Mother Nature has been teasing the return of warmer weather on the west coast of Canada, but we know it’ll be here soon! That means a new world of summer activities opens up for you and your international homestay student to enjoy!

Here are a few ideas of what’s happening around the summer within a short drive from Vancouver and Surrey, BC. 


Does your international student enjoy playing sports and being active? Summer in BC has no shortage of great outdoor physical activities you can enjoy as a family. Here are a few ideas:

  • Swimming – There are many great pools around the city to enjoy. Watermania in Richmond has a wave pool and slides. Newton Wave Pool in Surrey is a popular spot for water lovers. For a day of outdoor fun, check out Big Splash Water Park in Tsawwassen or Cultus Lake Waterslides in Chilliwack. 
  • Tennis, basketball, soccer – In BC, you’re never far from a free public field where you can play tennis, basketball, or soccer. Your local Parks and Recreation Department may also have a lacrosse or pickleball court. Check with your local parks and recreation department for more details.
  • Frisbee or Frisbee Golf – You can play frisbee in any park, but try looking for a frisbee golf course. Frisbee golf is similar to regular golf, except you use a frisbee instead of a ball and aim the frisbee into a metal net instead of a hole in the ground. These areas are usually free; just bring your frisbees and enjoy!

Another exciting idea is to engage in games that not only provide physical activity but also serve as a platform for English language practice. Encourage outdoor team games where verbal communication is key, such as volleyball or soccer.

Out in Nature

Canadians love spending time outside during summer! BC’s Lower Mainland has no shortage of great ways to enjoy the outdoors, regardless of physical ability. Here are some ideas to explore the great outdoors with your international student:

Campfire cooking:

Bring the whole family to one of our great parks, like McDonald Park, and enjoy a campfire or BBQ picnic. Be sure to check for fire restrictions when you go, as you may not be allowed open flames. However, you will generally be allowed portable propane BBQs and firepits. 

walks or Hikes:

There are so many great places to explore on foot, taking your time to take in the sights, sounds, and smells. Walking (or cycling) the Stanley Park seawall is a must for visitors to Vancouver. You can also venture further from the city for easy or challenging walks and hikes. A favourite quirky hike is Teapot Hill in Chilliwack (the trail is filled with painted teapots everywhere). There are great hikes along the Northshore mountains, Belcarra Park in the Tri-Cities, and up the Sea-to-Sky Highway on your way to Squamish and Whistler.  

Lake Sports:

BC has over 20,000 lakes to explore in the summer. Bring a small kayak or inflatable boat and take your student out on the water. Some lakes may have boat and lifejacket rentals if you don’t have your own. Check out Mill Lake, Harrison, Cultus Lake, and Hayward Lake for great beach and water activities for the whole family. 


BC is a popular destination for summer camping. If you’re lucky enough to snag a BC Parks campground, bring your international student. If the provincial sites are already booked (many book four months in advance and usually book up quickly), but there are many private campgrounds and recreational sites to book. 

Outdoor historical sights:

There are many places to learn about the history of our area outdoors. Bring your student to Fort Langley (be sure to head into town to support local shops and cafes, too), Burnaby Village Museum, and the butterfly garden at Queen Elizabeth Park. 

Cultus Lake Adventure Park:

Is your international student a thrill seeker? The best local outdoor ride and adventure park is in Chilliwack. Bring them to Cultus Lake Adventure Park for a day of rides and fun. 

Supporting local

BC is home to many local artisans, farms, and businesses. Bring your international student to support these local businesses this summer:

  • The Circle Farm Tour—The Fraser Valley area of BC is home to many agricultural businesses and artisan shops. Visit many of them on the Circle Farm Tour. This self-guided tour is excellent for those who want to experience (and taste) locally-made products and goodies.
  • Farmers Markets—Spring, Summer, and Fall are prime times for local farmers markets to pop up around town. Many are weekly events and are great places to sample new foods and scoop up the freshest ingredients from local farmers. 
  • Window shopping in Abbotsford—For a more casual day, visit historic downtown Abbotsford. Stop in a local cafe or restaurant for lunch or a refreshing drink. 

Indoor activities to cool off

When you need a break from the warm summer sun in the city, there are a few fun indoor summer activities to enjoy with your international student:

  • Laser Tag – Get a few families together and play laser tag at Play Abby. This location also has an indoor playground for your younger children.
  • Trampoline Parks Extreme Air Park in Langley is Canada’s largest indoor trampoline park with over 42,000 sqft enclosed, interlocking trampolines and other fun activities, 
  • Go Karting – There are several go-karting places in the Lower Mainland. Check out Fast Track Indoor Karting in Langley (they have great weekly specials, including 3-for-2 race days on Tuesday) or the electric go-karts at Speeders in Richmond.  

At home

Even though there are many great adventures around the community, sometimes, you may want to spend time at home with your student. You can still make it fun (and educational) at home by:

  • Involving them in cooking to practice their English and sample new foods
  • Rent a movie with English audio and subtitles so they can improve their language skills
  • Have a backyard picnic
  • Play lawn games or form teams and play Minute-to-Win-It games

There is so much fun to be had this summer with your international student.

If you are not yet a host family, we are looking for new homestay hosts now. If fostering global understanding and supporting the travel and cultural goals of youth sounds like fun, take the first step today. Learn about the requirements to become a host and apply today

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