It’s that time of year when rainy days intersperse with glorious fall colours. And while the sunny yellows and candy apple reds of local trees inspire some leisurely outdoor time, there’s also a full menu of events to keep you busy in Richmond throughout October.

From markets and art exhibitions to a dining festival and Halloween happenings, read on for 10 cool events to check out this month. And if you snap some great photos while you’re out and about—including those scenic autumnal leaves—feel free to share your images with us on social media using our #RichmondMoments hashtag or by tagging @VisitRichmondBC on Instagram and Twitter.

Whale Watching 

Daily throughout October (weather dependent)
Tickets $85 - $150

The tail-end of the year’s whale watching season brings your last chance to head to the waterfront and hop aboard a boat operated by Vancouver Whale Watch or Steveston Seabreeze Adventures. Whichever company you choose, you’ll be scanning the ocean for views of local and transient orcas as well as curious seals and birdlife on your three-to-five-hour jaunt. Your friendly guides will tell you all you need to know about the wildlife and, if you’re not staying in Richmond, they can also bring you in for your tour from downtown Vancouver via their shuttle buses.

Steveston Scarecrow Crawl

October 1 - 31 (during business hours, approximately 9:00am - 5:00pm)

There are few things that mark the arrival of fall more effectively than a well-crafted display of colourful scarecrows. And this year, you can get up and close and personal with a menagerie of unique and highly creative examples. Explore Steveston Village on foot and you’ll spot lots of one-of-a-kind scarecrows lurking outside stores, cafes, and restaurants. And since there’s a prize for the merchant who creates the coolest scarecrow, you can expect a brilliant array of selfie-ready creations waiting for you.

Richmond Night Market

May 10 - October 14 (7:00pm - midnight Friday - Sunday; 7:00pm - 11:00pm on holiday Mondays; 7:00pm - 11:00pm on Sundays)
General admission $4.75; kids under 8 and seniors 60+ FREE

One of BC’s favourite annual activities goes out with a Thanksgiving long weekend bang—which means an extra day to tuck into more than 600 international dishes (hot tip: don't try to eat them all). You’ll find everything from steaming noodle bowls and Japanese-fusion poutine to Brazilian street food and rainbow-hued grilled cheese sandwiches—check out our handy guide for suggestions. Arrive early, eat as much as you can, and save time for the non-food vendor stands as well.

Richmond Night Market
Visit the Richmond Night Market before it closes for the season. | Photo: Tourism Richmond

Richmond Country Farms Pumpkin Patch

October 5 to 30 (weekdays 9:00am to 1:30pm; weekends 10:00am to 4:30pm)
Admission $11 to $14; train ride $4

Head to Richmond Country Farms for this beloved, family-friendly annual tradition. You’ll find live music, tractor-drawn wagon rides, and costumed characters Polly Pumpkin and Strawberry Shortcake—plus a bucolic site accented with autumnal decorations and some resident farm animals. Ticket holders receive one free small pumpkin and a tasty Spartan apple, and there’s even a chance to take a miniature train ride. Note that the train only operates on weekends (weather permitting) and regular weekday hours may be extended—call ahead (604-274-0522) to confirm.

Richmond Country Farms
Tractor-drawn wagon rides are a popular attraction at the Pumpkin Patch. | Photo: Richmond Country Farms​

Cannery Farmers’ Market

October 6 and 20 (10:00am to 3:00pm)
Admission is free

If you’re one of those people who vainly hopes to start their Christmas shopping early every year, now’s you’re big chance to make it happen. Staged at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site and returning for its sixth season this October, this popular artisan market serves-up a wide range of arts, crafts, and edible treats to curious shoppers. The market runs on specific dates until April 19, 2020. Entry to the Cannery is also free on market days, so don't forget to check out some cool exhibits while you’re there.

Cannery Farmers' Market - Photo: Jessie Hebert
The Cannery Farmers' Market season kicks off in October. | Photo: Jessie Hebert​

Once Upon a Pumpkin at the Richmond Nature Park

October 13 to 31 (9:00am – 5:00pm)
Admission is by donation

Bring the family to the Nature House at one of Richmond’s most beloved green spaces and you’ll discover fascinating displays on some of the natural origins and foundations of Halloween. If it’s one of those fine blue-skied fall days, stick around for a crisp autumnal stroll along the trails as well.

Savvy families should also drop by on October 19 or 20 (from 5:30pm) when the park comes alive for Wild Things, an evening experience fusing nature, wildlife, and Halloween—plus a trail lined with flickering jack-o-lanterns. Tickets cost $4 to $6 for this event; book ahead here.

Steveston Folk Guild Presents: Ukuladies of Lulu Island

October 17 (7:30pm)
Admission is $10 (at the door)

The wood-floored Chinese Bunkhouse at Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site is the unique venue for this toe-tapping evening of ukulele playing from expert Richmond strummers Alana Zerbe and Becca Wade. More than 10 years of playing together has honed their harmonious playing, while their combined alto and soprano voices add a spirit-lifting layer of great vocals. Add tenor and baritone ukuleles and a warm welcome from your hosts, and you’re in for a great show that’s suitable for all the ages.

Feast Asian Dining Festival

Daily from October 18 to November 18
Prices vary

Now in its second year, Metro Vancouver’s celebration of local Asian cuisine has expanded to a month-long affair in 2019—with special set menus at dozens of eateries in Richmond. Incorporating a family-style, group-dining approach, festivalgoers can explore easy-to-order menus at accessible prices. Among this year’s restaurants, you’ll find dishes representing widely diverse culinary traditions, from Cantonese and Filipino to Indian and Vietnamese and much more. Peruse the participating restaurants here, and stay tuned for updates on our blog.

Toku Japanese Restaurant
Toku Japanese Restaurant is participating in the Feast Asian Dining Festival | Photo: Toku Japanese Restaurant

The Haunted Sea at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery

October 26 & 27 (11:00am to 4:00pm)
Adults $11; children aged 6 to 17 $7

There’s a spine-shivering host of family-friendly Halloween activities to take the kids to in Richmond this year, including this all-ages event at the Cannery. Be prepared for tales of twisted tentacles and spooky sea creatures as you hear all about what lurks beneath the waves. There’s also a blood-curdling array of games, crafts, and activities to plunge into. Costumes are encouraged for this event, but they’re essential for another village happening a few days later: October 31’s Trick-or-Treating event where, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, local merchants will hand out candy to Halloween-happy kids. Head to the Visitor Centre first for a map of participating merchants.

Minoru Halloween Fireworks Festival

October 31 (6:30pm to 8:30pm)

Bring the whole family along to this city centre Halloween fireworks extravaganza at Minoru Park and you’ll find more than a glittering night-sky display to check out. Live music, fire jugglers, and dance demonstrations—plus hands-on kids activities—will keep everyone in your group fully entertained as you await the evening’s fireworks finale.