Hiking trails are all around Vancouver, especially the North Shore. The Grouse Grind is just one of those trails and an activity that is budget friendly for any thrifty person. The hike will take a lot of endurance, but when you get to the top and see what you’ve accomplished, the pain and sweat you’ve put into the hike will be forever forgotten. Vancouver has some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole world, and at the end of the hike you will see some of it (http://www.grousemountain.com/grousegrind, http://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/grouse-grind/).
Nothing screams budget friendly more than the word ‘free’. All around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland this summer, there are events and festivals going on that are free for anyone to come and experience. Who wouldn’t want to step out of there comfort zone and try something completely new and different. Free events and festivals gives everyone an opportunity to see what’s going on in their own community (http://vancouver.about.com/od/summereventsjunjulaug/tp/Free-Things-To-Do-In-Vanocuver-Bc-This-Summer.htm, http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2013/07/vancouver-summer-events-guide-2013/). Explore your own city with friends, family, co-workers, or just by yourself. Events and festivals showcase different things from around the world that you might not have seen before or heard of before. For this low-cost budget friendly activity all you would need is your car, or perhaps just your bike if you’re close by, and your two feet to help you walk around and have fun. If you’re up for the challenge of walking through crowds, getting bumped into, trying new foods, seeing something new, meeting someone new, getting to know a new culture, then take advantage of what your community and city have to offer and go to as many free festivals and events as you can this summer!
You can’t go through summer without going to the beach or a lake! Vancouver and/or the Lower Mainland offers an array of choices when it comes to beaches. Depending on what kind of environment you’re looking for, there’s a beach out there for you. In the heart of Vancouver, Kitsilano beach, Jericho beach, and English Bay beach are just a few areas to go to have your beach day. All of these are usually pretty busy on hot sunny days and but if you’re lucky enough to find a parking spot, they offer great people watching as well as a sandy beach to lay out your towel and soak up the sun on (http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/kitsilano-beach.aspx). Squamish and Whistler offer some great lake options if you are looking for a smaller, non-salt water day of beach relaxation, just a short beautiful drive up the highway and you’ll be soaking up sun in a more secluded area of BC (http://www.tourismsquamish.com/attractions/alice-lake-provincial-park, http://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/brohm-lake/, http://www.whistler.com/beaches/). For a good beach day, all you need is your towel, sunscreen, snacks, music, a good book/magazines, family/friends, or just yourself if you want to have some ‘me’ time. Summer is close to an end so hurry up and check this off your low-budget activity list while you can!
If you like the water and enjoy being in or close to the ocean, then kayaking and paddle boarding give you that chance. Vancouver has great sightseeing you can do from water level and if you’re lucky, you may even get a marine mammal pop up close by you. Kayaking and paddle boarding are a lot of fun and you don’t even realize you’re exercising while you’re doing it. Vancouver has a few great locations to rent equipment from at good prices and if you check the websites, some places offer two for one deals on certain days which make this activity a great choice for any budget (http://www.ecomarine.com/, http://jsca.bc.ca/, http://www.kayakvancouver.ca/, http://www.deepcovekayak.com/rental-and-lessons/). Kayaking and paddle boarding can be fun to do with friends, family or even by yourself if you are experienced and enjoy the peace and quiet. You can make your way to areas you’ve never seen in Vancouver and see things from a different view. A lot of rental places also offer you to take your kayaks for a couple days so you can make a trip out of it and bring your camping gear along for the ride. Pull up on a secluded beach, set up camp for a night, and enjoy the great outdoors.
Do you like popcorn, movies, and the outdoors? Would you rather be outside in the warm summer air than in an air conditioned theater or sitting on your couch? Well perfect, Vancouver offers free movies outside at various parks all summer long (http://www.insidevancouver.ca/2013/07/05/free-outdoor-movies-in-the-park/, http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2013/06/free-outdoor-movies-vancouver-2013-stanley-park/). Nothing beats watching a movie in your own public backyard for free if you’re trying to enjoy summer on a low-cost activity budget. Depending on the movie, it can be a fun kid-friendly activity for a family, a group of friends looking for something to do, or a romantic date night for couples. Grab some take-out (a tasty burger and fries to add to the drive-in movie theatre effect) or pack up a yummy home-made dinner, grab a blanket, bring a sweater, and don’t forget the popcorn! There’s something nostalgic and old school about an outdoor movie. An outdoor movie brings back a sense of simplicity for activities to do in the summer. It’s easy and free and it is a great social event to meet people or for bringing family and friends to just enjoy nature and the outdoors.
Another weekend of summer has passed and another week closer to the fall that slowly approaches, but none the less, another low-cost day of fun can be achieved. Nothing can be more relaxing and easy to do than a park day in the sunshine for a weekend activity. Find a local park that is close for family and friends to wonder too. Bring the dog, bring the barbeque, bring the picnic basket, bring the food, bring the bocce balls and bring yourself. It is very likely that any park you choose will be busy as the afternoon approaches. Be sure to get there early enough to grab a good spot. A busy park also allows for mingling and making new friends and getting to know the neighbours around you if you’re new to the area. Set up camp, kick back with possibly a few adult beverages, engage in conversations, have endless laughs, BBQ up some hotdogs and burgers and the day is sure to be a whole-rounded day that everyone will enjoy. With expenses minimal, (food, adult beverages, maybe some sunscreen) you can have a fantastic low-key day outside in the beautiful Vancouver weather.
Ahhh, the summer is finally here. The warm breeze, the long nights, the sunshine and the endless activities on a budget are upon us. Summer is always a reminder of just how great of a province and city we live in and If you’re like me and looking for new things to do on a slim budget in Vancouver, we are fortunate enough to have reasonable prices for an immeasurable amount of fun and memories. Depending on what you favor and like to do for hobbies, Vancouver will be sure to give you something to do. Just this weekend I adventured out on my bike for a ride around the down-town Vancouver core (healthy and environment friendly; added bonuses). Starting at Third Beach, then pit-stopping for tacos at Taco Shack in Kitsilano (yummy tacos for cheap!) and then ending the night for a nightcap drink at Tap and Barrel (http://www.tapandbarrel.com/) in the Olympic Village. For an evening that was filled with continuous activity, sightseeing, and great food, it was easy on the wallet too. It was a nice low-costing night, no more than 50$ dollars. Not bad for a summer night of fun in Vancouver!