There’s few seasons in the the year that captivate children quite as much as Halloween. Some may say it’s the abundance of candy, but we believe most of the fun is in dressing up, getting spooked and eating things shaped like spiders.
Fortunately there are more family Halloween activities on offer than you can shake your broomstick at. And with just over a week to go before the big night, here are 17 family-friendly Halloween events taking place in Vancouver this year.
What: The spooky spectacle for kids and fun-loving grown-ups runs in Stanley Park every October. This year’s theme, Horror Classics, brings back some of cinema’s most haunting characters like Dracula, Frankenstein and the Phantom of the Opera to roam the grounds around the train. Life-like decorations, sound effects and spooky lighting bring the Ghost Train to life every year. Certain train trips will include live theatrical performances from actors, making the experience a touch more scary for the braver passengers aboard.
Where: Stanley Park Train – Pipeline Road, Stanley Park (just north of the bus loop)
When: Friday, October 9 to Sunday, November 1; Monday to Thursday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
What: Held at Bear Creek Park, the Pumpkin Express is a Halloween celebration for all ages, with food, arts, crafts, and activities under a tent on the train’s platform. Every kid that comes will get a treat for the ride and a child-sized pumpkin (sized for children, not the size of children) to remember the day.
Where: Bear Creek Park – 13750 88th Avenue, Surrey
When: October 9 to October 31; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
What: Everyone’s favourite Metro Vancouver heritage museum, the Burnaby Village Museum, is opening its doors for a haunted jaunt down memory lane. Children will get to go trick-or-treating throughout the village, while the spooked-up carousel will offer festive fun for all the family.
Where: Burnaby Village Museum – 6501 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby
When: Wednesday October 28 to Friday October 30; 6 to 9 p.m.
What: Dozens of scarecrows are the first point of contact outside many of the village’s merchants as businesses work together to put on the annual autumn spectacle. Creative sparks fly as each display is incredibly unique; these are definitely not your average scarecrows.
Where: Steveston Village – Chatham Street, Steveston
When: October 1 to October 31, 2015
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.
What: This free, family-friendly event will feature trick-or-treating, arts and crafts, as well as two Halloween concerts from beloved children’s entertainers Bobs and Lolo. Ghost stories and tours of the Spooky Servants’ quarters are also available to put a chill in your bones and a smile on your face.
Where: Fort Langley National Historic Site – 23433 Mavis Avenue, Langley
When: Saturday, October 31; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What: Take part in trick-or-treating, mad science shows, face painting, family portraits, pumpkin decorating and crafts at City Square Shopping Centre on Halloween.
Where: City Square Shopping Centre – 555 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver
When: Saturday, October 31; noon to 2:45 p.m.
What: Halloweenie is perfect for young children who don’t like the spooky side of Halloween, but love celebrating the holiday nonetheless. Plus, there isn’t a kid out there who hasn’t fallen in love with the Kids Market.
Where: Granville Island Kids Market – 1496 Cartwright Street, Vancouver
When: Saturday, October 31; noon to 3 p.m.
What: Various Yaletown businesses will be handing out treats for all the neighbourhood kids from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Keep an eye open for the spidey posters in their windows – these businesses will be handing out Halloween goodies.
Where: Various locations. See map above for participating areas – and keep an eye for spider stickers in the windows of businesses.
When: Saturday, October 31; 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
What: Dress up in your spookiest costume and learn all about owls, bats, spiders and raccoons at this family-friendly Halloween event.
Where: Surrey Nature Centre – 14225 Green Timbers Way
When: Saturday, October 31; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m
Visit a pumpkin patch
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What: Embrace the countryside 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.