When your family visits British Columbia in October and you're looking for activities in the Vancouver area, you'll be happy to know that the city celebrates Halloween with many attractions designed for everyone from toddlers to teens. From pumpkin patches to fright nights for the older kids and even a ghost train to ride, many events encourage kids to come in costume to join in the fun.
For many Vancouverites, it wouldn't be Halloween without at least one trip to Fright Nights at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). Held on select dates in October, the PNE Playland's Halloween extravaganza includes multiple haunted houses, scary rides, and live performances. At this Vancouver Halloween attraction open to adults and kids, parents should be aware that some of the nighttime haunted fun is genuinely scary. Use discretion with kids 12 and younger. Tweens and teens, though, will love the thrills!
Fright Nights is also not recommended for guests 65 and older, guests with sensitivity to strobe lighting, guests with high blood pressure, and pregnant women. No guest costumes or painted faces are allowed.
Located just 20 minutes south of Vancouver, Richmond Country Farm is the area's most famous pumpkin patch. Starting October 5, 2019, the farm activities include a corn maze, live music from the farm band, an animal farm, buildings from Transylvania, costumed entertainers like Polly Pumpkin and Strawberry Shortcake, and more. You'll ride to the pumpkin patch on a hay wagon past scenic ponds and waterfalls. This Halloween destination geared to kids is perfect for the whole family. Guests of all ages look forward to a fresh, crisp B.C.-grown Spartan apple at the end.
The most popular—and perhaps the best—Halloween activity in Vancouver for kids is the Stanley Park Ghost Train. From October 11 to 31, 2019, Stanley Park's kid-sized train transforms into the Ghost Train, taking riders on a surprising and fright-free journey through the forest, where live-action scenes are brought to life by amazing performance artists. In addition to the Ghost Train ride, the attraction includes a haunted maze, pumpkin patch, crafts, and face-painting. All ages will enjoy the Ghost Train and other activities but it's most appropriate for children 2 to 10 years of age.
The Downtown Vancouver Halloween Parade and Expo host this annual family-friendly parade with a usual attendance of around 100,000 in mid-October. The several-day expo features hundreds of cos-players in costumes from film, comics, anime, and video games. There are also food trucks, vendors, artists, and live performers. There's no blood or gore at the parade, and scary costumes are prohibited so toddlers will love it, too.
The parade starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday, October 13, 2019, in downtown Vancouver and the route followed is Howe Street (Drake to Smithe), Smithe Street (Howe to Granville), and Granville Street (Smithe to Davie).
One of the top Halloween activities in Vancouver for kids, Burnaby Village, is an outdoor museum that recreates life in the early 1900s, complete with shops, trams, and a 1912 wooden carousel. The museum celebrates Halloween at night with trick-or-treating, carousel rides, games, ice cream, and a chance for the kids to explore the grounds in costume. The whole family will enjoy this outing but its ideal for children 3 to 10. Tickets for the October 25 to 28, 2019, event are available at the gate and online.
This kid-friendly Halloween event at the gorgeous VanDusen Botanical Garden turns the garden into a "glowing" nighttime whimsical wonderland with light displays, decorations, and incredible carved pumpkin characters made by award-winning carvers. Kids of all ages are encouraged to get into the spirit by wearing their costume to the garden from October 17 to 27, 2019.
One of the few free Halloween activities in Vancouver for kids, the annual Halloweenie party on October 27, 2019, at Granville Island's famous Kids Market includes Halloween crafts and games. Kids who come in costume are treated to a free hot dog and other goodies. All ages will enjoy the fun but little ones, ages 1 to 8, will enjoy it the most.
For most kids, the best Halloween activity in Vancouver is trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Almost every Vancouver neighborhood welcomes trick-or-treaters. However, if you're in an area that isn't trick-or-treat friendly, take the kids to Trinity Street (also famous for its Christmas light displays) or to one of the free trick-or-treat events around town.