If you’re bringing the family to Bellevue on vacation, coming for business, or spending the weekend, fall is the perfect time of year to play in our neck of the woods. And now more than ever, Bellevue is a fantastic place to spend a week or a weekend. New luxury hotels in town like the W Bellevue and AC Marriott and great values on weekend stays at all our Bellevue hotel properties makes us truly the destination for staying and playing.
And this fall, there are great festivals to check out and a fantastic line-up of fun, family-friendly things to do throughout our city or just a short drive away.
Right Around the Corner
- Be sure to take the kids to KidsQuest Children’s Museum in downtown Bellevue. A hands-on, interactive children’s museum that encourages learning through play. With activities both indoors and out, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon or entire day with the little ones all the way up to age 11 or so.
- Enjoy a beautiful day outdoors with the family at one of our many gorgeous parks. The Bellevue Downtown Park reopened in July after a year of expansion and renovation. It’s an urban oasis in the middle of downtown Bellevue with water features, a ½ mile walking path and the new Inspiration Playground with new interactive features that engage the senses and accommodate children of all abilities.
- Are you a family that loves to hike? Why not hop on a trail at the Mercer Slough Nature Park. With over 7 miles of trails to pick from, you’ll find the perfect path for an afternoon out with the entire family.
- Looking for water views and other outdoor activities? Pick up a sandwich at Whole Foods in the Bellevue Collection and check out Enatai Beach Park for a waterfront view of Lake Washington while you picnic. After lunch, consider renting a canoe, kayak or paddle board and paddle around Lake Washington and into the slough.
- For the perfect day indoors, look no further than Lucky Strike at Lincoln Square for an afternoon with the kids. There’s premium bowling on 16 spacious lanes, fantastic food, and a world-renown arcade game area.
Festivals and Fun
If festivals are your passion, here are some of our favorites in Bellevue or just a short drive away:
Explore Children’s arts and crafts, inflatables, animal encounters, a petting zoo, entertainment, interactive children’s activities, tractor rides, and vintage tractor displays. Have a fun-filled day with the little ones while searching for a pumpkin in the pasture to decorate. Admission and many activities are free while some have a nominal fee.
Halloween on the Hill
Join the fun at a series of Halloween inspired events on Saturday, October 28 at Halloween on the Hill at South Bellevue Community Center.
This one-day festival features events like The Great Pumpkin Race and Jump; race or jump your decorated pumpkin on wheels; Carnival on the Hill; carnival games, food, bouncy houses, and entertainment; Haunted Movie on the Hill; enjoy buttery popcorn while watching a Halloween classic on the big screen.
The Zip Scare Tour takes place every evening October 13-28 on the Zip Lines at Bellevue’s Eastgate Park. You can enjoy scary, creepy fun zipping through the dark of night. There’s one suspension bridge and three zip lines to thrill you, while you step off a platform and coast along in darkness. But not to worry; riders and platforms will be brightened with lights and glow sticks.
Held over the course of two days, the Salmon Days Festival in historic Downtown Issaquah celebrates the return of salmon to local waters. Taking place October 7-8 and just minutes east of Bellevue off I-90, this award-winning festival embraces Issaquah’s unique history, culture, and ethnic diversity.
Look for a parade to kick it all off on Saturday as well as a kid’s entertainment stage. Treat yourself to delicious cuisine from over 60 food booths. If you’re an art lover or love to shop, you’re in luck. Over 270 arts and crafts vendors will be there displaying their work.
Hayrides, Hot Air Balloons, and Corn Mazes, Oh My!
Prefer some old-fashioned fun of the past? Just a short drive away from Bellevue—you and the family can be transported to the days of yore at these fun farms and corn mazes.
A 24-acre working family farm in Happy Valley east of Redmond, Serres Farm has a pumpkin picking patch your kids will love getting lost in. Just put on your favorite boots and grab a wheelbarrow because it’s time to start the hunt for the perfect jack o’ lantern. A variety of pumpkins from miniatures to giant Great Atlantics grow in the field. Patch opens the last weekend in September and runs through Halloween.
And be sure to enjoy the spectacular cornfield maze. It’ll take about 15-20 minutes to navigate this giant hand designed puzzle. The kids will also delight in the animal train ride all around the farm. Of course, what would fall be without an old-fashioned hayride? You can even race your favorite duck in a water propelled duck race.
Every Saturday and Sunday in October, you can visit the pumpkin patch, take a hayride and enjoy some hot spiced apple cider at Jubilee Farm. About 20 miles east of Bellevue, Jubilee has thirty acres of farmland open to the public. Bring the kids to visit the animals, play in the hay maze or watch a cooking demonstration. They’ll delight while watching adults sling pumpkins with the homemade trebuchet. There’s even a concession area for a quick bite.
The farmers market is open to the public in the fall on this biodynamic farm. It has operated in Snoqualmie Valley for more than 20 years.
How about checking out fall’s colors from hundreds of feet above Woodinville wine country? Hop aboard a balloon at Woodinville’s Over-the-Rainbow hot air balloon company and take you on a ride of a lifetime.
Enjoy spectacular views looking over Lake Washington and the Seattle skyline. Beyond that is Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountain Range. And to the south, Mount Rainier, so big and beautiful it looks close enough to touch. It’s an experience unlike any other.
Photo Credits, Top to Bottom: Bellevue Downtown Park via City of Bellevue, Zip Scare Tour via South Bellevue Community Center, Salmon Days via Issaquah Salmon Days, Farm via Serres Farm, Hot air balloon via Pixabay.