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!
Be sure to check out Thrifty NW Moms Summer Fun Page for park reviews and other frugal summer fun ideas, as well as our roundup of Summer Reading Programs in the Pacific NW and our around the Pacific NW too! We’ve got a big list of summer festivals and fair in the Northwest as well.
We have just published our Fall Consignment Sale round up here. Be sure to stop by and check that big list of sales out too!
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 September 21st:
*The Puyallup Fair – Puyallup; through 9/23; Schedules vary each day, see website for details; This fair is full of all of the standard fair fun, rodeos, concerts, carnival rides and games, animals and much more. Kids under 5 are always free.
*Freemont Oktoberfest (& Help Ford Fight Hunger) - Freemont; 9/21 – 9/23; See website for schedule; Entertainment, microbrew tasting garden, kids’ area (zucchini car races, arts and crafts, pumpkin carving and bowling, and more). Ford has partnered with the festival this year by offering the public a chance to enter a sweepstakes to win an all-new Ford Escape. For every sweepstakes entry, Ford Motor Company will provide four meals to Feeding America on behalf of local food banks!
*Great Wallingford Wurst Festival - North Seattle; 9/21-9/22; See website for schedule. Free event (some things will cost). Food, inflatable rides, games, craft vendors, book sale, entertainment and more.
*Fishermans Fall Festival - Ballard; 9/21; 11:00am to 6:00pm; The Fishermen’s Fall Festival will feature industry related exhibits and competitions, fundraising salmon barbeque, children’s activities and musical entertainment.
*Back To School Bash at BAM – Bellevue Art Museum; 9/21; Teens can visit the museum, enjoy free food and do hands-on art projects. FREE for teens.
*Friday Night Live - Everett; 9/21; 5:30pm to 9pm; Admission is FREE to Imagine Children’s Museum on the third Fridays 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.
Summer events will include: FREE Movies, FREE Concerts, and FREE Programming at the International Fountain
*Free Entrance to Seattle Symphony’s “Soundbridge”- Seattle, Beneroya Hall; 9/21; 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 September 22nd:
*Whidbey Island Kite Festival - Coupeville; 9/22 – 9/23; 9am to 8pm on 9/22 & 9:00am to 5:00pm on 9/23; Features colorful and impressive kite flying displays, kids’ kite making, beginning sportkite lessons, and a teddy bear drop and more.
*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.
*Fall Free For All – Tacoma; 9/22 – 9/23; See website for schedule; Community arts festival offers over 75 free events for all ages, including plays, films, music, dance, kids’ activities and more. Order a FREE wristband pass online.
*Wake Up for Wapato - Tacoma ; 9/22; 10am to 2pm; Free family event hosted by The city led Wapato Sustainability Project. It is a coordinated outreach program which will showcase various programs and initiatives currently available to Tacoma homeowners. Some highlights include: Play & Eat: Join us for games, raffles, giveaways and a free corn roast! Enlighten: CFL light bulb change outs, on-demand water heaters, insulation upgrades, water conservation. Learn, Volunteer and more too!
*Mercer Island Day of Play – Mercer Island; 9/22; 1pm to 4pm; The Nickelodeon Channel will “go black” for several hours on September 22nd to encourage families to make time for play. They will host a “Let’s Just Play” event at Mercerdale Park as a part of being a “Playful City, U.S.A.”.
*Kent Day of Play – Kent; 9/22; 5pm to 7:30pm; The Nickelodeon Channel will “go black” for several hours on September 22nd to encourage families to make time for play. Join the Kent Parks Youth and Teen Division for an evening of games, music, art projects and a healthy snack.
*Family and Educators Day At Frye Museum – Seattle; 9/22; 11:00am to 3:00pm; Frye Museum entrance and parking are free all the time. You can check their events page here, for a list of weekly events. This Saturday create artwork, listen to live music from The Not-Its! and Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra Scholarship Chamber Ensemble Program, join a family tour through the galleries, and learn about upcoming exhibitions and pre-K–12 educational programs. Educators enjoy hands-on art activities with take-home lesson plans.
*Harvest Jubilee – Stanwood; 9/22; 10:00am to 5:00pm; Harvest Jubilee Festival and Farm Tours is a free, family-friendly event with exhibits, demonstrations, and presentations to inspire future farmers and food entrepreneurs, as well as to entertain and educate everyone who attends.
*Fort Steilacoom Living History Day – Tacoma; 9/22; 10am to 4pm; Free event, but donations are accepted. Tour the historic fort, occupied from 1849 to 1868. Reenactors live and work as soldiers, officers, their wives, children and friends.
*Northwest Bookfest – Kirkland; 9/22; 10am to 6pm; Free, family-friendly event with author appearances, book signings, storytellers and hands-on activities for kids, live music and more. Food and drink available for sale.
*Camlann Village Weekend - Carnation; through 9/23; 12pm to 5pm; Camlann Village event is peopled with portrayals of medieval villagers and every-day village activities. $5 suggested donation, free ages 4 and younger.
*Bellevue Art Museums Get Crafty Saturday – Bellevue; 9/22; 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 September 27th:
*Half Priced Admission Imagine Childrens Museum – Everett; 9/27 ; 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 September 21st:
*Oktoberfest at Oaks Amusement Park - Portland; 9/21-9/23; see website for schedule; German-style fall festival with authentic food and beverages, live oompah music and dancing, and activities including condiment art, pretzel toss, bear hug and chicken dance contests, and wiener dog races. Admission is free on Friday, 9/21.
*Family Movie Night at Café Sip-n-Play - Portland; 9/21; 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; 9/21; 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 September 22nd:
*Portland Polish festival - North Portland; 9/22-9/23; 11:00am to 10:00pm Sat and Sunday from 12:00pm to 6:00pm. Free event with dancing, music, a polka contest, and Polish food.
*Flock and Fiber Festival - Clackamas County Fairgrounds; 9/22-9/23; See website for schedule; Family event with animals (llamas, sheep, goats, alpacas and more!), music, hands-on activities and crafts, dozens of fiber arts’ workshops, and kids’ activities. Free admission and free parking. Some activities have a fee.
*Civil War Re-inactment – Estacada; 9/22 – 9/23; See website for schedule; Adults: $8, Seniors 55+, Students: $5 (*through High School with Student ID); Children under 6: Free. over 400 re-enactors. After the battles, visitors can also visit the camps to see and touch how the soldiers lived. Civilian life is also portrayed in the fashions, cooking, music, dances, secular and spiritual life and many other ways.
*Family Movie Night at Café Sip-n-Play - Portland; 9/22; 5:00pm; Free Movie Night. Grab a bite to eat, relax, and unwind while you enjoy a movie with the little atmosphere. This weekend: .
* Free Family Swim At Marshall Community Center - Vancouver; 9/22; 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 ; 9/22; 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 – 9/22; 10:00am to 11:30am; Enjoy free guided walks with park ranger.
Monday September 24th:
*Washington County Museum Free Admission – Portland; 9/24; 10:00am to 4:30pm; Admission is free to this museum every Monday.
*Mondays On The Mall – Portland – Downtown Central Transit Mall; 9/24; 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. 9/22; 11am to 3pm; Kids can come to this free craft time each week for a new craft (plus print a $5 off $25 coupon).
*Barnes and Noble Free Storytime - 9/22; Times and events vary by location. Check your location for specific story’s available this weekend.