Festivals & Events

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Fall is finally here, and with it are many entertaining October things to do in Vancouver. Explore some of the scenery in Stanley Park, pick and carve some pumpkins and enjoy seasonal food and drink at many of the festivals happening around town. Winter will be soon be upon us, so take advantage of these last few weeks of good weather and engage in some fun fall activities before the cold sets in.

Halloween Hauntings and Spooky Soirees

October 2014 Things to do in Vancouver, BC

Haunted Vancouver Trolley, credit Rachel Patterson

Halloween is only a few short weeks away, and you’ll want to make sure you are sufficiently outfitted with the best costume and ghostly gear imaginable before the big day arrives. Luckily, you can find all these supplies and more at the Halloween Expo, which also has appearances from celebrity guests, performances, games and, of course, makeup and costumes. If you haven’t gotten inspiration for a costume from all of the displays, make sure to check out the Halloween parade on the last day of the expo, as hundreds of cosplayers will be walking through town dressed up in variety of different costumes.

Prepared to be scared? Take a ride on the spooky side with the Haunted Halloween Trolley Tour, where you will hear ghost stories, stop at the creepy Mountain View Cemetery and pay a visit to the autopsy room of the Vancouver Police Department. For even more thrills, explore the seven haunted houses, 13 rides and other shows and attractions at the PNE’s Fright Nights.

Experience Fall’s Finest Flavors with Crisp Apples and Beer

Creative Commons Licensed by Anna from Grassau, Deutschland

Creative Commons Licensed by Anna from Grassau, Deutschland

In addition to Halloween festivities, there are plenty of other October things to do in Vancouver, BC to get you into the fall spirit. October is BC Craft Beer Month, and there is no better way to celebrate local beers than by stopping by the BC Beer Awards and Festival and sampling a few different brews. If trying out all that beer causes you to work up an appetite, pay a visit to the UBC Apple Festival to taste another sweet treat – apples! Not only will you get to try out 60 varieties or apples as well as other apple-based foods and beverages, but you will also have the opportunity to learn more about this delicious fruit and even purchase some to take home with you. Last, but not least, your festival going won’t be complete with celebrating the wonderful town in Vancouver that houses a variety of fun events throughout the year. The Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival features over 80 different events, including music, theatre, film, comedy, history walks so you are sure to find something you enjoy.

More October Things to Do in Vancouver, BC

The past few months have made up one of the most beautiful summers in recent Seattle history. Besides providing additional weeks of sunshine and outdoor enjoyment, one of the best things about this perfect summer is that is turning into an even more glorious fall. Make sure to include taking in the colors of the changing leaves in UW Botanical Gardens, seeing fish jump at the Ballard Locks, engaging in Halloween festivities or spending the night out on the town enjoying local arts and food on your short list of October things to do in Seattle. You are sure to delight your senses where ever your journey may take you.

Treat Yourself with Fall Food and Culture

Leavenworth in the fall.

Leavenworth in the fall

Seattle is renowned for its fantastic art and culinary scene, and there are several opportunities this month to experience both. Listen to some sweet tunes at the Seattle Earshot Jazz Festival, which features more than 50 concerts by local and international jazz artists. The cooler weather also makes October a good time to stay inside and curl up with a good book. Stop by the Lit Crawl Seattle to relax and let over 65 local authors read their works to you, you are sure find a book or two that you will want to add to your collection.

Top off a day or an evening spent appreciating the arts with a delicious meal. During Seattle Restaurant Week, you can indulge in a three-course dinner at 170 popular restaurants in the greater Seattle area. The reduced prices offered on the special meals during this event make it a great opportunity to experience new restaurants or visit an old favorite.

If you are feeling adventurous, travel over to Leavenworth (there are great opportunities to view fall foliage along the way) for Oktoberfest. People travel from all over to attend this event that celebrates German culture and heritage; you can expect great beer, tasty food, live music and fun!

Celebrate Halloween with Spooky Haunts and Festivities

Creative Commons Licensed by Elizabeth from Lansing, MI

Creative Commons Licensed by Elizabeth from Lansing, MI

Looking for a good scare? Visit the KUBE 93 FM Haunted House if you dare, as it certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. If you want to be shaking from music besides just fear, be sure to check out either FreakNight or the Fashionably Undead Bash: Beware of the Woods, which combine dancing with a number of scary attractions. Don’t forget that Halloween isn’t just a celebration for people, it can be a fun day for animals too! Stop by the Woodland Park Zoo and watch a variety of animals as they play with pumpkins during Pumpkin Bash.

More October Things to do in Seattle

While the long, sunny days of summer are wonderful, it’s hard not to welcome the changing of seasons as we head in to the autumn months. After all, what’s not to love about fall? The days are still mostly sunny and bright, there is a crispness in the air and nearly everywhere you look the once bright green leaves on the trees are transforming to beautiful yellows, oranges and reds. Take advantage of this beautiful season while you can, and check out a few of these October things to do in Victoria.

Experience the Beauty of Fall in The Butchart Gardens

October 2014 Things to Do in Victoria

Fall Colors Greet Visitors to the Sunken Garden Courtesy of The Butchart Gardens

One of the best ways to experience Victoria’s fall foliage is by taking a day trip to The Butchart Gardens. This may come as a surprise to some, as you may expect the spring and summer months to be the best time to visit the gardens since that is when most of the flowers are in bloom. However, seeing the variety of leaves changing colors combined with the sunflowers, dahlias and chrysanthemums that are still blooming is absolutely magnificent.

Scare Yourself on a Tour of Haunted Victoria or Haunted Zipline

Haunted Victoria Tour

Haunted Victoria Tour

Of course, you can’t make it through October without partaking in a little ghoulish activity. Luckily, there are no shortage of things to do in Victoria to help you get into the Halloween spirit. Embark on a weekend filled with goblins, ghosts and all things scary on the Haunted Victoria Tour. You can tour Victoria’s old buildings and alleys by day and travel on a narrated ghost tour by night to hear spooky stories about some of the town’s more famous citizens. If you’re seeking even more thrills, check out the haunted houses, haunted cornfield and crazy train ride at the Festival of Fear, or go on a zipline ride with AdrenaLINE Zipline Adventure Tours.

Go Pumpkin Picking

Pumpkins Creative Commons Licensed by Harald Bischoff

Pumpkins Creative Commons Licensed by Harald Bischoff

If you don’t like being scared, there are still a plenty of fun Halloween-related activities you can participate in around town. Pick out a pumpkin to decorate at a local farm or patch. Better yet, Galey Farms also hosts Pumpkinfest, where you can go on a hay or train ride, journey through a corn maze, check out seasonal displays and spook your little ones just a bit in the children’s haunted house. Finally, you can end this month of spooky events with a bang and watch fireworks light up the night sky at Bear Mountain’s Halloween Spooktacular.

More October Things to do in Victoria

3D Chalk Art at the Victoria Chalk Art Festival Photo Creative Commons Licensed by Blake Handley

3D Chalk Art at the Victoria Chalk Art Festival Photo Creative Commons Licensed by Blake Handley

In mid-September, street artists take over Victoria, BC creating amazing pieces of chalk art throughout the city. This year the festival has expanded to Royal BC Museum and taking over most of Government Street. Chalk artists will be all over Victoria September 13-14 for you to observe as they create street art. The free festival also features food vendors and more.

Street painting has a rich history beginning in Great Britain in the 1800s. These “screevers” created pavement art that would often feature political commentary. In Italy, street artists are called “madonnari” because they often created images of St. Mary (the Madonna). Italian street artists often traveled from city to city between festivals, creating street art wherever they traveled. El Greco got his start as a street artist.

Several centuries later, chalk artists continue to paint sidewalks throughout the world including 3D pieces.

For more information on the festival, visit http://www.victoriachalkfestival.com/

More information on the history of Street art:



Victoria Chalk Art Festival 2013 Photo Creative Commons Licensed by Blake Handley

Victoria Chalk Art Festival 2013 Photo Creative Commons Licensed by Blake Handley


Shot from the Great Canadian Beer Festival.
Credit: Dustan Sept

September in the Pacific Northwest welcomes a variety of events to help you forget the end of summer. Treat yourself to a trip to “Germany” in both Seattle and Portland at Fremont Oktoberfest (September 19-21) and Widmer Oktoberfest (September 13). Both festivals boast a shocking amount of beers to try and kick off the Fall season. Victoria will also be celebrating September with beer: the Great Canadian Beer Festival will take place on September 5th. There will be local entertainment and beer from over 40 breweries across Canada. In Seattle this month, savor the last bit of summer with the Washington State Fair (September 5-21). Don’t miss the summer concerts, rodeo, and especially the wide variety of deep fried foods. The Vancouver International Film Festival will take place September. Go see award-winning films from Cannes film festival this September 25th through October 5th. Finally, make your way to the “best food festival in the country,” Feast Portland (September 18-21).









Hydroplane at Stan Sayres Park, circa 1958 Photo creative commons licensed via Seattle Municipal Archives

Hydroplane at Stan Sayres Park, circa 1958. Photo creative commons licensed via Seattle Municipal Archives

Come see the world famous Seattle Seafair Hydroplane races and Air show this weekend. The hydros, hurdling across the lake at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour, cast “rooster tails” more than 100 feet vertically. Meanwhile, the squadron formally known as the Blue Angels take off in F-18 Hornets, and fly past in tight formations around Lake Washington at altitudes below 100 feet. Additionally, WWII aircraft will be present, including Spitfires, Mustangs, B-29 Flying Fortresses, and more. Training runs will take place on Thursday from 9:45 AM to noon, and from 1:15 to 2:40 PM. The main air shows are from Friday to Sunday at 12:15 PM to 2:40 PM.

For more information, visit the Seafair website.

Hydoplanes today Photo creative commons licensed via Robert Patten

Hydoplanes today. Photo creative commons licensed via Robert Patten


Blue angels flying over the boats out for Seafair. /Photo: Jason Anfinson

Blue angels flying over the boats out for Seafair. /Photo: Jason Anfinson


August and Labor day may mark the end of summer in the Northwest, but we like to go out with a bang. Below you can find your fill of activities to finish off summer the right way. This year, in particular, be sure to make your way to the water for a month of boats and music. In Seattle, do not miss the famous Seafair weekend (August 1-3). With a summer-full of events leading up to this culmination weekend, you can’t miss the hydroplane races, Boeing air shows (pictured above), and the entire city of Seattle on the lake. Victoria will also take part in water entertainment with the 20th Annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival (August 15-August 17). Victoria will also host Symphony Splash (August 3rd), an annual symphony performed from a floating stage in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. In Portland, feed your cravings at the Bite of Oregon and wash down the delicious food at the Portland International Beer Fest, both taking place on the weekend of August 8th through 10th.

Seattle Things to Do

Victoria Things to Do

Vancouver Things to Do

Portland Things to Do

This is a guest post from Pelindaba Lavender Farm.

Lavender Festival / Photo: Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Lavender Festival / Photo: Pelindaba Lavender Farm

At Pelindaba Lavender Farm, located San Juan Island, WA, we host the annual San Juan Island Lavender Festival at our 25 acre organic lavender Farm.  For the past 13 years we have spent two days each summer when the lavender fields are at their “peak of purpleness” hosting a lavender party for thousands of our friends from all around the world. For the lavender connoisseur we have it all.  For those not quite there yet, they usually leave enthusiasts! Read the rest of this entry »

Seattle July 4th Fireworks

Seafair Summer 4th celebration in Seattle at Gasworks Park

While the Pacific Northwest may be known as rainy, we surely prove that wrong in July. This month, the summer sunshine and fun continues in full swing. In Seattle, the Seafair celebrations continue with the Seafair Triathlon (July 20) and the Torchlight Parade (July 26). Be sure to put the Bite of Seattle (July 18-20) at the Seattle Center on your calendar to try the many culinary creations they have to offer. Music lovers head to the Capitol Hill Block Party (July 25-27) to see highlights like Seattle native, Sol. Head North in July to Canada to celebrate Canada Day on July 1st.  Victoria Pickle Pub Crawl continues while the Victoria Ska Fest!, another music festival follows (July 1-5). Carry on the Canadian fun in Vancouver for their biggest event of the year, the Vancouver Honda Celebration of Light (July 26-Aug. 2). The celebration boasts the largest off-shore firework display in the world with over 400,000 spectators. Back in the US, make your way to Portland for weekly concerts and movies in the park as well as the Pemberton Music Festival (July 18-20).


Seattle Things to Do

Victoria Things to Do

Vancouver Things to Do

Portland Things to Do



Victoria Pickle Pub Crawl

One of our top picks for June is a Pickle Pub Crawl aboard a Victoria Harbour Ferry. Photo: Michele Hornell courtesy of Victoria Harbour Ferry

June brings the official start of summer with the summer solstice on the 21st. This month is full of beer festivals, naked bicyclists, film festivals and many summer favorites. In Victoria, the season for Pickle Pub Crawls has begun. Also look for the Victoria Comic Book Expo and Victoria International JazzFest. In Seattle, the Mariners, Sounders and Storm are all in season for sports fans, and the Fremont Fair starts in late June. In Vancouver, you still have some time to catch Cirque du Soleil, and Bard on the Beach is getting started. In Portland, the Rose Festival is wrapping up as well as Pride Festival and PDX Beer Week.

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