If you’re looking for the best things to do in Vancouver at night, I have you covered. From free activities to solo adventures, you will never be bored at night in Vancouver with this post as your guide.
With summer currently in full swing in Vancouver, I’ve been thinking a lot about my summer in the city last year. I had so much fun with my friends around Vancouver at night: dining out, eating ice cream, visiting markets, going to my first Canadian baseball game and having fun at Playland multiple times. But it doesn’t matter whether it’s winter or summer, there are so many fun things to do in Vancouver at night. If you’re looking for something fun to do after the sun goes down, here are some popular suggestions.
The best things to do in Vancouver at night
1. See the sunset from North Vancouver
This is one of my favourite things to do in Vancouver at night. Catch the Seabus ferry, public bus or drive over to North Vancouver to see the sunset make the Vancouver skyline glow. I recommend the view from Lonsdale Quay/the Shipyards or Waterfront Park. This is a treat to enjoy year-round, except you have the added bonus of being able to check out the Shipyard Night Markets on Friday nights in summer. I worked at the markets for Aussie Pie Guy and there are always so many food trucks to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice.
Check out this post for my guide to a perfect day in North Vancouver
2. Devour Richmond Night Market
Speaking of night markets, I have written a post on all of the reasons I love the Richmond Night Market. The largest night market in North America, it receives over one million visitors annually. But from the stalls to the FOOD to the entertainment, I highly recommend checking it out if you visit Vancouver in summer. The hardest choice every time is deciding what to eat, but my favourite dessert will always be bubble waffles (with ice cream).
3. Dinner and drinks in Gastown
Gastown is my favourite neighbourhood to visit in Vancouver at night, when the street lamps are switched on and the fairy lights twinkle in the trees. The cobblestoned and historic neighbourhood is home to a lot of fantastic dining options. For my 28th birthday, we did dinner at Tacofino, followed by fishbowl cocktails and dessert at Steamworks. I also did Tuesday night trivia at Lamplighter for my goodbye party. Another night we did barbecue at Peckinpah and dessert at Soft Peaks. All of these are winning combos.
Looking for a tour? Check out this Gastown Night Photography option.
4. Hit the clubs
Now, I’m not exactly a know-it-all when it comes to the Vancouver nightclub scene. However, I did write about the city’s best nightclubs for The Culture Trip. Although I’ve been clubbing in the city a few times, I’ve always stuck to my my friends and I’s favourite: Junction. It plays the best music – a perfect mix of old school and current hits.
5. Check out a local sports game
I am not an avid sports viewer. I love NRL in Australia, but tried to watch American football and thought it was as boring as cricket. Nonetheless, I got free tickets to a Canucks hockey game when I worked at Rogers Arena and really enjoyed it. It was fast paced and a lot of fun. I also received a free ticket to see the Canadians play a baseball game with friends before I left and I didn’t mind that either. Vancouver has national soccer and football teams as well, if that’s more your cup of tea.
6. Enjoy dessert
Isn’t dessert the best meal of the day? Vancouver is home to some delectable ice cream shops, including Earnest, Glenburn Soda in my old neighbourhood, La Casa Gelato and Rain or Shine. But for a more decadent late-night dessert option, head to Cacao 70. Here’s a look at our spread. The best way to celebrate a birthday! Looking at this is seriously making me hungry right now.
7. Vancouver at night during Christmas
I had to reference all of the fun things to do in Vancouver at night during the holidays. I have written a post about my favourite events, but definitely check out Stanley Park, VanDusen Gardens, the Peak of Christmas on Grouse Mountain and the Vancouver Christmas Market. They just look so much more magical in the evening (even if you feel like you’re going to get frostbite).
8. Go to a gig
This is another one of my personal favourite things to do in Vancouver at night. Surprisingly, I went to a lot of gigs featuring Australian artists when I lived in Vancouver. The Commodore Ballroom is a historic and award-winning entertainment venue that opened in 1929. I love the space because it has two levels, a large floor and table seating. For my last gig there to see Lapsley, we got lucky and scored a table just to the side of the stage, so we could enjoy her and our drinks.
9. Visit PNE/Playland
I visited the PNE and Playland several times in Vancouver at night. It’s such a fun way to celebrate summer in Vancouver. Playland is an amusement park with rides (I still have nightmares about the wooden roller coaster), while the PNE is next door. It’s most well-known for its annual fair, which I talked about here. Think nightly entertainment, lots of food options and access to Playland. What more could you want?
10. See the sunset from Queen Elizabeth Park
Although I’m yet to visit Queen Elizabeth Park at night, it’s Vancouver highest elevation. This means you can expect epic views across the city. It’s gorgeous on a clear day, so I can just imagine how good it would look at sunset. Queen Elizabeth Park is also a great place to visit in Vancouver at night year-round, because in winter those mountains are covered in snow and hence are very photogenic.
Here’s my 24-hour guide to Vancouver, which of course features a stop at Queen Elizabeth Park
11. Visit Port Moody
Port Moody is an outer city in the Greater Vancouver Area. I didn’t actually visit during my first time living in Vancouver, but on my second working holiday I spent a lot of time in Port Moody on the food truck. The Port Moody Ale Trail includes four breweries on one street, which are open late throughout the week. The Brewery Row is located opposite Rocky Point Park, which is very scenic and home to Rocky Point Ice Cream. It’s one of the most family friendly things to do in Vancouver at night.
12. Attempt to escape an Escape Room
There are several Escape Room places in both Vancouver and Richmond. My friends used to find discounted packages through Groupon, so I have done a couple of different scenarios. Although I’m pretty useless at them, we have always won, so I must be a lucky charm. They’re a fun alternative thing to do at night in Vancouver as a lot of them are open late too.
13. Get cultured
Once a month, Science World hosts an After Dark event. Open to adults aged 19 years and over, the events include special guest speakers, movies playing on the OMNIMAX® and one-of-a-kind activities. Then there’s Vancouver Art Gallery, which is open on Tuesday nights until 9pm. The best part is, if you’re looking for a cheap thing to do in Vancouver at night, admission is by donation only.
14. Go late night skiing
This is not a tried and tested suggestion, but apparently night skiing is totally a thing to do in Vancouver at night during winter. Cypress Mountain is Western Canada’s largest night ski resort, with 20 runs lit for night skiing and riding. My friend is a big fan of Cypress. Over half of the runs on Grouse Mountain are also lit at night. The views of Vancouver lit up at night from Grouse are also something else, so head up there for sunset no matter the season.
Your Vancouver night out is sorted
So there you have it, my top picks for things to do in Vancouver at night. The best thing is, these are great date night ideas, things to do with friends and solo adventure opportunities. In case you missed them, I have quite a few other Vancouver posts on the blog (here’s the entire archive). Check out where to take the best photos of the skyline, free (and cheap) things to do and my 24-hour guide to Vancouver.
If you’re looking for Vancouver accommodation, check out this post. However, I always recommend Samesun Backpackers to fellow solo (and budget) travellers and The Burrard.
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