Each year, Halloween revellers of all ages flock to a magical corner of Stanley Park where fog enshrouds the landscape, Jack-o-Lanterns grin toothily and a much-loved train winds through the forest to an enchanting world whose theme changes annually.
This year, the Stanley Park Ghost Train returns with a truly out-of-this-world spin: aliens have landed on Earth and are determined to invade the train! Once guests board, they are swiftly abducted by the clever aliens and brought to a fantastical, unearthly realm full of strange beings, restricted zones and – wait, was that a UFO?
Despite the eerie theme, the Stanley Park Ghost Train is a fright-free, family-friendly affair open to all ages. In addition to the train ride, visitors can tour the Haunted Maze, check out nature exhibits by the Stanley Park Ecology Society and browse a festive pumpkin patch. Smaller ghouls will particularly enjoy the arts and crafts section, where they can create ghosts, witches and other frightful creatures to bring home as a souvenir of their adventure.
You’ll also want to check out Creatures of the Night, a free initiative run in conjunction with the Stanley Park Train and produced by the Stanley Park Ecology Society. The theatrical experience brings alive the park’s nocturnal creatures with volunteers dressed as dark-dwelling creatures; there are also displays, taxidermy and hands-on activities for all ages. Visitors can also get up close and personal with Stanley Park’s real live “aliens”, including the infamous blob of Lost Lagoon and other bizarre creatures. Creatures of the Night is located at the Ghost Train plaza.
A quick word about the Ghost Train: the 14-minute evening rides are full-blown performances with live actors, light and sound. Sensitive tots might prefer the matinee train, which rolls past Stanley Park’s Halloween displays sans the live action component. The matinee runs Friday to Sunday (11am to 5pm); the evening experience runs Monday to Thursday (5.30pm to 9.30pm) and Friday to Sunday (5.30pm to 10pm). Tickets for the matinee are $6; the evening performance varies from $8 to $12, depending on age. Kiddies under two years old receive free admission. For ticket information, click here. Have a nice abduction!