While the end of summer may come all too abruptly, that doesn’t have to mean a sudden chill to your post-summer fun. In fact, the fall brings with it some great local festivals and community events. Best of all, many are free or low cost.
Here are some ideas for free and cheap things to do in Metro Vancouver this fall. You can also check Vancity’s event calendar for community events happening throughout the year.
When the weather starts to turn and you’re looking for something to do indoors, movies are a great option. Tuesdays have become synonymous with cheap movie nights with many theatres offering substantial discounts to get you in their seats. Some other great deals include:
2 for 1 tickets at Vancity Theatre
Vancity members can get 2 for 1 tickets until the end of the year for any regular Vancity Theatre screenings. Simply present your Vancity MEMBER CARD® or enviro™ Visa card while purchasing your ticket at the box office. Note: The 2 for 1 offer is not in effect during the Vancouver International Film Festival (September 26- Oct 11, 2019) or throughout the winter holiday season (December 1- December 31, 2019).
Cineplex offers $2.99 family favourite movies every Saturday at 11 am at select theatres, including Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Langley, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver.
Also check out our blog post 6 ways to see movies on the cheap.
Halloween has become a huge money generator for retailers, with Canadians spending an estimated $1 billion on Halloween related expenses in 2018. But don’t let the cost scare you off – there’s plenty of free and inexpensive ways to enjoy the festivities.
If you have a costume for Halloween, why not parade around in it? The Vancouver Halloween Parade starts at 11 am on Sunday, October 13 at Howe Street, then continues to Smithe Street and Granville Street in downtown Vancouver. The parade is free to watch. As an individual, you don’t have to pay to walk in the parade if your costume is at least 70% handmade.
Check out the Halloween Fireworks Festival at Minoru Park in Richmond on Halloween night. This event features music, kids’ activities, fire juggling, a magic show along with fireworks. And best of all, it’s free!
There are numerous haunted houses in Metro Vancouver to give you an adrenaline rush. Many of these are put on free or by donation to raise money for charity. Some places to check out:
- The Haunt of Edgemont – set in a residential home in North Vancouver (3414 Emerald Drive). Admission is by donation benefiting the BC Professional Firefighters’ Burn Fund. Open October 11 to 31, 2019 from 6:30 until 9:30 pm on weekdays and from noon until 9:30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Barclay Manor – takes place in a heritage home in Vancouver’s West End (1447 Barclay Street). Cost is about $3 per person or $10 for a family of 4. Open Friday, October 25 from 7 to 9 pm) and Saturday, October 26 from 4:30 until 6 pm.
- Anmore Manor – set in a private residential home in Anmore, close to Port Moody (1151 Robin Way). Admission is by donation of cash and food to the Share Society. Open October 25 and 26 from 7 to 10:30 pm and October 27 and 31 from 6 to 10 pm.
Check out this listing for more Halloween events.
There is a full fall harvest of cultural events taking place in Metro Vancouver at reasonable prices.
Be inspired by art as almost 500 artists open their studios for the Eastside Culture Crawl from Thursday, November 14 to Sunday, November 17. The free art “tour” takes you through multiple venues between Columbia Street, 1st Avenue, Victoria Drive and Vancouver’s waterfront. Check out the detailed artist/studio listings in advance.
Museums and galleries
October brings with it Diwali: the biggest, brightest and most popular event in the Indian calendar. But you don’t have to travel to India to join in the fun, as Metro Vancouver hosts some spectacular Diwali festivals.
Diwali Downtown Surrey
Diwali Downtown Surrey is the festival’s main event, taking place on Saturday, October 5 from 2 to 5 pm at Surrey City Hall. Thousands of attendees from all demographics will join this South Asian cultural extravaganza, bringing together the best of contemporary and classical Indian culture for the entire family. This year’s event will include music and dance performances, plus an Indian style bazaar (marketplace) featuring local crafts.
Diwali Downtown Vancouver
Diwali Downtown Vancouver will be celebrated on Saturday, October 25 from 12:30 to 4:30 pm at the Roundhouse Community Centre. This free multicultural event features South Asian music and dance performances by local artists. The popular Rangoli room will be back again, so you can help create a room-sized mosaic artwork.
See the full calendar of Diwali Fest events.
Bike to work
During Bike to Work Week from October 21 to 27, 2019, people are encouraged to bike to work instead of driving or taking transit. There’s lots of free bike tune ups, food and prizes at designated Celebration Stations way to keep you peddling.
Check out these Tips for all-season biking.
Walks and hikes
Layer up and enjoy the outdoors. There are lots of amazing hikes in Metro Vancouver – check out our list of the North Shore’s best hiking trails to get started. Another idea is to plan a long walk that takes you by some public art along the way.