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15 Best Places To Explore Seattle Fall Colors with Kids (2023)

Feet with sneakers walking on fall leaves outdoor during the Autumn season with a leaf on the bottom of the shoe and nature on background.

Hey there! Are you feeling excited about the cooler weather and all the cozy activities that come with fall? Look no further than Seattle to experience all that and more! Despite Seattle’s reputation for evergreens, Seattle is actually exploding with breathtaking fall colors just waiting for you to discover them. We have everything from family-friendly pumpkin patches to snap-worthy picnic spots, making autumn activities in Seattle endless.

As we prepare for fall in Seattle, let’s fully embrace all the fun that comes with it. Whether you’re cheering on the Seattle Seahawks, savoring a hot cup of apple cider, or lost in a corn maze at a local fall festival, there’s no better time to create special memories with your loved ones. Don’t forget about those perfect Seattle fall color photo opportunities!

The peak of fall color in the Pacific Northwest usually happens in mid-October, but you can enjoy the beauty of autumn as early as September and all the way through November. Don’t worry, though, you don’t have to leave the city to see the beauty of the season – Seattle has so many great options right here in our parks. And if you are up for a road trip, we have a few more, such as the famous Bavarian-styled village Leavenworth.

Besides the many streets through out Seattle, here are some of the best fall foliage spots to check out in and around Seattle, so whether you have a free hour or an entire day, you can indulge in the magic of this season. So grab a pumpkin spice latte, a cozy blanket, and your camera, and let’s explore all the stunning fall scenery Seattle has to offer!

Read on for our top 15 places to see fall colors in and near Seattle with kids!

Table of Contents

Green Lake Park

Green Lake is one of the top spots in Seattle to witness the beautiful, warm colors of fall. With a 2.8 mile paved walking path around the lake, it’s a perfect spot for scooters and parents with strollers! This park is loved by Seattleites, with its expansive water and green space, it’s not hard to see why it’s such a popular spot. The neighborhood surrounding it is bustling, yet as soon as you step into the park, you feel like you’re in a natural oasis. It’s home to a variety of plants, trees, birds, and waterfowl, which makes the park a perfect place to kick back and enjoy some tranquility. Besides that, the park is a great spot to go for walks or runs with friends or your furry friends thanks to the off-leash dog park. So, we hope to see you soon at Green Lake, where nature meets fun!

Online -> Seattle.gov

Kubota Garden

Have you heard of Seattle’s hidden treasure, Kubota Garden? This is another top Seattle spot to enjoy the fall colors. It’s a stunning Japanese garden located in Rainier Beach and it’s completely free for the public to visit! This garden is perfect for families, as kids will love exploring the hidden waterfall and fish pond, and it’s even dog-friendly! With over 140 varieties of Japanese maples, it’s the ideal spot to enjoy the fall colors this season. Plus, the relaxed atmosphere and easy parking make it a stress-free outing for everyone. Kubota Garden is open every day from sunrise to sunset, so why not plan a visit soon? Don’t forget to download the self-guided tour map before you go or just explore freely when you arrive. It’s a hidden gem you won’t want to miss!

Online -> kubotagarden.org

Washington Park Arboretum

Have you’ve been to the beautiful Washington Park Arboretum in the heart of Seattle? During fall, the colors here are truly breathtaking and it’s a great place to spend an afternoon with friends and family. You can even bring your bikes and enjoy a leisurely ride around the two-mile loop or take a hike along the miles of trails. It’s the perfect urban oasis to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Arboretum is the star of Seattle during the fall months. With miles of hiking trails with pops of color everywhere and open spaces for making piles of leaves, the Washington Arboretum is always a safe bet for loading in some fall beauty and burning off some kid energy. Don’t miss out on the Seattle Japanese Garden inside the Arboretum – it’s a must-see and absolutely stunning during the fall months too. So come on over and soak in the beauty of the Arboretum this fall season!

Seattle Japanese Garden

During Seattle’s gorgeous fall season, there is no better spot to enjoy the vivid foliage than the Seattle Japanese Garden. Make sure to visit in early October to catch the Maple Festival and traditional Momijigari celebrations, honoring autumn’s stunning hues. Check out their website for all the details about these events and other exciting things happening at this magical garden. As you stroll through the garden, prepare to be captivated by its enchanting beauty. Note, there is a small entrance fee to the Japanese Garden, however, it’s a wonderful opportunity to admire the fall colors in Seattle. Please remember, no dogs or picnics are allowed in the garden.

Discovery Park

Discovery Park in Seattle is an amazing natural wonder, with a massive 534 acres of lush space for everyone to enjoy. If you’re looking for a picturesque spot to enjoy fall foliage, we highly recommend walking through the meadowlands and forest groves – you won’t regret it! This park is a true gem and is beautiful all year round, but autumn offers a special glow that is hard to resist. As Seattle’s biggest park, there are so many trails and paths to explore, so take your time and soak in all the sights and fall colors this Seattle park has to offer. From the protected tidal beaches to the dramatic sea cliffs, this park is breathtaking. And let’s not forget the stunning vistas of the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges from Magnolia Bluff – simply spectacular!

Online -> seattle.gov

Fremont Canal Park

 You may have heard of the Fremont Troll, but have you heard of Fremont Canal Park? During the fall season, this beautiful little park comes to life. The yellow leaves of the trees along the Fremont Cut create amazing reflections and are absolutely breathtaking, and the view of sailboats and rowers passing by is so peaceful. Plus, the smell of Theo Chocolate Factory in the air makes it all the more delightful. There’s even a pedestrian and bike trail (the famous Burke Gilman Trail) and benches where you can sit and take in the views of the water. It’s the perfect little spot to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the beauty of fall in Seattle.

Online -> seattle.gov

Seattle Center & The Space Needle

And we can’t forget about the stunning Seattle Center! With the fall foliage in full display, it’s the perfect spot to grab a warm cup of coffee or tea and take a leisurely stroll through the park and enjoy the Seattle fall colors. Whether you’re new to the city or just visiting, the Seattle Center is always worth exploring. Take a trip up the Space Needle for a specular 360 view, enjoy the amazing glass art displays at Chihuly Garden and Glass, or take the kids to the Pacific Science Center for an awesome interactive experience, there is so much this place has to offer. So take in the vibrant hues, snap some pictures, and enjoy Seattle!

Online -> seattlecenter.com

Lincoln Park

If you’re searching for an amazing spot to soak up the autumn season in West Seattle, Lincoln Park is a fantastic option! This 135-acre park offers so much to see and do. If you’re in the mood for a walk or bike ride, there are over 4.6 miles of paved paths to explore, and the trees with their fall colors are breathtaking! There are also plenty of picnic tables and shelters available, so don’t forget to pack a snack and enjoy the views. Even though Colman Pool is closed for the season, Lincoln Park still has so much to offer, from acres of playfields to a rocky beach with stunning kelp views and sound waters. Families will love the two playgrounds, five picnic shelters, and wide-open fields. Come check out this West Seattle gem and spend a lovely fall afternoon here!

Online -> seattle.gov

Seward Park & Lake Washington Boulevard

If you’re looking for a breathtaking display of fall foliage in Seattle with waterfront views, this lakefront spot is perfect for you! Seward Park, nestled on the shores of Lake Washington offers a stunning vantage point to witness the beautiful transformation of red, orange, and gold trees as they gracefully sway in the breeze. You’ll love the scenic waterfront views, especially during sunset when the golden hues of the trees create a picture-perfect scene. Grab your bike, scooter, or stroller and go for a leisurely walk on the wonderful Lake Washington Boulevard, offering a peaceful and serene view of the lake’s edge and Seattle fall foliage. It’s perfect for capturing the essence of fall colors in Seattle.

Online -> seattle.gov

University of Washington

Do you want to experience the beauty of fall in Seattle? Even though it is not a park, I highly recommend you check out – the University of Washington! This Seattle campus is always bustling with excitement and it’s the perfect place to relax and soak up the stunning fall colors and architecture. While you are there, don’t forget to visit the quad – it’s famous for their cherry blossoms in the spring, but it’s equally captivating in the fall. Also, make sure to stop by the Drumheller Fountain – if the weather permits, you might even catch a glimpse of Mount Rainier in the distance! Trust me, visiting UW is a must-do in fall and you’re guaranteed to have an awesome time!

Online -> washington.edu

Bellevue Botanical Garden

Have you heard about the beautiful Bellevue Botanical Gardens east of Seattle? It’s a must-see spot, especially during fall! You’ll feel completely at ease in the Perennial Border, Waterwise Garden, and Yao Garden, all of which show off the stunning fall colors and offer a peaceful setting. And guess what? Admission is free! The Garden is open every day, from dawn until dusk, with the Visitor Center open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are cultivated gardens, natural wetlands, and a woodland trail to explore which highlight some of the best local plants and gardening techniques. This 53-acre park, right in downtown Bellevue, offers a chance for a serene break. Check out the Lost Meadow loop trail for breathtaking autumn sights, and the Dahlia Garden, which should be in full bloom until mid-November. And don’t miss the suspension bridge, and the hidden Hobbit door – it’s a treat for the kids!

Online -> bellevuewa.gov

Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

If you’re are south of Seattle and looking for a spot to soak up the beautiful fall colors, you should definitely check out Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park in Renton. It’s truly a gem of a place with stunning fall foliage on display throughout the month of October. Even if you can’t make it during the fall season, the park is worth exploring any time of year. With 57 acres of land along the southeastern shore of Lake Washington, there’s plenty to see and do. Bring your stroller, and take in the beautiful fall foliage, trust me, you won’t be disappointed! Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed at Gene Coulon Park, but there is an awesome playground for kids here!

Online -> rentonwa.gov

Luther Burbank Park

Have you been searching for a picture-perfect location to capture your fall family photos? Look no further than the beautiful Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island! With its stunning fall foliage and breathtaking views of Lake Washington, this park is a must-visit location for all nature lovers. You will be amazed by its vast expanse of 73 acres, featuring three-quarters of a mile of Lake Washington waterfront. Did you know that it’s not just the serene views, but also the wetlands that make Luther Burbank Park a stunning and unique location? Many animals seek shelter in the park’s northern and southern parts. So, don’t forget to add this lush location to your must-visit list!

Online -> mercerisland.gov

Fall colors that is worth the drive from Seattle

Looking for some breathtaking fall color spots near Seattle for a full-day trip? You’re in luck! We’ve rounded up some of the best spots within just a few hours’ drive for you to enjoy the picturesque scenery. Get your camera ready because these spots are bound to leave you in awe. So pack your bags, hop in the car, and let’s go leaf hunting!

Leavenworth

Looking for a fun fall family adventure? The roads to Leavenworth, on U.S. Route 2 or U.S. Route 97, offer stunning fall foliage, making for a picturesque drive. This charming Bavarian village nestled in the gorgeous Cascade Mountains is perfect for a quick getaway. Whether you’re into seasonal decorations, unique architecture, or fun events, Leavenworth has something for everyone! You can even stay for a night or two at one of the local hotels, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the village. Take a break from city life and go hiking in the hills, or try out Washington’s first alpine coaster at Leavenworth Adventure Park! And during October, don’t forget to immerse yourself in the Bavarian Oktoberfest! With Leavenworth’s festive ambiance, you’ll create plenty of unforgettable family memories.

Online -> Leavenworth.org

Mount Rainier

Are you up for a drive? If you haven’t visited Mount Rainier in a while, fall is the perfect time to go! The beautiful fall foliage mixed with the exposed mountain after summer runoff is breathtaking. The best part is that the crowds are much quieter during this season. If you are wondering where to find the best fall colors, we recommend checking out Paradise, Reflection Lakes, Skyline Trail, Sunrise, or Chinook Pass.

With kids, our go-to spot is Paradise. You can drive right up to the Henry Jackson Visitor Center, and take a leisure walk on the many trails from there. You can explore subalpine meadows and enjoy great views and fall colors. The area is open year-round and offers different activities depending on the season, such as hiking, wildflower watching, or winter sports.

The fall highlight is the color display provided by vine maples, high elevation huckleberry bushes, and larch trees, which begin to turn in late September. You’ll find spectacular displays of color until the snow starts falling in November.

Ready for a perfect fall adventure? Mount Rainier awaits!

Online -> nps.org

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