Fun Fall Activities in Oregon and Washington
Looking for some fun ways to enjoy all things autumn this September and October? From the iconic to the unique, we’ve identified some of the best things to do around the Pacific Northwest this fall. There’s something for everyone, whether you want to take in some scenic fall foliage views, attend fun events or go on family pumpkin patch excursions.
The Columbia River Gorge’s many trails and towns are beautiful year-round, but little hints of firey fall colors add to the area’s spectacular beauty. If you’re with a group that includes small children or adults with mobility issues, consider a trip to the Crown Point Vista House.
This September, go to a Swift Watch event at Portland’s Chapman Elementary to see thousands of birds swooping down into a chimney to go to sleep for the night.
Kids of all ages (and adults!) love watching paddlers in the Giant Pumpkin Regatta in Tualatin, OR. The 2019 race will be held on Saturday, October 19.
There are lots of great places to pick pumpkins, get seasonal produce and enjoy fall activities like corn mazes on Sauvie Island, which sits in the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington.
SW Washington also has an abundance of places to get your future jack-o-lantern, including Joe’s Place Farms, which boasts a corn maze.
The University of Oregon campus is a great place to stroll around and see fall colors, and it’s also a comfortable walking environment for young children and adults with mobility issues. The University even offers a tree atlas for serious leaf peepers. If you want to see something really unusual, keep an eye out for dawn redwoods on campus. Unlike most of the many conifers in the Pacific Northwest, these trees are deciduous rather than evergreen, meaning their needles turn bright orange and fall off every autumn.
If you want to get a bit more outdoorsy, the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum offers some unpaved hiking trails with stunning views and plenty of color.
Want to get the kids outside and give them a spooky (not scary) good time? Head over to Alton Baker Park on Friday, October 18 for the annual haunted hike.
The McKenzie Cider & Craft Beer Festival is being held November 8-9 in Springfield. This event showcases brews from Oregon, Washington and California. Though focused on beer and hard cider, this is a family-friendly event.
Johnson Vegetable Farms is a great spot for fall fun, rain or shine. They offer an indoor hay maze, hayrides, u-pick pumpkins and even a pumpkin slingshot!
Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm is ready for fall fun with its annual Colonial Harvest Days event, which includes a family-friendly corn maze, pumpkin patch and other autumnal activities.
Easily accessible and always scenic, Drake Park and Mirror Pond is an excellent outdoor fall-colors destination with kids and limited-mobility adults. Pack a picnic or plan a quick visit on your way to other awesome Central Oregon activities.
One great thing about being local to the Bend area is that you can enjoy destinations like the Deschutes River Trail in their serene, off-peak glory. Head out there for beautiful fall scenery and more of an intensive physical experience.
The Bend Fall Festival is another local annual event, taking place this year on October 4-6. It’s the perfect opportunity to support your local community while enjoying live music and other attractions.
If you want to get some exercise in before Thanksgiving, the Redmond Turkey Trot running event may be right up your alley. This year’s race will be held on November 28th, with 5k and 10k races for adults, plus a fun run for kids.
Smith Rock Ranch in Terrebonne has all the pumpkin patch activities you could possibly want, including a corn maze. You’ll get some incredible pumpkin picking pictures with Smith Rock in the background.
DD Ranch is another great Central Oregon option for fall pumpkin patch fun. As an added bonus, they have a petting zoo with friendly goats, pigs and cows, plus other fun ranch-themed activities.
Friendly to strollers, dogs, and guests with limited mobility, Kubota Garden is a beautiful place year-round, but it’s especially spectacular in autumn. You can either take a self-guided tour of this maple-heavy Japanese garden, or attend one of the guided tours they offer during the height of October’s fall colors.
If you want to do a fall-colors trip with some added Pacific Northwest flair, visit the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. Not only will you get to see beautiful trees, you’ll also get to see the seasonal salmon run in action. The hatchery often has trained docents on hand to provide interesting info on these iconic regional fish.
The two best things about Halloween are, arguably, candy and spooky scenarios. The Seattle Chocolate Haunted Factory Tour has both! This is a family-friendly event taking place on specific weekends in October, so check the website to buy tickets.
Love seeing animals in costume? Join the Volunteer Park Pet Parade, a free event that you can participate in or simply observe on Sunday, October 20.
Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo is a fun destination for families, but you can add some festive fall flair to your visit by watching animals play with (and eat) pumpkins during the Pumpkin Bash event on Saturday, October 26. Kids in costume get in free with paid adult!
In addition to the standard u-pick pumpkins, Remlinger Farms has a whole fall-themed carnival setup complete with rides, a hay maze and a full menu of food options. Plan to spend a full day!
Maris Farms is another Seattle-area option with tons of different activities and entertainment options going on, including a haunted woods attraction, a massive corn maze and a huge pumpkin patch. This one has options for families and childfree adults.
A little more low key but still a ton of fun, Serres Farm has fun barnyard animal activities and kid-friendly attractions in addition to a pumpkin patch with a wide variety of different gourds.
Enjoy the beauty of the season at the Finch Arboretum, which offers acres and acres of beautiful trees, many of which will be in their autumnal best in October. Attend their Fall Leaf Festival on October 27th to take advantage of tours and other activities.
Whether you’ve got strollers, wheelchairs, road bikes or dogs, the 37-mile Centennial Trail is a paved and mobility-friendly place to stroll and take in the fall colors.
If you’re looking for some homebuying inspiration, check out the Fall Festival of Homes, which runs the last weekend of September and the first weekend of October in Spokane. You can find features to add to your must-have list or get some ideas for a custom build.
On Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27, the Spokane Symphony will present its Ancient Tales of Magic concert program featuring Halloween-appropriate symphonic music, including selections from the Harry Potter movie soundtracks. Sounds like a good time for the whole family!
Pumpkin Patches & Corn Mazes
Green Bluff Growers is a great local network of farms that offer not only pumpkin patches but also apple picking and other awesome autumnal activities. You can find corn mazes and other fun attractions too based on where you are and how far you want to travel.