We’ve compiled a super-sized summer survival checklist that includes all the must-dos for your family to prevent the boredom blues. Print off this list, stick it to the fridge and see how many you can get through before the Fall arrives.

  1.  Kick off the summer with an unforgettable Canada Day celebration!
  2. For 2021, the Golden Spike Days Festival is a one-day, drive-thru event on July 1 in Port Moody.
  3. Water slides are an essential part of summer so be sure to visit the iconic Cultus Lake Waterpark.
  4. Need a day of play? Why not explore one (or more) of these playgrounds with serious WOW Factor?
  5. Check out the 36th annual Whistler Children’s Festival July 5-7.
  6. Soar about the forest floor when you visit the Greenheart TreeWalk at UBC Botanical Garden.
  7. Visit the world of imaginative play at Richmond’s Kidtropolis. If you are looking to avoid the crowds, don’t visit on a cloudy / rainy day.
  8. Pack a picnic and have a family dinner either on the beach or at one of these 5 lesser known picnic spots.
  9. Ride the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway in Cloverdale. The 55 minute ride will take you on a fun journey & teach you a bit of history.
  10. The Aldergrove Fair Days return August 28 – 29. The event details are still being finalized; we can’t wait to learn what they have planned.
  11. Roller coasters, bumper boats, mini golf and so much more! Have a great time at the Cultus Lake Adventure Park.
  12. POP! Summer Strolls happen in 2 of Surrey’s parks this summer. The music style, performers, and venues are different for every show. Arrive early, explore the park, bring a chair or blanket to enjoy the music. Tickets are pay-what-you-can and must be booked ahead of time.
  13. Grab a bag full of birdseed and feed the geese at Granville Island and ride the water taxis.
  14. Grab tickets to the children’s performance Juggle Me Not at Surrey’s Glades Garden on July 23. Tickets are pay-what-you-can and must be booked ahead of time.
  15. The 11th annual Indian Summer Festival returns June 17 – July 17. Celebrating the Indian culture through food, performances, talks, and activities. This year’s events are a combination of in-person and virtual.
  16. Start hiking as a family! These 7 Kid-Friendly Hikes are great for kids of all ages.
  17. Book your spot at the utterly amazing, and fantastically priced Otter Co-op Outdoor Experience! For less than $30 for a family of 4 you can enjoy a 25 m pool, 1 and 3 m diving boards, a hot tub, a leisure pool, a sauna, a steam room, a lazy river channel, a spray park, tidal pool, and THREE water slides!

  18. Go bowling with your kids. Did you know that in the summer Kids Bowl Free at various lanes around Metro Vancouver. All you have to do is sign them up!
  19. With over 30 rides and attractions Playland has something to offer guests of all ages. Which ride is your favourite?
  20. Raise your pinky finger and practice your English accent at high tea!  Try the Secret Garden Tea Company in Vancouver.
  21. Embrace all things aviary and visit the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  22. Burn off some of the endless kid-energy at the ultra cool – and completely free – parkour park in Langley.
  23. Visit the night markets: Richmond Night Market & Shipyard Night Market.
  24. Bring popcorn and watch a FREE outdoor movie in a number of communities across Metro Vancouver.
  25. Go for a drive and explore Harrison Hot Springs!  Don’t forget to check out their Festival of the Arts.
  26. Does anything scream SUMMER like a bucket full of fresh berries? Kids need to experience picking berries and there are U-Pick farms all over the Lower Mainland!
  27. Bring your rollerblades or bikes and have fun on the hills at the Seymour Demonstration Forest
  28. Spend a day in historic & charming Fort Langley. We love visiting the birthplace of BC…check out our top 6 reasons!
  29. Soak in the tunes of the Folk Music Festival at Jericho Beach July 19 – 21.
  30. Book a stay-cation at the family-friendly River Rock Casino in Richmond. The pool and slide kept our kids busy for hours!
  31. Climb in the trees at WildPlay. An air-borne obstacle course perfect for tall 5 year olds & up. The kids love it – especially the zipline!
  32. Play a round of mini golf
  33. Every week Music in the Cannery will feature a different musical act, catering to a wide range of musical tastes, from blues, jazz, folk and more!
  34. Soar over the trees and explore the Capilano Suspension Bridge
  35. Visit your local library and sign up for the summer reading club. Lots of prizes to be won!
  36. Find treasures in your backyard or wherever your summer ramblings take you. Geocaching is a FREE family activity you can do literally anywhere.
  37. Say hello to some exotic animals at the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove. Bring your bikes because the paved pathways are perfect for 2-wheeled fun.
  38. Slurpees are FREE on July 11th at your local 7-Eleven store.
  39. Don’t miss the two FREE Home Depot Kids’ Workshops this summer. The events happen on the 2nd Saturday of every month (July 13th & August 10th).
  40. Get soaked at one (or many) of the spray and water parks in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.
  41. Take a walk back in time and go to a drive in movie at Twilight Drive-In out in Aldergrove.
  42. Come for fun family activities all day at the Honeybee Festival (July 13 & 14): bee beards, beekeeping demos, live music, food, farmers market and a variety of fantastic local vendors.

  43. 2019 marks the 12th anniversary of the Surrey Fusion Festival. Enjoy music from around the world, a kidzone, pavilions, activities and more. The fun happens at Holland Park July 20 & 21.
  44. Country Fest has been celebrated in Maple Ridge for more than 100 years!  The FREE entertainment; crazy lawnmower races; animal exhibitions of all sorts…the list of activities and entertainment goes on!
  45. Feel the beat with the Caribbean Days Festival in North Vancouver July 27 & 28.
  46. The Richmond Maritime Festival returns to the Britannia Shipyards July 27 & 28. The FREE family-friendly festival includes live music, roving performers, visual artists, stilt walkers, puppets, storytellers and dancers plus wooden boat displays.
  47. The 29th annual Harmony Arts Festival (August 2-11) takes over Ambleside Park in West Vancouver. Enjoy FREE musical entertainment plus foodie events, and loads of kids workshops for just $2 each.
  48. The 46th annual Tsawwassen Sun Festival is 3 days of fun over the BC Day Long Weekend. Enjoy a ball tournament, great food, fireworks, an antique fair, a skateboard competition, a parade, an international market, a petting zoo, a children’s festival, a bike show and more!
  49. If you missed the Caribbean Days Festival in North Van at the end of July, don’t fear there is a Caribbean Festival happening in Maple Ridge August 3 & 4.
  50. Families will enjoy building sand castles, making kites, listening to live music and watching paddleboard races at the White Rock Sea Festival (August 3 & 4). Fireworks and a lantern parade are part of the celebrations too.
  51. Take in a 365 degree view of downtown Vancouver at the Vancouver Lookout
  52. Come to Rocky Point Park for Summer Sundays! The FREE blues, soul, funk, R&B and reggae concerts on Sundays run throughout the summer! The concerts start at 2pm and everyone is welcome.
  53. Got a little detective on your hands? The Police Museum is the place for you.
  54. FREE admission at Fresh Family Fun Field at Krause Berry Farms on August 18th includes: jumping pillows, games, tether ball, peddle cart race track & more.
  55. Exhaust the kids at Bear Creek Park: ride the miniature train, play a round of mini golf, splash around at the water park, have a picnic in the beautiful gardens.
  56. Soak in the blues at Jazz Vespers every Sunday at 4pm.
  57. Take in a horse jumping show at Langley’s Thunderbird Show Park
  58. Swim in an outdoor pool.
  59. Catch a Vancouver Canadians game at Nat Bailey Stadium
  60. If your kids love pirates you won’t want to miss stopping by Pirates Adventure Canada
  61. Go on an ice cream tasting comparison. Be sure to check out: Earnest Ice Cream, Beta5 Chocolates, Rain or Shine, and Bella Gelateria.
  62. It is worth the drive. Visit Hell’s Gate Airtram
  63. Check out the Way Cool Biodiversity Series on the first Sunday of every month. The museum is located on the UBC campus.
  64. Ride the SkyTrain from one end to the other. Explore all three lines: Expo Line, Millennium Line, Canada Line.  Try and get the front seat and then pretend you are the driver!
  65. Queen Elizabeth Park offers entertainment such as lawn bowling, tennis, roller hockey, disc golf, pitch & putt and more.
  66. Have you heard about the AMAZING Pop-Up Adventure Playground in Coquitlam? Parents aren’t allowed in; kids are meant to dig, hammer, scrambling, climb, and get dirty! It’s all about unstructured play.
  67. For 147 years the Chilliwack Fair has been entertaining families in the Fraser Valley. Don’t miss this year’s celebration August 9-11.
  68. On Wednesdays & Saturdays throughout July & August you can enjoy the big-movie-theatre experience for just $2.99. The Cineplex Summer Favourites start at 11am. Some of the movies being shown this summer include: Shazam, Wonder Park, and Missing Link.

  69. Explore gorgeous Port Moody: Rocky Point Park, Rocky Point Ice CreamPort Moody Station Museum
  70. Get your mini-donut fill at the PNE. The summer concert line up is amazing! Did you also know there are a number of ways to visit the PNE for FREE or super cheap?
  71. Ride the waves at Watermania in Richmond.
  72. Buy local and support the farmers at the many local Farmer’s Markets.
  73. Explore an independent, locally owned toy store: Splash Toys (Richmond), The Village Toy Shop (Port Moody), and Dilly Dally Kids (Vancouver)
  74. The Circle Farm tours are a great way to learn about agricultural treasures in your back yard.  The Circle Farm tours exist for: Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley, Agassiz/Harrison Mills, and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows
  75. Head in the other direction and go West to the Britannia Mine Museum.  The kids will love the underground train
  76. Grab the kids and go explore Richmond’s Larry Berg Flight Path Park. While the planes fly overhead, kids can scramble over the globe and run up & down their own runways.
  77. The beloved Music on the Wharf concert series happens 4 times throughout the summer. Admission is by donation and the proceeds benefit the Maple Ridge Historic Society.
  78. Immerse yourself in the beauty of our country at Fly Over Canada. Travel from the Newfoundland icebergs to our expansive West Coast and see all the provinces in between.
  79. Have you tried the crazy game of disc golf? Give it a go at Little Mountain, Jericho Jill, Eastview Park, Rockridge or Qualichena.
  80. Visit the spectacular Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish.
  81. The Concerts in the Park series returns to Delta for 2019. There are only a few performances this year: July 3, 12, 17, 30 & August 16, 22 & 27. Please make sure to double check the start time as well as the location as it changes for every performance.
  82. Absorb the beauty with the walls of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Alberto Giacometti – A Line Through Time is on display June 16 – September 29.
  83. Visit the FREE Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
  84. Spend a rainy summer day in the Bloedel Conservatory
  85. Enjoy a peaceful walk through the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens. Why not pack a picnic and make an afternoon of it?
  86. If the weather is being disagreeable but the kids want to dig in the sand, head to 6Pack Indoor Beach and experience an 18,000 sqft indoor beach. Lots of digging fun for the kids!
  87. Hike the trails that surround the beautiful Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver.
  88. Visit the ArtStarts Gallery and check out their FREE exhibits.
  89. Bike the seawall.
  90. Spin in circles on the antique carousel at the Burnaby Village Museum. Admission to the museum is FREE all summer long; carousel rides are $2.65 each.
  91. Learn about urban farming at the UBC Farm. The Farmers Markets run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Saturdays until the end of October.
  92. Come kick some tires at the Langley Good Times Cruise In on September 7th.
  93. Looking for something free? Have a gander at our list of 25 FREE Things to Do With Your Kids This Summer.

Been there, done that?  Check our calendar to see exactly what’s happening this week in Metro Vancouver.