30 things to do in October near Salem, Oregon | Travel Salem | The Most Oregon Part of Oregon
Overlooking the Oregon State Capitol in the Fall

Fall activities in the Mid-Willamette Valley

Fall is here! Celebrate the season with harvest activities, ghost walks, musicals and more this month near Salem, Oregon. 

1. 8th Annual Barn Dance & BBQ
The 8th annual Barn Dance and BBQ, held at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon, is Oct. 19. Don your cowboy boots and come out for a fun night of line dancing, food and drinks. This event is for ages 21 and older. Tickets are required.

2. 10th Annual Zombie Walk
Walk through the streets of Salem with hundreds of zombies Oct. 27. Beginning at the Oregon State Capitol, the whole family is invited to get dressed up and join in on this free walk through town.

3. 45th Parallel Film Fest
The 45th Parallel Film Fest is Oct. 19 at Salem Cinema. This family-friendly event celebrates cinema that recognizes creativity, skill and culture within our own community. Tickets are required.

4. Beethoven’s Fifth
Enjoy a special performance of Beethoven’s beloved Fifth Symphony by the Oregon Symphony, as well as a cello concerto by artist-in-residence Johannes Moser, on Oct. 25 at Willamette University. All ages are welcome and tickets are required.

5. Fall Open House at Aunt Bee’s House
Aunt Bee’s House, in Salem, will host an open house Oct. 5. Ring in fall with sales throughout the store and other fun surprises. Admission is free.

6. Fresh Hop Fest
Taste great beer made from fresh hops at the Fresh Hop Fest in St. Paul, Oregon, on Oct. 12. This event is for adults over 21. Tickets are required.

7. Harvest Festivals
Harvest festivals are happening throughout the Mid-Willamette Valley during the month of October. From the Greens Bridge Gardens Harvest Festival in Jefferson, Oregon, to Bauman’s Harvest Festival in Gervais, Oregon, there are several corn mazes, hayrides and pumpkin patches to visit this fall.

8. History and Mystery: A Paranormal Tour of Dallas, Oregon
Throughout the month of October, the Dallas Area Visitors Center is leading numerous paranormal tours in the historic buildings of Dallas, Oregon. Children over 12 are permitted with adult supervision, tickets are required.

9. Horses of Hope: Party in the Pasture
Horses of Hope Oregon, an equine-assisted therapy facility in Turner, Oregon, is hosting a free, fall festival on Oct. 5. Meet the horses, tour the facility or purchase tickets to play carnival games throughout the day.

10. Independence Ghost Walk
Learn about the ghosts of Independence, Oregon, on the Independence Downtown Association’s annual Ghost Walk on Oct. 5. Stop at each marked location to hear the tales of the historic buildings. This event is free and suitable for all ages, but donations are accepted.

11. Inside Look at Harvest at Left Coast Estate
It’s harvest season in Oregon's wine country! Experience the inner workings of the harvest process at Left Coast Estate, in Rickreall, Oregon, on Oct. 13, complete with a vineyard tour and tasting. Tickets are required.

12. Mid-Valley Wine Trail Harvest Passport
Hop on the Mid-Valley Wine Trail to taste wines from eight different wineries. Passports can be purchased for $20 and are valid through the month of October.

13. Mini-Indie Fest II
Mini-Indie Fest II is an intimate, indoor showcase of local independent artists and vendors. Join the celebration of talent at Hope Valley Resort, in Turner, Oregon, on Oct. 13. Tickets are required.

14. Mothers and Sons
Pentacle Theatre, in Salem, is performing “Mothers and Sons” on select dates from Oct. 18-Nov. 9. The show tells the story of a woman who pays an unexpected visit to her late son’s partner, learning along the way about the life her son might have led. This show is for mature audiences. Tickets are required.

15. Oregon’s Bounty: A Celebration of the Agricultural Harvest 
Learn about the importance of agriculture through sight, sound, smell, touch and taste at the Oregon State Capitol on Oct. 5. This free, family-friendly event will have several hands-on activities and displays.

16. Oregon State Archives Open House
The Oregon State Archives is debuting a new exhibit on Oct. 26. Take a free tour or participate in interactive activities that teach you about the history behind Oregon’s ghost towns.

17. Polk County Coin Show
Browse through dozens of tables of coin dealers from around the Northwest at the Polk County Coin Show on Oct. 7, in Rickreall, to find tokens, mint and proof sets, currency, books and supplies. 

18. Salem Philharmonia Concert
The Salem Philharmonia Orchestra will host performances Oct. 12 and 13 at Chemeketa Community College, in Salem, which will highlight musical masterpieces by Brahms, Conus and Mendelssohn. Tickets are required.

19. Samhain Celtic New Year Festival
Celebrate the end of the harvest and Celtic culture at the Samhain Celtic New Year Festival on Oct. 27 at the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem.

20. Spirit of Oregon Half Marathon
Experience the Spirit of Oregon by running a 5K, 10K or half-marathon through Salem on Oct. 6. After the race, feast on beer, wine and goodies from throughout the state. Registration is required.

21. Succulent Pumpkins
Al’s Home and Garden, in Woodburn, Oregon, is hosting a special brunch and workshop Oct. 19. This 21-and-over event will teach you step-by-step how to create a beautiful centerpiece for your fall home decor using their own pumpkins and succulents. Tickets are required.

22. Tamale Trot
Run for tamales and education at Salem’s Riverfront Park on Oct. 19. This family-friendly benefit is in support of Friends of Pimpollo, a Salem-based nonprofit organization that provides educational opportunities for families facing poverty in Southern Mexico. Registration is required.

23. The Farmhouse Show
The Farmhouse Show returns with a huge collection of all things antique, repurposed and homemade Oct. 24-26 in Turner. Tickets are required.

24. The Great Junk Hunt
The Great Junk Hunt is Oct. 25-26 at the Oregon State Fair & Expo Center in Salem. Discover all things industrial, vintage and farmhouse to complete your home decor and marvel at the creativity of the handpicked vendors. Tickets are required.

25. The Nightmare Factory
Get spooked all October long at the Pacific Northwest’s longest running haunted attraction, The Nightmare Factory. All proceeds benefit the Oregon School for the Deaf. Tickets are required.

26. The Resurrection: The Three Kings
Taproot Lounge & Café’s annual Halloween party is Oct. 31 at the Salem Convention Center. This year’s theme will be the return of three kings, The King of Pop, The King of Country and The King of Rock and Roll, with magical performances and a dance party. Tickets are required.

27. “The Rocky Horror Show”
Enlightened Theatrics is bringing “The Rocky Horror Show,” a classic cult musical, to Salem’s Historic Grand Theatre on select dates from Oct. 11-Nov. 3. This show is for mature audiences. Tickets are required.

28. “We Will Rock You— The Musical”
“We Will Rock You — The Musical” is coming through Salem on Oct. 2. All ages are welcome to attend this quirky, heartwarming performance at the Elsinore Theatre. Tickets are required.

29. Whiskers at the Whiskey 2.0
Whiskers at the Whiskey is a Halloween-themed beard competition, held on Oct. 19 at The Night Deposit Whiskey Library in Salem. This event is for ages 21 and over. Spectators are free, but competitors must register.

30. Willamette Valley Fall Festival
The Willamette Valley Fall Festival is Oct. 5 at GeerCrest Farm & Historical Society in Salem. This kid-friendly event supports the growth of Oregon’s outdoor education. Tickets are required.