If there’s one thing that back to school signifies, it’s that autumn is right around the corner. We couldn’t be more excited. Not only is the weather nicer and the scenery bursting with color, there’s also tons of family fun to partake in.

Whether it’s navigating corn mazes, visiting a pumpkin patch, riding the scariest rides at the carnival (or if you’re me, maybe just the Ferris wheel…), fall festivals have everything you could ever want. Here are 6 fall festivals in North Texas to get you excited about the seasons changing.

“Autumn at the Arboretum” is one of Dallas’ most beloved fall festivals! | Image courtesy of the Dallas Arboretum website

Autumn at the Arboretum

Dallas Arboretum | 8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218

Sept 19 – Nov 1

General admission prices ($12 children, $14 seniors, $17 adults), Autumn at the Arboretum events are no extra cost

Check out “Autumn at the Arboretum” if you want to experience one of the nation’s most epic pumpkin patches. For just over a month and a half, the Dallas Arboretum has over 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash throughout the garden, creating the ultimate fall wonderland. This year there will be a new Bugtopia display, featuring huge insect topiaries, pumpkin houses and a maze for children. There will also be ongoing programming, including live music and Halloween activities, at no additional cost.

Does it get more “fall festival” than a carnival? | Image courtesy of the City of Little Elm’s website

Little Elm Autumn Fest

Little Elm Park | 701 W. Eldorado Parkway, Little Elm, TX 75068

Sept 16 – 19

FREE | armbands are $25 or $20 in advance

The Little Elm Autumn Fest has everything you could ever want out of a fall festival: a carnival, live music, a barbecue competition, an Oktoberfest celebration for the adults and a 5K benefitting the Little Elm Area Food Bank. It’s like being at Galveston’s Kemah Boardwalk — but right here in North Texas. On Thursday and Sunday, you need an armband to enter the carnival; these are good for unlimited rides for one day only.

Fall Festival at mini-Frisco is spook-tacular! | Image courtesy of City of Frisco – TX on Facebook

Fall Festival at Frisco Fire Safety Town

8601 Gary Burns Dr, Frisco, TX 75034

Oct 22, 6-9 pm

FREE

The Frisco Fire Safety Town is a mini town designed to teach children about safety. There are classrooms, an interactive fire engine, a safety house where children can learn about home hazards and a mini Frisco with smaller versions of local businesses and landmarks. During the Fall Festival, mini Frisco is decorated to be spook-tacular, and children can go door to door for trick-or-treating.

For an old-times traditional fall festival, you can’t go wrong with the Nash Farm Fall Round-Up Festival | Image courtesy of the Grapevine city website

Nash Farm Fall Round-Up Festival

Nash Farm, 626 Ball St, Grapevine, TX 76051

Oct 16, 10 am – 1 pm and 1 pm – 4 pm

$3 (ages 3+, advance purchase required, limited tickets available)

The “Nash Farm Fall Round-Up” fall festival is located at Grapevine’s historic Nash Farm, which preserves the culture of 19th century farm life in North Texas. During the Harvest Festival, visitors can interact with farm animals, witness campfire cooking demos, try their hand at rope making, go on wagon and pony rides, play games and eat a hearty lunch of beans and cornbread. The Farmers Institute will be nearby to host demonstrations on maintaining livestock, carpentry, sewing and food preservation.

This fall festival is all about learning! | Image courtesy of the River Legacy website

River Legacy Foundation Fall Festival

River Legacy Living Science Center | 703 NW Green Oaks Blvd, Arlington, TX 76006

Oct 9, 11 am – 9 pm

$8 individual ticket | $45 family fun pack (4 tickets + 20 event coupons)

The City of Arlington founded the River Legacy Foundation in 1988 to preserve North Texas wildlife while serving the community with a space for recreation and education. The fall festival is hosted at the Living Science Center, the foundation’s 12,000 square foot educational center, where visitors can virtually immerse themselves into the woodlands of River Legacy Park.

The River Legacy Foundation Fall Festival offers a variety of fun and unique experiences, including wild animal encounters, food, games, a bounce house, camping demonstrations, a dunk house and a tree giveaway. Perfect for inquisitive kiddos!

Yesterland Farm is unlike any other fall festival you’ve ever seen. | Image courtesy of Yesterland Farm on Facebook

Worth the trip: Yesterland Farm

Yesterland Farm | 15410 I-20, Canton, TX 75103

Sept 18 – Nov 7

Ticket prices TBA

It may take one and a half hours to get to Yesterland Farm, but this fall festival is on another level. It has all the classics — pumpkin picking, sunflowers, a corn maze and rides — but there’s also so much at Yesterland that you won’t be able to experience elsewhere.

Partake in Spooktacular Nights, a collection of spooky attractions with everything from mild scares to wet-your-pants horror, depending on your comfort level. I’m particularly intrigued by Zombie Paintball, the funhouse haunted by “Chuckles” the clown and the after dark corn maze with monsters around every corner.

The Yesterland Farm fall festival also has fireworks every Friday and Saturday in October, pig races on Saturday and Sunday, live music from Texan artists and a petting zoo for the little ones.


Looking for more fun things to do with children? Check out our guides to the best playgrounds in Plano, McKinney, Frisco and Allen.

For even more family fun, check out this guide to the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Vaibhavi Hemasundar

Vaibhavi Hemasundar is an undergraduate at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She loves singing, film photography, and devouring book after book.