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 5th:
* Half Off Admission To KidsQuest Children’s Musuem – Factoria; 10/5; 5:00pm to 8:00pm; First Friday evening of the month offers free admission.
*Free Entrance To Bellevue Art Museum – Bellevue; 10/5; 11:00am to 8:00pm. First Friday of the month Bellevue Art Museum offers free admission.
*Kids Day at the Juanita Friday Market – Kirkland; 10/5; 3pm to 7pm; On the first Friday of each month through October, kids can enjoy free crafts and a puppet show.
*Columbia City BeatWalk – Columbia City /Seattle; 10/5; 7:00pm to 10:00pm; BeatWalk always features a diverse line-up of first-rate, local musicians hosted by neighborhood businesses for audiences of all ages. $7 for adults. Free ages 14 and under.
*First Friday Bellevue Artwalk – Bellevue; 10/5; 4pm to 8pm; First Friday in Bellevue, a complimentary art walk event located in Bellevue Place Fountain Court. Enjoy a preview of five, juried local artists, live entertainment and specials from the participating Bellevue Place stores and restaurants.
* Apple Festival – Olympia; 10/5; 9am to 5pm; Enjoy bluegrass music, farm animals, tractor rides, apple bobbing, maze and food. FREE, parking $3.
*Oktoberfest Northwest – Puyallup; 10/5-10/7; See website for times; Enjoy authentic German entertainment, food and crafts, beer garden, wiener dog races, kids’ activities and more. Ages 21 and over after 7 p.m.\$10, free ages 12 and younger, free 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 5, half-price Oct. 7. Free parking.
*Everett Sausage Fest – Everett; 10/5- 10/7; See website for schedule; Traditional Bavarian dinner, arts and crafts, food booths, carnival rides, kids’ activities, entertainment and more. Fee for some activities. Free shuttle from Everett Transit Station.
* Harvest Festival – Tacoma; 10/5; 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 “Ghostbusters” (PG) in Journey Hall.
*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; 10/5; 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 6th:
*Applefest – Olympia; 9:00am to 5:00pm; Free event with Bluegrass music, Goat Walk, animal train, games, petting farm, pony rides, apple bobbing, apple slingshot, cider and food and more. Parking is $3.
* Key Peninsula Farm Tour – Key Peninsula; 10/6; 10am to 4pm; Horses pull Carts-Dogs herd Ducks? Tractors & Wagons & Antique Trucks! Gardens, Greenhouses, and Bountiful Fields-These are the places from which come your Meals! Come and enjoy a tour. Thanks Sounds Fun Mom!
* Sounder to Lakewood Launch Celebration – Tacoma; 10/6; Free parking, live music, refreshments, transit information, and a chance to win an ORCA card pre-loaded with $50 will be at all stations. Free train rides.Thanks Sounds Fun Mom!
*Free Family Days At Seattle Asian Art Museum - Seattle; 10/6; 11:00am to 2:00pm; Admission to the Seattle Asian Art Museum is free on the first Saturday of each month for families.
*Outlaw Days - Auburn; 10/6; Relive the days of the old West outlaws with a new interactive theater experience by Keri Healey. “Gentleman Desperado” consists of a series of six short (5 to 10 minute) scenes and songs detailing the true story of notorious outlaw Harry Tracy, from his prison break to his run in with the Olson family and ultimately to his demise. $5, or $3 for seniors and 12 and under.
*Active Living Fair and Pancake Feed - Lynnwood; 8:30am to 12pm; Bike rodeo, helmet checks, bike safety inspections, sports information and demonstrations, dancing, prizes and more. Activities are free; pancake feed is $5 per person or $15 per family. FREE .
* Cider and Costume Swap – Seattle; 10/6; 9:30am to 11:30am; Bring in old costumes and swap for new-to-you costumes and accessories for the kids that won’t break the budget! This will be a fun fall event, with a Halloween craft, swap and lots of free hot cider to go around. Plus, if you bring in a costume for the swap, you’ll get half-price admission to the play area. R.S.V.P. on the Twirl Facebook Event Page. Any leftover costumes will be donated to foster kids at Treehouse.
* Granite Falls Railroad Days – Granite Falls; 10/6; 10am; Parade, vendors, food, rides, pizza-eating contest and more.
*Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms – Skagit Valley; 10/6 – 7; 10am to 4pm; Fourteen farms throughout Skagit County are open to the public. Farm tours, meet the farmers, kids’ activities, hayrides, corn mazes, farm stands and more.
*FREE Health & Wellness Expo – 10/6; 10am to 3pm; Enumclaw; Free Health screenings, bicycle helmets, kids’ activities and demonstrations, and more.
* Cedar River Salmon Journey – Maple Valley; 10/6; 11am to 4pm; Volunteer naturalists will be on hand to answer questions and help you spot salmon spawning in the Cedar River.
* Children’s Day – Lacey; 10/6; 11am to 2pm; Hands-on activities, kids’ entertainment, games, crafts, inflatables and more. FREE.
* Carnival at The Island School – Bainbridge; 10/6; 12pm to 4pm; Enjoy carnival games, BBQ, a used book sale and live music and more. Free admission; cost for activities and food. FREE.
* S’more Than You Imagined – Auburn; 10/6; 6pm to 8pm; Enjoy S’mores, live music, storytelling by a bon fire and more. FREE.
* Issaquah Salmon Days Festival - Issaquah; 10/6-10/7; 10am to 6pm; Free. Celebrate the yearly return of salmon to Issaquah’s waterways. Art, craft and food booths, hatchery tours, grand parade , and Field of Fun with hands-on activities for kids. Shuttles from Issaquah Park and Ride, Costco Corporate parking lot and Issaquah Highlands Park and Ride.
*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; 10/6; 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.
Sunday October 7th:
* Steilacoom Apple Squeeze - Steilcoom; 10/7; 10/7; 10am to 4pm; Street fair with crafts, food, music, kids’ activities, pony rides (noon) and apple presses for making cider. Free.
Wednesday October 10th:
*Students Get Free Admission To The Bellevue Art Museum – Bellevue; 10/10; 1:00pm to 5:00pm; Students of all ages can explore the Bellevue Arts Museum after school FREE with printable coupon.
Thursday October 11th:
*Capital Hill Art Walk Blitz – Seattle; 10/11; 5pm – 8pm; On the second Thursday of every month in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, 5pm – 8pm and later. Events include visual arts, musical performances, food and beverage specials, and more. Pick up a printed map at a participating venue and explore Capitol Hill. Art is everywhere! Get FREE admission to the Seattle Asian Art Museum during this time too.
*Free Admission To NAAM - Seattle; 10/11; 11:00am to 7:00pm; The Northwest African American Museum is free on the second Thursday of each month.
*Half Priced Admission Imagine Childrens Museum – Everett; 10/11 ; 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 5th:
*Free Admission To The Children’s Museum - Portland; 9/7; 4:00pm to 8:00pm; The first Friday of the month you Target sponsors free admission to the Childrens Museum. This month you can make a book.
* 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.
*$2 First Fridays at Art ala Carte PDX sponsored by PDX Kids Calendar – Portland; 10/5; Every First Friday of the month you pay only $2 per child for unlimited art! PDX Kids Calendar picked up the bill for the rest! Better yet…if you bring in a bag of recycled goods, toys and trinkets…you get in FREE!
*First Friday Art Walk - SE Portland; 10/5; 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Hosted by Portland’s Eastside art galleries and alternative art venues, First Friday provides arts enthusiasts the opportunity to wander from gallery to gallery for artist receptions and openings during extended hours on the First Friday of every month
* Camas First Friday - Portland; 10/5; 5:00pm to 8:00pm; Come and join us for January’s First Friday- Game, Craft & Cocoa Night! Enjoy family friendly games and crafts throughout participating downtown merchants. Have fun and the chance to win prizes!
*Vancouver First Friday Art Walk - Vancouver; 10/5; 5:00pm – 7:00pm; Join us for a fresh spring evening with refreshments, stimulating conversation and inspiring art! Walking maps will be provided to all attendees. This event is free to attend, but an RSVP is requested by replying to this email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Family Movie Night at Café Sip-n-Play - Portland; 10/5; 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; 10/5; 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 6th:
*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).
* Bauman Farm’s Pumpkin Weigh-Off - Gervais; 10/6; 1pm; There are pumpkins…and then there are PUMPKINS. These hefty fellas weigh in at over 1,000 pounds. Even better: You’ll get to see huge pumpkins dropped from the sky by a helicopter. Free admission.
* Free Family Swim At Marshall Community Center - Vancouver; 10/6; 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 ; 10/6; 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 – 10/6; 10:00am to 11:30am; Enjoy free guided walks with park ranger.
Sunday October 7th:
*$2 Days at OMSI – Portland; 10/7; 9:30am to 7:00pm; Explore the museum for $2 on the first Sunday of each month.
Monday October 8th:
*Washington County Museum Free Admission – Portland; 10/8; 10:00am to 4:30pm; Admission is free to this museum every Monday.
*Mondays On The Mall – Portland – Downtown Central Transit Mall; 10/8; 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. 10/6; 11am to 3pm; Kids can come to this free craft time each week for a new craft (plus print a $5 off $25 coupon).
*Home Depot Kids Workshop – 10/6; 9:00am to 12:00pm; Kids can participate in free building projects the first Sat. of the month. This week they will build a fire truck.
*Barnes and Noble Free Storytime - 10/5; Times and events vary by location. Check your location for specific story’s available this weekend.