By Chitwan Khosla, Features Editor
Summer is here! It is too rainy and gloomy these days, but officially we are in spring and the summer season is knocking at our doors with its bag full of wonderful and fun opportunities. The weather is supposed to get warmer by the end of April and you will get to enjoy loads of brilliant sunshine, Accuweather.com reports. So by the time you and your buddies are done with your finals, you will have more outdoor fun do to together than just going to a movie.
Apart from going to beaches or the PNE, there are quite a few events being held across Vancouver and nearby cities that you can attend by yourself or with your friends and family. Many are even free so you’ll be saving green if you’re a bit short on your budget for fun.
Surrey Youth Basketball and Breakdance Showcase, Guildford Recreation Centre on May 2
An annual free event where one can play and dance on the same floor. While only open to boys and girls 13–18 for participation in competitions, others are welcome to be part of the fun as well. This is a great event to go to with your friends and have a blast. Make sure you wear your comfy footwear though! More info can be found on the official website of City of Surrey.
Make-a-Wish Rope for Hope Vancouver 2015, Hyatt Regency Vancouver on May 29
If you are daring, if you want to experience the thrill of rappelling from a high-rise building, and if you think you can raise $1,500, then this is just the right event for you. Sponsored by Vancity Buzz, Make-a-Wish Rope for Hope is dedicated to raising money for children suffering from life-threatening diseases. Register early for opportunities to win amazing prizes. More info at VancityBuzz.com and RopeForHope.ca.
TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, at various venues in Vancouver from June 18–July 1
Regarded as one of North America’s best music festivals, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival attracts over half-a-million people every year. Jazz lovers, this is a perfect place for you to find the love of your life. The festival is hosted and produced by the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society and you can find more info about the festival at their official website CoastalJazz.ca. Although over 150 shows are free to the public as reported by NorthernTickets.com, you might have to spend up to $100 for some of the exclusive concerts, but there are cheaper ones to choose from as well.
Abbotsford International Air Show, Abbotsford Airport from August 7–August 9
This aviation festival is Canada’s largest air show and has been running successfully for the last five decades. Cargo planes, jets, experimental aircrafts, and helicopters will take part in the airshow, performing spectacular formations and stunts. Don’t forget to take your binoculars with you.
Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest, Columbia Street in New Westminster on August 22
Nothing tastes better than street food, and this food truck festival is definitely going to offer some great flavours. You can try street food from different cuisines of the world while having fun with your friends. Dancing and music are certainties—top that off with food, and what more could one want? More info on TourismNewWestminster.com.
Outdoor movies, Stanley Park every Tuesday from July–September
There are a variety of places to see free outdoor movies throughout the summer, but one of the most popular venues is Stanley Park: Vancity Buzz reports that “more than 5,000 people attend the weekly outdoor movie night.” The event will be starting July 8, and runs every Tuesday until September 2, so you’ve got plenty of opportunities to wander down and enjoy some films with friends in the great outdoors. The movies start at dusk, so spend the day at one of the beaches close to Stanley Park (like English Bay), or walk along the Seawall before heading over with a blanket. Bonus: the outdoor movies are free to attend!
Salsa dancing: Robson Square, Sunday afternoons June 29–August 24
If you like to bust a spicy move, try out the free salsa dance afternoons in Robson Square! If you’re a beginner to salsa, don’t worry: lessons start at 3 p.m., while salsa shows start at 5 p.m. With regular dancing every Sunday from June 29 to August 24, you’ll be able to impress all your friends with a few moves. Or, if you prefer to sit out on the salsa, enjoy watching the afternoon of dance.