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Best Bets for Safe Family Fun This Fall

15 ways to celebrate the season: pumpkin patches, salmon viewing and more nature outings

Devon Hammer

Published on: September 28, 2020

boy dancing in gold tumbling leaves with wooden buildings in the background
Credit: Justin Young, Unsplash

Pumpkins, spawning salmon, apple cider, fall leaves: not canceled! Fall has arrived, and we are here for it. Thankfully, a lot of the autumn activities we love most take place outside and are still permissible during the pandemic (with a few modifications). So, let’s soak up everything the season has to offer while we can: crisp air, trees aglow with vibrant colors, pumpkin-spice-flavored everything, and plenty of safe and fun ways to get out and about this month.

Tromp through the fields to find your family’s great pumpkin. Most patches in the area are open this season and are still hosting fall festival activities (with pandemic precautions in place). Browse pumpkin patches for Seattle, Eastside and South Sound

Got a Minecraft maniac in the house? The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) has reopened and is hosting a free virtual family program all about Minecraft! Sign up ASAP for one of two available sessions: 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. on Oct. 3. Advance registration is required. Fans should definitely check out MoPOP’s awesome Minecraft exhibit.

Get a taste of fall with some freshly pressed cider and other apple treats at Steilacoom Historical Museum’s Tasting the Squeeze event, Oct. 4. This is a socially distanced alternative to the annual Apple Squeeze.  

Watch the drama of nature unfold at numerous salmon-viewing spots around the sound. While a few sites are closed, there are still plenty of places to see these awe-inspiring creatures battle their way upstream to spawn. Challenge yourself to spot each species by the end of the season. View the best places for Seattle, Eastside and South Sound

Cheer on the resident animals attacking their special pumpkin treats at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park’s Pumpkin Chomp ’n’ Stomp event, Oct. 10–11. Included with regular admission. 

Enjoy a less-crowded visit to Remlinger Farms for its Fall Harvest Pumpkin Festival. Ride the rides again and again, then swing by the patch to pick a picture-worthy pumpkin. Open every weekend in October. 

Immerse yourself in a fall wonderland on one of these fall-color walks, perfect for even the littlest leaf peepers. View hikes near Seattle, Eastside and South Sound.

Wait for a rain-free day to get the kids out to one of these awesome local pump tracks. They’re like a roller-coaster ride on a bike!

Enjoy an autumn view of the city from the middle of Lake Union. Get out on the water by booking a free hour in a peapod rowboat (great for beginners) from The Center for Wooden Boats.

Lattin’s Country Cider Mill and Farm can’t host its full Apple Festival this year, but you can still visit the farm store to taste its legendary cider, buy fruit and snack on delicious baked goods (think of its legendary apple fritters and doughnuts). You may even spot some resident farm animals, too! 

Put a challenging and spooky twist on a traditional corn maze — by exploring it in the dark! Head to Maris Farms in Buckley on a Friday or Saturday through Oct. 31 to attempt the flashlight maze. Book online.

Tour Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center on a private family field trip to see the ins and outs of a working farm. The tour makes a great outdoor complement to indoor remote school. Book online. 

Reserve a private bonfire spot located in the cornfields at Bob’s Corn & Pumpkin Patch in Snohomish. Adults can enjoy a toasty outdoor gathering spot while the kids explore all that the farm has to offer. 

Check out Fox Hollow Farm’s one-way adventure trail during this year’s Fall Festival. Visit animals and sights along the 30- to 45-minute loop that ends at the pumpkin patch. Book tickets online.

Show off your costumes aboard the Chehalis-Centralia Pumpkin Train. Ride this harvest-themed train on an outing that includes treats and the chance to pick out your perfect pumpkin! Oct. 24–25, 30–31. Book your tickets in advance. 

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