Fall has always been a great season in Seattle. Despite its reputation as the land of evergreens, Seattle has a lot of fall color to offer. No matter where you live in or around the city, you can find the beauty of autumn and some great spots to snap a few photos of your kids.
Fall color in the Pacific Northwest runs throughout October and into November with the peak week usually being the third week of October. However, later in the season provides another fun family activity: playing in the leaves.
Here are some of the best places around Seattle to see fall color and get those great photos.
1. Japanese Gardens and Arboretum
Photo: Aleksandra Monk
The Arboretum is the star of Seattle during the fall months. With miles of trails to hike with pops of color everywhere and open spaces for making piles of leaves, the Arboretum is always a safe bet for soaking in some fall beauty and burning off some kid energy. The Japanese Garden inside the Arboretum is simply a gorgeous place during the fall. There is a fee to enter ($8 for adults who don’t live in the City of Seattle, $6 for adult Seattle residents, $4 for youth and free for kids 5 and younger) and food is available for purchase for feeding the koi.1075 Lake Washington Blvd E
2. Kubota Garden
Kubota Garden is a hidden gem of Seattle. The legacy of Fujitaro Kubota, this formerly private garden is now open to the public. With many maples, it’s a great spot for fall color and photos.9817 55th Ave S
3. Discovery Park
Sporting 534 acres of space, Discovery Park had a little of everything. The meadow lands and forest groves are the best areas to spot fall color and find a great photo spot.3801 Discovery Park Blvd
4. Saint Edward State Park
With great open spaces and miles of trails, Saint Edward State Park has always been a family favorite (bring your Discover Pass, or, if you don’t have one, buy one in the parking lot). Some of the best color at Saint Edward happens along the entrance drive before you get to the parking lot. Color along some of the trails can be spotty, but you only need one great tree for a memorable photo. The massive play structures are sure to delight the kids as well.14445 Juanita Drive NE, Kenmore
5. Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park is a great multi-purpose park in West Seattle. Its 135 acres includes more than 4.6 miles of walking paths. The best fall color is found deeper in the park, away from the water.8011 Fauntleroy Way SW
6. Bellevue Botanical Garden
Photo: Bellevue Botanical Garden/Facebook
The Bellevue Botanical Garden is spectacular in the fall with the best spots being the Perennial Border, Waterwise Garden and the Yao Garden. Bring your family in for a beautiful, peaceful visit. The Garden is open every day from dawn until dusk, and the new Visitor Center is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no admission fee.12001 Main St, Bellevue
7. Blyth Park
Located in Bothell, Blyth Park is 40 acres of nature bliss. The giant oaks provide a wonderful filtered light for photographs while small trees provide the pops of color.16950 W Riverside Drive, Bothell
The U.S. Forest Service provides education materials to help answer all those wonderful toddler questions. On their website you will find printable leaf coloring pages as well as links to leaf and plant identification information.
Editor’s note: This article was published in 2017 and updated for 2019