As the nights get a little cooler and the leaves begin to change, summer in the Pacific Northwest makes its grand transition into autumn. While we hate to see summer go, fall in the South Sound is as exciting as it is beautiful. From family traditions and harvest festivals, to pumpkin patches and more, enjoy all of different seasonal activities that Pierce County has to offer.
Kick off the season by bringing the whole family to Fife’s 14th Annual Harvest Festival. Start your day by enjoying their Pancake Breakfast and Parade, and end it with food, fun, and fireworks. Be sure to hop on a hayride, squeeze apples into fresh cider, and play your best game bowling with pumpkins. The 2018 Harvest festival takes place on October 6 and is free to attend!
Celebrate the arrival of autumn at Penmet Park’s Scarecrow Festival on October 6 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Join local families and other members of the community at the festival’s annual Scarecrow Competition, where winners will be awarded cash prizes and chosen for Best of Show and the People’s Choice award. Enjoy live musical performances, carnival games, fair food, and a petting zoo with pony and camel rides. Admission to the Scarecrow Festival is free, but some activities may include a small fee.
Bundle up and pick a patch! Stop by Picha’s Pumpkin Patch from September 30-October 31 in the Puyallup Valley, owned and operated by third generation farmers, dedicated to running their family’s business originally established in 1904. Put on your boots and wander the fields in search for the perfect pumpkin, and don’t forget to make a trip through their five-acre corn maze where the answers to eight trivia questions are hidden inside. Find the answers to all eight questions and you’ll win a prize! Enjoy hayrides through the pumpkin fields, live bluegrass, and delicious local food vendors. But Picha Farms is just one pumpkin patch in Pierce County – there are more!
Head to Spooner Farm’s Harvest Festival in Puyallup and be sure to grab a caramel apple before you hit the fields! Operating since 1882, this farm knows how to celebrate the arrival of autumn. Pick from 50 different varieties of pumpkins, squashes, gourds, and corn at Spooner Farm’s huge pumpkin patch. Fire away on their pumpkin slingshot and enjoy games for all ages. Visit with barn animals, take a tractor-lead tour of the farm, and don’t miss their fresh roasted Spooner Farms corn. Embark on an epic interstellar journey through their “Destination Earth” themed corn maze, featuring over three miles of paths. The festival takes place from September 29 until October 31.
Looking for a pumpkin patch with a spookier twist? Thrill seekers, make your way to Maris Farms to experience a pumpkin patch by day and haunted woods by night. Enjoy more than 30 fun fall activities, ranging from monster truck rides and duck races, to indulging in hot apple cider, fresh baked donuts, and smokey barbeque. Take a trip to the Emerald City at Maris Farm’s five-acre Wizard of Oz themed corn maze, and if you dare, wait until dark to make your way through the farm’s frighteningly fun activities. Take a shot at the Zombie Old West Paintball Gallery or stroll through the Haunted Woods. Children are allowed to participate, but must be accompanied by an adult if they’re under the age of 10. With so much fun to be had, consider purchasing a Maris Farms Season Pass to come back again and again throughout the season, which lasts from September 29 until October 31.
Working up a thirst just thinking about all the activities to check off your fall bucket list? Stop by Gig Harbor’s 5th annual Cider Swig on September 29 from noon until 5:00 p.m. Choose from nearly 100 different regional ciders and enjoy a variety of foods from local, award winning chefs, restaurants, and food trucks. Stay for live musical performances and entertainment on two different stages, games, apple launching, and the third annual Cider Swig Battle of the Pies Apple Pie Contest, open to all ages.
On Saturday, October 13, head to the Cider Squeeze at Meeker Mansion where you can make fresh squeezed apple cider using old fashioned apple presses. Visit with various vendors, dance to live music, and even pick out a pumpkin to carve donated from Spooner Farms. Take a stroll through the mansion and catch a glimpse into how they’ve prepared the house for Halloween.
Dust off your lederhosen and dirndls! This fall, expect to find plenty of Oktoberfest celebrations throughout the South Sound. Head to Dystopian State Brewing Company’s 2018 Tacoma Oktoberfest on September 29 to enjoy a mouthwatering line up of local craft beers, warm pretzels from Hess’s German Bakery, and dinner by the new Lloyds BBQ & Brats food truck. Raise your glass and take a whack at various games, including classic German Hammershalgen.
Raise your stein and toast to great seasonal beer with Harmon Brewing Company. Each of the Harmon’s three locations will be hosting a regional Stein Holding Competition where contestants can win great prizes and one lucky grand prizewinner will win a trip for two to Leavenworth! Other Harmon Oktoberfest activities will include live music, brat eating, Harmonshlagen, Brewers Dinners, and Oktoberfest trivia. Festivities kick off starting September 14 will continue through October 5.
With so much to do this season and so little time, make sure to stop and enjoy all of the natural beauty autumn offers us right here in the South Sound. Go leaf peeping by taking a drive through Point Defiance, or walking through Wright Park where 27 acres of hundred year old trees show off their vibrant red, orange, and golden leaves, sure to take your breath away.