Our state's signature fruit is in season! We can indeed 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 cider-pressing and other apple events around Seattle, the Eastside and the South Sound. You can even eat an apple right off the tree and fill your buckets at local U-pick apple orchards.
For the second year in a row, several apple events are canceled, but a few are soldiering on in a pandemic-appropriate way. Read on for ideas on drinking up all that's wonderful about our amazing Washington apples.
Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Fall City
Sign up in advance for a time slot to press fresh, organic apples into cider or ride a pony at this community fest. Just show up for live music, vendor booths, games and activities for the kids and delicious apple goodies to taste.
Saturday–Sunday, Sept. 18–19, 2021, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Snohomish
Swans Trail Farm is celebrating the fruit of the season with fresh cider, U-pick apples, yummy farm food and family fun! Try out the tractor pull, visit the barnyard animals, slide down a dump truck roller slide and more. Book your timed entry tickets in advance.
Saturday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Multiple Eastside locations
This fest isn't only about apples, but apples and tastes of freshly-pressed cider do figure into the fall farm fun on offer. Click the link to see the participating farms and farm stands, then plan your route to get an up-close view of where your food comes from. Tip: Buy some delicious cider at perfectly-named Off the Branch Farm.
Saturday, Sept. 25, 1–3 p.m.; Steilacoom
In this session of Kids' Club, kids will partake in apple-themed activities and explore the Orr Orchard. Register in advance by email.
Saturday–Sunday, Sept. 25–26; Tacoma and Gig Harbor
This apple event features goods for adults only. Sorry, kids, this cider is not for you. But a year and a half into this pandemic, almost any parent might want to taste some apples this way. Order your cider-tasting kit in advance and pick it up at designated locations to enjoy at home. This event supports South Sound causes.
Sept. 25–26 plus Oct. 2–3, 9–10, 16–17, 23–24 and 30–31; Olympia
Lattin's famous Apple Festival has returned this year for all your apple tasting pleasures. Come to the farm to buy Lattin's amazing signature cider, farm-fresh apples and other produce. The apple fritters are also not to be missed. Plus, there are wagon rides, pumpkins to pick, farm animals to feed and fun farm activities.
Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, 11 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, go for a guided tour and listen to live music.
Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Steilacoom
The Steilacoom Apple Squeeze is once again, a modified pick-up version called, Tasting the Squeeze. There is no festival but you can still get some apple goodness. Pre-order jugs of apple cider, caramel apples and apple fritters. Then, stop by on Oct. 3 to pick up your apple goodies on Lafayette Street in front of Town Hall.
Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, Puyallup
Organizers are working out details for the 2021 event based on the recent changes to COVID restrictions. Save the date and check back for more details!
Bonus: Rent a cider press
Want to make your own cider at home? In past years, families have been able to rent Fox in the Forest school'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). We are still trying to verify if the school still has its cider press available for rent. Pick apples from your backyard, ask your neighbors or visit one of the orchards in our apple-picking guide.
Editor's note: We compile this list of apple events every year, and if you've seen it before, you know there are usually more. Cross your fingers that the full range of apple and cider events for families will be back in 2022.