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10 awesome things to do in Vancouver this weekend

T-minus two weeks until Halloween! 👻
Slayland. Photo: PNE/Playland.

T-minus two weeks until Halloween!

There are plenty of fun ways to get into the spooky spirit as the scariest day of the year creeps up, if that's your thing, and plenty of other fun fall activities if it's not.  As always, these "events" are all taking physical distancing into account. Plan your weekend accordingly, and wear a mask in situations where maintaining that distance is a little more difficult. 

1. Visit Vancouver's oldest morgue 

MorguePhoto: Vancouver Police Museum and Archives

This might be the scariest thing you could do this month (well, other than attending this "freedom mega rally," protesting social distancing, quarantines, travel bans, and contact tracing.)

Vancouver Police Museum, located at 240 East Cordova Street, is giving a limited number of nighttime tours inside the city's oldest morgue. Within the morgue, lies autopsy tables used by coroners to perform 48 years of autopsies, while its True Crimes exhibit will showcase artifacts and evidence from notorious Vancouver crimes and unsolved murder cases.

Museum staff allege the 88-year-old building has seen its fair share of paranormal activity, including "the slamming doors" and "the pitter-patter of feet at night." Eek! 

2. Check out this new public art piece in North Vancouver 

sea-change-public-artSea Change, a light-based public art piece adjacent to Lonsdale Quay bus exchange, was officially activated on Wednesday. City of North Vancouver

Your commute to and from the SeaBus just got a little more visually stimulating.

Sea Change, a new public art piece that uses a series of interactive LEDs and mirrored panels that refract light patterns to mimic being immersed in a body of water, was officially activated last Wednesday evening. 

The piece, created by local artist Jill Anholt, is designed to provide a “visually, dynamic, engaging and playful experience to the tunnel adjacent to the Lonsdale Quay bus exchange,” according to a release from NVRC.

3. Try a new restaurant or revisit an old favourite during Taste of Yaletown 

do-chay-saigon-vegetarianDo Chay is one of the restaurants participating in Taste of Yaletown 2020. Photo: Do Chay Saigon Vegetarian/Facebook

Dining out is a little different these days, but events like the Taste of Yaletown - which entice diners to visit participating neighbourhood restaurants to enjoy special menus at set prices - are still taking place, and giving food fans another way to support their favourite local places to grab a bite, or fall in love with a new spot.

Now in its 16th year, the Taste of Yaletown is presented by The Yaletown Business Improvement Association (YBIA) and will run from Oct. 16-26.

Participating restaurants will have prix fixe menus of  $25, $35, $45 and $55. This year, TOY is also putting an emphasis on take-out, and to that end, for every TOY take-out order made during the event, the guest placing the order will receive a $5 gift card in return. 

Additionally, there's a fundraising component for TOY 2020; for every TOY special menu ordered for either dine-in or take-out, $1 will be donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

Check out a list of participating restaurants here

4. Adjust your perspective at this new optical illusions exhibit 

OPART_WEBSLIDER_1180X580Photo: Vancouver Art Gallery

"Stimulating the eye, his vibrant paintings, prints, and sculptures produce the optical illusion of dynamic movement: they appear to pulse, shimmer, and vibrate.”

It’s how the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) describes the artwork of its most recent exhibitor – late Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely, known as the “father of optical art.”

The Op Art exhibition kicks off this Saturday, with an arrangement of playful and colourful aestheticism that is sure to lift the spirits of its spectators, and is set to run until April 5. 

5. Face your fears at this haunted amusement park 

SLAYLAND-OCTOBERSlayland. Photo: PNE/Playland.

In honour of the spookiest month of the year, Playland will be transforming into Slayland until Halloween. Running from 6 p.m. until late, ‘A Night of a Thousand Screams’ will be putting a chilling twist on the usual thrills of Fright Nights past.

In lieu of haunted houses, the park grounds will be possessed by terrifying décor and a horror-themed outdoor walk-thru experience that pays its respects to your favourite haunts. The sinister and eerie sights and sounds are bound to be creepy!

To get your adrenaline rushing even more, Slayland is even inviting the most daring guests to ride twenty rousing ride attractions in the dark. 

6. Treat yourself to afternoon tea 

tea-h-tasting-nora-hamadePhoto by Nora Hamade/courtesy H Tasting Lounge

Is there anything more luxurious than high tea? Weekend Afternoon Tea service resumed this month at H Tasting Lounge, at the Westin Bayshore, with a seasonal twist. Chef Shaun Maclean has crafted a menu of sweet and savoury harvest-themed indulgences to be enjoyed with your choice of Tealeaves blends, or a signature cocktail from the bar. Available from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, each set is served atop a golden carousel and complemented by their signature cotton candy bonsai tree. The menu includes spiced duck breast & apple on brioche; pumpkin pie; roasted squash bisque; wild mushroom tart; goat cheese and spiced pecan on rye; apple cinnamon scones with Devonshire cream, and more. 

7. Get into the spooky spirit at the Rio Theatre 

rioThe Rio Theatre. (via Vancouver Courier/Dan Toulgoet)

The independent movie spot is inviting Vancouverites to "Escape the nightmare," and "come see a movie," with its lineup of spooky flicks leading up to Halloween.

Rio Theatre is calling the festival “Scream Month." This weekend's schedule includes classic films like Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas, with several other Halloween favourites set to take over the big screen over the coming weeks.

8. Visit a pumpkin patch 

aldor acres family farm pumpkin patch langleyAldor Acres Family Farm pumpkin patch in Langley. Photo by Lindsay William-Ross

Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head - there's a size or shape of pumpkin to suit any creative idea you have in mind.

While it's the perfect time to test out your creativity with a pumpkin carving competition, these 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.

9. Get a flu shot 

woman-getting-flu-shotPhoto: Close up of a young woman getting flu shot / Getty images

As much as we love procrastinating, especially when needles are invovled, sometimes it's better to get these things over with. 

While it is a good idea to get your flu shot every year, health officials say it is vital to get your flu shot in 2020. Health experts don’t know exactly what it will look like having two viruses – the flu and COVID-19 – circulating at the same time this fall, but it could be “dangerous.”

That’s why getting a flu shot this fall is “more important than ever,” according to Dr. Ran Goldman, a professor at UBC’s faculty of medicine and pediatrician at BC Children's Hospital. So, we compiled this guide about how you can find a flu shot in Vancouver this fall. 

10. Send in your mail-in ballot 

vote-by-mail-richlegg-gettyVoting by mail. Photo: Getty Images

This is yet another important task you might not want to sleep on. 

Halloween might be two weeks away, but B.C.'s election is in only 7 days. 

If you're one of the more than 700,000 people who have asked for a vote-by-mail package in British Columbia's election, you should get your ballot into the post asap Saturday, Oct. 17 is the deadline recommended by Elections BC to do so, because the ballots must be received no later than 8 p.m. on election day, Oct. 24 in order for the ballot to count. 

- With files from Lindsay William-Ross, Elana Shepert, Sarah. Grochowski, the North Shore News and the Canadian Press