It’s that time of year again where kids, both young and old, dress up and celebrate, halloween. Full of witches and ghosts it’s a great time of your to have some fun, set off some fireworks and enjoy celebrating together. This halloween is my first in Canada and boy do Vancouverites love to celebrate it!
The only legal week of the year where fireworks can be bought, sold and used in Vancouver is the week leading up to and including halloween night so Vancouverites go all out. There are dozens of pop-up shops everywhere with people looking to make a quick buck selling fireworks.
Personally I’ve never really got into halloween, even as a kid. I’m not sure why but it’s never really appealed. It doesn’t help I’m not a massive fan of loud noises but it was also never really a big thing in my family.
That said this year I have chosen to celebrate with new friends here in Vancouver. Check out below for the rundown of my first Canadian halloween weekend.
The Old Spaghetti Factory
The start to my halloween was on Friday night. I met with a group of friends after they finished work for a quick pint before we headed off for food. The restaurant we picked for dinner was The Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown. The Old Spaghetti Factory is a remarkable place. If you come out of there hungry the only person you have to blame is yourself.
For $25 (including tax and tip) I had a 5 courses meal and a pint to wash it all down with; you can easily spend less if you choose. The main menu is full of “all inclusive” options, which means you pay the main course in full and then you get the following included: warm bread with butter and garlic butter, a choice of salad or soup, your main course, ice cream, and coffee or tea. It was amazing and incredible value for money. They even give you more bread if you want it but be careful otherwise you won’t have space for anything else.
After dinner it was time to get in the halloween spirit so we headed down to the Haunted House in Chinatown.
Haunted House, Chinatown
Based on the Japanese Sherlock Holmes, Judge Dee, the Haunted House is set within Dr Sun Yat-Sen’s private garden. For $14.70 for adults (including tax) it got you in on the spooky journey through the gardens. The actors involved were really good, they certainly know how to get your pulse going and the storyline is pretty easy to follow.
Throughout the journey through the Haunted House there are several parts that definitely got my heart rate going. At a number of points I had to keep reminding myself it wasn’t real as my gut reaction would have been to square up to the person or punch them, especially when they got up in my face or touched me (not really a good idea). One guy in particular I really had to hold myself back with, he was dressed as a murderer and came right up to my face and had a knife pointed at my throat. Intimidating yes and I swear if it had been real life he wouldn’t have made it 2 seconds before I reacted so I am very pleased I walked around with my hands in my pockets.
Overall it was a fun experience. Unfortunately photography wasn’t allowed so I can’t share any photos but I can tell you the effects were good and actors were well dressed up. The only negative I would say about the experience was the price was pretty steep for the time spent in there.
Today is actually halloween night. My day started extremely leisurely doing not a lot but this afternoon, as I have done a number of times now, I went off to meet the Coffee Club I am part of. As usual it didn’t disappoint and I had a really good time. I even made a new friend and felt 6 years old again.
After the Coffee Club a few of us went out to dinner before heading our separate ways for the evening. Coming home plenty of people were just on their way out for their halloween celebrations all dressed up in their various outfits but I was quite happy to be coming home. Walking along the road I live on I walked past a good number of kids from toddlers up to teenagers, all out with their families trick or treating. Unlike when I’ve been out in the UK it felt like a really fun and family orientated evening and the families around this area took great fun in enjoying the celebrations with them.
Once home I got to get in on the fun as the doorbell started to go off every few minutes with another group of kids out trick or treating. I had to laugh at one point because to one of the kids I said “you can have a treat but if I asked you to do a trick what would you do?”. The little girl looked at me very puzzled and said “ummmm, I don’t know” before thanking me for the candy I’d just put in her bag, wishing me happy halloween, and running off to join her family. I found it quite an amusing experience and laughed even more when I heard the girl talking to her mum as she went down the road telling her what I had asked.
The rest of the evening has been really good with fireworks displays going off in every direction. They’ve stopped now as it is belting it down with rain but it’s been really enjoyable to be out here and join in with the fun.