Now autumn is upon us, it’s time to check out what October in Vancouver has in store for us. With two important occasions taking place – Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween – we have put together our top tips for your best October yet! Sit back and relax with friends and family as you indulge in pumpkin flavoured treats. Or test your nerve as you get spooked out by haunted houses and scary monsters!
10th October 2016 will play host to Canada’s Thanksgiving, so venture out and take part in all the festivities! In Vancouver, lace up your trainers for the famous Turkey Trot. This 10km run or walk starts at Granville Island at 8:30am and follows the scenic route of the Seawall. A sure-fire way to work up an appetite!
Thanksgiving is a time for everyone to come together and enjoy some famous dishes like maple roast turkey and pumpkin pie. In celebration of this foodie occasion, why not treat yourself and indulge in the most scrumptious food at our favourite restaurants – Maenam, Royal Dinette and Bauhaus? If you’ve still got energy left in the evening, carry on the party by heading down to The Roxy. Or if you fancy getting your dancing shoes on to some rhythm and blues, The Blue Martini Jazz Cafe is awesome!
One of our favourite autumnal traditions is to head to a Pumpkin Patch – if you’ve got kids (big or small), they will love this! There are lots of patches south of Vancouver, around Richmond and easily reachable either by car or public transport. One of our favourites is The Pumpkin Patch at Richmond Country Farms. You can ride a miniature train, watch performing vegetables (yes, really!) and pick out your favourite pumpkin to carve when you get home.
Halloween in Vancouver
From zombies and ghost trains to creepy cemeteries, Vancouver does not take Halloween lightly! With a four-day long festival of arts, performances, cosplay, films, comics, anime, games and makeup, Vancouver will celebrate its 3rd annual Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo between 13th – 16th October. The finale starts at 11am on 16th October when frightening characters, covered in blood and gore, flood the streets as they have their very own Halloween Parade. You’ll meet all sorts of dance school zombies and ghostly figures as they wander down Howe Street and back along Granville Street, spreading spooky joy as they go.
Ghost trains & haunted houses
Wanting to get even more spooked out this October? Well, there are plenty more haunted house attractions and creepy events taking place in Vancouver. Between 8th – 31st October, the Stanley Park Ghost Train will take you on a mystical journey to a realm known as ‘Day of the Dead’. Here you will experience a zombie adventure into the unknown, and will you return? No one is quite sure. A mariachi band of cockroaches serenades daredevils as they ride through a tunnel of flames presided over by the Aztec Lord and Lady of Death. Have your last meal as you picnic in the graveyard while souls dance with a 12ft skeleton.
In celebration of Halloween, the Playland theme park at the Pacific National Exhibition is transformed into the scariest thing you will ever witness! Fright Nights is a ghoul-ridden amusement park comprising of seven haunted houses, 15 blood-chilling rides, roaming bands and terrifying shows. It will leave you quivering in your boots! You’ve been warned… Between 7th – 31st October, you can get access to all haunted houses, shows and rides. (Note that there may be an additional charge for the terrifying Revelation ride).
Zombies & ghoulish dress up
Personally, we believe the best thing about Halloween is dressing up and finally getting to scare everyone else! Here is your chance to get involved – dress up in your spooky costume in the 1920s-era Burnaby Village Museum and act out a play in the Haunted Village. Between 27th – 30th October, witches, ghosts and other fairy-tale characters come together as they take a spin on the spooky carousel, and dance to songs spun by a live DJ. You must try out the Ice Cream Parlour (open from 6pm to 9pm) which will be serving up ghoulish snacks if the kids haven’t collected enough trick-or-treat sweets!
If none of the above has freaked you out enough, then perhaps Zombie Syndrome will! This is an interactive theatre adventure which hits the streets of Vancouver every October. Dead in the Water is the fifth instalment of Virtual Stage’s adventure. Your task is to save the world before the deadly Zombie Syndrome spreads across the globe. It’s so realistic you are bound to get the fright of your life!
With Thanksgiving and Halloween taking centre stage in October, it is such a fantastic time to visit. From eating out, concerts and fun celebratory parties, to jumping out of your seat on the spooky train journey, you will not only have a true Canadian experience but a very memorable one too!
Image credit: beautifulcataya (flickr.com), notoriousbill (flickr.com), Ruth Hartnup (flickr.com), Marc van der Chijs (flickr.com), PYONKO OMEYAMA (flickr.com), superherb (flickr.com)