5 weekend events in and around Vancouver May 15-18

It's the Victoria Day long weekend for many families and there's no shortage of things to do to keep busy. Here are On the Coast's top five picks of activities to kick off the first long weekend of summer 2015.

Ride the roller coaster, paddleboard in Whistler or go for a stroll with your doctor

Playland Amusement Park opens on Saturday and is just one of the many outdoor activities happening in and around Vancouver this weekend. (Vancouverfestivals.info)

It's the Victoria Day long weekend for many families and there's no shortage of things to do for the first three-day weekend of summer 2015.

Get your fill of cotton candy and mind-spinning rides at Playland, head up the Sea-to-Sky to celebrate outdoor recreation, or shop for local fare at the many farmers markets opening this month throughout the Lower Mainland.

Here are On the Coast's top five picks of how to spend the weekend:

1. Playland
Playland opens this weekend at the PNE and all of the classics are back including the Wooden Roller coaster, the Hellavator and the Wave Swinger. Try your hand at one of the many carnival games, go on a pirate adventure with the kids or satisfy your sweet tooth with some cotton candy and sugar-covered mini donuts.
When: May16 - September 20​

2. Farmers Markets 
Trout Lake Farmers Market is open early this year (eatlocal.org)

Vancouver Summer Markets are celebrating their 20th anniversary and many are open earlier than usual this season. Buy some local produce and artisanal products to take home or grab some snacks and soak up the beautiful day at Trout Lake or in Kitsilano.
When: May 16 - 17

3. Great Outdoors Festival
Great Outdoors Festival gives visitors the first taste of what summer in the mountains is all about. (Great Outdoors Festival)

Celebrate the convergence of summer and winter at Whistler's Great Outdoors Festival. You can try your hand at paddle boarding, take a yoga class or watch one of the many concerts and street performances throughout the town. There's plenty of activities for all ages and skill levels and most of the events are free!
When: May 15 - 18​

4. Cloverdale Chili Cook-off
Visitors can vote for their favourite chili on Friday in Cloverdale (Tourism Surrey)

Whether you like it mild and sweet or hot and spicy, the 18th Annual Cloverdale Chili Cook-off offers food that will satisfy everyone's palates. Guests can sample a variety of chilis and vote for the winner while watching skateboarders compete in the World Freestyle Round-up Championship.
When: May 15

5. Walk with your Doc

This event was started in 2010 to educate British Columbians about the health benefits of daily walking. So far, there has been 200 walks across B.C with hundreds of doctors and thousands of people participating. As an added incentive to take a stroll, organizers are giving participants a free pedometer. Sign up online for a walk near you.
When: May 9 - 17