There are beautiful autumn colours everywhere, plus the start of the Christmas craft fairs season beginning in late November (although 2021 details are to be confirmed)!
What to do in Vancouver in Autumn
Below is a list of top Lower Mainland activities to do in the fall, as well as a calendar list of special fall events.
Exploring Autumn Colours
- Walking, Jogging and Cycling: Some of the best places to enjoy the fall colours outdoors include city parks like Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park and Deer Lake Park, and along waterfront pathways that are great for walks and cycling, like around Coal Harbour, Point Grey, False Creek, Steveston Village, Ambleside and Fort Langley. There are lots of other great parks and places in nature to enjoy the beauty of autumn too. Click Vancouver’s Best Places in Autumn for more details.
- Golf: When it’s not raining, and before the rainy season really hits, and hard, some of the best places to enjoy fall colours are on the greens at Vancouver’s Best Golf Courses.
- Fishing and Salmon Runs: Autumn is when the lakes get restocked with fish and the salmon begin their treks up rivers to spawn. The Capilano River Hatchery in North Vancouver is a great place to see the salmon up close while admiring fall colours in the area, and good fresh water fishing can be found in lakes and rivers throughout the Lower Mainland, from the Sea to Sky region to the Fraser Valley.
- Wine Tours: The best time to visit local vineyards and wineries is between late August and early October. That’s when the grapes are being harvested and the crushing begins, so there’s a lot to see (as well as sample). For information, check out Lower Mainland Wineries.
Indoors & Out of the Rain
Yes, autumn is the start of rainy season in the Lower Mainland. When the weather is good most folk like to take advantage of the sunshine while they can. On the increasingly frequent days when it’s raining, however, good things to check out are Vancouver’s best indoor activities.
Fall Festivals & Events
Summer is Vancouver’s peak festival season, but there are also some great festivals and special events in the fall. These include the specifically fall-themed events below. For a more complete list of festivals taking place in autumn, check out the Festivals and Events Calendar.
Lower Mainland in SEPTEMBER
- Coho Festival – a FREE salmon festival on the North Shore on a Sunday in early September (although there is no live event in 2021 due to COVID-19).
- Terry Fox Run – annual early fall fundraising runs to benefit cancer research throughout the Lower Mainland on a Sunday in mid-September (although they will be taking place virtually in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic).
- Riverfest – a FREE family-friendly event put on by the Fraser River Discovery Centre in New Westminster on a Saturday in mid to late September.
For more ideas on things to do in September, check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ September Calendar.
Lower Mainland in OCTOBER
- Thanksgiving – the holiday weekend near the beginning of the month (October 10th to 12th in 2020).
- Vancouver Halloween events at various locations, including the Halloween Parade most years (although not in 2020 or 2021).
- Apple Festival – a fundraising festival at the UBC Botanical Garden in mid-October (although cancelled for 2020.)
- VanDusen Glow in the Garden – lights and Halloween displays at VanDusen Botanical Garden in the last week or two of the month. (CANCELLED FOR 2020.)
- FlyOver Canada at Halloween – Vancouver’s multi-dimensional theatre attraction at Canada Place has a Halloween theme in the days leading up to October 31st.
- Oktoberfest – a number of beer-themed events take place at various venues most years (although not last year).
- Lower Mainland Pumpkin Patches – pumpkins and family-friendly activities at farms around the Lower Mainland including Peteys Pumpkin Patch in Chilliwack.
- Lower Mainland Corn Mazes – fields of corn you have to find your way out of. Some are fun and for little kids, like the one at Peteys Pumpkin Patch in the Fraser Valley. Others are scary, Halloween haunted house-like and for older folk, like Reapers Maze of Terror.
For more ideas on things to do in October, check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ October Calendar.
Lower Mainland in NOVEMBER
- Black Friday marks the start of the Black Friday shopping sales season, which will be especially good north of the border this year given the weak Loonie. Black Friday takes place the day after the American Thanksgiving Day which is always the 4th Thursday in November.
- Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival – a usually massive migratory gathering of bald eagles not far from Harrison Hot Springs along the Harrison River. (Although cancelled for 2021 and in future years, there are still lots of eagles to see on your own).
- Christmas Craft fairs – the first ones start in early November and they run until the middle of December. One of the biggest and fanciest is the Circle Craft Market around the Remembrance Day Weekend.
- Remembrance Day – a Statutory Holiday on November 11.
For more ideas on things to do in November, check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ November Calendar.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Rainy Day Activities
- Stanley Park in Autumn
- Indoor Activities in the Lower Mainland
- Best Places in Autumn
- Outdoor Recreation in the Lower Mainland
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Best Places in Parks and Nature
- Hiking in the Lower Mainland