So Fun City: Experts and Editors Share Their Fave Ways to Have a Good Time

Recommendations for finding fun in Vancouver.

We compiled a giant list of event recommendations and best budget activities for our So Fun City issue, but we still had plenty of ideas to spare. So here’s one more list of our editors’ favourite things to do in Vancouver, plus recommendations from the city’s seasoned culture vultures.

Our Editor in Chief Recommends: Strolling the SeaWall

“We like to call it ‘the walk.’ From our doorstep in Yaletown to the Hornby Street Aquabus dock, across to Granville Island, then back around Science World to Coopers’ Park, the False Creek seawall is my family’s ultimate happy place. We don’t go far before we make our first stop at George Wainborn Park, where we all hop on a swing and enjoy the view of the houseboats across the inlet. Once we’ve water-taxied over to Granville Island, we pick up doughnuts from Lee’s before heading to Charleson Park so our daughter can burn off some extra energy on the pirate playground. We refuel with Uno Gelato in Stamps Landing (passionfruit on a waffle cone, please) or a little brisket from the Rosie’s BBQ and Smokehouse food truck by the Plaza of Nations. And we never, ever take for granted what we get to see while we’re putting in our 10,000-plus steps: wildlife (bunnies, beavers and birds—oh my!), cityscapes, spectacular sunsets, mountain views, public art and plenty of people-watching (and that counts the tourists who walk in the bike lanes). From our POV, it’s the best way to have fun in the city—and it’s absolutely free.” —Janine Verreault, editor in chief, Vancouver magazine

Our Editor at Large Recommends: Riding The Arbutus Greenway

“The Arbutus Greenway may only be nine kilometres tip to tail, but I find that you can easily stretch a bike ride into a whole-day affair if you plan it right. For me, that means starting at Beaucoup Bakery for a disastrously messy croissant and Americano, then using the caffeine and carbs to power myself south up and over the poppy-and-buttercup-lined path. It’s the sort of ride—a mix of get-the-heart-rate-up slopes and thrilling downhill stretches—that has me regularly turning to either my bike mate beside me or the baby on the seat behind me to shout “Isn’t this the best?!” over the whiz of tires and clicking of gears. I repeat myself on the riverside patio of the Milltown Bar and Grill—my own personal finish line—but my sentiment is muffled once again, this time because my mouth is full of crispy yam fries and cold beer. Just another outdoorsy health nut, enjoying that active Vancouver lifestyle. See you on the trail.” —Stacey McLachlan, editor at large, Vancouver magazine

Our Managing Editor Recommends: Hitting Up the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival

“As a busy-brained person (a clinical term I’ve unprofessionally coined, thanks) there’s no feeling I love more than to be overwhelmed with delight. Creatively spoiled. Indulgently entertained. Spectacularly occupied. It’s not a feeling I get often, but at the annual Vancouver Comic Arts Festival I can count on it.

Armed with only some creaky folding tables and whatever wares they can haul in, hundreds of artists gather to set up complex, joyously colourful and often silly structures inside the Roundhouse Community Centre. Where else can you find a Pulitzer-prize-nominated cartoonist selling $5 zines, or a vampire-vibed, impressively pierced illustrator hawking bunny stickers? Entry is free, the art is diverse and vibrant and all around you can hear festival attendees gasping, laughing and awwing at the comic books, art prints, posters and cards. I can say for certain that it’s one of the most extraordinary and accessible arts events the city has to offer. I’m counting down the days until the next one (May 18 and 19, 2024).” —Alyssa Hirose, managing editor, Vancouver magazine

The Just for Laughs Vancouver Director Recommends: Checking Out These Local Comedians

“We’re really lucky to have such a lively and skilled local comedy scene right here in Vancouver. Throughout the Just for Laughs festival, we make it a point to shine a spotlight on the dedicated local comedy producers who consistently provide the community with great shows all year long. It’s been a thrill to witness the contributions of local producers like Suzy Rawsome (Comedy After Dark), Matty Vu (MSG Comedy, Blood Feud), Jackie Hoffart (New Moon Comedy), Ryan Steele and Amy Goodmurphy (The Ryan and Amy Show) and Colin Sharp and Ryan Williams (Full Pint), all of whom have significantly enriched the comedy landscape in Vancouver.” —Heather Wallace, festival director, Just for Laughs Vancouver

This Radio Host Recommends: Day Tripping

“I love getting out on the water and doing mini-trips to Bowen Island and the Sunshine Coast. I love that we are so close to Whistler and Seattle. We are so lucky to have access to a million hikes with our two dogs.”—Karen Khunkhun, actor and co-host of The Jeff O’Neil Show on CFOX

One of the Odds Recommends: Catching a Show at the City’s Best Venue

“The Commodore is easily the most storied venue in Western Canada. I snuck in several times underage, and I saw so many of my musical heroes there. The first time I played a Commodore gig, my mom and dad dressed up in formal wear and danced across the horsehair-sprung dancefloor. They grew up here. It was a big moment for them and they were going to enjoy it.” —Craig Northey, founding member of Odds

This Whitecaps Icon Recommends: Keeping It Simple

“I love to dine out, go to movies and walk down to the Shipyards at Lonsdale Quay to enjoy live music. Really, it’s the simple things—hanging out with my extended family at Ambleside Park, celebrating life.”—Carl Valentine, Whitecaps FC ambassador and BC Sports Hall of Famer

More from our So Fun City issue here >>