Guide to visiting our parks

Tips for visiting or planning an event in Vancouver's parks.


Smoking and campfires are prohibited in parks and beaches. If you spot a fire, or smell or see smoke, phone 9-1-1.

Park Rangers

Park Rangers patrol parks and beaches to:

  • Provide visitor information and wayfinding
  • Educate the public on park regulations
  • Enforce Park Board By-laws
  • Support permitted events and filming
  • Support first responders and other agencies
  • Connect homeless individuals with support
  • Respond to reported park concerns

Park Rangers are not police. Phone 9-1-1 if you have an emergency that requires police, fire, or ambulance.

Fire safety

Help keep parks fire safe in any season:

  • Stay on designated trails
  • Make sure propane barbecues are 75 cm (29.5") off the ground
  • Place your barbecue on a picnic table
  • Properly douse and dispose of charcoal if used
  • Look for fire hazard signs
  • When fire hazard ratings are extreme, do not use charcoal or wood burning barbecues
  • Do not barbecue on or next to dry grass

Destination parks

Work up a sweat or pack a picnic and explore at your own pace at one of three destination parks.

Stanley Park is a magnificent green oasis in the midst of an urban landscape. Explore 400 hectares of natural West Coast rainforest.

Queen Elizabeth Park is the highest point in Vancouver and makes for spectacular views of the park, city, and mountains on the North Shore.

Hastings Park is one of Vancouver's largest urban parks with a combination of recreational activities, nature, and entertainment venues.


Parks are a great venue for special events. Depending on the type of event, you may need to book the park or get a permit.

Private recreation

If you want to host an organized activity, whether or not you charge a fee, you need a permit.


  • Private fitness and yoga classes
  • Open water swim practices
  • Dog obedience lessons
  • And more

Sporting events

Application processes vary depending on the size, scope, and location of your event.



You need a park wedding ceremony permit if:

  • Your group is more than 15 people
  • You have any setup (tables, chairs, archways)
  • You want a designated wedding site for your exclusive use

Prefer a park site that is not a designated wedding site? Apply for a special event permit.

Golf courses

Our three golf courses offer beautiful settings for your:

  • Private party
  • Business meeting or seminar
  • Banquet
  • Wedding reception
  • Half- or full-day retreat

Other events

Organizing a different type of event, including events that don't take place just within parks grounds (example: parades and fun runs)? 

Review special events permits


Picnic tables are first-come first-serve, except at designated sites with signs.

Reserving sites

Reserve a designated picnic site if you want a site:

  • For more than 50 people (or 25 at Maple Grove Park)
  • Exclusively for your group, regardless of size
  • With shelter, kitchens, and access to water and electricity

Special event permits

Apply for a special event permit if:

  • Your group is 150 people or larger
  • You want your picnic at a location that isn't a designated picnic site

Barbecue rules

  • Barbecues must be at least 75 cm (29.5") off of the ground
  • Douse coals from barbecues with cold water 
  • During extreme fire warnings, only propane barbecues allowed
  • No barbecues on sandy beach areas

Get fire safety tips


Dogs are welcome in all of Vancouver's parks and must be on leash unless they are in a designated off-leash area.

Rules for dogs in parks

You're responsible for the actions of your dog and must:

  • Pick up and dispose of your dog's waste
  • Have a valid licence for your dog
  • Visit beaches with off-leash areas if bringing your dog

Breaking the rules may result in a $250 to $2,000 fine under the Animal Control By-law (104 KB).

Dog waste

Red dog waste bins are located at several parks.

If you're in a park without red bins:


Find a never-ending list of things to do, no matter your age. There are more than 160 playgrounds, almost 150 playing fields, 5 outdoor pools, and more.


Our golf courses and pitch and putts are open all year.

You can book tee times for our three golf courses online. Pitch and putts are first-come, first served.

For exclusive offers, quick booking, and stats tracking, download the free VanGolf app.

Tennis courts

There are 174 tennis courts throughout the city.

With the exception of 6 courts in Stanley Park, casual play is on a first-come, first-served basis.

If people are waiting to use the courts, players have 30 minutes maximum to play.


Vancouver has eight ocean-side beaches and one freshwater lake. 

Lifeguards are on duty 11:30am to 8:30pm from Victoria Day to Labour Day. 

Skateboard parks

Nine skate parks are located around the city:

Outdoor pools

There are five outdoor pools in Vancouver:

Most are open from Victoria Day weekend to Labour Day weekend.

Water parks and wading pools

Water parks and wading pools are a fun, free way to cool off in the summer.

All water parks have user-activated switches to help conserve water. 

Water parks and pools have limited or no supervision.


Rain or shine, Vancouver's gardens inspire and soothe with their beauty.

There are admission fees to enter the featured gardens - check each garden's webpage for fees. 

Bloedel Conservatory is an indoor tropical paradise in Queen Elizabeth Park. 

  • Three different climate zones
  • 200+ free-flying exotic birds 
  • 500+ exotic plants and flowers
  • Healing garden that engages all of your senses
  • The Conservatory Gift Shop

VanDusen Botanical Garden is a 55-acre oasis. Explore an Elizabethan hedge maze and unwind in a serene setting. VanDusen has something for everyone to enjoy. 

  • Sculptures featuring artists like Bill Reid, David Marshall, and Sebastian
  • Guided, group, and self-guided tours
  • Cart tours for people with mobility issues
  • Indoor visitor centre
  • Casual dining and gift shop

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden is a tranquil garden in the heart of Vancouver's Chinatown. The stunning garden is an authentic representation of Ming Dynasty-era tradition. 

  • Winding paths, rocks, and lush plants
  • Unique rock forms, lily-covered pond, and pagoda
  • Beautiful vistas
  • Next to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park

Free gardens are also available, including the Ted and Mary Grieg Rhododendron Garden and Rose Garden in Stanley Park, and the Quarry Gardens and Rose Garden in Queen Elizabeth Park.