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The Play List: Highlighted Seattle-Area Family Events and Outings for October 2022

15 ways to have a ball this fall

Nancy Chaney

Published on: September 28, 2022

Two young girls holding large pumpkins in a pumpkin patch

We can always count on October, the first full month of fall, to serve up a cornucopia of seasonal treats. Pumpkins, costumes, apple cider and farm fun — all that and more are on tap for your October family fun plan. Pick out your costumes, get your sweet tooth primed and stack your calendar with all of this good stuff.

  1. For farm fun without leaving the city limits, trot on over to Kelsey Creek Farm Fair in Bellevue for wagon rides, interactions with barnyard animals, pedal tractors and fun with pumpkins by the big white barn. Admission is free; some activities require a fee. The Farm Fair takes place Saturday, Oct. 1, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
  2. With a theme of “Livin’ the Stream” this year (LOL!), Issaquah Salmon Days will celebrate our region’s iconic fish with a parade, music, a kids’ obstacle course, dock dogs and more. Get fishy Saturday–Sunday, Oct. 1–2, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. 
  3. Get caught up in collective Lego fever at Seattle’s Lego convention, BrickCon. Marvel at creations by master builders, let creative juices flow in the building zone and shop the brick bazaar. Buy tickets online for this event, which takes place at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, Saturday–Sunday, Oct. 1–2, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 
  4. Bring your eagle eyes to spot spawning salmon at five locations along the Cedar River: the Renton Library, Cedar River Park, Riverview Park, Landsburg Park and Belmondo’s Reach. While you can see salmon any day, visit on select weekend dates to learn from Cedar River Salmon Journey naturalists, on site Saturday–Sunday, Oct. 1–2, 8–9, 15–16 and 22–23, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. 
  5. Burien’s fall edition of its pop-up drive-in movie series features family movies and — yes! — bedtime-friendly screenings. If summer drive-ins ran too late for your crew, try this one. Entry costs $25 per car, and movies screen Saturday evenings, Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29, 8–10 p.m. Preregister.
  6. It’s a fall rite of passage for families: plucking the perfect pumpkin from the patch, snapping a sweet photo, snacking on cider doughnuts or kettle corn, enjoying mud on your boots. Plan your pumpkin pursuit with our roundup of great local pumpkin patches, open Oct. 1–31. 
  7. It’s the last month to catch a tagged trout for a chance to win a prize in Washington’s statewide trout fishing derby. Find a stocked lake near you online, then head out early to reel in a prize-winning fish. Youths ages 14 and younger do not need a fishing license; ages 15 and older do. Derby continues daily, Oct. 1–31.
  8. Bask in the beauty and serenity of Seattle Japanese Garden, alight in the colors of fall. Wander the garden’s trails during the Maple Festival, Oct. 6–16, for momijigari, the Japanese tradition of appreciating the art of nature. Garden admission $4–$8; children ages 5 and younger enter free. 
  9. Back to fulfill all of your baklava dreams, the beloved St. Demetrios Greek Festival welcomes families Friday–Sunday, Oct. 7–9. Join in for delicious Greek food, music, dancing and other cultural festivities. Free entry; food for purchase. St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Seattle. 
  10. Press apples into cider and join a life-size Oregon Trail game (plus, shh, learn a little history) at the family-focused Meeker Mansion Cider Squeeze. There’ll be apple treats aplenty and other fall-themed delights. Pricing TBA; hitch your wagon to this fun in Puyallup on Saturday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
  11. In honor of World Mental Health Day, Monday, Oct. 10, visitors to Washington state parks can park their vehicles for free, without a Discover Pass. Take your tots or scoot out after school to bathe in the restorative power of the forest. 
  12. Join ParentMap on Wednesday, Oct. 12 for an inspiring talk on fostering resilience in kids, and the importance of this trait, with returning speakers Sam Goldstein, Ph.D., and Robert B. Brooks, Ph.D. Join the live webinar 1–2 p.m., or watch the recorded session afterward. Sliding-scale fee of $0–$15; preregister. 
  13. If your kids can’t imagine a day without devices, join an illuminating tour of what local life was like prior to the age of electricity. Fort Nisqually Living History Museum’s Candlelight Tours fill up quickly; book your family’s tickets soon. Tours cost $13–$18 per person and take place Friday–Saturday, Oct. 14–15, 6–9 p.m. 
  14. Northwest Folklife’s delightful Children’s Festival is back in person at Seattle Center and overflowing with kid-size fun. Try out capoeira, enjoy drag queen story time and visit the American Sign Language lounge to practice ASL, among loads of other hands-on activities for kids and families. This fest happens Saturday, Oct. 15, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. A donation of $20 per family is suggested. 
  15. Northwest Railway Museum’s fall excursions combine two things kids love: an opportunity to show off their costumes and a choo-choo ride on a real train. Enjoy the scenery inside and outside the train, amid a sea of cute costumed kiddos and the gorgeous fall colors of the Snoqualmie Valley. Book your tickets, $15–$30, in advance for trains running Saturday–Sunday, Oct. 15–16, 22–23 and 29–30. 

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