Whether you’re saving up for a trip 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 this season. After all, there are plenty of free and cheap things to do around Vancouver this October that won’t burn a hole in your pocket – from outdoor festivals to new art exhibits. Let’s dive right in!

The Clayton Market – Fall Festival 


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From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 1st, The Clayton Market will feature its annual Fall Festival. Shoppers can peruse dozens of local makers and fall-themed treats, so get ready to jump headfirst into the season.

When: Sunday, October 1st
Where: 7155 187a Street, Surrey
Cost: Free admission

Harvest Days at VanDusen 


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It’s nearly autumn season once again at VanDusen, and they’re celebrating with their annual Harvest Days festival, complete with access to the botanical gardens, maze area, and festive photo-op areas. Visitors can enjoy tasty seasonal treats, live entertainment throughout the garden, and of course, take pictures with all of the fun fall decor.

The festival will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Saturday, October 7th to Sunday, October 29th.

When: Saturday, October 7th to Sunday, October 29th
Where: 5251 Oak Street
Cost: $12 per adult

UBC Apple Festival 

The two-day festival features a food fair, live entertainment on the Great Lawn, and over 40 varieties of new & heritage BC apples available for tasting – all at the UBC Farm from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 14th and 15th.

When: Saturday, October 14th and Sunday, October 15th
Where: UBC Botanical Garden
Cost: $8 early bird pricing

DTES Heart of the City Festival

The 20th annual DTES Heart of the City Festival is coming up at the end of October and will last through mid-November, and will feature over 100 local events across 40 venues – both indoors and out. Highlighted events include the multi-media Homeless Project, Spontaneous Street Poetry by Poet, writer and activist Gilles Cyrenne and Vancouver’s Poet Laureate Fiona Tinwei Lam, and the 9th Symposium on Reconciliation & Redress in the Arts.

When: October 25th to November 5th
Where: 401 Main Street

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 just over $30 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: $36.99 per adult, or $30.99 per ticket for groups of 8+

Antique 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 October 15th, there’s a special Antique Show ($4 admission) to check out and a Record Show ($5 admission) on October 29th.

When: Sunday, October 15th and October 29th
Where: 703 Terminal Avenue
Cost: $4-$5 admission

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Fall Market at Heritage Hall 

From 2 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, October 29th, Heritage Hall will transform into a fall market featuring a variety of items from women-owned businesses.

When: Sunday, October 29th
Where: 3102 Main Street
Cost: Free admission

Visit the Polygon Gallery


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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 pieces included in this year’s Art Auction until November 12th, check out a Kids’ First program on October 7th, and “walk between realms” on October 12th during Multong Bakla’s “A Silent Presence of Beauty.”

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

Check out a corn maze 

Whether it’s a visit to Canada’s first corn maze in Chilliwack or Taves Family Farms in Abbotsford, there are a handful of fun corn mazes and accompanying early fall activities to enjoy this month, including apple picking and hayrides!

Where: See our picks above

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

Free nights at Vancouver Art Gallery 

Thanks to a new partnership with BMO, the Vancouver Art Gallery has launched free admission to the public on the first Friday of every month, from 4 pm to 8 pm. The next free Friday night will be on October 6th  so mark your calendars and get ready to enjoy some after-work art!

When: Friday, October 6th and every first Friday of the month
Where: 750 Hornby Street

Richmond Night Market

Open every weekend until October 9th, there’s still time to check out North America’s largest outdoor market before it closes for the season. From candy sticks to boba, to customizable noodles, there are plenty of unique eats and drinks to enjoy here. Plus, for the first time ever, the food fair features churros and butter beer, in addition to the debut of foods from Indonesia, Turkey, and Mexico. So don’t miss out!

The market is open from 7 pm to 12 am on Fridays, from 6 pm on Saturdays, and from 6:30 pm to 11 pm on Sundays.

When: Every weekend until October 9th
Where: 8351 River Road, Richmond

And there you have it, Vancouver! We hope