October is quite simply one of the best months in the year in Seattle. Sweater weather has arrived, but it’s not unbearably chilly just yet, the changing leaves put on a brilliant display, and the crisp new season brings a wealth of new seasonal activities. We’ve rounded up some of October’s best options, both indoors and outdoors, from Lit Crawl Seattle to Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience. For more seasonal offerings, check out our guide to fall festivities.
The unhinged hyperpop of 100 gecs, one of the internet's favorite bands, has been praised as propelling the genre forward. They've grown exponentially, from their acclaimed 2019 debut 1000 gecs to the recently announced forthcoming album 10000 gecs.
Showbox Sodo, SoDo (Wed Oct 13)
Benjamin Gibbard with special guest David Bazan
If you spent the first few weeks of Seattle's initial lockdown tuning in to Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard's daily livestreamed performances, you'll be happy to learn that he'll be churning out soft indie gems on a live stage soon. Pedro the Lion's David Bazan will warm up the crowd.
The Showbox, Downtown (Oct 9-10)
See the likes of Blossom, Kaskade, Rusko, and more on three themed stages and scream your lungs out on ghoulishly fun rides at this spooktacular Hallo-weekend festival which will also feature larger-than-life art installations and roaming performers.
WaMu Theater, SoDo (Oct 29-30)
It's only fitting that activism-minded rockers Coldplay are the first musical act to break in Seattle's new zero carbon venue. The occasion also marks the band's first arena show in nearly five years.
Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown (Fri Oct 22)
Earshot Jazz Festival
This year's hybrid Earshot Jazz Festival will provide swingin' in-person and virtual experiences from a lengthy lineup including headlining Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés, featured resident artist Marina Albero, Eugenie Jones, Kareem Kandi World Orchestra, The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and many more.
Various locations and virtual (Oct 13-Nov 7)
At only 24 years of age, indie rock darling Soccer Mommy is wise beyond her years. Lyrics confronting her ongoing mental health struggles and issues from her upbringing are set against creative sounds such as floppy disk samples, drum machines, and bubble sound effects in her critically acclaimed 2020 album color theory.
Neptune Theatre, U District (Sun Oct 31)
Although you might be tempted to classify her as an R&B singer, the multi-talented Tinashe considers herself “a pop artist who makes R&B-tinged pop music.” Catch her first tour in five years in support of her critically acclaimed 2021 album 333, which includes collabs with her brothers Quiet Child and Kudzai.
Showbox Sodo, SoDo (Thurs Oct 21)
Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection
It's called fashion, sweetie. Look it up. Build your fall wardrobe with a complimentary styling session or get some inspo while models werk the runway at the Posh Party Trend Show (Fri Oct 8) or the Collective Runway Show (Fri Oct 9). Both shows will include hors d’oeuvres and custom swag bags.
The Bellevue Collection, Bellevue (Oct 6-10)
FOOD & DRINK
Seattle Restaurant Week
Frugal gourmands everywhere rejoice over Seattle Restaurant Week, which happens twice a year and lets diners tuck into prix-fixe menus at restaurants hoping to lure new customers with singularly slashed prices. The proceedings have adapted a bit in the wake of COVID-19's devastating impact on the restaurant industry: This fall, over 200 restaurants across over 45 cities and neighborhoods in the Seattle area will offer special menus for $20 lunches, $35 and/or $50 dinners, with options for takeout, delivery, and/or dine-in. The lineup this year includes Cafe Munir, Nirmal's, Vendemmia, Rondo, Tamari Bar, Communion/That Brown Girl Cooks!, Sawyer, Revel, Paseo, and other notable favorites.
Various locations (Oct 24-Nov 6)
Nordo Presents: Curiouser and Curiouser
Immerse yourself in the whimsical world of Lewis Carroll's classic novels Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass with two original dinner theater performances from Nordo. First, you'll enjoy dinner in Wonderland at "The Feast of The Queens" in the Culinarium. After your meal, wander "Down the Rabbit Hole" for "an interactive subterranean experience."
Cafe Nordo, Pioneer Square (Thursdays-Saturdays between Oct 15-Dec 19)
Scoop up bites and drinks from an array of restaurants, bars, breweries, and distilleries— including Cafe Avole, Communion, Frankie & Jo’s, Hello Robin, L’Oursin, Marjorie, Matt’s in the Market, NuFlours, OOLA, Optimism Brewing, Plenty of Clouds, Rachel’s Ginger Beer, Revolver, Soul & Spice Catering Company, and Terra Plata—at this annual fundraiser for Community Roots Housing. KEXP DJ Riz Rollins will supply the tunes. There's also a free short virtual program for those who'd rather participate from the comfort of their homes.
Capitol Hill Station Plaza, Capitol Hill (Thurs Oct 14)
POUR 2021 Presented by Seattle Urban Wineries
Kick off your Halloween weekend by sipping vintages from over 15 Seattle urban wineries, including Eight Bells, Elsom Cellars, and Structure Cellars while enjoying live music and food from the local Cuban spot Cafe Con Leche.
Club Sur, SoDo (Fri Oct 29)
Brew at the Zoo
What's better than a day at the zoo? Sampling beer and enjoying exclusive animal encounters, we'd say. This tasting event offers beverages from over 45 local breweries and cideries, plus hangouts with "ambassador animals" and access to award-winning exhibits.
Woodland Park Zoo, Phinney Ridge (Thurs Oct 7)
Seattle Night Market: Full Moon
The Seattle Street Food Festival presents the return of the city's largest indoor night market, showcasing 75 makers and local shops at the sprawling 30,000 square foot indoor/outdoor venue Magnuson Park Hangar 30. If you need a breather from your retail habit, enjoy music from live DJs and other musicians, grab a bite from your choice of 15 food trucks and vendors, hit the bar, or capture some memories in photo booths.
Magnuson Park Hangar 30, Sand Point (Sat Oct 16)
Northwest Record Show
Flip through records and CDs from every genre under the sun, DVDs, and tons of other music-related collectibles spread out across 50 tables. Folks who bring a food item to donate to Northwest Harvest will get one dollar off admission.
Seattle Center Armory, Uptown (Sun Oct 17)
The Seattle International Film Festival’s inaugural DocFest is celebrating all things documentary with the grand reopening of the SIFF Cinema Egyptian. With a combination of virtual and in-person screenings, it’s a wonderful way to welcome back one of the city's greatest theaters.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill (Oct 4-7)
Seattle Latino Film Festival
This 13th annual Seattle festival of Chicanx and Latinx cinema will feature both in-person and online screenings of films from almost 20 countries. Highlights include the documentary LA Quinceañera, Brazilian thriller The Fall, and Mexican rom-com Modern Love. Don't miss opening night at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, where the Uruguayan comedy The Broken Glass Theory will premiere and Honduran-American actor Dennis Mencia (Jane the Virgin, Infiltrators) will MC.
Ark Lodge Cinemas, Columbia City (Oct 8-17)
Seattle Queer Film Festival
Film buffs from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho will be able to access the Seattle Queer Film Festival's digital programming this year. Stream shorts, docs, and films about lesbian, gay, bi/queer, trans, and QTBIPOC folx at your leisure or join at the festival's suggesting viewing times to also watch live Q&A sessions.
Virtual (Oct 14-24)
Seattle Polish Film Festival
Produced and presented by the Seattle-Gdynia Sister City Association, the Seattle Polish Film Festival (SPFF) showcases Polish cinema in a variety of genres and is now in its 29th year. This year's festival highlights include murder mystery Black Mercedes, sci-fi flick The Congress, and COVID-19 documentary Cremation of Time.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian & SIFF Film Center (Oct 15-17)
SLAY Film Festival
From the folks who bring you the sexy film fest HUMP! and stoner showcase SPLIFF, comes the second annual SLAY Film Festival to scare your pants off on Hallo-weekend. Expect everything from "classic ghost stories and slasher films, to dystopian cults and political nightmares." Special guest Old Witch will host and is sure to have some tricks up her sleeve.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill (Oct 29-30)
Monet at Étretat
SAM's resident Monet painting, Fishing Boats at Étretat, gets placed within a larger landscape of the French impressionist's work, focusing on pieces created during his times of artistic and financial struggle. The collection also brings a dozen works by Monet's contemporaries.
Seattle Art Museum, Downtown (Oct 6-10, 13-17; closing)
Refract: The Seattle Glass Experience
Seattle is the heart of the U.S. studio glass art movement, and at this grand celebration of the medium, it's easy to see why. See delicate wonders of all shapes and colors at Refract's special events, art sales, open studios, exhibitions, demos, and more.
Various locations (Oct 14-17)
Come On In | Faye Driscoll
As part of this truly one-of-a-kind "experiential exhibition"—which includes a space "awash with ambient sound, plush carpet, and pulsating light"—you'll be asked to take off your shoes and lie down on provided beds. You'll then "enter a state of repose and listen to individual soundtracks of Driscoll’s voice that guide [your] experience through a series of prompts and subtle directives." The goal is to reflect on "power and presence, yearning and absence, and... to reconceive our body and its limits."
On the Boards, Uptown (Multiple dates between Oct 8-Nov 6)
Jesus Christ Superstar
It's the 50th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, perhaps his very best, about the pressures of divinity amongst humanity. This traveling Broadway production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Oct 5-10)
Seattle Opera performs this classic four-act opera portraying young Parisians living the Bohemian lifestyle and following their love lives and creative pursuits. Get swept up by Puccini's moving score in this "timeless story of love and loss."
McCaw Hall, Uptown (Various dates between Oct 16-30)
Night of the Living Drag
Violet Chachki hosts a gaggle of Drag Race alumni in this campy spooktacular. Mourn the untimely deaths of zombie-fied queens Aquaria, Jaida Essence Hall, Gottmik, Kandy Muse, Plastique, Rosé, and Kim Chi. We bet they're still just as fabulous in the afterlife.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Thurs Oct 21)
Who? Weekly LIVE!
Hosted by writers and longtime friends Bobby Finger and Lindsey Weber, Who? Weekly hilariously "tells you everything you need to know about celebrities you don’t." Pick up an acute knowledge of C-list celebs via the duo's deep dives, listener call-ins, fun games, and additional expertise brought by special guests.
Showbox Sodo, SoDo (Wed Oct 27)
READINGS & TALKS
Jonathan Franzen with Maria Semple — Crossroads
Crossroads, Jonathan Franzen's first novel in his new "magnum opus trilogy" A Key to All Mythologies, tells the story of a multi-generational Midwestern family across three generations, “mirroring the preoccupations and dilemmas of the United States from the Vietnam War to the 2020s.” The acclaimed novelist and essayist will be joined in conversation by fellow author Maria Semple.
Virtual (Tues Oct 12)
Lit Crawl Seattle
There will be decidedly less crawling this year as the literary event sticks to a sole venue for readings by the 2021-22 Youth Poet Laureates cohort, folks from the Jack Straw Writers Program, and Washington state poet laureate Rena Priest.
Hugo House, Capitol Hill (Sun Oct 17)
Seattle Arts & Lectures Presents: Lauren Groff
Three-time National Book Awards finalist Lauren Groff will no doubt chat about her fourth novel, Matrix, which was released last month. Following 17-year-old Marie de France as she's "sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey" with "nuns on the brink of starvation and beset by disease," the novel is a National Book Awards 2021 finalist in fiction.
Virtual (Sun Oct 17)
Seattle Arts and Lectures presents: Patrisse Cullors in Conversation with Ijeoma Oluo
Activist Patrisse Cullors is the author of the New York Times-bestselling When They Call You A Terrorist and the upcoming An Abolitionists Handbook, and the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. She will be joined in conversation with Seattle-based writer and creator of the Our Existence Beyond Trauma Series Ijeoma Oluo for this virtual event, which is co-presented by Langston Seattle.
Virtual (Wed Oct 27)
Leavenworth Oktoberfest Markt
Leavenworth is switching up the format of its annual Oktoberfest extravaganza in favor of a festive "street fair vibe," with 100 local artists, vendors, and artisans for the first three weekends in October. In addition, you can expect classic German food, souvenirs, and a "kinderplatz" area for kids.
Leavenworth (Oct 1-3, 8-10, 15-17)
Seattle Children’s Festival
Tune into this year's virtual kid-centric festival to explore the Chinatown-International District, Ballard, Rainier Valley, and Eastside neighborhoods with your kiddos all from your living room (hey, you probably won’t have to field any complaints about being tired!). The program will also feature performances, stories, and workshops from artists such as Karoun Dance Ensemble, Baile Dior, Orquesta Northwest, MJ Steele, Sunshine Music Together, and more.
Virtual (Oct 16-17)
Seattle Erotic Art Festival 2021
An expansive event brimming with sex positivity, the Seattle Erotic Art Festival curates top-notch erotic art from around the world to feast your eyes on. During regular festival hours, check out the art, festival store, and daily entertainment including poetry readings, pantomime, and acrobatic displays. After hours, there's a marked vibe change to sexy party times with more titillating performances, DJs, dancing, and a bar.
Seattle Center, Uptown (Oct 29-31)
SPORTS & RECREATION
Seattle Kraken vs. Vancouver Canucks
Our fledgling team goes against the stiff competition of our neighbors to the north early in their inaugural season.
Climate Pledge Arena (Sat Oct 23)
Seattle Pride: All Together Now
Seattle Pride is throwing a big party right before National Coming Out Day with several of our favorite local LGBTQIA+ performers, including Chong the Nomad and Betty Wetter. There will also be food trucks, drag queen bingo, an "alcohol garden," COVID vaccines, and more.
Volunteer Park, Capitol Hill (Sat Oct 9)
Produced by the Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington (TACAWA), this festival takes place annually in October as part of Turkish Heritage Month. Learn more about the culture during this virtual program of performances and presentations by dancers, musicians, and artists from around the country and Turkey.
Virtual (Sat Oct 9)
Indigenous People Festival
Share in the wisdom of locally and nationally recognized Indigenous artists and advocates during a four-day schedule of virtual performances and panels covering topics like Indigenous foods and boarding school survivors. Presented by the Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB) under the umbrella of Festál, the event will culminate with the in-person SpiritWalk & Warrior Run.
Virtual (Oct 12-15)
Dia de Muertos Festival
Seattle Center Festál and the Dia de Muertos Festival Committee present this festival honoring those who have passed in a joyful celebration with performances, elaborate altars, colorful face-painting, sugar skull workshops, visual art, and more. Tune in for the virtual presentation on Sunday, October 31, and visit the Dia de Muertos altars at Fisher Pavilion.
Seattle Center and Virtual (Oct 30-Nov 7)
Diwali: Lights of India
Celebrate India's festival of lights, Diwali, which "symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance." Light a bunch of candles and flick on this virtual presentation, which will feature music, dance, visual art, martial arts, a cooking demonstration and more.
Virtual (Sat Oct 23)
This annual haunted village of doom—which takes place in an actual former morgue—hosts scares all throughout autumn.
Georgetown Morgue, Industrial District (Multiple dates between Sept 24-Nov 6)
This Is Halloween
Inspired by the Tim Burton classic The Nightmare Before Christmas, this original musical adaptation features Can Can Productions' signature cabaret and burlesque production stylings, live orchestral music, haunting vocals, and video projections. This is pumpkin king Jack Skellington as you've never seen him.
Triple Door, Downtown (Multiple dates between Oct 15-31)
The zoo's cutest critters, including the Asian small-clawed otters, pudus, snow leopards, sloth bears, and many more will be presented with pumpkin treats for crunching, smashing, and/or stomping. While getting a glimpse at this animal enrichment, you'll also want to keep an eye out for trick-or-treat stations around the zoo for candy and stickers.
Woodland Park Zoo, Phinney Ridge (Oct 30-31)
The Atomic Bombshells... PUT A SPELL ON YOU!
Seattle burlesque troupe The Atomic Bombshells is brewing some serious magic in their cauldrons for this one night only BOO-lesque spectacular. You'll be dazzled by award-winning show-ghouls and guys, special guest stars Sailem, Woody Shticks, and Markeith Wiley, and maybe even some surprise guests. Show up and show out for the audience costume contest, and you'll have a chance at winning some scary good prizes.
Oddfellows West Hall, Capitol Hill (Sun Oct 31)