As summer winds down into fall a little slower than usual, the floodgates open for neat events perfect to enjoy along with anything pumpkin flavored. If you’re feeling a little bummed about impending winter, here’s a list of fun stuff happening the lower mainland that are guaranteed to make you a fan of the fall season (if Halloween hasn’t already done that for you because Halloween rocks):
There’s still time to enjoy outdoor activities in Vancouver before the sun disappears for good. However, soon fall will be in full swing, so be sure to get bundled up and check out some of the neat outdoor activities in vancity.
Squeeze in a few more hikes: Try hiking the Grouse Grind before the gates close in November, or get an amazing mountainous view without such an intense workout on the 2.5 hour trail at Buntzen Lake in Port Moody. The Stanley Park seawall is a casual stroll with stunning view points to enjoy a late-summer sunset.
Buy local and sustainable at a farmer’s market: This weekly event features fresh fruits, veggies, artisan baked goods as well as non-food merchandise. The pop-up market runs until October 2nd between 2 and 6 pm on Mainland St. in the heart of Yaletown. Support local producers and growers while buying fresh, top-quality product.
Embrace the changing colour palate at a botanical garden: The VanDusen Botanical Garden is always stunning this time of year with a plethora of beautiful plants to adore, and a great place for an autumn date night. Single or taken, head over to Chinatown to check out the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese garden for a tranquil experience. Open rain or shine, the Chinese botanical garden has an otherworldly feel.
Scream away your stress: Get spooked with seasonal Halloween events such as Playland’s epic Fright Nights featuring live disturbing characters, roller coasters, and tons of (very detailed) haunted houses. If haunted houses are a little too intense for you, bring a friend to hide behind, or the ghost train at Stanley Park instead. Both events run from October 10 to November 1st.
Pick pumpkins: This is kind of obvious, but there’s nothing more ‘fall’ than putting on rubber boots and getting your hands a little dirty finding the perfect little orange guy to gut and carve and display as if it were your lovechild. We recommend the Chiliwack Corn Maze –because, duh, corn maze- or Aldor Acres in Langley.
Bulk Up For Winter
Between turkey dinners and pumpkin flavored everything, fall is one of the best seasons to fill your boots with delicious eat and drink- and keep your body nice insulated for upcoming months.
Go German at Oktoberfest: Have a European experience right at home at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza on October 2 through 5. The event will feature a traditional Bavarian long table set up to maximize social interaction and will reflect cultural tradition with the German eats and of course hand crafted beers and ciders. Grab some lederhosen and sip from a traditional drinking stein, it’s the perfect way to forget that summer is no more.
Hit up a patio: One of the saddest parts of fall’s arrival is the weather change. Soak up every last bit of sun on Vancouver’s many great patios. Some key patios include: Black and Blue, Cactus Club Coal Harbour, The Warehouse, Romers. View our list of the top patio spots in the 604.
Try tapas: Small, savory Spanish dishes are fantastic when paired with a glass of great wine. Order a few and share with friends to maximize tasting pleasure. Bin 941 on Davie St. uses fresh, local and sustainable ingredients in their outstanding dishes, and equipped with an extensive wine list. Guu and Hapa Izakaya are some other top-notch spots to get tapas in Vancouver. Here’s a great list of more.
Drink craft beer: Microbreweries are popping up all over Vancouver, so why not take advantage of delicious dark drafts with chocolate notes, and seasonal pours such as pumpkin ale? Great brews can be found at the Craft Beer Market, Yaletown Brewing Company, Stateside, and The Alibi Room, but Vancouver has so many its nearly impossible to choose one.
Eat sustainable seafood: The Vancouver Aquarium is hosting the Ocean Wise Seafood Chowder Chowdown on November 19, where chefs from all over the country will go head-to-head creating delectable and sustainable seafood chowders. Taste competitors dishes paired perfectly with craft beer. Vote for your favorites, and feel good about it. This 19+ event supports a great cause and will showcase amazing west coast seafood.
Soup it up: There’s nothing like a bowl of warm delicious broth to escape the cold and cure Seasonal Affective Disorder. Whether it’s a delicious squash soup or even Vietnamese Pho, if you choose to slurp your way through fall you won’t be disappointed. Some popular Vancouver joints include Burgoo, Bao Chau Vietnamese, Meat and Bread, or Chill Winston’s.
Immerse yourself in the mosaic of cultures that makes Vancouver living so unique and enjoyable.
Catch Bard on the Beach: A classic Vancouver event to attend while the weather cooperates. Featuring a wicked lineup of classic Shakespeare plays until September 20, it’s a fun outdoor show including The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Watch great films: The 33rd annual Vancouver International Film Festival begins on September 25 and will feature top films from all over the globe. The VIFF is a must-see event with incredible filmography in many different languages and film styles.
Escape if you can: There has been plenty of buzz about the real-life saw experience created by E-Exit in Richmond. You won’t actually have to saw off your own foot, but you will have to put your problem solving skills to the test to try to escape various different rooms with different (quite frightening) themes. The challenges are designed for groups of 2-6 savvy folks up for the challenge.
Swim with the big fish: The Vancouver Aquarium is having their ‘after hours’ night on October 29. Enjoy the newly renovated aquarium without kids, with some wine or beer while oogling over jellyfish. The event runs from 6-10 pm, and also be sure to check out the chilling gallery on Canada’s Arctic… Because… Climate change.
Truly appreciate nature: On a rainy fall day a trip to the museum is a great way to stay dry and experience amazing both Vancouver-based and international artwork. Get educated on BC wildlife at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC, where there are tons of permanent and exclusive exhibits based on BC’s natural history. Right now, they’re featuring a Blue Whale Exhibit that contains the largest blue whale skeleton in Canada. How big is it? Let’s just say that whales are the largest animals to ever have lived on Earth…
Guide and photos by: Alycia Sundar