What to do in Vancouver for Thanksgiving if you don’t have family in town


With Thanksgiving long weekend fast approaching, many Vancouverites are looking forward to spending time with family.

For some, that may mean a ferry ride to one of the Gulf Islands. As such, BC Ferries has stated that they are adding 80 additional sailings in order to accommodate the crowds.

With that being said, not everyone has family to spend time with over the holidays. Luckily, we’ve compiled a handy list of things to do over the long weekend with friends or on your own.

Thanksgiving Long Weekend Ideas

Fancy Dinner

Photo: Thankgiving / Shutterstock

If you think not having family in town means that you can’t have a delectable, gourmet Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings, think again! There are a litany of restaurants ready to serve up a finely arranged plate of goodness on the holiday weekend. What’s more, these meals may even be better than those you’ve had at some family gatherings!

Foliage Viewing

fall foliage / thanksgiving
Photo: Fall foliage Vancouver

Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a stroll in the city over the long weekend, and it doesn’t cost a penny to walk through the streets of Vancouver. What’s more, there are a bevy of beautiful places to witness mother nature in all her autumnal glory, and you won’t have to go far to find a serene spot to take it all in. Check out some of our top picks in the city here.

Volunteer for Thanksgiving

Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

While there isn’t really a bad time to volunteer, and if you don’t have family to spend time with this Thanksgiving, volunteering is a great way to connect! There are a number of people in need in the Lower Mainland, and they can always use help. Last year, food bank volunteers donated about 75,000 hours of time – the equivalent of about 38 full-time staff.

Halloween Parade Fun

It may be Thanksgiving weekend, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this massive Halloween bonanza with a roaster of thrilling entertainment and creative costumes. The 5th annual Vancouver Halloween Parade & Expo is returning to Vancouver on Sunday, October 7th, but the event offers three full days of fun.

Pumpkin Patch

pumpkin patches
Photo: pumpkin patch kid / Shutterstock

Today’s pumpkin patches offer far more than simply jack-o-lantern canvases. Whether you enjoy a good ol’ fashioned hay ride, a nice glass of wine, a slice of delectable apple pie, or even a bone-chilling chase through a corn maze, these fun spots have you covered.