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Enjoy Vancouver's green oasis with movies, musicals, nature walks and more
One of the things that makes Vancouver so unique is its plethora of green spaces, and Stanley Park is the city’s crown jewel in that respect. Forests, fields, ocean and culture all combine to create a place where Vancouverites and tourists alike can enjoy all the best of the city. There’s a lot to discover in this 400-hectare park this summer, so make sure you take advantage of all its events and adventures with our guide to summer in Stanley Park.
The seawall is arguably the most iconic attraction in all of Vancouver, and for good reason. The stunning sea views and nine kilometres worth of trail provide the perfect opportunity to get moving. If you’ve biked, hiked, and jogged the wall one too many times, try mixing it up by paying a visit to a local rental store. Grab a friend and rent a tandem bike, or strap on the kneepads and give rollerblading a shot. There are a few rental places in the area, such as Bikes and Blades and Bayshore Rentals, which are both located just blocks from the park entrance.
As Stanley Park’s theatrical alternative to Bard On The Beach, Theatre Under The Stars has been bringing full-length musicals to Malkin Bowl off and on since 1940. This year’s shows are Shrek: The Musical and Legally Blonde: The Musical, the latter brought back by popular demand after last year’s successful run. The laidback atmosphere is perfect for a relaxing, family friendly summer night. You can pack a picnic or pick up dinner at the Garden Café, which offers a range of food, from sushi to hot dogs.
Every year Aboriginal Tourism BC offers a window into Aboriginal culture when they transform the miniature train plaza into Klahowya Village. The village, themed “The Journey of the Salmon”, will be open from June 21 to September 1 in 2014. Shop at the artisan market, visit craft workshops and watch the cultural performances. The popular miniature train will also be transformed to take visitors on a 15-minute ride through the “Legend of the Salmon”.
You can see the park at a more leisurely pace with one of the horse-drawn tours. The old-fashioned vehicles and lively tour guides provide a unique and stylish way to learn about the park and enjoy the scenery. Stanley Park Horse-drawn Tours offers hour-long tours from March to October that run rain or shine. While they will provide blankets, be sure to dress appropriately for the weather or else you may find it chilly.
Located in the heart of Stanley Park is the Vancouver Aquarium, the home of some of Vancouver’s cutest residents. With the reveal of their biggest expansion in history on June 13, even locals can explore something new. For a truly special experience, attend out one of their many events. Ditch the kids for an adult-only evening on July 23, or bring them along to one of the Sunday Family Fun Days running from June 22 to August 31.
For outdoor entertainment that won’t cost you a thing, check out the Chevron Summer Cinema Series. Held by Fresh Air Cinema, Stanley Park’s Second Beach will host a movie every Tuesday night from July 8 until September 2. This year’s lineup will celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Karate Kid, Footloose and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, as well as featuring more recent flicks like The Lego Movie and Mean Girls.
No one knows the natural features of the park as well as the Stanley Park Ecology Society, and luckily they’re more than happy to share their expertise. They run a number of events that are open to the public, including volunteer opportunities and educational tours. Their Stanley Park Young Naturalists events are recommended for kids aged 5-14 and are the perfect way to get kids in touch with nature without having to leave the city.