10 Fun And Free Things To Do In Vancouver Wa

free things to do in vancouver wa

Are you tired of spending a fortune on family outings and entertainment? Look no further than Vancouver, WA for some fun and free activities! This breathtaking city offers a wealth of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and cultural experiences that won't break the bank. From exploring picturesque parks to indulging in local art scenes, here are 10 exciting and cost-effective ways to enjoy Vancouver's charm and diversity without spending a dime!

Activity Description
Esther Short Park Located in downtown Vancouver, this 5.4-acre park features a playground, picnic tables, and water features during the summer.
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site This national park showcases the history of Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest, featuring exhibits, demonstrations, and guided tours.
Waterfront Renaissance Trail Take a walk along the Columbia River and enjoy the scenic views of the waterfalls and the bridge connecting Vancouver to Portland.
Vancouver Farmers Market Open on Saturdays from mid-March to the end of October, this farmers market features local produce, artisan crafts, and live music.
Officers Row Historic District This historic military post features restored and preserved homes from the 19th century.
Burnt Bridge Creek Trail Take a stroll or bike ride on this 8-mile trail that connects several parks in Vancouver.
Lacamas Lake Located in the nearby city of Camas, this lake offers hiking trails, fishing, and picnic areas.
First Friday Art Walk On the first Friday of every month, downtown Vancouver hosts an art walk with galleries, shops, and restaurants showcasing local artists.
Kiggins Theatre Enjoy a free movie screening on select nights at this historic theatre, dating back to 1936.


Visit the Columbia River Waterfront Park

Source: www.visitvancouverwa.com

Are you looking for a fun and inexpensive way to spend a day in Vancouver, WA? Look no further than the Columbia River Waterfront Park! This beautiful park, located just minutes from downtown Vancouver, offers visitors a chance to explore the stunning natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest without spending a dime.

The Columbia River Waterfront Park is situated right along the banks of the mighty Columbia River, offering visitors stunning views of both the river and the surrounding scenery. Whether you're looking to go for a stroll, have a picnic, or simply sit and admire the view, this park is the perfect place to do so.

One of the highlights of the park is the large, grassy area that's perfect for playing frisbee, throwing a ball, or just sitting in the sun. The park also has a number of picnic tables and benches, making it easy to have a picnic or enjoy a snack while you take in the scenery.

If you're feeling more adventurous, be sure to check out the park's extensive network of walking and biking trails. These trails wind their way through the park's lush greenery and offer visitors a chance to get some exercise while experiencing the beauty of the Pacific Northwest up close.

In addition to its natural beauty, the Columbia River Waterfront Park also has a number of amenities that make it a great place to spend the day. The park has public restrooms, water fountains, and plenty of parking, making it easy and convenient to visit. There's even a small playground area for kids to enjoy!

Overall, if you're looking for a fun and free way to spend a day in Vancouver, WA, don't miss the Columbia River Waterfront Park. With its stunning views, endless trails, and convenient amenities, it's the perfect place to experience the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.


Take a hike in the Lacamas Heritage Trail

Source: www.visitvancouverwa.com
Characteristic Description
NameLacamas Lake Heritage Trail Access
TypeHiking area in Camas, Washington
Rating / Review count5 / 2
Address6224 NW El Rey Dr, Camas, WA 98607

Are you looking for some outdoor fun in Vancouver, WA without spending a dime? The Lacamas Heritage Trail might be the perfect option for you. Located just 20 minutes outside of downtown Vancouver, this trail offers a beautiful hike through the lush Pacific Northwest forests.

The Lacamas Heritage Trail is a 7.5-mile loop that winds through the Lacamas Lake Regional Park. The trail was originally a wagon road used by early settlers to transport goods to and from the nearby town of Camas. Today, it offers hikers a chance to see nature at its finest.

As you hike along the trail, you'll be surrounded by towering trees, gorgeous wildflowers, and stunning views of Lacamas Lake. The trail is well-maintained and easy to navigate, making it a great option for hikers of all levels.

There are several highlights along the trail that you won't want to miss. The first is the waterfall that's located about a mile and a half into the hike. The waterfall is a popular spot for photos and is a great place to take a break and enjoy the scenery.

Another highlight of the trail is the Camas Lily Fields. In the spring, these fields are covered in beautiful blue and purple blooms, which make for some amazing photo opportunities.

If you're looking for more of a challenge, you can take a detour off of the main trail and hike up to Round Lake. This trail is steeper and more rugged, but it offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding forest.

One of the best things about the Lacamas Heritage Trail is that it's completely free to hike. There are no entrance fees or parking fees, which makes it a great option for budget-conscious hikers.

If you're planning to visit the trail, be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes, bring plenty of water and snacks, and be prepared for changing weather conditions. The Pacific Northwest is known for its rainy weather, so it's always a good idea to bring a rain jacket or poncho just in case.

Overall, if you're looking for a beautiful and budget-friendly hike in the Vancouver area, the Lacamas Heritage Trail is definitely worth checking out.

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Tour the historic Fort Vancouver

Source: www.visitvancouverwa.com

If you're looking for free things to do in Vancouver, WA, then you're in luck! The city offers a variety of free attractions that you can visit without spending a dime. One of the best places to visit is the historic Fort Vancouver, located in the heart of the city.

Fort Vancouver is a national historic site that tells the story of the Pacific Northwest's early settlement and development. It was the first permanent European settlement in the area, and the site has been occupied by various military forces since the 1820s. Today, the site offers visitors a chance to learn about the history of the region through a variety of exhibits, tours, and special events.

One of the best ways to experience Fort Vancouver is to take a walking tour of the site. The tour is free and self-guided, so you can explore at your own pace. You'll start at the visitor center, where you can pick up a map and brochure that will guide you through the site's different buildings and exhibits.

As you make your way through the site, you'll see a variety of historic buildings, including the reconstructed fort itself, which is made from logs and features a large courtyard and palisade. You'll also see the historic homes of several former commanders, as well as the granary, blacksmith shop, and trading store.

One of the highlights of the tour is the Pearson Air Museum, which is located just outside the fort. The museum features a wide range of aircraft and exhibits that tell the story of aviation in the Pacific Northwest. You can explore the museum's outdoor exhibits, including a unique collection of airplanes, and tour the indoor galleries, which showcase artifacts and displays related to local aviation history.

If you're interested in history or just looking for a fun and educational way to spend an afternoon, then Fort Vancouver is definitely worth a visit. Best of all, it's completely free, so you can enjoy all that this amazing site has to offer without spending a dime.


Attend a free concert in Esther Short Park

Source: www.columbian.com

Are you looking for a free entertainment option in Vancouver, WA? Why not attend a free concert at Esther Short Park? Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Esther Short Park is a popular public park that hosts many events and activities throughout the year, including music concerts.

The park features a large outdoor stage and seating area, making it an ideal location for live performances. The city of Vancouver regularly sponsors free concerts at the park during the summer months. These concerts feature a variety of music genres including jazz, blues, rock, and pop. The best part? They’re completely free!

To stay up-to-date on upcoming concerts, check out the city's website, social media pages or the Vancouver Downtown Association website for their Summer Concert Series schedule. You can also keep an eye out for promotional flyers and posters around the city.

Besides free live music, Esther Short Park is also a great place to enjoy a picnic, take a stroll or simply relax on the lawn. The park has restrooms, benches, and plenty of open space to enjoy. During the warmer months, fountains are also turned on, providing both visual appeal and a refreshing mist to cool off in.

So, if you’re looking for a fun and free activity in Vancouver, WA, make sure to add attending a concert at Esther Short Park to your list of things to do. With great music, beautiful surroundings, and a lively atmosphere, there’s no better way to spend a summer evening in Vancouver.

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Admire art at the murals of Vancouver

Source: us-keepexploring.canada.travel

Vancouver, Washington is a city rich in history and culture, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the vibrant murals that adorn its streets. Located throughout the city, these stunning works of art are a testament to the creativity and talent of local artists, and provide a fascinating glimpse into the unique character of this Pacific Northwest gem.

One of the best places to admire the murals of Vancouver is in the downtown area, which is home to a number of large-scale pieces that showcase the city's deep roots in both industry and the arts. Among the most notable are the murals that grace the walls of the Post Office Building on West 11th Street, which feature bold and colorful depictions of notable figures and landmarks from the city's past and present.

Another great spot to appreciate Vancouver's murals is at the Esther Short Park Amphitheater, which hosts regular performances and events throughout the year. Here, visitors will find an impressive collection of murals that celebrate the park's namesake, as well as the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the diverse cultures that call this area home.

For those who prefer to explore the murals on foot, a stroll along Main Street will reveal a number of smaller yet no less impressive works that are tucked away in alleyways and side streets throughout the downtown area. Many of these pieces were commissioned as part of a citywide effort to revitalize the downtown district, and add a touch of vibrancy and character to the area that is sure to delight visitors of all ages.

Whether you're a seasoned art lover or simply appreciate the beauty of public murals, Vancouver, Washington is a city that offers something for everyone. With its rich history and stunning natural landscapes, this Pacific Northwest gem is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the best of what the region has to offer. So why wait? Come discover the murals of Vancouver today and experience the magic for yourself!


Stroll through the Vancouver Farmer's Market

Source: www.visitvancouverwa.com
Characteristic Description
NameVancouver Farmers Market
TypeFarmers' market
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.7 / 1,460
Address605 Esther St, Vancouver, WA 98660
Phone(360) 737-8298
HoursMonday - Closed
Tuesday - Closed
Wednesday - Closed
Thursday - Closed
Friday - Closed
Saturday - 9 AM–3 PM
Sunday - 10 AM–3 PM

Vancouver, WA may be known for its rich history, scenic beauty, and diverse culture, but did you know that it's also home to one of the best farmers markets in the Pacific Northwest? If you're looking for a fun and affordable way to spend a day out in Vancouver, look no further than the Vancouver Farmers Market.

Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the farmers market boasts over 250 vendors who offer fresh, locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, breads, and sweets. From May through October, the market is open on weekends, attracting locals and visitors alike with its delicious food, live music, handmade crafts, and friendly atmosphere.

One of the best things about the Vancouver Farmers Market is that admission is completely free. That's right – you don't need to pay a dime to enter the market, stroll along the rows of vendors, and sample some of the finest produce and treats that the region has to offer.

As you wander through the market, you'll be greeted by friendly faces and tantalizing aromas. You might start your visit with a cup of freshly roasted coffee or a warm, flaky croissant from one of the many bakeries. Then you can browse the colorful displays of seasonal fruits and veggies, admiring the plump strawberries, ripe peaches, and leafy greens that were grown just miles away.

You'll also find plenty of other edible delights at the market, such as artisanal cheeses, grass-fed beef, sustainably harvested seafood, and succulent smoked sausages. If you're in the mood for something sweet, there are plenty of options for that too, from buttery shortbread cookies to hand-dipped chocolates.

But it's not just about the food at the Vancouver Farmers Market – there's also a wide variety of non-food vendors who sell handmade arts and crafts, from intricate jewelry to handmade pottery to whimsical garden sculptures. You can chat with the artists and learn about their inspiration and process, or treat yourself to a unique souvenir that you won't find anywhere else.

Throughout the season, the Vancouver Farmers Market also hosts a variety of special events and activities, such as cooking demos, kids' activities, live music performances, and seasonal festivals like the Harvest Market and the Holiday Market. No matter what time of year you visit, there's always something new and exciting happening at the market.

So next time you're looking for a fun and free activity in Vancouver, head down to the farmers market and immerse yourself in the local culture and cuisine. You'll leave with a full bell and a happy heart, and maybe even a new appreciation for the farm-to-table movement.


Explore the Cathlapotle Plankhouse

Source: ridgefieldfriends.org
Characteristic Description
NameCathlapotle Plankhouse
Type30 Google reviews
Rating / Review count4.7 / 30
AddressRidgefield, WA 98642

If you're on a tight budget but still want to explore the beauty of Vancouver, Washington, there are plenty of free activities to add to your itinerary. One of the must-see attractions is the Cathlapotle Plankhouse in the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

The Cathlapotle Plankhouse is a replica of a traditional Chinookan longhouse that has been recreated using traditional techniques and materials. It serves as an interpretive center, allowing visitors to learn about the rich cultural history of the Chinook Nation and their interaction with the environment.

During your visit to the plankhouse, you can take a guided tour and learn about the history, customs and daily life of the Chinook people. You can also take a short trail that leads to the River S unit, where you can hike along the river or watch the wildlife that inhabits the area.

If you prefer to explore on your own, you can take a self-guided tour of the plankhouse and the surrounding area. There are interpretive signs placed throughout the site, providing information about the Chinookan culture, the traditional uses of different plants and animals, and the importance of the Columbia River to both the Chinook people and the local wildlife.

The Cathlapotle Plankhouse is open seasonally from April to October, with free admission for everyone. The guides and interpreters are knowledgeable and passionate about sharing their culture and heritage with visitors, making it a memorable experience for everyone.

In conclusion, the Cathlapotle Plankhouse is an excellent destination for those looking for free activities in Vancouver, Washington. It provides an opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the Chinook Nation while enjoying the natural beauty of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Make sure to schedule a visit to the Cathlapotle Plankhouse on your next trip to Vancouver, Washington.


Check out the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail

Source: www.onlyinyourstate.com
Characteristic Description
NameBurnt Bridge Creek Trail
TypeHiking area in Vancouver, Washington
Rating / Review count4.3 / 444
Address1617 N Devine Rd, Vancouver, WA 98661
Phone(360) 487-8311
HoursMonday - 6 AM–10 PM
Tuesday - 6 AM–10 PM
Wednesday - 6 AM–10 PM
Thursday - 6 AM–10 PM
Friday - 6 AM–10 PM
Saturday - 6 AM–10 PM
Sunday - 6 AM–10 PM

If you're looking for something free to do in Vancouver, Washington, consider checking out the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail. This trail offers visitors a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, allowing them to enjoy the beauty of nature and get some exercise at the same time.

The Burnt Bridge Creek Trail is a 8.3 mile paved trail that runs from Luke Jensen Sports Park in the east to Fruit Valley Community Park in the west. The trail follows the Burnt Bridge Creek and includes several bridges, boardwalks, and viewing platforms along the way. The scenery is beautiful, with abundant trees, shrubs, and wildlife to see.

One of the highlights of the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail is the Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway, a section of the trail that runs through a natural wetland. This section of the trail is especially popular with birdwatchers, who enjoy spotting a wide variety of waterfowl, including ducks, geese, and herons.

In addition to the natural beauty, the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail also offers several amenities for visitors. There are several restrooms and picnic areas along the trail, as well as playgrounds and sports fields at the Luke Jensen Sports Park and the Fruit Valley Community Park. The trail is also wheelchair-accessible, making it an ideal destination for visitors of all abilities.

Whether you're a resident of Vancouver, Washington, or just visiting the area, the Burnt Bridge Creek Trail is definitely worth a visit. It's a free and easy way to get outside, soak up some sunshine, and enjoy the beauty of nature.


Visit the Vancouver Community Library

Source: www.fovcl.org
Characteristic Description
NameVancouver Community Library
TypePublic library in Vancouver, Washington
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.6 / 295
Address901 C St, Vancouver, WA 98660
Phone(360) 906-5000
HoursMonday - 10 AM–6 PM
Tuesday - 9 AM–7 PM
Wednesday - 9 AM–7 PM
Thursday - 9 AM–7 PM
Friday - 10 AM–6 PM
Saturday - 10 AM–6 PM
Sunday - 10 AM–6 PM

If you're looking for something free to do in Vancouver, Washington, a great option is to visit the Vancouver Community Library.

This state-of-the-art library is located in downtown Vancouver and offers a wealth of resources and services, all available free of charge. Here are just a few reasons to check it out:

  • The Building: The Vancouver Community Library is a stunning piece of architecture. The five-story building features floor-to-ceiling windows that provide breathtaking views of the city and the Columbia River. The library is also designed to be as sustainable as possible, with features like a green roof, a rainwater harvesting system, and solar panels.
  • The Collection: The library has an extensive collection of books, audiobooks, and DVDs, as well as digital resources like e-books and online databases. Whether you're looking for the latest bestseller or a reference book for research, you're sure to find it here.
  • Programs and Events: The Vancouver Community Library offers a wide variety of programs and events for people of all ages. From storytimes for toddlers to book clubs for adults, there's always something going on. In addition, the library hosts guest speakers, concerts, art exhibits, and other special events throughout the year.
  • Technology: The library is well-equipped with technology resources, including public computers, free Wi-Fi, and printing and scanning services. The library also loans out e-readers and tablets, so you can read your favorite books on-the-go.
  • Meeting Rooms: If you need a space to hold a meeting or event, the library has several meeting rooms available to the public free of charge. The rooms are equipped with the latest technology and can accommodate groups of various sizes.

In conclusion, the Vancouver Community Library is a fantastic resource for anyone looking for something free to do in Vancouver, Washington. With its stunning architecture, extensive collection, exciting programs, and useful technology, there's something for everyone. So why not stop by and check it out?


Attend a free event at the Vancouver Community Centers

Source: www.visitvancouverwa.com

Looking for a fun and free way to spend your day in Vancouver, WA? The Vancouver Community Centers offer a variety of free events that are perfect for families, individuals, and groups. Whether you want to learn a new skill, enjoy the outdoors, or simply have a good time, there is something for everyone at these community centers.

Some of the most popular free events at the Vancouver Community Centers include arts and crafts workshops, fitness classes, family movie nights, and community festivals. These events take place throughout the year and are designed to cater to people of all ages and interests. Best of all, they are completely free to attend.

One of the best things about these events is that they are held in a safe and welcoming environment. The staff and volunteers at the Vancouver Community Centers are dedicated to creating a positive and inclusive space where everyone is free to participate and have fun. Whether you are attending alone or as part of a group, you are sure to feel welcome and appreciated.

Another great thing about these free events is that they are a great way to meet new people and make new friends. By attending these events, you will have the opportunity to connect with people who share your interests and passions. You may even find a new hobby or activity that you enjoy.

If you are interested in attending a free event at the Vancouver Community Centers, be sure to check out their schedule of events. There is always something happening at these community centers, so be sure to check back often to see what’s new. With so many great events to choose from, you are sure to find something that suits your interests and schedule.

In conclusion, attending a free event at the Vancouver Community Centers is a great way to have fun, meet new people, and explore new activities. With a wide range of events to choose from, there is something for everyone at these community centers. So why not check out their schedule today and start planning your next free adventure in Vancouver, WA?

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Frequently asked questions

Some of the best free outdoor activities in Vancouver, WA include exploring the Columbia River waterfront, hiking in the Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway, birdwatching at the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and visiting Klineline Pond for swimming and boating.

Yes, there are a few free museums in Vancouver, WA, such as the Clark County Historical Museum, Pearson Air Museum, and the Water Resources Education Center.

There are several locations where you can find free live music events in Vancouver, WA, such as Esther Short Park, Beaches Restaurant and Bar, and Columbia Credit Union Amphitheater.

Some free family-friendly activities in Vancouver, WA include visiting the Playground of Dreams, hiking or biking on the Discovery Trail, visiting the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, and exploring the Officer’s Row Historic District.

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Ruqayyah Bright

Hey there! I just read your blog post about free things to do in Vancouver, WA and I loved it! I recently moved to the area and have been looking for affordable ways to explore the city. Your suggestions were awesome and I can't wait to check them out. I'm especially excited about visiting Esther Short Park and exploring the beautiful gardens. Thanks for sharing such valuable information!
Hi there! Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm thrilled that you enjoyed my blog post and found the suggestions helpful. Vancouver, WA is a fantastic city with so much to offer, and I'm glad I could help you find affordable ways to explore it. Esther Short Park is definitely a must-visit - the gardens are simply stunning. I'm sure you'll have a great time exploring all the free things to do in the area. Enjoy your time in Vancouver, and feel free to reach out if you have any more questions or need further recommendations. Have a wonderful day!

Asa Becker

Hi! I stumbled upon your blog post about free things to do in Vancouver, WA and it was a lifesaver! I'm on a tight budget and was worried about how I'd entertain myself in the city. Your list of free activities gave me so many ideas. I'm really looking forward to hiking the Lacamas Lake Loop Trail and enjoying the stunning views. Keep up the great work and thanks for helping me discover all the wonderful things to do in Vancouver without breaking the bank!

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