Vancouver Adventures: Our Picks for July 19 to 25

This week: explore the Vancouver Aquarium after hours (and adults only), watch the streets of Victoria come alive with world-class buskers, enjoy the sights and sounds at the Celebration of Light fireworks and more

Victoria International Buskers Festival – July 18-27

Who needs to shell out money at a circus to see acrobats, flame-throwers and jugglers? You’ll find it all for free at the Victoria International Buskers Festival, along with hula hoop artists, balloonists, unicyclists, musicians and more from July 18-27 at outdoor stages along the waterfront and throughout the downtown core, including Bastion Square. Go online for all the details.

Surrey Fusion Festival – July 19-20

Fusion might be slightly out of favour when it comes to food, but it’s a can’t-miss concept when it comes to music. Case in point? The Surrey Fusion Festival, a rockin’ roundup of international and local artists, including Bruce Cockburn, Hey Ocean and The Boom Booms. Held on July 19-20 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Holland Park, this free fest is billed as the “ultimate celebration of music, food and culture,” thanks to four music stages, dozens of international pavilions and a multi-culti food fair.

After Hours at the Vancouver Aquarium – July 23

Did you know that the Vancouver Aquarium has just completed its biggest-ever expansion? Now you do, and they’re celebrating by hosting After Hours, an adults-only evening on July 23 where you can experience special programming and shows, interact with animals up close in the Wet Lab, and enjoy a beer or glass of wine — all against a stunning aquatic backdrop of an additional 55,000-square-feet of expansive new spaces. Tickets for the soiree, held from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., are $18 to $25, available online.

Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine – July 24 to 27

Savour the flavours from B.C.’s backyard at the sixth annual Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine, an upscale eat-a-thon taking place at various venues from July 24 to 27. Sample homegrown wines and fresh local fare prepared by top Vancouver Island chefs at a slate of wine and food seminars running the range from Tea &Terroir at Silk Road to Swine and The Vine at the Hotel Grand Pacific to Band, Bubbles and Bennys at Chateau Victoria Hotel.

Honda Celebration of Light – July 26, 30 and August 2

Did you know that the Honda Celebration of Light is the largest offshore fireworks competition in the world? That explains why thousands of Vancouverites pack together, sardine-style, at English Bay every summer to catch this popular beachfront show. Join the crowd for the 24th annual fest, held Saturdays and Wednesdays from July 26 to August 2, but get there early to catch performances by The Sheepdogs, 54-40 and The Odds on the SHOREfest Stage at English Bay.   

Mission Folk Music Festival – July 25-27

“Beyond the Ordinary.” That pretty much sums up what’s in store at the 27th annual Mission Folk Music Festival, taking place July 25-27 at Fraser River Heritage Park, a beachside retreat that sets the stage for “one of the most diverse and eclectic ranges of music from across Canada and around the world.” And that’s no empty exaggeration, either, given the global grooves spanning the spectrum from South America to the South Pacific, and all points in between, each offering their own unique take on folk, world, roots and blues.    

Hippie to Hipster Tour

Everyone knows there’s no better way to explore a city than with a local – and thanks to the new Hippie to Hipster tour, visitors can venture off the beaten path to discover a side of Vancouver that goes beyond obvious attractions like the seawall and Stanley Park. On this three- to four-hour trek, you’ll explore hip hangouts ranging from indie coffee shops and organic grocers to vintage boutiques and street-art decorated alleyways — everywhere from Gastown to Commercial to Main Street and more.    

North shore Shipyards Night Market – Every Friday Until September 26

It ain’t just rats patrolling the North Shore Shipyards after dark this summer. Nope, shoppers are out in full force sniffing out deals at the new waterfront Night Market, open Friday nights from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., until September 26. Bargain hunters will find 50-plus vendors selling baked goods, local produce and clothing, along with 15 food trucks, a beer garden and live music, all at Shipbuilders Square. See ya there!

Credit: Flickr/autan

Hives for Humanity Workshops – Mondays All Summer Long

We all know honeybees are taking a big hit. That’s why Hives for Humanity is offering free educational workshops this summer for anyone interested in learning how to create a buzz-worthy garden with pollinator-friendly plants. Drop by Milross Gardens (989 Main St, Vancouver) on Mondays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. all summer long to check out the offerings, sample honey fresh from the comb and learn about the beekeeping mentorship program, too!   

Semperviva Studio’s Hatha Yoga at Kits Beach – Sundays Until September 14

Summer heat, sweaty bodies and confined spaces are enough to put anyone off hitting the gym. That’s one reason why Semperviva Yoga Studio is offering free outdoor Hatha classes all summer long at Kits Beach. Check it out every Sunday evening until September 14 on the big, grassy space directly behind Kits Pool. The classes, held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., are suitable for all levels of students, and no pre-booking is required. Just don’t forget to bring your own mat or towel!