Summer Outings with Toddlers: Festivals & Events in Victoria

At the end of March, I wrote a post called Spring Things to do with Toddlers: Festivals & Events in Victoria. I talked about how our little family loves our weekend adventures. My iPhone calendar is full of all of the festivals and events that I have been able to find, and each weekend we take a look at what’s going on, and what we want to explore. As the month of June continues to fly by, summer is just around the corner! So here is my list of Summer 2016 (July/August) family friendly festivals and events in Victoria and the peninsula. I haven’t attended all of these events before, so can’t guarantee your enjoyment … but many of them are events we have loved in the past!

*Update: new events added July 2nd, 2016 (marked with an asterisk)

Moss Street Market, 10am-2pm
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 Thursday night market, 5:30-8:30pm
The Thursday night market is one of my favorite 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!

SUNDAYS, JUNE 19th – AUGUST 14th, 2016
Breakwater Market at Ogden Point, 11am-4pm
The Breakwater Market includes specialty foods, crafts and gifts, fresh farm produce, food, and other items all handmade or homegrown on Vancouver Island. Local musicians also perform at the market’s bandstand.

JUNE 24th – JULY 3rd, 2016
Jazz Fest
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.

MONDAY – FRIDAY, JULY 4th – end of AUGUST, 2016
Play in the Park, 5:30-8:30pm
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.

Sidney Days 2016
Sidney’s Canada Day celebration begins on the afternoon of June 30th with a BBQ, entertainment, and fireworks. The festivities continue on July 1st, and include a parade at 11:30am, the Family Fun Fair at Iroquois Park, and more. The Sidney Canada Day parade is always a hit in our family!

FRIDAY JULY 1st, 2016
Gorge Canada Day Picnic, 9am-4pm
Gorge Canada Day is a full day celebration including a parade at 9am, pancake breakfast, artisan market, car show, busker’s corner, food vendors, and more.

SUNDAY JULY 3rd, 2016*
Sidney’s Annual Sidewalk Sale, 10am-4pm
Check out Sidney’s biggest sale, with 40 stories participating, and live music at two locations along Beacon Avenue.

THURSDAYS, JULY 7th – AUGUST 18th, 2016*
Summer Storytime at the Sidney Library, 10:30-11:30am
A weekly story time event for little ones ages 0-5 years, that includes songs, rhymes, stories and movement.

Eats & Beats at the Beach, 1-8pm
This event was held for the first time in 2015, and apparently very well attended. Come and enjoy food, music, and other activities on the beaches of Colwood.

SATURDAY JULY 9th, 2016*
Summer Reading Fun: Klutz Crafts – at Tanner’s Books, 10am-3pm
Join Tanner’s Books for drop-in stories, games, crafts, and other fun activities!

SUNDAY JULY 10th, 2016
Saanich Strawberry Festival, 11am-3pm
We took Baby E to this event last year, and really enjoyed it! 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, hand drum workshops (loved this!), inflatable slide and obstacle course, and arts and crafts stations.

SUNDAYS, JULY 10th – AUGUST 28th, 2016
Summer Sounds, 2-4pm
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.

JULY 15th – 24th, 2016
Victoria International Busker’s Festival
This 10 day festival is packed with entertainment from professional street performers. Enjoy shows of everything from flame throwers, to musicians, to magicians!

SATURDAY JULY 16th, 2016
Moss Street Paint-In, 11am-9pm
The Moss Street Paint-In is a free event held along Moss Street from Dallas Road to Fort 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!

SATURDAY JULY 23rd, 2016*
Summer Reading Fun: Fancy Nancy – at Tanner’s Books, 10am-3pm
Join Tanner’s Books for drop-in stories, games, crafts, and other fun activities!

SUNDAY JULY 31st, 2016
Symphony Splash, 1-10pm
The Symphony Splash is held in the inner harbour, where the Victoria Symphony plays from a barge. The orchestra performs at 7:30pm, but 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, and more.

Cadboro Bay Festival, 11am-3pm
Held at Gyro Park, this festival will have everything from bouncy castles and face painting, to arts and crafts stations, food, band performances, and world class sand sculpting!

FRIDAY – SUNDAY, AUGUST 12th – 14th, 2016
Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival is held at the Inner Harbour, and includes a food court, beer garden, races, and more.

Summer Reading Fun: Pirates – at Tanner’s Books, 10am-3pm
Join Tanner’s Books for drop-in stories, games, crafts, and other fun activities!

Saanichton Family Festival, 9am-2pm
This festival, held at the Saanichton Fairgrounds, will include games, prizes, inflatable obstacle course, and vendors from the Peninsula Country Market.

Summer Reading Fun: Paw Patrol – at Tanner’s Books, 10am-3pm
Join Tanner’s Books for drop-in stories, games, crafts, and other fun activities!

SATURDAYS, MARCH 26th – OCTOBER 29th, 2016
Saltspring Saturday Market, 8:30am-4pm
Ok, so this one isn’t in Sidney … actually, it’s not even on the island! For a fun summer excursion with the family, try taking the ferry over to Saltspring Island and exploring the Saturday market.

I can’t wait to check out some of these events with my family this summer, and hope that you will enjoy them as well!




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