Fun & Frugal Family Events 9/30 – 10/6

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.


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. Thanks to Sia from Centsible in Seattle for providing this extensive list of activities for us.

Make sure to check out our huge roundup of Fall festivals in the Northwest as well to see if there’s a fun event going on around you this weekend. Sounds Fun Mom always has a great list of events  local to the South Sound area of WA as well, so make sure to check out her extensive list.

There are also a number of Fall Consignment sales going on this weekend so make sure to check those out.

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.


Friday September 30th:

*Old Mill Days Port Gamble; 9/30 – 10/2; Times vary, check website for detail. Family activities include a carnival, car show, lumberjack and chainsaw competitions, entertainment and more. Cost is $5, ages 8 and under are free.

*Free Entrance to Seattle Symphony’s “Soundbridge”– Seattle, Beneroya Hall; 9/30; 9 at 10:00 am; 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 1st:

*Community Farm Festival At Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands – Rainier Beach; 10/1; 10:00am to 3:00pm; There will be all sorts of activities for the whole family. You can go on a farm and wetland tour – get to know this interesting community site! There will be speakers, special guests and fun hands-on activities for the kids.

*Issaquah Salmon Days Festival – Issaquah; 10/1 – 10/2; 10:00am to 6:00pm; Come celebrate the yearly return of salmon to Issaquah’s waterways. Art, craft and food booths, hatchery tours, grand parade (10  inflatables, trampolines, mini train, human hamster balls, entertainment and more available for fun.

*City of Steilacoom Annual Apple Squeeze – Steilacoom, 10/2; 10:00am to 4:00pm; The 38th annual Apple Squeeze will be held in downtown Steilacoom. There will be a street fair with quality hand crafts, music all day, and activities for young children. Pony rides will be held from noon to 4:00 p.m., and of course there will be the apple presses for making cider the old fashioned way!

*Fall Harvest Farm Tour – Pierce County, 10/1; 10:00am to 4:00pm; FREE Admission, includes kids activities, corn mazes, farm animals, pumpkin patch and more.

*Skagit Valley Festival Of Family Farms – Skagit Valley; 10/1; 10:00am to 4:00pm; Thirteen farms throughout Skagit County are open to the public. Farm tours, meet the farmers, kids’ activities, hayrides, corn mazes, farm stands and more. Farm descriptions and directions available online.

*Childrens Day – Lacey; 10/1; 11:00am to 2:00pm;  Hands-on activities, kids’ entertainment, Reptile Isle petting zoo, face painting, kids’ safety information, inflatables and more.

*Free Harvest Celebration – Magnuson Park;  10/1; 1:00pm; Come to Magnuson Park for a fruit-tasting maze, garden games and a performance by Caspar Babypants. FREE.

*Free Family Days At Seattle Asian Art Museum – Seattle; 10/1; 11:00am to 2:00pm; Admission to the Seattle Asian Art Museum is free on the first Saturday of each month for families.  Celebrate Diwali at the Seattle Asian Art Museum! Create a paper lantern

*Bellevue Art Museums Get Crafty Saturday – Bellevue; 10/1; 1:00pm to 3:00pm; Free craft time for kids each Saturday. $2 material fee or free with admission.

*FreeTête-à-têter At Frye Museum – Seattle; through Jan. 2012; 11:00am to 5:00pm; Art lovers, did you know the Frye Museum is always free! Even better, they also provide free parking for visitors. Currently that are exhibiting Tête-à-têter, featuring one hundred fifty paintings from the Frye Art Museum’s Founding Collection. You can find a list of free events this week here, including art classes and tours.

*The Children’s Museum, Early Open For Autism – Seattle; 10/1; 8:30am to 10:00am; The Childrens Museum opens its doors early to provide an opportunity for families with children with autism to enjoy all the Museum has to offer. The Museum will open at 8:30am on the first Saturday of each month at a reduced rate of $3.00 per person. During the early open time the Museum does not run normal music or sounds and will not use the PA system.

*Browns Point Lighthouse Cottage Museum & Tours – Browns Point; Each Saturday through November; 1:00pm to 4:00pm;  You get to see the keeper’s quarters, the bell, and the museum, and it’s free and very kid friendly (they can touch everything).  Thanks Sounds Fun Mom!

* Science & Technology Center (MaST) – Saturdays 10am – 2pm; kids can explore sea life with touch tanks & more. Thanks Sounds Fun Mom!

Sunday October 2nd:

*Oxbow Farm and Pumpkin Patch Open To Public– Carnation; 10/2; 10:00am to 3:00pm; Huge U-pick pumpkin patch, magical Living Playground with the Caterpillar Tunnel, Creepy Tepee, sorghum spiral, climbing tractor, fun projects always happening at Oxbow’s Kid’s Farm. Free entrance.

Thursday October 6th:

(Always make sure to call the museum ahead of time to confirm that they are still participating in these discount days/events/activities)

*Free Admission To Seattle Art Museum Seattle; 10/6; 10:00am to 9:00pm; First Thursday of the month SAM offers free admission to the museum.

*Free Admission To The Burke Museum – Seattle; 10/6; 10:00am to 8:00pm; First Thursday of the month The Burke offers free admission to the museum.

*Free Admission To The Museum Of History & Industry – Seattle; 10/6; 10:00am to 8:00pm; First Thursday of the month MOHAI offers free admission to the museum.

* Free Admission To Wing Luke Museum – Seattle; 10/6; 10:00am to 8:00pm; First Thursday of the month Wing Luke offers free admission to the museum.

*Free Admission To Kids Discovery Museum – Bainbridge Island; 10/6; 10:00am to 4:00pm; First Thursday of the month Kids Discovery Museum offers free admission.

*Free Admission To The Museum Of Flight – Seattle; 10/6; 5:00pm to 9:00pm; First Thursday of the month Museum of Flight offers free admission.

*Free Admission To Henry Art Gallery – Seattle; 10/6; 11:00am to 9:00pm; First Thursday of the month Henry Art Gallery offers free admission.

*Free Admission To The Northwest African American Museum –  Seattle; 10/6; 11:00am to 7:00pm; First Thursday of the month NAAM offers free admission to the museum.

*Free Admission To Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum – Seattle; 10/6; 5:00pm to 8:00pm; First Thursday of the month offers free admission.

*Free Admission To The Museum Of Flight – Seattle; 10/6; 5:00pm to 9:00pm; First Thursday of the month offers free admission.

*Half Priced Admission Imagine Childrens Museum Everett; 10/6; Thursday 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. is half priced ( $3.88)


Here’s our list of weekly events for the Portland area. For more Portland happenings, check out the PDX Kids Calendar, a comprehensive events-based website for families in the Portland area.

Friday September 30th:

*60th Annual Greek Festival Portland; 9/30-10/2; 10:00 am – 10:00 pm (Fri and Sat) and 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm (Sun). Celebrating Greek cultural traditions, food, music, and dance. Kids’ activities include face painting, gold medals, ivy wreaths, coloring, games, puppet shows, and more!

*Lady Bug Nature Walk – Portland; 9/30; 10:00am; Walk through parks, gardens and natural areas. Touch slimy slugs, smell tree bark, feel crinkly and soft leaves, hear musical bird songs etc. Cost is $3 per toddler, adults are free!

*Creative Play At Isobels ClubhousePortland; 9/30; 9:30am to 11:30am; As part of creative play, kids can dress up in costumes, play with toys, read stories, play games or create in the art space.

*Sing a Long With Tyleena – Portland; 9/30 & 10/1; 10am; Join us for a musical sing a-long and story time with the fantastic Tyleena! Sing along to your favorite songs and books. Pick up a tambourine, drum or shaker and jam with us while learning some basic rhythm skills. Fun for the whole family! $3 donation.

Saturday October 1st:

*Old Apple Tree Festival–  Vancouver; 10/1-10/2; 11:00am to 4:00pm; Providing family fun, food and history of Vancouver’s Old Apple Tree, the festival celebrates our community’s legacy. Throughout the day Urban Forestry Commissioners give away cuttings from the Old Apple Tree; cuttings are limited and will be given out until they are gone. This is a free, family friendly event with activities for children, fruit tree pruning workshops, food, live music, apple cider pressing, tours of Fort Vancouver.

*Pomeroy Living History Farm Pumpkin Lane Yacolt; 10/1-10/2; October 1 -Civil War encampment, Live Americana Music, Log House Tours 1-4; October 2 – Civil War encampment, Log House Tours 1-4. Admission includes a mile long hay ride down decorated Pumpkin Lane with a stop at the Pumpkin Patch.  Pumpkins are $1.00 and up depending on size. Enjoy Hay Bale Maze, farm animals, childrens games and more.  $6.00 Adults and $4.00 ages 3-11. Two and under free.

*Family Adventure Day at Tualatin River Wildlife Refuge Portland; 10/1; 10:00 am – 1:00 pm; Look for birds, sneak up on grasshoppers, and bound like an otter at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Naturalists will be leading short drop-in activities along the year-round trail. Free.

Free Family Swim At Marshall Community Center – Vancouver; 10/1; 4:45pm to 6:30pm; Bauman Chiropractic is sponsoring free family swims at Marshall Pool Saturday evenings.

*Free Guided Nature Walk –  Portland; 10/1; 10:00am to 11:30am; Join park rangers for a free guided nature hike.

*Lady Bug Nature Walk – Portland; 10/1; 10:00am; Walk through parks, gardens and natural areas. Touch slimy slugs, smell tree bark, feel crinkly and soft leaves, hear musical bird songs etc. Cost is $3 per toddler, adults are free!

* Kids Saturday Morning Skate Session At Oaks Park Portland ;10/1; 10:30am to 12:00pm; For $5.50 children 10 and under can skate (skates included). Parents free with paid child admission.

Sunday October 2nd:

*$2 Days at OMSIPortland; 9/4; 9:30am to 7:00pm; Explore the museum for $2 on the first Sunday of each month.

*Family Tour Friendship in Art Portland Art Museum; 10/2;  12:30pm to 1:30pm; Bring your family to explore the Museum with a docent skilled at engaging visitors of all ages. Tours are free for members or with Museum admission, and free for children age 17 and younger.

Monday October 3rd:

*Washington County Museum Free Admission – Portland; 10/3; 10:00am to 4:30pm; Admission is free to this museum every Monday.

*Mondays On The Mall – Portland – Downtown Central Transit Mall; 10/3; Various Times; Free events all day including Wii play, caricatures, the original photo booth and entertainment.

Wednesday October 5th:

*Wondrous Wednesday’s At The World Forestry Center Washington Park; 10/5; 10:00am to 5:00pm; Reduced admission for The Discovery Museum. Get in for $3 on the first Wed. of each month.

*Honeybee Happenings Portland – Leach Botanical Society; 10/5; 10:00am to 11:00am; Weekly nature-related story time and craft activities for young children (Ages 1-6)and their parents with short outdoor explorations if weather permits. $2 per child. No pre-registration required.

Thursday October 6th:

3D Center of Art and Photography, Free EntrancePortland; 10/6; 11:00am to 5:00pm; Free entrance on the first Thursday of the month; kids age 14 and under always free.


*Bank Of America Museums On Us Free Entrance – 10/1 and 10/2; Bank Of America card holders can get free entrance to Museums Nationwide. Check website for participating museums in your area.

*Home Depot Kids Workshop – Sat.10/1 ; 9:00am to 12:00pm; Kids can participate in a workshop making a fire rescue helicopter.

*Pottery Barn Halloween Fashion Show – 10/1; 2:00pm; Kids can dress up in their favorite costumes and participate in a costume contest, activities, parade and more.

*Free Craft Activities at Lakeshore Learning Stores – Sat. 10/1; 11am to 3pm; Kids can come to this free craft time and make a hang around spider.

*Barnes and Noble Free Storytime Sat. 10/1;  Times and events vary by location. Check your location for specific story’s available this weekend.

*Lego Stores Mini Models Build – Tues.  10/4; 5:00pm;  Build a LEGO Vampire, one free for kids 6-14 while supplies last.