September has arrived, and in North Texas that means it’s festival season! With so many family-friendly events happening this month, here are our 10 best family-friendly September events, attractions and things to do for you to enjoy.

Jurassic World: The Exhbition reall is as close as you’ll get to real dinosaurs. At Grandscape at The Colony.

Jurassic World: The Exhibition

Through January 2, 2022
Grandscape at The Colony | jurassicworldexhibition.com

Have you ever been to Disney World or Universal Studios? Jurassic World: The Exhibition at Grandscape in The Colony is on par with any of the best rides/attractions at Disney. Seriously, it’s that good. In the promotional materials, Jurassic World: The Exhibition boasts that this is “the closest you’ll ever get to live dinosaurs” and they’re not kidding. These dinosaurs look completely real. The entire experience looks and feels real. The production level is outstanding.

If you’re wondering if it’s really worth the ticket price, it is.

Click here for a parent’s helpful guide to Jurassic World at The Colony

Click here for 3 reasons why Jurassic World: The Exhibition should top your things to do list

The PAW Patrol Experience at CAMP, Dallas | Image courtesy of The PAW Patrol Experience

The PAW Patrol Experience (indoor attraction)

Through Oct. 31
CAMP, The Hill 9830 North Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75231
camp.com/paw-patrol

The PAW Patrol Experience is an immersive, one-of-a-kind experience which invites kids into Adventure Bay for hours of hands-on fun. Highlights at this September event (also running through October!) include the Adventure Bay Lookout Tower from which kids can communicate to each other via intercom, hands-on fire hose fun which kids use to help put an out-of-control firework display, an indoor zipline.

Click here to read more about this adorable attraction!

Tickets should be purchased in advance at camp.com/paw-patrol.

At the PAW Patrol Experience, “no job is too big and no pup is too small!”

PAW Patrol fans take note that PAW Patrol Live! (theatrical performance) is coming to Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Priaire, Oct. 29-31.

Dinosaurs Live! at The Heard Museum, McKinney

Dinosaurs Live!

Sept. 4, 2021 – Feb. 21, 2022
Heard Museum, McKinney | heardmuseum.org/dinosaurs-live

A classic among North Texas September events! This annual exhibit at the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary is a local family favorite and is included in the admission price to the center. Along a half-mile nature trail you’ll find ten animatronic dinosaurs. These life-size dinosaurs roar and move slowly: they don’t walk around but their heads and tails do move and one even spits!

Part of the exhibit are smaller dinosaurs for children to climb on and which are great for cute family photos. Other attractions at the Heard include Pioneer Village, playhouse-scale structures that emulate prairie settlements and which your kids will love to play in, the Animal Encounters Trail, Butterfly House & Garden, 6.5 miles of hiking trails and much more.

Click here to read more about it!

Autumn at the Arboretum, Dallas Arboretum

Autumn at the Arboretum

September 19 – November 1
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden | dallasarboretum.org

One of the most iconic September events in North Texas! The Arboretum’s Pumpkin Village is back and better than ever with more than 90,000 colorful pumpkins, gourds, and squash.

There will also be four 20-foot-tall pumpkin houses and displays, 150,000 autumn flowers, and stunning fall colors. Mommy and Me Mondays, Tiny Tot Tuesdays, and the hay bale maze are all coming back for another season of fun!

Purchase pumpkins at the patch, visit A Tasteful Place, a 3.5-acre food, herb, and vegetable garden, and listen to the live bands featured every weekend afternoon. You truly don’t want to miss Dallas’ most beloved fall tradition.

10 best family-friendly September events in 2021 14

North Texas Giving Day

September 23
Online event |
northtexasgivingday.org

AWith all of these September events giving your family a wonderful time, why not give back (while still having a wonderful time, of course)?

This 18-hour online giving event designed to empower every person to give back to their communities by supporting local nonprofits and causes they care about. In 2020, North Texas Giving Day raised $58.8 million.

Because giving back to your community starts at home. Make donating to a local nonprofit a family event by discussing with your children what matters to them and then visiting northtexasgivingday.org to find a nonprofit that aligns with their passion.

The McKinney Oktoberfest has long been one of the most beloved September events among families!

McKinney Oktoberfest

September 24 – 26
Downtown McKinney | Mckinneytexas.org

Get ready for a fusion of German and American cultures at Oktoberfest. Taste authentic German food from vendors, try both domestic and imported beer, listen to live music, and play fun games!

There will be activities that the whole family will enjoy, including an obstacle course, dancing, dog races, a petting zoo, an eating contest, relay races, a carnival, and much more. Don your lederhosen or any other German outfits and join in on all the fun! There will be marketplace vendors for you to purchase classic Oktoberfest items as well as other souvenirs from. 

The State Fair of Texas is back! This is a headliner among September events. | Courtesy of the State Fair of Texas

State Fair of Texas

September 24 – October 17
Fair Park, Dallas | bigtex.com

The State Fair of Texas is back for more Texas-sized fun! This year’s theme, “Howdy, Folks!”, celebrates coming together again after the pandemic. Get on an iconic ride, eat some fair food, listen to live music, meet some animals at the petting zoo, and do so much more. 24-day season passes are available for $50. This year, there will be a new Texas rodeo, vegetable carver, and pig races in addition to old favorites like World of Birds and Fiestas de Marionetas! Don’t forget to stay for the nightly Starlight Parade and a fireworks show. It promises to be one of the most triumphant September events, for sure.

North Texas Pride Festival at Haggard Park in Downtown Plano. Pride’s not just in June this year… it’s also one of Plano’s September events! | Courtesy of North Texas Pride on Facebook

10th Annual North Texas Pride Festival

September 25, all day
Haggard Park, Downtown Plano | Northtexaspride.com


A family-oriented day of fun, bringing the community together to celebrate pride in diversity. There will be sponsor/vendor booths as well as food and beverages, give-a-ways, kid activities, bands, DJ, dancing and entertainment for all ages. The festival is the annual fundraiser for North Texas Pride, a nonprofit who advocates for unity, equality and community integration for LGBTQ and allies through forums and events that promote pride and self-acceptance, education and awareness, and social interaction. Through fundraising, North Texas Pride hopes to create a permanent location that will be used for other organizations for events, meetings, education, and a central resource center to communities north of highway 635.

Concerts by the Creek is held at the Green at Watters Creek in Allen

Concerts by the Creek at Watters Creek

Every Saturday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. from September 4 through October 16, Watters Creek in Allen is hosting a free live music series on the Green. The Green is a beautiful astroturf green space at the heart of this beautiful shopping area.

Grab your blanket or lawn chair, and find a spot on the Green to enjoy the live music. Before, or after the show, enjoy dining at one of Watters Creek’s many restaurants.

Saturdays, 7-9 p.m., Sept 4-Oct 16
Watters Creek, Allen | watterscreek.com

The Addison Oktoberfest is one of our favorite September events! | Stevan Koye Photography

Addison Oktoberfest

Sept 16-19
Addison Circle Park | AddisonOktoberfest.com

There’s a lot more than bier and bratwursts to enjoy at Addison Oktoberfest. Some of the most famil-friendly highlights include the Partyhalle with live music and dancing, Kinderzelt, a dedicated kids area with activities including free balloon twisting and airbrush tattoos, Oktoberfest Kids Games and Sunday Hund Day – when attendees are encouraged to bring their dachshunds to take part in the Dachshund races.

Little Elm Autumn Fest is one of the most fun September events in North Texas!

Little Elm Autumn Fest

Sept 16 – 19
Little Elm Park | 701 W. Eldorado Parkway, Little Elm, TX 75068
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. Attending these exclusive September events all at once is 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.

Rebecca Silvestri

Rebecca Silvestri is the vice president of Sales & Marketing. She is also the wife of Philip Silvestri, publisher of Local Profile. In a previous life, Rebecca was a math teacher in London and the...