BC Adventures – Our To Do Picks for October 16 – 22

This week in BC: take the ghost train, taste Yaletown, stomp on grapes, make jewellery and more

Don’t be fooled! At night, the Stanely Park Ghost Train is a whole lot scarier than this

What to do in BC this week

Ride the Stanley Park Ghost Train – until October 31

Every trick-or-treat season, the Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train reinvents itself with a scary new theme designed to deliver family-friendly thrills and kid-appropriate chills. This year is no different, with an Alice in Nightmareland version that takes train riders down the rabbit hole and into a dark forest filled with demonic playing cards, a disturbed Caterpillar and a Queen with an axe to grind. Tickets are available on site or in advance by calling 604-280-4444 or going to ticketmaster.ca. Check it out nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. until October 31, with further information at 604-257-8531.

Get a Taste of Yaletown – October 13-31
Dining in Yaletown can give your wallet a real walloping. So don’t miss your chance to eat up the savings at the sixth annual Taste of Yaletown, featuring more than 20 top restaurants dishing out deals on meals from October 13 to 31. Always wanted to try the eats at Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, Blue Water Café or Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill? They’re just some of the participating restaurants serving up exclusive three-course menus at pre-fixed prices of $25, $35 or $45. And you’ll be eating for a good cause, too, with participating restaurants donating a portion of proceeds to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.

Take Your Gal Pals the the West Coast Women’s Show – October 15-17
Get set for a gaggle of gals to descend on TRADEX (1190 Cornell Street, Abbotsford) from October 22 to 24. The occasion? The 10th annual West Coast Women’s Show, featuring 450 booths and displays, along with celebrity appearances by CBC’s Steven and Chris, Peter Bergman of The Young and the Restless, and Tara-Jean Popowich and Vincent Desjardins of So You Think You Can Dance Canada. And that’s not even mentioning the Friday and Saturday Martini Nights, Home Interior Design Zone, Hot 911 Fashion Show and Hall of Flame Calendar Firefighters. Check it out Friday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Check out the Kaleidoscope Art Exhibition and Sale – October 15-17
From Michael Bublé to Michael J. Fox, Burnaby has bred its fair share of talent. You’re likely to discover more at the Kaleidoscope Art Exhibition and Sale at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts (6450 Deer Lake Avenue, Burnaby) from October 22 to 24. Featuring the collective work of the Burnaby Artists’ Guild, the exhibition showcases dozens of original pieces in a variety of styles and media. So if you’re looking to adorn your home with some one-of-a-kind art, swing by on Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free with further information at 604-291-6864.

Participate in a Grape Stomp – October 16
Do winemakers really stomp barefoot on grapes? Let’s hope not, but you can see for yourself at Salt Spring Vineyards’ Harvest Grape Stomp on October 16. Taking place from noon to 5 p.m., it’s a fun, family-friendly afternoon of farm-fresh eats and musical beats, along with plenty of grape stomping and wine tasting opportunities. And, if you want to make an overnighter out of it, you can always bunk at the on-site B&B, where a special “vineyard” or “winery” room comes complete with private bathroom, petit kitchen and your own exterior entrance. For information, call (250) 653-9463, or email info@saltspringvineyards.com.

See Kathy Griffin at the River Rock Theatre – October 16

For someone on the so-called D-list, American comedian/actress Kathy Griffin has carved out a pretty stellar career for herself. Not only is she the creative force behind the Emmy-winning series, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, currently in its 6th season, but her 2009 autobiography A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin topped the year’s New York Times best-seller list. See what’s so funny about the carrot-topped cutup when she performs two shows on October 16 at the River Rock Show Theatre (8811 River Road, Richmond), starting at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Tickets, priced from $69.50 to $79.50 exclusive of service charges, are available from Ticketmaster outlets, charge-by-phone at 604-280-4444.

Celebrate Autumn at the UBC Apple Festival – October 16-17
A telltale sign that autumn is here? The crisp crunch of a juicy, just-picked apple. Expect the sound to be amplified into an orchestra at the 20th annual UBC Apple Festival, taking place on October 16 and 17 at UBC Botanical Garden (6804 S.W. Marine Drive, Vancouver), where $3 buys you the chance to taste-test up to 60 different varieties. And that’s just one of the bushel of apple-related events in store at this family-friendly fest, which also includes kids’ activities and the opportunity to purchase everything from organic juice, pies and candy apples to about 30,000 pounds of B.C.’s favourite fruit. Admission to the fest, running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., is $2 for adults and free for kids under 12, with all proceeds supporting research and educational activities at UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research. For more details, call 604-822-4529.

Attend the Vancouver International Writers & Readers Festival – October 19-24
Spread the word! The 23rd annual Vancouver International Writers & Readers Festival takes place from October 19 to 24 at various venues throughout Granville Island. Along with a lineup of local literati — everyone from Billie Livingston to Sarah Leavitt — you can meet and greet award-winning authors from around the world or right here in Canada, including Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi, on October 22. Or check out the roundup of writers at the Literati Gala on October 18 at the Four Seasons Hotel, offering a night of “festivity, food and literary laughs” hosted by CBC Radio’s Bill Richardson. For more information, call 604-681-6330 ext. 109 for tickets.

Make Jewellery at the Fraser Valley Bead Show – October 22-24
Bangles and baubles and beads, oh my! If you thought jewellery making was a niche interest, you’ve never been to the Fraser Valley Bead Show, running from October 22 to 24 at the Cascades Casino and Convention Centre (20393 Fraser Highway, Langley). Hundreds, if not thousands of DIY-ers — from beginning beaders to expert silversmiths — are expected to drop by to check out dozens of vendors from across North America, along with live artisan demonstrations and more than 16 how-to workshops for various levels, running the range from expert metal working to easy bead making. Open Friday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7, and free for kids under 12.

Bring the Kids to Munch
 – anytime
For parents of young kids, family dinners out on the town are enough to ruin your appetite. With unruly rugrats squirming, screaming and tossing food, not to mention fellow diners dishing out dirty looks, it’s no wonder so many parents resign themselves to meals at McDonald’s or Chuck E Cheese. But that was before Munch (#143–1233 Lynn Valley Road, North Vancouver), one of Vancouver’s only family-friendly restaurants combining inspired cuisine for all ages and a supervised play area for kids. For more information, call 604-980-3287.

Take a Free Class at Sage Natural Wellness – throughout October

You may have heard that the aroma of certain essential oils can yield numerous physical and psychological benefits, including reducing stress, relieving insomnia and revitalizing energy, to name just a few. Eager to learn more? Sign up for a free in-store seminar on the ancient art of aromatherapy at various Vancouver-area branches of Saje Natural Wellness, including Robson Street on October 19, Metropolis at Metrotown on October 20, West 4th Avenue on October 21, Coquitlam Centre on October 25 and Lonsdale Quay on October 27. Seminars run from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and include a 25% discount on any Saje purchases made throughout the evening. For further information, register at healthyenviro.eventbrite.com.

Rejuvenate at Kelowna’s Joyful Living Centre – anytime
Forget reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. The three Rs that interest us are resting, relaxing and rejuvenating – which just happens to be the specialty of The Joyful Living Centre (2770 Schram Road, Kelowna), a new all-inclusive retreat located 20 minutes from Big White. Guests can enjoy a taste of modern country living surrounded by 40 acres of pristine natural beauty, where daily yoga, meditation and satsang classes, vegetarian cooking lessons, energy healing treatments, therapeutic body massage and wilderness walks are only some of the daily activities on the agenda. Where do you sign up? Call 250-807-2244 for more details.

Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.