rhein haus with christmas lights in leavenworth washington fall

12 Amazing Fall Activities in Leavenworth, WA to do With Kids

Leavenworth is an amazing family friendly destination and is great to visit in every season. Fall in Leavenworth, WA is one of the best times to visit and feels absolutely magical! Whether you’re looking for amazing fall foliage colors, great restaurants, fun shopping or family friendly trails – Leavenworth in the fall with kids is definitely worth adding to your bucket list.

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1. Camp at Lake Wenatchee State Park

We camped here this fall and the fall colors absolutely blew us away. This state park sits on the shores of Lake Wenatchee just 16 miles from downtown Leavenworth. There are a ton of family friendly things to do at Lake Wenatchee including a playground near the lake, climbing on beautiful driftwood at the beach, throwing rocks in the water, and riding bikes around the loops admiring the fall colors. There are two sections to this large state park – the South Side and the North Side. The South side is more accessible and where we stayed. On the South Side of Lake Wenatchee State Park you will have access to the lake, the playground, and the store (only open on weekends). The North side is more remote and private. However, if you’re visiting in the fall, you likely won’t need privacy. We were the only ones staying on the entire South side of the park (with 100 campsites!)

Click here to book campsites.

Ready to camp with your kiddos? Check out our guide to Tent Camping With Babies and Toddlers: Everything You Need to Pack!

NOTE: This is also a great state park to visit in the Summer but it will be much busier!

2. Walk along the Old Pipeline Bed Trail (also called the Penstock Trail)

This is one of the best easy hikes near Leavenworth. Only a few miles from Leavenworth, this trail is the perfect stop on your way into town (if staying at the state park). You’ll start the hike by crossing the Wenatchee River across a beautiful half-pipe bridge. You’ll walk a mostly flat trail along the river through vibrant fall foliage and views of Tumwater Canyon. The total trail is 2.4 miles out and back, but go as far as you want – the major highlight is the bridge at the beginning.

NOTE: sometimes this trail is flooded in the Spring!

Planning to hike with your kids? Here are our favorite packs for every age!
Best Pack for Newborn (until good head control)
Our Favorite Pack for Young Toddlers
Best Pack for Kids Overall

3. Drive through Tumwater Canyon

This is one of the best drives in Washington state for Fall colors. The Wenatchee River flows through Tumwater Canyon and you’ll have views of the canyon with breathtaking fall colors as you drive along US-2 from Leavenworth to Lake Wenatchee State Park. The Road is about 16 miles total. We had no idea that fall in Leavenworth, WA would have such remarkable fall foliage.

4. Walk around downtown Leavenworth

There is so much to do in Leavenworth with kids, but just walking around admiring all the Bavarian village style stores and restaurants is one of the best parts. Even the Safeway, Napa, and gas stations have unique signs that make looking at this town so fun. Wander along Commercial Street and Front Street to see the fun lights and pop into any stores that look appealing to you or the kids.

5. Participate in Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is a classic fall in Leavenworth, WA activity! While most people just think of beer when talking about Oktoberfest, there are actually a lot of kid friendly activities in Leavenworth for Oktoberfest. You can buy tickets for “Kinderplatz” on weekends and kids under 12 are free. There is live music including three different stages featuring polka and folk music, Bavarian dance troupes and more. In the Kinderplatz area there is a ferris wheel, bouncy castles, root beer floats, face painting, games, and more. There are also food vendors. Oktoberfest is during the weekends only in the fall. We generally try to avoid crowds so we did not participate in Oktoberfest and went to Leavenworth during the weekdays. But it looks like a lot of fun!

Click here for ticket information and event schedules.

6. Hike the Blackbird Island Trail

The Blackbird Island Trail is an easy and flat 2 mile trail that is very family friendly. Starting in Enchantment Park, just minutes from downtown Leavenworth the trail will cross a bridge and take you to Blackbird Island in the middle of the Wenatchee River. You’ll have beautiful views of the Cascade Mountains. One of the best family friendly hikes in Leavenworth, WA!

7. See the beautiful Larch trees at Clara and Marion Lakes

We didn’t get to do this hike unfortunately. However, if you want to participate in the “Larch March” without doing strenuous hikes, this would be a great kid friendly Larch March hike. The total trail is less than 3 miles roundtrip with just under 1000 feet of elevation. So while it is steep, it’s short enough that a relatively experienced hiker can make it. You’ll come upon Clara Lake first and continue on 10-15 more minutes to Marion Lakes if you want to continue. This hike is a bit further out of town (about 50 minutes from Leavenworth), but may be worth it to see the beautiful yellow Larch Trees.

8. Get Excited for Christmas at Kris Kringl

When we were visiting Leavenworth this fall, our two year old kept asking “Where is Santa?” He saw all of the buildings decorated with Christmas lights and thought that Santa must be in town (it’s that magical I promise!) Since Santa isn’t typically in town during Oktoberfest, we did the next best thing and visited Kris Kringl – where it’s Christmas all year long! They have thousands of Christmas ornaments and offer free personalization of the ornaments. Whether you’re looking to buy Christmas decor or not, it’s a great store to look around and get into the Christmas spirit.

Can’t make it to Leavenworth? You can still experience the magic and order online!

9. Visit the Danish Bakery

The Danish Bakery is a must stop in Leavenworth, WA! While the interior decor leaves something to be desired, the pastries are well worth the stop. We tried the Bavarian Waffle on a whim (not at all like a waffle), but it was delectable! We also tried the burnt cream Danish and it was tasty. Follow them on instagram @the.danish.bakery if you really want to get your mouth watering. The Bavarian Waffle is a must try!

10. Eat a Pretzel & Cheese

Whatever you do, you can’t leave Leavenworth without having a pretzel. There are so many places in town to get a pretzel, you can’t really go wrong. However, we love the atmosphere on the deck of the Rhein Haus and they have a great pretzel so this would be our recommendation! The Rhein Haus has fire places on every table outside which makes for the coziest place to visit for a snack in Leavenworth (and they have a kids menu). Other places to get pretzels in Leavenworth are Icicle Brewing Company, The Danish Bakery, Munchen Haus, and almost every other restaurant.

TIP: Other Bavarian food to try in Leavenworth is schnitzel, wurst, sauerkraut, and more!

11. Get a new book for cozy season

A Book for All Seasons is one of the cutest bookstores out there. Their kids book section is filled with books that are both beautiful and great stories which is sometimes hard to find! They have a big array of adult books and games as well. If you favor used books they have a section dedicated to this as well. I could easily spend hundreds of dollars in here, but thankfully self-control when shopping is one of my strengths! It’s also conveniently located right next to Whistlepunk Ice Cream so you can get a scoop after you pick up a couple books. See #12 😉

12. Taste the Best Ice Cream at Whistlepunk Ice Cream Co.

Come try some delicious handmade ice cream at Whistlepunk Ice Cream Co. No matter where we are visiting we always try to find a great ice cream stop and this one did not disappoint. We tried the Cookies-N-Dreams flavor which is like cookies and cream but made with their own homemade cookies – drool! They also offer ice cream flights, and if you know me I love flights of anything. We didn’t try a flight this time because we ate too much at Rhein Haus before visiting. But don’t worry Whistlepunk I’ll be back for you ice cream flights!! Check out their current flavors here.

TIP: Make sure to take a picture with Woody Goomsba (Leavenworth’s official nutcracker mascot) after you get your scoops!

Leavenworth is so much fun in every season, but fall in Leavenworth, WA is hard to beat. This may become an annual tradition for us!! What other fall activities in Leavenworth, WA do you enjoy? Leave a comment! Check out some of our other favorite things to do around Washington state (our home state!) Happy travels!!

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