Seasons Change: Fun Fall Activities for the Entire Family

Oh, Fall. How we long for the cooler temperatures, beautiful colors and bountiful harvests. The cozy vibes this nostalgic season brings make for a perfect intermission between hot summers and celebratory Decembers. Because of Vancouver's mild temperatures, it does mean that you're able to keep enjoying some of your favorite summer spots into the cooler months. Just be sure to bring a sweater, jacket and maybe an umbrella.

If it's fresh air you want, it's fresh air you'll get at the top of the Chief in Squamish. About 45-minutes from downtown Vancouver, the Sea to Sky Gondola makes for a great day trip. The 10-minute gondola ride takes you up to 855m above sea level where the most stunning views of Howe Sound are waiting. Cooler fall temperatures make exploring the hiking trails very enjoyable experience. Should you be in the mood for a serious hike, you can use the trail from the base to the top of the Chief. It's 4.6 miles (7.5km) and takes about 3 to 5 hours to summit.

For a totally charming and nostalgic experience, the Chilliwack Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch is a fun day trip for all ages. Each year, 12-acres of beautiful Fraser Valley farmland is turned into a festive fall playground. With an epic corn maze, hayrides, a pumpkin patch and so much more going on, it's easy to fill the better part of the day here. Getting there from downtown Vancouver takes about an hour and 10 minutes.

Of course, you don't have to leave the city to make the most of the fall season. Vancouver's Stanley Park has plenty of trails to explore, a plethora of trees who put on their best fall colors, a ghost train during the Halloween season, the Seawall, and more.


About 15 to 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver is North Vancouver's most famous attraction, the Capilano Suspension Bridge. This popular spot sees some 800,000 visitors each year. The original bridge was built in 1889, and although it's been replaced since then, there's been a bridge here ever since. Swaying 230 feet above the Capilano River, the plank and cable bridge stretches 450 feet from one side to the other. Other attractions at the park include the world's largest privately owned collection of totem poles, totem carving demonstrations, hiking trails, their Treetops Adventures, the Cliffwalk, two restaurants and a gift shop. Come late November, Canyon Lights takes over and makes for a stunning light exhibition that's just in time for the holiday season.

Stanley Park

Located in Downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park offers a green oasis to city dwellers that stretches over 1,000 acres of land. The park's home to half a million trees, the Vancouver Aquarium, the Malkin Bowl, carved totem poles, monuments, beaches, a lighthouse, and plenty of trails to take in the fresh air. During the fall, the trails throughout the park a great to explore and the fresh forest air is unbeatable. But, if you want to do something a little different, check out the Ghost Train that runs from October 11 to 31, 2018. This family event is open to all ages and each year brings a new theme. Along with the train ride are arts and crafts, a haunted maze, pumpkin patch, and exhibits by the Stanley Park Ecology Society. It's advisable to buy your tickets online or by phone in advance to avoid sold out rides.

Stretching 5.5-miles (8.8km) around Stanley Park, this lovely jaunt is perfect on a sunny day to bike, walk, run and blade around. Going around the Seawall is best enjoyed with a few stops here and there, and fortunately for you, there are benches, beaches, and scenic spots to stop along the way. While the summer is great for picnics, it's usually a bit too chilly for that in the fall. Fortunately, there are a number of restaurants scattered along the Seawall in Stanley Park, Coal Harbour and English Bay for you to enjoy. No matter what your skill level is, the Seawall is enjoyable for all ages and athletic abilities.


This former golf course was transformed into a series of more than 40 specialized garden areas. Paths meander in and out of the gardens that feature Canada's largest collection of rhododendrons. The hexagon-shaped Korean Pavilion is the highlight of the Asian Gardens, and a wishing fountain is the centerpiece of the Children's Garden. During the fall months, the well thought out gardens are complemented by nature's own show, the changing color of the leaves. When it comes time to warm up, head to the cafe, Truffles Fine Foods, for their afternoon tea service. If you don't want to commit to so much food, they have plenty of a la carte items to choose from.

North Shore
Lighthouse Park
Photo courtesy of Natasha John

This rugged, forested park, which is located along West Vancouver's Marine Drive and 20 to 25 minutes from downtown, features several trails that lead to tidal pools. In order to keep impact on the environment to a minimum (and to avoid getting lost, a not uncommon occurrence), you'll want to stick to the designated paths. The trail from the parking lot to the lighthouse viewpoint is a little steep, so wear your hiking boots and be prepared for a mildly strenuous return back up to your car. If you don't have a car, you can hop on a bus from downtown Vancouver and it will take you directly to a bus stop that's right by the park's entrance. When you're ready to go home, simply go to the other side of the street that you caught the bus and another one should will come by to pick you up.

Outside the City

About 45 minutes from Vancouver is a picturesque town along the Fraser River called Fort Langley. This charming little spot boasts charming homes, cozy book shops, antique stores filled with treasures, and lovely clothing boutiques. Hungry? There's no shortage of delicious bakeries, pubs and a tea salon. Of course, you can't miss the Fort Langley National Historic site, too. Come fall though, Fort Langley attracts locals and visitors alike for a one-day cranberry festival. It's conveniently held on the long weekend in October, which coincides with Canadian Thanksgiving so you can stock up on cranberries, produce from the market stalls and all sorts of treats. Join over 70 vendors on Oct 6, 2018 from 10am until 4pm.

Outside the City

Nothing says fall quite like a hayride and a fun spot to enjoy the nostalgia is at Aldor Acres Family Farm in Langley. Come fall, this charming farm turns into a autumnal wonderland to explore. For kids, there's a petting zoo with plenty of animals to get acquainted with and a pumpkin patch where they can find the perfect gourd for carving. With over 20 acres of land and 15 different kinds of pumpkins, Aldor Acres has you covered. Adults will enjoy the farm-fresh goodies like fresh veggies, eggs and homemade preserves. Come Christmas time, Aldor Acres Family Farm is where you can get fresh cut trees, or cut your own.

Whale watching is such an incredible experience and here in British Columbia, we're lucky to have these majestic mammals in the Pacific waters of our backyard. While aboard the 'Ocean Magic', the Prince of Whales Wale Watching's flagship vessel, you'll have the opportunity to explore the waters in search of several types of whale species, birds and other wildlife. The boat has outdoor viewing decks, a heated cabin and restrooms on board. During the fall, half-day tours leave from the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver at 12pm and run for 3-5 hours. They offer tours from Vancouver and Victoria that take you through the San Juan and Southern Gulf Islands.

Outside the City

The Sea to Sky Gondola takes you on a 10-minute ride up the mountain to the Summit Lodge. Once at the top, this magnificent piece of nature is yours to explore. There are hiking trails, a suspension bridge, viewing platforms, mountain biking trails, walking paths, rock climbing, a lodge and more. For the experienced hiker, there are an abundant number of trails that will challenge and inspire. Those who are less experienced, there are two walking trails that have been carved out and are great for all ages. The Panorama trail and Spirit trail are pretty flat, making them very easy to navigate. They offer guided tours every day at 11am and 2pm. If you're unfamiliar with the area, or worried about getting lost, these guided tours are awesome and take out the guess work for you. Hungry? There's a fully licensed restaurant and bar at the top.

This 12-acre corn maze in the Fraser Valley's Chilliwack is worth putting on your to-do list this fall. Each year, the maze is designed and created with a theme in mind so that you're kept on your toes, year-after-year. In addition to finding your way out of the corn maze, they also give you passports and challenges along the way to create an even more fun and interactive experience. While you're there, you'll want to check out their pumpkin patch that's stacked with 15 varieties. While the patch and maze are the main attractions, the fun doesn't stop there. They have a lot going on with things like hay rides, farm animals, a play area with swings, fire pits, games and more. If your kids are older, they may like doing the maze in the dark with flashlights. An added bonus? These guys work with and support charities each year.


Meet Natasha John

Natasha is not born and raised in Vancouver, but is pretty certain it's her spirit hometown. After jumping around Canada, Texas, Arkansas and the UK, she has her feet firmly planted in...  More About Natasha