- 1 10 Cool Things to do in Surrey
- 1.1 1. Find the Great Pumpkin at Rondriso Farms
- 1.2 2. Explore the Museum of Surrey
- 1.3 3. Get Jiggy with it at the Fusion Festival
- 1.4 4. Savour Lunch at West Village Café
- 1.5 5. Honeybee Centre & Fry’s Corner Beestro
- 1.6 6. Stroll Oceanside at Crescent Beach
- 1.7 7. Quaff Ales and Gin at Central City Brewers & Distillers
- 1.8 8. Enjoy Family Fun at Port Kells Nursery
- 1.9 9. Eat Indian Food
- 1.10 10. Go Play at the Park
- 1.11 Halloween Bonus: Potter’s House of Horrors
- 2 Where to Stay in Surrey
10 Cool Things to do in Surrey
1. Find the Great Pumpkin at Rondriso Farms
Rondriso Farms is a family-owned, small-scale working farm, general store, and in the fall, pumpkin patch. The Tamis family has farmed here for two generations, and current owners Ron and Pam and sons are proud to run this sustainable farm. They grow a wide range of crops that allows them to maintain the integrity of their land and the food we grow. The farm sells its produce at its General Store and at local Farmers Markets. They also run the Localicious Produce Box program throughout the summer, fall, and winter.
Fall is a special time at Rondriso. Visit starting October 1st for its annual Pumpkin Patch and wagon tours. If you’re lucky you’ll find a winning pumpkin, just like we did.
2. Explore the Museum of Surrey
3. Get Jiggy with it at the Fusion Festival
4. Savour Lunch at West Village Café
Ignore the strip-mall scene around it. As soon as you enter the West Village Café, you’ll feel as if you’ve dropped into urban Vancouver or New York. This white-washed, naturally lighted spot was created to bring people together through delicious, natural and nourishing food in an environment that’s warm, casual and communally stated. Just like a village. Owner Paul Banghoo has created a café environment that’s filled with great energy and relaxing seating. Wall to wall windows on the eastside have shutters to keep the room warm and welcoming.
The Café connects to the community with ingredients from their menu that are sourced locally when possible, and create dishes that are full of flavour. I loved my Moroccan-inspired glazed salmon and couscous, and demolished a delicious pie for dessert. Comfort food with a fusion twist, this is a must-dine spot in Surrey.
5. Honeybee Centre & Fry’s Corner Beestro
It seems that wherever I go, I find bees, or they find me. Surrey’s Honeybee Centre is a one-stop-shop for all things bees, honey and honey-related. You can watch the bees going about their buzzy business in their hives, taste various honey products, and shop for housewares in the Country Store. Take a break to enjoy tea and baked goodies on the honey-inspired menu in the Centre’s Fry’s Corner Beestro. DYK: The Centre provides bees and pollination services to several local farms, field trips and seminars provide a wonderful educational experience. They even host a bee beard contest in summer. No, I did not partake in that.
6. Stroll Oceanside at Crescent Beach
7. Quaff Ales and Gin at Central City Brewers & Distillers
8. Enjoy Family Fun at Port Kells Nursery
Okay, yes, Port Kells Nurseries is a year-round, full-service nursery and garden centre. BUT, it’s also a playground for kids, especially during holiday times. In the fall, that means themed hay wagon ride to the Pumpkin Patch, a kid-friendly haunted house, hay and cedar mazes, Kids love animals? There’s a Goat Palace and Chicken Coop that will keep them enthralled for hours. At Christmas, the nursery is dressed to the nines in seasonal reds and golds, and Santa and Mrs Claus visit and pose for pics with the kids. It’s a holiday wonderland, and you can shop for all your holiday decor, from gifts to wreaths to trees, flocked or unflocked.
9. Eat Indian Food
I mentioned that Surrey has one of the largest Punjabi Sikh populations outside of India. In addition to vibrant cultural celebrations like the annual Vaisakhi Parade, the community represents with quite a few excellent go-to spots for Indian food. Savour home-cooked sizzling hot kebabs at Tasty Indian Bistro, step up your dinner game with chickpea battered cod pakoras and paneer at Vikram Vij’s jewelbox My Shanti, share tapas-style bites, kebabs and twists on Indian comfort food at Showshaa, or cross the border (so to speak) for vegan kachaloo or meaty lamb dishes at Afghan Kitchen.
10. Go Play at the Park
Halloween Bonus: Potter’s House of Horrors
For those keen on getting scared out of their wits during the month of October, Potter’s House of Horrors is the premium haunted house mecca. Potter’s has two ultra-scary houses (for adults and older teens only), Death Valley Motor Inn and Devil’s Descent.
More than a haunted house, Death Valley Motor Inn is the sort of dusty old desert motel that nightmares are made of. Shadowy figures roam the hallways, searching for their next victim, while the old man behind the counter seems oddly unconcerned. It’s said that guests check in, but rarely do they check out.
Devil’s Descent is a terrifying vortex of rotted wood, rickety mine shafts, punishing industrial machines, monsters and zombies. For extra laughs, Potter’s has a “chicken counter” that racks up the “bok-boks” when people run screaming out of the exits. That would be me.
If you’re wondering, yes, kids can join the fun too. Family Hour (a tamer version of the scary haunted houses, for younger guests or the faint of heart) — is offered earlier during daylight hours. And a special “Li’l Haunters” attraction (for children 12 and under) ensures everyone can be part of the fun.
Note: These haunted houses are indeed ultra-scary and are geared to adults. The “scare crew” at Potter’s spends months planning this annual maze of terror — complete with the latest high-tech animatronics and digital sounds. Purchase your tickets online in advance. Potter’s House of Horrors is very popular, especially on weekends. Dates: October 4th through November 2nd.
Where to Stay in Surrey
Located in the heart of Surrey, the Civic Hotel is a design-forward hotel with an urban vibe and beautiful facade. It’s located right next to Surrey City Centre Skytrain light rail station, a distance of about 30-40 minutes from YVR Airport or downtown Vancouver. The hotel offers 144 uniquely designed guest rooms with themes that represent the culture and natural beauty of British Columbia. I stayed on the south of the Fraser (River) floor in the Delta room. The views of the north shore and Lower Mainland were stunning, particularly at sunset.
The hotel has two in-house food options. Prado Cafe is located next to the hotel lobby. Serving up excellent espresso drinks and delicious breakfast items, it’s a perfect spot for a quick latte or lingering drip coffee and avo toast with friends. The in-house restaurant is the Dominion Bar + Kitchen, a high ceilinged space that serves a wide variety of fusion cuisine. Think mac and cheese, Chinese dim sum, vegan dishes, pizza, coconut curry and steaks.
The weekdays cater to the business crowd, but the weekends are perfect for family stays. There’s a gym, fitness centre and rooftop outdoor pool, and kids can run their hearts out on the civic plaza outside the front doors of the hotel.
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Disclosure: The Travelling Mom thanks Discover Surrey for its generous hospitality. As always, my opinions on spicy Indian food and the joys of finding the great pumpkins are honest and my own.
Photo Credit: Claudia Laroye, Shutterstock