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Who says we don’t have seasons in the PNW? (yes, I’ve been told this before). Yes, November tends to turn into a grey drizzle. However, in late September into October, we seem to have plenty (and, yes, I realize that’s subjective) of glowing fall days. Here are some Seattle Autumn events you might want to attend and some ideas for other Puget Sound area events.
Choices for Puget Sound Autumn events are abundant. However, here’s but a selection of ideas for those activities as well as:
- paranormal adventures and ghost tours
- cider tasting
- Halloween fun including community trick-or-treats
- Thanksgiving including turkey trots
- Autumn holiday craft shows, and
- other things to do in Autumn in Seattle and the Puget Sound Area.
I may update this post as we get into fall as there are some recurring events don’t have any specific information for 2019 as of yet.
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If you can’t go to Munich, here are some local spots to celebrate Oktoberfest. If you have the weekend free to travel a bit, definitely go to Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest for a Bavarian-ish experience. But, if not (or you want to experience more than one), here are some places closer to Puget Sound holding Oktoberfest events.
Oktoberfest actually starts in late September. If you want more history about this Autumn Festival, here’s a guide.
St. Benedict Catholic School, Seattle
This Oktoberfest-type festival has been going on for over 30 years and, hosted by St. Benedict Catholic School, is fun for the whole family. Held a bit earlier than traditional Oktoberfest, it happens in 2019 on September 13-14.
Fremont Brewing, Seattle
Celebrate Oktoberfest in the self-proclaimed “Center of the Universe” — Fremont, that is. Fremont Brewing is a fun microbrewery to visit and their version of Oktoberfest, September 20-22, is sure to be sehr gut.
Frances Anderson Cultural Center Field, Edmonds
Edmonds is holding their first Oktoberfest in 2019, on September 20-21. The festival also includes a pet parade, races, and an indie craft event from Urban Craft Uprising.
Dystopian State Brewing, Tacoma
Dystopian State hosts a family-friendly Oktoberfest with pretzels, activities, polka and, of course, BEER. On September 28.
Washington State Fairgrounds, Puyallup
One of the largest local Oktoberfest events, Oktoberfest Northwest, happens October 4-6 in 2019. The event boasts TWO festhalles, as well as “beerlympics.”
If you’re not a beer drinker, maybe cider’s your thing. And this is the time of year for it. There are plenty of good cideries in the area, and the Gig Harbor Cider Swig in September is a great chance to sample many of our local ciders.
Here are a few suggestions for enjoying local ciders this fall.
Sehmel Homestead Park, Gig Harbor
The Gig Harbor Cider Swig is a chance to sample and learn more about our local cideries. I went a few years ago and, while it wasn’t a huge event, I loved it. Cider, food trucks, entertainment, and good company. In 2019 it happens on September 28.
It’s worth a drive to Chimacum just to go to this cidery and farm on 80 acres. Finn River holds events throughout the year, but Autumn is the best time to visit a cider farm. If you’re not coming for a specific event, their cider garden is open from 12-9 PM daily.
Go Pumpkin Hunting
Now, I usually grow a pumpkin or two in my backyard rather than hitting the pumpkin patches. But going to U-pick pumpkin farms when my kids were small provided me with many unforgettable memories.
Pumpkin patches vary: some are just that: A field with pumpkins. Others have rides or events. The Puget Sound area has so many pumpkin patches, large and small, that I may eventually devote a post to it. For now, here are some of my favorites in the area:
Going to Remlinger Farms could be a day-long event. This large farm has rides and group picnic facilities. They hold their Festival of Pumpkins, which includes all rides, tractor rides, and entertainment for a flat rate weekends late September through October. If you just want a pumpkin, their U-pick patch is open all week.
Valley Nursery, Poulsbo
So this one’s a bit leading, but I had to include it. Every year (in 2019, it’s on October 12) Valley Nursery holds a “glass pumpkin patch” with handcrafted glass pumpkins from local artisans. It’s fun to browse the pumpkins and if you’re on the “other side of the pond” might be an excellent chance to take a ferry ride and visit Kitsap. And, while you’re at it, maybe you can pick a pumpkin at some of the local farms here such as…
There are plenty of little pumpkin patches and farms in Kitsap (closer to Valley Nursery is Scandia Patch — recommended if you want to visit a small historic farm), but one of my favorites is Pheasant Fields. Their pumpkin patch and corn maze are open daily October through November 1, and the farm includes various farm animals. They also have a farm tour, which you need to reserve if you want to see the entire farm.
This pumpkin farm has events that aren’t just for the kids! Yes, there are pumpkins, farm animals, and a corn maze. However, there are ALSO fire pit rentals, zip lines, a pumpkin cannon, a giant Pumpkin Pad, and a haunted house. The pumpkin patch and corn maze are open daily — the other activities are reserved for weekends. Late September through the end of October.
Autumn glows but also lends itself to ghost stories. If you want to learn more about PNW hauntings, or are a Bigfoot Believer, here are some Puget Sound Autumn events to satisfy your supernatural inclinations.
Port Gamble Paranormal BootCamp, Ghost Conference, and Ghost Walks.
September 13 and 14, the ghost hunters at Port Gamble Paranormal are holding a Paranormal Boot Camp for those who want to immerse themselves in ghost hunting for a weekend. Port Gamble has a spooky New England-ish vibe (I know, I was stuck overnight in my car there many years ago). The event itself is held at the (haunted?) Masonic lodge and investigates the Walker-Ames house as part of the weekend.
In case you miss the bootcamp in September, the Port Gamble Ghost Conference is November 8-10 at The Point Casino and Hotel. The event is also put on by Port Gamble Paranormal.
And for those of us skeptics or those who don’t want to spend an entire weekend on paranormal activities, the Port Gamble Ghost Walk is returning with many dates from late September through Halloween, continuing with less frequency into the new year.
If you love an artsy vibe and old Victorian buildings, taking a trip to Port Townsend is worth it. And, of course, a place with old Victorian houses and a rough seaport history has to have ghosts.
There are way too many Halloween activities to list them all! Here are but a handful of many possible ways to spend Halloween in and near Seattle and Puget Sound, including a list of some community trick or treats that we know of.
Note that I’m not listing haunted houses here. I may do so in the future as I do more research, but for now, here’s Parent Map’s list of area haunted houses from 2018,
Marauding in the “Center of the Universe” known as Fremont, near the troll, seems a promising way to spend Halloween. If you agree, go to Trolloween from 7-10 PM on October 31 starting at the foot of the Fremont Troll.
How about a pub crawl by the Pike Place Market? It’s a bit earlier than the actual day of Halloween, on October 19, and the crawling will happen from noon until 2AM! Costumes encouraged!
This Seattle Halloween event looks like a must-see for adult fans of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Join Jack Skellington, Sally, and the rest in a cabaret and burlesque dinner theater show with song, dance, and projections from the movie.
Solve a Murder
Murder Mystery dinner theater shows can be fun — and are perfect for Halloween! These two happen just a bit before Halloween so you can go to them AND help the kids trick or treat on Halloween evening itself!
Spend October 26 with The Dinner Detective Halloween Show at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, or October 23 drinking up Lethal Libations! a 1920s musical murder mystery at Palisades, presented by A Touch of Mystery.
Community Trick or Treats
For a fun and safe time, many communities’ small businesses open their doors to trick or treaters. In my town, “Ghoulsbo” has been going on for many years and still draws quite a few ghouls, as well as princesses, Power Rangers (yes, still), and more….unique creations. Here are some community trick or treats that are on our radar; by no means an exhaustive list. Many other communities and neighborhoods may also hold trick or treat events. If you know of one that should be here add it to our calendar.
- West Seattle: Admiral District Trick or treating has taken place in the past from 3-6PM on October 31. Not confirmed yet, but it likely will happen at the same time as usual.
- Seattle Waterfront: Trick or treating along the waterfront has historically happened from noon-4 on the Sunday before Halloween, which this year would be Oct. 27. However, I’m still awaiting confirmation.
- Ballard: Generally, downtown Ballard has trick or treating on Halloween from 4-6 PM. But there’s also an interactive trick or treat map with participating homes. Kid these days! “In my day,” roving bands of kids in North Seattle knew what houses to go to via word of mouth. The times have a’ changed!
- Queen Anne and Capitol Hill neighborhoods also generally hold community trick or treats on Halloween. However, we’re not sure of the dates or times so we may update this post more as the date approaches.
- Poulsbo: Ghoulsbo occurs at downtown businesses on October 31 from 4-6PM.
- Bremerton: Trick or Treat Street is on October 31 from 5-8 PM in downtown Bremerton.
- Downtown Bainbridge Island and Kingston also generally hold events on Halloween, but we’re not sure of the times yet for 2019. As an aside, I lived in Kingston for a while, and the Kingston Hill neighborhood was generally the place to go. However, overrun with ghouls, goblins (and my chihuahua and Pepsi can), it was chaotic, parking was scarce, and neighbors reported spending upwards of $200 on candy. But the kids loved it, and the neighbors truly got into the spirit of decorating for Halloween.
- Downtown Snohomish: Trick or treat happens in downtown Snohomish from 3-5 PM on October 31.
- Edmonds holds its Halloween Trick or Treat Night in downtown by the fountain on October 31 from 5-7 PM.
How to spend Thanksgiving Day? Watching football or parades, overeating and falling asleep? There aren’t that many events on the day itself.
Many people go volunteer on Thanksgiving — so much so that usually shelters and food backs are overrun with volunteers. If you have the inclination to help, how about donating some food to your local food bank and volunteering your time throughout the year? This is something I’m telling myself, as well.
But here are a few options of things you can do on the day of…
Burn off some calories in the morning, and you can eat more! Right? But that’s not the only reason. The funds raised from many of the Turkey Trot events go toward supporting charitable causes. Here are a few to consider:
- In Seattle, the Seattle Turkey Trot near Golden Gardens benefits the Ballard Food Bank. You can also do the Hi5K Thanksgiving Apple Cup 5K at Greenlake which benefits Northwest Harvest. A bit earlier than Thanksgiving Day (Nov 24), you can do the Tacky Turkey Sweater 5K, also at Greenlake.
- In Kitsap County, the Silverdale Rotary Turkey Trot benefits Central Kitsap Food Bank. Bainbridge Island usually has a turkey trot. However, at the time of this post, the time and place aren’t yet established.
- In Tacoma, you can do the Tacoma City Turkey Trot.
Thanksgiving Day Parade
The Macy’s Seattle Thanksgiving Day parade generally starts at 9AM the day AFTER Thanksgiving. Their web site does not have 2019 information yet; wait for updates.
Generally, the lighting of the star on the side of the Macy’s building is the same day.
Seattle Autumn events include the beginnings of holiday craft shows, in case you want to get a head start on your holiday shopping.
Here are a few that we know of so far:
Tacoma Dome, Tacoma
Get a head start on holiday shopping at this huge event featuring over 500 vendors at the Tacoma Dome on October 17-20.
On October 20 and 21 at the Washington State Fairgrounds, you can puruse dolls, teddy bears, making supplies, furniture, and clothing.
Magnuson Park, Seattle
On November 23, Urban Craft Uprising holds this craft food show in the hangar Magnuson Park. Sounds like a great place to shop for holiday gifts for the foodies in your life.
Some Other Miscellaneous Fall Ideas
Here are some other miscellaneous ideas for Puget Sound area and Seattle Autumn events to to this season.
Throughout the year, the Seattle Center holds its Festál series of cultural events. From the period from late September through Thanksgiving, you can attend the following festivals:
Though perhaps Seattle doesn’t have the fall colors of New England, there are places to catch autumn colors around here. Perhaps the best place is the Washington Park Arboretum. The Japanese gardens, in particular, show stunning fall foliage. While I haven’t been there for many years, in my younger days, I recall frequently stomping through maple leaves in Autumn on the trails at Carkeek Park.
The Fremont Arts Council presents Luminata at Greenlake on the Autumn Equinox. It’s not just a show to watch — participation is encouraged — that is, bringing lanterns, wearing luminous costumes. Starting at the Aqua Theater, there are performances, luminous art, a lantern shop (in case you didn’t bring your own), and, according to the website a “secret banquet.”
Do you have any suggestions for Seattle Autumn Events? What do you like to do in Seattle or the Puget Sound area in October (or September or November)? If you have any other ideas for Puget Sound Autumn events, please feel free to share in the comments section below.