27 Fun Things to Do in Seattle in Fall: Foliage, Festivals & Halloween

Fall colors at Seattle Japanese Garden, Washington State

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If you’re looking for striking foliage and leaf-peeping opportunities on the West Coast, consider Seattle in Washington and its surrounding areas.

This guide reveals the best things to do in Seattle in the fall, including dark tourism, sports games, autumn nature walks, seasonal events, food, drinks, and stunning foliage.

We share recommendations on how visitors and locals can spend time during the shorter fall days in the Emerald City.

The article also includes activities close to the city, so if you’re local and have exhausted Seattle’s fall activities, you can still pick up a few tips for this year!

So, let’s look at the fall in Seattle suggestions for couples, friends, and families.

You may also like our 24 hours in Seattle itinerary, a guide to Washington’s coastal towns, and Washington bucket list.

Fall in Seattle Attractions

This section considers fall activities in Seattle, featuring seasonal sports games, fall colors, and spooky tours.

While you’ve maybe explored some of the suggestions at other times during the year, they do hit different come autumn!

Plan for temperatures ranging from a high of 67F in September and lows of 47F in November.

Visit Climate Pledge Arena to Catch a Kraken Game

Although hockey is not for everyone, the Seattle Kraken is the National Hockey League’s newest addition and offers a unique sporting experience for fans and non-fans alike.

Fall is the beginning of the hockey season, making a Kraken game one of the best things to do in Seattle in September or October.

Climate Pledge Arena is brand new and features great food and amenities that make the game a memorable experience for all.

Enjoy the Seattle Fall Colors in the Japanese Gardens

The Japanese Gardens in Seattle is one of the best places to visit in Seattle in fall for its chilled air and to experience the change of the seasons through its trees and plants.

It has a beautiful landscape of ponds, rivers, and artistic installations of rock gardens and Japanese plants.

Although beautiful year-round, The Seattle Japanese Gardens is especially breathtaking when the fall colors cover the trees.

Fall colors at Seattle Japanese Garden, Washington State

Take a Stroll around Lake Washington

Located right in Seattle, Lake Washington is a great location for a fall stroll.

Whether you like to ride a bike or walk, Lake Washington is a beautiful destination to see the fall colors and enjoy the brisk autumn air.

For the truly adventurous, kayaks are available for exploring the water, but be advised that the fall temperatures can make the water of Lake Washington frigid.

Striking sunset over Lake Washington Seattle

See the Natural Fall Beauty at Volunteer Park

Volunteer Park (1247 15th Ave) is a public park that offers over 40 acres of space in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, a perfect location to enjoy fall foliage and the beauty of Seattle in September.

The park has tons of natural beauty and some spots that are social media-worthy in the fall, and there are events such as trail running and pet parades to look out for during the autumn months.

Visit the Volunteer Park Conservatory

After enjoying the fall foliage outside at Volunteer Park (1400 E Galer St), stop inside the one-hundred-year-old Victorian greenhouse that is the Volunteer Park Conservatory.

The Conservatory is home to various tropical plants and even has a room dedicated solely to cacti.

Stop in to warm your toes while learning more about the unique plants.

Watch the Leaves Change at Washington Park Arboretum

The Washington Park Arboretum (2300 Arboretum Dr) showcases many trees.

In October, all the leaves on the trees change, and the entire arboretum shows off.

Reds, oranges, and yellows paint the tree tops and offer some of the most beautiful fall views in all of Seattle.

Dreamy fall foliage landscape in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum botanical Garden

Dive into the Underside of Seattle with a Historic Underground Tour

Fall is the perfect time for spooky places filled with history.

Many do not know that the city of Seattle had a huge fire in 1889 that left the majority of the city ruined.

Instead of clearing the rubble and starting fresh, some parts of the city were built on top of the burnt remains.

This underground tour looks into the life of a century ago.

Not only will this tour offer a haunting outing, but it will also keep you out of the frequent rain that Seattle gets in the fall.

Pike Place Market Ghost Tours

If you are looking for a spooky look at one of Seattle’s most popular places, a nighttime Pike Place Market Ghost Tour is a creepy thing to do in October in Seattle.

Pike Place Market is well known for tossing fish around, but these tours will show you the darker side of the tourist attraction.

Pikes Place is also featured in our one-day Seattle itinerary.

Pike Place Market sign at night

Find the Fall Offerings at a Local Brewery

Seattle is home to some of the most respected craft breweries in the country.

The institution, Pike Brewing Company (1415 1st Ave), has been operating since 1989 and introduces new fall-flavored releases yearly.

Local tip: Check out the Microbrewery Museum at the The Pike Pub.

Visit Kerry Park for a Festive fall Seattle Skyline View

Kerry Park (211 W Highland Dr) offers some of the best views of the city skyline in all of Seattle.

During the fall, you can use the foliage to frame the city’s famous Needle and other skyscrapers.

Dusky sunset over Seattle skyline

Halloween Decorations

A special shout-out to the 10th Avenue West/West Bothwell Street owner in the Queen Anne neighborhood for their contribution to Halloween in Seattle!

In previous years, they recreated the amazing Schitt’s Creek Rosebud Motel and the eery Bates Motel from Psycho.

Let us know in the comments if the decorations are resurrected or if any other impressively decorated houses pop up this season.

Watch a Scary Movie

Enjoy fright night in fall by watching the latest Halloween release or a classic at one of Seattle’s movie theaters.

Majestic Bay Theatres in the Ballard neighborhood was first opened in 1914 and held the title of oldest continuously operating movie theater in the US until it closed in 1997.

The next year it was renovated and is now one of the cheaper movie houses in the city.

Set Sail with a Ride on the Ferry

A fall ferry cruise through the Puget sound is a great way to see the waterfront and the natural beauty of Seattle in autumn.

From the deck and indoor seating, you can see Seattle’s skyline and, on clear fall days, the Olympic and Cascade Mountain Ranges, as well as Mount Rainier, towering over 14,000 feet above sea level.

Go Whale Watching on the FSR Clipper

Heading to the coast searching for whales is a great way to spend a fall day.

The FSR clipper offers half and full-day excursions to go whale watching.

In addition to the beautiful sea life, an excursion off the coast is a great way to enjoy the crisp air and see the natural majesty of the Washington coastline.

As with most water-based activities, the whale-watching tour ends at the start of October, so be sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment.

Kubota Garden

One of the lesser-known fall things to do in Seattle is to visit Kubota Garden (9817 55th Ave).

Located in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, this green space has opened its doors to its 20-acre Japanese garden since 1987.

The park’s development started in 1927, created by a Japanese emigrant and respected gardener and philanthropist called Fujitaro Kubota.

Today, it has 11 ponds, two red bridges, and 140 maple varieties, ideal for leaf-peeping fans!

It is open every day of the year from sunrise to sundown.

Stepping stones lead towards red japanese maple trees in Kubota Garden, Seattle Washington State.

Go on a Larch March

Larch is a natural phenomenon in the Pacific Northwest where a pine tree will turn yellow or gold during the fall.

Locals often go hunting through Seattle’s many parks to find the first larches of the season.

Taking a larch march can be a fun way to spend a fall day while discovering unique places to visit in Seattle in October. 

Join a Halloween Bar Crawl

Dust off your scariest, or cutest, Halloween costume and join fellow revelers on the annual pub crawl!

Tickets can be bought at Eventbrite and include free drinks and bar entry.

Dress to impress, and you might just win the award for best costume.

Halloween 5K

Run for your life this spooky season, but do it for a good cause, not from Zombies!

Check out the annual Run Scared fancy dress 5K and donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

You can view the above Seattle fall activities via a map here.

Seattle activities in fall map

Fall Things to Do Near Seattle

Visit the Picturesque Snoqualmie Falls

30 minutes from Seattle sits one of the Pacific Northwest’s most amazing natural beauties, Snoqualmie Falls.

The 268-foot waterfall is great for fall photos, and the surrounding hiking trails are perfect for exploring during a cool autumn afternoon.

Free parking and a free viewing area open from dawn until dusk.

You can take your dog, too; just ensure it is on a leash.

There is a short 2.3-km out-and-back trail near Snoqualmie, Washington, which hikers call ‘easy’.

It takes around 50 minutes to complete the route.

At night, lights illuminate the falls!

If you are looking for an extended stay, you can reserve a night at the lodge right near the falls.

Flowing Snoqualmie Falls with slight fall colors surrounding

Pick a Pumpkin from the Patch

The surrounding Seattle area is full of great pumpkin patches that offer a variety of fall activities.

The perfect fall weather in the Pacific Northwest makes pumpkin picking a great option for those looking for the traditional trappings of mid to late October in Seattle.

Mosby Farms Pumpkin Patch (3104 SE Auburn-Black Diamond Rd, Auburn) is located just outside of Seattle.

It has great pumpkin pickings and a corn maze and is even pet-friendly.

Shelburne Orchards Vermont pumpkin hay

Find your Way through a Corn Maze

One of the best fall traditions is visiting a corn maze and winding your way through the golden stalks to find the exit.

The Carpinito Brothers’ Corn Maze (27508 W Valley Hwy N, Kent) is a legendary spot outside Seattle.

Corn Maze Sign.

Visit an Apple Orchard

Nothing says fall, like picking apples right from the tree to take home, eat, bake, or cover in melted chocolate!

Seattle is home to some of the best apple orchards in the country.

The Farm at Swan’s Trail (7301 Rivershore Road, Snohomish) is set against the Snohomish River and its workers tend to a 55-acre pumpkin patch, the Washington State corn maze, and a u-pick apple orchard.

You can also eat straight from farm to fork by buying food at one of the farm booths and savoring it at the picnic area.

This family-friendly fall adventure is a perfect way to enjoy the fall weather in Seattle.

Women in fall clothes picking an apple at apple farm

Explore the Fall Foliage in Mount Rainier National Park

Fall is a special time to visit Mt. Rainer because of its colors.

This active volcano extends to over 14,410 feet above sea level, and it is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous US!

While Mt. Rainier has over 260 miles of maintained trails, you don’t have to exert too much energy if you don’t want to, as there is a 5,400-ft high overlook called Paradise, which offers mountain views.

While the park is open all year round, Paradise overlook is only open weekends in winter (generally October-May) so check the park times while planning your fall trip.

The climbing centers tend to close around the 10th of October, and snow puts a close to hiking trails at the end of October.

Some driving routes may close, too.

Read all about a visit to Mt Rainier in fall in our guide to National Parks in October.

Path leading through fall color trees at Mount Rainier Washington

Fall Events in Seattle

Feast on Local Fare During Seattle Restaurant Week

Every year, at the end of October and beginning of November, Seattle hosts Restaurant Week to showcase all of the delicious food that can be found in the city.

The festival sets a sliding scale price point so you can find your new favorite restaurant in the city without spending outside your means!

Grab a Brew at the Great Pumpkin Beer Festival

This fall festival is unlike any other around Seattle.

The established Great Pumpkin Beer Festival allows guests to drink beer from a hollowed-out giant pumpkin.

Every year, a giant pumpkin is harvested, cleaned out, filled with pumpkin beer, and tapped for everyone in attendance.

Find Fresh Produce at West Seattle Harvest Fest

Fall is the perfect time to get freshly harvested local fruits, vegetables, and hand-made goods.

The West Seattle Harvest Fest is the best place to view all the local Seattle offerings.

In late October, this fest is a great way to enjoy all of the best products that Seattle offers.

Try All the Fall Beers at Fremont Oktoberfest

One of the best things to do in Seattle in September is to visit one of the many Oktoberfests in the area.

The Fremont Oktoberfest is held in Seattle every year at the end of September and offers a variety of unique beer options and fall activities.

The Fremont Oktoberfest is pet-friendly and perfect for families, couples, and even solo visitors to the Seattle area.

You may also like our guide to Oktoberfest in the US.

Oktoberfest couple with beer

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