Texas Living

11 Fall Activities for the Whole Family

By Patrick Reardon 11.7.23

Everyone knows leaves falling from trees signal football season and Oktoberfest, but there are plenty of other activities, outings, and projects to tackle come autumn. Here’s our quick-hit list of the best fall activities for families.

Fall-Only Experiences

  • Go tailgating: “Fall” is short for “football,” and there’s no place with better games and tailgate parties than Texas. For the best tailgate recipes, parking lot games, and gameday tips, check out our guide to tailgating in Texas.
  • Time travel to RenFest: A 55-acre kingdom outside Houston comes alive every fall with jousting knights, enormous roast turkey legs, fire-eaters, ye olde shoppes, and all kinds of medieval ado. Learn all about the Texas Renaissance Festival here.
  • Experience small town fall: Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, Oktoberfests, and turkey trots — they’re all over the country this time of year, but you won’t find fall traditions with deeper roots than in rural Texas. Find autumn magic in a small town near you on our guide.
hiking trails in Texas

Outdoor Fall Activities

  • Hike: Dropping temps in the fall mean a short, but beautiful, window of perfect hiking weather in Texas until the spring. Find the best hiking trails near you, from national parks and mountain ranges to wildlife sanctuaries and rock climbs.
  • See fall colors: Texas isn’t world-famous for its breathtaking fall foliage — but it should be. Come November, there are three state and national parks around Texas with some of the brightest red and orange colors in the country. Here’s where to find them.
fairy-tale garden

Fall Gardening

  • Harvest and dry your own herbs: Prep for the winter with a fun fall activity in the garden: drying your homegrown herbs. Learn how from our guide.
  • Start a mushroom garden: Forage the forest (or the produce aisle) no longer — with our guide to starting an indoor mushroom garden, you can spawn, grow, and harvest your delicious mushrooms in little over a month.
wild mushrooms in Texas
Photo by Elizabeth Lavin

Fun-to-Make Fall Recipes

  • Oktoberfest Recipes: Hosting your own Oktoberfest? Gather the family in the kitchen to make their own Bavarian pretzels, German dumplings, and more.
  • Mushroom Risotto: Whether your mushrooms are homegrown or store-bought, you’ll love putting together this earthy, creamy risotto that’s perfect for fall.
  • Pumpkin Soup: Topped with candied nuts, this savory pumpkin soup is the perfect family meal for a fall evening — and making it is half the fun.

Can’t get enough pumpkin-inspired food, festivities, and fun? Find more pumpkin-flavored goodness in our recipe roundup inspired by the super squash.

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