Ten things to do in Vancouver before the end of summer
Summer officially comes to an end on September 21, but before you tuck away your sandals, here’s a roundup of 10 things to do before summer is over.
One last dip
Most of the public outdoor pools are closed now, but Kitsilano Pool is open until September15. Put on your bathing suit and go for one last swim before they drain the water. Better yet, go to the beach and dip your toe into the Pacific for the last time this year—that is, unless you're planning on doing the Polar Bear Swim.
One last bubble tea
Vancouverites have not one—but four—summer night markets to choose from, and there is still plenty of time to take advantage of all the food and fun at these weekly events. The Vancouver Chinatown Night Market (on Keefer Street between Main and Columbia), which saw a hip revitalization this year, draws to a close Sunday (September 8)— and so does the International Summer Night Market (12631 Vulcan Way) in Richmond. Both offer free admission, so there’s no excuse to not check them out one last time. The North Vancouver Shipyards Night Market runs until October 13, and the Richmond Night Market (by the Bridgeport Canada Line station) stays open until October 14, but you’ll probably have to bring along your raincoat by then.
One last scream
The PNE may be over, but Playland (2901 East Hastings Street) is still open on weekends until September 22. Convince your friends to ride the rickety wooden roller coaster one last time, and stuff your face with cotton candy while the sun is still out. If you haven’t had enough thrills come fall, Fright Nights takes over the amusement park starting October 11.
One last ride
So you’re not a year-round cyclist, scooting along the bike lanes rain or shine. Nobody’s judging. Take your two-wheeler for one final spin along the Seawall before the cooler weather sets in. Admire the scenery around Stanley Park, pass by False Creek, and stop for a drink at the Olympic Village, before putting your bike away for the winter. We know the Seawall is open 365 days of the year, but let’s face it, no one’s out there when it’s raining sideways.
One last fruit stand
The Vancouver Farmers Markets still have a few weeks left before it moves into winter-mode. Check out the Main Street Station market on Wednesdays until October 2, the Kerrisdale Village market on Saturdays until October 12, the Trout Lake and West End locations on Saturdays until October 19, and the Kitsilano market on Sundays until October 20. New market locations in Yaletown and Mt. Pleasant run until September 26 and October 13, respectively. If you’re looking for fresh produce and artisan treats afterwards, head over to the Winter Farmers Market outside Nat Bailey Stadium on Saturdays, starting November 3.
One last grind
So you didn’t get around to doing the Grouse Grind (6400 Nancy Green Way, North Vancouver) all summer. Lucky for you, it’s still open! Lace up your running shoes and challenge yourself to one last gruelling hike before ski-season starts—but first, read our guide for first-timers. The Grind usually stays open until around November, but be sure to check the Grouse Mountain website for weather conditions before you go.
One last street meat
Some people enjoy the thrill of the hunt, but if you’d rather not run around downtown searching for Vancouver’s most popular food trucks, head down to Food Cart Fest (215 West 1st Avenue), which runs on Sundays until September 22. The second-annual food-truck gathering took over an empty lot along False Creek this year, and added more attractions—including vintage vendors, kids’ activities, and DJs—to the mix. Many of these food trucks will continue to operate throughout the rainy season, but at what other time can you eat an Aussie pie, pupusa, grilled cheese sandwich, and fish taco all at once?
One last Bard
While experiencing the plays at Bard on the Beach (Vanier Park) might be best in the height of summer, it’s always a good time for Shakespeare. Performances of Elizabeth Rex run until September 11, Hamlet until September 12, Measure for Measure until September 13, and Twelfth Night closes the festival on September 14. You may not be hitting the books this fall, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get schooled in Elizabethan English.
One last paddle
Outdoorsy Vancouverites will scoff at this, but most people don’t like paddling in water when they can see their breath and can’t feel their fingers. However, if you’re looking to get out on the water (and by that, I don’t mean, on your yacht) one last time, there’s still a few weeks left to hop in a kayak or balance on a paddle board before the weather goes sour. Along False Creek, there are many places to rent from, including the Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres at English Bay, Granville Island, and Jericho Beach. If you’re looking for a bit more tranquility, hitch a ride up to Deep Cove and take in the scenery of the North Shore mountains before they’re covered in snow.
One last picnic
Dining al fresco is one of the best ways to enjoy the city views in the summer. With a few weeks of sunshine left on the radar, grab some groceries and relish in one last outdoor picnic before the rain moves in. If you’re not up for making your own homemade feast, swing by one of the many Neapolitan pizza joints—such as Via Tevere (1190 Victoria Drive), Famoso Neapolitan (1380 Commercial Drive), or Nicli Antica (62 East Cordova)—before heading to the park. Save room for dessert and head over to Aphrodite’s Organic Café for a slice of berry pie or the newly opened Earnest Ice Cream shop (3992 Fraser Street) for a scoop of salted caramel.