This guide has been made possible and sponsored by Used.ca. They are involved in many local events year-round and we are grateful for their support in helping us provide this resource for Greater Victoria families.
With this recent sunshine and heat, it feels like summer is finally here. Summer is one of my favourite times of year (the other favourite is Christmas!) and it’s partly because of all of the events and festivities around town. My poor husband … I think he must spend a good chunk of time every morning accepting the iPhone calendar invites I send him, with all of the fun events that I want to check out as a family. But we love our weekend explorations!
Here are some of the festivals and events I’m hoping to check out with my family this summer. Hopefully you might enjoy some of them too! If I’ve missed a fun family-friendly event please let me know, and I’ll create a calendar invite for my husband ASAP! 🙂
ONGOING SUMMER EVENTS
Moss Street Market
Saturdays, 10am-2pm, May – October 2017
The Moss Street market is always a fun place to wander around on a sunny Saturday! You can find various fresh fruits/veggies/crafts/art for sale, yummy lunch options, and even a kids tent with crafts and activities. We used to live close by, and loved exploring this market on Saturday mornings!
Sidney Street Market
Thursdays, 5:30-8:30pm, May 18th – August 31st 2017
The Thursday night market is one of my favourite summer activities! Beacon Avenue is lined with vendors for jewelry, clothing, fruits and veggies, baked goods, and so much more. There’s live music, and numerous delicious food vendors to choose from. A perfect evening outing!
Breakwater Market at Ogden Point
Sundays, 11am-4pm, June 25th – August 13th 2017
The Breakwater Market includes specialty foods, crafts and gifts, fresh farm produce, food, and other handmade or homegrown items. Local musicians also perform at the market’s bandstand. I have yet to go, but can’t wait to check it out this year!
Local Outdoor Movies
Various showings in July & August 2017
For older kids (or date night for parents!), try catching an outdoor movie at Beacon Hill! Six shows are being shown throughout the month of August, all starting at 9pm.
Esquimalt is also offering a series of 5 outdoor movies at Bullen Park.
Play in the Park with Panorama Recreation
Monday – Friday, 5:30-8:30pm, July & August 2017
Every evening this summer (Monday – Friday), come and join Panorama Recreation at a different park around the peninsula! Bring the family for an evening of face painting, group games, the inflatable obstacle course, and more. The Launch Party on Monday July 3rd at Tulista Park will also include food options for purchase from Thrifty Foods Culinary Services.
Sidney Open Air Library
Tuesdays, 10am-12pm, July 4th – August 22nd 2017
Saanich Peninsula Literacy and partners are bringing back the Open Air Library at Sidney’s Beacon Park this summer! This event includes reading material and fun for all ages.
Music in the Park with Saanich Parks and Recreation
Tuesdays, 6-8pm, July 4th – August 29th 2017
Pack a picnic dinner and head to a different park each week to enjoy live music, face painting for kids, and food for purchase!
Sidney Summer Sounds Concerts
Sundays, 2-4pm, July 9th – August 27th 2017
Summer Sounds is held at Beacon Park (the bandstand at the foot of Beacon Avenue) every Sunday afternoon during the summer. Take a blanket and umbrella, and enjoy a beautiful summer afternoon with live music and a front row view of the ocean! We have been to these concerts in the past, and always enjoyed them.
Chemainus Theatre Festival
July 15th – August 13th 2017
This isn’t exactly a local event, but it looks like so much fun! The drive is probably an hour or so, but it would be fun to make a day of it, and check out the classic Narnia story with the family!
CRD Summer Nature Outings
Varied dates/times and locations
The CRD offers numerous nature outings and hikes throughout the summer, and most events are free. The age range for each event varies; some events are drop-in and others require registration.
JULY FESTIVALS & EVENTS
June 23rd – July 2nd, 2017
Although Jazz Fest has many paid evening performances, there are also free daytime shows that could be enjoyed with the whole family! Scroll almost to the bottom of this schedule to find the free shows at Centennial Square (under Free Performances and Workshops).
Sidney Days 2017
June 30th – July 2nd 2017
Sidney’s Canada Day celebration runs June 30th to July 2nd and includes a Thrifty Foods Picnic in the Park, Performance on the Pier, Musical Fireworks, Canada Day Parade, Family Fun Day, and much more. Check out the website for specific event details and times.
Gorge Canada Day Picnic
Saturday July 1st 2017, 8:30am-4pm
Gorge Canada Day is a full day celebration including a parade at 9am, pancake breakfast, artisan market, car show, kids activities, food vendors, live entertainment, and much more.
Saanich Strawberry Festival at Beaver Lake Park
Sunday July 9th 2017, 11am-3pm
The Strawberry Festival is held at Beaver Lake Park, and is a free event. Some of the highlights include: strawberries and ice cream, face painting, games, arts and crafts stations, bouncy castles, and live performances.
30th Annual TD Art Gallery Paint-In
Saturday July 15th 2017, 11am-4pm
The Moss Street Paint-In is a free event held along Moss Street. Artists from the island and the province set up along Moss Street to showcase and demonstrate their art. This is a fun event that draws a huge crowd!
Colwood Eats & Beats at the Beach
Saturday July 15th 2017, 1-9pm
This event was held for the first time in 2015, and although I’ve never been, it sounds like a fun day of activities! Head out and enjoy food, music, and other activities on the beaches of Colwood.
Hertitage Acres 50th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday July 15th & Sunday 16th 2017, 9am-3pm
I haven’t been able to find out many details about this event yet, but it does sound like the mini trains will be running!
AUGUST FESTIVALS & EVENTS
Victoria Symphony Splash
Sunday August 6th 2017, 1-10pm
The Symphony Splash is held in the Inner Harbour, where the Victoria Symphony plays from a huge floating stage. There is a family zone on the lawns of the Empress Hotel from 1-4pm. The family zone will include face painting, an Instrument Petting Zoo, bouncy castle, craft, musical performances at 2pm and 3pm, and more.
Campfire Storytime at the Sidney Library
Tuesday August 8th 2017, 6:30-7:15pm
Gather around the (fake) campfire for a fun evening of campfire stories, crafts, songs, and snacks. All ages; please register for the event with the library.
Cadboro Bay Festival
Sunday August 13th 2017, 11am-3pm
Held at Gyro Park, this festival will have everything from bouncy castles, to arts and crafts stations, food, and sand sculpting!
Victoria Dragonboat Festival
Friday August 18th – Sunday August 20th 2017
The Dragonboat Festival includes the races, beer gardens, live bands, and much more.
FringeKids Fest at Market Square
Saturday August 26th 2017, 11am
A free event for the kids including crafts, activities, performances, and a giant cardboard castle for the kids to paint! I have yet to check out this event, but it sounds like fun!
SEPTEMBER FESTIVALS & EVENTS
September 2nd – 4th 2017
The Saanich Fair is a true fair with midway rides – but there is always so much else to see and do! Typically there are animals, performances, games, market with local businesses … and much more!
Vancouver Island Baby Fair
September 30th – October 1 2017
The 11th annual Vancouver Island Baby Fair at Pearkes Recreation Centre featuring everything under one roof for prenatal, birth, breastfeeding, babies, toddlers, preschoolers, parents, and grandparents too!
Do you have any other favourite summer events and festivals? Please let us know, and we will add it to the list!
If staying away from the crowds is more your family’s preference, check out our post of our 11 mom-voted parks around Victoria that we love too! Another great place to find local events is at Used.ca Victoria’s Events page.