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.
Read on for ideas on drinking up all that’s wonderful about our amazing Washington apples.
1. Curran Apple Orchard Cider Squeeze
Sunday, Aug. 28, noon–4 p.m.; University Place
Celebrate the season’s harvest by picking apples and pressing them into cider at this free community event. Enjoy live music, apple pie and other refreshments.
2. Bellewood Farms Harvest Festival
Wednesdays–Sundays, Sept. 1–Oct. 31, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; Lynden
There is plenty of apple fun for all at this U-pick apple orchard located in Lynden. Families will enjoy the apple bin train rides and apple goodies like fresh cider donuts and caramel apples. Adults can visit the tasting room for free sips of farm-to-bottle spirits.
3. Harvest Home at Fort Nisqually
Saturday, Sept. 10, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Tacoma
With apples harvested from Fort Nisqually Living History Museum’s own orchard, you can press cider 19th century style at this celebration of all things autumn.
4. Fall City Apple Festival
Sunday, Sept. 11, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Fall City
Press fresh, organic apples into cider or ride a horse at this community fest. Just show up for live music, vendor booths, games and activities for the kids and delicious apple goodies.
5. Sammamish Valley Harvest Festival
Saturday, Sept. 17, 10 a.m.–3 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 Off the Branch Farm.
6. Swan’s Trail Farm Honeycrisp Apple Festival
Saturday, Sept. 24 through Oct. 31, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Snohomish
The folks at Swan’s Trail Farm are hoping their five acres of delicious Honeycrisp, Ambrosia, Cosmic Crisp and Jonagold apples will be ready by mid to late September. During their fall festival, visitors can expect fresh cider, U-pick apples, yummy farm food, corn mazes and more family fun in the play area. Check their Facebook page for updates.
7. Greater Peninsula Cider Swig
Saturday, Sept. 24; 11:30 a.m.–6 p.m.; Tacoma
This apple event features goods for adults only. Sorry, kids, this cider is not for you. Tasters can sample more than 130 ciders purchase their favorites to take home. There’s also food and non-beverage fun in the form an apple pie contest, corn hole pit and more. This event supports South Sound causes. Tickets can be purchased in advance.
8. Lattin’s Apple Festival
Sept. 24–25 plus Oct. 1–2, 8–9, 15–16, 22–23 and 29–30; 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.
9. Steilacoom Apple Squeeze
Sunday, Oct. 2, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Steilacoom
This year marks the 47th year of the popular Steilacoom Apple Squeeze. Press fresh apples into cider and enjoy a plethora of apple delights including cider floats, apple pie, apple butter and apple fritters. Vendors, live music and kids’ activities round out the fun.
10. Meeker Mansion Cider Squeeze
Saturday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.; Puyallup
Save the date and check on the website for more details!
11. Piper’s Orchard Festival of Fruit
Details for the annual Festival of Fruit at Seattle’s oldest orchard — inside what is now Carkeek Park — have not yet been announced. All signs point to a smaller harvest and fest due to a chilly spring. Check their Facebook page for updates.
Bonus: Rent a Cider Press
Want to make your own cider at home? City Fruit has two cider presses available to rent: a manual press and an electric one. They also offer free rentals for tree-care tools such as orchard ladders, fruit pickers, hand pruners and more. Garden To Table Nutrition, a school in Bothell, rents out its Weston Press to families for a few days at a time for $60. Or you can invite them to your school for an apple pressing "field trip".
Pick apples from your backyard, ask your neighbors or visit one of the orchards in our apple-picking guide.
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