Free and cheap things to do in Metro Vancouver this fall

Free and cheap things to do in Metro Vancouver this fall

Sure, funds may be tight – but that doesn’t mean you have to take a prolonged hibernation in your humble abode. There are plenty of free and cheap events to keep you and your friends and family entertained.

Here are some ideas for fall fun:

Get cultured

There are plenty of museums and galleries around town to keep your mind stimulated. The Vancouver Art Gallery makes some top-notch art exhibits accessible by offering admission by donation on Tuesday evenings from 5 to 9 pm, while Burnaby Village Museum, a reconstructed 1920s village, offers free admission year-round.

There are also some admission discounts available to Vancity members: 2 for 1 admission to the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art and 50% off admission to the Museum of Vancouver.

There’s plenty of other free art available through smaller galleries throughout the Lower Mainland.  Many have frequent art exhibit openings – usually free, and often accompanied by some munchies and even the occasional glass of wine. Check out these listings to see what’s coming up.

Gaze at the stars

Right next to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, the Gordon MacMillan Southam Observatory features a 1/2 metre Cassegrain telescope and interpretive staff to help you observe the skies around Vancouver. It is open on Saturday evenings from 7:30 to 11:30 pm and admission is by donation.

Listen to the music

While a concert can set you back plenty, there are cheaper options that will have you singing a different tune! Many venues offer free or by donation concerts.

St. Andrew’s-Wesley Church offers Sunday afternoon Jazz Vespers by donation, as do many other churches and cultural centres throughout Metro Vancouver, while Hood 29 (formerly known as the Cottage Bistro) offers bluesy music through pay-what-you-can-to-the-tip-jar nights.

Find a big screen

When your large screen at home isn’t big enough, look for free shows on the big screen!

Check out Free Movie Afternoons at the Wesbrook Welcome Centre at UBC on Wednesdays at 4:30 pm, which includes free popcorn and juice. Check their calendar to see what movies are playing.

Also, free drive-in nights are back at the River District neighbourhood in South Vancouver on Saturdays until October 27. It’s free to attend, but you do need to register online for these very popular events. And best of all, you don’t have to shell out a fortune on snacks as popcorn is on the house!

Fall into a festival

If it is good nutritious fun you want, get a taste of one of the many fall fairs happening throughout Metro Vancouver. UBC Botanical Garden is hosting its 27th annual Apple Festival on October 13 and 14 from 11 am to 4 pm. The cost is only $5 per person (children 12 and under are free) and incudes some great apple tastings.

Additional fall festivals and markets abound with event such as the free Kitsilano Autumn Fair on Saturday, October 27, which fills an entire block with street vendors, food trucks, carnival games, a pumpkin patch, local musicians, and a farmers market. There are also numerous other farmers markets throughout Metro Vancouver, many of which operate into October plus the Riley Park Farmers Market that runs year-round.

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