Top Fall Activities
Autumn in Olympia brings cooler weather, changing leaves, and abundant opportunities to get outdoors. Celebrate the season with these top fall experiences!
Explore a fall festival
The Olympia Fall Arts Walk takes place throughout the month of October offering visitors the opportunity to see a wide variety of artwork, watch live art demos, and go to special events. Be sure to catch the downtown celebration on October 7 and October 8, 2022.
Celebrate the Tumwater Falls Festival on Saturday, October 1, 2022 at Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls. During the festivities visitors can sip a hot cup of coffee while listening to the Olympia Symphony Ensemble, attend an educational talk, watch a live demonstration, and shop local artists, makers, and food vendors. Bring the entire family! There are plenty of activities for children, including face painting and a scavenger hunt.
Enjoy a weekend filled with family-friendly fun during BARKtoberfest, held September 30 to October 2, 2022 at the Thurston County Fairgrounds. The festival starts with a Saint Bernard parade, live music, carnival games, and beer gardens. Saturday is the BARKtoberfest 5K and dog-friendly run, followed by an Olympic style contest including keg rolling and yodeling, live entertainment, and more. Sunday is a family fun day with half-price admission and lots of special activities, like a root beer garden for the kids!
On Saturday, October 29, 2022 put on your costume and join the Haunted 5K Run in-person at Woodland Creek Community Park or virtually. This family (and pet!) friendly run will help raise funds for All Kids Win.
Go pumpkin picking & solve a corn maze
Nothing says fall quite like picking your own pumpkin. There’s lots of fall farm fun in Olympia but if you want to wander through a corn maze after picking the perfect pumpkin check out Schilter Family Farm & Rutledge Family Farm. Stop at Lattin’s Country Cider Mill & Farm during their annual Apple Festival and Pumpkin Festival to snack on apple fritters and apple cider while pumpkin picking. Then visit the petting zoo filled with adorable farm animals sure to thrill children of all ages.
Follow the trails
Outdoor enthusiasts rejoice as Olympia is home to many top-rated and unforgettable trails.
Hiking is a great way to enjoy the cooler weather and see incredible views of nature. Woodard Bay Conservation Area offers visitors the opportunity to choose their own path with three different hiking trails in the natural area. Follow the trails at Tolmie State Park or walk along the shoreline of the Puget Sound. Be on the lookout when hiking along the McLane Creek trail and you might just spot some beavers. To see a 27-foot waterfall surrounded by orange and yellow foliage hike the out-and-back trail at Deschutes Falls Park.
If you prefer biking check out the Chehalis Western trail. This tree lined trail is surrounded by fall foliage and leads bicyclists through an array of habitats. Or bring the family to Yelm-Rainier-Tenino trail for a family bike ride.
Spot local wildlife
Whether you’re a birder or just enjoy seeing wildlife, Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, is the perfect place to spot a wide array of critters. During the fall visitors can find over 250 migratory birds, animals, and sea life while walking the trails. Hike along Deschutes River to witness the migration of Chinook Salmon as they return to their spawning grounds. Be sure to bring a camera as there are plenty of opportunities to get an instagram-worthy photo.
Warm up with a cup of coffee
When the crisp fall air gives you a chill, warm up with a cup of coffee from one of our local coffee shops. Order a vegan latte at Burial Grounds Coffee Collective and read a zine or book from their extensive library. For a close look at the roasting process go to the Dancing Goats Tasting Room. Order a cup of coffee then walk around the Olympia Farmers Market.
Looking to get in the Halloween spirit? Every October the town of Bucoda transforms into Boo-coda, Washington’s Halloweentown. The town puts together multiple special events throughout the month including haunted houses, a casket race, and a jack-o’-lantern carving contest.
View fall foliage and art
Go for a leisurely stroll through the beautiful landscaping at Sunken Garden to see a variety of perennials and fall foliage or take a guided tour of the Capitol Campus. Then head to Monarch Sculpture Park to explore their maze and view sculptures against the fall colors.
Relax with a glass of wine
After a day of exploring, unwind on the patio of a local wine bar. Sip on a glass of wine while looking out over Capitol Lake surrounded by yellowing leaves at Swing Wine Bar. Or order a bottle to share and cozy up on the heated patio at Uncork & Unwind.
Olympia offers visitors and locals endless opportunities to enjoy the season. Check out our things to do and events pages for even more fall fun!