8 Fall Activities around Whatcom County for Families!

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Disclosure: Semiahmoo hosted our stay, so we could share our honest experience with you all. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Fall Activities in Whatcom County

8 Fall Activities around Whatcom County

We love to find time to get outdoors & enjoy the changing fall colors & one of the best places I’ve found for gorgeous displays of fall colors in  western Washington was up in Whatcom County.  Whatcom County is about 1 – 1 1/2 hours from Seattle, depending on where you go in the county, but is perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway. It’s also a great place to stop on your way up to British Columbia as it’s located right along the border of British Columbia.

We love to stay in Blaine as a base and explore both the small towns & cities as well as the beautiful farmlands.  On a pretty day, a day trip to Mount Baker would be well worth it with the abundance of trails in the summertime & winter sports & activities.  Fall may not be a time you’d typically think to visit this area, but we found it was such an ideal time to visit to take advantage of the farms with plentiful fall activities, as well as all of the outdoor adventures to be found around the area.

Here are our top fall activities to try when you visit Whatcom County – let us know if we missed any of your favorite activities in the area! And also make sure to check out our tips for visiting Chuckanut Drive along the way!

Fall Festivities & Halloween Activities at Semiahmoo Resort

Fall Leaves at Semiahmoo

If you’re looking for a great family friendly location for a base for activities around Whatcom County, Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine is definitely our top place to stay in the area. It’s so ideally located just an hour and a half north of Seattle and 45 minutes south of Vancouver (& White Rock British Columbia is just minutes away, right across the border).

Semiahmoo Resort offers such a wide variety of activities for families that you don’t even need to leave the resort but enjoy all they have to offer. Plus, they are offering some special activities this fall to make it a fun seasonal getaway!

Here are the fall activities that they are offering right now (find them on their fall event list):

Pumpkin Painting at Semiahmoo

  • Beach Bonfires – they offer nightly bonfires + complimentary s’mores kits with roasting sticks & all the s’mores fixins to enjoy a night by the beach with the warmth of the fire
  • Movie Nights – There are movie nights daily with a family friendly kid option at 6 & teen/adult movie at 8:30pm (PG-13). Plus, if the theater is not in use during the day, you can ask to watch a movie of your choice.
  • Board Games & Yard Games – there are many board games & lawn games to take advantage of such as horseshoes, ladder golf, corn hole, volleyball & much more

Bonfire at Semiahmoo

Fall Events Happening:

Fall Decor at Semiahmoo

Find all of the Semiahmoo fall events here:

MEAD-IEVAL DINNER (October 7, 6:00 p.m.)

    • Join Semiahmoo Resort for a captivating evening, featuring a coursed dinner paired with Honey Moon Mead, while actors from Shakespeare Northwest bring the Bard’s acts to life. Extend the enchantment by booking a room for a complete medieval weekend experience. Dinner reservations are required.

Canadian Thanksgiving (October 9, 6:00– 9:00 p.m.)

  • Enjoy a Thanksgiving feast prepped by Semiahmoo chefs, with your loved ones from both sides of the border! Dinner will feature all of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes in Semiahmoo’s intimate Stars Dining Room. Reservations are required.

Trunk or Treat (October 28, 5-7pm)

  • Both community members & resort guests are welcome to join them for a spectacularly spooky Trunk-or-Treat event on Saturday, October 28th, from 5 pm to 7 pm. Families can safely trick-or-treat around the parking lot from decorated cars as Semiahmoo transforms into a Halloween-town!  And those in the community who want to participate can compete for amazing prizes, including a one night stay at the resort! Make sure to register by emailing [email protected] to reserve your spot.

Distillers Dinners (October 28 & November 25, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.) 

  • Enjoy selections from local Whatcom distilleries artfully paired with seasonally inspired menus at Semiahmoo’s new Distiller’s Dinner series!  These interactive dinners immerse you in the experience, as you learn about each course and how it pairs with the spirit. Reservations are required.

Murder Mystery Weekend (November 10 – 12) 

  • Everyone’s favorite weekend is back! Throughout the weekend, several murders will take place at Semiahmoo…. A Homicide Detective starts an investigation, and everyone in the group becomes a suspect. Be prepared to defend yourself because sooner or later, you’ll be questioned too! Purchase the Murder Mystery Package or your event tickets to reserve your spot.

Cinema Savor Series (Select dates, 6:00– 9:00 p.m.)

  • Resorts guests and local community are invited to enjoy cult classic films on the big screen at Semiahmoo! In addition, attendees can enjoy film-inspired tasting menus from the talented culinary team.
    • November 11 – Grease
    • November 18 – Ratatouille
    • December 30 – When Harry Met Sally

Dog at Semiahmoo

We love that Semiahmoo is such a dog-friendly location, too – they don’t just allow dogs, but they make them welcome, with water bowls around various areas, the staff being so welcoming & interested in the dogs & more. Our dog loves the beach, too, so the fact that Semiahmoo is just steps from the beach was perfect for her, plus there’s a great trail along the spit to walk your dogs.

Beach with Semiahmoo in background

The beach location, with Semiahmoo situated at the end of a spit in the middle of Drayton Harbor, is definitely the highlight with White Rock, BC on the opposite shores. No matter the season, the beach is beautiful to explore & in the fall & winter, it’s great for storm watching too. We loved finding the different driftwood forts, too – kids will love making their own fort!

Semiahmoo Pool at night

The family activities at Semiahmoo will definitely be a highlight for your family if you stay here, so that you can intersperse your weekend with activities at the resort, along with fall activities around the area. My girls love that they have an indoor/outdoor pool, which is heated (although I will say it’s still pretty chilly but most kids are pretty hardy if a pool is involved. The mini movie theater on site was also one of the top favorites for my family – they loved heading to watch a movie in the evening after our activities had wound down (& mom loved relaxing in the room with a good book!).

Bicycling on Semiahmoo Spit

We thought we would beat the rainstorm, but instead we ended up right in the middle of it, but bicycling down the Semiahmoo spit was a lot of fun with the complimentary bike rentals they offer at the resort.

Lifesize chess at Semiahmoo

And don’t forget to play a round of chess with the life-size chess out in the midst of the fall leaves! Perfect setting for the game!

Salmon at Packers Restaurant at Semiahmoo

While visiting Semiahmoo, make sure to make a reservation for Packers restaurant, which is situated right on the beach. This restaurant is so bright & airy inside with gorgeous views (amazing sunsets from this location too!). We loved that they had a board at the front of the restaurant listing all of the local farms they work with to provide fresh ingredients for the restaurant. You can choose from everything from fresh seafood options to pasta to charcuterie plates & more!

Read our full review of Semiahmoo + more things to do and best places to eat around Whatcom County!

Bellewood Farms – U Pick Apples & Pumpkin Patch

Bellewood Farms is located between Bellingham & Lynden and is a popular farm to visit in the fall.  This is a farm with 31 acres of apple orchard (this is THE largest apple & pear orchard in Western Washington), as well as a pumpkin patch, corn maze, cafe & distillery. They are home to around 25,000 apple trees & 21 different varieties of apples. The farm is open from September 1st thru October 31st. The Upick apples is open from September thru October 24th, but the pumpkin patch, corn maze & store/cafe will be open thru the end of the month.

Apple Bin Train at Bellewood Farms

We visited this farm last weekend & had the best time with our first experience picking apples at an orchard. They have a free apple bin train you can ride out to the orchard or you can walk out there, too, but we loved taking the wagon train out to the orchards & seeing the pretty fall colors along the way.

Apple Picking with bag full of apples at Bellewood farm

If you want to pick apples, make sure to purchase a bag first (it was $18 for the bag for us, but the pricing can vary depending on the apple varieties which are available). We were able to pick a big bag of apples for that price, though, plus we all got to ride the wagon out to the orchard for an afternoon of fun!

Apple Orchard Fall Colors at Bellewood Farm

It can get quite muddy in the orchards, so be prepared! I had no idea that some of the apple trees would turn to such vibrant fall colors, though, so there were some beautiful yellow leaf apple trees, that made the best photo opp! We ended up picking Honeycrisp apples, but we found all sorts of varieties such as Sunrise, McIntosh, Fuji & more. Such a fun experience picking apples at the orchard & those apples are so crisp & fresh! Yum!

Bellewood Farms Gift Shop & Cafe

Bellewood Farms also has a large cafe & gift shop (plus tons of outdoor seating with bonfires to keep you warm) so you can try all the fun apple items such as caramel apples, fresh apple cider, apple cider donuts, apple pie & so much more. And lots of varieties inside the store of apples so you can decide which ones are your favorite! There is also a tasting room so you can try their farm-to-bottle spirits made with their apples & pears from the orchard.

All of the activities are free  at Bellewood Farms – you will only pay for the bag of Upick apples you bring home and any other delicious goodies you decide to try! It was definitely well worth the visit & such a fun fall family activity!

Stoney Ridge Farm – U Pick Apples & Pumpkin Patch 

Stoney Ridge Farm Lynden WA

Another great farm out in the country near Lynden is the Stoney Ridge farm. They offer both Upick for apples in a small orchard (Jonagold variety) as well as a pumpkin patch, corn maze, wagon ride and farm animals to visit. You’ll want to stop in to their coffee shop to warm up with some hot apple cider or pumpkin donuts. I loved the beautiful red barns as this is such a classic, beautiful farm to visit for the pumpkin patch.

Admission is just $3/person (2 & under free), which includes the corn maze, wagon ride & all the activities on the farm. They do have more limited days they are open – the first 4 Saturdays in October & several Fridays & they are now closed for the season, but it’s a fun family outing to put on your list for next year!

Cramer’s Western Town

Cramer's Western Pumpkin Patch

Photo Credit: Cramer’s Western Town farm

Just down the road from Stoney Ridge Farm is Cramer’s Western Town farm. I drove by this farm & it looked very interesting with the western themed little town buildings on the property. They offer a petting zoo, pony rides, train rides, trolley draft horse rides, baby animals and you can feed the ducks. There is also a roller slide as well as a hay jump, hay maze & more activities, along with the pumpkin patch.

Cramer’s Western Town is open Fridays – Sundays through the end of October. Admission is $3/person (2 & under free), but there are also separate costs for the pony rides, wagon rides & more.

Shop & Dine in the Dutch town of Lynden

The Mill Restaurant in Lynden Outdoor Dining

If you have never stopped in the cute, small town of Lynden, fall is the perfect time to visit as there are so many big trees lining the streets with beautiful autumn colors. Right in the center of town is the cute windmill, which serves as a reminder of Lynden’s Dutch heritage. Inside the windmill is a cute little bistro restaurant, the Mill & they had a courtyard with outdoor dining, too, & beautiful fall colors.

Fall Colors in Lynden

If you want to learn the history of Lynden, stop in the Lynden Pioneer Museum in downtown. It has a large collection of horse drawn carriages & you’ll learn more about their Dutch heritage.  The Lynden Dutch Bakery is a long-time staple of Lynden and you can head in there to try some different Dutch pastries & treats. {They were in the process of remodeling the bakery downtown, but they had a 2nd location called “Just Desserts” where you could get some of the same Dutch pastries & treats.}  Stop in at a cozy Woods Coffee shop (2 locations in Lynden) if you need some refueling and caffeein before your next stop!

Another must-stop visit while in Lynden is the Edaleen Dairy. They actually have 6 locations all around Whatcom County (Lynden, Sumas, Blaine, Ferndale & Fairhaven) where you can stop at this dairy, but the Lynden location is the original location. There is nothing like this fresh, creamy ice cream from Edaleen – over 40 varieties of ice cream & they sell a variety of milk & dairy products, too.  What makes them so unique is that it’s a large dairy farm & the processing plant is less than 2 miles away, so they can transform their milk that was milked from the cows into ice cream within 24 hours. That’s amazing freshness!

Fall Hike at Whatcom Falls

Whatcom Falls in the Fall

Whether you have visited Whatcom Falls before or if this is a new location to you, it’s definitely a must-visit in the fall. The waterfall can slow significantly in the summer, but by mid fall & in the middle of a rainstorm, this waterfall was raging & so powerful! And wow, the fall colors were some of the most stunning I have seen in western Washington!

Whatcom Falls in the Rain in the fall

Whatcom Falls is just a short 10-15 minute drive off I5, so easy to access as it’s right in the city, but it feels like you are getting away to the forest once you drive into the park. There are over 5 miles of trails to explore in this 240+ acre park.  The whole drive thru the park was so picturesque & the trees by the waterfall were definitely at their peak color. We only had the opportunity to visit the main Whatcom Falls (which is a very short walk from the parking lot to the stone bridge, the best viewing spot for the falls).

Playground at Whatcom Falls in the Fall

Make sure to use the entrance from Silver Beach Road off Lakeway Drive to access the bridge to view the falls. There is also a fish hatchery on site as well as a great playground.  There is another smaller waterfall called Whirlpool Falls inside the park as well (a popular spot to swim in the summer), which would be another great area to explore as you walk thru the beautiful fall colors lining the trails.

Drive thru Fall Foliage on Chuckanut Drive

Beach at Larrabie State Park in the Fall

One of the best places to see fall foliage around the Northwest is along Chuckanut Drive between Burlington and Bellingham, one of Washington’s Scenic Byways. This 20+ mile scenic drive runs along the shoreline of the Salish Sea where the Chuckanut mountains meet the shoreline. It is stunning any time of year with it’s curvy road that hugs the shoreline and provides gorgeous views of the San Juan Islands.

Sunset at Larrabee state Park

But I don’t think I’ve ever driven it in the fall & I was just in awe the whole drive of how vibrant those fall colors were the entire drive. Plus, you definitely need to make a stop at Larrabee State Park, Washington’s first state park! We parked on the water side (west) & then walked down the trail behind the ampitheater. When the trail splits, take it to the right & it will lead to the beach with fall foliage, San Juan island views & it’s one of the best places for a sunset. {This is actually the spot my husband and I had our engagement pictures done at sunset – it’s a pretty special spot!} This is an outdoor lover’s paradise as there are so many different hiking & mountain biking trails, as well as enjoying the beautiful shoreline at Larrabee State Park. Fragrance Lake trail is a popular trail for families at a little over 5 miles long & under 1000′ elevation gain.

Peace Arch Park in the Fall 

Fall at Peace Arch Park in Blaine WA

One of the most unique aspects of Blaine is that it’s right on the border of British Columbia and there is a unique park in the town. Peace Arch park is a park that is located between two countries – US & Canada. The southern half of the park is in Blaine and is a Washington State Park (Discover Pass is needed to park here) & the northern half of the park is a British Columbia Provincial Park. There is a 67 foot concrete arch (6 stories tall) right on the border, which was constructed to honor the centennial of the treaties resulting from the War of 1812 to establish a peaceful border between the US & Canada.

There is the green grassy area around the peace arch where you can visit (just be prepared as you do have to walk across the road where cars will be entering the border crossing). There is also a larger field with picnic tables & more room to enjoy the park right in front of the parking area. {Currently, the provincial park side is closed, but keep an eye for that to change.}

More Activities::

Here are a few more options of fall family fun activities around Whatcom County:

Twin Sister’s Creamery – If you love blue cheese, you’ll want to visit the Twin Sisters’ Creamery in Ferndale (between Blaine & Bellingham). It was rated the best cheese shop in 2020 by Taste of Home. It is open Tues – Sat (unfortunately we did not have time to visit) but this looked like a fun stop to get some delicious cheese.

Fall Foliage Walks – check out this list of great walks/hikes for fall foliage around Whatcom County

Fall Activities around Bellingham – check out this list on Visit Bellingham for more fall activities around Whatcom County & Bellingham

What are your favorite fall activities around Whatcom County? Any we missed?

Check out more places to see the fall foliage around the Puget Sound area!

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