Things to do in Vancouver

Vancouver in Autumn: Top Fall Activities and Attractions

Vancouver is vibrant in autumn shades and there's a wealth of activities waiting for you.

Changing seasons bring exciting shifts to this seaside city. Cradled by harbor shores and far-off mountain peaks, Vancouver’s natural wonders stretch as far as the eye can see. Year-round, the city thrives. But as autumn colors brush the trees, Vancouver enters an annual prime unmatched by summer warmth or spring blooms.

Locals know this season is a time to be savored. There may be plenty of things to do in Vancouver, but a temporary age of splendor is worth making the most of. Organic reds and golds mark a season to celebrate. It’s autumn in Vancouver — here’s where to be and what to see.

Fall Activities Great for Kids

Even the youngest city-dwellers can get in on this fall fun.

1. Harvest Days at VanDusen Botanical Garden

All year long, VanDusen Botanical Garden stuns Vancouverites with its natural beauty. Autumn’s reign puts fall foliage front and center, shades of scarlet melding with earthy browns. VanDusen’s Harvest Days pay homage to seasonal joy and excite visitors of all ages.

In the fall, the gardens transform into versatile activity spaces. Designated photo areas capture precious moments while patrons laugh at live entertainment and explore the in-house vegetable patch. Food vendors serve up tasty treats just begging to be savored beneath a shedding tree.

Nearby, the stone garden rises into the sky, topped only by the peak in Queen Elizabeth Park. A trip through the cedar maze is a must, as cloudy fall skies cast a deliciously gothic pall over the scene.

Photographer: Laurent Beique

2. Fintastic Fall Days at Adventure Aquarium

Marine life gets in on the seasonal fun in the heart of Stanley Park. Adventure Aquarium promises a splendid time no matter the weather, but autumn brings a wet and wacky adventure. Fintastic Fall Days cast the aquarium in a new light. Deep-sea friends made of glowing gourds overtake the space and delight children of all ages.

Smiling fish meet jolly sharks in this underwater menagerie. Follow the splashy trail through the tanks to meet a whole cast of creatures. Not-so-spooky secrets hide within each exhibit, on view for little eyes with the patience to look.

3. Canyon Frights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Heights are our thing. We love being high in the air, feeling the sharp thrill of looking down, and seeing the utter satisfaction on our fans' faces as they watch one of our aerial feats in action. In autumn, heights meet frights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, and we love it!

Don your spookiest costumes and journey high into the mountains — it's time for Canyon Frights! Capilano takes on the air of a Victorian-era fall festival on Halloween night. Dotted with low lights and crawling with otherworldly beings, a walk across each suspension bridge is bathed in eerie flair.

Look far enough, and you might spot Grouse Mountain beyond the mist. If you listen closely, you may even be privy to an owl’s nightly call.

Celebrate Spooky Season

Ghouls and ghosts come out to join in spooky city ventures.

4. Fright Nights

For over 20 years, Fright Nights has unleashed its nightmares on unsuspecting Vancouverites. Left to slumber through the warmer months, Fright Nights arises again every autumn to bring some fearsome sights. The Opening Scaremonies call creepy characters to the city streets for those who dare to brave the things that go bump in the night.

This space is a compendium of your greatest fears. Spooky sights include clowns, haunted houses, and a scary traveling circus that's nothing like ours. If that doesn’t scare you, the zipping and dizzying thrill rides will.

5. Scariest Corn Maze in Canada at Maan Farms

Vancouver has parks and green spaces, but few are as frightening as this one. Maan Farms calls this experience the Scariest Corn Maze in Canada, and we tend to agree. All attractions at the event revolve around a central theme. Its newest theme, The Witching Hour, debuted in 2023 and quickly became a favorite.

Two twin sisters, Esme and Agatha, were born on the farm in 1997. While Esme flourished, Agatha, doomed by sorcery and jealousy, was cursed. Legend has it this family curse haunts the land beneath the cornfield, turning it into a twisted labyrinth of horrors.

Caverns thread across the grounds towards the sister’s homestead. They form a multisensory nightmare to traverse in the dark. Enter if you dare, but there’s no guarantee you’ll come back out.

This venue may be best suited to those aged 14 and older. It may be too frightening and intense for younger children.

Photographer: Amy Baugess

6. Latin American Heritage Month Events on Granville Island

Granville Island and its neighbor, Kits Beach, are lively little neighborhoods a touch removed from the city’s busy streets. These hidden gems in Vancouver offer a fun way to escape the typical bustle in favor of a calmer day out. Lucky for autumn lovers, the season brings many events to celebrate Latin American Heritage Month.

There’s something for everyone on this little island. LAHM’s opening ceremony is full of dancing and vibrant costumes, while other late nights showcase live music and outstanding cuisine. Stop by the Latin Market for family-friendly activities, and try your hand at Mesoamerican pottery.

7. Vancouver Horror Show

Scary movie fanatics rejoice at the sight of the Vancouver Horror Show. The low-budget horror films on view here are big in heart. Dedicated filmmakers from around the world congregate, resulting in a community so niche and jolly it's downright scary.

Over 50 frightening pieces, from short flicks to feature-length films, have been featured in recent years. Q&A sessions, screenplay contests, and a spooky red carpet round out festival days. For cinema creeps bold enough to brave the big screen, the Vancouver Horror Show awaits.

Photographer: Aditya Chinchure

Fall Festivals & Events

Ring in the season with crowds of other autumn enthusiasts.

8. Festival of Lights

The city’s natural bounties look even better wrapped in thousands of twinkling lights. VanDusen Botanical Garden earns another place on our list for its spectacular Festival of Lights. A holiday tradition among locals, this fête opens its doors at the tail end of autumn.

A journey through these blazing trails marks a transitory in-between phase when fall lovers soak up every last bit of the precious season. Bundle up and head out for a stroll among the Japanese maples, all bundled in scarves and coats.

More than 1 million tiny lights turn the multi-acre garden into a sea of twinkling glitter. Hot beverages and festive music round out the atmosphere.

9. Vancouver Writers Fest

This neighborhood is full of Vancouver art galleries. It’s also a place where creatives flock to celebrate another treasured medium: words. Vancouver Writers Fest is an annual festival that celebrates the power of literature.

Readers and writers have a home at this cultural hot spot. Thoughtful events connect literature enthusiasts to beloved authors for an exchange of ideas and inspiration. Conversations and workshops give wordsmiths a space to spin tales face-to-face.

New generations of book lovers will find themselves drawn to hands-on explorations of storytelling. A peek at what’s next in the literary world gives way to newfound authors and their innovative insights. To aspiring writers and avid readers, this atmosphere is electric with the promise of fresh perspectives.

10. Vancouver Fall Home Show

This makerspace is full of crafty individuals who don’t fit in elsewhere. In other words, they're our kind of people.

The trendy streets of Coal Harbour house Got Craft, an eclectic marketplace passionate about supporting small, outside-the-box creators. Founders Andrea and Rob began the venture nearly two decades ago to fill an aesthetic gap in the Vancouver craft scene. Got Craft shares its wares at several annual events, including the much-beloved Fall Home Show. The show features a collection of jewelry, home goods, clothing, and more. Live music and hot food create a cozy community gathering against the autumn chill.

11. Chutzpah! Festival

A celebration of Jewish culture and the art it inspires, the Chutzpah! Festival is a stunning showcase for Jewish performing artists. Local articles and outlets commend this ambitious fete for its stirring performances, from music and dance to comedy and theater. Artists hail from around the world, each drawn to share their gifts.

Jewish history is explored and applauded on these stages. When the spotlights are on, audience members are driven to laughter, tears, or movement as they hang on to every word.

12. Vancouver International Film Festival

This picture-perfect city is a favorite filming spot among moviemakers. North Vancouver’s sky-high buildings often serve as stand-ins for those in other metropolises. Look closely at some of your favorite shows, and you might notice more familiar sites, such as Trout Lake or the stunning Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.

Up-and-coming filmmakers assemble here for a yearly cinema showcase. The Vancouver International Film Festival celebrates cinema culture from across the globe.

A full 11 days of uninterrupted discussions, film viewings, and live shows make even casual moviegoers swoon. As masters of visual storytelling, we can attest that this space offers a special escapism.

Tasty Autumn Treats

Spiced sweets on the tongue sing tastes of autumn harvests.

13. Harvest Haus

No, you haven’t stepped through a portal to Munich. Harvest Haus brings Oktoberfest to Vancouver, much to the joy of the city’s biggest beer fans. Sure, this is a celebration of beer, hearty meals, and lederhosen. But more than anything, it’s a celebration of joy, and that’s a cause we can get behind.

Enjoy tapped kegs and fried bratwursts with your merry crew. Traditional fare, such as pretzels, sauerkraut, and fine chocolates, is served while you sip. Oompah bands liven up the crowd with foot-stomping music that's bound to get everyone in a celebratory mood.

14. Apple Picking at Taves Family Farms

Of all the things to do in Vancouver, apple picking is undoubtedly one of the sweetest. Taves Family Farms extends this sweetness to you this autumn season. Its U-Pick Apples experience takes you into the quiet countryside, just right for a peaceful day in the grove.

The farm has a large variety of apples ripe for the taking, including sugary fujis, sharp galas, and bright Honeycrisps. Pluck a bushel or two or three to share and covet. Extra points for those who can turn these special fruits into a delightful dessert.

Photographer: Ryan Arnst

15. Pumpkin Farm Fest at Southlands Farm

Autumn means squash of all shapes and sizes. The happy round king of the gourd family takes the spotlight at Pumpkin Farm Fest, cheerily hosted by the growers at Southlands Farm.

This farmstead is a country oasis just outside Vancouver proper. Pick the perfect pumpkin, and cozy up in the orchard or by the campfire if the northern chill appears. It’s easy to feel at home here, relaxing under the wide open sky.

If you're looking for action after visiting the goats or pony, the farmers here are happy to let visitors grab a rake and lend a hand.

Photographer: Nik

16. Apple Festival at UBC Botanical Garden

The apple rules autumn in Vancouver. Spread love for the fruit at the University of British Columbia's annual Apple Festival, housed in the campus botanical garden. The Festival celebrates these organic treasures with the whole community.

Stock up on apples by the bag, from conventional varieties to brand-new hybrids. Live music, apple tasting, and apple merch make this a fruit lover’s heaven on earth. Don’t leave without sampling some fall-friendly treats and classic fair foods, such as apple pie and sweet kettle corn.

Experience the Fun of a Vancouver Autumn

When the winds of change sweep over Vancouver summers, a season of plenty is coming. Packed with eclectic experiences to share, autumn in this city offers surprises at every turn, all dressed up in warm tones.

While you're in town, stop by one of our shows in Vancouver for an evening of jaw-dropping delight. Dressed in brilliant swaths of color, our acrobats provide visual splendor as they twist and twirl the night away for your viewing pleasure.

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