekdays spent rushing from one obligation to another, trying to keep the kids organized, the meals made and the errands run. And then the weekend sneaks up and there's nothing planned and it's only natural to use the time to catch up on housework and errands. Until the regret of Monday morning and finding out that other people actually had FUN on the weekend. Fun at events that maybe you didn't even hear about until after they were over.

If you've ever made a commitment to find time each weekend to get out with the kids, you know it can sometimes be hard to find the fun. The events are out there, but each municipality, organization, museum and special interest group has their events listed in separate places. Hunting around for the unique and fun family event that's worth your weekend time can be a slow and tedious process.

This site is about informing people of what family friendly events are coming up. It's still a bit under construction but stay tuned! Bookmark and check back often. Upcoming posts will let you know what's going on around the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Lower Mainland that may be worth a trip out with the kids.