It’s that time of the year when everyone’s ready to get out and enjoy the crisp, fall air after the summer heat. One of the greatest ways to do that is to round up the family and head out to one of the fall festivals in the Austin area. Pumpkin patches are beginning to pop up all around town, with many of them scheduling pumpkin festivals which are fun for the kids and mom and dad alike!
FreeFunInAustin.com lists numerous pumpkin festivals and you can check out their website to see all of them. They all sound fun, but here’s a list of some in various parts of the city and beyond. Look for one near you!
Manchaca United Methodist Church has an event taking place October 24th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are located at 1011 FM 1626 in Manchaca. In addition to their pumpkin patch open daily through October, their festival is free and includes among other things a hayride, jump house, cake walks, and bake sale!
Harper Park also has a festival planned. They are located at 11040 Lake Creek Parkway in Austin. Theirs will be held October 24th from 4 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Join in the fun at the craft and activity fair, and bring a blanket, as in the evening they will show Monsters Inc!
If you are in the Round Rock area, there are several festivities taking place.
A very popular pumpkin patch every year is at St. Richard’s Episcopal Church at 1420 E. Palm Valley. This wonderful patch is open weekdays Noon until 8 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., and Sundays from Noon until 8 p.m. The “Great Pumpkin Festival” is held on Sunday, October 18th from 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. and is free.
Another Round Rock attraction is the Hairy Man Spookyfest, celebrating its 21st year! Check out their cool website. This will be held Saturday, October 24th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Cat Hollow Park at 8600 O’Connor Dr. Admission is free, but they suggest that you bring 2 non-perishable food items to help supply the Round Rock Serving Center Food Bank. On the website, you can find a detailed schedule of the events, food options, and children’s activities. They are even going to have live music and a trick or treat scavenger hunt through the park!
One more Round Rock location is the Fall Fun Fest. Described as a “Monsters and Mayhem Festival”, it promises to be packed with activities for the kids. At Old Settlers Park, the fun will go from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Friday, October 30th. This one is for preschool spooks with hayrides and carnival games. They ask that everyone bring a canned food for the Round Rock Serving Center.
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There are quite a few fall celebrations in the towns surrounding Austin. It might be fun to make a day of it and get out with the family to one of these.
If you live near Manor, the Crowes Nest Farm’s Fun Festival might be the one for you! Kids can enjoy farm activities, such as sheep shearing, corn shucking, and making apple cider. Yum! There are also vendors with homemade bread, farm fresh eggs, and honey! They are located at 10300 Taylor Lane in Manor. You can go the four Saturdays in October. Hours are 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. There is a charge, so you might call them at 512-272-4418 for more details.
Another spot is in Elgin. At the Evergreen Farms visitors can come any weekend in October Saturdays 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sundays 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. to enjoy the “fall feel”. They are located at 242 Monkey Road in Elgin. A unique event at this Pumpkin Hunt is a wagon ride into the Christmas tree fields where miniature pumpkins are hidden! Then the kids can decorate a pumpkin on the pavilion. There are some other fun activities, such as Pumpkin Train Ride and Pumpkin Golf. There is a fee for these activities.
In Kyle, the Kyle United Methodist Church at 408 W. Lockhart will be hosting a pumpkin patch beginning October 17th from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. They will have a costume corner, bake sale, and a silent auction.
If you live near Leander, the Leander Fall Festival takes place two Saturdays, October 17th and 24th from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. They will have carnival games, food, and a silent auction! It’s for a good cause too, as all proceeds go to the Health and Safety Fund and the Benevolent Fund. Tickets for games start at just 50 cents, and touring the Tower of Terror is $5.00.
There is a really cool “Great Pumpkin Maze” that the whole family would enjoy in Bastrop at Barton Hill Farms. At the Farms, their pumpkin patch has been rated by TexTraveler.com as a Top 4 pumpkin patch in Texas! They have barnyard animals, sack races, and more. They are located at 1115 FM 969. Hours are Saturdays 10 a.m.-10 p.m, and Sundays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. There is a charge to go. Visit the website and, by purchasing tickets online, you can save $1.00 per ticket.
Georgetown has an event as well. At the Georgetown Community Center in San Gabriel Park, the 21st annual Halloween Festival and Hayride will be Thursday, October 29th from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Hayrides will load outside the Community Center, the first ride leaving at 5:30. There will be a costume contest, so don’t forget to wear your favorite costume! There will also be a movie in the park (“Halloweentown”).
Whew! That’s a lot of festivals to choose from! Hope your family picks out the best pumpkin ever and takes a hayride or two!
It wouldn’t be the Halloween season if I didn’t mention a haunted house. This one is not for the youngsters, but for mom and dad if you dare! (Note: Even the website can be a bit scary…if you don’t like haunted houses). The House of Torment is a multi-layered psychological thriller, containing three haunted houses in one. It isn’t for the faint of heart. Coming back for its 13th season, this attraction is described as “very scary”. There’s the Dead End District, Hex of the Harvest, and the Laughterhouse (described as nothing funny about it!) It is said that it’s hard to get in, so you can visit their website and purchase tickets online. They are located at 523 E. Highland Mall Blvd. in Austin.
Hope you and your family have a “spooktacular” fall season!
photo credit: Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch via photopin (license)