These October fairs, festivals, parades, consumer shows and expos around the Puget Sound region have free or cheap admission ($15 or less). We include some significant events with an admission fee higher than $15, especially where there are ticket discounts or volunteering opportunities to bring the cost down.
There are no less than 11 film festivals, plus Oktoberfest events and cranberry festivals, RV and home shows, a sewing & craft expo, and many small community events sprinkled throughout the month around the Puget Sound region. By the way, this list does not include Halloween events–we publish a separate list of holiday events as they become available, beginning in early October.
(September 27) – October 4, 2018. French Cinema Film Festival in Seattle at SIFF Cinema Uptown. The latest in French language cinema from around the world for Francophiles. Tickets: Single Film Admission: Adult $15, Seniors and Youth $14, SIFF Members $10. Passes: General $150, Members $100. Discounts: SIFF membership includes year-round discount movie tickets, FREE popcorn, and other benefits. SIFF volunteers can earn free movie ticket vouchers. Some programs and films prohibit the use of vouchers.
(September 29) – October 5, 2018. Manhattan Short Film Festival presents finalists from hundreds of entries and countries around the globe. These short films will not only entertain a global audience but will be judged by them as well. Cinema-goers will become instant film critics as they are handed a ballot upon entry that allows them to vote for the Best Film and Best Actor. Tickets $12.
- September 29 – 30 – Bainbridge Island Museum of Art
- October 5 – Varsity Theater in Seattle’s University District
(September 28) – Oct. 7, 2018. Tasveer South Asian Film Festival at multiple venues in the Puget Sound region, including Bellevue, Seattle, Redmond, and Renton. Two words best describe Tasveer: Not Bollywood. The largest South Asian film festival in the United States. The Tasveer festival seeks to provide a counterpoint to the images and stories prevalent in Bollywood. The festival include shorts, experimental films, and documentaries on themes related to South Asia in its entirety: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the various diasporas across the world. Founded in Seattle, Tasveer screens dozens of films for thousands of attendees in locations across the U.S. Tickets: Ticket price may vary at each venue. Individual screening: Regular $12, Student/Senior $10. Festival passes are regular $125, senior/student $80. Discounts: Early bird prices through 9/30. Early bird individual screening: $10. Early bird festival pass: $80.
(September 15) – October 14, 2018. Garden Art Show in Seattle features the work of local artists from Bellingham to Portland. With varied media and styles, their work is meant for decorating your outdoor spaces. City People’s Garden Store outdoor nursery becomes the backdrop for glass flowers, steel creatures, mosaic birdbaths, other landscape features.
October 1 – November 2, 2018. Scarecrow Festival in Edmonds. Family-friendly event that lets residents and businesses construct and show off their scarecrows. Registration: October 1 – 15. Voting: October 16 – November 2. Winners in each category receive a certificate, a 2019 Edmonds Historical Museum membership, and bragging rights. Free event.
October 4 – 8, 2018. Orcas Film Festival in the village of Eastsound on Orcas Island focuses on critically acclaimed feature films from around the world and locally created short films, to harness the creative energy of film to build a more inspired and vibrant community in the San Juan Archipelago. The venues are all walking distance from each other as are many of the restaurants and bars that you can enjoy around seeing films. Tickets: Festival Pass: $200. Discounts: Save $25 on early bird Festival Pass before September 1.
October 4 – 11, 2018. Tacoma Film Festival (TFF) at The Grand Cinema in Tacoma gathers the best in new, independent films in a unique blend of audience and industry programming. Visiting festival guests from around the world make for a rich networking and collaborative space where new projects are born and inspiration for future work grows. Tickets: General admission: $10.50. Matinee, students, seniors (62+), children (0-12), or military: $8. Discounts: VIP passes: $150 (includes all screenings, events, parties, free refreshments, and other goodies). Films screenings at the University of Washington Tacoma are free for students and faculty. Grand Cinema members general admission: $8.00. GC members matinee, students, seniors (62+), children 12 and under, or military: $5.50. Annual membership begins at $45; benefits include discount movie tickets, FREE screenings, FREE popcorn, plus other discounts and benefits.
October 5 – 6, 12-13, and 19-20, 2018. Getaway: Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, WA. The next best thing to being at the world’s largest beer festival in Munich, Germany. Leavenworth celebrates Oktoberfest every autumn on the first three weekends of October. Admission gets you a wristband for entry into the Oktoberfest grounds offering multiple venues with live entertainment, food, and of course plenty of beer. Admission: Friday $10 and Saturday $20.
October 5 – 7, 2018. Oktoberfest Northwest in Puyallup hosts Western Washington’s largest Munich-inspired Festhalle featuring a huge Biergarten and dance hall with non-stop live entertainment on two stages, authentic German grub and bier, the Hammerschlagen Tournament of Champions (featuring prizes and bragging rights), Wiener Dog Races, German Crafts Plaza, the Sports Haus, Bier-Lympics, Stein Dash 5K, Root Beer Garden and kids’ activities including pumpkin decorating, and scavenger hunt. All-ages event until 6pm each evening and all day Sunday. On Friday & Saturday after 6pm, guests must be 21 years of age or older. Parking is Free. Tickets: $15. Discount: Advance online purchase $12.
October 5 – 7, 2018. Getaway: Crabfest in Port Angeles (85 miles northwest)is one of the most acclaimed food festivals in the country, celebrating the aquaculture, agriculture, and maritime traditions of the breathtaking Olympic Peninsula. The festival combines food, art, music, Native American activities, and children’s events into one spectacular three-day event on the Port Angeles waterfront next to Olympic National Park. Featuring 14 restaurants, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, Chowder Cook-Off, the Grab-A-Crab Derby, local wine and beer, craft and merchant vendors, and live music. Hours: October 5 – 7, 2018. FRIDAY noon – 10:00pm. SATURDAY 9:30am – 10:00pm. SUNDAY 9:30am – 5:00pm. Crab dinners $16-$30. Free and paid parking. Free admission.
October 5 – 13, 2018. Seattle Latino Film Festival (SLFF) showcases films from dozens of Latino and Hispanic countries. Each year, a different spotlight country is selected. This year SLFF will honor filmmakers from Spain. The festival includes educational workshops and scholar talks with international guests. The Festival opening night gala, includes a special movie showing, Q&A, television media presence, and special guests. Tickets: Individual screening $11, general, $9.50 student & senior. Opening Night Gala $40. Festival Pass $100 GENERAL, $ 70 STUDENT & SENIOR.
October 6, 2018. Fall festival in Occidental Park. Looking for something free and fun for the whole family? Kids of all ages can find something to enjoy at Fall Festival: hang out with animals in the petting zoo, purchase a pumpkin in the p-patch, play on an inflatable obstacle course, get free face painting, and sip on free cider. Free event.
October 6, 2018. Robothon is a day of robotic competition, open to the public, and admission is free. This national event showcases amateur robotic creations from around the world who compete in many competitions and activities. Sponsored by the Seattle Robotics Society. Please consider helping out the Robothon committee by volunteering. Free admission.
October 6, 2018. Fife Harvest Festival has grown to become the largest community celebration in Fife with over 5,000 participants. The Harvest Festival hosts all kinds of arts, crafts, foods, performances, and vendors, and is fun for all ages. The Harvest Festival happens rain or shine. Free parking at Fife High School and Fife City Hall with Free Shuttles to festival. Free admission.
October 6 – 7, 2018. BrickCon is a four-day convention attended by LEGO enthusiasts from around the world. It is the longest running LEGO convention in a single location. See thousands of models built by adult LEGO Hobbyists. Build your own masterpiece with LEGO parts in the Building Zone. Purchase current, past, and custom (non-LEGO) sets, individual parts, and minifigs at the Brick Bazaar. Tickets: $11-$17. Tickets are good for ONE day only and price varies depending on time of entry .
October 6 – 7, 2018. Issaquah Salmon Days is a weekend festival featuring parade, carnival rides ($20 unlimited), inflatables and other kids activities, dock dogs show, 40 food vendors featuring foods from around the world, free and paid activities, salmon-themed exhibits and activities, arts & crafts booths, and live entertainment. Paid parking and shuttles.
October 6 – 7, 2018. ”RocktoberFest” Rock & Gem Festival in Marysville. Rocks from around the world, jewelry artists, displays, demonstration, kids games, door prizes, silent auction. Free admission.
October 6 – 7, 2018. Getaway: OysterFest in Shelton (80 miles southwest, 55 via ferry). Visitors come from far and wide to sample morsels created by professional chefs; witness the excitement of the West Coast Oyster Shucking Championship trials, taste the selection of Washington State Wines and Microbrews. Young and old enjoy the Art and Photography exhibits, live touch tanks as well as the diverse variety of live music and activities. Admission $5 advance online or at the event.
October 7, 2018. Medieval Festival in Bothell. Live jousting, hand-to-hand competition, and incredible bow and horsemanship skills. Arts and crafts for the kids and lunch available for purchase. General admission: $15.
October 7 – November 4, 2018. Earshot Jazz Festival:
October 11 – 14, 2018. Tacoma Fall RV Show at the Tacoma Dome features hundreds of the latest makes and models of recreational vehicles, accessories, and RV destination resorts. Shop for closeouts and pre-owned RVs, get a first look at new models, buy accessories, and scout out resorts and campgrounds. Tickets: General Admission $12. Military $6. Children 16 & under FREE. Free parking. Discounts: Download $2 off coupon.
October 11 – 21, 2018. TWIST Lesbian & Gay Film Festival is the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. It has gained industry and audience recognition for showcasing the latest queer films, from major motion picture premieres to emerging talent. Tickets: General Admission: $14, Student/Senior/Disabled: $9, TeenTix: $5. Opening night: $35. Closing night: $22. Centerpiece shows: $15. Festival Pass: $245. Discounts: Buy 5 get the 6th one free with promo “SIXPACK”. Early Bird Pass: $195. Three-Dollar Cinema members save $2-$5 per ticket and $15-$25 on passes. Membership begins at $50 individual, $25 student/senior.
October 12 – 14, 2018. Free outdoor illuminated art show at Pier 86 in Seattle. Friends of Art on Pier 86 (FAP86) presents “Let There Be Light”. The large scale art project will feature two illuminated art shows exhibiting nightly to illuminate the Pier 86 Grain Terminal on Seattle’s waterfront. Opening Event: October 12, 2018, exhibiting nightly through October 14. The second show runs December 14 – 21, 2018. Free event.
October 13, 2018. Free family-friendly pumpkin festival in Orting. Food & beverage booths with pumpkin menu items. Live entertainment for all ages on two stages. Rod & custom car show. Games, bounce house, & amusements for kids. Act 1 theatre productions – dancing scarecrows. Arts and crafts vendors in the park. Little pumpkin pals parade – Saturday at noon. Point Defiance pirates. Free admission.
October 13-14, 2018. Getaway: Cranberry Festivals on the Washington Coast (130-170 mi. SW). Approximately one-third of the nation’s cranberry crop is produced in Washington State, where salty air meets marshy land in southwestern Washington. The region celebrates cranberry history and culture every October with community two festivals:
- Cranberry Harvest Festival in Grayland (130 mi. SW) includes cranberry bog tours, cook-off, live entertainment, a cranberry marketplace, and cranberry eating contest. Free event.
- Cranberrian Fair at Ilwaco on the Long Beach Peninsula (170 mi. SW) includes foods, demonstrations, crafters, local artists. Collectible Cranberrian Fair buttons cover admission to all events at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. Free self-guided tours of cranberry harvesting at the Pacific Coast Cranberry Research Foundation. Cranberry Museum admission is free. Fair admission: $5.
October 13 – 14, 2018. Antiquarian Book Fair at Seattle Center has been the premier Pacific Northwest old, rare, and second-hand book event since 1987. Whether you are an avid reader, artist, book collector, or just plain curious, you will find thousands of unique, collectible, and unusual books, prints, maps, photographs, and related memorabilia for sale. Tickets $5 at the door, good for both Saturday and Sunday entry.
October 13 – 14, 2018. Turkfest at Seattle Center. Explore and experience the cultural roots and contemporary influences of Turkey through live performances, visual arts, hands-on activities, foods, games, an authentic Turkish tea house, and a lively marketplace. Free admission.
October 18 – 20, 2018. Sewing, quilting & craft Expo in Puyallup is where needlecraft enthusiasts of all skill levels can learn and be inspired. Whether you’re new to sewing, a seasoned quilter, enjoy cosplay, crafts or DIY projects, you’ll find the newest ideas, materials, equipment, techniques, and tips from industry experts. Free parking at the Gold gate. Admission: $10. Discounts: Save $1 with this coupon.
October 19 – 21, 2018. Kinofest German Film Festival in Seattle at SIFF Film Center showcases feature films, documentaries, and short films that represent the state-of-the-art in German language film making, including films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. All films are shown in German with English subtitles. Tickets: Single Film Admission: Adult $13, Seniors and Youth $10, SIFF Members $9. Discounts: SIFF membership includes year-round discount movie tickets, FREE popcorn, and other benefits. SIFF volunteers can earn free movie ticket vouchers. Some programs and films prohibit the use of vouchers.
October 19 – 21, 2018. Seattle Home Show at CenturyLink Field Event Center s the Northwest’s largest consumer home show with everything for the home – indoors and out. There are two annual shows: Spring and Fall. Each show has hundreds of home and garden displays, “Meet the Experts” seminars, the newest home and garden products and building materials, green living information, wine tasting, arts & crafts, and home decorating. Tickets: adults $13, military/seniors (60+) $9, child (7-15) $3, under 7 free. Discounts: Buy online and receive $5 parking for Seattle Home Show at CenturyLink Field Event Center Parking Garage or Safeco Field Garage and One-year subscription to Better Homes & Gardens. Vehicles with 4+ occupants can take advantage of “Four or More Park Free” in designated parking areas.
October 19 – 28, 2018. Seattle Polish Film Festival at SIFF Cinema Uptown is the second longest running Polish film festival in the United States. It showcases diverse Polish cinema, including critically acclaimed films, independent films, shorts, animations, and documentaries. Tickets: TBA. Discounts: TBA.
October 21 – Nov. 8, 2018. Seattle Restaurant Week. More than 165 local restaurants offer 3-course dinners for just $33. Some also offer a 2-course lunch for $18. Held twice annually in April and October, Seattle Restaurant Week is Greater Seattle’s largest discount dining celebration across King County. Cost: $18-$33 per meal.
October 23 – 24 and October 31, 2018. 48 Hour Horror Film Festival in Seattle. Filmmakers all over the area will compete to see who can make the best horror short film in only 48 hours. Entries will be evaluated on Story, Creativity, Entertainment Value, Technical Merit, and Adherence to the Assignment. The winning film will screen at Filmapalooza 2019. The pubic is invited to attend screening of all the films on October 23-24 or the winning films on October 31. Tickets: $12.
October 25 27, 21018. Seattle Weavers’ Guild Annual Show & Sale. Annual Sale is a showcase for one-of-a-kind handcrafted items, including towels, rugs, blankets, handmade cards, pet accessories, children’s items, hats, bags, jackets, scarves, wraps, jewelry, and yarns along with weaving and spinning tools, handwoven fabrics, handmade buttons, and hand-dyed and surface embellished fabrics for quilters and sewers. You can also see the process of weaving fabric and baskets, spinning yarn, and creating other fiber arts. At the show, you will have the opportunity talk to many of the artists whose work you admire. Proceeds from the sale are used to fund the guild’s volunteer outreach program and to bring talented, internationally-known artists to Seattle to educate members of the guild and the public. Free admission and parking.
October 25 – 28, 2018. National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) in Seattle at the Cinerama and SIFF Cinema Uptown showcases the best directors age 24 and younger from around the world. It is one of the world’s largest festivals for emerging filmmakers. Day Pass: Adult: $33, youth: $29, group (10+): $27. 3-Day Pass: Adult: $80, youth: $70, group (10+): $60. Opening night gala: Adult: $44, youth: $32, group (10+): $29.
October 27, 2018. Festival of Bands in Everett at memorial Stadium features 17 marching bands from Washington high schools competing all day with music and pageantry. Food concessions and a bake sale. Tickets: Adult (ages 19+) $15. Seniors, military, student $9. Youth (ages 6-18) $5. Childen 5 & under FREE. Discount: Family Pack $40 (2 adult + 3 youth. Additional youth $5 each).
October 27, 2018. Sámi* Film Minifest in Seattle at Nordic Museum. Shorts and documentaries from Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish Sápmi. The day-long program will include the screening of the documentary Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest, a wide variety of Sami documentaries and shorts, a panel discussion, a tour of the Sámi collection in the Museum’s core exhibit, and happy hour. You can purchase tickets to individual screenings or all-day passes. Tickets: Individual films: $13 general admission. All-day pass: $35 general admission. Discounts: Individual films: $10 Museum and Pacific Sámi Searvi Members. All-day pass: $25 Museum and Pacific Sámi Searvi Members. (*Sami are the people of northern Scandinavia, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula of northern Russia).
October 28, 2018. Eat Island Grown on San Juan Island in Friday Harbor. Tastes from San Juan County chefs and farmers. Come for a bite or make a meal of it. Locally produced soft and alcoholic beverages will make it a full gourmet adventure. Proceeds benefit San Juan County farming initiatives. Tastes start at $3. Free admission.
October 28, 2018. Cascadia Cheese Festival in Seattle at the Design Center, hosted by Central Co-op grocery. Meet cheesemakers from all over the Northwest. Sample dozens of artisanal cheeses. Featuring adrable little goats. Free event.
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