Whether you’re saving up for that trip abroad next summer, a future home, or just don’t like the idea of dropping $50-100+ at a time, we can certainly relate to wanting to save some bucks. And thankfully, there is plenty of fun to be had in Vancouver this month (despite all odds) that won’t break the bank. Let’s get into it: Here are 15 free and cheap things to do in and around Vancouver this October.

BC Culture Days 


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From uncovering Vancouver’s lost architectural legacy to stories and exhibitions commemorating the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, BC Culture Days always has an array of free (and by-donation) offerings. Check out some live events going on this month, or tune in at home digitally.

Where: See locations at the link above

Check out a Record Show at the Vancouver Flea Market

Admission to the weekend flea market at Terminal Avenue typically ranges from $1.50 to $3, and features a ton of secondhand and vintage gems – if you’re willing to work for them. And on Sunday, October 16th, there’s a special Record Show that music lovers will definitely want to check out. You can view more info on regular flea market hours here.

When: Sunday, October 16th
Where: 703 Terminal Avenue
Cost: $1.50-$3

Scope out some haunted places

Did you know that The Dominion Building in Gastown (home of Nuba) is likely haunted by its own architect?? If you’re into spooky histories, a self-guided tour of the most haunted places in the city is an essential October experience. Or if you want to plan an affordable, season-appropriate date, this is a great option too.

Where: See our picks above

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DTES Heart of the City Festival

This one’s more towards the end of the month, but the 19th annual Heart of the City Festival is coming to the DTES on October 26th, and this year’s theme of “Community Is Our Mentor” will spotlight the lived experiences and identities of the DTES community. Highlighted events include the launch of a new mural, a series of dialogues and short films on housing justice, and The Prop Master’s Dream, a new fusion opera produced by the Vancouver Cantonese Opera.

When: October 26th to November 6th
Where: 401 Main Street

Visit the Polygon Gallery

The Polygon in North Van always has interesting interactive art programming to check out, and this month is no different. Visitors can check out the Stan Douglas exhibit until November 6th, and Rydel Cerezo’s Home Sweet Home starting Thursday, September 29th. The latter exhibition explores the diasporic experiences of several Filipinx subjects, all through different lenses.

When: Open throughout October
Where: 101 Carrie Cates Court, North Vancouver
Cost: Admission by donation

Kettle Valley Steam Railway

You can take a scenic ride through this historic railway in the Okanagan until Monday, October 10th. So if you’re a fan of trains and learning about local history, this activity is a must. Plus, tickets are under $30 for a 90-minute experience, which considering the distance you’ll go doesn’t sound half bad at all.

When: Open until Monday, October 10th
Where: 18404 Bathville Road, Summerland, BC
Cost: $19-$29

Thrift some vintage fits

From Community Thrift to Mintage Mall, to all the hidden gems in between, here are some fantastic places to peruse if you’re looking to spruce up your wardrobe with some cool vintage finds.

Where: See our picks above

Play some pickleball

Interested in learning a new, beginner-friendly sport this month? Enter pickleball, the more casual cousin of ping pong and tennis. Luckily, Vancouver has several permanent outdoor courts as well as pop-up courts throughout the city to take advantage of.

Where: See locations above

Chilliwack Corn Maze

The T.rex-shaped Chilliwack Corn Maze is open until the end of the month, and tickets are just $16 (or $18 at the door) for 30 to 40 minutes of October fun. Head to Greendale Acres and take advantage of the massive 12-acre experience while you can, or opt for the family-friendly short maze, which takes around 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

When: Open until October 31st
Where: 41905 Yale Road West, Chilliwack
Cost: $16 GA

Go on a fall hike

As crazy as it sounds, it won’t be long before the leaves start turning. What better way to enjoy the outdoors and the turn of the new season than with a scenic hike? Explore a new trail and get your steps in for the month.

Where: Check out our picks above

Rent some e-bikes

Whether you’re keen on biking through the city on a joyride or on a mission to get from Point A to Point B, an e-bike certainly comes in handy. And now, you can hop on a Mobi e-bike that’s not only energy and time-efficient – but money-efficient as well.  The 24 Hour Pass gives you access to e-bikes for 25¢/min for the first 30 minutes and 35¢/min thereafter.

Take a ride on Hell’s Gate Airtram

This attraction isn’t free, but if you’re a fan of haunted rides and weird histories – this one’s the perfect combination. Plus, if you go in larger groups, tickets drop to $25 each, which is not too bad at all for a ride on one of the steepest trams in North America!

When: Open throughout October
Where: 43111 Trans Canada Highway, Boston Bar, BC
Cost: $30.99 or $25 per ticket for groups of 8+

Visit a ghost town 

With ‘spooky season’ upon us, there’s no better time than now to check out some ghost towns around BC & learn about their interesting histories. Some of these are just a stone’s throw from the city, while others are downright impossible to get to (unless you’ve got some scuba gear handy). But if you’re up for a choose-your-own-adventure kinda day, this is a great option.

Where: Check out our picks above

Explore the Nanaimo Bar Trail


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We think the history of the Nanaimo bar in BC is as fascinating as it is delicious. And if you agree, you can go on this self-guided tour of Vancouver Island’s most unique Nanaimo bar-inspired treats, which includes ice cream, savoury bites, and even fancy drinks. Assuming you indulge in one treat per cafe or restaurant, this unique experience won’t cost your wallet too much!

Where: See locations above

Richmond Night Market

Believe it or not, Richmond’s iconic Night Market is still open for the season until Thanksgiving Day on Monday, October 10th. So, if you haven’t gotten the chance to check out the 500+ amazing eats or the amusement park-like games, be sure to stop by soon.

When: Open until October 10th
Where: 8351 River Road, Richmond
Cost: $4 ($22 to skip the line)

And that’s a wrap on free & cheap things to do around Vancouver for this month! We hope this list inspires you to get out there and have some budget-friendly fun, because some of the best memories are made when your wallet is tucked away.