Fantastic Fall Family-Friendly Festivals
Summer is coming to an end and your children may be a little sad about having to return to school. Keep them uplifted and organize a group of friends to get down to one of the many fantastic community festivals around Vancouver this September. Here’s our favourite selection for each weekend of the upcoming month!
Sunday, September 9th, 2018 11:00 am – 6:00pm
The Coho festival is a celebration of the lower mainland’s culture of nurturing the land and the beings that inhabit it, particularly the Coho Salmon. The festival has two big fundraising events you can take part in: The Coho Run and the Coho Swim. The Coho Run is known by many as the most scenic race in and around Vancouver. The 14K run starts at Kitsilano beach, takes you along various parts of the seawall, across Lions Gate Bridge, and ends at the birthplace of North Shore Coho salmon. The swim forms a route that mimics the migratory patterns that Coho and other indigenous salmon have followed for millennia. There are both 1.5 and 3 km options.
The festival itself is hosted at Ambleside Beach Park on the North shore and has many activities your family can revel in. These include:
- Coho Salmon BBQ – Locally caught and sustainably harvested Coho salmon complemented by BC grown corn and salad. What a fantastic way to get your kids excited about eating healthy and well grown food!
- Stewardship Zone – Fun and educational workshops and exhibits that teach some of the methods that are used to nurture our water systems, parks, and forests.
- Coho Kids park – Filled with fun activities for children of all ages. The theme is centred around education, art & culture, and outdoor activities. Try out the climbing wall!
- Squamish Nation – The Squamish Nation Village display unique traditions and cultures including their interconnections and relationship to the salmon. It is important for children to learn about the rich and ancient history of their home.
Southlands Country Fair
Sunday, September 16th, 2018, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Southlands Country Fair is a community event focused on horses and rural lifestyle within the city of Vancouver. The fair was created to showcase the unique equestrian neighbourhood of Southlands and to give all Vancouver residents an opportunity to enjoy a day in the country without leaving the city. Specific attractions include:
- Horse entertainment featuring members of the Southlands Riding Club
- Pony rides and hay rides
- Farm Yard Fun area (old-fashioned, country-themed activities for kids)
- Vendors market for those who love to shop for local arts and crafts
- Silent auction
- Used book sale
- Petting farm full of animals for the kids to meet
- Lots of great food and a pleasant picnic area
- Day-long musical entertainment featuring local artists
Entry to the fair is by donation, but $5 is suggested. Inside the grounds most of the activities are free but there are some small costs associated with pony rides, games, and the petting farm.
Saturday, September 22nd, 2018, 11 am – 5 pm
A fun-filled day will feature the return of Juno-nominated children’s performers Bobs and Lolo with two performances in the afternoon. New this year will be another children’s entertainer – Juno-nominated Ginalina. There will also be a host of regular attractions, including the Lucille Johnstone Workboat Parade, Family Fun Zone (inside the FRDC), and Artisans on the River (in association with New West Craft).
There are exhibits and education booths with information on the environment and conservation. There are also opportunities for children to build their own model wooden boats, try out gold panning and watch aerial demonstrations and other tricks by participants from the Vancouver Circus School.
Sunday, September 30th, 2018, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Last year, over 5,000 people came together at the West Vancouver Community Centre under sunny skies to enjoy farm animals, old fashioned games, artisan market, Home & Harvest competition, watch police & firemen demonstrations, participate in free swimming, gymnastics and skating, enjoyed local food vendors and listened to fantastic local talent.
This is a wonderful event that generates lots of excitement around the traditional harvest season and provides many distractions for your children to enjoy all day. We’ve saved the best till last here, the only problem you may have is dragging your little ones away from all the fun!
The Summer may be drawing to a close but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do on the weekends with your kids. Describe these events to your children and see which ones excite them most! These festivals are fantastic weekend adventures that are low cost, provide great educational opportunities, and super entertaining. Have fun!