10 Fun Things to do in Nanaimo in October

Of all the months in the year, so many people love October. The crunch of the leaves, the crisp weather, the pumpkin spice, and the great things to do in and around Nanaimo. There are plenty of great things to do in Nanaimo in October. If you are looking for fall seasonal events whether you are a Nanaimo local or a visitor to the city, use these 10 great things to do in Nanaimo in October.

Nanaimo is a scenic city looking out over the Salish Sea and the Coastal Mountain Range.The harbor is the central focus of the city, where seaplanes take off and land, boats and tours come and go, and walking trails line the shore.

Fun things to do in Nanaimo in October

Fun Things to do in Nanaimo in October

Explore a Corn Maze

Visit McNabs corn maze open daily in October (Also open Sept 16-19 and daily starting Sept 23rd 2022)

Dates: Open Daily Oct 1-31

Location: 4613 Yellow Point Road

More Info: https://mcnabscornmaze.com/

Enjoy a Hay Ride to the Pumpkin Patch

Is there anything that says autumn in Nanaimo more than a hayride to pick up a McNab’s pumpkin? Once the hay wagon drops you off in the pumpkin patch you can take as much time as you want to look around and pick out your perfect pumpkin. Pumpkins are paid for right in the field prior to catching a ride back on the hay wagon.

Dates: Open Daily Oct 1-31

Location: 4613 Yellow Point Road

More Info: https://mcnabscornmaze.com/pumpkin-patch

Nanaimo Museum’s Tales from the Pumpkin Patch

Explore Halloween’s deep and tangled roots this October at Nanaimo Museum!  Between October 1 and 29, visit the museum gallery to experience the Tales from the Pumpkin Patch mini exhibit!  On the lighter side of Halloween, learn about Halloween food and Samhain traditions, and make a jack-o’-lantern craft to add to our pumpkin patch!  On the darker side of Halloween, share a ghost story, figure out if bats really do drink blood, and delve into the mysteries of Tarot. Bring your device and some headphones to watch haunting videos. 

Dates: Tuesdays to Saturdays Oct 1-29 2002

Hours: 10:00am to 4:00pm

Location: 100 Museum Way, Nanaimo

Prices: Adult $2.00, Senior $1.75, Student $1.75, Child (5-12) 0.75, Under 5 FREE

Malahat Skywalk

Malahat SkyWalk is an elevated wooden walkway, 600 m high rising 20 m through an arbutus and Douglas fir forest. Walk at the top of a 10-storey, architecturally inspiring spiral tower look out and see the natural landscape and vistas of the Cowichan Valley and Finlayson Arm.

Location: 901 Trans Canada Highway

Hours: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (Beginning Oct 3rd for winter hours)

More Info: https://malahatskywalk.com/

Take a Cowichan Valley Wine Tour

Visitors and locals are increasingly taking tours of local wineries. Cowichan Valley is Vancouver Island’s thriving wine region. This Cowichan Valley wine tour takes you to several family-owned wineries and past scenic landscapes along the way. While wine is the focus, the day also features a farm-to-table lunch of your choice paired with a flight of local, organic hard ciders.

Book here

Day Trip to Salt Spring for the Apple Festival (Oct 2nd)

The Salt Spring Apple Festival displays hundreds, YES HUNDREDS, of Apple varieties grown on Salt Spring Island. It is an incredible little community event, attracting about 1500 apple lovers, celebrating the apples (and food) of Salt Spring Island and connecting you with the farms and farmers that produce apples on the Island.

Location: Fulford Hall and local farms

Date: Oct 2nd 2022

More Info: https://saltspringapplefestival.org/

Summit Mt. Benson

Looking for an active adventure in Nanaimo now that the cooler temps have arrived? Plan a hike to the summit of Mt Benson where you will see spectacular views of Nanaimo, the costal mountains and the Straight of Georgia. The trailhead is located on Benson View Road (off Kilpatrick Road, off Jingle Pot Road, off Highway 19). Plan a full day to hike up and down.

Book a Photoshoot

Did you know you can book a local photographer this autumn in Nanaimo? It is easy! Just look up and book a photo shoot online! If you use the code LINDSAY you will get $25 off your booking as well! Click here to search and book a photographer that fits your fall schedule!

Gabriola Island Thanksgiving Studio Tour

The annual Thanksgiving Studio Tour on Gabriola Island occurs this October 8-10th 2022. Studios will be open to the public from 10am-5pm each day of the tour. For 2022, 65 artists are participating in the Tour in 56 studios. While some have physical studios, others might share their work with you on their kitchen table or in their workshop. It’s all about the art, not the space. 

Location: Gabriola Island

Dates: Oct 8th, 9th and 10th 2022

More Information: https://theartsongabriola.ca/gabriola-island-thanksgiving-studio-tour

Visit Cathedral Grove

Fall is the perfect time to visit the living giants at Cathedral Grove. All of the summer visitors to Ucluelet and Tofino are gone and the crowds are minimal.

Location: MacMillan Provinal Park, Highway 4, 25km east of Qualicum Beach

Take a Fall Getaway

October is the perfect time to road trip from Nanaimo to Tofino or getaway to another part of BC! Most tourists have gone and accommodations are much easier to get! Whether it is a trip to another part of Vancouver Island or over to the mainland, October is the perfect time for a getaway! If you will be using BC ferries during Thanksgiving, ensure you reserve early!

October in Nanaimo: What to Pack

Nanaimo has mild temperatures in October. It does not typically get frosty but expect wet and sometimes cool weather in Nanaimo in October. On the flip side, you can have sunny days and shorts weather early on in the month. You will want a light waterproof jacket as you will possibly get a rainy day, but light layers should get you by most of the time. Bring closed-toed shoes and some type of waterproof footwear. It rains on average, 9 days out of the month in Nanaimo in October,

Weather in Nanaimo in October

Nanaimo has a moderate climate for most of the year. Nanaimo has mild temperatures in October. Pack layers in the fall, as many days are cloudy. There is about 9 days of rain in Nanaimo in October.

Average high temperatures are 13°C to 7°C (56 °F to 44 °F)

It does not snow in Nanaimo in October.

Is October a good time to Visit Nanaimo

October is considered the offseason to visit much of British Columbia but can be the best time for fall colors, and cool crisp days. The summer months are the peak season to visit Vancouver Island. Some seasonal shops may reduce hours or close so keep that in mind.

Nanaimo is served by two ferry terminals and there is a highway linking Victoria to Nanaimo. There is also an airport (YCD) and a seaplane terminal.

If you plan to visit Nanaimo over Thanksgiving, ensure you have BC ferry reservations in advance.

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