There’s no better way to usher in the harvest season than with a fall festival. With tons of events happening in the Houston area over the next few months, the opportunities for enjoying cooler temperatures (okay, that may be a bit ambitious for October) and good, old-fashioned family fun are endless. Here’s our roundup of fairs and festivals taking place this autumn.
Froberg's Farm Fourth Annual Corn Maze and Fall Festival - Sept. 23-Nov. 5
Come out to Froberg's Farm any day of the week and get lost in the twists and turns of their corn maze. On the weekends, you'll also find hay rides, flower picking, pumpkin patches, and games. Tip: Froberg’s accepts credit cards for minimum purchases of $5, but make sure you have cash on hand, as many food items are cash only.
Waller County Fair & Rodeo - Sept. 29-Oct. 7
Let the kids stay up late on a weeknight and treat them to a trip to the Waller County Fair. With nine days of entertainment, musical performances from the likes of Jason Cassidy, Wade Bowen, and more, you’ll want to check the schedule to make sure you don’t miss any of the festivities.
Take advantage of medieval fun at Ren Fest/Photo courtesy the Texas Renaissance Festival
Texas Renaissance Festival - Sept. 30-Nov. 26
Hear ye, hear ye, the Ren Fest has returned to Plantersville! Pack up the wee lords and ladies for a jaunt outside of Houston and step back into medieval times with endless entertainment. You'll find an enchanted world full of kings and queens, fairies and elves, pirates and more.
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The Refugee Project Fall Festival Fundraiser - Sept. 30
Carnival games, an obstacle course, a trackless train ride and a pumpkin patch are all enticing reasons to attend this year's Fall Festival Fundraiser hosted by The Refugee Project, but the event has another unique draw as well; in addition to a host of attractions, attendees also have the opportunity to meet the refugee ladies and their families and partake in a hands-on experience where you see life through the eyes of a refugee in their home country.
Original Greek Festival - Oct. 5-8
Opa! The Original Greek Festival has been bringing a host of festivities to Houston for over 50 years, and there's never a shortage with the merrymaking that ensues. Not to miss are the traditional dance programs – both the daytime performances put on by the children and the evening performances put on by adults – reflecting the customs, costumes, and culture of the different regions of Greece. You’ll also find a kid zone with activities like sand art, face painting, rides, and a bounce house. Parking can be crazy around Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, but nearby free shuttles are available.
Cornelius Nursery Fall Festival - Oct. 7
Keep the kids occupied with face painting, pumpkin decorating, games and more, while you stock up on festive fall decorations for the house at Cornelius Nursery. There's also face painting, a performance by Mad Science, and a pumpkin patch full of places to snap fall pictures.
Oak Ridge North 4th Annual Fall Festival - Oct. 7
Make your way to Marilyn Edgar Park for a fun, FREE fall festival the whole family will enjoy. The festival features bounce houses, face painting, a trackless train, music, games and prizes, and even professional family photos.
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PetFest - Oct. 7-8
Even fur babies can get in on harvest season festivities! There’s a costume contest for pets (and one for pets and owners) and not one, but two, dog shows at PetFest in Old Town Spring. The real highlight of this event is the support received by pet rescue groups and their adoptees.
Festa Italiana - Oct. 12-15
Savor the sounds, sights, and flavors of Italy at the Bayou City's tasty Houston Italian Festival. Not to miss with the kids are the Tarantella dance lessons and marionette puppet shows performed by the talented Carranza Puppets. Also enjoy grape stomping, the Classic Car Show, and I Madonnari Sidewalk Art Contest, then "mangia e bevi" (eat and drink) your way through the pasta-eating contest and wine tasting.
St. Andrew's Craft Fair - Oct. 13-14
Get a jump start on holiday shopping by attending St. Andrew's Craft Fair this fall in Pearland. Held in conjunction with the church’s annual Pumpkin Patch, the fair showcases handcrafted and unique items from local vendors and artisans.
Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival - Oct. 13-15
Every second weekend in October, downtown Conroe is transformed into the Conroe Cajun Catfish Festival, a weekend-long event featuring non-stop live music, food vendors, arts and crafts vendors, a Catfish Pageant, community and educational exhibits and more. For the kids, there's a carnival full of fun and games and a KidZone area with kid-friendly activities and performances by local dance teams, community groups, and entertainers.
Picking pumpkins at the Zoo Boo Pumpkin Patch/Photo courtesy of Stephanie Adams/Houston Zoo
Zoo Boo - Oct. 13-29 (Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays)
Dress up your kids and bring out their wild side when you head to the Houston Zoo's annual Zoo Boo. You'll find pumpkin painting and pumpkin patches, a creature maze, trick-or-treat bags, a costume contest and tons of activities for kids of all ages.
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Houston Fire Fest - Oct. 14
Sound the alarm for the Fire Fest. Join Houston firefighters for food, fun, and real fire demonstrations at the City of Houston's Fire Department training facility. There's even a Safety Skills Zone where kids can learn fire safety.
St. Peter's ECDC Fall Family Festival - Oct. 14
The annual ECDC Fall Family Festival is coming rain or shine, and is stacked with family-friendly attractions and fall-inspired fun. Events include a petting zoo, pony rides, balloon artists, face paintings and more. Tickets for attractions are extra.
Bayou City Art Festival Downtown - Oct. 14-15
Billed as one of the top outdoor fine arts festivals in the nation, Bayou City Art Festival features the works of over 300 artists, good food, live music and plenty of fun. There's even a Children's Creative Zone for the kiddos, which features craft-making activities, music and dance demonstrations, and large bubbles for the kids to run through and pop.
Katy Rice Harvest Festival - Oct. 14-15
Located in Historic Downtown Katy, the annual Katy Rice Harvest Festival is two big days of excitement and family fun with two stages of continuous live entertainment, craft and food booths, and more.
Harris County Fair - Oct. 17-21
If you just can't wait until rodeo season for mutton bustin' and livestock shows, then this four-day event is for you. There are animal showings, raffles, dancing, a youth bull-riding competition and the ever-popular calf scramble for the kiddos.
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Korean Festival - Oct. 21
Celebrate the Korean culture at Discovery Green with this free event. There will be performances by traditional Korean dancers, interactive games and art, live entertainment, folk musicians, and demonstrations by TaeKwonDo masters.
Texian Market Days - Oct. 21
Head out to the historical George Ranch in Richmond for a festival celebrating Texas history. Guests are treated to hands-on activities, battle reenactments, music and entertainment, historic home tours, cowboys, food, and artisan vendors.
ArBOOretum - Oct. 21
Head over to the Houston Arboretum for its annual Halloween event where kids can trick-or-treat in nature's backyard and learn about different creatures along the way. Other activities include a petting zoo, hay rides, live owls and reptiles, pony rides, carnival games, face painting, and pumpkin decorating.
Wings Over Houston Airshow - Oct. 21-22
Aviators take to the skies at this thrilling air show full of aerobatics and a showcase of one of the largest displays of civilian and military aircraft in North America. Kids will delight in the chance to meet pilots and crew members, as well as explore vintage World War II aircraft. Gates open at 8 a.m. and the last admittance is at 3 p.m. The air show takes place from 11 a.m. to 5p.m.
Spinning through the Pumpkin Patch Fall Festival/Photo courtesy of Nature Discovery Center
Nature Discovery Center Pumpkin Patch Fall Festival - Oct. 21-22
Pick out the perfect pumpkin, take a ride in a horse and buggy, or bounce, spin and climb your way through the attractions at the Bellaire Nature Discovery Center. Admission is free, however some activities, rides, and pumpkins are a small fee.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church & School Fall Festival - Oct. 22
One of the church's major fundraising events of the year, the annual Fall Festival is an event for all ages. A day full of family entertainment, live music, games, a raffle and plenty of good food serves to build community among the parish and surrounding community. Proceeds support the parish and school.
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Scream on the Green - Oct. 27
Gather up your little ghouls and goblins for an evening at Discovery Green. The citywide costume contest features categories for infants to 18+ so the whole family can get in on the Halloween action. Enjoy music by DJ Astra, a movie screening, prizes, and more.
Island Oktoberfest - Oct. 27-28
Don your German costumes, grab your bier steins and make your way to Galveston's Island Oktoberfest, an annual event that is jam-packed with two full days of family fun. Come out and enjoy music and dancing on the festival's two stages, an authentic German dinner and homemade desserts, arts and crafts, a full lineup of German beers, the annual Chick-Fil-A Chicken Dance contest, and the special Children's Activities Area, which features arcade games, moon walks, face painting and more.
Tomball Bluegrass Festival - Oct. 28
Grab your banjo and head to Tomball for an afternoon of classic and contemporary bluegrass music, arts and crafts, and even a kid zone. This year's event features Pine Island Station, The Lone Mountain Band, The Border Town Ramblers, and other local and regional performers throughout the day.
Festival of Abilities - Oct. 28
Benefitting the Playground for All Abilities, this Halloween-themed event features adaptive sports, obstacle course and fitness for all ages, a petting zoo, SIRE therapeutic horses, trick or treating, and a costume contest - and that's just a few of the activities you and your kids will enjoy! There's also plenty of food, arts and crafts, live music and more, making this a festival you don't want to miss.
Houston Family Fun Fest - Oct. 29 and Nov. 5
Join Houston Family Magazine for its bi-annual event. There are events in Katy and The Woodlands, and each is full of various activities and games, inflatables, crafts, door prizes, and live entertainment. Oh, and it's FREE to attend.
FirstFest - Oct. 31
If you are looking for an alternative to trick-or-treating on Halloween, Houston’s First Baptist Church has you covered. Don the costumes to this free event which will feature inflatables, skits and games, bungee trampoline, rock climbing wall, and hamster ball races. In addition, there will be a preschool area and sensory station for kids with special needs.
Top photo courtesy Houston Family Fun Fest