Vancouver’s 2018 Family-Friendly Summer Festivals
It’s officially summer in Vancouver, and with that comes a lot of popular festivals and events. There are various associations made with summer festivals that create a barrier to attend; party-culture and costs capable of breaking the bank are just a few that can stop young families from being apart of the experience. However, there are a number of summer festivals coming up in our beloved Vancouver that are appropriate for anyone and everyone to enjoy. Here are a few of our favourite family-friendly Vancouver festivals!
KHATSAHLANO FESTIVAL - Saturday, July 7th
The always anticipated Khatsahlano festival proudly holds the title of Vancouver’s largest free music and arts festival. Yes, it’s free!
This festival is a family-friendly event that features artists of all kinds; numerous stages that line the West 4th strip showcase over fifty of Vancouver’s best musical acts. In between concert stages, local artisan booths are set up to display their unique art from hand-crafted jewelry and clothing to one-of-a-kind paintings and trinkets. Amongst these local booths are Khatsahlano’s multiple sponsor booths that often offer giveaways and exclusive deals. As you make your way down the bustling street, you’re sure to encounter many talented street performers that draw in crowds of happy families.
For all of the foodies out there, Khatsalano offers tons of different food options. Get a seat on the patio to soak in the (hopefully) beautiful summer weather, grab something to go for a quaint picnic, or cruise down to Foodtruck Way (located between Balsam and Larch) to experience some of Vancouver’s best street food.
As you can imagine, finding parking in Kits on festival day is extremely difficult. If you’re planning to drive, try to arrive early in order to snag a spot on pay parking streets, but be mindful of permit-only residential areas. It’s recommended to transit into the area if at all possible, or even ride your bikes and take advantage of Bike Valet!
Khatsalano Festival takes place this year on Saturday, July 7th from 11am to 9pm. Check out their website for more event details!
VANCOUVER FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL - Friday, July 13 - Sunday, July 15
Once again voted as Vancouver’s Best Festival, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival is back for another year of inspiring sounds and sights. The Vancouver Folk Music Festival is a glorious weekend of music from all around the globe. From local favourites to up-and-coming artists, this festival offers so many opportunities for discovery and inspiration. At the scenic Jericho Beach Park, VFMF takes place from Friday, July 13 to Sunday, July 15.
This festival has one of the most diverse audiences that I have ever seen; everyone is welcome here and it’s so awesome to see so many young families sharing their passion for music, art, and connection with their children. It is truly unlike any music festival I have attended, with a very welcoming and relaxed atmosphere created by lovely people coming together to enjoy and appreciate amazing music. Be sure to bring a picnic blanket, as it is a common practice to set up on the grass in front of your favourite stage. Some other crucial supplies to bring are a water bottle and sunscreen to protect yourself from the summer sun and heat.
Music and great company isn’t the only thing to be enjoyed this weekend! This festival hosts a little market that is filled with various artisan and hand-crafted vendors selling jewelry, tapestries, clothing, and much more! It’s a great way to spend time in between the artists you’re waiting to see and find a unique souvenir.
There is ample selection of food as well, with a little neighbourhood of food trucks clustered in a corner of the park. Amongst these fine street food vendors, you’ll be able to find every summer food you’re craving and there are an assortment of veggie/vegan options as well!
Unfortunately, this one isn’t free; tickets range from about $50 - $170. However, tickets can be purchased for individual days or the entire weekend, and children 12 and under get in for free!
VANCOUVER MURAL FESTIVAL - August 6 - 11th
The Vancouver Mural Festival is the city’s largest annual free public art celebration! Get ready for a week that is jammed-packed with vibrant and powerful art, music, and discovery during our city’s third annual Mural Festival. Featuring over twenty talented visual artists, this festival aims to celebrate the diverse culture, history, and vibrant life throughout Lower Mainland neighbourhoods. Beautiful, moving, inspiring murals are painted on the city walls that tackle a range of topics, cultures, and issues. Check out this mural gallery to see some of the incredible art created at last year’s Mural Festival.
This is the perfect event to attend with the family for a multitude of reasons. This festival is all about inclusiveness and celebration of diversity in race, age, culture, class, gender, etc. Not only are these values outrightly announced, but they're painted on buildings all over the city! Another unique attribute of this festival is its accessibility and location, which is in many different neighbourhoods in the city. The main festival site does, however, take place in Mount Pleasant.
Amidst watching breathtaking pieces of art come to fruition right in front of you, local vendors will set up their booths filled with charming treasures, and Vancouver’s best food trucks are stationed throughout the streets. There’s something new to experience around every corner!
As this is only the third annual Mural Festival, organizers are adding features onto it every year. This year will include a newly added outdoor concert to finish the week off on a strong and unifying note. This one-day concert takes place on August 11 (the last day of the festival) at Jonathan Rogers Park. We hope to see you there!