This article includes the following topics:
What’s New | Location | Times & Dates | Harvest Haus Prices | Harvestland Prices | What to Expect at Harvest Haus | What to Expect at Harvestland | Food & Drinks | Tips & Suggestions | Other Information
Click any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about both Harvest Haus and Harvestland.
Note: This article contains some information about Harvestland (which is an event for people of all ages), but it’s mostly about Harvest Haus (which is for adults and is focussed around beer). For more details about the family-friendly event see our article about Harvestland.)
Harvest Haus Vancouver
Harvest Haus is one of Vancouver’s largest and most impressive Oktoberfest events. Harvest Haus didn’t happen in 2018, but it was back again and even bigger than before in October 2019.
Dates for the Oktoberfest event for adults in 2019 were October 10th, 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th. 2020 dates will likely be similar.
What’s New about Harvest Haus?
In 2019 Harvest Haus was produced in partnership with the Pacific National Exhibition. That meant it had a new and even bigger venue – at the PNE grounds at 2901 East Hastings Street.
The new venue also meant that the Oktoberfest part of the festival no longer took place in a massive Festzelte tent. Instead it took place indoors inside the PNE Forum. The place looked similar to what it used to look like from the inside a couple of years ago. It was in a building now, so with sort of a beer hall feel, and not in the German-style festival canopied structure of the past.
What else is new? The event has expanded to include a family-friendly element too. Harvest Haus is the drinking party for adults, similar to what it has been in past years. Harvestland, meanwhile, is a new 10-day attraction featuring tractor rides, pumpkin-smashing opportunities, logger shows, an amusement ride, other activities and live entertainment.
Harvest Haus Location
Harvest Haus used to be held under a Festzelte in the plaza outside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, but in 2017 its venue was at 88 Pacific Boulevard near Concord Pacific Place. In 2019 it set up at Hastings Park at the PNE fairgrounds at 2901 East Hastings Street. 2020 location is to be determined.
The Harvest Haus part of the event takes place in the PNE Forum which is an older building that gets decorated to look like a beer hall. Family-friendly Harvestland, meanwhile, is set up outside in the park (in the area where food vendors and the Festival Park Stage are at the PNE in the summer).
Even though Harvest Haus is in the PNE Forum, you can’t get in via the PNE’s usual entrance at the corner of East Hastings and Renfrew (where the Forum is located). To get into Harvest Haus you have to enter via the Harvestland entrance (which is in the park on the far side of the PNE Forum from Hastings Street).
The entrance to Harvestland is off Renfrew about halfway between East Hastings and McGill. It’s kind of hard to find. Head to near where the Agrodome entrance is and follow the signs.
Harvest Haus Times & Dates
Harvest Haus (for adults) and Harvestland (for folk of all ages) took place in 2019 on select days between October 10th and October 20th. 2020 dates are to be confirmed.
Harvest Haus Festival Times
In 2019 the Harvest Haus event was scheduled to be open to the public at the following times (2020 will likely be similar):
(Note: Exact details are subject to change.)
- Thursday, October 10th – from 6:00 to 11:00 pm (Grand Opening).
- Friday, October 11th – from 6:00 to 11:00 pm (Sweethart Nacht).
- Saturday, October 12th – from 1:00 until 5:30 pm (Stein Games).
- Saturday, October 12th – from 6:30 to 11:00 pm (Ach, Ja! It’s Saturday event).
- Friday, October 18th – from 6:30 to 11:00 pm (Zanymode Mystery Guest Night).
- Saturday, October 19th – from 1:00 until 5:30 pm (Lippensynchron Battle).
- Saturday, October 19th – from 6:30 to 11:00 pm (Grand Finale Closing Night).
Harvestland Opening Times
While Harvest Haus took place on just one Thursday, two Fridays and two Saturdays, Harvestland was open on every day except the Tuesday between October 10th and the 20th. Doors were open between 4:00 and 10:00 pm on weekdays and from noon until 10:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Note: Due to the poor weather and customer feedback, hours of operation on the final three days of the festival changed to the following:
- Friday, October 18th, 2019: 4:00 to 8:00 pm
- Saturday, October 19th, 2019: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Sunday, October 20th, 2019: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Harvest Haus Admission Prices
Within the Harvest Haus beer venue you could pay for either general admission or VIP admission. Both gave you access to the main venue, but also to the Harvestland attraction. For between about $15 and $21 extra, VIP ticket holders get a few bonus privileges.
Harvest Haus General Admission
General admission to Harvest Haus in past years has been about $35 each evening, but $25 for afternoon sittings and the Grand Opening. In 2019 general admission ranged between $26.24 and $31.49 depending on which session you attend. It was cheapest on the Opening Night and at the Saturday afternoon sessions. Every other evening it cost more.
For the price of admission you get access to the beer hall venue and all the food vendors, beer stalls, live entertainment and festive atmosphere. Food and drinks all cost extra, plus there is the requirement that people drink out of official Harvest Haus beer steins which helps enhance the experience. The mugs cost around $3 to rent (plus a deposit).
Admission to the Harvest Haus beer-drinking venue also included access to Harvestland. Admission to Harvestland, however, did not include access to Harvest Haus.
Harvest Haus VIP Admission
VIP tickets were also available. In the past they used to cost about $50 in the evenings and $40 in the afternoons. The extra $15 (above the regular general admission price) included a free souvenir beer stein, premium seating and a couple of other perks.
In 2019 VIP tickets cost $41.91 for the Opening Night event on the Thursday as well as at the Saturday afternoon sessions. VIP admission on the other evenings costs about $52.50.
Benefits of VIP admission in 2019 include getting access to a raised Bavarian-themed long table seating area, a guaranteed table seat and access to the VIP Bar. You also save yourself having to pay $3 to rent a beer stein.
Harvestland Admission Prices
Including taxes and online fees, admission to the family-friendly Harvestland venue cost the following in 2019 (2020 will be comparable):
- Adults (ages 13 to 64) – $15.74
- Children (ages 3 to 12) – $10.49
- Seniors (ages 65+) – $10.49
- Families (2 adults & up to 3 children) – $47.24
The above prices were for tickets purchased online and in advance. Rates were subject to change and were about $3 to $8 more at the gate.
What to Expect at Harvest Haus
In past years, Harvest Haus took place in the Festzelte which was a massive structure comprised of three or so massive canvas tents that together formed a large hall that held up to a thousand or more people. Inside the Festzelte there were rows of long tables with log-stump seating and a stage at the centre for the live entertainment. At two sides of the great hall were rows of different beer vendors and in different areas inside there were places you could buy food and souvenirs.
Just outside the Festzelte in past years were about half a dozen or so different food stalls selling German-themed foods. Typical menu items included bratwurst and sauerkraut on a bun, pork hocks and pizza.
In 2019 the Oktoberfest-themed Harvest Haus event took place indoors at the PNE Forum (so in a building and no longer in the giant Festzelte). The Forum was decorated up nicely though with colourful banners and looked similar to what the event looked like in years before.
The atmosphere inside the hall at Harvest Haus is always fun and festive, especially as each evening progresses and the place fills up. There are occasional mini skits by entertainers with German accents dressed in lederhosen and other traditional clothing, a band playing lively music and lots of people with their friends having fun.
The Oktoberfest beer-drinking event attracts a crowd of mixed ages, but predominantly in the 25 to 45-age range from what we’ve seen in the past. Everyone from age 19+ to senior citizens generally have a great time!
At the event a couple of years ago there was a place outside the Festzelte where guests could practice their axe-throwing skills. It was free, but you first needed to sign a waiver. You could also give your sword-fighting skills a try. In 2019 those activities and more took place in Harvestland but they did have an extra charge.
During a few of the sittings in past years there have also been special events, like on the first Friday when they’ve had “Duelling Arts”, the first Saturday afternoon when they’ve had “Stein Games,” and the second Saturday afternoon when they’ve had a “Lippensynchron Battle.”
In 2019 there was the “Grand Opening” on October 10th, “Sweethart Nacht” on the 11th, “Stein Games” on October 12th and “Zanymode Mystery Guest Night” on the 18th. On the last day of Harvest Haus, on October 19th, there was also a “Lippensynchron Battle” in the afternoon and the “Grand Finale” in the evening. 2020 events are to be confirmed but will likely be similar.
GHOSTLY WALKING TOURS IN OCTOBER
The Lost Souls of Gastown is a guided walking tour in downtown Vancouver that’s led by an actor in period costume. It takes place throughout the year but is especially fun and spooky around Halloween. See our article about Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours for details.
What to Expect at Harvestland
Harvestland is a new family-friendly fall-themed event at the PNE. It runs in conjunction with the Harvest Haus Oktoberfest event. The two attractions take place pretty much side by side.
At Harvestland there is a little farm area, a maze to go through, a small Bavarian Village, a beer station, an amusement ride, live entertainment and market vendors selling Oktoberfest-themed food and drink.
Activities at the attraction include tractor rides, storytelling and pumpkin carving. There are entertainers in costume, logger competition shows and a carnival-style amusement ride.
In the Bavarian Village there are food stalls, a couple of market vendors, games to play, sword-fighting opportunities and both an axe-tossing and archery station. (Note: These activities are not included in the price of admission.)
Tractor rides at Harvestland are free with general admission. Archery, axe-throwing, lettuce sword-cutting and pumpkin cannon activities though cost extra, as does the fairground ride.
At Harvestland expect to see parents and grandparents enjoying time with their young children, plus adults trying their luck at the games or getting food. At Harvest Haus expect to see lots of young adults, many in German costumes, having a different kind of fun with their friends.
There are a number of places to celebrate Oktoberfest in Metro Vancouver each year. There is Harvest Haus, of course, but also venues like the Vancouver Alpen Club. Click Lower Mainland Oktoberfest Events for a list of locations.
Oktoberfest Food & Drinks
Food prices at Harvest Haus in past years have ranged from between $2 and $14. Menu items at the food stalls have included things like pork hocks, bratwurst and sauerkraut on a bun, soups and German pizza. All have been delicious. There are usually pretzels, strudels and various other baked goods too.
Beers and ciders cost around $10 to $12 each. Drinks on tap at the bar typically include Erdinger Weissbrau, Radeberger and Hacker-Pschorr from Germany, as well as Heineken, Newcastle Brown Ale (UK), Lagunitas (US) and Parallel 49 (from Vancouver).
For those who don’t like beer there is apple cider and Jägermeister too (the latter of which is a German digestif alcohol made with herbs and spices and having a sweet licorice flavour). Some people like it, but not everyone.
Tips and Suggestions
Below is some advice and extra information to help you make the most out of your Harvest Haus experience.
TIP #1: This has been a popular event in the past. It’s good to reserve your tickets in advance as many of the sittings sell out.
TIP #2: This is the kind of event that is the most fun when you go with a large group of friends. As they say, “the more the merrier!”
TIP #3: Wearing traditional lederhosen and dirndl dresses is not required, and most people don’t. If you’re German and you do though, you’ll have more fun and still fit right in. Souvenir clothing is also available for sale at the venue.
TIP #4: There are no in-and-out privileges at Harvest Haus and Harvestland. If you pay for admission to Harvest Haus you can go to and fro between the two venues as much as you like (although that’s not the case for folk with just Harvestland tickets). Once inside either venue though, you can’t exit the event grounds, go back to your car, get something, and then get back in.
TIP #5: Admission isn’t inexpensive, especially as food and drink are extra. You’re paying for the atmosphere and the experience though, so it’s worth it. It’s also much cheaper than a trip to Munich! Go with a group of friends, enjoy a few drinks and you’ll no doubt have a fabulous time. Prost!
For tickets and more information about both the adults-only and family-friendly events, see the Harvest Haus website.
For more information about the new event that’s suitable for people of all ages, see our article about Harvestland.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver Oktoberfest Events
- Free Events in October
- Vancouver’s October Calendar
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Vancouver Rainy Day Activities
- Best Places in Autumn
- Vancouver Halloween Events
- Halloween Activities for Adults
- Vancouver Haunted Houses