5 More Things To Do In Vancouver If You’re Broke AF (Fall /Winter Edition)

Being broke sucks. Being broke in Vancouver sucks a lot. There is so much to do, but once you’ve spent all your money on rent, a haircut, and pile of craft beers, there is precious little left to actually enjoy what the city has to offer. Case in point: you want to go on a nice day date to the top of Grouse Mountain, with its natural beauty and stunning city views? It will cost you $100 just to get up there. That’s a splurge a lot of us aren’t able to take. But with a little bit of imagination and an open mind, there are a few cool places to go in Vancouver that will leave a little money in the pocket of your new jeans.

Queen Elizabeth Park often gets a bit of a bum rap. While it lacks the size and popularity of everybody’s favourite – Stanley Park – it definitely has a style all its own. While its famous flower gardens lose much of their colour in the Fall and Winter, they are still worth a peek, and if you ever wake up to a rainless day, there is frisbee golf, duck ponds, tennis and basketball courts, and a pitch and putt golf course. The real star of the show, however, sits at the top of the park. From the outside, The Bloedel Concervatory looks like an abstract mushroom top, but inside is a domed, lush oasis of tropical plants and birds. More than 200 exotic birds, plants, and flowers are housed in the temperature-controlled conservatory, perfect for escaping the bite of Winter. Bonus: free parking!

Even if the last time you skated was elementary school, an evening skate at Robson Square is a must-do Vancouver activity. Skating skills are secondary here, where it’s all about checking your ego at the door and just having fun. Of course, if you happen to have some skating skills, this is also the perfect place to show them off. Skating under the open sky in downtown Vancouver, surrounded by a mass of festive lights, and all for the cost of latte; there really is no excuse for not getting your skate on. Bonus: cheap hot chocolate!

Everyone loves art, or at least pretends to. Certainly, everyone loves to experience a little culture now and then. But art can be expensive. Heck, even looking at art can be pretty pricey. But not on Tuesday evenings at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Four floors of art, art, and more art in a variety of styles and exhibits. And the cost? The good old “by donation.” Bonus: Interactive exhibits!

It doesn’t get much cheaper than the library, and we will let you in on a little-known secret about libraries: they can be pretty cool. You just have to go to the right one. Vancouver’s main library is an architectural jewel, with its ancient Roman aesthetic and cavernous interior. And while there are obviously hundreds of thousands of books, and lots of cool places to chill with one, there is also a ton of computers, free wifi, and five floors to explore. Afterwards, you can hang out in the atrium for some coffee, pizza, or even some bubble tea. Bonus: top-notch people watching!

Browsing a department store for a couple of hours is generally near the bottom of most people’s must-do list. But there are regular department stores, and then there is Daiso. Straight outta Japan, where it borders on a cultural phenomenon, Daiso is two floors of, well, pretty much everything. Daiso carries over 50, 000 different products in a variety of departments: toys, household items, clothing, pet supplies, stationary, food, and furniture, to name just a few. The best part, however, is the pricing: everything in the store is 2 dollars! It is literally impossible to leave without spending a couple of bucks on something you never thought you needed. Daiso is also located in Richmond’s Aberdeen Mall, which is one of the zaniest malls you will ever visit: quirky stores, a massive dancing water fountain display, and Vancouver’s most culinary diverse food court. Bonus: free Japanese culture lessons!