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Our state's signature fruit is in season! It's true we can get apples at the grocery store year-round, but the finest, freshest, most delicious bounty comes in the late summer and fall. Savor the sweet flavor of the season with apple cider-pressing and other apple events around Seattle, the Eastside and the South Sound. You can even eat an apple right off the tree fill your buckets at local U-pick apple orchards.
Try out a cider press, visit a farm, even rent a cider press to make your own cider at home — and drink up all that's wonderful about our amazing Washington apples.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Seattle
Visit Seattle's oldest orchard — inside what is now Carkeek Park — to taste apples in the orchard, press apples into cider or have your homegrown apples identified. Also learn about mason bees, enjoy kids' activities and listen to live music from Blue Star Creeper.
Enter the annual apple pie contest by bringing in your best pie between 10 and 10:30 a.m. Or just taste the entries: All contest pies, plus other donated baked goods and hot or cold cider will be for sale with proceeds supporting maintenance of Piper's Orchard.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m.–noon or Thursday, Sept., 20, 9:30–11:30 a.m., Bothell
Fox in the Forest invites local families to Songaia Cohousing Community in Bothell to pick apples and press them into cider with a human-powered cider press. Plus, check out Songaia's food forest. Preregister for this family activity. Fox in the Forest is an outdoor school with programs for ages 0–12. (The school also rents out its Weston Cider Press — see below!)
Sunday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Fall City
Press fresh, organic apples into cider at this community fest. Bring jugs for cider and your apple harvest if you have one. Enter the apple pie-baking contest — there's a junior division for kid bakers ages 7–16 with cash prizes! Plus enjoy live music, kids' games and, of course, apple treats. and Donations appreciated for the NWNHC Family Fund.
Saturday, Sept. 29, noon–5 p.m., Gig Harbor
Unlike the other events listed, this family-friendly fest at Sehmel Homestead Park showcases grown-up cider from Northwest cider makers (nearly 100 varieties) for adult tasting. But there are also carnival games, inflatables, face-painting and apple-launching (!) for families. And while grown-ups enjoy the 21-and-over cider garden, they can drop kids ages 2–12 in a supervised kids' zone with crafts, games and a snack ($8 per hour) — genius. Buy tickets in advance for this popular event.
Saturday, Sept. 29, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Redmond
Keep It Simple Farm celebrates its seventh anniversary and all of its customers with a day of fun on the farm. Enjoy fresh-pressed apple cider among other treats and activities, including games for kids; soup, snacks and nursery plants for sale; free coffee; knife-sharpening and pumpkins!
Saturday–Sunday, Sept. 29–Oct. 28, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Olympia
At Lattin's Country Cider Mill and Farm you don't get to press your own cider, but tasting it will make you swoon. Then you'll want to buy jug after jug to take home. In addition to apples, pears and other produce for purchase, there are pumpkins to pick, farm animals to visit and lots of tasty treats to buy.
Sunday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Steilacoom
Join the Steilacoom Historial Museum Association for a street fair featuring old-time fun. Press apples into cider with hand presses, stroll through the historic orchard, take part in kids' activities and eat apple pie and apple fritters. Kids can even take a pony ride from noon–4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 6, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Vashon Island
The Vashon Island Fruit Club, stationed at Vashon Village across from the Vashon Library, will press cider out of Vashon-grown apples. Buy some of the fresh-pressed cider, and a homemade apple crisp to take home.
Kids can take a turn with the kids' cider press. If you've got your own apples, head to the Village Green where you can use the cider press on site to make your own cider (10 a.m.–2 p.m.), with experts on hand to guide you.
Bonus: Stop by Vashon's Fire Station 55 to check out the fire engines, snack on hot dogs and bounce in the bouncy house.
Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Puyallup
Buy apples for sale at this lovely historic mansion, then give them the squeeze in the cider press. Also enjoy live music, pick a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch and snack on some tasty apple treats.
Saturday, Oct. 21, 9 a.m.–2 p.m., Issaquah
Make your own cider with an old-fashioned press at work, make your own scarecrow, shop a pop-up farmers market at the Historic Shell Station, blow a mini glass pumpkin (preregister for this particular activity) and lots more fun as downtown Issaquah celebrates our state's signature fruit.
Bonus: Rent a cider press
Want to make your own cider at home? Pick apples from your backyard or around your neighborhood — or from one of the orchards in our apple-picking guide — and rent Fox in the Forest's cider press. This Bothell-based school owns its own Weston Press, which it rents out to families for a few days at a time ($55). Find contact information at the website and call or email for details.