13 Cozy, Crazy, Dark and Lazy Things to do this Fall in Vancouver and around town!

Published Oct 2, 2014

This city is one of the greatest places to be in when it comes to Autumn! Despite the wet and chilly weather ahead, there is still SO much to do both indoors and outdoors. From the good old pumpkin patch to getting crazy in the kitchen, this Top 13 list has something for everyone!

This city is one of the greatest places to be in when it comes to Autumn!  Despite the wet and chilly weather ahead, there is still SO much to do indoors when its grey and outdoors when it’s cool and crisp.  From the good old pumpkin patch to getting crazy in the kitchen, this Top 13 list has something for everyone in the family to do during Hot Chocolate season!

13 Cozy, Crazy, Dark and Lazy Things to do this Fall in Vancouver and around town!

1. Instead of saving the best for last, I say lets shout out to the greatest place first! My all time favorite place to go as a family in October is Aldor Acres

It’s a pumpkin patch heaven and then some.  There’s petting zoos, a snack bar, baby farm animals just days old for us moms to….scuse’ me,  kids to fall in love withJ and of course the tractor rides out to the patches! On a beautiful Fall day, this place is a MUST! Directions, prices and pictures can be found at www.aldoracres.com (make sure when taking down the address you choose Entrance Address, not Mailing address as they are 2 different places.)    

2. Take the family to a BC Lions gameI recently learned that going to watch these guys can actually be fairly affordable! If you take a look on www.ticketmaster.ca , once you’ve chosen the game you’d like to attend, select the seating area “Global BC Family Zone.” The tickets will get you each a seat for $25 + taxes (awesome price!) in a non alcoholic area of the stadium. The Lions season continues from now until the end of November.  Keep in mind there are only 2 regular season home games left! One in October and one in November.

3. Decorate your front door for Halloween! Make a funny face with lots of hair or a scary face with spiders crawling everywhere. Get creative with it! Take a quick trip to the Dollar store if you don't already have arts and crafts at home and pick up just a couple items:

*colored paper – the crazier the color the crazier your door! 

*paper plates – for googly eyes                                                     

*cob web

*pipe cleaners

*tape (masking tape preferably)

4. Have a pumpkin carving party for the kids! Last year I tried this out. Lay out newspaper ALL over your kitchen floor (from floor to ceiling if possibleJ ) Have all the kids bring over their pumpkins and have an area set up for each child. I managed to fit 7 kids in!  If you’ve got a giant pot or bowl, put it in the middle so everyone can put their “guts” into it. Play some music, turn the oven on to cook the seeds and get carving. Print out some ideas for everyone to do. A great site I love is www.pumpkinlady.com

5. Taves Family AppleBarn in Abbotsford is TONS of fun for everyone in the family. There’s hayrides, pony rides, a corn maze,  zip line, apple picking, playgrounds for the kids and the list goes on! The website has got some great coupons for family’s to use so it’s well worth taking a look at before heading out! I highly recommend this one! www.tavesfamilyfarms.com

6. Go for a stroll to the Richmond Nature Park. The Fall is the best time to take a walk through the park with all the different colored trees everywhere! Bring some seeds to feed the birds and squirrels! The park is free of charge and also has a small inside area that’s got some great reptile and local wildlife exhibits. Address and hours can all be found on www.richmondnatureparksocity.ca

7. Fall isn’t Fall unless the house smells like baking at least once or twice so have a Caramel Apple Day! Here’s an easy recipe I use all the time that works great:

  • Make sure your apples are COLD! This is going to help the caramel stick. I usually keep them in the fridge overnight before I use them. Remove the stems and insert your wooden stick  about half way into the apple. (I usually use popsicle sticks from the Dollar Store, chopsticks work too!) Put the apples back in the fridge while you prepare the caramel.

  • Buying bulk caramels (Kraft brand is great) is the most cost efficient way to go. Cook them on LOW heat until they are completely melted.  The more you use the gooier your apples will be! Add 2 tbsp of milk and stir them together. Remove from  heat and let it sit for a minute or two before you bring your apples out.
  • Dip the apples into the caramel, turning while dipping so that the apples get evenly covered. Lay them out on wax paper or cupcake papers (I usually rub a little dab of butter to prevent sticking) and allow them to harden in the fridge (about 1-2 hours)

  • Now for the best part. Whatever candy you have bought….Chop it! Crush it! Break it! And smush it! If you’ve got a few different kinds, separate them into bowls. It makes for more fun for the kids to pick and choose! Our favorite toppings are: Oreos, Skor bars, Halloween colored sprinkles, coconut flakes and Smarties.

  • Dip your apple into the candy or individually place them on. Once they’re all finished put them back into the fridge for 30-60 minutes and Voila! Enjoy.

8.  Have a lazy day! Wake up and stay in your PJ’s all day long! Have everyone in the fam pick out a couple movies to watch! Bring out the blankets, pillows and snuggle up! Sip hot chocolate  and bring out the caramel apples (if there’s any left!)  Some of our favorite movies to watch during the Fall are: Monster House (excellent!) Ghostbusters, E.T. , Edward Scissorhands and Monsters University. When dinnertime comes, everyone pick a favorite and have a potluck style meal around the table!

9.  For the older kids and their parents, the Haunted House at the PNE  never seems to disappoint.  Although I have never been myself, my 13 year old daughter has and she loves it!  If you like the dark, like to be scared and love all things Halloween, take a trip out to Fright Night! This year they’ve got a brand new house of fear.  Save a few dollars and book tickets online at www.pne.ca/frightnights. Open October 17-31st.

10. Take a weekend getaway to Whistler! Again, a favorite of my family!  A pumpkin spice latte and a calming stroll through the village…yes please!  Whistler has very affordable family rates during October and November.  Prices for a room that sleeps 4+ can be found from $105 and up on www.booking.com The Summit Lodge or the Holiday Inn Whistler Village is our choice and they are dog friendly – no extra charges at the Summit!  Its considered “slow season” before the rush of skiers and boarders so if you’re looking for peace and quiet, now is the time to go! Bike the trails, walk through the shops or eat until your hearts content!

11.  Do a scavenger hunt in your own backyard or neighborhood. Write up a list of 10 things for the kids to do or look for outside! We did this in the pouring rain last year and it was a blast! Get the kids to look for things like pinecones, a spider in a web, a feather…add a prize for whoever finds the most items to make it more exciting.

12. Attention all sprinters! The Great Pumpkin Run/Walk is taking place in October from 8:00 to 11:00am at Peace Arch Hospital (15521 Russell Avenue in White Rock) The run is 5k or 1k and everyone is welcome! More information and registration is available at: www.pahfoundation.ca/runwalk 

13. And lastly, the Vancouver Halloween Parade and Expo 2014! The parade itself only runs on Sunday from  noon until 3pm downtown  but the Expo is all weekend from 10am to 9pm. Enjoy everything from costumes to make up to marching bands to heroes and villains! Take a look at their website at: www.vanhalloween.com for all the location info.  Let’s hope the sun comes out for this one!

Crystal Keating
By Crystal Keating
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