What to Do in Oregon in October

Hop and harvest festivals in Hood River, Air Supply concerts in Lincoln City, the Great Columbia Crossing running race in Astoria, and more

By Margaret Seiler September 30, 2022

Kites in Lincoln City

While October is a perfectly good time to hole up in the kitchen making kimchi stew and apple pie, or sticking to happenings in town and nearby days trips to a local pumpkin patch, there's also plenty going on elsewhere in Oregon, indoors and out, to pull you out of Portland proper.  

Oregon Shakespeare Festival 

Through Oct 30, various stages, Ashland
Following “18 months of crisis, closure, and now rebirth,” according to artistic director Nataki Garrett, the 2022 Oregon Shakespeare Festival opened in April and comes to a close just before Halloween. Catch the musical Once on This Island, Revenge Song, and Confederates, as well as Shakespeare titles The Tempest and King John.

Hood River Hops Fest

11 a.m.–7 p.m. Sat, Oct 1, Columbia parking lot, Fifth Street, Hood River, $10–30, minors free
The Hood River Valley might be famous for the apples and pears of its Fruit Loop, but this weekend it hosts a celebration of hops. (Most of the hop harvest in the US comes from the nearby Yakima Valley in Washington, with the Willamette Valley coming in at no. 2.) Look for fresh hop beers from dozens of local breweries, including Hood River locals Ferment and Double Mountain. 

Lincoln City Fall Kite Festival

Fri–Sat, Oct 1–2, D River State Recreation Site, Lincoln City
Expect expert demonstrations, kite-making workshops, carnival games, a parade, and performances from "Featured Fliers" (Wait, I could have been a "Featured Flier" of kites? Can I go back in time and choose this career path, please?) at this seasonal event on the coast. 

Air Supply

Fri–Sat, Oct 7 & 8, Chinook Winds Casino Resort, Lincoln City
Are you all out of love? Go restock at this two-night stand by the Australian duo who, fittingly, met during a Melbourne production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Now in their 70s, Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock still have a busy touring and recording schedule. Let's hope they can break away to take a relaxing stroll on the beach and serenade the occasional stranger with "Every Woman in the World." 

Hood River Valley Harvest Festival

Fri–Sun, Oct 7–9, Portway Avenue, Hood River, $5–10, ages 12 and under free
A week after the hops festival (see above), this 40th annual harvest fest is a little closer to Hood River's raison d'être, with opportunities to load up on fresh pears, apples, pumpkins and other squash, honey, and more. Festival-goers can also take in craft vendors, local food carts, and a very non-fall, not-locally-harvested treat: Dippin Dots.

Great Columbia Crossing 

8:45 a.m. Sun, Oct 9, between Dismal Nitch State Rest Area in Washington and Astoria, Oregon
The 3,500 spots for this year's 10k run/walk over the Astoria-Megler Bridge are already sold out. So if you'd like a chance to walk or run across the longest continuous truss bridge in North America (and you don't suffer from acrophobia and don't mind a little, or a lot, of wind), mark your calendars for when 2023 registration opens next summer.

Mount Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom Festival

10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun, Oct 30, 34901 Frank Parrish Rd, Eugene, $15
Learn about edible and poisonous mushroom, take guided nature walks by local naturalists, and visit mushroom, craft, and food vendors at this annual arboretum fundraiser.