The Miniature Train in Vancouver's thousand-acre Stanley Park is located not far from the Vancouver Aquarium and from Lumberman's Arch. Stanley Park is just a short distance from downtown.
While the 10-minute Miniature Railway train ride is a nice activity year-round for little kids, twice a year the ride rockets into popularity when it becomes a night-time themed event. Even older kids enjoy the Halloween Ghost Train and the Christmas Train.
Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train
For most of the month of October, Stanley Park's Miniature Railway becomes the Ghost Train: lots of fun, but be warned that tickets sell out fast! Buy online through the Stanley Park Halloween Ghost Train site.
In 2012 the train ride runs from October 5 to Oct. 31, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Sunday to Thursday nights, and from 6 pm to 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays; some days have matinee trains as well, from 11 am to 3 pm.
With train ticket purchase, kids can also enjoy a Haunted Castle, pumpkin carving, crafts, and face-painting. Price is $9.82 plus HST per adult, and $6.25 plus HST for ages 2 to 18 and seniors (Canadian $).
Train tickets specify a half-hour time slot when visitors can ride the train. Purchase ticket in advance, if possible. If not...
A portion of the tickets for each day are not sold in advance, and go on sale at 3 pm at the Train Plaza by the Miniature Railway. Arrive early and you'll have a good chance of getting a ticket to ride the train that night. While waiting for the train ride your family can play at a nearby playground or stroll the seawall.
Theme for 2012 is "Scary Fairy Tales." Check the Ghost Train website for more info, and come in costume!
Creatures of the Night Lantern-Lit Walks
Before or after your Ghost Train ride, take a walk on the wild side: the Stanley Park Ecology Center offers a lantern-lit wildlife walks that depart from the Miniature Train Plaza on Thursday to Sunday nights. Cost is modest: $10 for a family of four (in 2011).
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