Things to Do in Waterloo Region in October 

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by Alex Kinsella | October 2023

Whether you love schnitzel or Halloween scares, Waterloo Region has something for everyone in October. The month kicks off with Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest and ends with a frightening road trip through the darker side of town.  

Here’s our list of great events to check out this October in Waterloo Region! 

Kinderfest Fall Fair | October 1 
Bring your little Bavarians to Bingemans for the Kinderfest Fall Fair from 12 to 5 p.m. It’s an afternoon of food, games, activities, and German celebrations perfect for the whole family. 

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Block Party | October 5 
The Willkommen Platz has a new location this year at 44 Gaukel St.—but that’s not all that’s new. Kick off your KW Oktoberfest with a rockin’ Block Party from 4 to 11 p.m. Rockers the Road Hammers will be on stage along with Dorfrocker, authentic Bavarian entertainment straight from Germany! Local favourites The Golden Keys and The Western Swing Authority will also be on stage, bringing their high-energy shows to make this a party you don’t want to miss! 

Keg Tapping at Willkommen Platz | October 6 
Eins, zwei, drei—tap that keg! Join hundreds of festival goers at the official keg tapping for KW Oktoberfest 2023. The festivities start at noon at the new Willkommen Platz at 44 Gaukel St.
Pro tip: The new Platz features a Craft Biergarten with selections from Farm League Brewing, Stock Yards Brewing, Wellington Brewery, and more. It’s open from noon til 10 p.m. on Friday and then daily through Sunday, October 8. 

Kidtoberfest at THEMUSEUM | October 6 – 8 
KIDtoberfest features traditional music and dancing and guided art activities designed for families with kids aged 3-10. Onkle Hans will be on hand for a few chicken dances too! 

Bingemans Koolhaus presents Dorfrocker | October 6 & 7 
If you didn’t get enough Dorfrocker at the Block Party, you’re in luck—they’re playing the Bingemans KoolHaus for two nights with very special guests, the Golden Keys, to bring down the Haus for their closing celebrations. 

Dogtoberfest | October 7 
You don’t have to have a German shepherd to celebrate Oktoberfest! Bring your furry friends to Dogtobefest at Kitchener City Hall from 10 to 7 p.m. Brought to you in partnership with Dog Friendly K-W, Dogtoberfest features pack walks, Sniffscape courses, contests, and more. 

Crafty Elk Fest 2023 | October 8 
Thunder is going to shake the Gaslight District on October 8 as AC/DC tribute band Thunderstruck takes the stage for the first-ever Crafty Elk Fest! This free festival brings you craft cocktail stations and delicious treats including street tacos! Joining Thunderstruck on stage are very special guests the Almost Hip and Roy’s Garage. 

Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade | October 9 
It’s not Oktoberfest without the annual Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade! This year, the parade returns with new floats, inflatables, and bands. Don’t forget to bring a non-perishable or cash donation to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region! 

Cambridgelicious | October 13-22
Organized by the City of Cambridge to celebrate the city’s 50th anniversary, Cambridgelicious highlights the city’s diverse culinary scene. Taking part is easy: participating restaurants have prepared special Cambridgelicious prix fixe menus that allows you to savour amazing appetizers, entrees and desserts! A list of participating restaurants and their menus is available on the Cambridgelicious website.

Kitchener Rangers vs. Windsor Spitfires | October 15 
Hometown hockey is back as the Kitchener Rangers welcome the Windsor Spitfires to the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. The puck drops at 2 p.m.! 

Just for Laughs presents: Danny Bhoy | October 18 
Direct from Scotland, comedian Danny Bhoy brings his unique (and hilarious) storytelling to Centre in the Square. Bhoy’s shows have sold out across the world, including at the Sydney and Melbourne Comedy Festivals in Australia.  

Disney’s Encanto Sing-Along Film Concert | October 19 
We might not talk about Bruno, but that doesn’t mean we can’t about him! Bring the family out for a sing-a-long you won’t soon forget. Belt out your best version of Encanto hits, including Surface Pressure, Waiting on a Miracle, and more! 

Stand up for PCL | October 19 
Rusty Nail Comedy presents Stand Up for PCL, a comedy fundraiser to help develop housing for people with developmental disabilities. Comedians Chuck Byrn and Jean Paul will be on the stage at Maxwell’s Concerts & Events for an amazing evening for an even more amazing organization! 

The Beaches at Centre in the Square | October 26 
Toronto rockers The Beaches return to Kitchener, this time on the Centre in the Square stage! The Beaches are joined by very special guests Beach Weather.
Pro tip: When you’re getting your tickets, add passes to the CentreStage Lounge to your basket. The lounge is open before the show with an awesome selection of cocktails, beer, wine, and snacks to fuel you before the curtain rises! 

ECU Trick or Trot! | October 28 
The Trick or Trot is a Halloween-themed 5K Run, 5K Walk with 1K and 250m Kids Dash races. Come dressed in your favourite costume for the chance to win in their Halloween Costume Contest. Proceeds from Trick or Trot will benefit Food4Kids Waterloo Region, a local organization that addresses the childhood hunger crisis present in our community. 

Sing Yourself Home | October 28 
I, The Moutain are bringing their blend of folk and pop to the Registry Theatre with Sing Yourself Home on October 28. Fresh off a summer of festivals and concerts across Canada, I, The Moutain are bringing some special guests, including Paige Warner, to the show. 

St. Jacobs Pumpkin Parade | October 28
St. Jacobs is is coming alive with the spirit of the season, and it’s going to be a hauntingly good time! This family-friendly event kicks off at 4PM and includes entertainment, free skating, Trick or Treat-ing, and the Pumpkin Parade of carved pumpkins (make sure you come in costume)!
Pro tip: You can pick up a free pumpkin at select locations throughout the Village beginning October 12th. Take your pumpkin home, carve it, and bring your Jack-o-Lantern back for the Pumpkin Parade on the 28th for a chance to win Best Pumpkin!

An Evening with Steven Page | October 29 
Canadian singer-songwriter Steven Page is coming to Wilfrid Laurier University for an afternoon of great music and storytelling. Page will be joined on stage by Laurier’s Faculty of Music orchestra, students, faculty members, the Penderecki String Quartet, and clarinetist James Campbell. 

Explore the haunted side of Waterloo Region with a Halloween Road Trip (If you dare!) 

October in Waterloo Region isn’t all schnitzel and polka. This month, explore the eerie side of Waterloo Region with a Halloween-inspired road trip! 

When it comes to a place to lay your bones for the weekend, why not book a night or two at the Walper Hotel? This beautifully restored hotel in downtown Kitchener marries Victorian architecture with contemporary design – and has reportedly been home to a few supernatural guests through the years!

Looking for a devilishly good meal before you head out for an evening of spine-chilling fun? Head to downtown Kitchener’s odd duck Wine & Provisions on Ontario St. for a meal that’s sure to be ahead of the culinary curve. After dinner, it’s time for the evening’s most terrifying attraction – Bingemans Screampark! The park features six different horrifying experiences where they’ve extracted the most terrifying subjects from your worst nightmares – and now they’re waiting for you around every corner.

If you’re feeling like a zombie on Sunday morning, head to McDougall Cottage in Cambridge for their Halloween Tea by the Grand. They’ll have some of our favourite tea treats, with “finger sandwiches” taking on a whole new meaning! 

Haven’t had enough of the spine-tingling chills yet? Then head over to Fear Farm, and take in its Legendary Haunted Farm! This experience includes a haunted hayride through corn fields and forests, followed by 6 outdoor haunts to keep your pulse racing! Add to your experience by booking a VIP Haunted Campfire – and grab a beverage from the Pumpkin Patio, to help calm your nerves!


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