Never, ever miss Short Run, the big, exciting November expo of indie comics artists from all over the place. Alida Bevirt

You may not think of fall as festival season, but it's full of them—Fremont Oktoberfest, FreakNight, and the Olympic Peninsula Apple & Cider Festival all happen this time of year, along with events celebrating everything from light to books to LEGOs. You can also find a complete list of festivals in Seattle this fall on our Things To Do calendar, or check out the rest of our critics' picks from Seattle Art and Performance.

Stay in the know! Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app (available for iOS and Android), or delivered to your inbox.


Jump to: Food & Drink | Culture | Music | Seasonal | Arts | Geek | Community

Food & Drink


Sept 21–23

Fremont Oktoberfest Raise a (gigantic, oversized) stein to Seattle's biggest fall beer festival, which has been running for 21 years and features over 80 craft beers. (Fremont, $20–$30)


Sun Sept 23

An Incredible Feast Over 15 acclaimed Seattle chefs from restaurants like Ma'ono, Terra Plata, and Bar del Corso will be paired up with local farms to create a locally sourced spread. Plus, drink local beer and wine, take in live music, play carnival games, and participate in a silent auction. (Center for Urban Horticulture, 5—8 pm, $125/$185)


Oct 5–6

14th Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival In 2017, this festival featured more than 80 pumpkin beers (including about 20 from Elysian). There's also food, music, lots of pumpkin-y decorations, and other fall-themed festivities. (Seattle Center, 4—10 pm, $28/$50)


Oct 5–7

Cowabunga Lauding itself as "America's largest festival of beef," Seattle Met's Cowabunga festival presents an all-you-can-eat weekend full of cook-offs and cow meat tastings (with some attention paid to seafood, cake, and booze, too). (South Lake Union Discovery Center, $35–$275)


Oct 12–14

Olympic Peninsula Apple & Cider Festival Quaff lots of ciders, partake in a harvest dinner, attend apple-themed seminars, tour orchards, witness apple pressing, and snack on cider doughnuts and even apple tempura. (Olympic Peninsula, $15—$65)


Sat Nov 3

America's Test Kitchen Seattle EATS Festival Mingle with America's Test Kitchen test cooks and top Seattle chefs as you nosh on unlimited food samples from local restaurants and taste beer, wine, and spirits. Plus, watch cooking demos, get books signed, take in live music, and more. (Pier 66, 2—5 pm, $100 / $150)


Nov 10–11

The Northwest Chocolate Festival Indulge your undying love of the cacao bean while attending seminars, learning about sustainable chocolate-making practices, and, of course, enjoying tons of samples. (Smith Cove Cruise Terminal (Pier 91), $18—$80)

See all food & drink festivals happening in Seattle this fall here.


Culture

Return to top

Sat Oct 20

Diwali Ball Celebrate India’s Festival of Lights, which honors "the triumph of good over evil." The Ball will feature henna, fortune tellers, dance performances, live music, tours of SAM's collection, food, drinks, and dancing. (Seattle Art Museum, $175+)


Nov 17–18

Yulefest Celebrate the holidays the Nordic way with traditional Scandinavian dance, music, and crafts. Adults over 21 can enjoy a fully stocked Scandinavian bar, while the kids can enjoy arts, crafts, and a visit from Santa. Scoop up some Nordic prizes in the raffle or the silent auction. This is the museum's 41st Yulefest, and the first in their new location. (Nordic Museum, $5)


See all cultural festivals happening in Seattle this fall here.


Music

Return to top

Sept 20–23

KremFest 2018 It's not quite on the level of Decibel Festival for world-class electronic-music bookings, but KremFest is making strides to fill the void that that Seattle institution left. The event unites various local crews to create a strong demonstration of the city's robust underground club culture. Detroit minimal-techno deity Robert Hood heads a strong bill that includes Swedish-American cosmic-techno artist Pleasurekraft, DJ/activist JD Samson (Le Tigre, MEN), house-music titan Doc Martin, and more. DAVE SEGAL (Kremwerk, $16—$36)


Fri Oct 26

FreakNight 2018 Annual high-key wild-out throwdown FreakNight, basically a Halloweentown Coachella, features a whole night of live music, dancing, a market, and a darkly neon environment of scary circus attractions, bizarre sideshow marvels, and carnival rides. (WaMu Theater, $94)


Nov 16–17

6th Annual Freakout Festival Run by the folks behind Freakout Records (Skyler Locatelli, Guy Keltner, and Nathan Casey), this event has grown over the last six years into a dependable showcase of Seattle's eclectic, burgeoning music scene, with up-and-coming acts from the US, Mexico, and the UK now in the mix. This year's lineup boasts Sneaks, OCnotes, Death Valley Girls, Night Beats, and more. DS (Ballard, 7 pm, $30—$55)

See all music festivals happening in Seattle this fall here.


Seasonal

Return to top

Sat Sept 22

Luminata The Fremont Arts Council will once again celebrate the autumnal equinox with a luminous parade filled with lanterns, glowing umbrellas, and incandescent costumes. (Green Lake Park, free)

Nov 23–Dec 30

Enchant Christmas The Mariners' home base will host "the world's largest Christmas light maze" and an artisan market. (Downtown)

Nov 23–Jan 6

Zoolights Holiday traditions don't get more classic than strolling through the zoo when it's transformed into a luminous wonderland of 3-D animal light installations. (Woodland Park Zoo, 5—9 pm, $10/$12)

Dec 7–16

Christmas Lighting Festival The Bavarian-style village transforms into the most whimsical of winter wonderlands for three weekends in December, featuring hundreds of twinkling lights, visits from St. Nickolaus and other Christmas characters, carolers, and much more. (Leavenworth, free)

See all seasonal festivals happening in Seattle this fall here.


The Arts

Return to top

Through Fri Sept 21

Seattle Design Festival Now in its eighth year, Design in Public's Seattle Design Festival explores how urbanism, architecture, and design can further justice, ecology, and community. 2018's theme, "Trust," focuses on bringing together diverse local communities with a lineup of arts events, panels, installations, discussions, and fun parties. (Various locations, free)


Oct 5–6

Puyallup Festival of Books This fifth annual festival promises two full days of book and author events, including a Friday screening of an episode of Longmire, followed by a talk with Craig Johnson, who wrote the novels. On Saturday, don't miss Jeremy McCarter, co-author of Hamilton: The Revolution, who will speak about his process working with Lin-Manuel Miranda. (Puyallup Public Library, free)


Oct 11–14

Borealis: A Festival of Light At this inaugural festival, South Lake Union will be host to kaleidoscopic light art installations from artists around the world, as well as an "international video mapping" showcase with live music and performances. (MOHAI, free)


Oct 25–26

Lemonhaze Convention and Comedy Festival This event capitalizes on the natural bond of cannabis and comedy, pairing a convention filled with educational seminars with a block party filled with live performances and vendors. Doug Benson, Jessimae Peluso, Donnel Rawlings, and Judah Friedlander will headline the comedy portion, and speakers will include Stranger staff writer and resident cannabis expert Lester Black. (Tacoma Dome, $299)


Sat Nov 3

Short Run Comix & Arts Festival Never, ever miss Short Run, the big, exciting expo of indie comics artists from all over the place. It can be overwhelming, but even if you only meander through an eighth of the 280+ artists' displays, you can still go home with an armful of cheap, awesome prints, books, zines, and irresistible tchotchkes. (Fisher Pavilion, 11 am—6 pm, free)

See all arts festivals happening in Seattle this fall here.


Geek

Return to top

Oct 1–3

GeekWire Summit 2018 Hundreds of leaders in tech fields around the world will gather for live Q&As, talks, product demos, and a smattering of fun parties. The two-day summit (three if you count the opening-night reception) will host the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Sue Desmond-Hellmann, Cowboy Ventures' Aileen Lee, Facebook's Ira Kemelmacher-Shlizerman, eBay's Devin Wenig, and tons of others. (Various locations, $599)


Oct 6–7

BrickCon You're never too old to build a LEGO world. At this two-day festival, you'll get the chance to build your own masterpiece, marvel at models made by master builders from around the world, and purchase custom sets and parts. (Seattle Center, 10 am, $11—$17)


Oct 27–28

GeekGirlCon For the eighth year in a row, GeekGirlCon will call attention to the underrepresentation of women in the tech and gaming world with panel discussions, games, vendors, and more. (Washington State Convention & Trade Center, $30/$45)

Nov 3–4

Jet City Comic Show Tacoma's "old-school" comic book convention aims to provide families with an affordable Comic Con-esque event that focuses on regional artists. Expect cosplay contests, an artist alley, panels, and special guests, including kids' musician Caspar Babypants, pro wrestler Melina Perez, cartoonist Jen Vaughn, and others. (Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, $15–$20)

Dec 7–9

Jurassic Quest Dino fanatics can enter a pre-historic realm filled with true-to-life dinosaur replicas, from the Tyrannosaurus Rex to the Iguanodon. Some of them even walk around and make noises. (Washington State Fair Events Center, $20)

See all geek festivals happening in Seattle this fall here.


Community

Return to top

Through Sun Sept 23

Washington State Fair If you've read Charlotte's Web or live anywhere in the United States, you're familiar with the essential components of a state fair: Baby animals, delightfully greasy carnival food, rides, and talent exhibits in categories ranging from baking to vegetable growing. Puyallup's decades-old, 20-day Washington State Fair, which kicks off over Labor Day weekend, promises all that and more, claiming to be one of the biggest fairs of its kind in the country. This year, concert headliners include Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Cheap Trick (Wed Sept 19), Macklemore (Fri Sept 21), and Rascal Flatts (Sun Sept 23), among other big names. (Washington State Fair Events Center, $11/$14)

Sat Sept 22

Seattle Children's Festival I want to go somewhere where, instead of getting head-turns and raised eyebrows, no one even blinks when my daughter issues her piercing pterodactyl shriek. Seattle Children's Fest seems like the place. Plus, there's plenty to keep her entertained, including five stages worth of performances, interactive music-driven workshops, arts and crafts, and "tactile learning activities." I'm sold. LEILANI POLK (Seattle Center Armory, 10 am—5 pm, $10 suggested donation)

See all community festivals happening in Seattle this fall here.