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The Best Sunny-Day Ways to Spend the End of Summer

15 terrific family events for September fun

Devon Hammer
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Published on: August 30, 2021

little girl in a striped blue dress posing in front of a garden of sunflowers

After our hot and dry summer, many of us will appreciate fall’s cooler weather. September offers the opportunity to wring the last bits of fun from summer while welcoming all the crisp goodness that fall brings. Read on for 15 terrific family events, from classic fests and fairs to quintessential fall traditions, that are sure to make memories during your September days.

Enjoy photo ops, hayrides (on weekends) and endless blooms of sunshine in the fields at Bob’s Corn Sunflower Experience. Plan to return later in the month for Bob’s annual Fall Festival, which features pumpkins, a corn maze and more. Sunflower Experience through Sept. 17; $13–$18 per person. Fall Festival begins Sept. 18; $15–$20 per person. 

Close out the summer fair season with a bang at the largest one of all, the Washington State Fair. All the traditional fun and amusements will be back this year, so count on a day jam-packed with rides, fair food and entertainment. Daily except Tuesdays, Sept. 3–26. $11–$16; 5 and younger free. 

Go on an art-filled adventure at Lake Sammamish State Park. Admire 10 local artists’ sculptures set up near the kitchen shelter, on view from dawn to dusk. Daily through Sept. 16. Free. 

Photo ops and outdoor fun abound at another sunflower festival, this one at Maris Farms in Buckley. Snap the perfect shot, pick sunflowers to take home and enjoy farm activities. Saturday–Sunday, through Sept. 19. $16–$18; ages 2 and younger free. 

Build your own Lego tugboat, watch Lego pros build their own tugs and vote for your favorite display model at Olympia Harbor Days Lite. Saturday–Sunday, Sept. 4–5. Free. 

Celebrate the berry of the hour with more than 15 blackberry-themed foods, live music, vendors and more at the Bremerton Blackberry Festival. Free entry, items for purchase. Saturday–Monday, Sept. 4–6. 

Cruise on over to a truck lover’s paradise at Pierce County’s Touch A Truck event. Kids are encouraged to climb on, explore and honk the horns of many of the “celebrity” big rigs they see on the roads. Saturday, Sept. 11, 10 a.m. –1 p.m. Free. 

Plan a day of giving back during Garden Stewardship Day at Magnuson Children’s Garden. Use a little elbow grease to help make this child-focused nature sanctuary sparkle. Saturday, Sept. 11, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Ages 6 and older with families. Preregister. 

You have one more chance to meet the “real” Thomas the Tank Engine at the Northwest Railway Museum. Go for a ride in a train car pulled by Thomas while picking up party favors and playing games at stops along the way. Saturday–Sunday, Sept. 11–12. $24–$28; ages 1 and younger free. 

Plan a day of harvesting the delicious fruit Washington is famous for, apples! Although most of the official state fruit grows in eastern Washington, there are some farms open for picking on this side of the mountains. 

Visit a favorite or new-to-your-fam museum for free on Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day. The Museum of Flight, National Nordic Museum and historic Fort Steilacoom are included on this year’s list. Saturday, Sept. 18. 

Gaze at the breathtaking and colorful air displays and bring your own kite to fly at the Whidbey Island Kite Festival. Stick around for kids’ kite making, professional kite competitions and demos, plus a teddy bear drop at 1 p.m. each day. Saturday–Sunday, Sept. 18–19. Free. 

ParentMap invites parents and educators to join an important discussion with Khalil Gibran Muhammad, professor of history, race and public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School, and Jeffery Robinson, founder of The Who We Are Project, on why educating kids about race really matters. Thursday, Sept. 23, 1 p.m. $0–$15. 

Inspired by the open-air night markets popular in many Asian countries, Seattle’s Chinatown–International District Night Market welcomes all for shopping, crafts, live performances and delicious street food. Saturday, Sept. 25, 1–9 p.m. 

Spend a day by the water on the gorgeous grounds of The Center for Wooden Boats during its Lake Untion Wooden Boat Festival. Get your fill of boats, boat races, workshops and more. Saturday–Sunday, Sept. 25–26. Free. 

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