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What to do on your last weekend of freedom…

back to school, vancouver, student, school, bcit

Well, despite how much we try to deny it, last weekend’s windstorm and the rainy week that followed are basically forcing us to admit that fall is here; and with the beginning of fall comes the beginning of a new school year.

Vancouver storm photo courtesy of @comicalreina

Vancouver storm
photo courtesy of @comicalreina

Which means it’s time to pay your tuition (which, depending on your program is 10-20 days after classes start, so don’t forget!), buy your books, and assess how much money you’ll have left to spend on coffee at the Stand or Timmy’s throughout the year. Having spent my fair share of early mornings in team meetings and late nights in the eh-pod, I know the importance of a solid coffee budget.

But the good news is, having a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun of living in Vancouver. I have been budgeting in this city for years so I’m here to keep you in the loop on all the Greater Vancouver happenings that fit a student budget (for those few glimpses of non-BCIT life that you’ll get over the next few months) along with a few tips here and there that I’ve learned along the way on saving a little extra!


Coming up in the next few days…

PNE & Playland

The PNE will be wrapping up its last few days this weekend so be sure to check it out while it’s still here!

This year’s new festivities include an outdoor Craft Beer Fest with a variety of beers to choose from. If you’re able to explore further than the craft beer section, you can check out the Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition, The Peter Pan musical, The Superhero Discovery Center, and Dinosaurs Alive! If all that wasn’t enough, the PNE is still offering up the classic Super Dogs, show home, farm animals, and concert series.

All of these activities are sure to fill an entire day making them worth the ticket price but if you buy your ticket online or at participating locations (such as 7-11 and Safeway) you get a discount. So there’s no real reason not to go.

Bonus tip: If you’re driving and want to save the $10 for parking, drive about 10 blocks down one of the side streets (such as Lillooet) until the no parking signs end. This ends up being about a 15-minute walk from the park but is free parking all day.

Where: PNE on Hastings and Renfrew

When: Now until Monday (open 11am until late)

How much: $13 if you buy online or at participating locations


Night Markets

Night markets have become all the rage during summer meaning they are popping up everywhere greater Vancouver (just check out this list of night markets courtesy of Vancity Buzz).

But my personal favourite has always been the classic International Summer Night Market in Richmond. The longest running of the night markets (like, it was cool before night markets were cool), the Richmond night market has everything you could want from vendors to food to entertainment. Plus, unlike a few of the other night markets, entrance to this one is free, so, perfectly within budget.

 Where: 12631 Vulcan Way (behind the Home Depot)

When: Fridays & Saturdays 6pm-11pm, Sunday 6pm-10pm

How much: Free


Victory Square Block Party

For those of you that are more into the music scene, check out the Victory Square block party full of live music and some What’s Up? Hot Dog tasty treats! This is the perfect event to meander downtown for. Show up, eat some hot dogs, and enjoy some great local talent.. what could be better?

Where: Victory Square on Hastings and Cambie

When: Sunday Sept. 6th from 1:30pm-9pm

How much: Free

So there you have it, a few student budget-friendly activities for your last weekend of freedom. The weather is meant to stay nice all weekend so be sure to get out and do something because this may well be your last chance.