50 things to do in Vancouver this Fall

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Vancity Buzz

Summer has ended and will soon be a distant memory on the horizon of 2015. It’s time to trade in the swimsuit, patio days, and cold beers for cozy sweaters, comfort food, and hot tea. For some, the change will be devastating, but for others, it’s more than welcome.

Whether you’re dreading the seasonal transition or delighting in it, there’s no shortage of things to do this Fall. From Oktoberfest to skating in Robson Square, the change to colder weather has never looked so appealing.

So get your boots on, whip out the wool coat, and get ready for our annual list of 50 things to do in Vancouver this Autumn.

Word Vancouver

  • What: Since 1995 The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society has produced The Word On The Street Vancouver, the primary literary festival for Western Canadian book lovers and literacy enthusiasts. In 2013 the festival rebranded as Word Vancouver.
  • Where: Various locations. Click here for a full schedule.
  • When: Wednesday, September 23 to Sunday, September 27; various times.

Culture Days – City of Vancouver Public Art Tour Yaletown and False Creek

  • What: Join an experienced tour guide for a pleasant one-hour walk and orientation to public art along the way. The guide will share information on artworks and artists.
  • Where: Yaletown-Roundhouse Canada Line Station – 297 Davie Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, September 25; 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Etsy Vancouver Market

  • What: Etsy: Made in Canada is a national grassroots initiative celebrating the crafters, collectors and artisans in local communities across Canada. From coast to coast, 33 Canadian cities and towns will be participating in this one-day event, including Vancouver, marking their sophomore year celebrating this national marketplace movement.
  • Where: Robson Square – 800 Robson Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, September 26; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Doors Open Vancouver

  • What: Enjoy free, behind-the-scenes access to popular City of Vancouver sites. Learn what it takes to run a city while experiencing Vancouver’s architecture, green design, and cultural heritage at this all-ages event.
  • Where: Various locations. Click here for more information.
  • When: Saturday, October 3; various times.

Vancouver Halloween Parade

  • What: Halloween does not have to be bloody or violent. The organization aims to present dancers, artists, artisans and performers to summon superheroes, supernaturals, aliens, robots from films, comics, anime, games, sci-fi and myths to create a fun, safe, family friendly and healthy Halloween, especially for the young generations, and to prevent childhood injuries.
  • Where: Downtown Vancouver along Granville, Howe, and Smithe. Click here for a map of the route.
  • When: Sunday, October 18; 11 a.m.

Eastside Culture Crawl

  • What: The 19th Annual Eastside Culture Crawl is Vancouver’s four day visual arts, design and crafts festival. This event involves more than 20,000 people visiting artists in their studios in the area bounded by Columbia Street and Victoria Drive north of First Avenue in Vancouver, Canada.
  • Where: Various artist studios. Click here for a full list.
  • When: Thursday, November 19 – Sunday, November 22; 5 to 10 p.m. (Thursday and Friday), 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)

Volunteer at a soup kitchen

  • What: There are many organizations in Metro Vancouver that will be needing your help this coming holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving. For a complete list of places to volunteer, click here.

Grow a Moustache for Movember

  • What: November is that time of year when men from all walks of life grow out their bushy (or meagre) upper lip hair to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer. To get involved, click here.

Food and Drink

Image: Harvest Haus

Image: Harvest Haus

38th Annual Greek Food Festival

  • What: The Hellenic Community of Vancouver invites you to eat, dance and celebrate like a Greek. Come and enjoy the sights and sounds of Greece and experience the rich and beautiful culture from the world’s most ancient civilization.
  • Where: Hellenic Community of Vancouver – 4500 Arbutus Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, September 25 to Sunday, September 27; noon to 10 p.m.

Oktoberfest at the Alpen Club

  • What: The Vancouver Alpen Club serves traditional German favourites from spätzle to schnitzel and now they’re breaking back their annual Oktoberfest. Anyone is welcome who loves German food and beer (and is over 19, of course).
  • Where: Vancouver Alpen Club – 4875 Victoria Drive, Vancouver
  • When: September 26 and October 3, 16 and 17; doors open at 7:30 p.m.

Harvest Haus

  • What: Vancouver’s largest Volksfest returns for its succeeding year this autumn, held under the Festzelte at Queen Elizabeth Plaza –  Harvest Haus brings folklore from the 1st century to the Great White North. Combining modern fare with authentic European harvest traditions, gather your closest mates for the most gluttonous and gratifying weekends of the year.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza, 649 Cambie Street, Vancouver
  • When: October 1 to 11; 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m.

Taste of Yaletown

  • What: From October 15 to 29, Yaletown kitchens will offer featured menus, special tastings and innovative pairings to tempt the most adventurous foodie. With a fresh approach to fixed price menus of $25, $35 and $45 restaurants will offer combinations of food and drink or even special in-house events.
  • Where: Various locations. A full list will be available on the website in October.
  • When: Thursday, October 15 to Thursday, October 29

MERCATO Italian Market

  • What: This unique market is about bringing together the tastes of Italy with the produce grown in local farms. You’re invited to come shop for a vibrant assortment of fresh fruit and vegetables, handmade products from local artisans and delicious food prepared by Il Centro’s chef. The Italian community market element allows you the opportunity to bring home a taste of Italy every month. Stay for live Italian music featuring the classic mandolin and accordion, and children’s activities provided by Italian School teachers.
  • Where: Italian Cultural Centre – 3075 Slocan Street, Vancouver
  • When: October 16 and November 20; 4 to 8 p.m.

Ripe 2015

  • What: The annual RIPE Dinner is a true celebration of the harvest; a showcase of local ingredients from local farms and producers paired with some of Vancouver’s top chefs and restaurants, including Chef Andrea Carlson of Burdock & Co, Chef Chris Whittaker of Forage, Chef Meeru Dhalwala of Vij’s Rangoli, Chef Ned Bell of Yew seafood + bar, and Chef Quang Dang of West Restaurant.
  • Where: Exhibition Hall, Roundhouse Community Centre – 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, October 18; 4 to 8 p.m.

BC Beer Awards

  • What:  The signature consumer tasting event of BC Craft Beer Month, this festival celebrates the very best in craft brewing from across the province. A one-day only event, it features both the BC Beer Awards ceremony hosted by CBC’s Stephen Quinn and a craft beer festival with over 50 breweries (and cideries).
  • Where: Croatian Cultural Centre – 3250 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, October 24; 4 to 9 p.m.

Visit a farmers market in Vancouver

There are multitudes of amazing farmers markets in Vancouver that offer fresh, seasonal vegetable, crafts, hot food, and many other goodies. Stay tuned for our fall farmers markets guide.


Concerts and Parties

Blueprint 18th Anniversary

  • What: Blueprint, Live Nation, and Heineken present the Blueprint’s 18 Year Anniversary party, featuring Alesso, Audien, Matoma, Project 46, and Timeline as guests. All ages are welcome.
  • Where: Pacific Coliseum – 100 North Renfrew Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, October 10; 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Dooms Night 2015

  • What: It’s what you’ve all been waiting patiently for. Vancouver, the FINAL lineup has arrived! Solid Events presents to you #DOOMSNIGHT2015 with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, W&W, KSHMR in his EXCLUSIVE Canadian Debut, Frontliner, Goshfather & Jinco and DAIJO. Celebrate this annual Halloween tradition on October 31.
  • Where: Pacific Coliseum – 100 North Renfrew Street
  • When: Saturday, October 31; 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Concert listings on Vancity Buzz

What: There are tonnes of amazing concerts in store this fall, so many that we can’t list them all here. For more information on concerts, parties and events happening around town, click here.


Festivals and other events

Richmond Night Market

  • What: The largest night market in North America is sticking around until October 12. Great food, vendors, and sights await at the Richmond Night Market.
  • When: Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until October 12; 7 p.m. to midnight (Friday and Saturday); 7 to 11 p.m. (Sunday and Stat Holidays)

SociaLIGHT Conference

  • What: The second annual SociaLIGHT Conference aims to redefine what a “socialite” is and bring together entrepreneurs and community leaders.
  • Promo: Use the Vancity Buzz promo code “VBUZZ” to get over 50% off passes
  • When: Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27
  • Where: Pan Pacific Hotel – 999 Canada Place

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

  • What: Bring the entire family for a unique opportunity to revel among musicians, magicians, artists, performers, tea masters, bagua-style kung fu masters, and astronomers. Learn about Chinese traditions, have moon cakes and celebrate this age old tradition with local storytellers including a book-reading by Loretta Seto.
  • Where: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden – 578 Carrall Street, Vancouver
  • When: Tuesday, September 27; 5 to 10 p.m.

ROAM Winter Expo

  • What: There is no escaping the winter. ROAM Expo is a unique marketplace that brings brands and services together that exhibit exciting and diverse ways to spend the low sun months. ROAM Expo will feature four distinct Marketplace categories; each offering specialized services and top quality products to help you get your winter on.
  • Where: Vancouver Convention Centre – 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, October 17; 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, October 18; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Remember to Vote!

  • What: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know we have a federal election coming up soon. Are you registered? If not, get on it. Click here to check to see if you’re registered and for more information on voting. Follow along to our election coverage too.
  • When: Monday, October 19

Vancouver Aquarium after hours

  • What: This uniquely aquatic adult-only evening includes access to our wet lab, special programming and time to explore our galleries with a glass of wine or beer in hand.
  • Where: Vancouver Aquarium – 845 Avison Way, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, October 29; 6:30 to 10 p.m.

Halloween in Vancouver

Halloween is quite possibly the best time of year for adults looking to recapture a bit of their youth. This year, the spooky holiday falls on a Saturday, so you can really go wild with events, both family-friendly and for grown-ups only. Check back for our complete guide to all things halloween in Vancouver.

Go to a pumpkin patch

Speaking of Halloween, you’ll need the perfect pumpkin to be able to decorate your front lawn or apartment balcony, won’t you? We’re making a guide to Vancouver’s pumpkin patches, so keep your eyes peeled.

Chilliwack Corn Maze

  • What: The Chillwack Corn Maze has a unique design this year: A Terry Fox silhouette to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Marathon for Hope. All along the maze, you’ll encounter Terry Fox trivia designed to point you in the right direction.
  • Where: 41905 Yale Road West, Chilliwack
  • Hours: Now until October 31: Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sundays and holidays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Diwali Fest

  • What: Diwali Fest returns to Vancouver and Surrey for another year. Diwali is the Hindu tradition known as the “festival of lights” and signifies the victory of light over darkness.
  • Where: York Theatre – 639 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, November 7; 2 to 8 p.m.

TEDxVancouver

  • What: TEDx is a locally produced version of the larger TED Talk series. The idea is to promote discussion on various topics through well thought-out speeches and presentations. This year’s theme is ID – who am I? What am I?
  • Where: Aquilini Centre at Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, November 14; all day.

Things to do on a rainy day

Mini golf – West Coast Mini Putt

  • What: West Coast Mini Putt is indoor mini golf at its finest. During the day or the evening, the exciting atmosphere and active, safe facility make West Coast Mini Putt a destination for parties, corporate functions or just fun with friends and loved ones.
  • Where: 7391 Elmbridge Way, Richmond
  • Hours: Monday to Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday and Friday: 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday: 1 p.m. to midnight, Sunday: 1 to 10 p.m.

Bowling & Billiards – Commodore Lanes

  • What: Since opening in 1930, Commodore Lanes & Billiards is Canada’s oldest surviving recreation centres. Come join the fun for billiards and five pin bowling in the heart of downtown Vancouver on Granville Street.
  • Where: 838 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • Hours: Monday to Thursday: 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., Sunday: 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Pop-up vintage arcade

  • What: People with the soul of a retro gamer, rejoice. A vintage arcade pop-up is gracing Vancouver with its presence until the end of October. Enjoy classics like Donkey Kong, Centipede, Tetris and Ms. Pac Man.
  • Where: Landyachtz Factory Store – 1146 Union Street, Vancouver
  • Hours: Monday through Friday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Get some interior design inspiration

Interior Design Show West

  • What: The Interior Design Show West (IDSwest) is Western Canada’s annual premiere residential design show featuring 250 exhibitors showcasing quality products and services to an audience of industry professionals, architects, designers, consumers and media.
  • Where: Vancouver Convention Centre West – 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, September 24 to Sunday, September 27; various times. Click here for more information.

Vancouver Home and Design Show

  • What: The Vancouver Home and Design Show is the ultimate authority on all things design, entertaining and home improvement. With more than 325 exhibitors and a slew of sensational new features, there’s expert insight, innovation and inspiration for living well at every turn.
  • Where: Vancouver Convention Centre West – 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, October 22 to Sunday, October 25; various times. Click here for more information.

Get cultured

Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery

The Vancouver Art Gallery has some beautiful exhibits that immerse you in a world of culture. Get your art fix at the city’s largest and most well-known gallery. For information on current and future exhibits, click here.

Vancouver International Film Festival

  • What: Both in terms of admissions and number of films screened (144,000 and 349 respectively in 2014) VIFF is among the five largest film festivals in North America. They screen films from more than 70 countries on nine screens, including the pick of the world’s top film fests and many undiscovered gems.
  • Where: Various locations. Click here for more information.
  • When: Thursday, September 24 to Friday, October 9

Art Makes Us: Concept Design Presentation for the New Vancouver Art Gallery Building

  • What: Join the Vancouver Art Gallery for the public unveiling of the concept design by Herzog & de Meuron for a new gallery building that will have a tremendous impact on the cultural, social and community life of our city.
  • Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 649 Cambie Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, September 29; doors open at 5:30 p.m., concept design shown at 6:30 p.m.

See a play at the Arts Club Theatre Company

The Arts Club Theatre Company is the largest theatre company in Western Canada. Each year, over a quarter of a million people experience the best in professional theatre at its three venues: the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage, Granville Island Stage, and Revue Stage, as well as on tour throughout the province. Its popular productions range from musicals and contemporary comedies to new works and classics.

For a list of current and future productions, click here.

Arts Umbrella Celebrates 33rd Annual Splash Art Auction and Fundraiser

  • What: Now in its 33rd year, Arts Umbrella’s signature gala features a fine art auction of exceptional curated works, from stunning to sublime, where accessible children’s arts education is at the heart of it all. All funds raised at Splash help ensure that more than 21,000 kids access high-quality arts programming each year.
  • Where: Performance Works – 1218 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, October 17; 7 p.m.

Vancouver Writer’s Fest

  • What: The Festival is a celebration of story, told by authors, poets, spoken word performers, and graphic novelists. For six days in October, this celebration takes place in the cultural oasis of Granville Island.
  • Where: Granville Island – 1661 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
  • When: Tuesday, October 20 to Sunday, October 25; various times and events. Click here for an event schedule.

Cirque du Soleil presents KOOZA

  • What: KOOZA is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil: It combines two circus traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The show highlights the physical demands of human performance in all its splendor and fragility, presented in a colorful mélange that emphasizes bold slapstick humor.
  • Where: Concord Pacific Place, 88 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
  • When: Thursday, October 29 to Sunday, December 27; various times

Vancouver Opera

What: The Vancouver Opera is a lovely fall activity to partake in. Dress up and take in some culture and some of the best singers the city has to offer. Times and places vary, so click here for more information.

Chan Centre

What: The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts is an amazing venue that houses plays, improv, musical performances and more. Check out their listings for more information.


Sports

Watch a BC Lions game

B.C.’s CFL football team is back for another season until November 7 and they need the support of their fans. What better way to spend a fall afternoon than at BC Place with a beer in your hand, good company and fabulous entertainment? For a game schedule, click here.

Watch a Whitecaps game

Vancouver’s soccer team always attracts a huge crowd, and it’s no wonder – they always play a good game. Get on your white and blue scarves and check them out before the season ends, and follow them through the playoffs. For a schedule, click here.

Watch a Canucks game

The season starts on September 21, and diehard fans won’t want to miss a single game. Lets face it, if you don’t watch the Canucks this season, what are you going to have to discuss around the water cooler in the office? Check the full season schedule here.

Watch a Giants game

It’s like watching a Canucks game, but more affordable – you still get great hockey, fearsome players, and cool jerseys, so why not? Get their schedule here.

Stay in shape and enter a race

There are many fall marathons, races and half-marathons to look forward to this season. Here’s a complete list:

  • September 25 – Night Race Vancouver (5k, 10k)
  • September 26 – 5 Peaks British Columbia Race 6 (10k, 15k, Other)
  • September 27 – MEC Vancouver Race 6 (5k, 10k, Half-Marathon, Marathon)
  • September 27 – Flora Lake Marathon (Half-Marathon, Marathon, Ultra)
  • September 27 – Mt. Kilimanjaro Grouse Grind for Alzheimer’s (Fundraiser)
  • October 4 – BlueShore Financial Spirit of the Shore Half Marathon (Half-Marathon)
  • October 4 – CIBC Run for the Cure Vancouver (5K, Other, Fundraiser)
  • October 4 – Miles for Mental Health (Fundraiser)
  • October 10 – Delta Half Marathon (5K, Half-Marathon)
  • October 12 – Granville Island Turkey Trot 10K (10K)
  • October 17 – Whistler 50 (Ultra)
  • October 17 – Around The Lake Give R Take (Other)
  • October 18 – Strachan Hartley 5K and 10K Legacy Run (5K, 10K)
  • October 24 – Hallow’s Eve Trail Race (10K, Half-Marathon, Marathon)
  • October 25 – Vancouver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon (10K, Half-Marathon)
  • October 31 – MEC North Vancouver Race Five (5K, 10K, Other)
  • November 1 – Boundary Bay Marathon (5K, 10K, Half-Marathon, Marathon)
  • November 8 – The Great Climate Race (10K, Other)
  • November 14 – Adrian Oliver Memorial Run (5K, 10K)
  • November 15 – Fall Classic Run (5K, 10K, Half-Marathon)
  • November 15 – MEC Vancouver Race Seven (5K, 10K, 15K)
  • November 21 – Moustache Miler (5K, Fun Run)
  • November 29 – Vancouver Historic Half (5K, 10K, Half-Marathon)
  • December 3 – 5K@IDF (5K, Fundraiser)
  • December 5 – Santa Shuffle Vancouver (Fun Run)
  • December 5 – Gunner Shaw Memorial XC (5K, 10K)

Miscellaneous

Image: clayton perry

Image: clayton perry

Get ready for Christmas

There are tonnes of Christmas events coming up during the fall to watch out for. From markets to beautiful light displays, there will be no shortage of fun holiday-themed bashes to get you in the spirit. Stay tuned for a full list of events.

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
@LaurenS_Buzz

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