Now that fall is here, are you looking for things to do in Bellingham with your family? Here’s a list of some of our favorite family-friendly activities in Bellingham! Some activities are indoor, some are outdoor, some cost money, and some are free. We tried to find things to do for every Bellingham family to do this fall. Remember, just because it’s raining doesn’t mean we can’t be outside!
1. Play Scientist/Artist at Mindport
Mindport is a great option for families living in Bellingham, WA because it combines fine art with interactive exhibits that are meant to be touched! The interactive exhibits show eager minds how the science of sound, materials, and more can be combined with art to make magic. When little fingers are touched out, enter the Fine Art exhibit that includes photography, sculpture, drawings and more that inspire minds of all ages. Mindport is truly a great indoor activity for families living in Bellingham!
2. Roll in the Grass at Fairhaven Park
Fairhaven Park is a local treasure and favorite park for families in Bellingham. Not only does it include a playground, splash pad (for warmer months), and endless trails for walkers of all ages, it features something irresistible to kids: a big, grassy hill. Come for the playground and stay for rolling down the hill! The hill at Fairhaven is perfect for rolling, sledding in the snow, and ice-blocking when it’s warmer. Families could easily spend a morning or afternoon (or both) at Fairhaven Park.
You could even plan your visit around one of our work parties or interactive nature classes! Check out the Recreation Northwest calendar to see future work parties to improve and preserve Fairhaven’s natural beauty and some awesome opportunities to learn about local fungi, native plants, do a sensory walk, a night hike, and more! Your family will love the time spent working with the community and learning from our nature educators.
3. Fly Kites at Zuanich Park
Fall is a great time to fly kites in the PNW and one of the best places to fly kites in Bellingham is Zuanich Point Park overlooking Squalicum Harbor. It’s not surprising that Bellingham is a great place for families to fly kites; located between the Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains, Bellingham often gets some of the highest wind speeds in the area.
So get prepared now by making sure you have age-appropriate kites and keep your eyes on the weather reports; Fairhaven Toy Garden is a fantastic local toy store that has all kinds of kites! If you have younger children, you may be able to take them to Zuanich Point Park any day during the fall as there is always some kind of breeze and those smaller breezes may be a better fit.
4. SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention
Families living in Bellingham, WA love to visit the SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention. The museum states it is, “Where discovery sparks imagination,” and it certainly does. Between historical benchmarks, hands-on activities, and even a MegaZapper Electrical Show, your family will be talking about their visit to SPARK for a long time and want to go back. Admission is free for museum members and affordable for people who are not members, BUT all families can get up to 4 free tickets to SPARK through the Bellingham Public Library!
5. Family Interactive Gallery
The Family Interactive Gallery (FIG) at the Whatcom Museum is a fun, educational place for families living in Bellingham, WA in the Fall. The FIG is more than 4,000 square feet of activities, hands-on learning opportunities, an art studio and more all designed to initiate creativity and imagination. The self-guided activities and programs let families and children go at their own pace and spend time based on their interests. Like the SPARK Museum, free tickets to FIG are available through Bellingham Public Library!
6. Vital Climbing
Does your family need to burn some serious energy? There are many options in Bellingham for energetic kids to let off some steam, but VITAL Climbing Gym is guaranteed to wear them out. VITAL Climbing Gym offers a unique opportunity to families living in Bellingham, WA to try something new and fun, work on their climbing skills, and challenge themselves. This isn’t your regular climbing wall, and if your family enjoys it, climbing is a skill you can take outdoors when the weather improves!
7. Farmers Market
Farmers Markets are always a fun place to take the family and Bellingham Farmers Market is one of the best. Your family won’t get bored as you wander around the booths hosting local artists, craftsmen, and farm goods. Families walk away from the Bellingham Farmers Market with a real appreciation for our unique area and the amazing community…and you never know what surprises you’ll find there!
8. Photo Scavenger Hunt at Sehome Hill Arboretum or Big Rock Garden
Photo scavenger hunts are a wonderful fall activity in Bellingham for families! Make a list of things you might see or want to look for, hand your smartphone over your kids (or let them use their own), and go for a walk to see what you can find. The list could be as simple as “find a leaf that is red and yellow” to “find something pokey.” Take pictures of each item as you go along and you’ll be amazed what you find and how much fun it is. Take your photo scavenger hunt to the next level by doing it on the Western Washington University campus and looking for all of the pieces in the sculpture collection, the Sehome Arboretum, or Big Rock Garden. Actively searching for things and taking photos makes family outings exciting!
9. Summit Adventure Park
Sometimes the family does not want to venture out in Bellingham fall weather and that’s ok! Summit Adventure Park in Bellingham is a great place for families to burn off some energy…or let the kids bounce around while you read. Bellingham families can bounce around on the main trampoline court, risk life and limb (not really) on Wipe Out (as seen on tv), jump in the ball pit, climb the Spider Tower, test their acrobatic skills, and more!
10. Marine Life Center
The Marine Life Center at the Port of Bellingham is a great free indoor activity for families! You can meet Roxy the octopus and learn about all kinds of marine life and ecosystems in our area. There is a rock shore habitat, algae tank, and bubble tank! Be sure to check the website to schedule a visit and check any Covid-19 guidelines.
Looking for More Things to Do in Bellingham?
Recreation Northwest has many more things to do in Bellingham for family-fun this fall. Join us on a sensory hike, guided bicycle tour, night hike, learn about mushrooms in our area, and more! We are experts on getting outside and learning while having fun, so bring your family to hang out with us for priceless family time!
There’s nothing better than getting outside in the fall! We’ve got a fantastic line-up of activities for you and your family.
Hope to see you outside in Bellingham soon!
Todd Elsworth is one of the many “Mossy-haired lunatics roaming the dripping peninsulas”, described in “I’m Here for the Weather” by Tom Robbins. As executive director, he works to fulfill our mission to teach the health benefits of nature, promote outdoor recreation, and steward the places where we play.