Here is this week’s list of family-friendly free or frugal events for around the Northwest, as well as some events going on around the country. Don’t forget to check out Goldstar for Discount Tickets on many local activities and events, if you are looking for a specific event and want to save some money!
This weekend, you can get FREE admission to National Parks on Saturday September 29th as well as FREE admission to a participating Smithsonian Museum.
Be sure to check out Thrifty NW Moms Summer Fun Page for park reviews and other frugal summer fun ideas, as well as our big list of fall festivals and pumpkin farms in the Northwest!
Make sure to check out our Fall Consignment Sale round up here, as there are some great sales happening this fall, especially this weekend.
If you see a fun, frugal event that’s not listed, feel free to leave a comment so we can add that event to our list.
PUGET SOUND AREA::
Friday October 12th:
* Apple Festival – Olympia; 10/12; 9am to 5pm; Enjoy bluegrass music, farm animals, tractor rides, apple bobbing, maze and food. FREE, parking $3.
* Harvest Festival – Tacoma; 10/12; 5pm to 9pm; Free event with activities for children and adults such as a pumpkin patch, Oktoberfest Beer Garden, musical entertainment and a Click! Family Flick featuring the movie “Casper”.
*YWCA Treasure Closet Sale - Redmond; 10/12 – 10/13; They will be offering a wide selection of new and gently used designer & name-brand clothing items. Get great deals on designer brands, and support a great non-profit cause helping low income folks dress for less too!
*Seattle Art Museum Free To Teens – Seattle; 10/12; 5:00pm to 9:00pm; The Seattle Art Museum is free to teens 13 to 19 with school ID on the second Friday of each month.
*Seattle Centers ‘The Next 50′ celebration - Seattle; through 10/21; Join The Next Fifty for a full schedule of activities launching the six-month celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. Most of the events are FREE.
On the first Friday of the month Children’s stories are brought to life with movement and play in the Frye Art Museum galleries by Frye educators or librarians from The Seattle Public Library. Visit the galleries after story time. Ages 3 to 5 with adult. Both museum entrance and story time are free
*Free Entrance to Seattle Symphony’s “Soundbridge”- Seattle, Beneroya Hall; 10/12; 12:00pm to 4:00pm; Soundbridge is a music discovery center and is free each Friday after 12 pm; Ages 2-5, 30 minute interactive storytelling with song & rhythm, dance & musical instruments.
Saturday October 13th:
* Family Days Harvest Celebration - Issaquah; 10/13; 10am to 12pm; Free family days where the whole family is can discover the joy of gardening, indulge in garden snacks and let loose in our organic learning garden. Families can use all of their senses to explore the garden, seek out garden critters and plant a vegetable or flower to take home.
*Hike & Seek are a series of outdoor events - Seattle; 10/13; 9am to 12pm; a combo of nature hike and scavenger hunt that takes place in 6 major cities in the US in Sept. and October.
*All Bethel Community Day - Emergency vehicles, face painting, entertainment, health checks Free! Food items for sale. Thanks Sounds Fun Mom !
*Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival – Olympia; 10/13 – 14; See website for times. Enjoy live music and taste the bounty of the Olympic coast at the annual Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival. Under the 8,000 square foot “Big Top,” known as Crab Central Pavilion, visitors will find an old-fashioned “crab feed” complete with large kettles of fresh whole crabs ready to be served with fresh corn and cole slaw. For more info - email@example.com .
*Vashon Cider Fest - Vashon Island; 10/13; Celebrate Fall at the Vashon Ciderfest! Sip sweet or hard cider, watch apple pressing demonstrations, visit the Vashon Fire and Rescue open house, vote for your favorite chicken at the Chicken Beauty Pageant and end the day with a good old-fashioned Barn Dance. For more info - firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Fall Festival – Carnation; 10/13 – 10/14; 10am to 4pm; Enjoy hay rides, cooking demonstrations, animals, pumpkin patch, food, live music and farm tours. Pumpkin and local produce sales support the camp’s programs for kids with serious and life-altering medical conditions.
*Sky Valley Farm Festival – Monroe; 10/13; 10am to 5pm; Enjoy spectacular views of the Skykomish Valley while touring three working farms (beef, dairy and produce). Enjoy wagon rides, visits with the animals and learn about the hard work that goes into raising and growing your food. Other highlights include cooking demos, corn maze, pumpkin patch, toddler games, rope swing, info booths and more. For more info - email@example.com.
*Trinity Tree Farms Pumpkin Patch- Issaquah; Through October 31st; Enjoy free hayrides, print a coupon for 20% off bouncy house fun and more!
* Rotary First Harvest - work party on October 13 from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Come out and experience first-hand how this program works. You will be able to talk with Rotarians and even blog from the event. We want you to see how Rotary in the Seattle area is reducing hunger in local communities.
* Cedar River Salmon Journey – Maple Valley; 10/13; 11am to 4pm; Volunteer naturalists will be on hand to answer questions and help you spot salmon spawning in the Cedar River.
*Free Wing Luke Museum Entrance – Seattle; 10/13; 10:00am to 8:00pm; The Wing Luke Museum offers free admission on the third Saturday of each month.
*Salmon SEEson – Issaquah; Every Saturday, September 8 to November 10. See salmon return to Issaquah Creek, where you can view spawning from the bridge or through viewing windows. Trained docents from Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (FISH) will be available 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
*Bellevue Art Museums Get Crafty Saturday – Bellevue; 10/13; 1:00pm to 3:00pm; Free craft time for kids each Saturday. $2 material fee or free with admission.
*Pond Boat Sailing – Seattle; Saturdays and Sundays through November; 11am to 2pm; Join The Center for Wooden Boats for pond boat sailing in Lake Union Park’s Model Boat Pond. Ages 5 and older. $5 suggested donation for boat rental, free first Saturdays.
Thursday October 18th:
*Tacoma Art Walk – Tacoma; 10/18; 5:00pm to 8:00pm; Visit Tacoma’s downtown galleries during the third Thursday artwalk. FREE, includes the Museum of Glass, Washington State History Museum (free 2 to 8 p.m.) and Tacoma Art Museum.
*Half Priced Admission Imagine Childrens Museum – Everett; 10/18 ; Thursday 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. is half priced ( $3.88)
**Sounds Fun Mom always has a great list of events local to the South Sound area of WA as well, if you are looking for more ideas!
Here’s our list of weekly events for the Portland area.
Friday October 12th:
* Halloween Fantasy Trail - Oregon City; through 10/30; See website for schedule; Explore over 1,000 feet of wooded walkway all dressed up for the Halloween and haunted by spooky sights and sounds. Adults $5, children under 13 $4.
* Kruger’s Pumpkin Farm and Corn Maze - Portland; through 10/31; Check website for schedules; Bring the family out to enjoy acres of pumpkins, hay rides, a family corn maze, an animal barn, a hay pyramid, caramel apples, corn stalks, gourds, Indian corn, fresh autumn produce, and family activities. Some activities have fees.
*Family Movie Night at Café Sip-n-Play - Portland; 10/12; 5:00pm; Free Movie Night. Grab a bite to eat, relax, and unwind while you enjoy a movie with the little atmosphere.
*Music From Mr. Hoo from The Alphabeticians – Portland; 10/12; 11:00am to 12:00pm; Mr. Hoo will be singing songs with and for kids. He’ll play his guitar and sing some original songs, some Alphabeticians songs, some classic kid songs and Hoo knows what else? $3 suggested donation pp.
Saturday October 13th:
*Harvest Hoe-Down - Portland; 10/13; 4pm to 10pm; Take a nighttime hayride out to the pumpkin patch, pick your prize pumpkin, marvel over the corn maze, check out the big bonfire, listen to live music, and top it off with a fresh caramel apple. $10 per car after 6:00 pm. Children 13 and under free of charge.
*Fall Kite Festival - Lincoln City; 10/13 – 10/14; 10am to 4pm; The festival will include kite-flying demonstrations by experts and family-friendly activities like kite making, a kid’s kite parade, and a pod of life-size whale kites. Free admission.
*Wooden Shoe Pumpkin Fest - Portland; through 10/31; Come enjoy fall activities including: a hay pirate ship, tube slides, hay tent, paintball gallery, archery, calf roping, giant spider web, hay wagon and the famed Iverson Potato Cannon, cow train through the corn maze, and more. FREE to all ages for the Gift Shop, pumpkin patch, farm market and more. There is a fee for other activities (Free under 5, 5-12yrs is $6 and 7 and up is $7).
*Salmon Homecoming at Oxbow - Gresham; 10/13- 10/14; 11am to 3pm; Witness the return of wild salmon to one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier rivers. Family hikes, rafting trips, mushroom classes, and more.$5 parking.
* Free Family Swim At Marshall Community Center - Vancouver; 10/13; 4:45pm to 6:30pm; Bauman Chiropractic is sponsoring free family swims at Marshall Pool Saturday evenings.
* Kids Saturday Morning Skate Session At Oaks Park – Portland ; 10/13; 10:30am to 12:00pm; For $6 children 10 and under can skate (skates included). Parents free with paid child admission.
*Free Guided Nature Walk – Portland – 10/13; 10:00am to 11:30am; Enjoy free guided walks with park ranger.
Monday October 15th:
*Washington County Museum Free Admission – Portland; 10/15; 10:00am to 4:30pm; Admission is free to this museum every Monday.
*Mondays On The Mall – Portland – Downtown Central Transit Mall; 10/15; Various Times; Free events all day including Wii play, caricatures, the original photo booth and entertainment.
**For more Portland happenings, check out the PDX Kids Calendar, a comprehensive events-based website for families in the Portland area.
*Free Craft Activities at Lakeshore Learning Stores– Sat. 10/13; 11am to 3pm; Kids can come to this free craft time each week for a new craft (plus print a $5 off $25 coupon).
*Sams Club Free Health Screenings – Multiple Locations – 10/13; 11am to 3pm; Sam’s Club will host FREE health screenings at all Club locations with a pharmacy to both Members and guest.
*Barnes and Noble Free Storytime - 10/13; Times and events vary by location. Check your location for specific story’s available this weekend.