The month of October likely makes you think of brightly glowing pumpkins and little monsters going door-to-door, and we’ve got you covered with some plans that will truly embrace that spooky spirit. October is also the perfect time to enjoy the not-too-cold-yet temperatures with some outdoor activities in Alberta that will have you smiling like it’s the first time you tried jumping into a pile of leaves.
Pumpkins After Dark
There’s no better way to lean into the Halloween spirit than to take in some epic pumpkin sculptures. Pumpkins After Dark showcases thousands of jack-o’-lanterns arranged into brightly lit sculptures you can tour with the whole family. The event celebrates all things Halloween and offers some fall treats and pumpkin carving demonstrations alongside the awesome displays. Plus, AMA will be there to keep you toasty—we’ll have warming tents set up for you to relax during your visit. Pumpkins After Dark runs in Edmonton from Sept. 29 to Oct. 31 and in Calgary from Sept. 22 to Oct. 31.
Take in some crisp fall skies
The annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival is a star-studded event—literally! The festival in Jasper National Park invites you to head to the Rockies to take in some of the best night skies in the province over a 10-day series of curated events. The region is a designated Dark Sky Preserve in 2011. This means the area is committed to a sky free of light pollution. TheDark Sky Festival showcases that beautiful night canvas with events aimed to show when the twinkling lights are brightest. Events include Symphony Under the Stars, an Animals of the Night Hike, and Yoga Under the Stars.
If you are looking for the perfect spot to stay during the festival, your AMA membership will save you up to 20% at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, plus give you a $50 dining credit for restaurants at the hotel. The Jasper Dark Sky Festival runs from Oct. 14 to Oct. 23.
Get ready for one of Alberta’s longest-running and iconic fall festivals: the Great White North Pumpkin Weigh-off in Smoky Lake. The event—which takes place on the first Saturday of October—has run for more than 30 years and brings in farmers from all across the province to see which one of them has cultivated the most enormous gourd—expect to see some pumpkins tipping the scales at 1,000 pounds! That’s as heavy as a grand piano! While the big weigh-off (it starts at noon!) is the main attraction, you can also enjoy a pancake breakfast, car show, farmer’s market, beer gardens, and pig roast harvest supper! Head out to Smoky Lake on Oct. 1 to see the most giant pumpkins in the province.
Play in a sandbox like no other
If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, you only have a few weeks left to enjoy the “Quantum Sandbox” at the Telus Spark Science Centre in Calgary. The experience sends you through a larger-than-life exhibit that allows visitors to explore quantum physics hands-on. Floor-to-ceiling screens show images of the quantum realm, and those screens use sensor technology to react to your touch in the 3,000-square-foot-gallery. The exhibit runs during normal operating hours at Telus Spark until Oct. 16. Your AMA membership gets you 10% off admission in person at Telus Spark Science Centre. Or, if you’d like to buy tickets ahead call 403-817-6800.
There’s nothing quite like watching a scary movie during the Halloween season. Luckily, the final installment of one of the most iconic horror sagas is set to release this year. Halloween Ends releases on Oct. 14 and brings back Jamie Lee Curtis to reprise her role of Laurie Stroke—the same character she played in her acting debut in the first Halloween in 1978. This final installment promises to give viewers a spine-chilling ending that keeps to the spirit of the original.
If scares aren’t what you’re seeking, turn to thrills with Black Adam, the latest superhero film from DC starring Dwayne Johnson in the title role—coming out Oct. 21. And for a flick that will please the whole family, on Oct. 7 check out Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, a musical film based on the popular children’s book about (you guessed it) a crocodile who lives in New York City, starring Shawn Mendes as the lovable reptile.
As an AMA member, save by picking up your Cineplex and Landmark movie tickets at our centres. You can also earn 5% cash back by purchasing Cineplex gift cards through AMA.
Corn has been trending online thanks to an adorable child who loves the yellow vegetable—and fall is the perfect time to share that passion! A yearly fall tradition for many is to explore a corn maze, and there are options all around the province for you to get lost in. Farmers carefully plant their massive fields in the spring to prepare them for fall “maze season.” Many locations offer other fall activities such as mini golf, snacks, and pumpkin picking. We’ve rounded up some of the top Alberta mazes for you at the bottom of this AMA Insider article.