Fall is my favorite time of year in the South Sound. Sure, summer is gorgeous, but September and October offer bluebird days with just a hint of crispness in the air. It’s also a great time to take the kids on a uniquely Northwest adventure. Here are my South Sound must-dos with the family this fall.
Drink Fresh Apple Cider
Is it really fall if you haven’t had a cup of fresh-pressed cider and a fritter (or two)? While actual apple picking is rare around here, there are plenty of events where you can make or enjoy fresh-squeezed cider and other treats. Head to historic Steilacoom for its annual Apple Squeeze, a citywide celebration with kids’ activities, like face painting and pony rides, in addition to all things apple; or try the event at Puyallup’s Meeker Mansion for a smaller cider squeeze with an old-fashioned feel.
Pick the Perfect Pumpkin
Pumpkin patches abound in the South Sound. Spooner Farms’ Alderton location offers pumpkins and is a favorite for families who want a full day of adventure. It features a maze, food, and other fun for the kids in addition to its popular patch. Search online for more patches.
We love this uniquely Northwest way to observe the changing seasons. In October, weekend naturalists will help you spot salmon in Renton’s Cedar River. The Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail in Olympia hosts thousands of visitors each November who come to spot chum salmon returning to spawn. Gig Harbor has been home to the Donkey Creek Chum Festival in mid-November for the last several years.
Go Leaf Hunting
We’re called The Evergreen State for a reason, but you can still find pretty fall foliage around the South Sound. Tacoma leaf lovers should head straight to Wright Park, home of some of the city’s most majestic trees. Hint: The Seymour Conservatory has a seasonal pumpkin display in mid-October, if you’d like to get some cute pics of the kids without everybody freezing.
Capture a Perfect Fall Photo of the Fam
Fall is a great time to get everyone together for a photo op. The light is extra flattering, and fall colors make for a gorgeous background. Plus, if you get them done now, you can use your favorite for that holiday card. Popular outdoor photo locations include Owen Beach and the rest of Point Defiance Park, and the waterfront along Ruston Way. For a rustic background, try walking along the paths at the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, or head to the Curran Apple Orchard in University Place.
Fall in the South Sound is a great time for family-friendly arts events. Look for a variety of kid-friendly happenings during Tacoma Arts Month, and mark your calendar for the TMP’s fall production, The Addams Family.