There is a lot to do on the Thanksgiving Long Weekend in Vancouver. There’s so much to be thankful for, and so many places to explore.
There are parks to visit, autumn colours to admire and Halloween attractions to check out including indoor ones for when it’s raining. There are also markets, festivals and spawning salmon to see, plus so much more.
Thanksgiving in the Lower Mainland
Got family and friends visiting from out of town the weekend of October 6-8? When not sitting around the table eating turkey, go out and explore this great region of the world.
Weekend Special Events in 2018
Special festivals and events happening on the Thanksgiving Long Weekend in 2018 include the following:
- Oktoberfest – Oktoberfest beer festivals this weekend likely include Harvest Haus near BC Place Stadium, Vancouver Oktoberfest at the Vancouver Alpen Club and Oktoberfest at the community centre in Steveston Village. (Exact details to be confirmed.)
- Mid-Autumn Moon Festival – food, music and cultural activities celebrating fall likely take place in Vancouver’s Chinatown at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden on Friday, October 5th. (To be confirmed.)
- Vancouver International Film Festival – films from all over the world are shown at various theatres around town all weekend.
- Fort Langley Cranberry Festival – one of Fort Langley’s most popular events of the year is on Saturday, October 6th. (To be confirmed.)
- Hockey Games – Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without Canadian hockey! The Vancouver Canucks likely play at Rogers Arena on the Thanksgiving Weekend and the Vancouver Giants at the Langley Events Centre.
- Halloween Events – a number of Halloween events start up for the season on the Thanksgiving Long Weekend including the following:
- Fright Nights – haunted houses, rides and Halloween fun at the PNE from 7 to 11 pm on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday (but not Thanksgiving Monday).
- Halloween Pumpkin Express – child-friendly miniature train rides at Bear Creek Park in Surrey starting on the Saturday.
- Potter’s House of Horrors – a couple of haunted houses 12530 72nd Avenue in Surrey. Open on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday from around 7 to 10 pm, but closed on the Holiday Monday.
- Reapers – A haunted attraction that’s open from 7 to 10 pm on the Friday and Saturday (October 5 & 6) and from 7 to 9 pm on the Sunday (October 7). It starts up for the season at the beginning of October and is located at 9423 Gibson Road in Chilliwack.
Thanksgiving Autumn Activities
The Thanksgiving Long Weekend provides a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family enjoying traditional autumn activities, like exploring the outdoors and admiring the fall colours. Great places to do this include the following:
- Vancouver Parks: Best places to admire the fall colours this time of year include Stanley Park and Bear Creek Park. For more ideas on where to see the fall colours, check out Vancouver’s Best Places in Autumn.
- Fort Langley Cranberry Festival – a family-oriented event at Fort Langley on Saturday, October 6th. While you’re there, check out the Fort Langley Farmers Market too.
- Farmers Markets: It’s harvest time and close to the end of the season for farmers markets that haven’t closed down already.
- Saturday Farmers Markets to still check out include those in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Fort Langley, Lonsdale Quay, Maple Ridge, Squamish, Trout Lake and the West End.
- Sunday Farmers Markets still open include those at Ambleside, Coquitlam, Kitsilano and White Rock. Also, final markets of the season are at Mt. Pleasant and Whistler.
- It’s not a farmers market, but the Thanksgiving weekend is also the last chance in 2018 to visit the Richmond Night Market. Not a lot of autumn leaves to see there, but nice places to visit in that part of the Lower Mainland include Richmond’s Minoru Park and the Steveston Village area along the waterfront.
- Lower Mainland Farms: Maan Farms in Abbotsford, the Bose Corn Maze in Surrey, the Chilliwack Corn Maze in the Fraser Valley and the Pumpkin Patch at Richmond Country Farms are all great places to take kids to pick out a pumpkin.
- Thanksgiving Tea: Takes place at London Heritage Farm in Richmond on October 6 and 7 and costs around $15 or so. While you’re in the area, go for a stroll along the waterfront at Steveston Village.
- Fishing and Salmon Viewing: The lakes are getting stocked this time of year throughout the Lower Mainland and there is usually great salmon viewing at the Capilano River Hatchery in North Vancouver.
In addition to Thanksgiving, October is also the month for Halloween. A number of Halloween attractions open this weekend (as mentioned above).
If you are looking for something scary, Fright Nights at the PNE opens this weekend, and there is also Reapers in Chilliwack and Potter’s House of Horrors in Surrey (all of which are closed on October 8, the holiday Monday).
For more ideas on Halloween things to do this month, check out the following:
- Vancouver Children’s Halloween Activities
- Adult Halloween Activities
- Vancouver Haunted Houses
- Rainy Day Activities
For other ideas on things to do at other times this month, check out Vancouver’s Best Places’ October Calendar.
Whatever you end up doing, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! For those of us that live in Vancouver, we have a lot to be thankful for!