Halloween is definitely not cancelled this year, but as we all know, it's going to have to happen a little differently.
While Vancouver's PNE is known for its annual "Fright Nights" scare-fest, this Halloween they plan to "slay" the season with a couple of special pandemic-friendly events.
Starting Oct. 9, Playland will turn into "Slayland - Night of a Thousand Screams." There will be 20 rides up and running (including the scream-causing Beast coaster), a walk-through outdoor haunted experience, and lots of spooky decor.
And how about this for a first: Slayland will also be "the first time in the PNE Halloween event history that guests will be allowed to wear costumes."
Of course, there are some restrictions on costumes - face paint and costume masks are a no-go - and there will be some fun themes for costumes each weekend, like "retro" or "superheroes." Additionally, like in the summer, non-medical face masks will continue to be required in all queues and while on attractions.
Ready for yet another first? Kids under 13 will be allowed (since there are no haunted houses) at Slayland, however the event remains not recommended for kids under eight.
For hungry Halloween fans, there's going to be another "drive-thru experience" available. A Taste of the PNE Drive-Thru: Tricks-and-Treats Edition is a family-oriented event that will feature live spooky characters, Halloween décor, and safe trick-or-treating.
Admission includes the drive-thru experience as well as a trick-or-treat bag with a selection of mini PNE goodies that includes a Halloween-themed candy apple, treat-sized popcorn, mini cotton candy, mini donuts and packaged candy.
“Halloween is an incredibly important part of the year for everyone here at the PNE,” says President and CEO Shelley Frost, “and we’ve had a lot of questions and interest in our plans for 2020, given the situation with COVID-19. I’m really proud that our team has developed two very unique experiences for a wide range of guests. Although it is not possible to host our traditional Fright Nights, we have a new haunting experience and chilling décor for our young adult Fright Night fans and this year we will have a separate experience on-site aimed at children and parents who are limited in their trick-or-treat options due to the pandemic.”
When: Oct. 9-11; 16-18; 22-25; 29-31 from 6-11 p.m.
Where: Playland at the PNE - 2901 E Hastings St, Vancouver
Cost: Oct. 9-25 (includes complimentary mask - while quantities last - and all fees and taxes); Oct. 29-31 $44.50 (includes complimentary mask - while quantities last - and all fees and taxes). Purchase tickets online.
A Taste of the PNE Drive-Thru: Tricks-and-Treats Edition
When: Oct. 30 from 4-8 p.m. and Oct. 31 from 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where: PNE grounds - 2901 E Hastings St, Vancouver
Cost: $25 per carload, includes one trick-or-treat bag of goodies. Additional treat-filled bags can be purchased for $15 each (prices include all fees and taxes). Purchase advance tickets for chosen timeslot online.