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5 Fall Activities to Explore in Houston

October tends to be the first time folks in Houston feel a slight breeze that teases them into thinking fall is around the corner. Yet, I've experienced warm nights for trick-or-treating in Houston, so it's certainly not a sure thing! If you're new to Houston and are not sure what to expect in the Fall, check out these five fall activities around the city!

1. Fall Festivals in Houston

Festivals in Houston peak in the fall when the weather makes it so nice to be outside. With themes sure to attract any age, fall festivals in Houston make weekends wonderful!

Here are a few fall festivals in Houston to check out:

Children’s Festival

This 2-day festival in The Woodlands features tons of fun for kids & family: live entertainment, demonstrations, performances, interactive activities, character appearances, and more. Tickets are just $10.

Bayou City Art Festival

This Houston favorite for creatives is a 45-year old tradition that benefits local nonprofits! The festival features two shows a year – at the Memorial area during Spring and Downtown during fall. More than 300 artists gather to share their work in a wide variety of mediums. Kids can also get creative in the Kids' Zone. Overall, attending this festival is like walking through an outdoor museum!

Texas Renaissance Festival

From early October to mid-November, Texas Renaissance Festival offers a unique experience for couples and families alike. It's dubbed the largest Renaissance festival in the country, and each weekend features a different theme. Costumes are certainly encouraged and make it even more fun! Activities range from jousting tournaments to live shows, craft vendors, live music and more.

Via Colori Street Painting Festival

painting of Felix the cat at the Via Colori Street Painting Festival in Houston
Image via Vicki Powers

For 10 years, artists have converged on downtown streets in mid-November to create large masterpieces right on the street. It is an amazing experience to watch the progression as the artists begin their work Saturday morning and continue through Sunday afternoon. Kids can join in on the fun and create their own chalk square for a small fee. All of the proceeds from the festival benefits the Center for Hearing and Speech.

2. Outdoor Movies in Houston

people watching an outdoor movie at Discovery Green in Houston
Image via Discovery Green

Outdoor movies are plentiful in Houston in the fall. At Houston's downtown Discovery Green, catch popular movies from Bank of America Screen on the Green. Miller Outdoor Theatre presents its own Movies at Miller while Willow Fork Drainage District's Central Green Park in Katy presents at least two outdoor movies each month. Other outdoor venues include Dow Park in Deer Park, Tomball's Historic Depot, Sugar Land Town Square, Bellaire, Pearland Town Center, and CityCentre.

3. Halloween Fun in Houston

children in Halloween costumes
Image via Discovery Green

If you love Halloween, Houston will be a great city for you! Have you heard of a citywide Halloween party? Houston hosts Scream on the Green each year to celebrate Halloween downtown at Discovery Green. The event includes a big costume contest, DJ, and Halloween-themed outdoor movie.

Boo on the Boardwalk is another fantastic Halloween-themed celebration weekends in October in Kemah, outside Houston. Many activities are free including weekend trick-or-treating at the retailers, outdoor movies, crafts, activities and more. There is a fee for the haunted houses – with one just for the junior folks!

4. Fall Outdoor Patios & Dining in Houston

people hanging out on a dog-friendly patio in Houston
Image via Vicki Powers

Happy hours and dining outdoors is a nice option in Houston’s fall. Some of the top spots include Onion Creek Cafe (3106 White Oak), Backstreet Café (1103 S. Shepherd), and dog-friendly Barnaby’s (eight locations).

For more upscale dining, Brenner's on the Bayou has two beautiful outdoor decks with modern furniture and fire pits that overlook Buffalo Bayou. This steakhouse and bar is also the host to an annual Wine Fest and Beer and BBQ Fest.

Karbach Brewing Co., a German-style brewery, also has an amazing outdoor patio and biergarten for drinking and dining after its recent expansion. Brewery tours are available for 25 folks at a time, weekdays and weekends.

5. Fall Outdoor Activities in Houston

person walking in Buffalo Bayou Park in Houston
Image via Vicki Powers

Head outdoors in the fall for biking and hiking. Houston has plenty of trails and parks plus some great kayaking. Buffalo Bayou Park, Memorial Park, Heights Hike & Bike Trail, and Terry Hershey Park (plus hike and bike trail) are a few of the top spots around town.

Need a bike? Houston B-Cycle, the bike-sharing program that kicked off in 2012, has 86 stations with over 550 bikes.

There's plenty of fun things to do in Houston during Fall. Fortunately, most are free – so go enjoy the beautiful weather and make some great memories!

About the author

Vicki Powers

Vicki Powers, formerly of Houston on the Cheap, is a native Texan and freelance journalist. She loves helping Houstonians learn how to live in a big city without spending big bucks.

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