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 the Lake Travis and Westlake region.
Through 6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-27, 29-31, Nov. 1-3, 5-8
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
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
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
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
Halloween Trick-or-Treat: The Hill Country Galleria hosts face painting, music and trick-or-treating during this annual event. The program begins in the outdoor amphitheater with entertainment by Joe McDermott followed by trick-or-treating as well as live music by the Chubby Knuckle Choir. 4-9 p.m. Free. Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave. 512-263-0001. www.hillcountrygalleria.com
Great Pumpkin Festival[/caption]
Emmaus Catholic Church Fall Fest: Food, games, a petting zoo, music and a trunk-or-treat event are featured in this fall festival held on All Saints Day. Attendees are invited to wear costumes, including those depicting saints. 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Free. 1718 Lohman’s Crossing Road, Lakeway. 512-261-8500.
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
HAUNTED HOUSES & HALLOWEEN FUN
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
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.
This seasonal store offers a selection of costumes, props, and home decorations.
201 University Oaks Blvd., Round Rock
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
This seasonal shop carries costumes, props and decorations ranging from the scary to funny.
2121 N. Mays St., Ste. 200, Round Rock
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 [email protected]