Shorter days, changing colours, comfort foods and corn mazes that’s what Autumn in Cowichan is all about. Whether you’re looking for family activities, intimate dinners with someone special or a theatrical night out, Cowichan in Autumn has something for everyone.  Here are eight festive fall ideas for celebrating the harvest season.

1. Get into the Halloween Spirit!

Hop onboard the Halloween Train at the BC Forest Discovery Centre! Ride the Green Hornet through ghostly scenes around the museum. Once you’ve recovered from the train ride enjoy Halloween crafts, trick or treating and a haunted house for those who dare! Visit the Halloween Train Oct 20 – 22 & Oct 26 -30 from 3:30pm – 9:00pm

Duncan: Take the kids trick or treating in downtown Duncan at the Halloween Spooktacular! Also enjoy the Halloween parade, costume contest, and ghoulish games for the kids. Oct 28 2:00pm – 2:00pm

Ladysmith: Ladysmith Fire Rescue is hosting their annual Haunted House. Explore this haunted house that has three levels of scare: mild, medium and scare your pants off!! These spooky levels make it an appropriate haunted house for thrill seekers of all ages! Saturday Oct 22, 4:00 – 10:00pm, Sunday Oct 22, 3pm-8pm

Chemainus: Trick or Treat Chemainus! Bring the family out for a range of activities, including trick or treating, a costume contest and a choreographed Thriller Dance! Oct 28 11am-2pm

Shawnigan Lake: Haunted Glow Skate and Haunted House. Lace up those skates with your costume for a night of glow in the dark skating at the Kerry Park Recreation Centre! Don’t forget to bring your glow sticks!  Oct 27, 7:00pm – 8:15

North Cowichan: The Big Shop of Horrors Haunted House.  Enter at your own risk! This expansive haunted house offers no refunds for scaring you! All proceeds go to charity and it is not recommended for young or sensitive children. Oct 20 – 22 and Oct 26 – 29

Youbou: Community Haunted House. Help Youbou create their own haunted house! Bring your ghouls and gadgets to haunt your own room of the community hall. Or just enjoy the frights and participate in the haunted house, costume contest and fireworks. Oct 31, 5:30pm

2. Enjoy Cowichan’s Harvest

Harvest is a very important and busy time in the Cowichan Valley. Get the fruits of this harvest in one central location at the Duncan Farmers Market! Open year-round this market features products that are locally grown or crafted in the Cowichan region. Stroll through the market every Saturday (don’t forget to keep your eyes open for Christmas presents).

3. Warm Up with Comfort Foods

One of the best things about cooler weather is the comfort food! Gather your family and friends around the table and enjoy a delicious Prime Rib Dinner Wednesday nights at the Farm Table Inn. Farm Table Inn offers delicious, locally sourced meals, with the prime rib coming from the Quist Family Farm in Cowichan.

Nothing says ‘comfort food’ like brunch! Join Merridale at their Fall Brunch Series for farm fresh eggs, brick-oven bread and meals that pair perfectly with a glass of craft cider!

Meet up at the top of the Malahat at the >Villa Eyrie’s Summit Restaurant for Family Style Dining. Take the menu out the dining and feast with friends and family on three exquisitely customized courses for sharing with the entire table. This fall, spend less time deciding and more time dining. Make it a day and take the family for a walk around Spectacle Lake to enjoy the fall colours before dinner!

4. Enjoy the Fall Colours

Experience the reds, yellows and oranges of fall through Cowichan’s stunning scenery. Whether your hiking on Maple Mountain, biking down the Cowichan Valley Regional Trail or driving through the scenic countryside there are endless possibilities for experiencing the fall colours in Cowichan.

Take a winding cruise through Cowichan’s farmland to see the stunning colours with a pastoral backdrop. Maybe stop in at Cowichan Bay and pick up some warm, freshly-baked treats from True Grain Bread. Or continue your road-trip to Mill Bay, stopping in at Bridgeman’s Bistro for lunch over the ocean.

Check out the regions hiking trails (offering something for all fitness levels and abilities): Favourite Hikes in the Cowichan Valley

Hop on the bike and find our why the Cowichan Valley is Vancouver Island’s Mountain Bike Playground.

5. Get Lost!

Head out to McNab’s Corn Maze for some family harvest fun! The Corn Maze is open until the end of October (with night mazes opening on October 20th!). This is a fabulous way to get the entire family active outdoors! Just don’t forget your rain boots!

Looking for a moment of peace? The Providence Farm Healing Labyrinth garden officially opened on October 10th. This healing garden promotes a respect for nature and mental health. It is a perfect excursion for a restful afternoon.

6. Support the Pollinators

For the month of October Pizzeria Prima Strada has partnered with the Cowichan Beekeepers Club to add honey to their menu! Enjoy daily pizza specials and the signature Bees Knees cocktail! A portion of proceeds from the honey pizza and gelato sales will be donated to the Cowichan Beekeepers Club. Check out this ShawTV segment featuring Tourism Cowichan’s Executive Director, Karen Elgersma!

Learn about local pollinator issues at Merridale’s Pollinators Awareness Day on October 22nd. Enjoy this day on the farm learning from local experts and of course indulging in delicious food and drink. Reserve your spot today!

7. Experience a Cosmic Love Story

From October 13 – November 4 catch ‘Silent Sky’ at the Chemainus Theatre Festival. Based on a true story and science of early 20th-century female “computers” at Harvard Observatory. Henrietta Leavitt sees greatness in the stars — if only others saw the brilliance in her. Make it a date night by reserving your spot at the Playbill Dining Room.

8. Cozy Up with a Good Book

Join the Worth Reading Book Club at Unsworth Vineyards. This month the club is reading “The High Mountains of Portugal” a novel by Yann Martel. On Wednesday, November 1st enjoy dinner at Unsworth and lively discussion! Join the club and book your seat at the table.

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