May is a great time to visit Vancouver. The local kids are still in school and the summer visitors have not arrived. If you live in the city, the days are getting warm, the cherry blossoms have made way for spring blooms all over the city. Sunny days are gorgeous, but the rain is still around. As long as you are prepared for the weather, May is the perfect time for all of these activities!
Below you will find popular May events in Vancouver as well as things that are going on all over Metro Vancouver! Some are annual events every year and some are things that are perfect for spring!
Holidays and Dates to Note:
May 14th 2023 – Mother’s Day
May 22nd 2023 – Victoria Day (Stat Holiday)
Things to do in Vancouver in May
Abbotsford Tulip Festival presented by Lakeland Flowers
Abbotsford Tulip Festival has returned! With new ownership and a completely different product, the Abbotsford Tulip Festival, presented by Lakeland Flowers, is back bringing 27 acres of tulips.
Dates: Until May 13th depending on blooms
Location: 3663 Marion Road, Abbotsford
The Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair officially returns to the Cloverdale Fairgrounds from May 19 to 22, 2023. After a three-year hiatus, the Rodeo and Country Fair will be in full swing with live entertainment, food trucks, Midway rides & games, and featured attractions for the whole family.
Location: 6050 176 St, Surrey
Dates: May 19 – 22
Admission prices : 11.57 – 42.44
Further Info: Top things to do in Surrey this summer!
Explore Capilano Suspension Bridge
Capilano Suspension Bridge is a popular place to enjoy nature in May in Metro Vancouver. You can get up close to Vancouver’s Giant trees as you explore the park at your own pace. Cross Vancouver’s Capilano River on a 450-foot-long suspension bridge with this entry ticket. Appreciate nature from 3 breathtaking perspectives: the world-famous Capilano Suspension Bridge, the Treetops Adventure, and the thrilling Cliffwalk.
Location: 3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver
Important Notes: Strollers are not allowed.
Tickets: Online here
Explore Langley’s Craft Beverage Week
The inaugural Langley Craft Beverage Week occurs between May 12-21. Participating businesses include The Barley Merchant, Brookswood Brewing, Camp Beer Co., Dead Frog Brewery, Farm Country Brewing, Five Roads Brewing, Fraser Valley Cider Company, Locality Brewing, Trading Post Brewing, Smugglers Trail, and Roots & Wings Distillery.
Location: various breweries, cideries and distillers in Langley
Take a Half Day Tour in Vancouver
If you are new to the city, spend half a day touring Vancouver’s natural and urban highlights on this sightseeing bus tour. Your savvy guide escorts you to key attractions such as Canada Place, Robson Street, and across the Lions Gate Bridge. Listen to interesting commentary as you wind through vibrant neighborhoods and tree-lined paths in Stanley Park. Then head to Capilano Suspension Bridge for an exhilarating walk along the cliff-hanging footpaths. This is a great option for those who are coming to Vancouver before a cruise! It helps you get a quick overview of the city!
Location: 999 Canada Pl
Tickets: Online here
Shop on Robson Street
In its prime area roughly between Burrard and Jervis Street, Robson Street has every store that you could desire for your fashion wants. All the major national and international chain stores are located here, from more casual and athletic wear companies such as to well-known clothing retailers. Popular footwear retailers, lingerie and beauty products are all here. You can also pick up some popular Vancouver souvenirs and things you can only get in Canada at souvenir shops Grand Maple Gift and Canadian Crafts on Robson.
Vancouver Canadians Baseball
Take me out to the ballgame! Enjoy the footlong hotdogs, the peanuts, the sushi run? It is all there for you when you watch the local minor league Vancouver Canadians at Nat Bailey Stadium. If you have never attended a game, then May is a great time to check them out!
Location: Nat Bailey Stadium 4601 Ontario St
Check out Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N at Brentwood Mall
The Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. is an interactive exhibition with superhero equipment and technology at Brentwood Mall in Burnaby in 2023. Based on the popular Marvel series of comics and movies, Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. stands for Scientific Training And Tactical Intelligence Operative Network. It’s a family-friendly experience perfect for all Marvel and superhero fans.
Although there are no live actors or characters on-site, there are plenty of things to see and do at the attraction. Guests are greeted as “new recruits” and get to explore the technology and profiles of the Avengers. The place is full of original equipment and props used by the Marvel heroes.
Dates: daily until May 28th.
Location: Brentwood Mall, Burnaby
Enjoy Afternoon Tea at Notch8
The new uniquely artistic tea service features avant-garde decor, dishes, and cocktails inspired by some of the most iconic pop art pieces of the 20th century. Each menu item is crafted to reflect the colours, shapes, textures, and themes of the visual pop art movement. From vibrant “tomato soup,” and a playful ‘blank canvas’ cheesecake with edible paints, to cocktails composed in artistic glassware, every dish and drink is a work of art. Guests can expect bright pops of colour, bold patterns and designs throughout the tea room and menu, creating an immersive experience for all who visit.
Afternoon tea begins with a selection of loose-leaf tea, along with sweet and savoury bites to complement the theme’s captivating canvas. Creative cocktails and wines are available as optional add-ons to the experience.
Price: $74.00 per person ($40.00 for children 12 and under)
Dates: May 25th – Sept 4th 2023 (Wednesday through Sundays and holiday Mondays)
Location: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Watch Vancouver’s Newest Sports Team at the Langley Events Centre
The opening match for the Vancouver FC is May 7th as they join the Canadian Premier League. This is a great opportunity for those in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley to watch stadium style soccer close to home!
Dates: various in May
Location: Langley Events Centre 7888 200th St Langley
Visit Wildplay Maple Ridge
Get outdoors and enjoy the various ropes courses at Wild Play!
Location: 23485 Fern Crescent, Maple Ridge
Hours: May 1-21 Hours: Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon 10AM-6PM
May 22-September Hours: 7 Days a Week 10AM-8PM
See Vancouver from A New Perspective on a Float Plane
In the summertime, a floatplane tour offers unbeatable views of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park, and the North Shore mountains. It is a vantage point that few get to see.
Location: 1055 Canada Pl, Vancouver
Booking Details: Online here
Take a Hike
Hiking is one of the popular things to do in Vancouver in the summer. Check out these easy hikes in Metro Vancouver to get yourself started!
Go Whale Watching
Summer is a popular time for whale watching in Vancouver. There is not much more thrilling than seeing these majestic whales in their natural habitat off the coast of Vancouver. It is a bucket list item for not just visitors but locals as well. The waters off British Columbia’s coast are rich with marine life and orcas, humpback, gray and minke whales are the most common whales that you will see on a Vancouver whale-watching trip! April until October is typically the best time to go whale watching in Vancouver.
There are several tour options, I have an entire post on the best whale-watching tours from Vancouver. You can book these online here.
Location: 1666 Duranleau St
Tickets: Online here
Day Trip to Victoria and See Butchart Gardens
If you are visiting Vancouver or even you are a local, get out of town and take a day trip to Vancouver Island. It can easily be done in a day and you can enjoy Victoria’s waterfront, or local attractions like Butchart Gardens.
If you want to take an organized tour, there are tours online that start from downtown Vancouver.
Vancouver International Children’s Festival 2023
Enjoy spectacular performances from around the globe for kids and families of all ages at the Vancouver International Children’s Festival May 30 to June 4, 2023. This is one of the best things to do in Vancouver in may for families! The 2023 Festival will offer a mix of in-person (on Granville Island) and online performances of circus arts, puppetry, theatre, dance, music and lots of arts activities created just for children.
Dates: May 30th to June 4th 2023
Location: Granville Island
Vancouver Travel Resources for 2023
If you are from out of town these resources should be helpful for your trip to Vancouver!
RENTAL CAR: You definitely want to rent one in advance and grab it at the airport. Start with a rental car comparison company like this one or this one.
LOCAL TOURS: Looking for the perfect city tour, whale watching tour, bus tour, brewery tour (these are awesome) Start with Get Your Guide and Viator Tours.
BOOK A PHOTOSHOOT: Capture those memories! Book a romantic or family photoshoot while on holiday! Click Here to find a local photographer. Use code LINDSAY to save $25 off your first photoshoot!
HOTELS: Find the best hotel selection on booking.comor hostelworld.com
CRUISING? If you are cruising from Vancouver or even considering it in the future, find information and cruise reviews on cruisecritic.com
A good rain jacket is always a good idea, even in the summer. While you are not likely to get wet in July and August, late august almost always sees a wet day, and May, June and September will also get rain.
A good power bank to charge phones and other devices while out for the day. After a day of videoing, GPS and taking photos, the last thing you want is a dead cell phone. These are inexpensive and come in handy during the day.
A Universal Adapter is going to be handy for International Visitors. Canada uses the same plugs as the USA but if you are coming from somewhere else abroad, grab yourself one before you arrive.
Most stores have gone away from plastic shopping bags and those who do have them likely charge for them. Either buy a cute reusable one (makes a great souvenir) when you arrive or bring a small one with you!
Reusable water bottles are also a good idea. Tap water is drinkable all over Vancouver and there are plenty of water fountain options to get water. You can buy and recycle water bottles anywhere, but why shell out wasteful dollars when you can drink the tap water all over British Columbia?
Britannia Mine Museum
If you are looking to get out of the city, the Britannia Mine Museum, one of Canada’s National Historic Sites, is located on the way to Whistler. It is worth a visit if you have a vehicle. Featuring authentic underground mining tunnels, kids of all ages will get a thrill as they ride underground at the museum. Boom! their latest multi-sensory experience is awesome as well!
You can read more about what to expect on a visit here.
Where to Stay in Vancouver in May
LUXURY: Pan Pacific Vancouver, Fairmont Pacific Rim
BOUTIQUE: Blue Horizon Hotel
MIDRANGE: Sandman Suites on Davie
Vancouver in May avoids the busy summer crowds and hotels should not be packed. However it is cruise ship season and Vancouver is known for its lack of hotel rooms when big events are on. Besides the suggestions above, if you want to enjoy the sun at the pool, here is a list of the best hotels in Vancouver with pools!
Catch More Vancouver Events:
Things to do in Vancouver in January
Things to do in Vancouver in February
Things to do in Vancouver in March
Things to do in Vancouver in April
Things to do in Vancouver in June
Things to do in Vancouver in September
Things to do in Vancouver in October
Things to do in Vancouver in November
Things to do in Vancouver in December
Lindsay Nieminen is the creator of UncoveringBC.com. She grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family. She aims to inspire inform, and educate others about traveling in her home province of British Columbia. She is also the creator of carpediemourway.com which aims to show parents how to seek out adventure at home or abroad, with their children in tow!