With Texas being like a world unto itself, it’s not hard to find family fall festival fun in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. In the fall/autumn, we get a blanket of leaves on the lawn, rich colors, cozy hoodies and (still) flip flops and shorts. Check out these great happenings for the entire family:
AUTUMN AT THE ARBORETUM (Sept. 20-Nov. 26 ) The Dallas Arboretum’s seasonal fest features chances to capture photos of Cinderella’s carriage and thousands of pumpkins at Pumpkin Village, sample tea and other goodies at Harvest Tea, and treat children to face painting and petting zoos on select days. More details can be found at dallasarboretum.org
STATE FAIR OF TEXAS (Sept. 26-Oct. 19) This year’s theme is Deep in the Heart of Texas, and the folks at the fair have engaged in what they’re calling Texification, with a new 30-by-50-foot Texas state flag, a Deep in the Heart of Texans theme, and new themed floats and music in the nightly Starlight Parade. You can also expect livestock competitions, car shows, animal races, wacky fried-food selections and much more. More details can be found at bigtex.com.
SOUTHLAKE OKTOBERFEST (Oct. 3-5) The weiner dogs will race, there’ll be a School of Rock battle of the bands, and plenty of vendors will be selling food and beverages. For more details and tickets go to oktoberfestsouthlake.com.
SMOKED DALLAS (Oct. 4) This music and barbecue festival will offer tastings from 15 traditional pitmasters, several chefs’ takes on barbecue, and music by Bob Schneider and Black Joe Lewis. Main Street Garden, Dallas. Go to prekindle.com for more details.
COTTONWOOD ART FESTIVAL (Oct. 4-5, Richardson) This semiannual event showcases works from more than 240 visual artists. Exhibited art will be available for purchase and will include paintings, sculptures, metalwork, digital pieces and more. Local bands will play at the Lakeside Courtyard, where you can also find food, and children can try out the ArtStop activities. cottonwoodartfestival.com.
BLOOMIN’ BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL AND CHILI COOKOFF (Oct. 17-18) Expect bluegrass music, a chili cook-off, an arts-and-crafts marketplace, and chances for the public to bring instruments and jam at this free fest. Follow the fun to Farmers Branch Historical Park. bloominbluegrass.com.
DALLAS COMIC CON: FAN DAYS (Oct. 17-19) Elijah Wood will be among the guests at this pop culture convention, which will feature appearances by actors and comic-book artists, cosplay, vendors and more. at the Irving Convention Center. dallascomiccon.com.
CHIPOTLE’S CULTIVATE FESTIVAL (Oct. 18) This free fest, which is having its first Dallas-Fort Worth installment, includes cooking demos by celebrity chefs, live music (Amos Lee, O.A.R. and others), local food, regional beers and wines, and a Kids’ Zone. Chefs lined up for the event include Matt McCallister, Omar Flores, Kent Rathbun, Paul Qui, Sean Brock and Amanda Freitag. Come to Lake Carolyn, Irving and check out chipotlecultivate.com for more!
RED STEAGALL COWBOY GATHERING AND WESTERN SWING FESTIVAL (Oct. 24-26) The 24th annual tribute to Western living will include cowboy music and poetry, as well as chances for 15 famous ranches to compete for the title of best ranch with a cook-off, rodeos and more. in the Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District.redsteagallcowboygathering.com.
CANAL FEST (Oct. 25) Set along the Mandalay Canal, this free fest features art, dance, live music and ethnic foods. Oct. 25 at Lake Carolyn, Irving. irvingevents.org.
DOWNTOWN PLANO FEASTIVAL (Oct. 25) Try food from Plano-area restaurants, enter a pumpkin in the Great Pumpkin Race, check out a vintage car show and more during this Oct. 25 event on 15th Street in downtown Plano. visitdowntownplano.com