53 things to do in Vancouver in October

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Image: Vancouver in fall via Shutterstock / Vancity Buzz composite

Autumn is now here, and as the leaves turn orange and fall, remember there is still plenty to do besides binge-watching your favourite series on Netflix.

Here are 53 things to do in Vancouver in October 2015.

Festivities

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.

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.

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.

Vancouver Tree Sale

  • What: In an effort to expand the city’s tree canopy, the Vancouver Parks Board is selling young, six-foot tall trees in seven and 10 gallon pots for just $10.
  • Where: Vancouver Parks Board head office – 2099 Beach Avenue, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, October 3; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

PumpkinFest 2015

  • What: Join the 5th Annual PumpkinFest – an old fashioned, harvest community festival with family friendly activities:Old favorites such as a Pumpkin Patch, Farm Zone including a Petting Corral and Pony Rides, Antique Farm Equipment, Live Entertainment Stage, Family Zone featuring old fashioned kid’s games such as sack races, face painting and crafts, an Artisan Open Air Market, Scarecrow Competition, Scavenger Hunt,
    Pumpkin Carving and free public skate, swim and gym time.
  • Where: West Vancouver Community Centre – 2121 Marine Drive, West Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, October 4; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fright Nights at the PNE

  • What: Be prepared to get scared at the largest and spookiest Halloween event for grown-ups in Western Canada. Fright Nights at Playland returns for another year on October 9 with seven terrifying haunted houses and 15 rides that will leave you trembling.
  • Where: Playland at the PNE – 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, October 9 to Sunday, November 1; various times.

Halloween Expo at the PNE

  • What: Halloween Expo at the PNE featuring food, performances, costumes and make-up.
  • Where: PNE Forum – 2901 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, October 17 to Sunday, October 18; noon to 9 p.m. (Saturday), noon to 8 p.m. (Sunday)

Vancouver Halloween Parade

  • What: The streets are about to get spooky. Vancouver’s Halloween Parade and Expo is returning this month to feed the festive buzz taking over as Halloween approaches. The parade will start at Howe Street and Drake and continue down to Smithe Street. It will then turn left down Smithe and continue up Granville Street, finishing between Davie and Drake Street.
  • Where: Howe Street, Smithe Street, Granville Street, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, October 18; 11 a.m.

Vancouver Chinatown Haunted House

  • What: From October 21 to 31, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden will be transformed into a horrifying haunted house. Inspired by the stories of Judge Dee, the Sherlock Holmes of the Tang Dynasty, the garden will be haunted by the Seven Tyrants, as well as various ghosts, ghouls, psychos, and killers.
  • Where: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden – 578 Carrall Street, Vancouver
  • When: October 21 to 31; 7 to 10 p.m.

The Lost Souls of Gastown at Halloween

  • What: The Lost Souls of Gastown is a visceral experience that raises the hair on the back of your neck, covers your skin in tingling goosebumps and sends involuntary shivers running down your spine—the perfect Vancouver Halloween event for anyone with a taste for the macabre.
  • Where: Tours meet at Cathedral Square, across from the Holy Rosary Cathedral at the intersection of Dunsmuir and Richards streets
  • When: Throughout October with multiple tour times to choose from

Music & Parties

Jason Aldean: 2015 Burn in Down Tour

  • What: Country star Jason Aldean will burn down the house (not literally, hopefully) at Rogers Arena on Friday night.
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Friday, October 2; 7 p.m.

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

  • What: Canadian folk legend Neil Young plays Rogers Arena Monday, October 5.
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Monday, October 5; 7:30 p.m.

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.

Madonna – Rebel Heart Tour

  • What: Queen of Pop, Madonna, comes to Rogers Arena for her Rebel Heart Tour.
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Wednesday, October 14; 8 p.m.

Florence + the Machine

  • What: Florence and the Machine come to Rogers Arena at the end of this month to play hits from their new album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, October 25; 8 p.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.

Food & Drink

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.

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.

Main Street Station Farmers’ Market

  • What: This market features vendors lined up on the east side of Thornton Park on the sidewalk along Station Street, within ideal reach on foot for bus and SkyTrain users. Take note of new hours for 2015.
  • Where: 1100 Station St., Vancouver
  • When: Wednesdays, 2 to 6 p.m.; June 3 to October 7, 2015

Oak Street Farmers’ Market

  • What: This young South Vancouver market boasts all Certified Organic produce, meat, and eggs. It’s run by the Unitarian church, with a goal of connecting locals to their food and farmers.
  • Where: Unitarian Church of Vancouver – Oak St. and West 49th Ave., Vancouver
  • When: Wednesdays, 3 to 7 p.m.; June 3 to October 14, 2015

Granville Island Farmers’ Market

  • What: This cash-only market is steps from all the great food and vendors, and has been around for over 20 years.
  • Where: Triangle Square, Granville Island – Vancouver
  • When: Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; June 4 to late October 2015

Yaletown Farmers’ Market

  • What: A very urban market indeed, the pedestrian-friendly streets of Yaletown welcome vendors and farmers Thursday afternoons and evenings for a terrific food and shopping experience, right at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Canada Line station.
  • Where: 1200 Mainland Street, Vancouver
  • When: Thursdays, 2 to 6 p.m.; May 7 to October 29, 2015

Richmond Night Market

  • What: Drawing crowds from all over Metro Vancouver, the Richmond Night Market is located within easy access of the Canada Line’s Bridgeport Station. Roam the aisles to find games, food, and all sorts of wares for sale. Late nighters take note, this is the only local night market open until midnight (Fridays and Saturdays).
  • Where: 8351 River Rd. (nearby Bridgeport Station)
  • When: May 15 to October 12, 2015; Fridays and Saturdays 7 p.m. to Midnight, Sundays and holiday Mondays 7 to 11 p.m.

Trout Lake Farmers’ Market

  • What: This is the farmers’ market that started up in 1995 and became the cornerstone of the Vancouver Farmers’ Market collective of markets.
  • Where: Lakewood Drive and 13th Avenue, East Vancouver
  • When: Saturdays; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; May 9 to October 24

West End Farmers’ Market

  • What: The West End’s relaxed Saturday market is a great meeting spot for locals. Grab a cup of coffee, peek at the adjacent community gardens, and take a stroll with your purchases at Nelson Park.
  • Where: Comox Street (between Bute and Thurlow), Vancouver
  • When: Saturdays, May 30 to October 24; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Kerrisdale Farmers’ Market

  • What: The Kerrisdale Farmers’ Market lines East Boulevard every Saturday, bringing out the locals in one of Vancouver’s oldest communities. Stroll, shop, and eat at this vibrant weekend gathering.
  • Where: East Boulevard (between 37th and 41st Avenues), Vancouver
  • When: Saturdays, June 10 to October 13; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

River District Farmers’ Market

  • What: This market offers a unique riverfront gathering place in a burgeoning local community. Shop from vendors and artisans, and soak up some local colour.
  • Where: Kerr Street Plaza, 8683 Kerr Street
  • When: Saturdays, May 30 to October 10; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kitsilano Farmers’ Market

  • What: The Kits market takes place Sundays in the parking lot of the Community Centre, and has a Bike Valet for shoppers on two wheels, and lots nearby for families to do.
  • Where: West 10th Ave (between Larch and Balsam), Vancouver
  • When: Sundays; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; May 10 to October 25

Mt Pleasant Farmers’ Market

  • What: The Mt. Pleasant Farmers’ Market is one of the newer kids on the Vancouver Farmers’ Market’s block, but it has quickly become a focal point of the community, bringing familiar vendors and neighbourhood faces together Sundays.
  • Where: 2300 Guelph Street, Mount Pleasant, Vancouver
  • When: Sundays, June 14 to October 11; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m

Pumpkin patches

Jellybean Park Pumpkin Patch & Farmer’s Market

  • What: Jellybean Park Langley is hosting a farmer’s market and pumpkin patch on Saturday, October 3rd from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with fun, family-friendly activities for all to enjoy. Festivities include pony rides by Laughing Stock Ranch at Jellybean’s onsite playground, face painting, local vendors and artisans showcasing their goods, a steaming hot apple cider stand, and pumpkin carving stations where children can pick out their pumpkins and carve their scariest jack-o-lanterns.
  • Where: Jellybean Park – 19615 Willowbrook Drive, Langley
  • When: Saturday, October 3; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Pumpkin Patch at Richmond Country Farms

  • What: Admission to the pumpkin patch at Richmond Country Farms, includes live entertainment, a wagon ride, a pumpkin (child size), a visit to the animal farm, and a Spartan apple to munch upon.
  • Where: 12900 Steveston Highway, Richmond
  • When: Open from October 3 to October 31. Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Pumpkin Patch at Westham Island Herb Farm

  • What: Westham Island Herb Farm is a working farm that offers visitors the chance to explore their extensive property, while searching for the picture-perfect pumpkin.
  • Where: 2485 Westham Island Road, Delta
  • When: Open daily until October 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hazelmere Pumpkin Patch at Gabriel Farms

  • What: This cash-only farm is a popular spot to pick up a pumpkin or two. In addition to the pumpkin patch Gabriel Farms also offers hayrides, a petting zoo, and a mini corn maze. The farm is also set to host a pumpkin carving festival on October 10.
  • Where: 18507 20th Avenue, Surrey
  • When: Open every weekend until October 31. As of October 14 the farm will be open in the afternoon from 3 to 5:30 p.m.

Port Kells Pumpkin Patch

  • What: Running everyday until October 31, Port Kells is offering free admission to their pumpkin patch. The little ones will love the tractor pulled hayrides, the chicken coop, the haunted house, the goat palace, and the hay maze, while mum and dad will enjoy a snack from the Pumpkin Cafe.
  • Where: 18730 88 Avenue, Surrey
  • When: Open daily until October 31, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Aldor Acres Pumpkin Patch

  • What: Aldor Acres Pumpkin Patch pulls a steady pumpkin-seeking crowd year-after-year, thanks to the 15 different varieties of pumpkins grown and spread across the farm’s 20 acres. If you’re visiting with kids there are animals to say hello to and a tractor-pulled hayride. For the grown ups, pick-up farm fresh vege, eggs, and pork at the aptly named Farmacy.
  • Where: 8301 252nd Street, Langley
  • When: Open daily until October 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Laity Pumpkin Patch

  • What: Find your perfect pumpkin at the Laity Pumpkin Patch. The 18 acre farm has been operating for over 25 years, and draws visitors from all over the Lower Mainland. Besides from picking pumpkins, the farm offers many other attractions like a corn maze, a wide variety of farm animals, vegetable gardens, fairy tale trails, and tractor-pulled wagon rides.
  • Where: 21145 128th Avenue, Maple Ridge
  • When: October 3 to October 31. Monday to Friday 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Taves Family Farms Apple Barn

  • What: Embrace the country-side at this family-run farm, which offers visitors an array of fun outdoor activities, in addition to a pumpkin patch adventure. Enjoy a hayride out to the middle of the farm, through corn fields and apple orchards, where a scattering of pumpkins await.
  • Where: 333 Gladwin Road, Abbotsford
  • When: Daily until October 31, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Sports

Toronto Rapters vs. Los Angeles Clippers

  • What: The Toronto Raptors will once again be playing a preseason game at Rogers Arena as they take on the L.A. Clippers.
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, October 4; 4 p.m.

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure

  • What: The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure is the largest, single-day, volunteer-led event dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer research, and education and advocacy programs.The CIBC Run for the Cure takes place on Sunday, October 4th in Abbotsford (Rotary Stadium), Surrey (Bear Creek Park) and Vancouver (Concord Pacific Place). Register today to walk or run the 1km or 5km event to help create a future without breast cancer.
  • Where: Concord Pacific Place – 88 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver
  • When: Sunday, October 4; 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Canucks vs. Calgary Flames

  • What: The Vancouver Canucks kick off their 2015/2016 regular season at home versus the rival Calgary Flames.
  • Where: Rogers Arena – 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver
  • When: Saturday, October 10; 7 p.m.

Other

Body Worlds: Animal Inside Out at Science World

  • What: Body Worlds is coming back to TELUS World of Science for the third time since 2006, but you won’t see many human specimens on display at this exhibit. Animal Inside Out features over 100 preserved animal specimens ranging from the common pigeon to an expertly dissected camel. Visitors will be able to check out what’s under the skin of some spectacular animals and determine what makes us the same – and different.
  • Where: Science World – 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver
  • When: October 3 to March 28, 2016

F as in Frank $10 Fill A Bag Sale Halloween Edition

  • What: If you haven’t started thinking about your Halloween costume yet, now’s the time, because F as in Frank is bringing back their famous $10 Fill A Bag Sale, this time with a special Halloween Edition.
  • Where: 2425 Main Street (in the back alley)
  • When: Saturday, October 3 – rain or shine

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

Vancouver International Improv Festival

  • What: Vancouver International Improv Festival returns to Granville Island for its sixteenth year! Featuring local and international improvisers, each show is stacked with talented groups itching to perform on the three different stages.
  • Where: Performance Works – 1218 Cartwright St, Vancouver, The Waterfront Theatre – 1412 Cartwright Street, Vancouver, The Improv Centre – 1502 Duranleau Street, Vancouver
  • When: October 6 to 10

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.

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.

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 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 herefor an event schedule.

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.

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.

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

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About the author

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
@jillslattery

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