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Best of the Fests! Your Guide to Seattle’s Returning Fall Festivals

They’re back! And the Washington State Fair is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to family-friendly fall festivals. These 17 fests feature everything from farm animals and U-pick pumpkins, to celebrations that highlight cultures, music, even LEGO bricks. Scroll down and get ready to fill your calendars!

Editor’s note: As safety measures continue to evolve due to the Delta variant, please remember to follow local and state guidelines regarding masks, social distancing and more, and double check information for last-minute changes before heading out with the kids.

photo: Washington State Fair

Washington State Fair

Families in Washington have been "doing the Puyallup” for over 100 years, and after last year's hiatus everyone is excited it's back. This year's state fair opened Labor Day weekend and will be open daily (with the exception of Tuesdays and Wed., Sep. 8) through September 26. If you want to see and do it all, you’d better plan on waking the kids up early. In addition to returning favorites that families love, like The Farm at SillyVille and Outpost 47 (the family-friendly, free concert stage), you and your crew will want to catch the Budweiser Clydesdales at the Western Rodeo Cattle Drive & Parade or in the Pierce County Arena during draft shows (Sep. 10-16) and the new Hall of Heroes exhibit that immerses visitors in the world of crime fighters, superheroes and spies. Plus enjoy the amusement park rides and games, fair food (Hello, fair scones!), 4-H animals, arts and crafts and hundreds of vendors. 

Dates worth noting: Stay for fireworks on Fridays (starting at 10 p.m.); watch master pumpkin carver, Russ Leno create masterpieces at the fountain (Sat. & Sun.); enjoy Animals of the World (Sep. 9-13); and cultural days like Asia Pacific Cultural Center day (Sep. 11), Fiesta Patrias (Sep. 19) and Native American Days (Sep. 22 & 23).  

Dates: Sep. 3-26, 2021 (excluding Tuesdays and Sep. 8)
Times: Varies (see website)
Cost: $11-$15/person; Free, kids 5 & under. Parking is $12 Mon.-Fri. and $17 Sat. & Sun.

Washington State Fair Events Center
110 9th Ave. S.E.
Puyallup, WA 98371
253-841-5045

Learn more here.

photo: Josh Dietrich

HONK! Fest West

Music that's good for your soul. That's the vibe of this good-time street festival that features brass bands of all shapes and sizes, plus African and Brazilian drum and dance, too. Sixteen bands will make music throughout the day at this outdoor festival, and the whole shebang ends with a community jam at 7 p.m. Get ready to tap your feet and cheer on these phenomenal musicians. And don't forget those ear plugs for the kids!

Date: Sep. 18, 2021
Time: noon-7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Learn more here.

photo: Asia Pacific Cultural Center

ChuSeok: Korean Harvest Moon Festival

Editor's note: The Sep. 18 festival in Gig Harbor has been canceled due to weather.

Celebrate ChuSeok, the Korean Harvest Moon Festival, in the South Sound in 2021. The Asia Pacific Cultural Center is making it easy for families to get in on the celebration by hosting two events (one in Gig Harbor and one in Tacoma the following weekend) guaranteed to double the fun. We know your kids will love watching the Mun Dance Team and UW student-led K-POP group, The Kompany. Then wander the grounds in search of your favorite Korean eats, cultural presentations, Tae Kwon Do demos and a thrilling drum performance by Thunder and Wind. 

Dates & Times: Sep. 18, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in Gig Harbor; Sep. 25, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. in Tacoma
Cost: Free

Learn more here.

Sea Mar Fiestas Patrias

Fiestas Patrias is an expression of Latino culture including music, dance, food, folklore and more. The annual two-day event will be celebrated virtually and in-person this year. Families can enjoy a livestream presentation on September 18, starting at noon, in partnership with Seattle Festál. Then on September 19, there will be an in-person health fair (including a vaccine event) at the Sea Mar Community Center in the South Park neighborhood.

Dates: Sep. 18 & 19, 2021
Times: noon
Cost: Free

Learn more here.

Remlinger Farms Fall Harvest Festival

Take the whole fam to Remlinger Farms for a super-fun fall outing. In addition to a hay maze, corn maze and pony rides ($5), there will be plenty of mini-carnival rides—25 to be exact—including a roller coaster and Ferris wheel, electric cars, flying pumpkins and a horse carousel. If that’s not enough excitement, head over to the barn to visit with the farm animals, pick the perfect jack-o-lantern at the U-pick pumpkin patch (included with your ticket price) and enjoy plenty of yummy food and apple treats (think pies, turnovers and caramel apples) at the farm market.

Good to know: If your little wrangler has their heart set on a pony ride, be sure to reserve your spot in advance.

Dates: Sat. & Sun., Sep. 25-Oct. 31, 2021
Times: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (admission gate closes one hour prior to closing)
Cost: $24.95/person; Free for kids under 2

Remlinger Farms
32610 N.E. 32nd St.
Carnation, WA 98014

Learn more here.

Chinatown-ID Night Market

Enjoy a night of fab food, live music and entertainment and more at the Chinatown-ID Night Market. Located in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District, the Night Market is where your family can feast on variety of international food items from street vendors and local restaurants, and stroll through the outdoor market to browse local handmade goods, fresh-cut flowers, Asian-inspired items and more. Psst! Don't miss the all ages dance party.

Date: Sept. 25, 2021
Time: 1-9 p.m.
Cost: Free

Chinatown-International District
Seattle, WA 98104
206-382-1197

Learn more here.

Water Lantern Festival

Be a part of this floating festival that bring light, hope and a sense of connection to families across the country. The Water Lantern Festival will be back at Green Lake this year for another launch. Families can enjoy food, games, activities, vendors and music as they work to create and then decorate their own floating lanterns. Then as the sun begins to set, everyone gathers to launch their message of hope, peace, health and happiness along the shores as participants Light the Water. Take time to enjoy the glow!

Good to know: Tacoma's Water Lantern Festival will be held on Sep. 11, 2021 and an Everett 2021 event is TBD.

Dates: Oct. 9, 2021
Times: 3:30-8 p.m.
Cost: $26-$56/person

Learn more here.

photo: Erinn Hale

Seattle Children's Festival

This annual festival, produced by Northwest Folklife, is returning in its virtual format again this year! Last year's event featured a virtual smorgasbord of kid-favorite activities including music, dance, stories, educational programming and more, paired with a virtual passport. Although details are still being worked out for this year's festival, families can expect the same thoughtful programming that brings fun and a sense of community home.

Dates: Oct. 16 & 17, 2021
Times: TBD
Cost: Free

Learn more here.

photo: Fox Hollow Farm

Fall Fun at Fox Hollow Farm

Fox Hollow is bringing the fun to fall this year with two different festivals families can attend. During the day Fall Fun event, families can meander through the adventurous trail that leads them through a hay maze, along the Issaquah Creek, ending at a pumpkin patch, full of gord-geous pumpkins waiting to go home with you. The trail takes about 35-45 minutes to complete and you'll need to purchase tickets (for a two hour window) online before heading over. If you've got older kids, give the Haunted Hollow trail a try on Saturday nights. Thousands of twinkling lights, bonfires and torches will light the way along the path and there will be s'mores waiting for you at the end. Tickets are also needed for this event.

Good to know: Fall Fun runs Fridays through Sundays until Oct. 3 when it moves to Wednesdays through Sundays. Haunted Hollow is Saturdays, starting September 25.

Insider tip: Put Fox Hollow’s Halloween Carnival on your calendar for Oct. 30. It’s a chance for kids to don their costumes and treat bag and make their way around the farm gathering candy goodies.

Dates: Sep. 17-Oct. 29, 2021
Times: vary (check website)
Cost: $55/car (6 people or less)

Fox Hollow Farm
12123 Issaquah Hobart Rd. S.E.
Issaquah, WA 98027

Learn more here.

34th Annual Italian Festival

Since 1988, Festa Italiana has been a labor of love from a community of Italian American volunteers providing this free event of Italian food, arts and culture at the Seattle Center. And this year, the event coordinators are thrilled to announce it's the first in-person event at Seattle Center in nearly two years. Highlights of the two-day fest include cooking demos by celebrity chefs, a bocce tournament, a grape stomping competition, kids' activities and the hugely popular group pizza toss.

Dates & Times: Sep. 25, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. & Sep. 26, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: Free 

Seattle Center
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109

Learn more here.

Camlann Medieval Village Michelmasse Festival

Your family has been invited by the Lord of Camlann to go back in time and attend his Michelmasse Festival with demonstrations of fresh cider pressing, puppetry and music by Jacob Priestly’s Troop Man in the Moon. Plus experience long bow archery, sheep petting and fascinating demonstrations of wool dying, blacksmithing, spinning and pottery making. You and the kids will get to imagine (and experience) what cottage life would be like in 1376 in the colorful world of Chaucer’s England. Join in the fun by renting fine attire and taking in the Michelmasse Feast. Psst! Don't forget to stop by the Scribe Shop where you can purchase books, gifts and replica pottery with medieval art to take home as keepsakes.

Dates: Sept. 25 & 26, 2021
Times: noon–5 p.m.
Cost: $10/Adults; $8/Youth (6-12) and Seniors (60 & older); Free for kids 5 & under. Feast & festival tickets are $50/person.

10320 Kelly Rd. N.E.
Carnation, WA 98014
425-788-8624

Learn more here.

photo: La Mesa Oktoberfest

Leavenworth Oktoberfest Market

Leavenworth's beloved annual Oktoberfest will have a significantly different vibe this year, but there's still every reason to visit this themed mountain village this fall. Families will love the "street fair" vibe and casual feel of this year's festival that focuses more on local shops and makers than it does on beer. Lining the streets of downtown Leavenworth, you'll find 100 vendors, crafters and artists showcasing their wares. But families can still expect the special Kinderplatz area with activities kids will love. The upside of the changes? There's no cost to attend the event.

Dates: Oct. 1-3, 8-10 & 15-17, 2021 
Times: Fri., 2-8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free

Learn more here.

photo: Issaquah Salmon Days

Salmon Days

Issaquah’s Salmon Days is a celebration of the return of salmon to their "birth-waters” as well as the city’s history, culture and diversity. Each year, the festival attracts hundreds of artists and crafts people and presents live music and entertainment, plus sporting events, a carnival, a huge food court. Much of this year's festival is still in the planning stages, but families can rest assured that the salmon will be welcomed in style this year too. 

Date: Oct. 2-3, 2021
Times: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: Free 

Learn more here.

photo: Kelsey Creek Farm

Kelsey Creek Farm Fair

Celebrate fall (and everything it brings with it) at Kelsey Creek Farm again this year. That's right, one of the Eastside's best fests is back for 2021! It features a variety of old-time activities and plenty of farm fun. Look forward to animal encounters, a petting zoo, 4-H animal demonstrations, interactive children’s activities and food, plus heritage demonstrations and activities by the Eastside Heritage Center, tractor-pulled wagon rides and more!

Good to know: As there is limited parking, there is usually a shuttle that runs from Wilburton Park & Ride and Banner Park. 

Date: Oct. 2, 2021
Times:  11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Free

Kelsey Creek Farm
410 130th Pl. S.E.
Bellevue, WA 98005

Learn more here.

2021 BrickCon

Who says LEGOs are just for kids? BrickCon is an annual convention put on by adult LEGO hobbyists that runs every year (except for 2020) during the first week of October. During the last two days of the convention, the public is invited to see what these creators of colorful bricks have come up with at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. And this is no ordinary LEGO store display. Here, you will see hundreds of builders with their models that feature tens of thousands of pieces. Some will even be on hand to share their love of brick building with you and will give out a few pointers as well. Plus, you can find cool sets, parts and minifigs at the Brick Bazaar.

Good to know: No strollers are allowed.

Dates: Oct. 2 & 3, 2021
Times: 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Cost: $25/person. Tickets are good for one 2.5 hour window and can be purchased online.

Seattle Center Exhibition Hall
301 Mercer St.
Seattle, WA 98109

Learn more here.

photo: Christoper Nelson

Oktoberfest NW

At this annual event, now in its 16th year, families can expect to find all things German (think: beer, brats, authentic entertainment), plus wiener dog races, fab family entertainment like the Chicken Dance and May Pole dance, a Family Fest Zone & Kinderfest with arts and crafts, a root bier garden, pumpkin decorating, dance lessons, games, face painting and much more!

Dates: Oct. 8-10, 2021
Times: Fri., noon-midnight; Sat.,11 a.m.-midnight; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (All ages until 6 p.m. on Fri. & Sat., and all-day Sun.)
Cost: $12-$17/Person (12 & under free all weekend). Half-price tickets on Sun.

Washington State Fair Events Center
110 9th Ave. S.W.
Puyallup, WA 98371

Learn more here.

Day of the Dead Festival

Celebrate Día de los Muertos (a.k.a. the Day of the Dead), a Latin American holiday honoring relatives who have passed away, at the Phinney Neighborhood Association. This year's celebration includes a community procession and dedication of a traditional altar for offerings to the deceased (bring your offerings!). Plus, families can enjoy live music and dance, do arts and crafts, nosh on delicious food and warm up with a cup of Mexican hot chocolate.

Date: Nov. 6, 2021
Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Free (arts & crafts); $10/ticket for performances

Phinney Center
6532 Phinney Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
206-783-2244

Learn more here.

—Allison Sutcliffe, Kristina Moy & Jeffrey Totey

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