What to Do This Fall: Festivals, Conventions, Bar Hops and More

Not into carving pumpkins? Here's how to spend your October

By Kasee Bailey


September 26, 2016

If you’re not really into the pumpkin patch/haunted-house scene for October (or if you’ve simply been there, done that) there’s still plenty going on in the city to keep your days jam-packed with autumnal activities. Consider attending one of these must-do events:


Invite a little (more) culture into your life with the Seattle South Asian Film Festival, running October 14-23 in five cities around the state (including Seattle, Bellevue, Bothell, Redmond and Renton). Choose from more than 60 films made in or about Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka; if you’re really interested, you can attend all 23 feature films, 22 shorts, and three galas for $100. Prices vary for individual weekend passes and student/senior tickets.


Enjoy literary libations during this year’s Lit Crawl Seattle, a one-day event held October 27 featuring 65 local authors sharing their work in bars, cafes, bookstores, art galleries and performance spaces on Capitol Hill. Free, with $5 after-party. Full author lineup to be announced on October 5.


Female nerd and proud of it? On October 8-9, GeekGirlCon celebrates the community of women involved in the science, technology, arts, literature, comics and game design fields (held at the conference center across the street from the Washington State Convention Center). The event features a host of activities, including panels, signings, exhibitions (like a DIY science zone), a cosplay contest, scavenger hunt and more. One-day passes are $40 ; two-day passes are $55. Kids ages 6-12 are $10; 0-5 are free.

If you haven’t seen LEGOs since you wore footie pajamas, time to revisit your favorite childhood toy. On October 1-2 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, thousands of models created by adult LEGO hobbyists will be on display, along with LEGO vendors and a LEGO Building Zone during 15th annual BrickCon Public Exhibition. Online tickets are $10; $12 at the door.

The Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall brings dealers from across the US, Canada and England and their collectible books, prints, maps, manuscripts, autographs, photographs, postcards, posters, broadsides, fine bindings and ephemera to one of the country’s most literate cities. The literary event runs October 8, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and October 9, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and offers visitors the chance to browse a museum of historical and cultural artifacts available for purchase. Tickets are $5 at the door, good for both Saturday and Sunday admission.

The decision to attend this event is, well, elementary. Celebrate the world’s most accomplished detective—and his most cherished companion, Dr. Waston—during the Sherlock Seattle Convention, October 21-23 at Broadway Performance Hall. Guests of honor include Robert Ryan, author of the Dr. Watson at War series of novels and Larry Albert, the voice of Imagination Theater’s Dr. Watson. Admission to the convention requires a membership fee; the basic membership is $55, while VIP is $75.


Don’t feel like trick or treating on Halloween? How about trolling? Celebrate the “birth” of Fremont’s famous troll on “Trolloween” with a parade-procession of musicians and costume-clad attendees. Event is free, and begins at 7 p.m. at N 36th Street and Troll Ave N.


Get your Thanksgiving cranberry fix before the stores even start running out. Choose from two cranberry fairs happening on the weekend of October 8-9, both featuring food, crafts and cranberry bog tours. The Cranberry Harvest Festival in Grayland offers a cranberry cook-off, a firelight parade and market. The Cranberrian Fair in Ilwaco on the Long Beach Peninsula includes a Cranberry Trolley and the famous cranberry-peach pies, in addition to crafts, vendors and food.

Artisan cheese aficionado? Then we know where you’ll be October 8: the Cascadia Cheese Festival at Central Co-op. The seventh annual event showcases the cheesemakers of the Northwest, and includes basic cheesemaking demos and tastings. The festival, held 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., is free and open to all ages.

Prepping for your wedding but so O-V-E-R the fall wedding season? Enjoy all the benefits of a wedding reception—emotional vow ceremony, light dinner and dancing—without the stress, coordinating dress or small talk. From 7 to 9 p.m. on October 13, the Big Fake Wedding Seattle at Metropolist (2931 1st Ave S, Suite A) offers “wedding guests” (aka brides- and grooms-to-be) access to a host of wedding vendors in action to experiment before their big day. Best yet: No registry gift needed. Discount tickets are $12 through Groupon.

If you’re looking to reminisce on a little PNW history, you can go back in time and watch as settlers depict daily chores at Fort Nisqually in 1859 on the guided Candlelight Tour, held October 7-8. During the walking tour, more than a hundred re-enactors illustrate the lives of the men and women of the Hudson’s Bay Company, including the impending confrontation on the San Juan Islands during the Pig War. Tours are every 15 minutes over the weekend; a shuttle from the zoo is available. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for youth (ages 4-12).

Illustration by Arthur Mount

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