What to Do in Oregon in October

Visit Halloweentown, explore PNW hops, learn about mushrooms, and more this spooky season

By Portland Monthly Staff September 30, 2021

Leaves are turning, rain is falling, and pumpkins abound. Friends, spooky season is upon us. But don’t be scared! There’s plenty of fun to be had around the state.

Want to check out some fall bird migrations? You got it. Want some fall foliage? OK, bud. Need even more to look forward to? Right this way. 

Spirit of Halloweentown

Through October 31, 275 Strand Street, St. Helens, free, price for special events varies

Every year the very real city of St. Helens celebrates the very fake Halloweentown movies and the Twilight series, which were partially filmed in the area. All month long the city hosts weekly attractions including guided tours, haunted hotels and houses, scavenger hunts, costume contests, dances, and more. Don’t forget to stop by the courthouse plaza, home of the Great Pumpkin. Masks are required. 

Harvest Festival

September 30 & October 1, 17100 Northwest Sauvie Island Road, $49.50-90

A concert under a historic oak tree? Count us in. Topaz Farm and Pickathon are hosting two nights of live music on Sauvie Island, the proceeds of which benefit the Sauvie Island Center. First night: Antibalas and Rose City Band. Second night: Bedouine and Bill Callahan. Consider bringing an umbrella, because the events will happen rain or shine. Proof of vaccination is required.

Hood River Hops Fest

October 2, 12-8 p.m., Columbia Parking Lot, 5th Street, Hood River, OR, $10-$20, kids are free until 6 p.m.

Beer lover, rejoice! The Hood River Hops Fest, an annual celebration of “beer’s bitter friend, freshly harvested hops,” is back. Since 2003, regional brewers have gathered in Hood River to celebrate the area’s world-renowned hops and to share their latest beer creations. This year’s event features more than 30 breweries, plus a variety of food vendors, live music, and more. 

The Makers Fair

October 9, 12-6 p.m., 2377 NW Wilson, free 

The Makers Union PDX is a volunteer-run online marketplace that aims to support struggling local creators in the wake of the pandemic. Last year the group partnered with Portland Made to host Window Shop PDX where creators took over vacant storefronts and created window displays that could be shopped from the sidewalk using a QR code. This year, they’re back at it with their first in-person event: the Makers Fair hosted by Hammer and Stitch Brewery. Come for the more than 40 local vendors, stay for fresh food, local beer, and prizes.

Hood River Valley Harvest Festival

October 15-17, Portway Avenue, Hood River, OR, $5-10

Stock up on Hood River favorites like fresh pears, apples, berries, pumpkins, and more at the 39th annual Hood River Valley Harvest Fest. Featuring more than 125 regional vendors, this old-fashioned fall festival is held near the scenic Hood River waterfront. Festival-goers can participate in arts and crafts, and wine, cider, and beer tastings, plus bouncy houses, face paintings, and more for the kids.

Día de los Muertos

October 15—November 7, various events with a range of prices

Since 1995, Portland’s Latino arts and culture center Milagro Theatre has hosted a Día de los Muertos festival with performances, community events, and altars. This year Milagro is exploring the topic of rebirth and renewal, with neighborhood altar tours, a screening of a new documentary recounting Milagro’s 25-year history hosting Día de los Muertos programming, poetry readings, and other events.

Mount Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom Show

October 31, 10 a.m.—5 p.m., 34901 Frank Parrish Road, Eugene, OR, $12

We’re shrooming this month at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom Show. A slightly smaller event than its typical festival, the Mushroom Show promises capital “H” Huge mushroom exhibits, edible and poisonous mushroom displays, live music, guided nature walks by local naturalists, and mushroom vendors. Attendance is limited to 1,200 tickets, and masks and proof of vaccination (or negative COVID-19 test) are required.

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