Fall Festivities Guide 2015


When the weather starts to turn cool and the leaves change color residents of Central Texas can find fall festivals full of hayrides, corn mazes, music and more. This is a guide to family-friendly fall festivals in the area, all within a short drive of Round Rock, Pflugerville or Hutto.


Through 6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-27, 29-31, Nov. 1-3, 5-8 [polldaddy poll=9103938]

Harvest the Fall Fun: Sweet Berry Farms hosts this event with a variety of fall-themed games and events. Children and adults can partake in stuffing a scarecrow, hayrides, the ‘Texas’ Hayfield Maze for ages 6 and older, eat homemade ice cream including a pumpkin pie flavor and more. The Pumpkin Grille will serve lunch on weekend days. Pets are not allowed at the event. 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Mon.-Tue., Thu.-Sat.), 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sun.). Free (admission), $2-$16.50 (per event within festival). 1801 FM 1980, Marble Falls. www.sweetberryfarm.com

Through 4, 10-12, 17-18, 24-25, 31, Nov. 1,  7-8

Fall Festivities Guide 2015 Elgin CHRISTmas Tree Farm Pumpkin Festival[/caption]

The Fall Festival & Great Pumpkin Maze at Barton Hill Farms: A custom, 5-acre corn maze is among the main attractions at this annual festival, organized by Bastrop-based Barton Hill Farms. The theme of the festival is based on the “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” television special. Craig Swanson, Barton Hill Farms co-owner, said the festival is a way for parents to share their childhood memories with their children. Other activities include a flashlight maze, country and bluegrass performed live every day, a pumpkin patch, pumpkin painting and kayaking on the Colorado River, as well as food and beverages, including barbecue, meat pies, sausage wraps, desserts, kettle corn and adult beverages. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (Sat.), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sun. and Columbus Day). $7-$15 ($1 discounts available online). Barton Hill Farms, 1115 FM 969, Bastrop. www.bartonhillfarms.com

Through 11, 17-18

Elgin CHRISTmas Tree Farm Pumpkin Festival: The 13th annual pumpkin festival kicks off during the second weekend of October. Event-goers can take part in pumpkin painting, listen to bluegrass music, and eat Elgin sausage and baked goods. Hayrides, mazes and pumpkin painting are included with the price of admission. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Oct. 10 and 17), noon-5:30 p.m. (Oct. 11 and 18). $6 (children ages 2-12), $8 (age 13 and older). 120 Nature’s Way, Elgin. www.elginchristmastreefarm.com

Fall Festivities Guide 2015 Dia de los Muertos Festival[/caption]

Dia de los Muertos Festival: Bright colors, skeletons and dancing will be on hand at this annual festival, organized by Easter Seals Central Texas. The event is a nod to Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday in which family and friends who have died are remembered. Guests can witness live music, performances and art while children play in a children’s zone. Food and beverages are available. Proceeds from the festival benefit Easter Seals Central Texas, which aims to create opportunities for people with disabilities. Noon-10 p.m. Free (children age 12 and younger when an adult ticket is purchased), $15 (presale general admission), $100 (VIP). Fiesta Gardens West End, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St., Austin. 512-615-6800. www.easterseals.com

The Great Pumpkin Festival: Saint Richard’s Episcopal Church hosts the annual fall festival, which features a pumpkin patch, live music, carnival games, pony rides and a petting zoo. Mobile vendors provide food at the event. Musical acts The Lost and Nameless Orchestra and Paul Van perform. 2:30-6:30 p.m. Free. Saint Richard’s Episcopal Church, 1420 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock. 512-255-5436. www.saintrichards.org

Through 25

Fall Festivities Guide 2015 Pecan Fest[/caption]

Pecan Fest 2015: This Seguin festival in celebration of pecans kicks off with ghost tours at the Magnolia Hotel and Mosheim Mansion. The next day’s events include a beer and wine garden, live music, dancing, food booths, more than 80 arts and crafts booths, pecan-based baked goods and a pumpkin decorating contest. A pecan pie contest and Tour de Pecan Bike Ride take place at Power Plant Texas Grill on the Guadalupe River, where attendees can also go tubing. Day Three features riverside cemetery tours, and actors play the part of eight prominent Seguin citizens. Evening (Oct. 23), 9 a.m.-midnight (Oct. 24), 1:30-3:30 p.m. (Oct. 25). Free (some activities), Cost TBD (cemetary tours). Central Park in Downtown Seguin (live music, beer and wine garden, and booths); Power Plant Texas Grill, 2006 Stockdale Hwy., Seguin (pecan pie contest and bike ride); Magnolia Hotel, 203 S. Crockett St., Seguin (ghost tours); Riverside Cemetery, 201 E. Klein St., Seguin (cemetery tours). 800-580-7322. www.seguingonuts.com

The Round Rock Parks and Recreation Free Fall Fun Festival 2015: The Monster Mash-themed festival features carnival games, hayrides, cookies and punch, and storytime. Guests are encouraged to bring a canned item for the Round Rock Area Serving Center. 9-11:30 a.m. Free. Old Settlers Park, 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock. 512-218-3220 or 512-218-5540. www.roundrockrecreation.com


Fall Festivities Guide 2015 Great Pumpkin Festival[/caption]

Farmshare Austin Harvest Festival and Farmer Olympics: Local food, family-friendly activities, live music and an olympic event are among the festivities at the farm’s annual harvest festival. Farmshare Austin, a nonprofit organization, aims to improve food security in the community by preserving farmland, training farmers and increasing access to organic food. An egg toss and wheelbarrow race are among the games in which guests can participate on the 3-acre farm. Pets are not allowed at the event. Noon-4 p.m. Free. 3608 River Road, Cedar Creek. www.farmshareaustin.org


For residents looking for a scare or thrill, the area offers haunted houses and other Halloween-themed events. Call ahead for questions about which houses and events are appropriate for which ages.


Through 3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 30-31

Austin Zombie Hunt: Outlaw Paintball in Pflugerville organizes a trailer ride to the park where a zombie infestation has taken hold. Participants, which tend to be age 6 and older, shoot at the zombies with a paintball gun as they try to attack the trailer. Each ride lasts about 30 minutes and can fit 17 people. 8 p.m.-midnight. $25 (one ride and 100 glow-in-the-dark rounds). Outlaw Paintball, 824 Grand Avenue Parkway, Pflugerville. 512-252-1664. www.outlawpaintballfield.com

Through 4, 8-11, 14-31, Nov. 1, 6-7, 13-14

House of Torment: Touted as Austin’s largest haunted house, House of Torment is akin to walking through a horror movie set with animatronic monsters, cinematic scenes, special effects and makeup. The haunted house features two stories of frights and three attraction themes. In its 13th year, House of Torment is offering $13 ticket specials for a limited time. 7:30-11 p.m. (Oct. 4, 8, 14-15, 18-22, 25-28, Nov. 1), 7 p.m.-midnight (Oct. 2-3, 9-11, 16-17, 23-24, 29-31, Nov. 6-7, 13-14). $24.99-$28.99. 523 E. Highland Mall Blvd., Austin. 512-407-9449. www.houseoftorment.com

Through 3, 9-10, 16-17, 22-24, 29-31

SCARE for a CURE presents: Dread Asylum: Austin nonprofit SCARE for a CURE produces the haunted house held in Manor. A crew of special-effects artists, set builders, technicians, costume designers, makeup artists and actors work year-round alongside volunteers to design costumes, build the set and write the script, which this year revolves around an insane asylum. The tour entails running, climbing, crawling and dodging at times. Guest safety is overseen by professionals. $40. 14219 Littig Road, Manor. www.scareforacure.org

Through 4, 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 30-31 Nov. 1

Fall Festivities Guide 2015 Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park[/caption]

Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park: Three haunted houses sprawl across 14 buildings in the forest of Lost Pines. A steampunk stage with live music, a cafe and bakery, and a bar are among the other attractions at Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park. The event is for ages 12 and older. 7 p.m.-midnight (Fri.-Sat.), 7-11 p.m. (Sun). $5-$25. 149 Split Rail Lane, Smithville. 512-710-8267. www.screamhollow.com



When searching for costumes residents can find plenty of options close to Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto. For anyone looking for a particular costume that might be hard to find there is a suggestion for a year-round custom shop as well.

Halloween Express
This seasonal store offers a selection of costumes, props, and home decorations.
201 University Oaks Blvd., Round Rock

Kaleidoscope Toys
The Round Rock toy shop carries dress-up outfits year-round. Among the characters those who don Kaleidoscope’s getups can emulate are construction workers, rock stars, cowgirls and firefighters. The store also carries Halloween accessories.
110 N. I-35, Ste. 375, Round Rock

Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds*
The 8,000-square-foot Austin shop offers an A-through-Z inventory of costumes for children and adults. Customers can find fictional characters, historical figures and other people and objects among its custumes. The store also carries jewelry, accessories and vintage clothing.
1506 S. Congress Ave., Austin

Once Upon a Child
The Round Rock shop carries dozens of costumes for children. It also buys costumes and other children’s clothing.
1601 S. I-35, Ste. 325, Round Rock

Spirit Halloween
This seasonal shop carries costumes, props and decorations ranging from the scary to funny.
2121 N. Mays St., Ste. 200, Round Rock

Toy Time
Costumes for Halloween or any other make-believe occasion, as well as masks and accessories are sold at the Pflugerville toy store. Costumes are mostly for children ages 3-8, but Toy Time’s masks fit all ages.
101-B W. Pecan St., Pflugerville

*Regional year-round costume shop. This is not a comprehensive list of area events. For more listings or to request a listing contact rphnews@communityimpact.com.


Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic. (Courtesy Qygen, Wikimedia Commons)
Fry's Electronics calls it quits after nearly 36 years in business

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic.

A lone runner jogs on a snow-covered road in Austin. Transportation projects across the city were briefly paused due to Winter Storm Uri. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT: Texas power system was less than 5 minutes from collapse during winter storm

ERCOT's CEO offered details into what led to the massive blackouts that left millions of Texans in the cold last week.

cars on snowy road
Texas Disaster Declaration opens door to federal aid for losses sustained during winter storms

Individuals and businesses who sustained losses during the winter storm are eligible for federal assistance, according to a Texas Disaster Declaration approved

ERCOT president and chief executive Bill Magness (left) was joined by the electric grid manager's senior director of system operations Dan Woodfin on Feb. 19 for a briefing on the company's emergency operations. (Screenshot via ERCOT livestream)
ERCOT chief: 'We are completely back to normal operations' as of Feb. 19

Officials with the Texas electric grid manager also said they are preparing for state and federal reviews of this week's power outages.

H-E-B stores across Texas have limited store hours and placed purchase limits on some high-demand products due to ongoing severe winter weather, H-E-B officials announced Feb. 19. (Courtesy H-E-B)
H-E-B, Central Market limit store hours, product purchases due to severe winter weather

H-E-B stores across Texas have limited store hours and placed purchase limits on some high-demand products due to ongoing severe winter weather, H-E-B officials announced Feb. 19.

Gov. Greg Abbott provided updates on the state's emergency response efforts during a Feb. 18 press conference. (Screenshot of April 17 press conference)
Gov. Greg Abbott: Power restored to nearly 2M homes in past day; statewide aid efforts continuing

While power generation has been restored to serve most Texas residents, Abbott said state agencies remain focused on water and food distribution Feb. 18.

Although tens of thousands of megawatts remain off the statewide power grid Feb. 17, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said relief is on the way for many Texans within the next 24 hours. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Abbott: Power restoration on the way for 1M households in next 24 hours

Although tens of thousands of megawatts remain off the statewide power grid Feb. 17, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said relief is on the way for many Texans within the next 24 hours.

Severe winter weather conditions led to outages throughout the Texas electric system this week. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
'Something that you could have planned for': How isolated Texas power grid, winter weather left millions without electricity

As of Feb. 17, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said it was still working to restore electric service to customers throughout the state.

An Austin Fire Department truck drives down Manor Road on Feb. 15. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texans urged to use caution as carbon monoxide cases increase during power outages

Carbon monoxide poisoning calls have increased as people look for ways to stay warm without power and heat.

Many in Texas are battling power outages amid frigid temperatures. (Courtesy Rico Daniels)
Gov. Greg Abbott calls for investigation of ERCOT, Texas' electric reliability council

As of 1:20 p.m., over 4 million customers were out of power, according to ERCOT.

graph showing power demand out pacing grid capacity
Texas enters second day of blackouts

Although outages were initially intended to last for less than one hour, local grid operators are reporting longer outages.