More than 20 FREE and cheap things to do in Metro Vancouver this May

There is loads of free and inexpensive fun to be had around town. So let’s get started!

Check out these 29 fun events in Vancouver in May that won’t break the bank, like The Vanyoo Market, Free Comic Book Day, and more.

And for more great events happening around town, be sure to check out our Listed section.

Got Craft

Got Craft/Submitted

What: Vancouver’s biggest indie craft fair is back for another weekend of community connection and mindful shopping, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Got Craft Spring Market.

At the event, shoppers will meet over 80 local small businesses and treat themselves to dishes from local food carts. It’s also the perfect opportunity to pick up a special Mother’s Day gift.

When: May 4 and 5, 2024
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Maritime Labour Centre — 1880 Triumph Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $5 online in advance and at the door; children 12 and under are free; purchase online

What: May 4 is Free Comic Book Day, an industry celebration where participating comic book shops worldwide give away comic books absolutely free to customers with no strings attached.

There are multiple stores around Metro Vancouver taking part, each with its own unique rules and selection of merchandise. You can use the locator map here to find participating locations near you or check out our list of comic book stores in the region to get your geek on.

When: May 4, 2024
Time: Various store hours
Where: Various locations
Cost: Free

What: The Burnaby Art Gallery and School District 41 are partnering for the latest Arts Alive, a celebration of students’ diverse interpretations of a theme. (re)FOLD/(re)FIT challenges senior secondary students from grades 8 to 12 to use paper manipulation to (re)fold or (re)fit wearable art.

When: May 3 to June 2, 2024
Time: 10 am to 4:30 pm (Monday to Friday), noon to 5 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Where: Burnaby Art Gallery (Lower Gallery) — 6344 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
Admission: Suggest donation $5

Shipyards Night Market

What: North Vancouver’s Shipyards Night Market is celebrating its 11th anniversary in Lower Lonsdale in 2024. The popular free event takes place every Friday and features a beer garden, live music, market vendors and food trucks with the Burrard Inlet as the backdrop to the weekend kickoff.

When: Every Friday from May 10 to September 13, 2024
Time: 3 to 10 pm
Where: The Shipyards — 125 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver
Cost: Free

What: Get ready to travel to a galaxy far, far away — Kitsilano — and celebrate Star Wars Day at the Hollywood Theatre. Fans can get tickets to individual screenings of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, or get The Star Wars Trilogy Ticket, which includes admission to the “May The 4th Be Disco” after party.

When: May 4, 2024
Time: Doors at 11 am, first movie at noon
Where: Hollywood Theatre – 3123 W Broadway, Vancouver
Tickets: $10 plus fees for solo movie, $27 plus fees for trilogy plus after party. Purchase online

What: Shop local at The Vanyoo Market and discover over 50 vendors offering a wide range of products including art, fashion, jewellery, homewares, pet care, and more.

There’s something for everyone to explore at the free market, and the first 20 guests on opening day will receive $20 to spend at any of the booths.

When: May 19 and 20, 2024
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: The Pipe Shop – 115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver
Admission: Free; register online

What: Dani Gal’s Historical Records is an epic that began in 2005 and is made up of over 700 commercially issued vinyl LPs. The Polygon Gallery is hosting Part 1, 2005-2018 from the Collection of Migros Museum in Zürich in its ground floor gallery throughout the spring and into summer. It is Gal’s first solo exhibition in Canada.

When: Wednesday to Sunday until July 14, 2024
Time: 10 am to 5 pm (open until 9 pm on Thursdays)
Where: The Polygon Gallery – 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
Admission: By donation

Tian Jin Festival

Tian Jin Festival

What: Celebrating the multiculturalism of the city and highlighting Taiwanese food in particular, TJ Fest is a highly anticipated annual event, celebrating its 12th year this May.

Taking place across two blocks at the Tian-Jin Temple at 3426 Smith Avenue, guests can enjoy expanded offerings in an adjacent park featuring free activities for children and families.

When: May 4 and 5, 2024
Time: 11 am to 4 pm
Where: Tian-Jin Temple — 3426 Smith Avenue, Burnaby
Cost: Free

What: Richmond Night Market is back for another season filled with epic eats and live entertainment. The largest night market in North America draws crowds from across the province who travel to check out the 600+ international food items available for order. There are also a ton of unique shopping opportunities, along with the diverse lineup of nightly performances.

When: Fridays to Sundays until October 14, 2024, plus holiday Mondays
Time: Various hours
Where: 8351 River Road, Richmond (near Bridgeport Station)
Tickets: To be released soon

What: The annual Jane’s Walk Festival, a series of free citizen-led walking tours, will take place throughout Vancouver until May 5.

Hundreds of cities host Jane’s Walk events on the first weekend of May each year, with architects, community gardeners, artists, neighbours, and more hosting the walking conversations.

When: Now until May 5, 2024
Time: Various times
Where: Various locations throughout Vancouver
Cost: Free, register online

The Wellness Centre (Bentall Centre)

The Wellness Centre (Bentall Centre/Submitted)

What: Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month with classes and workshops hosted in partnership with 13 of Vancouver’s leading wellness and fitness studios.

Whether you’re yearning for yoga, searching for strength classes, or gearing up for guided meditation and mental health talks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at The Wellness Studio.

When: May 1 to 31, 2024
Time: Monday to Friday from noon to 6 pm
Where: Retail Concourse Unit 311 at Bentall Centre — 595 Burrard Street, Vancouver
Cost: Minimum $10 donation to Foundry for a single class. A pass for 10 classes, workshops and meditations, as well as an Unlimited Pass, is also available

What: The third annual Vancouver Fleet Week, hosted by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC), takes place at Burrard Dry Dock Pier in North Vancouver.

The Canadian Fleet Pacific will be sending a number of massive vessels that visitors will be able to tour. There will also be several interactive events and activities during Fleet Week, which are free for all ages.

When: May 3 to 5, 2024
Time: Various times
Where: Burrard Dry Dock Pier – 15 Wallace Mews, North Vancouver (Friday to Sunday), Sailor’s Point Memorial in Waterfront Park (Sunday)
Cost: Free

What: Eastside Flea features over 50 local vendors offering a variety of items, including handmade goods and vintage clothing, collectibles and plants, artisan foods, and more. Each weekend event will also have food trucks on-site, beverages being served, and a free photo booth.

When: Every Saturday and Sunday until May 26, 2024
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Where: 1101 Union Street, Vancouver
Admission: $5

Vancouver Comic Arts Festival


What: Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF) is an annual celebration of comics and their creators at the Roundhouse Community Centre. Explore dozens of booths selling unique comics, artwork, collectibles, and more. Attendees can also check out the panel room for a variety of presentations and live performances.

Several special guests will be in attendance throughout the weekend, including Gord Hill, author of The 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance Comic Book; Diana Schutz, the first woman to be inducted into the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame; and Jean-Marc Rochette, artist and co-creator of Transperceneige (Snowpiercer).

When: May 18 and 19, 2024
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Where: Roundhouse Community Centre – 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
Admission: Free

What: Enjoy all of your favourite Abba songs in a screening of the smash hit film Mama Mia! while supporting Terminal City Roller Derby at the Rio Theatre. Partial proceeds from the all-ages event will go to support Terminal City’s tournament travel costs.

Terminal City Roller Derby is Vancouver’s first flat-track roller derby league. Its thrilling games are held throughout the year in Coquitlam and New Westminster. The 100% member-owned and operated organization relies on fundraising activities to train, play, and advocate.

When: May 11, 2024
Time: Doors 2:30 pm, film 3 pm
Where: The Rio Theatre — 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver
Cost: $12-$18, purchase online

What: Mother’s Day is always a big occasion on the calendar, and if you’re looking to treat that special mom to a mouthwatering meal this year, we’ve got you covered. The Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival is hosting the Food Truck Festival: Mother’s Day Edition at the BCIT Burnaby campus.

Happening in BCIT’s huge parking lot, this food-filled adventure features more than 20 food trucks, a BC Shop Local artisan market, live entertainment, and more. And you don’t have to be a mom to attend — everyone is invited to the feast.

When: May 11 and 12, 2024
Time: 11 am to 8 pm (Saturday), 11 am to 7 pm (Sunday)
Where: BCIT Parking Lot – 3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby
Cost: Free; register for free tickets online

What: The Show is a hybrid exhibition of over 300 of Emily Carr’s art, media, and design graduates. Works on display during the free event include fine arts, photography and film, animation, industrial design, and illustration. Visitors can explore the showcased pieces in person at the East Vancouver campus and online.

When: May 9 (opening night), May 10 to 23, 2024. Closed on May 20 for Victoria Day
Time: 6 to 11 (opening night), 7:30 am to 11 pm (Monday to Friday), 8 am to 11 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Where: Emily Carr University of Art + Design – 520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver
Cost: Free

West Vancouver Community Cultural Festival

West Vancouver Community Cultural Festival (Tara O’Grady Photography/website)

What: The 2024 West Vancouver Community Cultural Fest takes place from June 2 to 3. The free festival program includes live performances, a kids’ zone, art stations, and, of course, delicious eats and drinks. Guests can stop by the International Lounge to try mouthwatering flavours from around the world in a licensed venue.

When: May 31 to June 1, 2024
Time: 4 to 9:30 pm (Friday), 11 am to 9:30 pm (Saturday)
Where: Ambleside Park – 1150 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
Admission: Free

What: Are you currently looking for work? Discover your next career at MOSAIC’s 12th Annual Job Fair at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster.

Over 60 employers are looking to fill various positions in business, finance, IT, hospitality, trades, healthcare, retail, customer service and more. MOSAIC has helped more than 18,000 job seekers over the past 12 years and now it’s your turn.

When: May 14, 2024
Time: 9:30 am to 4 pm
Where: Anvil Centre – 777 Columbia Street, Vancouver
Cost: Free, register online

Recurring Events and Activities

burnaby central railway

Burnaby Central Railway. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

What: Burnaby Central Railway is welcoming passengers to climb aboard its 3 km track near Confederation Park every weekend until this fall. Your ride will take you across tunnels, bridges, and viaducts. And while you’re there, stop by the ever-growing Garden Railway.

British Columbia Society of Model Engineers (BCSME) built and operates the mini railway, with three different types of locomotives pulling the ridable trains.

When: Weekends and stat holidays until Thanksgiving Monday, October 14, 2024
Time: 11 am to 5 pm
Where: 120 N Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby
Cost: $4.50 for a single ride, all passengers three years old and up. $40 for a 10-ride pass

What: The Bill Reid Gallery is named after the renowned Haida artist and is the only public gallery dedicated to contemporary Indigenous Art of the Northwest Coast in the country. The gallery is home to the Simon Fraser University Bill Reid Collection and also hosts a variety of special exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions, and more.

Guests can visit the Bill Reid Gallery for free from 2 to 5 pm on the first Friday of each month.

When: The first Friday of every month
Time: 2 to 5 pm
Where: 639 Hornby Street, Vancouver
Cost: By donation

Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery/Facebook

What: The Vancouver Art Gallery was founded in 1931 and is renowned as one of North America’s leading visual arts institutions. There are a variety of exhibitions currently on display at the largest public art museum in Western Canada, and you can check them out for free during the Free First Friday Nights events.

When: The first Friday of every month
Time: 4 to 8 pm
Where: 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver
Cost: Free

What: The Improv Centre welcomes performers of all levels to get up onstage with professionally trained improvisers at its free monthly community jam. The 18+ event features theatre exercises, improv games, and more during the fun, interactive jam.

When: The last Saturday of every month
Time: 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Where: The Improv Centre — 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
Cost: Free

Parker Rooftop

Parker Rooftop/Submitted

What: Parker Rooftop is ready to help make the most of your weekends with Sunday Funday, with acclaimed live entertainment set against the backdrop of English Bay.

Whether you’re looking for delicious food and cocktails, a chance to socialize, or the best in local music starting at 7 pm, Parker Rooftop has you covered. Plus, there’s an all-day happy hour from 3 to 11 pm in the heated and covered patio or opulent dining room.

When: Every Sunday
Time: Open at 3 pm with music from 7 to 10 pm
Where: Parker Rooftop — 1379 Howe Street, Vancouver
Admission: Free, but reservations are recommended; reserve online

Farmers’ Markets in Metro Vancouver

Trout Lake Farmers' Market

Trout Lake Farmers’ Market/

This farmers’ market began in 1995 and became the cornerstone of the Vancouver Farmers’ Market collective. One of the most popular markets, Trout Lake has food trucks on-site and a variety of vendors selling fresh local produce, locally made goods, and all things food.

When: Every Saturday until October 26, 2024
Time: 9 am to 2 pm
Where: Lakewood Drive and East 13th Avenue, Vancouver

This large farmers’ market takes place in both winter and summer right by Nat Bailey Stadium. Expect stalls of fresh produce, food trucks, and other local goodies.

When: Every Saturday until October 26, 2024
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: 50 East 30th Avenue and Ontario Street, Vancouver

Live music, over 80 vendors, and great local produce and food products make the White Rock Farmers’ Market a great community event for South Surrey and White Rock.

When: Every Sunday until October 13, 2024
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Where: 15154 Russell Avenue, White Rock (Beside Whaling Wall)

Steveston Farmers and Artisans Market

Steveston Farmers and Artisans Market/Facebook

The Steveston Farmers’ and Artisans Market will be operating on select Sundays in the parking lot of the Steveston Community Centre. The events will feature a mix of stalls, including food vendors, artists, and craftspeople.

When: May 5 and 19; June 2 and 16; July 7 and 21; August 4 and 18; September 1 and 15, 2024
Time: 10:30 am to 3:30 pm
Where: Steveston Community Centre parking lot – 4111 Moncton Street, Richmond

What: Shop for fresh groceries (fresh foods picked from local farmers’ fields in the Fraser and Okanagan Valleys), along with plants, flowers, and other artisan goods at this weekly market in Fort Langley.

When: Every Saturday until December 7, 2024
Time: 9 am to 3 pm
Where: St. Andrews Historic Church – 9025 Glover Road, Fort Langley