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101 Things to do in Richmond this summer

Alex Narduzzi with some of the Once Upon a Time-themed merchandise available at Steveston Museum  and Tourism Richmond Visitor Centre on Moncton Street. Dropping by is one of 101 things you can do this summer in Richmond. - Matthew Hoekstra
Alex Narduzzi with some of the Once Upon a Time-themed merchandise available at Steveston Museum and Tourism Richmond Visitor Centre on Moncton Street. Dropping by is one of 101 things you can do this summer in Richmond.
— image credit: Matthew Hoekstra

1. Your Kontinent. Presented by Cinevolution Media Arts Society and the City of Richmond, the Your Kontinent Festival (www.ykfestival.ca) will enliven the Richmond Cultural Centre from July 17 to  26. The festival will showcase over 40 international films, media art installations and performances, workshops, discussions and summer camps for youth.

2. Nations Cup. Billed as Western Canada’s Premier Summer Soccer Tournament, the 35th annual Nations Cup kicks off July 18 to 20 at Hugh Boyd Park, Richmond High and Minoru Park. The unique concept of grouping players based on their ethnic backgrounds and/or countries of origin creates an exciting atmosphere that provides players and fans alike the chance to express their ethnic pride. See www.thenationscup.com for more details.

3. Richmond Maritime Festival. From Aug. 8  to 10, celebrate the seas at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. It’s the 11th anniversary of the festival, which features maritime displays, entertainment, children’s activities and much more.  See www.richmondmaritimefestival.ca for info.

4. Gulf of Georgia Cannery is a national historic site that commemorates the fishing industry. The Steveston site was used as a cannery, reduction plant, and net loft beginning in 1894. There are exhibits and a gift shop. 12138 Fourth Ave., www.gulfofgeorgiacannery.com.

5. Steveston Dragon Boat Festival. Late August promises to deliver a great day of fun, entertainment and paddling in the form of the Steveston Dragon Boat Festival Aug. 23. The fun begins at 9 a.m. with racing as well as an assortment of food, activities and vendor booths. By 11 a.m., entertainment begins on the main stage.

6. Go golfing. If you love to hit the links, then Richmond is the place to be. The selection of golf courses and practice ranges is extensive, sure to satisfy even the most discerning of players.

7. Steveston Community Pool. Neatly nestled inside Steveston Community Park, just in behind the community centre, the Steveston Outdoor Pool is one of the city’s underrated recreation gems. Outside there’s a great water park.

8. A Midsummer Art’s Dream 2D Exhibition. Juried work from Richmond and beyond in both art and photography will be on display from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon July 18 - 20 at Thompson Community Centre.

9. Ponies in the Park. Richmond Nature Park hosts a pony ride. Suitable for children 4-12 years. Tickets are available on a first come first served basis on event day only. Sunday, August 3 & Saturday, August 23, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

10. YVR Take-Off Fridays. Visit the airport any Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., until Aug. 29, and enjoy delicious treats, rocking’ beats and more that’s sure to have travelers and staycationers alike eager to join in the fun.

11. PechaKucha Night. Explore how technology and the human body are in constant dialogue and shape one another at Human x Technology, the 7th volume of PechaKucha Night Richmond. Ten presenters will turn their gaze on the dynamics of the mobile and malleable body for seven minutes each on July 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Richmond Cultural Centre. Doors open at 6 p.m.

12. Terra Nova. This 34.17-acre park is a nature lover’s paradise, with amenities in the environmentally sensitive area including native plant interpretation signs to educate the public about the types of native plants and viewing platforms for bird watching.

13. Finn Slough. This sleepy Fraser River fishing community at the south end of No. 4 Road is home to some 30 residents, who live in wooden housing built on stilts or floating along the marshy river bank. The slough was founded by Finnish settlers in the 1880s.

14. Richmond Art Gallery presents exciting and challenging visual art. It’s open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. 604-231-6457, www.richmondartgallery.org. Latest exhibits features artists Lucie Chan and Marigold Santos.

15. King George Park. A 30-acre parcel of land in East Richmond, King George/Cambie Community Park offers a variety of amenities including an artificial turf field, spray/waterplay, a community garden and a picnic area.

16. Steveston Museum’s Guided Walking Tours. For those yearning for the good ol’ days, a guided walking tour of historic Steveston may be just the ticket. Tours take place every Friday and Saturday from July to September. There are two tours: Boardwalks, Bar Rooms and Boats; and Murder, Mayhem and Morality in Old Steveston. Tours cost $5 per person and can booked at the Tourism Richmond Visitor Centre counter in Steveston Museum (3811 Moncton St.) or call 604-271-8280. The museum also offers the free self-guided heritage walking tour map Treading Through Time.

17. City Centre’s Concert in the Park. Catch the sounds of the city at this popular series of free performances on Wednesdays through to the end of August at Garden City Community Park. 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

18. Richmond Public Market. Home to a cornucopia of ethnic foods, the market is a one-stop shop at which to purchase fresh produce or check out the food court.

19.  Giant Bugs at Aberdeen Centre. The atrium at Aberdeen Centre is now crawling with gigantic insects! Giant Bugs Take Over Aberdeen Centre is a new exhibit that features six humongous insects brought to life via animatronics. All this, along with an interactive bugs head display, courtesy of Kokoro Exhibits, and a sampling of food made from bugs.

20.  Britannia Shipyard preserves Richmond’s maritime history through the restoration and preservation of a variety of buildings and boats, from the shipyard, to the cannery, to the Murakami House, the home of a Japanese-Canadian family in the 1930s and ’40s.  Located along the Steveston Channel of the south arm of the Fraser River, the site is a collection of historic buildings, many built in the 1880s. The buildings feature many historical displays.

21. Kite flying at Garry Point Park. On a warm, sunny summer day, it’s hard to top the joy while the prevailing wind whips up from the picturesque Fraser River.

22. Richmond Museum features exhibits relating to Richmond’s past. It’s open 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. 604-247-8300.

23. Watermania offers a complete aquatic and fitness experience under one roof—including a 57-metre competition pool, one and three metre springboards, a five-metre tower, an interactive wave pool, and a pair of watersides. Oh, and there are two large whirlpools and a 3,000 square foot fitness centre too.

24. The Zone Bowling. Get into the Zone and enjoy the magic of cosmic bowling, where every Tuesday is dinner and bowling night.

25. Dolphin Basketball Classic. Since its creation as a summer event for bragging rights between Richmond high school friends, the four-on-four classic has evolved into one of North America’s premier outdoor hoops events. This year’s event takes July 18-20 at Thompson Community Centre.

26. Terry Fox Run will be held in Richmond Sept. 14 at Garry Point Park. Registration will be at 9 a.m., with the one, five and 10-kilometre runs starting at 10 a.m.

27. London Heritage Farm. Home to a fully-restored, 1880s-built farmhouse and located in a park-like setting across from the South Arm of the Fraser River. The house is open to the public with entrance by donation and features six rooms, including a country-style tea room which serves “London Lady”—London Farm’s own blend of tea—and homemade scones. 6511 Dyke Rd.,  www.londonheritagefarm.ca.

28. Watching/photographing the planes landing at YVR. It’s a long held tradition among local residents to head over to Sea Island and check out the action in the air above Vancouver International Airport. Great spots to watch planes include the Larry Berg Flight Path Park on Russ Baker Way.

29. Richmond Sockeyes. The Junior B hockey team begins the 2014-15 Pacific Junior Hockey League season in September. The team plays its home games every Thursday, beginning at 7 p.m., at Minoru Arenas.

30. Blueberry Sale & Tea. Richmond Nature Park’s blueberry sale and tea is back on Sunday, Aug.  3 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s a great chance (or excuse) to have a delicious piece of pie, or you can take home a carton of fresh berries. Call  604-718-6188 for details.

31. Public skating. It may be summer, but it’s still possible to go ice skating in Richmond. Weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. and weekends from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., skaters of all skills and sizes are invited to take to the ice at the Richmond Ice Centre. Info: 604-448-5366 to double check schedule.

32. Steveston Tram. Interurban rail car #1220 has found a home, permanently, in Steveston Park. Originally built in St. Louis in 1913, she worked long and hard carrying passengers between Steveston and Vancouver for 45 years through to February, 1958.

33. Richmond Olympic Oval. Initially constructed to host the long track speed skating events during the 2010 Olympics, the 47,500-square-foot facility has been reinvented as a catch-all for local sports and recreation.

34. Railway Greenway. Walk, jog or ride down a beautiful trail along Railway Avenue.

35. Regional summer swimming championships. Richmond Kigoos will be hosting the Fraser South regionals Aug. 1 to 3 at Watermania.

36. Go fishing. Since Richmond is made up of a group of islands, it’s only natural there are plenty of angling spots. A couple suggestions to reel ‘em in include along the South Arm, as well as the No. 7 Road Pier which is a restored former barge loading pier.

37. Hoop it up. Richmond’s affinity for the roundball game is legendary, so there’s a good likelihood of finding a pick-up game any time of the day or night.

38. Take riding lessons. Go ahead, horse around a little this summer. But do so safely by visiting one of Richmond’s equestrian centres.

39. Learn the art of woodcarving. Richmond Carvers Society is a non-profit group of close to 100 members whose goal is to advance woodcarving as a hobby and an art form. But even on their own, beginners may find it enjoyable and rewarding to chip away.

40. Garlic Festival: The sixth annual festival, a fundraiser for The Sharing Farm, is from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. on Aug. 24. This free event takes place at 2771 Westminster Hwy. Info: garlicfestival.sharingfarm.ca.

41. Legendary Lego Build at Lansdowne Centre. A new castle-themed Lego sculpture will be built each Saturday at Lansdowne in July with everything staying on display until July 30, 2014.

42.  Richmond Nature Park. Fans of the great outdoors will love traversing the park, which features an easily-accessible boardwalk leading through this remarkable peat bog habitat. 11851 Westminster Hwy.

43. Lacrosse. Starting next Thursday (July 16) and through July 20, Richmond Lacrosse will be hosting the provincial Peewee championship at Minoru Arenas and Richmond Ice Centre. They’ve also the honour of hosting the provincial Intermediate A finals Aug. 1 to 4 at the Minoru rinks.

44. Richmond Summer Camps. Whether it’s architecture and design for preteens, guitar lessons for teenagers or sports camps at Minoru, the City of Richmond has plenty of summer camps for kids this summer. See www.richmond.ca/camps for info.

45. Family Sunday at the RAG. Every fourth Sunday of the month, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the Richmond Art Gallery offers the public the chance to explore its exhibitions through its unique free drop-in sessions. There are two remaining this summer, July 28 and Aug. 25.

46. West Dyke trails. Whether you are biking, walking, running or birdwatching, Richmond’s West Dyke offers miles of great views.

47. See Steveston. The Village of Steveston is home to history, scenic strolls, quaint mom and pop shops, fish and chips, and fresh fish.

48. Steveston Museum and Post Office and Tourism Richmond Visitor Centre (3811 Moncton St.) was originally a bank in 1905 but is now kept in its original state to give visitors an inside look at where residents would go to do business. Inside there is a general store exhibit, Once Upon a Time paraphenalia, a working post office and upstairs the preserved living quarters for bank staff.

49. Steveston Farmers and Artisans Market features 50 vendors offering fresh local produce, healthy foods, flowers, plants, and unique works by local artisans. The market runs the first and third Sundays, May through September, from 10 a.m. to  4 p.m. Remaining dates are: July 20, Aug. 3 and 17 , Sept. 7 and 2. It’s located in the parking lot by the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site Info: www.sfam.ca

50. Eco Tours. A marine eco tour from Steveston Harbour is a great way to view the historic waterfront..  Tours depart from Imperial Landing dock.  604-377-5964.  www.stevestonecotours.com.

51. Whale watching. Steveston Harbour is the departure point to watching killer whales in the wild. Several companies have tours, including Steveston Seabreeze Adventures.

52. Dine out. Richmond has a United Nations of restaurants, ranging from burgers to pho to sushi to the finest in Chinese food and everything in between. A great source for places to eat in Richmond is www.365daysofdining.com.

53. Music at the Cannery. Musical acts perform every Friday night in July and August at 6:30 p.m. sharp at Gulf of Georgia Cannery.

54. The original Richmond Night Market is  next to River Rock Casino Resort and the Bridgeport Canada Line station.  The night market features 250 booths offering cool merchandise and 80 vendors serving mouth-watering food and desserts. Fridays & Saturdays, 7 p.m. to midnight; Sundays, 6 to 11 p.m. www.richmondnightmarket.com.

55. The Summer Night Market is at 12631 Vulcan Way, behind Home Depot on Bridgeport Road. Hours are 7 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and  7 to 11 p.m. on Sunday and holidays. Info: 604-278-8000. www.summernightmarket.com.

56. Minoru Park. Located in Richmond’s City Centre, the park is home to sports and cultural facilities. The north end of the park has a small lake and walking paths.

57. Richmond Go-Kart Track. Featuring a half-mile outdoor track complete with curves and straightaways the Richmond Go-Kart Track is the perfect place to spend a sunny day. 6631 Sidaway Rd. 604-278-6184.

58. TBC Indoor Race Track. Open seven days a week, TBC offers a challenging indoor track. 2100 Viceroy Pl.

59. Culture Days. Canada’s celebration of arts and culture—takes place in Richmond on Sept. 26, 27 and 28. www.culturedays.ca.

60. Berry picking. It’s berry season and Richmond is full of many u-pick farms for blueberries and other berries. Birak Farms and W & A Farms are among the many u-picks.

61. Iona Jetty stretches nearly four kilometres into the water and features a walking or cycling path atop a large sewage outfall pipe. That’s much better than it sounds. The jetty is at the northwest tip of Sea Island.

62. Geocaching. There’s some amazing finds all over Richmond.   See www.geocaching.com for more information.

63. Lend a hand to paws. Volunteer as a dog walker at the city animal shelter on No. 5 Road or help out at the cat sanctuary (www.raps.com).

64. Indoor Beach Volleyball. Love beach volleyball, but want to avoid a potential sunburn? 6Pack Indoor Beach, located on Mitchell Island, provides a solution.

65. Summer Fun Nights at King George Park. These free events run July 29, August 8, August 12 and August 19 from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Summer Fun Nights offer delightful entertainment for all ages including face painting, , an obstacle course challenge, grassroots games and more.

66. Richmond Public Library is an award-winning library. It features a children’s library, Internet stations, music and movies and a large collection of Chinese language books. It’s open 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. The library also has branches at Steveston, Cambie and Ironwood. 604- 231-6401, www.yourlibrary.ca

67. Sports camps. Richmond Olympic Oval offers camps for children 5 to 12 years old. Before and after camp supervision also available. Drop-in programs are also available. Find details at www.richmondoval.ca.

68. The City of Richmond Archives’ reference room is open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. An appointment with the archivist is required for records retrieval and assistance with research. For info, call 604-247-8305.

69. Go shopping. Richmond’s major malls are located along No. 3 Road and are easily accessible by the Canada Line. There’s also many other great shopping spots throughout the city.

70. Highway to Heaven and other religious sites. Nowhere in Richmond are the city’s multicultural roots more prominently displayed than on the Highway to Heaven, a stretch of No. 5 Road lined with mosques, temples, churches and religious schools. Elsewhere, Nanaksar Gurdwara Gurusikh Temple (18691 Westminster Hwy., 604-270-7369), is open to visitors. International Buddhist Temple (9160 Steveston Hwy., 604-274-2822), is open for tours and serves lunches.

71. McDonald Beach Park. Nice sandy beaches on Sea Island on the north arm of the Fraser, this park is a perfect place for a picnic.

72. Gateway Pacific Theatre Festival. Features contemporary Chinese plays presented with English surtitles. Aug. 15 - 24. Gateway Theatre.

73. River Rock Casino Resort. The largest casino in the province also features top-notch entertainment in its show theatre and lounge.

74. Steveston Museum’s Picnic in the Past. Held on July 20 from noon to 4 p.m. in Steveston Museum’s park (3811 Moncton St.). Come and get a free retro hairstyle from two experienced and fabulous stylists and sit beneath the trees to experience folk music from local favourites The Earbuds and the amazing talent of Ralph Shaw, King of the Ukulele. Kids will enjoy the heritage inspired crafts on offer.

75. Theatre Under the Sky - Drive-In Theatre. As part of the Your Kontinent festival, Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away will be shown outside at Lansdowne Centre on July 18. Info: ykfestival.ca.

76. Paws for a Cause. Sunday, Sept. 7 promises to be a “fur”tastic day in Richmond, as Scotiabank and the B.C. SPCA present their annual walk featuring hundreds of two- and four-legged participants raising funds for neglected and homeless animals.  Registration is at 11:30 a.m. and the walk at 1 p.m. at Garry Point Park.

77. Gateway Theatre. Gateway hosts many shows and also puts on acting camps throughout the summer. www.gatewaytheatre.com

78. Tennis anyone? For lovers of racquet sports, Richmond plenty of tennis courts to test out your game.

79. Learn to row. The John M.S. Lecky Boathouse offers lessons. Info: 604-247-2627.

80. Scotch Pond. Located in the northwest corner of Garry Point Park, the heritage cooperative is operated by the Fishermen’s Cooperative. The site is a former boat works building commemorated as a municipal historic site in 1992.

81. The Richmond Raptor Festival comes to Terra Nova Rural Park on Sunday, Aug. 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Experience breathtaking falconry displays by Pacific Northwest Raptors.

82. Watch a movie being filmed. Visitors to Steveston often do a double-take. What was the Steveston Museum a day ago is suddenly the Storybrooke Post Office, a sure sign that the hit ABC series Once Upon a Time is filming. Steveston is a prime location for the town of Storybrooke, populated by fairy-tale characters. The A&E series Bates Motel  also uses Steveston.

83. Picnic in the park. We love King George, but there are so many great ones to choose from.

84. Go kayaking. The Fraser River offers plenty of great scenery. There’s also ocean kayaking (with rentals available at Steveston’s Kaymarantours).

85. Extreme Air Park. This indoor trampoline playground opened in the former Gold’s Gym building in Riverport, boasting 42,000 square feet of interconnected trampolines open to all ages.

86. Steveston Rotary Seniors BBQ. Annual free barbecue for seniors takes place July 19 at 1 p.m. at Steveston Community Centre. To register, phone Peter at 604-277-8882.

87. Shell Road Trail. Miles of great walking trail from north Richmond to south.

88. Farm Country. Check out one of Richmond’s many farms. Great potatoes, corn, lettuce and much more.

89. 1812 On Tour is a Parks Canada travelling experience that brings to life the stories of a war that helped define Canada as a nation, will be on display in front of Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, on July 18 to 20.

90. West Richmond Pitch and Putt. You don’t have to commit 4 hours of your day to enjoy a round of golf. Located at 9751 Pendleton Rd.

91. Old Fashioned Garden Party. At Minoru Place Activity Centre, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. on  Aug. 20, this annual 55+ Vevent includes musical entertainment, dancing, a light lunch and more.  Registration required. Info at 604-238-8450.

92. Wine tour and tasting. Richmond has wineries that sell their product on site—Lulu Island Winery on Westminster Highway and Sanduz on Sidaway.

93. Bike riding around Richmond. Richmond has great bike paths throughout the city. No hills!

94. Steveston Folk Guild. Hosts folk acts the third Thursday of each month. Show time 7:30 p.m. Chinese Bunkhouse, Britannia Heritage Shipyard, 5180 Westwater Dr.

95. Outdoor movie night. Aug. 19, at 8:30 p.m. Cambie Community Centre presents The Lego Movie.

96. Scouting future stars at Hugh Boyd Artificial Turf. If you’re wondering where some of the best local soccer talent plays, look no further than the tremendous facility located at No. 1 Road and Francis. The Richmond Youth Soccer Association does an amazing job cultivating local talent by stressing individual development over wins and losses.

97. Steveston Wine Fest. Features 80 boutique wines and delicious food samples from local Steveston Merchants. At  Britannia Shipyards on July 18. Tickets: www.ohares.ca/winefest.

98. Go Bananas. The indoor play centre at the Riverport entertainment complex.

99. Birdwatching. Richmond is an amazing place to look for a wide variety of feathered friends. There are bald eagles galore, along with a variety of hawks and falcons, and numerous other species. Great vantage points for viewing are the north end of Sea Island, as well as the fields of East Richmond.

100. Scaling tremendous heights. There are a pair of premiere places to scale tall structures in a single bound. Both the Richmond Olympic Oval and Cliffhanger Climbing have outstanding indoor climbing facilities. Cliffhanger is at 520-3771 Jacombs Rd. and is available by calling 604-276-0012. The Oval is at 6111 River Rd. Info: 778-296-1400.

101. Relax, and read a book. Now that you’ve exhausted just about everything there is to do in Richmond, there’s one more thing to consider. Find a quiet spot, and turn your attention to the book.

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