Credit: JiaYing Grygiel
For many families, the harvest season and Halloween are the best time of the year, when even the adults aren’t too old to eat candy, frolic in the leaves, sip cider, and enjoy carnivals, festivals and farm-fresh fun.
We’ve rounded up a list of popular family-friendly Seattle-area Halloween-time events. Some are active (fun runs and corn mazes) and some are more low-key (story times and crafts). Whatever your speed, have fun out there and be safe!
Special seasonal events
Like that tempting bowl of candy left unattended on the porch, here’s a variety of local goodies just waiting for your selection and enjoyment.
Oct. 25–27 | Seattle Aquarium | Admission: by membership or $17.95–$32.95; kids 3 and younger free
Have you ever witnessed an underwater pumpkin-carving session? Here’s your chance to watch aquarium divers give a gourd a face, join a pumpkin party on land with master carver Russ Leno, and enjoy other Halloween-themed activities and games, along with face painting and treats. Of course, included with the price of admission are the thrills of watching electric eels crackle and octopuses flex their ghastly tentacles. Now that’s creepy.
Hamlin Halloween Haunt
Oct. 18, 6–8:30 p.m. | Hamlin Park, Shoreline | Free event
Bonfires will burn brightly at Shoreline’s Hamlin Park. Sit around the flames and toast marshmallows while enjoying hair-raising stories and songs. Kids can also ride in a hay wagon and play Halloween-themed games. There’s no registration for this event, so just show up — in costume, if you like — to savor more family-friendly fun than you can throw a bucket of ectoplasm at.
Downtown Snohomish Trick or Treat
Oct. 31, 3–5 p.m. | Snohomish | Free event
Legend has it that there are several haunted places in historic downtown Snohomish; ghosts are said to lurk in the Oxford Saloon and the Cabbage Patch Restaurant. But the charming, walkable main street and adjacent businesses make for fun and spook-free trick-or-treating for boys and ghouls. Parents, if you happen to do some light window shopping along the way or stop in at the Snohomish Bakery at First & Union for an afternoon espresso, that’s fine, too.
The Merlino Art Center, Tacoma | Tickets: $12–$15; see website for dates and times.
Tacoma City Ballet hosts this family-friendly annual event, during which visitors are ushered into the inner realms and backstage of the theater to meet a host of ghastly ghouls. Then, guests are entertained with an hour-long Halloween ballet, complete with marionettes, monsters, mummies and other creepy characters. Go in costume and maybe you will win a prize!
Oct. 31, 4–7 p.m. | Alderwood Mall, Lynnwood | Free event for kids ages 3 and older
No need to tramp through soggy neighborhood lawns to score candy. Stay indoors and enjoy the bright, clean environment at the Alderwood Mall, where the American Girl store is offering treats to all girls who arrive in costume. Visitors can also make a Halloween “Boo Box craft” and visit a photo booth to snap a keepsake pic. Reserve your spot by visiting the American Girl Seattle store website or by calling 877-247-5223.
Pumpkin patches, corn mazes and carnival fun
Don a sweater and pair of rubber boots to go muck about in a fall field to hunt for a perfect pumpkin. Here are your best bets for rural autumnal delights.
Note: Check websites for hours of operation and prices before heading out!
When people think of Snohomish, they think of farm fields bursting with gourds. Here are some of the most beloved destinations for families.
The fam can enjoy dozens of activities at Craven, including hayrides, a 15-acre corn maze, pumpkin picking (more than 50 varieties grown!), firepit rentals and flashlight nights. The farm is also regionally famous for its sweet treats, including freshly popped kettle corn, apple cider pumpkin doughnuts and funnel cakes — oh, my!
In addition to the typical U-pick pumpkin fun, families can enjoy tooling around a trike track, firing an apple cannon and renting one of 18 bonfire pits located inside Bob’s amaizeing corn maze. Families can bring their own roasting sticks and edible goodies, and then finish up the maze. Nice!
You’ll find plenty of picturesque photo ops wandering through the U-pick sunflower fields at Stocker Farms. During the first two weekends of Stocker’s Fall Festival (Sept. 21–22, 28–29), visitors can hand-pick a bouquet of sunshine to display for days.
Adults and kids 12 and older who like a bit more fright on their Halloween night should check out the darker side of “Stalker Farms,” a unique immersive haunt tour (opens Oct. 5). Of course, there are plenty of low- or no-scare options for younger and more shock-averse family members, including kid-friendly mazes, a giant pillow jump and a paintball shooting gallery. And pumpkins, a whole lot of pretty pumpkins.
Eastside and South Sound pumpkin picks
Remlinger buzzes with activity during its Fall Harvest Pumpkin Festival weekends in October. Take a wagon ride out to the U-pick pumpkin fields, shop in the farm market and explore the corn maze. Head to the Family Fun Park for entertainment and more than 25 rides, from a small (but thrilling) roller coaster to a tot-size Ferris wheel, along with pony rides, antique pedal-car rides and more.
This well-groomed farm in Issaquah is a guaranteed hit, especially with younger kids. Its popular Fall Festival includes a pumpkin patch, ATVs and race track, corn bin, pony rides, hay maze, inflatables, a haunted forest trail and bonfires with s’mores!
Here’s a quintessential autumn photo op: Picture a sweeping valley of pumpkins viewed against the backdrop of Mount Rainier. As if the vista weren’t grand enough, Carpinito Brothers Farm offers a corn maze, farm animals to pet and hayrides. And, yeah, of course — plenty of orange gourds for your picking pleasure. Selecting that perfect jack-o’-lantern-to-be is part of the excitement building up to Halloween.
Another reader favorite in South King County, this working dairy farm runs a 216,000-square-foot corn maze during pumpkin season, plus old-fashioned farm attractions such as an apple-lobbing slingshot, tractor train rides, hayrides, duck races, a petting farm and more.
For a more extensive guide to regional pumpkin patches and corn mazes, go here.
Seasonal museum events
From spellbinding story times and creepy crafts to scavenger hunts and other special activities, family-friendly local museums make Halloween a real treat.
Oct. 19–20, 26–27; trains depart 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. | Northwest Railway Museum, Snoqualmie | Tickets: Adults $20, seniors $16, children $10
The Halloween Storytelling Train departs from the Snoqualmie Depot, bound for spooky sights. Ride the rails to North Bend and disembark to explore the wonder of locomotives in a railway history center. Kids will also enjoy child-friendly Halloween tales, press apples into juice and drink cider. Then, it’s all aboard to take a ride to a vista near Snoqualmie Falls before returning to the depot.
Oct. 26, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. | Imagine Children’s Museum, Everett | Admission: by membership or $12 for adults and children, free for kids younger than 1
This annual event offers four hours of haunted family-friendly thrills, including STEM-based Spooky Experiments With Dr. Science, dancing ghosts in a cauldron of bubbles, a costume parade and a pumpkin scavenger hunt. Well worth the price of admission!
Family fun runs
A Halloween run is always a good idea. What better way to burn off all that sugar?
Oct. 26, 5K starts at 9:30 a.m. | Lincoln Park, West Seattle | Registration: $10–$45, depending on age of participant and registration date
Families can participate in the 5K together, or kiddos can participate solo in the 100-meter Tots Monster Dash or the 250-meter Little Monster Dash. Racers and non-racers alike can also win prizes in the costume contest, participate in raffle drawings, and enjoy crafts and carnival fun in the new Family Fun Zone. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event go to South Seattle College Cooperative Preschools.
Oct. 27, events start at 8 a.m. | Seward Park, Seattle
Get your chills and thrills, all while benefiting a worthy cause. Kids are invited to sign up for the free kids’ dash, while registration fees for the 5K and 10K runs benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Racers enjoy free event photos, pumpkin bread, a candy corn sampling bar and a costume contest for people (and pets!).