Despite life-sized Santas and elf-themed wrapping paper beginning to pop up in stores’ seasonal sections, I am still very much in the autumn spirit. Fall is one of my favourite times of year, and I’m not ready to give up the orange pumpkins and crimson maple leaves just yet.
Here are five ways you can get outside and celebrate the scary season.
Frightful Light Shows
Spend a dark evening exploring a forest, field or farm where intricate light shows dazzle with illuminated Halloween décor. In North Vancouver, Canyon Frights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge brings visitors into an outdoor fright-fest. Climb the thrilling forested trails, passing ghosts in the rainforest and meeting the owls of Raptors Ridge—if you dare!
Pumpkin Carving Picnics
Pick out a prime gourd from a local farm, like Taves Farm in Abbottsford, and head to a nearby park for a pumpkin carving picnic. Design, carve and decorate your own jack-o’-lantern and host a competition with your friends and family to see who can create the creepiest pumpkin. As the sun sets, light a small candle (or turn on a battery-operated one) and watch the flickering flames bring your creations to life.
Finding your way through a corn maze with a group of friends can be hilarious, terrifying and adrenaline-inducing all at once. Scary themes abound, from real-looking mannequins to real-life characters that will chase you into corners or even place a hood over your head, like at the Scariest Corn Maze in Canada at Maan Farms in Abbotsford. Despite being a total wimp, I had so much fun at every maze, especially during the live theatre portions and even when actors were allowed to touch participants. For a more family-friendly adventure, go during the day, when the sunshine makes everything a little less spooky.
In October, you can find beautiful fall designs everywhere, from the transforming yellow and red leaves in the woods to creative pumpkin displays on your neighbours’ doorsteps. Go for a walk in your area to scope out the coolest Halloween decor or buy tickets to an event like Pumpkins After Dark in Burnaby, which features over 10,000 hand-carved pumpkins intricately complied together to create illuminated artwork.
Moonlit trails and hikes with deep history are best explored by foot on All Hallows Eve—unless you can fly on a broomstick. Discover an accessible outdoor area that has been abandoned or find a cool trail speckled with rusted equipment from days long past. Just south of Whistler you’ll find the Train Wreck Hike: a short trail with a suspension bridge that leads to a 1956 train derailment. The train cars have become canvases for street art and graffiti and the hollow husks make a spooktacular destination.