What other month combines the thrills of pie eating and zombie fighting? With both Thanksgiving and Halloween, October in Vancouver means a harvest bounty of events.
Add BC Craft Beer Month, Vancouver Writers Fest, Vancouver International Film Festival, Eco Fashion Week and Oktoberfest, and your October event calendar is stuffed fuller than a Turducken. Get the full line up below:
20 Unmissable Vancouver Events in October
1) FOOD DRINK | BC Craft Beer Month | Oct. 1-31
Forget your troubles, c’mon get hoppy. It’s getting colder and a little rainy, but there are plenty of convivial, suds-filled evenings in October to chase the blues away. Try newly-released seasonal beers (pumpkin ale, treacle porter and more) and meet a local brewer at BC Craft Beer Month events, happening all over town.
2) EVENT | Patrick Hughes at Rosewood Hotel Georgia | Oct. 4
Rosewood Hotel Georgia exhibits its efforts to establish hotels as artistic spaces with a panel discussion on the topic led by renowned Brit artist Patrick Hughes. Tix are $45 and include a cocktail and canape reception.
3) HOLIDAY | Thanksgiving | Oct. 8
What are the best things about fall? The harvest, you say? Okay, yes. But don’t underrate decorative gourd centerpieces and pie, pie, pie – both of which are integral to Thanksgiving. Enjoy Monday off with family and friends!
4) ENTERTAINMENT | Vancouver International Film Festival | Sept. 27-Oct. 12
380 films. From 75 countries. In only two weeks. Vancouver cinephiles have it good! Browse the film listings. Plus here’s how to buy tickets and everything you need to know about venues.
5) FOOD DRINK | Alpen Club Oktoberfest | Oct 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20
Get das butt to the Alpen Club for some raucous brat and bier-filled, German-themed festivities.
6) FOOD DRINK | Oktoberfest at Shangri-La Hotel | through Oct. 7
Raise your stoneware mug of Ayinger high for the first ever fancy-pants Oktoberfest at THE MARKET by Jean-Georges: the chic outdoor patio is transformed into a festive space with a special prix fixe, 3-course menu, hay, costumed servers and some knock-your-hosen-off accordion performers. Lunch is $29-39; Dinner is $49. Purchase tix here.
7) EVENT | Fort Langley Cranberry Festival | Oct. 6
Fort Langley celebrates its status as the one of the world’s largest producers of the cranberries for the last 200 years – giving you the chance to stock up on the fruit before the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s also probably one of the only events where one is encouraged to tart it up. The fun starts at 8:30am with a pancake breakfast and continues with cranberry sales, contests, live music and cooking demos. Don’t forget to stroll down to the Bedford Channel to watch The Fort Langley Canoe Club races.
8) EVENT | Stanley Park Ghost Train | Oct. 5-31
Beware of rampaging trolls. Why? Because the Stanley Park Ghost Train is back with a scary fairy tale theme. The family-friendly Halloween attraction will run nightly: 6:00-10:00pm Sunday through Thursday; until 11:00pm Fridays/Saturdays, with additional matinee runs 11:00am -3:00pm Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The train is rain-protected, so don’t let a little weather dampen your spirits. Location info is available here. Admission to the Ghost Train also includes access to the Haunted Castle, crafts and games.
9) OUTSIDE | Creatures of the Night Candle Lit Walks | Oct. 5-31
Bats! Owls! Bandit-masked raccoons! Venture into 1000 acres of (mildly) spooky night woods with a guide on a candlelit adventure. Your goal? To scope Stanley Park’s creepy and elusive nocturnal residents. Tours start from the Miniature Railway in Stanley Park and are offered Thursdays – Sundays 6:30-10:00pm (every 30 minutes). Admission: Children $3, adults $5 and families (of 4) $15.
10) FOOD DRINK | Big Fat Greek Gala | Oct. 11
Lots of tasty Greek food by Kambolis Group’s Nu and C Restaurant plus belly dancers, live music and an auction – all to benefit the families at West Side Family Place. The shin dig takes place at the Hellenic Centre at 4500 Arbutus. Tix are $25.
11) ENTERTAINMENT | The Zombie Syndrome | Oct. 13-31
Zombie mania has grasped Vancouver in its stinky, rotting grip. From our very own Remy: “Just in time for Halloween, a new attraction turns the audience into zombie fighters on the streets of Vancouver. Described as an ‘interactive, site-specific theatre adventure,’ the Zombie Syndrome puts you in the starring role in a quest to conquer the undead.” Find out how to assemble azombie-fighting army from our in-depth Zombie Mania coverage.
12) FOOD DRINK | UBC Botanical Gardens Apple Festival | Oct. 13-14
This is not a reference to the celeb offspring of Gwyneth and Chris. It’s an ode to BC apples. Try all 70 heritage varieties plus cider, pie, apple butter and more at this annual autumn favourite. Every year, families purchase 44,000 pounds (20,000 kilos) of local fruit. With alluring names like Pippin, Ambrosia and Grimes Golden, it’s impossible to commit to just one type. You can even help name a new apple species and adopt an apple tree. Admission is $4 for adults and children over 12 years. The food tasting tent is an additional $5 per head.
13) GREEN CITY | Artists for Conservation Festival at Grouse Mountain | Oct. 13-21
The world’s top conservation-themed exhibit of original nature and wildlife art takes place on Grouse Mountain and features renowned artists Robert Bateman and Pollyanna Pickering. This is more than an art sale – it involves workshops, discussions, lectures, demos, film and a twinkly gala. Event details here.
This year, Writers Fest turns 25 and the big names in attendance pay homage to the celebration. VIP authors appearing in 2012 include über rockstars of the literary world: Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood and Alistair MacLeod. The talks take place on Granville Island. Get tix here. Read more of our event coverage here.
15) GREEN CITY | Eco Fashion Week | Oct. 16-19
Vancouver will once again prove that green living doesn’t have to mean donning all-weather trek pants as day wear. Celebrate the marriage of style and eco consciousness in Robson Square, the heart of an inspiring week of exciting events, fashion shows and informative seminars by world’s top ethical fashion designers.
16) ENTERTAINMENT | Fright Nights at the PNE | Oct. 17-31
Among the best Halloween attractions for grown-ups (and Vancouver’s most popular Halloween destination), Fright Nights includes FEAR, the brand new fright house for 2012, plus 5 other fright houses, 13 terrifying rides and horrifying comedy act “Monsters of Schlock” . From 6pm til late every night. Tickets range from $31-$36.
17) EVENT | Halloween Costume Ball at Telus World of Science | Oct. 27
Don a costume. Grab a jack’o’lantern. Magic it into a carriage. And make your way to a legendary Halloween party. Over 1000 people turn up decked out in costumes ranging from terrifying to provocative to shake it in an iconic Vancouver landmark. Tix start at $45.
18) EVENT | Parade of Lost Souls Secret Souls Walk | Oct. 27
Join a secret Halloween procession through East Van’s back alleys – start location disclosed by Public Dreams closer to the date. As we cautioned last year, this is sophisticated scary for people who aren’t feint of heart; it’s best for kids 12+. Parade of Lost Souls also features a dance party at the Rickshaw with DJ Oker, DJ Tango and MY!GAY!HUSBAND!, 9pm-2am Oct. 27. Find details here.
19) OUTSIDE | Pumpkin Picking | Dates vary
There are plenty of options for obtaining and carving a pumpkin in the Vancouver area. UBC Farm’s Harvest Festival 9am-1pm, Oct. 20 hosts a pumpkin carving competition. Nearby Richmond Farms is known for it’s Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze, where families can pick, carve, take a hayride and meet farm animals.
20) EVENT | Halloween | Oct. 31
You’re never to old to enjoy a costume. The holiday falls on a Wednesday this year, improving a typically dull weekday. It’s also the only day of the year when candy corn counts as a vegetable.