Autumn 2023: Exploring 11 Vibrant Fall Activities in Vancouver
Hey there, fellow fall enthusiasts! Ready to dive into the magic of autumn in Vancouver? As the air gets crisper and the leaves start their mesmerizing transformation, our city comes alive with a symphony of vibrant colors, cozy vibes, and exciting experiences.
So grab your pumpkin-spiced latte and your comfiest sweater – we're about to take you on a journey through the very best fall activities Vancouver has to offer. Get ready to immerse yourself in pumpkin patches, scenic drives, artsy festivals, and so much more.
1. Oktoberfest Harvest Haus at the PNE
When autumn paints Vancouver with its golden hues, the city puts on its festive hat and welcomes Oktoberfest with open arms. And where better to celebrate than at the PNE with the Oktoberfest Harvest Haus?
Now, let's get one thing straight - while Munich might host the most renowned Oktoberfest in the world, Vancouver isn't far behind in terms of spirit and fervor. The city's rendition of this traditional German beer festival is an experience you won't want to miss, especially if you're seeking authentic fall activities in Vancouver for 2023.
Imagine this: You're surrounded by fellow festival-goers, many of whom have donned their best lederhosen or dirndls.
The air is filled with the infectious tunes of German accordion and polka music, and every foot seems to tap in rhythm. As the music plays, you're handed a frothy beer, and the aroma of sizzling sausages and tangy sauerkraut fills your nostrils.
It's not just about the beer, though that's undeniably a highlight. It's the atmosphere. The camaraderie. The sense that, even if just for a few hours, you're transported to a German village square, celebrating the harvest season.
2.Pumpkin Patch Adventures
Picture yourself stepping onto a local farm, the sun casting a golden glow over rows and rows of pumpkins.
From tiny ones that fit in the palm of your hand to those giant pumpkins that challenge you to lift, there’s a joy in hunting for that perfect pick. And trust me, in Vancouver during the fall season, the hunt is as thrilling as the find!
Taves Family Farms
When you step onto Taves Family Farms, the first thing that catches your eye is the vast expanse of their Pumpkin Patch. Here, you're not just picking a pumpkin; you're choosing a story, a memory to take home. Whether you're in the mood for a baking adventure or preparing for Halloween, they've got you covered.
Fancy making a classic pumpkin pie? The smaller ones, particularly the Cinderella and sugar pumpkins, are your best bet. And for those eager little hands wanting to carve an impressive jack-o-lantern? There's a multitude of larger ones just waiting to be transformed!
But what truly sets Taves apart is their unique array of heirloom pumpkins. Ever seen a pumpkin in blush pink, blue, or pristine white? It's a sight to behold! And for a touch of fairytale magic, don't forget to visit the enchanting Princess Carriage.
With prices ranging from a mere $1 to $35 for those special biggies, there's a pumpkin for every pocket and purpose.
Richmond Country Farms
Every year, the Pumpkin Patch of Richmond Country Farms witnesses a footfall of thousands. Be it the giggling preschoolers, the enthusiastic elementary students, or the young-at-heart adults; the excitement here is palpable.
And what's a farm visit without some toe-tapping music? With the in-house Farm Band, "The Country Pumpkins", setting the mood, and the many wagon entertainers, there’s never a dull moment. Get ready to let your hair down and play in the hay!
The hay wagon rides are a particular highlight. As you traverse past the serene duck ponds and cascading waterfalls, you'll be greeted by corn stalks, radiant sunflowers, quirky decorations, and oddly authentic buildings that seem to have been plucked straight from Transylvania.
Before embarking on your pumpkin quest, take a moment to visit the animal viewing area. Although it's tempting, remember to refrain from touching or feeding the farm animals.
And as a cherry on top, once you've had your fill of pumpkin hunting, a crisp BC-grown Spartan apple awaits you as a snack. For the wine enthusiasts, the Country Vines Winery is just a stone's throw away.
Nestled perfectly for an autumnal outing, Maan Farms boasts of its renowned Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze, making it a hotspot for families, especially those with little ones.
The magic of watching kids' eyes light up as they venture out into the field to handpick their very own Halloween pumpkins is a sight to cherish. Add to that the exhilarating journey through the corn maze, and you've got yourself a perfect fall day out!
The festivities at Maan Farms usually stretch from late September right up to Halloween. While 2023 dates are yet to be confirmed as of late August, if the past year is any indicator, you can expect another stellar season.
Now, a word to the thrill-seekers: Maan Farms does love its spooks! The Haunted Corn Maze, coupled with three other spine-chilling experiences, caters specifically to those seeking some adrenaline-pumping Halloween scares.
Meanwhile, the Autumn Fall Activities are tailored more for a light-hearted, family-friendly experience. So, whether you're in for a fright or some wholesome fun, Maan Farms has something for everyone.
3. Biking in Pacific Spirit Regional Park
When the bustle of city life feels overwhelming, a sweet escape waits just around the corner in Vancouver.
Picture this: the sun filters gently through the turning leaves, the cool autumn breeze carries a hint of pine, and all you can hear is the soft whirr of your bicycle tires. Where, you ask? None other than the stunning Pacific Spirit Regional Park.
Tucked away just a stone's throw from the city's heart, this park offers biking enthusiasts an experience like no other.
As you pedal your way through its myriad trails, you'll be transported to a world blanketed in serene forests and tranquil pathways. The enchanting blend of nature and freedom makes it a go-to for those looking for a moment of respite.
What makes biking in Pacific Spirit Regional Park even more enticing is the versatility of its trails.
Whether you're a novice biker seeking a leisurely ride through wide, easy paths or an adrenaline junkie craving some challenging hilly terrain, there's a route tailored just for you in this fun figure-eight adventure.
4. Fall Festivals
Each festival in Vancouver tells a story, celebrates a tradition, or shares a slice of the city's rich tapestry of cultures.
Music, dance, art, and crafts - there's a vibrant melange of activities that cater to all ages and interests. Families, couples, solo travelers - there's something for everyone.
Great Outdoors Comedy Festival
As autumn graces Vancouver with its vibrant hues, the city comes alive not just with the rustle of leaves but with hearty laughter echoing from Kinsmen Park.
Nestled between the iconic High Level Bridge and Walterdale Road, this picturesque locale becomes the epicenter of chuckles and guffaws during the Great Outdoors Comedy Festival. It's an exquisite blend of nature's tranquility and the contagious mirth of live comedy.
Imagine settling down on the lush green grass and some of the finest comedians taking the stage to regale you with their tales and quips.
The festival's unique hybrid setup ensures that every laugh-seeker finds their perfect spot – be it at the posh VIP Reserved Tables or the cozy General Admission space.
But what's comedy without a little extra zing? Enter The Garden – Powered by Chinook Cannabis. Adding a laid-back twist to the comedy extravaganza, this spot is a haven for those looking to amplify their festival vibes.
Whether you're up for some friendly yard games or just want to bask in the chill garden ambiance, The Garden has got you covered. And for the enthusiasts, their special curated cannabis menu, tailored just for the Great Outdoor Comedy Festival, is the cherry on top. Whether you pre-purchase your favorites or decide on a whim, the festival ensures that your chosen delights are delivered right to you.
Scheduled for Saturday, September 23, from the golden hours of NOON right till 10 PM, the Shipyards Festival is truly a celebration of Vancouver’s vibrant spirit. Spread across multiple stages, music reverberates in every corner.
From soulful tunes to foot-tapping numbers, there's something for every music enthusiast here. And while your ears are treated to harmonious melodies, let's not forget the visual feast as you overlook the shimmering waters.
Now, what's a festival without some delightful sips, right? The site-wide beer garden ensures that you toast to the perfect day with your favorite brew in hand.
As you stroll, local vendors showcase their unique offerings, each echoing the city's eclectic charm.
But the Shipyards Festival isn’t just for the adults. It truly is a family affair, with myriad activities crafted to captivate the young ones. And the icing on the cake?
The newly introduced Car Free Day North Vancouver Zone on Carrie Cates, promoting sustainability while ensuring an uninterrupted festive spirit.
EAT! VANCOUVER FOOD + COOKING FESTIVAL
On November 1st, food lovers from near and far converge upon the city to partake in the legendary EAT! Vancouver Food + Cooking Festival.
This isn't just another food festival, folks. It's Canada's most awaited and largest consumer food celebration!
Nestled in the heart of the city at the iconic BC Place, EAT! Vancouver unfurls a canvas painted with the colors of delectable dishes from British Columbia and across Canada.
Imagine walking through stalls, each one presenting a tale of flavors, curated by passionate restaurateurs and food suppliers. The aroma, the sights, and the sounds create a melody that resonates with every food enthusiast's heart.
But EAT! Vancouver is not just about indulgence. It's also a battleground. A friendly one, mind you, where chefs, armed with their spoons and spatulas, compete to claim the top spot.
While seasoned chefs battle it out with their signature dishes, young culinary talents are not far behind. The Junior Culinary Competition is a testament to the budding apprentice chefs, offering them a platform to showcase their skills and win accolades.
5. Embrace Autumn with Cozy Cooking Classes
When autumn's crisp breeze sweeps through Vancouver and occasional drizzles dampen the outdoors, many of us are drawn to the warmth and comfort of our homes.
But staying indoors doesn't mean missing out on the vibrant fall activities Vancouver has to offer. Enter the cozy world of indoor cooking classes: a delightful fusion of fun, learning, and scrumptiousness.
Chocolate Making Class
CLASS 0 - Decoding Chocolate's DNA:
Chocolate, at its core, is a blend of meticulously chosen ingredients. This workshop is the perfect starting point for novices, unveiling the key ingredients that define chocolate.
By the end, participants will have a clearer understanding of why certain chocolates taste the way they do, paving the way for future chocolate adventures.
CLASS 1 - Journey from Cacao to Creation:
This isn't just any ordinary workshop; it's a full-fledged voyage into chocolate's very soul. Here, participants are treated to an engaging session where they discover the transformation of cacao beans into delectable chocolate.
And the best part? You get to channel your inner chocolatier, handcrafting and taking home your own unique bars!
CLASS 2 - The Art of Tasting Chocolate:
Ever wondered how some people detect those subtle hints of berry or the nuanced tones of caramel in chocolate? This class is your gateway to becoming a chocolate connoisseur. Dive deep into the layers of taste as you traverse through chocolates of diverse origins and processes, truly savoring each bite.
Timbertrain Latte Art Essentials Class
Autumn in Vancouver is synonymous with crisp mornings and cozy sweaters, but add to that the warmth of a freshly brewed latte adorned with intricate art, and it’s pure magic.
But hey, what if you could craft that magic yourself? Enter: The Latte Art Essentials Class by Timbertrain.
Now, if you’re picturing an intimidating barista setup, put those thoughts to rest! The class, tailored for beginners, promises a blend of science and art.
Starting off with understanding milk's chemistry – yes, there's science behind that velvety froth – participants are equipped with the knowledge and techniques to steam it just right. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Get hands-on with the Breville home espresso machine, a fantastic tool that you can use to recreate cafe-quality lattes at home.
The Learning Curve:
While at the DEPOT location, an intimate space ideal for honing skills, you're in the capable hands of a seasoned barista.
Their expertise will guide you through the mesmerizing dance of pouring milk to form captivating designs like hearts, rosettas, and those delicate tulips. By the end of it, you'll surprise yourself with the art you create with just a tilt of a jug.
Flourist Fresh Pasta Class
When the autumn leaves begin to fall, Vancouverites know it's time to indulge in heartwarming, home-cooked meals. And what's more heartwarming than a plate of freshly made pasta?
If the art of pasta-making has been on your bucket list, Flourist’s Fresh Pasta Class is your golden ticket.
Imagine walking into a space filled with the aroma of freshly milled flours, eager hands ready to knead and mold, and an ambiance echoing the joy of learning. Starting at 6 PM and stretching until 9:30 PM, this class isn't just a cooking lesson; it's an experience.
Beginners, worry not! The course is designed with you in mind. As the name suggests, Flourist emphasizes the unmatched quality and flavor freshly milled flours bring to pasta. You'll soon understand why.
The 3 1/2 hour journey will see participants transitioning from a basic dough recipe to crafting an assortment of pasta shapes.
Whether it’s using the traditional pasta maker or getting hands-on with specific pasta tools, Flourist ensures you are well-equipped. And yes, all those intriguing pasta tools? They're right there, waiting for you in class.
But it’s not all work and no play. As the evening unfolds, participants are treated to a delightful vegetarian lasagna.
A comforting plate, perfect for the cool fall evening. And to keep the spirits high, light snacks are aplenty, with the option to purchase wine or beer.
6. Haunted Tours
When autumn paints Vancouver in vibrant hues, the city undergoes a delightful transformation. Trees wear a golden crown, the air gets crisper, and pumpkin spiced lattes become the drink du jour.
But there's another side to Vancouver, waiting to be discovered when the sun sets. A side filled with chilling tales, eerie alleyways, and specters of the past. Are you ready to uncover it?
Fright Nights at the Pacific National Exhibition
Autumn in Vancouver isn't just about pumpkin patches, cozy blankets, and leaves crunching beneath your feet. When October rolls around, there's an electric anticipation in the air, and it’s not just from the dropping temperatures.
Playland, a beloved amusement park, takes a sinister twist, giving thrill-seekers and horror aficionados a reason to rejoice!
Starting October 6, 2023, Playland morphs into the spine-tingling spectacle known as Fright Nights. But, hold on to your hats, it’s not for the faint of heart! Imagine venturing through haunted houses, where every turn could have you face-to-face with your worst nightmare.
And just when you thought the rides were thrilling enough, try hopping on one amidst eerie decor and a chilling atmosphere. The juxtaposition of exhilarating rides and hair-raising haunted houses guarantees heart-pounding fun.
This year, prepare to enter the abyss with the newest haunted house attraction, The Void. And for those who miss the sinister jesters and their antics, rejoice! Carn-Evil makes its grand return.
Between unexpected frights and mesmerizing live performances, the thrills never stop.
Considering the adrenaline rush awaiting, the special opening weekend ticket price of $30 seems like a steal. But a quick word of caution: Fright Nights is designed for those 13 and up.
And while you might be tempted to dress up and join the macabre festivities, costumes and makeup are a no-go.
Maan Farms Haunted Halloween Corn Mazes in Abbotsford
For families and young ones, Maan Farms paints the perfect picturesque fall day. The Barnyard Adventureland beckons with its vibrant pumpkin patch, where kids can hunt for the perfect pumpkin to carve their spooky designs.
While the young ones revel in the festive spirit, they can also dive into myriad play areas that promise hours of joy and laughter.
Yet, as the sun dips and shadows grow longer, the farm reveals its darker, thrilling side. Venture, if you dare, into the depths of what many claim to be Canada's most terrifying corn maze.
This isn't your average stroll through tall corn stalks; it's a heart-pounding journey of unexpected turns and chilling surprises. The eerie rustling of corn leaves paired with the crisp fall air creates an ambiance that even the bravest find hard to navigate without a shudder.
While the daytime activities at Maan Farms cater to all, their haunted attractions come with a word of caution. Designed specifically for the true Halloween aficionados, the age bar is set at a minimum of 10 years.
Yet, it's predominantly older teens and young adults who find themselves daring enough to venture into these mazes. The meticulous detailing and spine-tingling setups make these attractions a must-visit for those craving a Halloween adrenaline rush.
7. Halloween Parties
As the rustling leaves carpet the streets and a cool breeze caresses the city, Vancouverites eagerly await one of the most thrilling events of fall - Halloween parties!
Every year, as October 31st nears, the city transforms into a hotspot for some of the most imaginative and spectacular themed parties.
SUNWAVE HALLOWEEN 2023: A HAUNTING AT HERITAGE HALL II
As the city of Vancouver gears up for its myriad Halloween celebrations, one event is generating more buzz than the rest: the return of the SUNWAVE Halloween party at Heritage Hall.
This isn't just any ordinary Halloween bash; it's a haunting sequel, aptly titled "A Haunting at Heritage Hall II."
Heritage Hall, with its historic charm and tales that echo through the ages, is already a marvel in itself.
Built over a century ago, this iconic structure is a testimony to Vancouver's rich past, with stories of spectral visitors and unexplained occurrences whispered through its corridors. Now, imagine coupling this atmospheric setting with the exhilarating energy of a Halloween party!
The inaugural Haunting at Heritage Hall was a legendary affair, one that party-goers still reminisce about. This year, SUNWAVE is back with an even grander vision.
As attendees step into the venue, they can expect an immersive experience, where the lines between history, fantasy, and reality blur. The air is thick with anticipation, every corner holding the promise of a spooky surprise or a chilling tale.
But it's not just the venue that's drawing the crowds.
SUNWAVE has a reputation for throwing some of the most unforgettable parties in the city, and with the backdrop of Heritage Hall's haunting history, this year promises to be an exceptional fusion of pulsating music, stunning visuals, and a crowd dressed in their Halloween best.
VANCOUVER'S HALLOWEEN GHOST SHIP PARTY CRUISE 2023
The Halloween Ghost Ship Party Cruise 2023: If you're scouting for a Halloween experience that's a departure from the ordinary, your ship has, quite literally, come in.
With a moniker like "Ghost Ship", you can anticipate an immersive marine adventure with a spectral twist. As soon as you step aboard, the chilling ambiance sets the tone. From ghostly decorations draping the ship's interiors to the haunting harmonies echoing from every corner, every detail is curated to give attendees an experience they won't soon forget.
Yet, the real allure of this cruise is its dynamic blend of spook and celebration. Groove to the beats dropped by renowned DJs while soaking in the unrivaled views of Vancouver's skyline.
Whether you're dancing under the moonlit sky or sipping a concoction at the onboard bar, the Ghost Ship ensures an evening filled with fun, frights, and fantastic memories.
Dubbed "the hottest ticket in the city for Halloween weekend," this cruise promises not just a party but a voyage into the heart of Halloween.
As the ship sails through the waters, with the city's silhouette in the backdrop, you'll find yourself amidst a floating realm of phantoms and festivities.
8. Candlelight: A Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics at Christ Church Cathedral
Vancouver, known for its breathtaking beauty and vibrant arts scene, offers a plethora of experiences.
Yet, as the fall season descends, there's one event that promises an evening like no other: the Candlelight concert series at the historic Christ Church Cathedral.
Imagine this: As the cool autumn breeze rustles outside, you step into the grandeur of the cathedral. The ambiance?
A serene setting punctuated only by the soft, warm glow of hundreds of flickering candles. It's here, amidst this ethereal backdrop, that you'll be treated to a musical journey celebrating the very essence of Halloween.
The cathedral's grand arches and Gothic architecture, combined with the candlelit atmosphere, sets the perfect stage for an enchanting evening.
But it's the melodies – haunting, evocative, and steeped in Halloween tradition – that become the heart and soul of the night.
This 60-minute symphony of spooky classics not only serves as a delightful treat for your ears but also entices all your senses, painting a vivid tableau of Halloween tales and legends.
While the concert is open to anyone aged 8 and above, younger enthusiasts (those under 16) need to be joined by an adult, ensuring a memorable experience for all.
9. Cider Tasting
Ah, autumn! The season of colorful leaves, brisk mornings, and the delightful flavors of harvest.
And in Vancouver, as the trees adorn their fall finery, there's another experience that's capturing the essence of the season: Cider Tasting.
Now, you might be familiar with those sweet, bubbly ciders found on supermarket shelves. But here in Vancouver, the cider scene delves deep into a tapestry of tastes, where traditional methods meet innovative flavors.
Think spiced apple, roasted pumpkin, and even a hint of blackberry, each capturing the bounty of British Columbia’s fall produce.
10. Fall Foliage Walks
When the calendar pages turn to September and October, Vancouver's verdant landscapes undergo a mesmerizing transformation.
Trees adorned in the richest hues of golds, deep reds, and vibrant oranges invite locals and tourists alike to take a stroll and soak in the magic of autumn. If you're someone who cherishes these captivating colors, then Vancouver's Fall Foliage Walks are the autumnal treat you’ve been waiting for.
Stanley Park, with its expansive canopy, is perhaps the most iconic spot. Each year, this urban oasis comes alive with a riot of colors, offering a nature’s gallery for anyone strolling or cycling along its winding trails.
Close by, Queen Elizabeth Park also beckons. Known for its manicured gardens and panoramic views of the city and mountains, it's a vantage point like no other, especially when the leaves begin their seasonal dance.
11. Thanksgiving Feasts
Vancouver transforms into a haven for those who cherish the warmth of Thanksgiving. Not just a day, but a season of gratitude, family, and, of course, gastronomy!
If you find yourself in the city during this time, prepare to be tantalized by an array of dining experiences that leave an indelible mark on your tastebuds.
The Fort Langley Cranberry Festival kicks off the festivities, drawing families from all around for a day of fun and frolic. As the name suggests, cranberries, in all their ruby-red glory, are the stars here, making their way into pies, sauces, and even drinks!
But the heart of Thanksgiving, as we all know, is the feast. And Vancouver doesn't disappoint. Restaurants, famous and hidden gems alike, craft special menus to mark the occasion. PAUL, known for its delicate pastries and hearty mains, offers a traditional spread with a twist.
If brunch is more your style, ARC Restaurant and Bar, Botanist, The Roof at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, and Notch 8 beckon with their gourmet offerings that combine the best of breakfast and lunch. For an evening meal, Showcase Restaurant and Bar promises a memorable dining experience with dishes that celebrate local produce.
To Sum It All Up
Wow, what a whirlwind of autumnal adventures we've journeyed through! From the artistic finesse of latte art to spooky ghost ship cruises, and from the mesmerizing hues of fall foliage walks to indulgent Thanksgiving feasts, Vancouver truly knows how to celebrate the fall season in style. It's this blend of traditional and unique activities that makes the city a must-visit destination during this time of year.
Whether you're a local looking for a new experience or a traveler hoping to soak in the city's festive vibes, there's something in Vancouver's fall lineup for everyone. And honestly, that's the magic of it all — finding shared moments of joy, wonder, and gratitude amidst the backdrop of golden leaves and cozy sweaters.