One week to Halloween, and VanDusen Garden’s fall light show is back for another year. But as my first time, this was all new to me. From October 17th to the 27th the garden is open daily at 5pm to 9pm. Visitors can take in the displays with the last bit of day light, break for dinner at one of the available food trucks; and then go back to enjoying the sights, with the dark of the night making the lights glow even brighter.
Where last year the theme was Hansel & Gretel, this year we have woodland magic. As taken from their press release, “The old barred owl has played a Halloween trick by casting a “hootenanny” spell and making it glow. Take a journey through the garden and help Anna the hummingbird and her friends lift the spell by collecting Halloween treats along the way.”
Also new for this year is the expansion of the arena, new on-site food vendors; and a new timed ticket system, that ensures you are fighting the crowds for your perfect shot. Your ticket choices are between 5-6pm, 6:30-7:30pm, or 8-9pm. Tickets are priced at $9.50-13.50, with kids 2 and under free.
As an all ages event, there are crafts for the kids and a scavenger hunt that has them collecting stamps, in exchange for prizes and treats.
The following are a few of the features you can expect, to help plan your adventure and ensure that you don’t miss anything. We arrived early enough to capture some photos with the last bit of day light, then more when the sun set.
“Hootenanny” is the above described magical trickster owl. With colour changing eyes, she perches at the entrance eliciting a scare with the giant letters “b-o-o-!”
The “Scarecrow” sits at the centre of the lake, guarding the lantern lit walkway.
The “Acranophobia” section plays on the age old fear of spiders. But these are less threatening with tinsel limbs and large glowing eyes.
“Harvest Fest” was hosted by a “squirrel”, she solicits your help in lifting the aforementioned spell. You can find her amongst the hay barrels, corn husks, and pumpkins.
I foresee the giant pumpkin being a popular backdrop.
But preferred the highly detailed carved pumpkins, and the ones in the pumpkin patch.
The latter was a collection of jack-o-lanterns, lit from within. Gathering at a stopping point, in a clearing.
The “Enchanted Forest” came with forest sounds and mystical melodies, adding depth to a lit pathway. You walk along and take note of the mushrooms and caterpillars made out of pumpkins, and the projectors adding blinking eyes and the bat signal to the scene.
“Anna the hummingbird” is a large display in green and pink lights. The character also comes personified, greeting the littlest of guests with purple hair, a large tulle dress, and a masquerade mask.
There were also natural features of the park that they decorated with lights, like the berry tone lit cave and the garden dome.
In conclusion, this is a unique outdoor event that gives guests another reason to visit the garden, and a new way to take in the space. Ideal for families and kids who get into the spirit by dawning their own costumes. For how to get tickets and more on the event, visit the link below.
5251 Oak St, Vancouver, BC V6M 4H1