5 Free Summer Activities in Vancouver

July 7th, 2015 @ 2:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

There are two things that we tend to do when summer reaches its peak in Vancouver: We look for ways to cool down and for ways to save money on activities and entertainment. According to a recent TD survey, 55% of Canadian parents with children under the age of 18 take on additional costs during the summer; in fact, 71% of them spend up to $999 per child.

If you’re visiting Vancouver on a budget or simply looking for awesome ways to explore your hometown while being easy on your wallet, I have put together a quick list of 5 Free Summer Activities in Vancouver.

FreeSummer

Beach

Spanish Banks, Kitsilano, English Bay, Belcarra, Deep Cove, Ambleside, White Rock, you name it! We have some beautiful beaches in Metro Vancouver and they’re the perfect setting for an outing with the family. Watch the waves, build a sandcastle, play in the surf, toss a Frisbee around, and enjoy a beach blanket picnic. You can even take transit to many local beaches.

Stanley Park

Vancouver’s crown jewel and our city’s top attraction. Its perimeter Sea Wall filled with walkers, cyclists, rollerbladers, and runners while its forest trails provide a cool canopy under the evergreens. Spectacular lookout points, picnic tables, flower gardens, and much more to explore.

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Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

Located on the North Shore, the free Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is a thrilling crossing 50 meters above the water. Complete an easy trail hiking loop then check out the cafe in the nearby Ecology Centre.

Markets

You’re bound to spend money at a market but these suggestions will definitely help you save. Pick up some fresh, local ingredients for a home-cooked meal on Granville Island. Kids can play at the indoor playground in the Kids Market ($9.99), or the outdoor playground near False Creek Community Centre and the whole family can watch buskers entertain in public squares, eat some ice cream by the water, and enjoy the bustling market activity. Download coupons for the Kids Market before you go.

On Fridays check out the free Shipyards Night Market in North Vancouver, and throughout the weekend visit night markets in Surrey, Vancouver, and Richmond (market admissions range from free to $2.25 depending on the location) for more frugal shopping and entertainment.

Vancouver Public Library

Many public buildings in Vancouver provide air conditioning, entertainment, and perhaps a little learning (just don’t tell the kids their visit will be educational). The Vancouver Public Library hosts story times, author talks, movie showing and LEGO parties all for free!

I know I said I would only list 5 free activities but really, there are dozens of options for inexpensive family fun in Vancouver. Free outdoor movies, free Sunday afternoon salsa at Robson Square for aspiring dancers, Take Off Fridays at YVR Airport, Fresh Air Fridays at Highstreet in Abbotsford, festivals, and more.

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TD’s Top Five Tips for Summer Cost Saving

  • Check your rewards balance – redeem some of your loyalty rewards, such as points from your First Class Travel Credit Card, to help fund activities and travel. For example, you can use your loyalty rewards to redeem certain theme park passes or tours and excursions.
  • The early bird gets the worm – some organizations may provide a discount on early registration; check the sign up dates and sign up in advance to save a few dollars.
  • Budget and start saving early – save a little money each month and put into your TFSA; online budgeting tools, visit tdcanadatrust.com, can also help you determine how much to save each month.
  • Shop around – municipally run activities through community centres or the parks and recreation department often offer lower cost programming.
  • File your receipts – some summer costs could be tax deductible as a child care expense or under the child fitness tax credit on your tax return.

Enjoy some quality time without breaking the bank! You really don’t need to spend a lot to have a great time with family and friends this summer, in fact you can actually save and come out ahead by the end of the season if you follow some of these simple tips.

Follow @TD_Canada and hashtag #startsaving on Twitter for more summer saving info.

Disclosure: Sponsored Post

This post is sponsored by TD. Follow @TD_Canada and hashtag #startsaving on Twitter for more summer saving info.

Win a Squamish Wind Festival Prize Pack

July 7th, 2015 @ 6:29pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The second annual Squamish Wind Festival is happening July 24th to July 26th celebrating local arts, music, wind and water sports in Howe Sound. Take in two days of free live music in the park with food vendors and a top notch beer garden; three days of art in the park with musical theatre, buskers, kids crafts, sports demos, kite flying, and a farmers market; and three days of sailboat racing, presented by the Squamish Yacht Club.

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Win a Squamish Wind Festival Prize Pack

Enjoy guided tours, concerts under the stars, yoga, and more all for free! To make the best of your trip to Squamish, I have the opportunity to offer up a $50 food credit + a $40 beverage credit that one lucky winner can pick up and use at the festival.

Here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
  • Post the following on Twitter (1 entry)
RT to enter to win food + bev credits for @squamish_wind from @Miss604 http://ow.ly/PjgNm

Follow the Squamish Wind Festival on Twitter and Facebook for more information. I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Monday, July 13, 2015. Must be 19+. Please enjoy responsibly.

Vancouver Photos of the Week

July 7th, 2015 @ 10:08am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Two days ago smoke from BC wildfires then blanketed the region, blocking out the sun and even dusting some areas with ash. However, local photographers had already began documenting the month, capturing World Cup fans, bright sunsets, and Canada Day fireworks. Thanks to everyone who shared their photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool, here’s this week’s selection:

Vancouver Photos of the Week

After the haze rolled in:

Air Pollution
Photo credit: james c. (vancouver bc) on Flickr

Before the smoke:

Leave Town.
Photo credit: Nattawot Juttiwattananon on Flickr

Blackie Spit Park at sunset
Photo credit: james c. (vancouver bc) on Flickr

FIFA Women's World Cup Final, Vancouver, BC
Photo credit: globetrekimages on Flickr

FIFA Women's World Cup
Photo credit: Gord Gallagher on Flickr

Bloody Canadian.
Photo credit: Nattawot Juttiwattananon on Flickr

Flea Market
Photo credit: Ken G. Stewart on Flickr

#FvDedinthepark #FvDed #Festival #Surrey
Photo credit: David Rose on Flickr

Bikes on the Seawall
Photo credit: Jaden Nyberg on Flickr

Vancouver West End pastel
Photo credit: globetrekimages on Flickr

2015-07-01 West Vancouver Whytecliff Park Whytecliff Island-2
Photo credit: Michael Schmidt on Flickr

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Photo credit: Ken Campbell on Flickr

Vancouver In It's Summer Colors
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

20150701-Canada_Day
Photo credit: One Carbon on Flickr

Canada Day 2015!
Photo credit: Alexis Birkill on Flickr

As always, please click through on these images to view more work from the photographers and feel free to share your own photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool or with the tag #Photos604 on Instagram. View all photo collections here and follow Miss604 on Instagram.

FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada Final Report

July 7th, 2015 @ 7:53am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The FIFA Women’s World Cup has left Vancouver after inspiring young players, smashing records on and off the pitch, and giving the city a flashback to its 2010 Winter Olympics atmosphere. All in all, I attended 7 matches at BC Place, including group stages, Round of 16, the quarter-final, and the final, watching the seats fill from 20,000 spectators to over 50,000 in the last few matches in Vancouver.

The Canada v England match at BC Place was the highest attended and border line-ups were staggering as Americans came up to support their team throughout several stages of play. Flags waved on Robson Street and face paint was the official accessory of summer in Vancouver. The city came alive with national pride, whatever your nation, and that’s what made this event so special.

FIFA Women's World Cup England Canada

FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada Final Report

Here are some key figures released by FIFA at the end of the tournament:


Attendance

Host Cities: Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Moncton, Montreal
Total attendance: 1,353,506
Average attendance: 26,029
Biggest attendance: 54,027 for the Canada vs. England quarter-final in Vancouver
Seven matches had over 50,000 spectators in attendance
Canada 2015 set a new total attendance record for a FIFA competition other than the FIFA World Cup™


Competition Stats

Total of 146 goals scored
Average of 2.81 goals per match compared to 2.69 in 2011
England achieved a historic first victory over Germany after 18 defeats and two draws.
USA vs. Japan beat the previous record set in 2011 for the highest scoring Final in FIFA Women’s World Cup™ history
Carli LLOYD (USA) scored the first ever hat-trick in a FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Final
USA surpassed Germany as the top scoring team in FIFA Women’s World Cup™ history with 112 goals

Television

  • Canada: CTV and RDS broke the Canadian viewing record for any FIFA Women’s World Cup™ match (quarter-final: average audience 3.2 million)
  • USA: FOX scored its biggest ever audience for a football match (semi-final: average audience 8.4 million)
  • France: W9 achieved its best figures on record and set a new French digital terrestrial viewing record (quarter-final: average audience 4.1 million)
  • Japan: Fuji TV attracted more than twice the number of viewers for the semi-final than in 2011 (semi-final: 9.3 million)

In the United States, the average audience exceeded every game of the NBA Finals, the 2014-15 broadcast season average of every show in primetime, including Sunday Night Football, and the primetime average of the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.

FIFA WWC at BC Place

Fan Zones

The Fan Zone areas in each host city were a great success with the Vancouver site proving the most popular destination with over 100,000 fans attending over the course of the tournament.

Canada 2015

I attended the closing FIFA press conference just ahead of the final match on Sunday, where executives praised the Canadian organizers for their “flawless” execution of the events. It was the first time FIFA had ever had a World Cup take place across 5 time zones and there were a lot of logistics to work out.

In terms of Team Canada’s performance, Peter Montopoli, Chief Executive Officer of the National Organising Committee and Canada Soccer General Secretary said that Canada is the only nation to have U-17, U-20, and Women’s World Cup teams that have all advanced past group stages in international tournament play. Montopoli added that four years ago, Canada’s Women’s National Team was ranked 16th in the world and today, they are 6th out of 209 FIFA eligible teams, which is a great step forward.

FIFA Women's World Cup in Vancouver

Now we move on to the legacy of the Women’s World Cup in Canada, encouraging and engaging youth, especially young women, to get involved in soccer across Canada as well as in the countries that had their World Cup debuts at this tournament. Côte d’Ivoire, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, Thailand, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Cameroon all made their first appearances with Netherlands, Switzerland, and Cameroon all making it to the Round of 16.

“This World Cup should serve as inspiration to all the member associations,” commented Lydia Nsekera, Chairwoman of the Committee for Women’s Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup, at the tournament’s closing press conference. Nsekera also urged the champions not to rest on their laurels – while the seventh women’s world finals are now over, the eighth are already coming into view. Women’s national teams will now compete in the PanAm Games, regional tournaments like the East Asia Cup, the Rio 2016 Olympics, and the next FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, 2019.

Conconi Challenge Donation Matching for Canuck Place

July 6th, 2015 @ 6:29pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

This summer you can support children with life-threatening illness in Vancouver by donating to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. Throughout the month of July, your donation will go even further as the Robert L. Conconi Foundation has pledged $200,000 for a match campaign.

Conconi Challenge

All donations made through the Conconi Challenge link online or by calling 1-800-882-2288 will be matched throughout July, up to $200,000. You can donate $10 and you will have a $20 impact. Challenge friends to do the same and you’ve made an impact of $60 just like that!

Over 600 newborns, children and teens with life-threatening illnesses and their families receive care from Canuck Place through outreach programs and two provincial hospice locations; Vancouver and Abbotsford. Services include clinical respite and family support, pain and symptom management, 24-hour phone consultation support and in-house clinical care, art and education, recreation therapy, grief and loss counselling and end-of-life care.

ConconiDonationMatching

Established in 2003, the Robert L. Conconi Foundation is a private family foundation started by Robert and Diane Conconi. Their mission is to inspire and empower individuals throughout British Columbia by supporting organizations in the areas of health, poverty, education and the arts.

Make your donation before July 31, 2015 and watch it have double the impact for a child, and their family, in BC. Follow Canuck Place on Facebook and Twitter for more information about ways to give.