Psst…. get our premier guide to fall travel – Autumn Escapes in the Pacific Northwest. Get inspired to spend your fall weekends combing rocky beaches, savoring the harvest, and hiking scenic mountain trails of Washington and Oregon. Get it here.
It’s October, my favorite month in the kitchen and in the great outdoors. First, in the kitchen: I’ve made apple butter from the fruits of our front yard orchard, begun to cure winter squash from our garden, and roasted the last of the garden’s plum tomatoes for this awesome tomato jam.
Now, I’m ready to get out and see some blazing fall color and run through a corn maze or two. Care to join me? Here are a whole bunch of ways to celebrate spooky, tasty autumn in the Pacific Northwest.
Hood River Harvest Fest (October 15-17, 2021) is a classic fall festival that takes place right on the waterfront overlooking the Columbia River. Sample local apples, craft brews, wine, cider and artisan cheeses. Browse booths filled with local art and crafts. Enjoy live music and plenty of games and activities for the whole family. Kids will love bouncy houses, face painting, and the petting zoo. Admission is $10, with proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test required for those age 12 and up. See our trip guide to Hood River for place to stay and harvest stops.
Portland’s Original Corn Maize is an October tradition for PDX families. There’s really nothing like a twisty corn maze, um I mean maize, to get you spooked out of the cornfield. The maze is located at Delta Farms on Sauvie Island adjacent to The Pumpkin Patch (16511 NW Gillihan Road) and is open Sun-Thurs 10am-6pm, Fri-Sat 10am-10pm (admission $6-$8, kids 5 and under free).
Want to get really spooked? Right next door is Bella Organic Farm, home to the uber-scary Haunted Corn Maze (open Fri-Sat nights every October weekend, $6-$8). Heads up Stranger Things fans – the frightening maze this year is carved just for you!
Want to know where to spot golden aspen and fiery vine maple? Keep up with the Oregon Fall Foliage Blog, or call the Oregon Fall Foliage Hotline at 800.547.5445.
No car to go see fall foliage? No problem! King County Metro is putting vintage buses to work with a Fall Foliage Bus Tour (Sunday October 13, 2019 departs 11am, $5 each, age 5 and under free). The scenic 4-hour trip takes riders through the Cascade foothills along the quiet back roads of east King County as the autumn leaves are turning color, stopping for photo-ops and lunch. There’s nothing like a scenic drive for leaf peeping at the height of fall color, but the trip is even better when someone else does the driving!
Grab your beer stein and don a dirndl! It’s time for three fun weekends of Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest(Oct 4-5, Oct 11-12, Oct 18-19 in 2019). The Bavarian village of Leavenworth on the east slope of Washington’s Cascades hosts the region’s most popular Oktoberfest, spanning three crisp autumn weekends. It being Oktoberfest in Bavaria and all, there’s of course going to be fabulous beer. You’ll also dance to live music, nosh on German food, and browse arts and crafts booths. There are plenty of cultural ceremonies and traditions to take part in, too.the next best thing to being in Munich. Live it up with live music, authentic German food, arts and crafts, Bavarian clothing, and activities for the whole family. See even more local Oktoberfests here.
Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum hosts the Suncadia Harvest Festival over two weekends in October (5-6 and 12-13, 2019, 10am-5pm each day) at the historic Nelson Farm. Come for pony rides, haunted wagon rides, bouncy houses, Haunted Movie Theatre, 1,000 bale straw maze, pumpkin patch, merchant market featuring local artisans, food & beer garden, plus much more!
Head to the Olympic Peninsula Apple & Cider Festival (Oct 11-13, 2019) and celebrate autumn abundance with a truly authentic Pacific Northwest, tree-to-glass weekend experience. Learn about the local traditions and culture of growing apples and fermenting cider.
When you get lost in a maze of maize at the Rutledge Corn Maze, you might find yourself running into a vampire or a zombie. Weekends through October 31 in Tumwater.
Carlton Farms in Lake Stevens is open through October 31st for their annual fall festivities–the pumpkin patch and corn maze are open daily, and more fall activities (kids’ areas, pumpkin cannon, bucket train, zip lines, wagon rides) are open 10am-6pm Sat & Sun.
Craven Farm in Snohomish is open daily for its Fall Harvest Festival (9:30am – dusk) through Oct 31. Come to pick pumpkins, get lost in a corn maze, take a hayride through Minionville, and roast marshmallows or sip apple cider beside a crackling fire. Admission is free.
In Whatcom County, Cramer’s Western Town in Lynden hosts an interactive, spooky Pumpkin Patch (open Fridays-Sundays in October, 10am-5pm) with a petting zoo, train rides, pony rides, fun zone (hay jump, whole corn to play in, duck race with water pump) hay maze, horse drawn wagon rides to pumpkin patch, pumpkins naturally grown, hand led draft horse rides, hay toss, and more!
Also in Lynden, Bellewood Farms is a sprawling farmstead with u-pick apples (21 varieties!), a pumpkin patch, corn maze, hay rides, cider, and more on weekends through October.
In the Yakima Valley, the Union Gap Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is a family friendly fall harvest adventure with a hay ride, straw maze for kids, apple cannons, u-pick pumpkins and a big corn maze that mysteriously turns haunted with ghouls at 7 pm.
Got a favorite autumn event, haunted maze or pumpkin patch to share with our readers? Leave it in the comments below.