Texas Living

A Guide to Autumn in Texas

By Abi Grise Morgan 11.7.23

Autumn in Texas is the time of year when things speed up. Fall harvest is well underway, providing our state with a bounty of delicious apples, pumpkins, and pecans. No longer under a blanket of oppressive heat, we revel in opportunities to explore our state’s gorgeous landscape with road trips and scenic excursions by foot, canoe, or zipline.

But even indoors, life is a flurry. We break out our most festive autumnal décor — foliage wreaths, gourds, playful plaid — to create a welcoming atmosphere for the family and friends we welcome to our Thanksgiving table. Not to mention the necessary home front prep to protect ourselves and our homes from Texas’ unforgiving winters.

If you feel like you’re always behind in the fall, you’re not the only one. This guide can help you keep your head on straight as you barrel through the start of the holiday season — and enjoy its fleeting beauty, too!



It’s harder to count your blessings at Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving when you’re scrambling to bring the celebration together and accommodate your loved ones’ needs and preferences. A stress-free Thanksgiving sounds like a myth, but it’s possible to host without losing your head with a little pre-planning and realistic expectations. Sometimes, that means simplifying your celebration — or creating new Thanksgiving traditions altogether!

Three ways to cut stress during Thanksgiving: 1. Eat well. Give traditionally high-indulgence, low-nutrient dishes a healthy upgrade, like sautéed green beans in lieu of green bean casserole. 2. Volunteer, either individually or as a family. Serving others is a gratitude booster and a community win-win. 3. Get outside and shake it out with some post-Thanksgiving dinner exercise for a nice metabolism boost, digestion aid, and endorphin rush.

Harvest Decor

Pull out all the stops this year, adorning your home with an autumn flair from your front door to your hearth and table! Make big statements with decorative gourds, pumpkins, and squashes to welcome visitors with a festive flourish. Texas is home to several festive autumn gourds, including acorn, butternut, buttercup, calabaza, and spaghetti squash, which you can likely find at your local farmers market.

Thanksgiving tablescapes

Fall Crafts

Is there anything more soothing than spreading out with your craft supplies on the couch and sipping a hot beverage with your favorite comfort show playing in the background on a chilly night? I think not.

Make fall crafting a family affair with kid-friendly DIY fall decor. Break out some tulle and googly eyes for a homemade turkey wreath! Meditate on your blessings as a family by creating a tree of thankfulness. Artsy teens will enjoy helping you create an elegant Thanksgiving tablescape, like a mini succulent garden growing inside a gourd!

Transforming your home into an autumnal haven is both a celebration of the season and an act of self-care. Find your Zen this season while putting together one (or more!) of these 12 fall crafts, like autumn leaf garlands, painted acorns, or DIY candles. Looking for a flame-free way to fill your home with cozy autumn aromas? Try stovetop potpourri.

Fall Eats

Fall harvest in Texas offers a cornucopia of delights, from crisp apples to meaty pecans, pumpkins, and more! This season, feed your body and soul with recipes that leverage freshly harvested local produce.

Turn a bushel of baked apples into a scrumptious pie, apple sauce, or a caramel apple treat for the kids. Or treat yourself to the warm, sweet sips of mulled apple cider on a cold night. Of course, if pumpkin spice is your fall drink of choice, there’s a pumpkin spice latte recipe with your name on it, too. But don’t stop there — make it a pumpkin party, with pumpkin dips and pumpkin deviled eggs to boot.

A Texas-made Thanksgiving lineup is on the menu, too. Sweeten your table with figs and pears, which can be roasted, grilled, or baked into fresh focaccia bread. Another satisfying favorite is Texas pecans, which can be baked into an irresistible pie or churned into pecan-pumpkin butter.

Stressing about your Thanksgiving menu? Get organized and check a few items off your list with our start-to-finish Thanksgiving dinner guide. Tired of turkey? Make your family dinner a hoedown with this Texas-approved alternative: a Thanksgiving brisket barbeque!

Fall Home Maintenance

While spring cleaning focuses on organizing the great indoors, fall cleaning is all about clearing leaves and debris from your yard. Leaf maintenance isn’t just about aesthetics, either. Clearing out your gutters can prevent blockages that could spur roof leaks and foundation damage. Likewise, raking leaves the right way keeps your lawn healthy and fungus-free.

As for the fun part of home maintenance, autumn in Texas is an ideal time to build a fire pit or add a chiminea to the backyard. It’s also the optimal season to plant trees in Texas, which can take root in winter before blossoming with spring foliage.

Things To Do

Even with all the hubbub of the holidays, it can be a relaxing treat to plan a weekend getaway, day trip, or road trip with the family to get outdoors while the weather is nice. See the foliage change up close and personal with a journey through one of Texas’ state parks on foot or by zipline. Or have bushels of fun crossing off your own fall bucket list with activities like picking apples and pumpkins together at local farms.

There are plenty more excuses to hit the road, too, like the plethora of notable small-town rituals and fall festivals across Texas, from the performances and happenings of Austin City Limits to the State Fair of Texas. Not to mention, Texas is home to some entertaining and whimsical renaissance festivals where you can get in on some turkey leg action early in the season.

You don’t need to go far for an adventure: Camping in the backyard is a fun activity for the family, too. Light the fire pit and sleep under the stars; no campground reservation is required!

Autumn in Texas is a fantastic and festive experience. One of beauty and community. It’s also a great time to get started on your holiday shopping. Check out our holiday gift guide!

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