When Vancouver’s leaves start turning, autumn is right around the corner. Summer may be gone, but we’re not looking back. After all, Vancouver has enough fall activities to keep you busy with fun-filled days of action-packed events, apple cider, Halloween frights — even a chocolate festival. Check out these 10 must-see fall activities in Vancouver this autumn and renew your love for autumn.
1. Take a Hike
If the colours are changing, then the best way to see them is to get outside and immerse yourself in nature. Whether you’re huffing and puffing up the Grouse Grind or leisurely strolling through Stanley Park, the crisp air and sweeping views will keep your body active and provide only-in-autumn photo ops. Check out outdoorvancouver.ca for hiking trails this fall.
2. Soak Up Colour at VanDusen Botanical Garden
Heathers, autumn crocus, hydrangeas and more bloom during the fall at VanDusen Botanical Garden, giving visitors the simple pleasure of soaking up picture-perfect fall landscapes. Make sure to visit the Alma VanDusen Meadow Garden and stand before the fiery red Japanese maples.
3. Get Cultured at the Vancouver Art Gallery
It will get colder in the fall, but that’s exactly what art museums are made for. Vancouver Art Gallery’s 10,000-piece permanent holdings include works from historical and contemporary Vancouver artists and other contemporary art leaders, making a trip here a welcome cultural change from sunbathing at Kits Beach. Plus, the museum boasts one of the city’s top cafés, and chatting with friends over coffee is one fall activity you just have to partake in.
4. Visit Your Favourite Animals
If we had to choose one time of the year to visit Maplewood Farm, we’d choose the fall. The leaves are turning, the cider is hot and pumpkins are plentiful. It’s the perfect season to visit Rosie, the farm’s Sicilian miniature donkey, and Fluffy, one of the farm’s giant New Zealand white rabbits.
5. Fright Nights at the Pacific National Exhibition
What’s fall without Halloween, and what’s Halloween without a scream or two? Vancouver’s annual Fright Nights event take over the entire amusement park with bone-chilling exhibits and live shows like the Monsters of Schlock and fire performances. Of course, your favourite rides are still running, and if those aren’t hair-raising enough, opt for any of the seven haunted mansions, created specifically to scare the wits out of you.
6. Ride The Ghost Train
This one is for the kids because of its low spook factor and large doses of fun. The Stanley Park Ghost Train rattles through our favourite park bedecked with a new Halloween theme each year.
7. Hit the Screen
Travel to more than 80 countries via the silver screen at the Vancouver International Film Festival, critically acclaimed as “an unspoiled celebration of world cinema.” The festival usually starts during the last week of September and into early October. It’s one of the biggest film festivals in North America and one you don’t want to miss.
8. Discover the City’s Fringe Benefits
Fall is the time of year when alternative theatre takes over the city. The Vancouver Fringe Festival, which first debuted in 1985, features more than 700 performances in 11 days. The event is all about breaking down barriers, which is why its “Bring Your Own Venue” principle has become so popular. After all, how often can you see theatre in a car, a boat or even a tree!
9. Become a Fan
Need we say more? The BC Lions offer great football throughout the fall, so come out and root for the home team! You can also watch the Vancouver Canucks hit the ice at Rogers Arena.
10. Catch the Start of Theatre Season
Many of Vancouver’s theatres start their seasons in the fall, making it a great time to catch a show. Arts Club Theatre Company, and The Cultch are great picks.