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October Play List: The Harvest and Halloween Edition

Family-friendly activities around the Greater Seattle Area

Devon Hammer

Published on: September 28, 2021

laughing family of four crouched on straw with some pumpkins and a dog

Pumpkins and costumes and apple cider — oh my! It’s all here this October to help make your family’s fall fantastic. Plus, a bushelful of annual fests and celebrations are back this year, which is the whipped cream on top of this apple pie of an October. So, pick out your costume, get your sweet tooth primed and enjoy that crisp fall air with our top picks for family fun this month.

  1. Visit Seattle’s oldest orchard — inside what is now Carkeek Park — to taste apple varieties, press apples into cider or have your homegrown apples identified at Piper’s Orchard Festival of Fruit. Also learn about mason bees, go for a guided tour and listen to live music. Saturday, Oct. 2, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Free.
  2. Kelsey Creek Farm in Bellevue is once again hosting its free Farm Fair. Come out to the big white barn and celebrate the season with barnyard animals, wagon rides, pumpkins and more. Saturday, Oct. 2, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Free; fee for some activities.
  3. Celebrate the grand opening of the U District Light Rail Station. Brooklyn Avenue and University Way will be closed to traffic so the community can gather to enjoy live music, activities and games for kids, plus a $3 food walk featuring fare from neighborhood restaurants. Saturday, Oct. 2, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Free; food for purchase.
  4. Gather with other Lego fans to marvel at creations from around the world at BrickCon 2021. With COVID-19 precautions in place, the convention is back in person at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Saturday–Sunday, Oct. 2–3, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. $25 per person; preregister. 
  5. Does your child possibly have some catching up to do after last year’s remote learning? We hear you. Join us online for a ParentEd Talk by experts who will discuss how to raise an independent learner and help remedy learning loss. Thursday, Oct. 7, noon. $0–$15; preregister. 
  6. Check out a fall edition of Maple Valley Days, usually held in June. Join in the merriment with yummy food, fun booths, live entertainment, kids’ activities, inflatables and more. Saturday–Sunday, Oct. 9–10. Free; items for purchase. 
  7. See what Northwest Trek Wildlife Park’s animals are up to at night during the park’s annual Hoot ’n’ Howl celebration. Wear your costume to trick-or-treat, play spooky games and meet some nocturnal critters as they start their “day.” Friday–Saturday, Oct. 15–16 and 22–23, 5–9 p.m. $12–$16; ages 2 and younger free. 
  8. Enjoy another Halloween-inspired event with animals at Point Defiance Zoo’s Zoo Boo. Wear your costume and watch the zoo’s animal residents devour their pumpkin treats. Saturday–Sunday, Oct. 16–17, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. $15–$20; ages 2 and younger free. 
  9. Celebrate all things autumn at the lovely Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden’s Fall Foliage Festival. Take in the beauty of fall colors while enjoying treats, gardening workshops, a photo station and activities for the whole fam. Saturday–Sunday, Oct. 16–17, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Free. 
  10. Take in the view of changing autumn colors in the Snoqualmie Valley on the Northwest Railway Museum’s Halloween Train. Dress in your costume and enjoy the fall décor on a vintage train ride. Saturday–Sunday, Oct. 16–17, 23–24, 30–31. $12–$24; ages 2 and younger free. 
  11. Learn the exciting science behind Seattle’s newest sports craze, hockey! Monday, Oct. 18 is opening day of Pacific Science Center’s new interactive exhibit, “Hockey: Faster Than Ever.” (The rest of the science center remains closed due to COVID-19 precautions.) Open daily through Feb. 27, 2022. $17.50–$24.95; 2 and younger free; preregister.
  12. If you are one for horror thrills, brave the Nile Nightmares scream fest of a haunted house. Friday–Sunday through Oct. 31; less scary kids’ day is Oct. 23. $25 regular entry; kids’ day is $10 per child; free for accompanying adults. Daring 13-year-olds and older recommended for regular haunted house.
  13. Learn what tenacity looks like when it comes to raising kids and how it can help them become successful adults. Join ParentMap for an online ParentEd Talk on the topic. Wednesday, Oct. 27, 1 p.m. $0–$15; preregister. 
  14. Discover a pumpkin patch at Marina Park, along with trick-or-treating, carnival games, a doggie costume party and more Halloween fun at Kirkland’s annual Pumpkins in the Park celebration. Saturday, Oct. 30, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Free. 
  15. Come in costume to enjoy trick-or-treating, animal encounters, carnival games and more at Si View Park’s Harvest Festival in North Bend. Saturday, Oct. 30, noon–4 p.m. $10 entry includes unlimited game access; preregister.
  16. Act to help save our orca whale neighbors living in Puget Sound on Saturday, Oct. 16, Orca Recovery Day. Plan your own day of service by checking out one of the many community events hosted by various organizations here

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