The Vancouver Halloween Expo is a weekend event in October that includes a comics and anime-themed exhibition, parade and entertainment near Robson Square.
Some of the event’s activities take place indoors at Robson Square, and some happen in the North Plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo
In 2018 the Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo takes place on the weekend of October 5-7, which also happens to be the Thanksgiving Long Weekend.
The 3-day event includes both free and ticketed events. There are free live performances on all three days in the afternoons and early evenings outdoors in the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery at 850 Georgia Street. There is also a wonderful, free and family-friendly parade on the Sunday.
Ticketed events take place on the Saturday and Sunday at UBC Robson Square at 800 Robson Street, both indoors and under shelter by the ice rink.
Halloween Expo Activities
The Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo features activities at Robson Square, free live entertainment in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s North Plaza, and a parade in the heart of the city.
There is an indoor exhibition at UBC Robson Square (at 800 Robson Street) from 12:00 until 7:00 pm on both the Saturday and Sunday. There are also free live performances in the plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Georgia Street between Howe and Hornby Street on the Friday from 3:00 until 7:00 pm and on both the Saturday and Sunday from noon until 7:00 pm.
In 2018 the parade takes place on Sunday, October 7th, starting at 11:00 am. It runs for about 10 blocks down Howe Street, along Smithe, and then back up Granville Street. Click Vancouver Halloween Parade for more details.
What to Expect
The Vancouver Halloween Expo isn’t about skeletons, witches, zombies, pumpkins and the walking dead. You might see a few of these Halloween characters and symbols, but not a lot. Instead, the event is all about comics, Japanese anime, video games and mythologies.
If you happen to be anywhere near Robson Square or the Vancouver Art Gallery on the Thanksgiving Long Weekend, on any day other than the Holiday Monday, expect to see lots of young folk in Japanese anime, superhero and various other funky costumes. Perhaps because of the anime element, the event tends to be especially popular with Korean, Japanese and other Asian young adults.
Halloween Expo Admission
The parade and outdoor live entertainment are free. The comic and anime exhibition and indoor performances though require the purchase of a pass.
Single-day passes cost $10 online or about $12 at the door. A weekend pass is good for both the Saturday and Sunday and costs $15 at the door or $13 online. Family passes are also available for one day, are good for up to 2 adults and 4 children (ages 12 and under), and cost $30 at the door or $28 online.
Expo Performances and Exhibition
In addition to the free parade and free performances in the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza, ticketed activities take place downstairs either by the ice rink or in the UBC Building at Robson Square (which is accessed through doors near the ice rink).
At the Vancouver Halloween Expo you don’t have to purchase a separate ticket for each individual event. Just buy a day pass or weekend pass and you get access to everything.
Participants in the parade and event in general are encouraged to dress in costume. It’s a family-friendly event though. Below is a list of what’s allowed and not allowed with respect to costumes.
- No blood or gore.
- No metal weapons or sharp objects. Plastic and wooden swords and other props however are permitted.
- No replica guns. If using a gun as a prop, be sure the toy gun is either significantly smaller or larger than the real version (so it’s obvious to all that it’s not a real gun).
- No nudity or adult material (like what you might see occasionally, for example, at the Vancouver Pride Parade, which is another hugely popular parade).
- No firecrackers or small explosives (like what you might find, for example, at the Chinese New Year Parade).
For more information about the 3-day weekend event in October check out the official Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo website.
For further details about the parade on the Sunday, click Vancouver Halloween Parade.
For ideas on other things to do in Vancouver check out any of the following:
- Thanksgiving Weekend in Vancouver
- Vancouver Halloween Events
- Lower Mainland Haunted Houses
- Halloween Activities for Children
- Adult Halloween Activities
- Lower Mainland Haunted Houses
- Vancouver’s October Calendar
- Vancouver Fall Activities