When it comes to submarine duty stations, we know fall in New England (Groton, Portsmouth) can’t be beat. However, the Pacific Northwest offers a variety of festive events and experiences to get excited about!
From cider festivals and pumpkin patches to ghost trains and petting zoos, there’s plenty to explore in and around Kitsap County.
Here’s a list to get you started:
- Celebrate all the cider! We found three upcoming events – Cider Swig in Tacoma (Sept. 24), Bushel & Barrel’s Ciderhaus Oktoberfest in Poulsbo (Sept. 25) and the Olympic Peninsula Apple & Cider Festival in Port Townsend (Oct. 8-9).
- Spend the day at Schilter Family Farms in Olympia (Sept. 24-Oct. 31). Make the journey down to Olympia for the ultimate day at Schilter Family Farms. Farm activities include pick-your-own pumpkins, animals, hay rides, rubber duck racing, animals, trike riding, hot and cold apple cider, cider doughnuts, private fire pits for smores and an on-site farmer’s market. On the weekends the farm also offers pumpkin shooting, pony and barrel rides. Military spouses have also recommended Hunter Family Farm and Rutledge Corn Maze in Olympia, as well as Maris Farm in Buckley.
- Swap Halloween cotumes at the Kids Discovery Museum on Bainbridge Island (Drop-off now thru Sept. 28, pick-up Saturdays in Oct.). Drop-off clean, outgrown, and no longer needed children’s costumes and accessories from now until September 28th and then come back on Saturdays in October from 10am – 12pm to swap or “shop” for a “new-to-you” costume! Costume drop-off or pick-up only are also welcome.
- Have some fun on the farm at Creekhouse Farm in Port Orchard (Sept. 29-Oct. 31). Their fall fun includes feeding farm animals, launching water balloons at large wooden pumpkins, the lil pumpkin play patch, solving a pumpkin puzzle in the forest, a farm ride token and many opportunities for photos. Experiences are by appointment-only!
- Indulge in local seafood festivals! Don’t miss Oysterfest in Shelton (Sept. 30-Oct. 2) and the Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival in Port Angeles (Oct. 7-9).
- Run for beer at the Oktoberfest Poulsbo Beer Run (Oct. 1). Join a fun beer run/walk to support the Blue Star Banner Program, with a Sluy’s donut to boot. Choose from Slippery Pig, Valholl, Western Red, Rainy Daze, Echoes or Bushel & Barrel Ciderhouse (guest at Envy) as your starting brewery!
- Go to the Scarecrow Festival in Gig Harbor (Oct. 1). The Scarecrow Festival features a community Scarecrow Competition with entries created by local businesses, community groups, and families. This festival is an autumn celebration with entertainment and music, farm animals, hayrides, camel & pony rides, carnival games, and food!
- Discover antiques and treasures at The Found in Bremerton (Oct. 7). Check out the market filled with vintage, gathered, antique, repurposed, handmade and more. Plus food, coffee, treats, vintage cars and more! Hosted by Josephine’s Mercantile and Valley Vintage Market.
- Trick-or-treat early at the annual Gig Harbor Macaroni Kid Trunk or Treat (Oct. 8).
- Get your cider fix at Lattin’s Country Cider Mill & Farm in Olympia (Oct. 8-30). Enjoy their “Pumpkin Festival” weekends complete with a pumpkin patch, wagon rides, animal train rides, vendors, games, petting zoo and more!
- Embrace fall in the PNW at the Soggy Sasquatch Festival in Poulsbo (Oct. 9). Hosted by Bushel & Barrel Ciderhouse, enjoy an afternoon of chainsaw carving, a live wood carving auction, games, craft fair vendors, food and drink specials, and a free concert by Joel Gibson Jr.!
- Get creative with Pumpkin Painting & Pumpkin Goo Art at the Bangor Rec Center (Oct. 13). Join MWR Community Recreation and gear up for Halloween and have fun painting, as well as decorating pumpkins and creating an abstract masterpiece with pumpkin goo; dipping pumpkin goo into paint, and throwing it on canvas. Feel free to bring your pumpkin goo from carving pumpkins. The $8 price includes instruction, supplies, and goggle protection gear.
- Experience “Zoo Boo” at Point Defiance Zoo (Oct. 15-16). Head down to Tacoma for a fun, fall-themed weekend as the zoo animals experience special pumpkins and fall treats. Suki the elephant stomps giant pumpkins, animals enjoy fall treats and there’s even a costume parade! Wear a costume and join in the fun.
- Decorate pumpkin cookies at Yoked Farmhouse & Brewery (Oct. 16). Join in a cookie decorating class! Bring the family and get to pumpkin decorating.
- Ride a Ghost Train with Kitsap Live Steamers (Oct. 29). Enjoy a special, nighttime themed train ride through the South Kitsap Park in Port Orchard. Tickets can be purchased online and benefit the Kitsap Foster Care Association.
- Find the perfect pumpkin at Pheasant Field Farms in Silverdale (Oct. 1-31). The farm offers pumpkins farm tours, and a special game area. This year will operate by appointment-only.
- Go on a “Hoot Hunt” at Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island (Oct. 1-31). Explore the grounds of Bloedel Reserve and see how many squash and pumpkins you can spot! Woodland owls will lead you on an all-ages scavenger hunt through the gardens in search of gourds, squash and pumpkins! Stop, explore, and snap a photo of yourselves with our friendly garden guides. Guess the weight of our largest pumpkin this year at the Residence, and win prizes at the Shop at the Gatehouse when you complete the scavenger hunt.
- Take home Halloween Lantern craft kits from the Poulsbo Maritime Museum (Oct. 22). Witches, bats, and black cats, oh my! Pick up a creepy Lantern Take and Go Craft Kit from the Poulsbo Historical Society’s Maritime Museum on Saturday, October 22nd from 11am-4pm. Costumes are highly encouraged!
- Save the date for the Naval Base Kitsap Trunk or Treat (Oct. 22). Bring the whole family out and ‘Trick or Treat’ from car to car in the Bangor Plaza parking lot! Festivities include carnival games, crafts, entertainment and more. Open to active duty, reservists, retirees, veterans with VA Health ID, DoD employees, their families and their guests.
- Watch the salmon migration on the Olympic Peninsula. Did you know fall is prime time to view the dramatic upstream salmon migration? While the fall salmon runs take place in most rivers in the national park, one of the best viewing points is Salmon Cascades Overlook on the Sol Duc River, off Highway 101, about five miles up Sol Duc Road. Between late September and late October, determined coho salmon battle their way from the salty ocean to the fresh waters of the Sol Duc River, leaping up waterfalls as they head home to spawn. Prepare to be awed.
- Go on a Ghost Tour in Port Gamble. Take a guided tour of Port Gamble highlighting the town’s history of the paranormal. Includes tours of the more active buildings in town. Must be 16+ to attend. $25 per person.
- Enjoy a Black Light Halloween Paint & Sip at Bangor Rec Center (Oct. 28). Enjoy a spin on paint and sip from 6-8pm with painting in black light. UV reactive paint will shine bright as you paint your Halloween-themed canvas. The fun neon colors will pop even without the black light. The $30 ticket price includes an instructor, supplies, glow necklaces, lemonade and ice tea. Adult beverages and soda are sold separately.
- Witness a Giant Pumpkin Carving in Gig Harbor (Oct. 28). Professional Giant Pumpkin Carver Russ Leno will be back at Uptown Gig Harbor shopping center for the annual pumpkin carving display. He will be carving from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 28.
- Survive a Zombie Apocalypse Drive Thru in Belfair (Oct. 28). Come and try to survive our Zombie Apocalypse Drive Thru. The first approx. 150 cars that survive will get a free family goody bag. Fun for the whole family. Suggested $5 donation per car.Hosted by The HUB-Belfair, a non-profit supporting independent living for seniors and disabled neighbors.
- Celebrate the season at Miracle Ranch’s annual Harvest Festival in Port Orchard (Oct. 21-23, Oct. 28-30). Free events include hay wagon rides, face painting, petting zoo, hay maze, archery, arts and crafts, carnival games and a rodeo. Paid activities include a climbing wall, pumpkin chucking, pony rides and more.
- Taste some sweet meade at Wilderbee Farm in Port Townsend. Celebrate the arrival off fall with Autumnal Sweet mead infused with autumn-inspired warm spices. Perfect for upcoming holidays, served with savory comfort foods. Check out their u-pick pumpkin patch while you’re there!
- Take a Halloween Walk in downtown Bainbridge Island (Oct. 31). On Halloween day, downtown merchants will close Winslow Way at 3:30 p.m. and sponsor a safe trick-or-treating evening with spooky family fun! Come in costume, listen for spooky tunes from the Eagle Harbor Church bell tower, drink free hot cider and place your vote for the best merchant costume at the Bainbridge Island Downtown Association booth on Winslow Way. Free trick-or-treat bags will be available, as well!