Are you looking for some fun fall activities in the Fraser Valley? You’ve come to the right place. I will be the first to admit, I’m a walking, talking Basic B when it comes to autumn. Just like that popular meme of Cinderella where the text overlay says “Remember my dear at the stroke of midnight everything will turn into pumpkin spice,” I get so excited embrace all things fall the moment the calendar flips to Sept. 1.
Who doesn’t love the crisp air, a hearty pot of soup simmering on the stove or snuggling under a fluffy blanket with a coffee in hand that’s laced with just a splash of pumpkin-spiced creamer. There’s also the fashion. I love little ankle booties, cardigans, flannels and knee socks. For my fellow scary movie fans, there’s so much good stuff to see in the theatres and on Netflix to whet our appetite for the horror genre.
And finally, there’s that lingering promise in the air of new beginnings. Whether you’re in school, have kids in school, and even if neither apply to you, the turn of the season feels like a blank slate for many of us.
Fall always slips through my fingers so quickly, which is why I like to stay on top of the spooky season by making a bucket list. I know many of you readers love these, and it has been awhile since my last one, so I hope this proves helpful.
Here are 12 family activities happening South of the Fraser River that are on our fall bucket list.
1-Surrey’s Heritage Railway Halloween Train-Sullivan Haunted Station
Have a little one who is obsessed with trains? You won’t want to miss taking then on a ride via the Monster Express in Cloverdale. You’ll travel to Transylvania searching for monsters while a team of superheroes keep watch. This is a journey of fun, music, and songs. (Kid friendly event, not too scary! Dress up as your favourite Monster or Superhero. Receive a souvenir button.
All Public Health Orders are in effect. Wear a mask and provide proof of first COVID vaccination.
Operated by the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society
When: Oct. 16 & 17 (4 trips each day)
Where: Cloverdale Station is at Hwy 10 and (south foot of) 176A Street, in Cloverdale, behind the Clydesdale Inn.
Cost: Adults ($21.70), Seniors ($16.43), Student 11+ (16.43), Youth 2-11 $11.15, 2 and under (free). – All tickets must be purchased online at www.fvhrs.org
2-Arts Scarecrow Festival
Forget Build-a-Bear, tis’ the season to build your own adorable (but not so cuddly) scarecrow. Head to Arts Nursery for an outdoor scavenger hunt that will lead you on a fun adventure through 60+ scarecrows. There are some fun photo ops in the pop-up Pumpkin Patch, as well as live music and food trucks on the weekends. O.W.L will be available on-site both opening day & Halloween from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We go to this every single year and always have a blast. Such a fun, affordable outing for families.
When: Sept 25-Oct. 31
Where: 8940 192nd St.
Cost: Free admission; Build a Scarecrow for charity ($14.98)
3- 4th Annual Shannon Hall Spooktacular Halloween Market
While I’ve been to several Christmas markets over the years, a Halloween Market is one I haven’t experienced, yet. I really missed going to craft fairs last year during Covid, so we will definitely check out this family friendly event that celebrates everything haunted and spooky while raising money for the Surrey Memorial Hospital Foundation. In addition to having 50 vendors, there will be a bounce house, photo booth, balloon artist, face painter, and cotton candy. Costumes encouraged.
When: Oct. 16, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: 6050 176th St, Surrey
Cost: Admission by donation to the Surrey Hospital Foundation
4-Maan Farms Fall Festival
Want to fully embrace your inner Basic B like me this fall? This is THE spot to do it with autumn photo ops galore at the farm. Whether it’s indulging in tasty seasonal treats like their signature Double Pumpkin Spice Cream made with roasted pumpkins from their patch (it is so damn good), or getting the perfect selfie in the pumpkin patch, you can easily spend an entire day soaking up all the fall fun with your fam.
When: Begins Sept. 17
Where: 790 McKenzie Rd, Abbotsford
5-Maan Farms Haunted Corn Maze
I’m not sure if it makes me a bad mom or a cool mom, but we’ll be taking our 12-year-old horror movie fan to this blood bath tonight. She has been begging us all summer, and to be honest, we’re delighted she shares our love of all things scary. This year, we’ll be checking out three experiences at their upcoming media night (blog post to come soon), which includes Pitch Black (an attraction where the actors can touch the guests), the Bloodied Carny Corn Maze, and the Twisted Pagan Forest .
The new Twisted Pagan Forest attraction is a 25-minute walking experience in the depths of a 10-acre forest. It crawls with spiders, mystical creatures, and a ghostly colony clawing up from the depths of hell. It is a 25-minute walking experience. Pitch Black is a first in Canada. It is a 15 to 20-minute sensory experience where guests have the option of being touched and grabbed, pulled further into the darkness. The midway area is a place to relax and unwind in between the haunted experiences, full of fall sips and bites plus Maan Farms’ Beltzer and Blood Bar. The bar contains Maan Farms’ newest alcoholic beverage, Beltzer, which is their berry wine seltzer and ‘blood in a bag’— their award-winning fruit wine in a blood bag.
When: Sept. 19 to Nov. 6
Where: 790 McKenzie Rd, Abbotsford
Cost: Guests can buy fall admission tickets at this link. Ticket prices are tiered based on demand, offering various rates.
6-Historic Stewart Farm
If you haven’t explored this South Surrey gem, located just 45 minutes from Vancouver and 20 minutes from the Pacific Border Crossing, I highly recommend adding a visit to your fall bucket list. I went several times as a wee Valley girl, and can still remember being so excited to stop by the kitchen of the home for a taste of fresh churned butter on a Saltine.
The farmhouse is open for drop-in visits from 12 – 4:30pm Wednesday to Sunday. One-hour pre-registered guided visits of the farmhouse and grounds are also available at 1pm and 3pm.
While proof of vaccine is not required at the farm, masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces for people 12 and over. Space is limited to ensure physical distancing
From the farmhouse and sprawling farm grounds, to the outbuildings typical of Surrey farm life, there is so much to explore, as well as ample room to picnic and soak up the beautiful river view. Afterwards, enjoy a stroll through the Elgin Trail, which is so crisp and breathtaking in the fall.
When: farmhouse open 12-4:30 p.m. Wed to Sun. Pre-registered guided visits available at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Where: 13727 Crescent Road
Cost: Free admission
7- Loft Country Pumpkin Patch
When we found out the girls’ favourite summer day camp destination was planning something special for families this fall, we knew we had to add it to our bucket list. In addition to a pumpkin patch, you can visit with the farm animals throughout the property, including their: Clydesdales, Long Horn Cattle, Kunekunke Pigs, chickens, sheep, goats and emus. Highlights also include an opportunity to pan for gems at the LC Mining Co, a playground, Jumbo Jumpy Pillow, live entertainment (select times throughout the day), a mini round bale maze, wagon rides (select times available) and bumper cars (weekends at select times). Psst… we have a give away coming your way soon to win a family pass to this attraction.
When: Opens Oct. 1
Where: 2640 248 St, Langley, B
Cost: Purchase tickets online. General Admission (Ages 3 and Up) – $10.50
Family Admission (2 parents and their children) – $40.00
8- Fort Langley Fall Beer & Food Festival
If you’re into craft beer, great local food and live music in a fresh air setting, make sure to pen this event on your giant mom calendar. There will be over 32 craft beverage vendors and food trucks all day long.
When:Oct. 2, 12-6p.m.
Where: For Langley Park
Cost: General ($49.97), VIP ($104.87)
9- Grave Tales
I’ve had the pleasure of going on this tour and highly recommend it experiencing it for yourself if you haven’t already. Join their expert storytellers for a two- or three-hour program of spine-chilling stories, as you walk through the Fort Langley village at night. Note: there are three options: 2-hour adult edition, extended 3-hour adult edition and a 2-hour youth edition.
Tickets must be purchased in advance, prices include tax. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, September 14 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased over the phone at 604-513-4824 (credit cards only) or in-person (cash, debit or credit card) at the visitor center.
When: Oct. 15 to Nov. 7
Where: Fort Langley National Historic Site, 23433 Mavis Ave.
Cost: $17.00, $22.00, or $29.30
10- Cougar Creek House of Horrors
Here’s another local haunt we’re excited to experience. Cougar Creek’s House of Horrors (formerly, Potters House of Horrors) will once again be offering its morbid brand of hospitality. houses comprised of labyrinth-like walk-throughs over a 15,000 square foot layout. It consists of several rooms and displays connected together by dark twisty hallways. Creepy actors, pouncing animatronics, custom digital sounds and many, many surprises await inside the halls of Cougar Creek’s House of Horrors.. enter if you dare! For younger visitors who love a good fright, Family Hour is a tamer version geared towards the younger crowd and the faint-at-heart. There are no actors, very little animatronics, lower sounds, etc.
There’s also an escape room entitled The Escape From Incineration. Solve puzzles and search for clues as you scramble to escape from a burning building.
When: Oct. 1 to 31
Where: 12530 72nd Avenue, Surrey
Cost: Tickets range in price. Purchase HERE
11- Taves Family Applebarn Pumpkin Patch
I can’t wait to spend the day at The Taves Family Applebarn with my clan once again. With so much to do, taste and explore, it’s an experience we look forward to each year. We love the enormous Jumping Pillow Bouncy Barn and seeing all the bunny rabbits that take up residence in Bunny Town. With so many activities like pony rides, Cider Press Demonstrations, corn maze, pumpkin patch, Up Pick Apples and a Farmville Bee Hive Viewing Window, you’ll want to spend the entire day. Make sure you try the corn on the cob — it’s worth the trek alone.
When: On now until Oct. 31
Where: 33 Gladwin Road, Abbotsford
Cost: Go online to purchase a Applebarn Fall pass. Rates vary.
12- Aldor Acres
It’s not just the great pumpkins that attract visitors to Aldor Acres. This family farm in Glen Valley offers fun for the entire clan. On the property, one will find numerous animal displays inside the barns, along with a petting zoo that’s home to pigs, goats, rabbits and more.
After visiting with the animals, take a tractor-pulled hayride out to the patch to find that perfect pumpkin – the farm grows over 10 different varieties spread over 15 acres so there’s sure to be one for everybody. Don’t forget to stop by the ‘Farmacy’ for your farm fresh fare – Grandma Anderson’s homemade strawberry preserves are a family favourite in this Valley household.
When: Sept. 18 to Oct. 31
Where: 24990 84th Street in Langley
And that’s a wrap for our 2021 Family Fall Bucket List. Time to start ticking some off these activities off before Costco gets their Christmas Trees…oh wait, those have been out since August.
Note: Please double check times/fees before attending any event to ensure the information presented hasn’t changed. Also, make sure to check their COVID-19 precautions and regulations if not mentioned in this post.
Do you have a favourite fall activity in the Fraser Valley that you feel should be added to our fall bucket list? Tell us about it below.