Looking to enjoy a frugal fall? We’ve got your connection to fun free events happening in Vancouver! From Cineplex Free Movie Day to Yoga and Halloween events, here are 49 free things to do around the city this October.
What: Between October 1 and 17, a wide range of cultural events will be taking place at various locations in the tri cities. This includes everything from a free Diwali-themed art workshop, to a South Asian cooking class, and a massive performance at Vancouver Public Library.
When: October 1 to 17
Where: Various locations throughout Metro Vancouver
What: Curated by artists Paula Jardine and Marina Szijarto, this unique cultural event offers the public an opportunity to remember their dead, whether interred at Mountain View Cemetery or not, in a gentle atmosphere of contemplative beauty.
When: October 28 to November 1
Where: Mountain View Cemetery- 5455 Fraser St., Vancouver
Admission: All events are free. Donations are welcome.
What: The Commercial Drive Business Society is holding a public Halloween event featuring free margherita pizzettas from Famoso for those 12 years and under, trick or treating along The Drive from Venables to 13th Avenue, a Kids Fun Zone at Grandview Park, and a fireworks finale
What: Families are invited to dress up and go trick or treating down Hastings Street. Kids and their adults will be able to get yummy treats from neighbourhood stores, ride the Halloween Trains in the Dark and enjoy fireworks later in the evening.
When: Tuesday, October 31
Trick or Treating from 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Halloween Trains in the Dark from 6 to 9 pm
Halloween Fireworks at Gilmore Community School at 8:15 pm
Trick or Treating is along Hastings Street in Burnaby
Halloween Trains in the Dark at Burnaby Central Railway at Confederation Park – 120 North Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby
Halloween Fireworks at Gilmore Community School – 50 Gilmore Ave, Burnaby
Tickets: All events are free, except the Halloween Trains in the Dark, which costs $3.50 and includes free hot chocolate and cookies. Costumes strongly encouraged.
What: There are plenty of pumpkins to choose from at Ladner’s Halloween headquarters. During the last 10 days of October, the farm puts out over 150 carved pumpkins that are lit every evening. After picking your pumpkin, be sure to check out the on-site “haunted” house that is perfect fun for the little ones.
When: Open daily from the end of September until October 31
What: Go on a tractor ride, visit the chicken coop, get spooked in the haunted house and then search for the best pumpkin. Port Kells pumpkin patch offers a variety of activities to make a day of family fun.
When: Open for the month of October
Time: 9 am to 6 pm everyday
Where: 18730 88 Avenue, Surrey
Cost: General admission is free. $5 admission for guests who would like to enjoy unlimited hay rides during their visit. The $5 admission is fully redeemable towards pumpkins, concession treats, or nursery products.
What: This family farm carries a hearty selection of pumpkins, mini-pumpkins, and gourds, that are perfectly suited for your Halloween needs. After visiting the patch, head down to the farmers market and general store to pick up some tasty treats and produce.
When: October 3 to 31
Time: Weekdays: 3 pm to 6 pm. Weekends: 10 am from 6 pm. Thanksgiving weekend: 10 am to 6pm
What: Metro Vancouver is planning to tunnel deep under Stanley Park to build the Stanley Park Water Supply Tunnel. Drop by the Community Open House to learn more about the project and share your comments with the project team.
When: Thursday, October 5
Time: 4 to 8 pm.
Where: The big tent in Chilco Plaza (near Chilco Street and Alberni Street) next to the Stanley Park Nature House.
What: Main Squeeze is a weekly Mt. Pleasant dance party and hangout in the Projection Room of the Fox Cabaret. Featuring house party jams and new classics.
When: Every Thursday
Time: 8 pm
Where: The Fox Cabaret – 2321 Main Street, Vancouver
Tickets: No Cover
Free Lunchtime Yoga
Pamela Ferman / Vancouver Playhouse Yoga
What: Grab your mat and take a break at with this weekly free yoga class from the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Civic Theatres and Pamela Ferman. Increase flexibility, tone, strengthen and detoxify your body, while releasing stress and tension through proper breath work and meditation. You will leave the class feeling revitalized, balanced and relaxed from head to toe.
When: Every Tuesday until the end of November
Time: Noon to 1 pm
Where: Vancouver Playhouse Theatre – 600 Hamilton Street, Vancouverr
What: A free conference to learn more from cleantech CEOs and start-up experts. Gain insight into an industry leveraging renewable materials and energy, decreasing natural resources use, and reducing emissions and waste.
When: October 12
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Where: Alice MacKay Room, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch – 350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
What: Select Cineplex theatres across Canada will be showing free screenings of several films. Popcorn, drinks, and select candy will be available to purchase at a reduced price, with proceeds going towards WE (formally known as Free The Children). You can also show your support by donating to WE.
What: Learn about the Ice Age glaciation on the south coast, the geologic history of the Fraser River, and the peatlands in Derby Reach Regional Park. Hear about a disastrous landslide in Haney in 1880 that produced a tsunami on the Fraser River. Led by John Clague, professor of Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University, author of Vancouver, City on the Edge, and an expert on earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, and floods.
What: Be wily like a coyote or wise as an owl to solve a nocturnal mystery on lantern lit-trails. Activities, performers and storytelling will reveal local night animals. Bring a flashlight and allow 1.5 hours to complete.
When: Saturday, October 14
Time: 6 to 9 pm
Where: Surrey Bend Regional Park. Park at Pacific Academy in Surrey at 10238-10300 168 St and take free shuttle bus to day use area. Please leave pets at home. Buses start at 5:30 pm and will transport participants to Surrey Bend Regional Park until 8 pm. The last bus leaves Surrey Bend at 9:30 pm. Limited parking at the day use area.
What: Follow the journey of salmon from hatching grounds to ocean. Watch salmon leaping, get up close and personal with real specimens and hear about their extraordinary lives. Please leave pets at home.
When: Saturday, October 21
Time: 11 am to 2:30 pm
Where: Capilano Fish Hatchery, end of Capilano Park Rd, North Vancouver
What: A 10 km return hike with mines researcher Lloyd Knutsen in Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. Along the way, Lloyd will share his knowledge of the prospectors and history of mining in the area, look at historical artefacts and minerals, and tell stories using old maps and photographs. Presented by the BC Mills House volunteer hosts.
When: Sunday October 22
Time: 11 am to 3 pm
Where: Kanaka Creek Regional Park – Meet at fish fence on 240 Street, north of Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge
What: A year-long event full of colourful stalls that showcase unique, homemade products and the finest in gastronomic delights. From the ocean, oven, or field – Granville Market’s got it all. Grab items to-go or order some grub from one of the many established food vendors at this indoor market, you’re going to leave happy and full.
What: This farmers’ market began back in 1995 and became the cornerstone of the Vancouver Farmers’ Market collective of markets. One of the most popular of the markets, Trout Lake has food trucks on site and a variety of vendors selling all manner of food stuffs.
Where: Lakewood Drive and 13th Avenue, East Vancouver
When: Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, until October 21, 2017
What: You’ll find fresh groceries, locally-sourced produce, as well as artisanal food offerings at the The Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market, one of the newer kids on the Vancouver Farmers’ Market’s block.
Where: 2300 Guelph Street (Dude Chilling Park), Mount Pleasant
When: Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm, until October 8, 2017
What: See, taste, and indulge at this bustling weekday market. With vendors lined up on the east side of Thornton Park on the sidewalk along Station Street, the Main Street Station Farmers’ Market is within ideal reach on foot for bus and SkyTrain users.
Where: 1100 Station Street, Vancouver
When: Wednesdays from 2 to 6 pm, to October 4, 2017
What: This friendly get-together, also known as the Kitsilano Farmers’ Market, takes place on Sundays in the parking lot of the Community Centre and offers a good selection of fresh local produce and gourmet treats to stock up on for the week.
Where: Kitsilano Community Centre, 2690 Larch Street, Vancouver
When: Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm, until October 22, 2017
What: A very urban market indeed, the pedestrian-friendly Hamilton Street welcomes vendors and farmers Thursday mornings and afternoons for a terrific food and shopping experience, right at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre – 608-688 Hamilton Street, Vancouver
When: Thursdays 11 am to 3 pm, until October 5, 2017
What: The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems operates the UBC Farm, and three weekly farm markets (June through October) on campus, providing students, faculty, and staff the chance to engage with the community and support local farming. This is a cash-only, BYO bags market.
Where: UBC Farm (UBC’s South Campus) – 3461 Ross Drive, Vancouver
When: Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm, until October 29, 2017
What: The Ambleside Farmers’ Market now takes place in Ambleside Park, at the foot of 13th Street, every Sunday through October. This market offers West Vancouver a gathering spot for picking up fresh local food and goods from crafters and food artisans.
Where: Ambleside Park – 1000 Argyle Avenue (the end of 13th Street), West Vancouver
When: Sundays from 11 am to 4 pm, until October 29, 2017
What: Run by the same organization behind the Ambleside Market in nearby West Van, the Lonsdale Quay Farmers’ Market brings local farmers, artisans, and other vendors to North Vancouver for a weekly Saturday market.
Where: East Plaza – 123 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
When: Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm, until October 28, 2017
What: Family-owned and operated for nearly 40 years, Richmond Country Farms is the farm stand adjacent to Highway 99 off Steveston. Open from early spring to just ahead of Christmas, the market has a bounty of fresh local produce, and prepared goods.
What: Launched in June 2008, this open air market, situated in the North Parking Lot of Burnaby City Hall, offers visitors an assortment of food and craft stalls to peruse on Saturday mornings every Saturday through October.
Where: North Parking Lot of Burnaby City Hall – 4949 Canada Way at Deer Lake Pkwy
When: Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, until October 28, 2017
What: The North Delta Farmers’ Market moves to the North Delta Rec Centre this season for a reinvigorated weekly market. Shop local and find farm fresh foods, delicious street food fare, handmade gifts, crafts, and jewellery.
Where: North Delta Rec Centre – 11415 84th Avenue, Delta
When: Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm, until October 29, 2017
What: Located just steps away from the Surrey Central SkyTrain station and bus loop Surrey Urban Farmers’ Market is a vibrant gathering place that aims to promote small-scale farmers, food producers, and artisans.
Where: North Surrey Rec Centre, 10275 City Parkway, Surrey
When: Wednesdays from 2 to 6 pm, until October 4, 2017
What: New West’s Farmers Market (formerly called the Royal City Farmers’ Market) features farm-fresh produce, plants, quality crafts from local artists and artisans, gourmet prepared foods, community information, live entertainment, and more, all at Tipperary Park on Thursday evenings.
Where: Tipperary Park (east of City Hall, Royal Avenue and 4th Street), New Westminster
When: Thursdays from 3 to 7 pm, until October 5, 2017
What: Started in 1996, the Poirier Street Farmers’ Market is the longest running suburban farmers market in Metro Vancouver. At this market you’ll find a variety of vendors showcasing their locally-sourced products.
Where: Dogwood Pavilion (Poirier and Winslow), Coquitlam
When: Sundays from 9 am to 1 pm, until October 29, 2017
What: A vibrant outdoor Saturday market in downtown Maple Ridge, Haney Farmers’ Market sells fresh farm produce, locally-grown fruit and veg, preserves, baked goods, artisan crafts, fine art, and more.
Where: Memorial Peace Park – 224th Street, Maple Ridge
When: Saturdays from 9 am to 2 pm, until October 7, 2017
What: Inspired by, and created in collaboration with the Haney Farmers’ Market Society, the Port Coquitlam Farmers’ Market is part of a larger plan to strengthen Port Coquitlam’s downtown centre through arts, cultural and heritage programming.
Where: 2253 Leigh Square, Port Coquitlam
When Thursdays from 3 to 7 pm, until September 28, 2017
What: On Wednesday afternoons in the warm weather months at the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Campus you will discover more than 50 vendors that “Make it, Bake it, or Grow it” selling the very best the region has to offer.
What: You’ll find fresh groceries (fresh foods picked from local farmers fields in the Fraser and Okanagan Valleys), along with plants, flowers, and other artisan goods at this weekly market in Fort Langley.
Where: St. Andrews Historic Church – 9025 Glover Road in Fort Langley
When: Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm, until October 28, 2017
Daniel is a writer and comedian based in Vancouver, BC.