The Playground: Halloween! Vol. 1

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Welcome to The Playground, a place for Vancouver families.From fields to haunted houses, all month long I will be featuring some of my favourite places to visit to get you and your family to get the most out of autumn.I’m always on the lookout for fun stuff to do, so if there’s something happening that you think I should know about, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Now that everyone should be fully recovered from last weekend’s turkey feast, lets talk Halloween.  This is the first year that Sadie has shown a genuine interest in skeletons, black cats and the promise of lots of candy.  This makes me really excited to share  some of my favourite Halloween traditions with her.  First stop, the Ghost Train in Stanley Park.

Put on by the team at Mortal Coil Performance Society, this year’s theme is Circus of Disaster and it promises to have the right mix of fear and fun.



Before boarding the train, Sadie enjoyed getting her face painted inside the train station (free but donations are encouraged).  While Sadie was getting her butterfly face, the Ringmaster came in and regaled us with a spooky and humorous tale of Bird Boy and an ill fated clown.



Step right up! Step right up!  The site of this clown on a sign was enough to conjure up all of my suppressed memories of IT.  The train hasn’t even left the station and I was already spooked.



The miniature train at Stanley Park at night is eerie on its own and Mortal Coil used the forest surroundings to its full potential.  There was lots of eye candy through out – the trapeze skeletons were my favourite.



Set to a soundtrack of horror movie favourites, the ride tells the story of a derailed circus train that unleashes all of the freaks, clowns, circus animals and zombies!



Was all the killer clowns too scary for Sadie you ask?  Well, judging by the look on her face below, she was definitely spooked but didn’t make a peep.  She has asked everyday since if she can “go on a train ride and see clowns”.



There is more than just the train.  Be sure to take advantage of the face painting, games, crafts, haunted maze and Churros while you are there.  The Stanley Park Ecology Centre are also hosting their Creatures of the Night nature walks.

The Ghost Train is open nightly from 6pm til 10pm (11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays).  Tickets are sold in half hour increments and you can purchase them there or online.  To beat the crowds, it is recommended that you go early on a weeknight.  The train is covered so don’t let the rain keep you away!

Other fun Halloween attractions for you to enjoy this week:

Haunted Forest Scream Train

October 14th –  31st
Daily Activities: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Nighttime Activities: 6:30 pm – 10 pm
Bear Creek Park, Surrey

The Bear Creek Park train in Surrey offers both daytime and nighttime festivities perfect for younger and older kids.  Activities include crafts, games and pumpkins to take home.  Purchase your tickets ahead of time to avoid lineups.

Pumpkin Fest
October 15th – 16th
Various times and locations in West Vancouver.
From a family golf tournament to pet shows, crafts and games, and a Pumpkin skate and swim, there is a lot to do this weekend in West Van presented by the West Vancouver Community Centres Society.

And if you still haven’t picked up your pumpkins, check out my pumpkin patch roundup.