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10 fun activities to do this summer in Vancouver for $30 or less

Don't let inflation stop you from leaving the house.
Take a photo walk in Vancouver's Chinatown to capture some shots of this historic area. It's one of several affordable activities you can enjoy in Vancouver this summer.

Did you know that with $30 in your pocket, you can learn how to paint pottery, watch a soccer game, eat (a lot of) ice cream, or party in broad daylight?

We've rounded up a few ideas for some inexpensive activities that you can do in Vancouver this summer. 

Looking to have fun and spend no money? Don't worry: If you prefer free events, we have a list of those, too. 

Check out our picks for some affordable fun activities to enjoy during the summer of 2024 in Vancouver:

Watch a drag show performed by What The Frock Productions

Naturally Freaky! Drag & Burlesque Cabaret with an Edge is a performance that provides a one-of-a-kind variety show that celebrates uniqueness and boldness. Haven’t been to a drag show? This is your chance to have some fun. 

When: Friday, June 28 from 8-10 p.m. 

Where: Royal Canadian Legion Branch 179 - 2205 Commercial Dr.

Cost: From $11.98 

Catch a Vancouver Whitecaps game

Watching a sports game is one of the best ways to spend an evening or afternoon. The Vancouver Whitecaps has games from now until October at BC Place, and most of their cheapest tickets are priced under $30. Catch a game and cheer for the home team. 

When: From now to October 

Where: BC Place

Cost: Tickets start at $25.90

Have a brain freeze at the Ice Cream Festival

Cool down with a cold treat this summer. The Vancouver Ice Cream Festival is a DIY event that finds dozens of participating businesses offering up special menu items as part of the fest. In Vancouver, some of the treat shops signed up to participate include Bella Gelateria, Beta5, and Daigyo. With new treats joining the roster through the summer weeks, there will always be something new to try before the fest ends in August. 

When: Now to August 5

Where: Participating locations in Metro Vancouver

Shop and taste local goods and produce at one of the Vancouver Farmers Markets

Nothing screams summer more than going to a farmers market with a cute tote bag. In Vancouver, there are six different farmers markets for you to shop around. Given that the admission is free, with $30 in your pocket, you will be able to get some local produce, homemade pies, a jar of honey or a new ceramic mug. 

Check out the new dinosaur remains at UBC’s Pacific Museum of Earth 

The UBC Pacific Museum of Earth (PME) is getting a fossil cast of Daspletosaurus Torosus, which used to live in Alberta about 70 million years ago. The university also received a smaller raptor, the Dromaeosaurus Albertensis, as part of the Life at the Edge exhibit. Learn more about this fascinating creature that roams the ground of Earth this summer by visiting the museum. Donate some of that $30 in your pocket and uncover more about this pre-historic creature. 

When: Life at the Edge exhibit starts on July 2

Where: Pacific Museum of Earth - 6339 Stores Rd.

Cost: General admission to the PME is by donation.

Take a photo walk through Chinatown 

For those who want to learn more about photography or hone their skills, this Chinatown photo walk is a chance to explore this historic area while learning how to enhance your composition and storytelling abilities through snapshots. 

When: Sunday, July 7 at 1 p.m. 

Where: International Village Mall - 88 W Pender St. 

Cost: $27.96 

Join a clay workshop with Create! Eastside Arts festival

Decorating ceramic plates is a therapeutic and family-friendly summer activity. This workshop will teach basic clay techniques, painting techniques, and detail carving techniques. Two weeks after the workshop, your product will be fired and ready for pickup. 

When: Saturday, July 27 at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. 

Where: Strathcona Park - 857 Malkin Ave. 

Cost: $23.76

Eat, drink, and dance at Vancouver Mural Fest’s Make Good Party

The annual Vancouver Mural Festival which celebrates public art, music, and the local communities is back in Vancouver this summer. There will be a Make Good Party where you can purchase local goods, beverages, and food, while dancing to local DJs’ summer playlists.

When: Thursday to Sunday, August 8-11

Where: Main Street and 7th Avenue 

Cost: Admission is free 

Dress up and shop at West Coast Comic Con

The 5th Annual West Coast Comic Con Collectibles Trade is coming back to Vancouver in August. You can not only shop or look at rare comic collectibles, but also meet comic creators at the event. Feel free to cosplay with friends and take photos with other comic characters. 

When: Sunday, August 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Where: Maritime Labour Centre - 1880 Triumph St.

Cost: $12 

Do a city scavenger hunt

If you think that you know the city well enough, then you should challenge yourself in a scavenger hunt. Or if you want to know the city better, you can also explore around by completing quests. Operation City Quest is a family-friendly photo scavenger hunt, in which you use an app on your phone to seek out items and complete challenges. Families can join the hunt and walk around downtown and uncover a different side of Vancouver within two hours. 

When: Anytime 

Where: Downtown Vancouver

Cost: $25 per person