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.
1 Through 31
First United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch: Pumpkins are spread across the lawn outside the McKinney Christian Ministry Center. Sale of pumpkins are used for scholarships funds for various activities through the church. Pumpkin prices vary by size. Times vary. First United Methodist Church, 410 E. University Ave., Georgetown. 512-863-2370. www.fumcgt.org
8 Through 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 age 6 and older, eat homemade ice cream including a pumpkin pie flavor. The Pumpkin Grille serves 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). Sweet Berry Farm, 1801 FM 1980, Marble Falls. www.sweetberryfarm.com
10 Through 12, 17-18, 24-25, 31, Nov. 1, 7-8
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 festival theme is based on the “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” television special. 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 beer and wine. 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
10 and 11, 17-18
Elgin CHRISTmas Tree Farm Pumpkin Festival[/caption]
Elgin CHRISTmas Tree Farm Pumpkin Festival: The 13th annual pumpkin festival kicks off during the second weekend of October. Attendees 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). Elgin CHRISTmas Tree Farm, 120 Nature’s Way, Elgin. 512-281-5016.
Dia de los Muertos Festival[/caption]
Dia de los Muertos Festival: The event is a nod to Dia de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday in which family and friends who have died are remembered. The festival features live music, performances and art. Food and beverages are available. Proceeds from the festival benefit Easter Seals Central Texas. 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.
23 Through 25
Pecan Fest 2015: This Seguin festival 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). Locations vary. 800-580-7322.
Halloween Festival: The 21st annual event features a Trick-or-Treat Village, costume contest and Disney’s Halloweentown plays at the gazebo in the park at 6:45 p.m. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Free (festival admission), $1 (hayrides ages 1-4), $2 (hayrides age 5 and older). San Gabriel Park, 445 E. Morrow St., Georgetown. 512-930-3595. https://parks.georgetown.org/halloween-festival
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. Farmshare Austin, 3608 River Road, Cedar Creek. 512-337-2211.
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.
Austin Zombie Hunt: Outlaw Paintball in Pflugerville organizes a trailer ride to the park where a zombie infestation has taken hold. Participants, who 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
8 Through 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. 8, 14-15, 18-22, 25-28, Nov. 1), 7 p.m.-midnight (Oct. 9-11, 16-17, 23-24, 29-31, Nov. 6-7, 13-14). $24.99-$28.99. House of Torment, 523 E. Highland Mall Blvd., Austin.
9 Through 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 age 12 and older. 7 p.m.-midnight (Fri.-Sat.), 7-11 p.m. (Sun). $5-$25. Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park, 149 Split Rail Lane, Smithville. 512-710-8267.
16 and 17, 23 and 24
Nightmare on Jail Hill Haunted Jail: Residents looking for a scare have four days to experience a fright during the seventh annual Nightmare on Jail Hill Haunted Jail. All proceeds benefit the Williamson County Brown Santa Program, which provides assistance to low-income or poverty-stricken families with children. 7-11 p.m. $10 (adults), $20 (fast pass ticket). Historic County Jail, 312 Main St., Georgetown. 512-943-1300. www.wilco.org