By Marye Audet
Autumn is gorgeous in Texas. The weather finally cools down enough to allow people to tentatively venture outside, breathing in the fresh air, and enjoying everything the state has to offer from fairs to festivals. With so many things to do, it is difficult to choose among them all. You can make your decision based on your family’s hobbies and interests, or you might want to consider the ever-popular close your eyes and point method. Either way, you’re sure to have a great time and make plenty of lasting memories.
Here are the top 10 Houston-area fall festivals. Add a couple to your calendar this fall and have some good, old-fashioned family fun.
Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch at Blessington Farms
510 Chisholm Rd.
Simonton, TX 77476
Friday, September 27 and then every Saturday through October 26. Also open on Columbus Day.
10am to 5pm
Enjoy a golden autumn day with the family at Blessington Farms. You’ll get in touch with your inner farmer with hay rides, mazes, giant slides, barrel train rides, and close encounters of the animal kind. Spend time choosing the perfect pumpkin for your spookiest porch ever. When you’ve done it all pull out a picnic lunch and enjoy the country peace and quiet at one of the picnic tables. Whatever you do, don’t forget your camera. Admission is $8 per person—children under the age of 18 months are free.
50th Annual Slavic Heritage Festival
Knights of Columbus Hall and Grounds
607 East Whitney Dr.
Houston, TX 77022
September 29, 2013
10am to 6pm
Texas has deep roots when it comes to its Slavic heritage. Czech, Croatian, Polish, and Ukrainian settled the Hill Country early in the 1800s and brought their food, architecture, religion, and culture right along with them. You’ll enjoy a car show, ethnic dance and music, and mountains of drool-worthy traditional foods. The kids will have a great time getting their faces painted and enjoying the special activity tables. Tickets cost $5 and children under 5 get in free.
Houston Italian Festival
3800 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006
Thursday, October 10 through Sunday, October 13
Is there anyone that doesn’t appreciate the romance, mystery, and richness of Italy? Bring the family and enjoy Italian food and culture at the Houston Italian Festival. Enjoy sidewalk art contests, a Bocce Ball tournament, grape stomps, and plenty of children’s activities that will bring Italy to you. Learn more about wine or how to make scrumptious ravioli while your children get a taste of what a trip to Italy might be like. Tickets are $8 for adults. Children under 12 are free. Admission is free for everyone all day Thursday and Friday until 4pm.
South Avenue Fall Fair
South Avenue Baptist Church
605 Preston, Pasadena, TX 77503
9am to 4pm
If you are looking for a day of fun-filled family activities, The South Avenue Baptist Church Fall Fair has just what you are looking for. Face painting, puppet shows, Ferris wheel, and a petting zoo are only a few of the activities that they have planned. Adults won’t be bored, either. There’ll be plenty of food to sample, a car show, a motorcycle rally and more. Admission is free for all ages.
Texrenfest Renaissance Festival
21778 FM 1774
Todd Mission, Texas 77363
Weekends from October 12 through December 9, 2013
9am to 8pm
Less than forty-five minutes north of Houston lies a magical kingdom that will transport you back through the centuries. Each weekend holds its own special surprises, from a Medieval Oktoberfest with endless tankards of beer to a Celtic Christmas complete with spicy mead and Father Christmas. Enjoy falconry demonstrations, jousting, and other era appropriate entertainment. There are activities for the whole family all season long. Tickets are $26.00 for adults, $13.00 for children, or get a family four pack for $44.00. Children under 4 are free.
East End Street Fest
2500 Navigation Boulevard
Houston, TX 77003
11am to 8pm (and later)
One evening, fifteen bands, local talent, food, drinks, and you. The East End Street Fest is a celebration of the art, music, food, and culture of Houston’s East End. You’ll enjoy food, street dancers, music, and children’s activities while you learn more about the diversity that Houston has to offer. Early bird tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under.
Texian Market Days
10215 FM 762
Richmond, TX 77406
Take the whole family to relive the fascinating history of Texas with the interactive fun at Texian Market Days Festival. You’ll get firsthand experience in a Civil War camp, watch battle re-enactments, and take tours of the homes that portray each era. The kids will learn to make calling cards and write with nib pens. There are archaeological digs and plenty of authentic food and entertainment. The festival is divided into the 1830s, 1860s, 1890s, and 1930s. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 15, and children 4 and under are free.
18th Annual Children’s Festival
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
2005 Lake Robbins Dr.
Houston, TX 77380
Saturday, November 9: 10am to 5pm
Sunday, November 10: noon until 5pm
With a combination of local talent and award winning children’s performers the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion’s 18 Annual Children’s Festival promises two days of fun and adventure. There are several “zones” with different activities to capture the attention of any child, no matter what his interest (or attention span) might be. For example, at the “Fun Zone” kids can fly kites, pan for gold, and build sandcastles. Best of all, your child will more than likely be asleep before you leave the parking area, giving you a quiet evening to catch up on your own interests. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Parking is free unless you want preferred parking at a cost of $5.
Junta Hispana Festival
Main Street between McNee & Murworth
Parking Gate 16 – off Main Street
Free parking in Yellow Lots 33 & 36 only. Other lots will charge $10.
11am to 6pm
The Junta Hispana Festival celebrates the varied cultures and foods from 20 different Spanish-speaking countries. There will be music and dance as well as arts and crafts, exhibits, and local radio personalities. The performances begin at noon. The festival will go on, rain or shine, so bring an umbrella if there is rain in the forecast. Admission is free for all ages.
Texas Championship Native American Pow Wow
7979 North Eldridge Road, Houston, TX
November 9 – 10
10am until sundown
Two days of Native American culture, including tribal dance contests, arts and crafts, ceremonies, and music make up the 24th annual Texas Championship Pow Wow. Dozens of tribes from all over the United States will be represented, each in the full traditional dress of feathers, buckskin, and beadwork, competing in eighteen categories. Artists and craftsmen will have a variety of items for sale, and authentic Native American foods will be available all weekend. Admission is free but parking costs $3.