Fall Festivals and Fun in Houston
The weather is starting to get (somewhat) cooler and there are lots of fun festivals and happenings coming up this fall. Here’s a list of events to look forward to this fall. *As always, please check individual event websites for any Covid- or weather-related restrictions or updates.*
Fri.-Sun.: Sept. 24-26; Oct. 1-3; Oct. 8-10
Karbach is bringing back three full weekends of Oktoberfest fun, including live music on Fridays starting at 7:30 p.m.; live oompa bands and stein hoisting competitions on Saturday, and weiner dog races on Sundays.
Fri., Sept. 24, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 16, 8 p.m.
Enjoy a family-friendly movie under the stars at Discovery Green. Screenings this fall include Halloween favorite Hocus Pocus on Sept. 24 and Soul on Oct. 16.
Oct. 1-31, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (last entry: 4 p.m.); Zoo Boo After Hours: Fri., Oct. 29, open through 8:30 p.m. (last entry, 7 p.m.)
General admission; see website to reserve tickets
Get in the Halloween spirit at Houston Zoo's annual fall festival. Costumes are highly encouraged and there are a wide range of family-friendly activities, including the Giant Pumpkin, Spooky Train, new Lantern Tunnel, Carved Pumpkins, Scary-Go-Round, and more.
49th Annual Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta
Buffalo Bayou (starting line is 7700 San Felipe; finish line is Allen’s Landing)
Oct. 2, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
$55-60 to participate
Paddle on and join in Texas’ largest canoe and kayak race in support of Buffalo Bayou. Participants ages 12+ are invited to participate in this fun, 12-mile race along the bayou.
The Powder Keg Houston
Oct. 2, 2-6 p.m.
Free to attend; tickets available for beer tastings and registration for dog costume contests
Family, friends, and furry friends are welcome at Barktoberfest benefiting Houston Pets Alive!. Look forward to local beer, food trucks, a dog costume contest judged by local celebrities, a vendor market, silent auction, dog adoptions, and more. The dog costume contests include four categories: most creative costume, funniest costume, cutest costume, and judges' favorite.
Throughout Discovery Green and along Avenida de las Americas
Oct. 6-Nov. 7
Celebración de Vida by MEXICRÁNEOS, a large-scale art installation featuring 10 vibrantly 7’ tall painted skulls placed throughout Discovery Green and along Avenida de las Americas, will be unveiled Oct. 6. Each skull is painted by a different Mexican artist to portray an aspect of Mexican culture or heritage. To celebrate Día de los Muertos alongside the Celebración de Vida art installation, Houston artist Angel Quesada will create a community altar on view Nov. 1, 4-9 p.m.
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Thurs., Oct. 7, 5-10 p.m.; Oct. 8-9, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Admission at gate: Adults: $5; children 12 and under: Free; Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Free admission
Opa! The Original Greek Festival will showcase authentic Greek cuisine, Cathedral tours, live Greek music, dance programs, crafts, gifts, and more.
Downtown, Sam Houston Park and along Allen Parkway
Oct. 9-10, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Adult general admission: $18; child admission (6-12): $5; kids 5 and under are free
Browse art from more than 200 artists from around the country representing 19 different disciplines at Bayou City Art Festival Downtown. This year’s featured artist is McKenzie Fisk. The festival will include live music, food trucks, a wine garden, a craft beer garden, an art bar, hands-on art activities for all ages, and more. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the festival’s nonprofit partners.
CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow
Oct. 9-10; gates open at 8 a.m.
General admission: $50 for an adult ticket, including up to six children.
One of the top air shows in the U.S., the CAF Wings Over Houston Airshow showcases vintage WWII aircraft along with modern aviation. The event includes aerial performances, modern aviation displays, warbird ramp displays, and the opportunity to meet aviation and military legends.
Halloween Pup Crawl & Pet Expo
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
Oct. 10, 4-6:30 p.m.
$40 for adults aged 21+; free for children
Bring your (leashed) furry friends in creative costumes for a chance to win fun prizes while exploring the Arboretum trails and enjoying brews from Saint Arnold Brewing Company. There will also be local pet vendors at the expo. Proceeds support the conservation and education programs of the Houston Arboretum and BARC. Pet adoptions will be available onsite.
Children’s Museum Houston
General admission – adult/child: $12; child under 1: free; senior: $11
Children’s Museum Houston is offering three weeks of Halloween fun. Special events include the Monster Mash magic show (Oct. 16), Creepy Creatures with a Mad Scientist (Oct. 23), Halloween Happy House, the ultimate Halloween party for kids (Oct. 28), and the fourth annual Slime Off (Oct 30).
Bellaire United Methodist Church
Oct. 16, 1-3 p.m.
At this fun, family- and pet-friendly event, people of all faiths are invited to bring their dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, or other pets to receive an individual blessing from one of Bellaire UMC’s pastors. Plus, pets will receive a free digital photo of that special moment from Nikky LaWell Photography. All pets should be friendly and either on a leash (dogs), in protective carriers (cats), cages (birds, small mammals), fishbowls, or terrariums (amphibians, reptiles).
Nature Discovery Center’s Pumpkin Patch Fall Festival
Nature Discovery Center, Russ Pitman Park
Oct. 16-17, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: Free; tickets for activities, pumpkins, and concessions
Nature Discovery Center’s annual Pumpkin Patch Fall Festival includes plenty of pumpkins, fun festival games, crafts and activities, food trucks, family photo ops, a chance to meet live animals, and more. This year, there will be more than 12,000 pounds of pumpkins, including heirloom varieties.
West U Arbor Day
Oct. 22, 5:30-7 p.m.
The City of West University Place will hold its annual Arbor Day Celebration in conjunction with the Full Moon Fest, hosted by the West University Place Parks and Recreation Department. As part of the Arbor Day celebration, residents will be able to take home one complimentary tree per household. Craig Koehl, West U’s Urban Forester, will be on site handing out brochures and answering questions regarding to the planting and preservation of trees.
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
Oct. 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
$15 online presale; $20 at the door; free for Arboretum members; free for kids under 3
ArBOOretum features fun fall activities for the whole family including a petting zoo, pony rides, train rides, pumpkin decorating, Houston’s only Trick-or-Treat Nature Trail, a Halloween market, and more.
KBR Kids Day
Tony Marron Park
Oct. 23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
KRB Kids Day, one of Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s signature events, draws thousands of families each year. The event will include numerous hands-on activities, local entertainment, performances on the H-E-B stage, Día de los Muertos face painters, a birds of prey show, a Halloween costume parade, balloon artists, a rock-climbing wall, and more. Costumes encouraged!
Sat., Oct. 23, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 24, 12-6 p.m.
Artumn Fest is a two-day art festival showcasing local artists, painters, illustrators, hand-crafters, and designers. There will be live music, a range of vendors, and backdrops by Arts by Aaron to capture those Instagrammable moments.
West U Halloween Dash and Kids Fun Run
West U Community Center
Oct. 30, 8 a.m.
5K: $30 for early registration until Sept. 30; $35 until Oct. 28; $40 on race day. Kids fun run: $25 until Sept. 30; $30 until Oct. 28; $35 on race day.
It’s the 10th anniversary of King & Spalding's West U Halloween Dash and Kids Fun Run. Dash through West U in costume; options include a competitive 5k, a stroller and dog run, and a one-mile kids’ fun run. The fun run will be followed by a costume contest and awards ceremony. Proceeds benefit the City of West U's Parks and Recreation Department.
Halloween Sip & Stroll
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
Oct. 30, 7-9 p.m.
$50 members/$55 nonmembers
Stroll along the Arboretum trails for some spooky fun followed by music and mingling with charcuterie provided by GRAZE HTX and beverages from Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Costumes are encouraged for this 21+ event.
Bellaire’s The Great Pumpkin Hunt
Bellaire Town Square Great Lawn & Pavilion
Oct. 28, 4-5:30 p.m.
Wear your Halloween best and hunt for toys, candy, and prize-filled pumpkins at this fun-filled Bellaire event. There will be music, prizes, games, and more. The hunt begins at 4:30 p.m.
Willow Waterhole’s MusicFest 2021
Willow Waterhole Greenway
Sat., Oct. 30, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Willow Waterhole Greenway’s annual MusicFest will include a lineup of live music playing a wide range of styles, Halloween-themed activities – “Trunk or Treat” cars, a Haunted House Maze, Mortals & Dogs costume contests, and a variety of food trucks.
Sat., Oct. 30, 6-10 p.m.
The annual Halloween costume contest and celebration takes place at Discovery Green and includes a showing of Beetlejuice.
12th Annual Tents in Town
The Great Lawn at Bellaire Town Square
Nov. 13, 2 p.m.-Nov. 14, 9 a.m.
Family of 4: $150; single adult: $40; single child: $20
Patrons for Bellaire Parks is hosting its annual urban campout event, which includes activities for kids of all ages, including balloon animals, face painting, s'mores and ice cream, giant inflatables, a huge climbing wall, and more.
Worth the drive
Blessington Farms Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch
Blessington Farms, 510 Chisolm Trail, Wallis, TX 77485
Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 21, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
$24/person includes all farm activities except animal feedings and flower picking; children under 24 months are free
Celebrate fall with the annual fall festival and pumpkin patch at Blessington Farms. The family-friendly fun includes hayrides, giant slides, barrel train rides, pedal cars, and hands-on animal encounters including chickens, sheep, goats, camels, a walk-through aviary and more.
Dewberry Farm’s Fall Festival
Dewberry Farm, FM 362 & Morrison Rd., Brookshire, TX 77423
Saturdays and Sundays, Sept. 25-Nov. 14. Times vary; see the calendar.
$19.95 (ages 3-59)
Dewberry Farm offers more than 40 family-friendly attractions at its fall festival including the barnyard, birdhouse village, carousel, corn maze, Ferris wheel, giant roller slide, hay mountain, Little Farmersville, pedal carts, pig races, pumpkin patch, rubber duck races, and more.
Zilker Park, Austin, TX
Oct. 1-3 and 8-10
See ticket prices here.
ACL Festival features a diverse lineup of acts with 8 stages and more than 100 performances over two weekends. Headliners include George Strait, Billie Eilish, Stevie Nicks, Miley Cyrus, Rufus Du Sol, and Erykah Badu. See the full lineup here. Look forward to delicious festival food and drinks at the ACL Eats Food Court. There’s lots to do between sets, including a mini-fest for kids.
Kemah’s Craft Beer Fest
Oct. 2, 2-5 p.m.
Sample more than 72 craft beers from 24 unique breweries at Kemah’s annual Craft Beer Festival. There will be live music during and following the festival.
Texas Renaissance Festival grounds, 21778 FM 1774, Todd Mission, TX 77363
Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Oct. 9-Nov. 28, including Thanksgiving Friday (Nov. 26)
See ticket options here.
Travel to Renaissance times at the 47th annual Texas Renaissance Festival! The festival offers a wide range of entertainment, food and drink, shopping, and more. Themed weekends include Oktoberfest (Oct. 9-10); 1001 Dreams (Oct. 16-17); Pirate Adventure (Oct. 23-24); All Hallows Eve (Oct. 30-31); Heroes and Villains (Nov. 6-7); Barbarian Invasion (Nov. 13-14); Highland Fling (Nov. 20-21); and Celtic Christmas (Nov. 26-28).
Galveston’s Historic District, Postoffice St.
Oct. 16, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Oct. 17, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Virtual event hours through Oct. 31.
Admission: $5; free for kids under 12
ARToberFEST is Galveston's premier juried art festival, showcasing the works of over 120 U.S. artists and presented by The Grand 1894 Opera House. Browse artwork, meet artists and watch demonstrations, stroll past the historic architecture of the downtown district, listen to live music, and enjoy delicious food and drinks.
Editor’s note: See more upcoming events here.
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