Rain or shine, there are a variety of events and things to do in Vancouver that make each season special! From picturesque Christmas markets to outdoor cultural celebrations, making events like these into Vancouver day trips are a great way to check out the different neighbourhoods of the city. We’ve taken special note to include the numerous food-centric occasions, which we highly recommend! Here is a month-by-month listing of some of the things we look forward to each year. If you have questions or additions, feel leave us a comment below! We’d love to hear from you.
Annual Vancouver Events
Dine Out Vancouver (January)
A Vancouver Foodie Tour favourite! Organized by our friends at Tourism Vancouver, Dine Out Vancouver is Canada’s largest restaurant festival. Hundreds of restaurants design special $20, $30 and/or $40 menus for patrons to select and enjoy. There is a jam-packed, 17-day calendar of culinary events, cocktail tours, cooking classes and demonstrations, debates, guest lectures, BC wine and craft beer tastings, street food markets and more! There are even special hotel rates for the occasion!
Hot Chocolate Festival (January-February)
Do you love all things chocolate? We sure do! During this two-week festival Hot Chocolate Festival, there will be something chocolate to enjoy all over the city. From creative hot chocolate concoctions to divine dark chocolate desserts, the celebrations get bigger and better with each year!
Winterruption at Granville Island (February)
Take a break from the Winter blues and celebrate art, food, music and fun at Granville Island! Winterruption is a 4-day, family-friendly event that has activities for all ages. And yes – we invite you to join us in the centre of the action on our world-famous Granville Island Market Tour!
Vancouver International Wine Festival (February)
The Vancouver International Wine Festival is one the oldest and most-prestigious wine events in the world. Each year, the festival attracts over 140 different different wineries from a dozen or more countries across the globe. Whether you are a casual wine-drinker, a collector or a winery principal, there is something for everyone to enjoy! The schedule includes wine tastings, dinner series, celebrity showcases and more.
Cherry Blossom Festival (April)
The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival marks the reawakening of the city for the new season. If you’re in and around the city, it’s impossible to miss the touches of pink around the neighbourhood. Restaurants will often celebrate with special “cherry blossom features” on their menus. Official festival itinerary includes a Sakura Night Dinner, Poetry Contests, Concerts and more.
Note: The cherry blossoms bloomed early this year! We started seeing them around in the city in late February. For our top picks on where to find, photograph, and enjoy the blossoms, read our blog post here.
EAT Vancouver (Late April- Early May)
EAT Vancouver is Canada’s largest food festival. The week-long event is jam packed with culinary workshops, celebrity chef presentations, exclusive dinner experiences, and endless things to see and taste. The exhibition takes places in BC Place, Vancouver’s iconic football/soccer stadium! Keep your eye out for the VFT team on site! See our blog post for more details.
Spot Prawn Festival (May)
Spot prawns are considered a delicacy throughout the world for their sweet and light flavour and firm texture. They are relatively easy to identify for their reddish colour and distinct white spots. Until a few years ago, almost all of BC’s harvest was frozen and sold in Asia. The Spot Prawn Festival is a celebration of BC’s sustainable practices and a chance for locals to enjoy the season’s harvest! We wouldn’t miss the Spot Prawn Boil for the world – see the full blog post here!
Greek Days (June)
A free, one-day, cultural celebration with food, music and fun! Located on West Broadway, between Blenheim and Macdonald Street.
Italian Days (June)
A cultural celebration on Commercial Drive, the heart of Vancouver’s “Little Italy.” The Drive comes alive ‘Venetian style’ with masks, costumes, street entertainers, music, food, fashion, contests and more!
Dragon Boat Festival (June)
A two-day festival at Vancouver’s False Creek. Cheer for your favourite Dragon Boat team while you enjoy the non-stop entertainment, fabulous food, and shopping. Free to the public!
Caribbean Days (July)
Caribbean Days is presented by the Trinidad & Tobago Cultural Society of BC. This event draws a crowd of exuberant fun-lovers to North Vancouver’s Waterfront park for a weekend of parading, dining and dancing in the sunshine.
Honda Celebration of Light (August)
The Honda Celebration of Light is a 3-day, international fireworks competition held on English Bay. Vancouverites are treated to an incredible fireworks display choreographed to music. There are limited paid tickets for the viewing area, however, fireworks can also be seen (for free) from Vanier Park, Kitsilano Beach and Jericho Beach. Highly attended and highly recommended!
Richmond Night Market (Summer – Fri/Sat/Sun only)
A large-scale night market featuring Asian street food, trinkets, clothing and electronics. Kids will enjoy the new addition of carnival games. Admission is $2, and the venue is easily accessible by the Canada Line train. Read about our favourite food stalls here.
Outdoor Movies in Vancouver (Summer)
Throw down a blanket and bring out the snacks! Enjoy the free outdoor movie series in the cool summer evenings. Venues include Stanley Park and David Lam Park.
Vancouver Farmers Markets (Summer)
Experience the best of Vancouver’s local produce at the Farmers Markets! You’ll find farmers markets in all parts of the city, including: Kitsilano, Yaletown, the West End, Main Street, Kerrisdale and more!
UBC Apple Festival (October)
Did you know BC is home to over 60 types of apples? The UBC Apple Festival, hosted at the UBC Botanical Gardens, is another VFT favourite. Friends and families get to together to enjoy local apples in all their glory: as candy apples, apple chips, apple pies, and of course, as fresh apples at the infamous apple tasting tent!
The German Christmas Market (Late November – December)
The German Christmas Market is a picturesque holiday experience in downtown Vancouver. We love strolling around the
Festival of Lights (December)
The Festival of Lights is a dynamic holiday light display at VanDusen Botanical Garden. Sip hot chocolate and enjoy the carolers as you meander through the garden.