50 Fantastic Fall Activities to Put on Your Bucket List

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We’re settling into the rainy season, and along with it comes that need to find fall family activities that don’t require too much planning (or too much rain gear). Get your galoshes ready, because we’ve got 50 fun things to do with Seattle kids. Indoor and out, these family outings will keep your crew busy through Thanksgiving… and beyond. Here’s how to make this most of this autumn!

photo: iStock

1. There’s no time like the present for pumpkin picking and harvest fun at local farms from Puyallup to Snohomish, and all spots in between.

2. See the salmon return home to the Issaquah Creek at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery. While you're there, sign up for a guided tour with trained docents from Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (FISH). Psst… the Ballard Locks is open again this year too!

3. When was the last time you visited Snoqualmie Falls? Check out the extensive park and trail enhancements, see the train depot and carpenter shop and make your way to the bottom of the Falls.

4. Got Kraken fever? (Let’s be honest, who doesn’t?) Check out their home turf at the Climate Pledge Arena Open House or visit the newly opened Kraken Community Iceplex up north to ice skate where the pros do!

photo: Kraken Community Iceplex

5. Speaking of ice hockey, PacSci’s got a new exhibit that’s sure to be “faster than ever” opening at the end of this month.

6. Go on an ArtVenture and make Mexican paper flowers.

7. As soon as those fall leaves start to pile up, head to the nearest park, rake in hand, and build some epic leaf jumping piles! Psst! Stay away from parks that are popular with dogs…if you catch our drift.

8. Plan a day at Remlinger Farms. The farm is one of our area’s oldest and beloved spots for harvest time fun, so you can’t go wrong. Besides, where else can you ride in a flying pumpkin?

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

9. November is Native American History month—a great time to go on an Indigenous walking tour at UW or book passage with Salish Sea Tours.

10. WildLanterns makes its return to Woodland Park Zoo on November 21, 2021. Get tickets while you still can!

11. Light shows are all the rage this winter, and tickets go on sale in early fall. Get yours to the Bellevue Garden d’Lights and Zoolights in Tacoma soon.

12. Weave in and out of corn mazes for every level of adventure, including toddler-solvable mazes.

photo: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

13. A fun indoor activity for any time of year is a trip to the local roller rink. It’s as retro as it gets.

14. Rollercoasters and Halloween costumes? Why not? Fright Fest at Wild Waves Theme & Water Park is major, not-too-spooky fun. Plus, it’s another excuse for your kids to wear their costumes in October.

15. Who loves a pumpkin as a snack more than a hippo? Or a bear? Stop by Woodland Park Zoo during October for their always-popular Pumpkin Bash. Psst! Kids, don't forget to wear your Halloween costume to score free admission with a paying adult.

16. Fall is a fantastic time to plan a family hike. The temps are cooler, the trails are less crowded and fall’s vibrant colors are in full effect. Lace up your boots and hit the trails!

photo: Disney on Ice

17. See all your favorite Disney characters—Moana and Maui, Anna and Elsa, even the Mouse himself—when you get tickets to Disney on Ice: Dream Big. Catch the show at the Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett or at the ShoWare Center in Kent. The show runs from late October through early November.

18. Even if you don’t have out-of-town guests visiting, the Space Needle's tricked out observation deck is a hit with kids. Eleven-foot-high glass walls, glass benches, views and a revolving glass floor? Count us in!

19. You don’t have to travel too far to experience the diversity of the world. Just drop in to play at this recently opened playspace and grab a bite at this nearby food hall when you’re through.

20. Visit your favorite fish and marine mammals downtown on a rainy day. 

21. Let someone else do the cooking this Thanksgiving—even if you are staying home.

22. Now that the busy season is starting to wind down, head out in search Seattle’s best kept secrets—the spots you won't find in the Seattle guide books.

23. Whether you're looking for a low-sugar Halloween event or a place to score the most treats, the Emerald City has plenty of both!

24. The Seattle Children’s Theatre is back! They’ll be kicking off their 2021-2022 season with Red Riding Hood (opening February 1, 2022) and tickets go on sale Nov. 10, 2021 for all in-person productions.

photo: Cheshire Isaacs

25. Get Gogh-ing to the immersive art experience everyone’s talking about. Yep, it’s totally kid-friendly!

26. Attend a free, family-friendly program on spawning salmon along the Cedar River.

27. Plan a weekend getaway to this town just east of the Cascades that’s known for its apples.

28. Watch Burke Museum paleontologists prep dinosaur fossils they recently uncovered in Montana at the Fossil Prep Lab all fall and winter long. Dare we say it’s dino-mite?

29. When was the last time you visited the Giant Shoe Museum? Now’s as good a time as any to go.

30. Just because summer's over, doesn’t mean you can’t camp. Book a yurt or a cabin for different kind of camping experience that doesn't require sunny skies or dry weather.

31. Order out on Friday night from one of our favorite local pizza joints—sorry, we don’t have an in at Moto.

31. Squash the rainy day blues by taking a dip in one of our favorite indoor pools

photo: iStock

32. Got three hours and a free weekend? Then you've got what you need to head to sunnier skies.

33. Lace up your walking shoes and go in search of these Black history landmarks around the city.

34. See if you can find a Sasquatch in Snoqualmie and rent the perfect treehouse cabin when you do.

35. Got a kiddo celebrating a birthday? Book a reservation for a small group of friends at one of our favorite indoor birthday party spots!

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

36. Tired of your same ol' neighborhood playground? Branch out into new territory this fall by visiting one of our favorite parks and playgrounds in the city, on the Eastside and north and south of Seattle.

37. Dune may be rated PG-13, but you can take your kids to the park that inspired it all when you visit Point Ruston. Dune Peninsula Park is a far cry from its former self (that inspired the book and movie), but it’s a great place to stroll, scooter or jog on a sunny fall day and well worth the trip south.

38. Take a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel–the gondolas are enclosed for fall weather! A nighttime ride is especially exciting (and way easier to do with kids) in fall.

39. Grab a bunch of your girlfriends and plan a mom's only weekend at one of our favorite spots for kid-free R&R.

40. Seattle Chocolate is getting spooky this season with their popular Haunted Factory Tour. Help fix the chocolate making machines as you solve puzzles along the factory’s shadowy, mysterious hallways.

41. While Leavenworth’s colorful changing leaves and breweries make it a must-travel spot for parents, we know your kids are all about the visiting the reindeer farm that’s open year-round when you make the trip.

42. Although it’ll look a bit different this year, the Fauntleroy Fall Festival is the perfect way to usher in fall. And it’s easier than ever this year—just drive on through!

43. Mexican hot chocolate, kids crafts and live music are all part of the PNA Day of the Dead festival.

photo: Pacific Northwest Ballet

44. Although it was virtual last year, families can once again head to McCaw Hall to enjoy George Balanchine's The Nutcracker. Grab your tickets now before this magical show sells out. The production opens the day after Thanksgiving.

45. A trip to the Museum of Flight is always in season. Put November 11 on your calendar for their annual Veterans Day Celebration. Families can be there in-person or watch it remotely this year.

46. Plan a fall getaway. The slower pace, reduced crowds and off-season rates make the post-summer months the perfect time to schedule a weekend out of town with the kids.

47. When was the last time you and your SO had a date? Plan one tonight.

48. Get your head in the clouds at a fanciful retreat. Trust us, your kids will not want to leave (and neither will you!).

49. What’s that we spy? Snow at Thanksgiving? We can only hope! Dig out your mittens and snow pants and head to the local passes to go tubing and sledding!

50. If it’s been a while since you’ve visited the LeMay American Car Museum in Tacoma, fall is a great time to go—especially since Family STEAM Days are back.

—Allison Sutcliffe & Kristina Moy

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