Farm Trips for Kids in the NW

Harvest Days: Farm tours, family celebrations and pumpkin patches

Get out into the autumn weather: pick pumpkins, catch leaves and attend an Oktoberfest or two. If you’re planning to travel to another city (or nearby) this season, check out these fantastic events:

If you live near Seattle, grab a light jacket for this weekend’s families-welcome harvest celebration. Can’t make it? Find farmy goodness (markets, stands and u-picks) at Puget Sound Fresh website, including the always-popular Remlinger Farms.

Further from Seattle, this weekend (September 25), the party-hearty Leavenworth offers a Leaf Festival. Leavenworth also hosts an Oktoberfest that runs through three weekends in a row.

A more sedate time may be found at the Skagit Valley Festival of Family Farms, on October 2, 2010, which features farm tours and kid-friendly activities.

Near Portland, in the shadow of Oregon’s Mt. Hood, Clackamas County offers many harvest happenings, including the Pumpkin Fest at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm.

About 20 minutes northwest of downtown Portland, Sauvie Island has delighted children for generations with pumpkin patches galore.

Outside Vancouver, BC (and accessible to Bellingham and N. Washington), use the listings at BC Farm Fresh to discover great picks in BC’s Fraser Valley , including hayrides and pumpkins at Aldor Acres and rides around a Corn Maze.

And if you’ve ever considered a visit to BC’s Salt Spring Island, the first weekend in October is the time to go. It’s the perfect excuse to sink your teeth into 100 varieties of apples at the Salt Spring Island Organic Apple Festival. Kids attend for free.


I do miss the East Coast’s apple farms. One in particular offered transitional apples, hot apple cider, tractor rides, pumpkins, a petting zoo, and amazing apple cider doughnuts. Wow, is there anything like that in BC, Washington or Oregon?

I will add additional festivals, if you let me know about them, and keep this listing up to date in October.

Lora Shinn writes about family travel, Pacific NW travel, grown-up travel...and travel in general. Her travel-related articles and essays have appeared in Family Fun, Parenting, AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, AAA magazines and Redbook, among others.