It’s fall in Austin! While it may be one of the shortest seasons here (dare we even call it a season? Keep your expectations low for fall foliage, y’all…) it’s still a magical time with plenty of fun things to do in the fall in Austin, Texas!
And while it may not last long, it’s still a much-anticipated season here. After those long, triple-digit hot days of the summer, we’re all ready for a cool, brisk walk, a few bright orange pumpkins, and a cozy beverage. And it’s FINALLY here. Get ready to celebrate cooler weather with by adding some of these activities to your autumn bucket list in Austin.
Go ahead and get out your calendar and start making plans for the next few months in ATX. Whether you want to make it a special season for your kids, you’re hoping for a few cute pictures with your dog, or you just want to gather with a couple of friends and do #allthefallthings, it’s best to put some of these fall bucket list items on your calendar in advance. (Some of the most popular will sell out!)
Whether you’re attending fall festivals, enjoying seasonal food + beer outside, or heading to an Oktoberfest or an Austin pumpkin patch, fall is here and we are ready!
From early September to Thanksgiving, there are plenty of family-friendly fall activities in Austin to check out this year. Discover the best things to do and see around town as the leaves (kinda) begin to turn…
15 Best Things To Do In The Fall In Austin
1. Go to an Austin Pumpkin Patch
There’s nothing cuter than dressing your kids or your dogs (or yourself!) in plaid and scarves and heading to a fun pumpkin patch. What do you even do at a pumpkin patch, you’re wondering? Well, in Austin, you don’t typically “pick” the pumpkins, but you do often get to select a few to purchase and bring home. And the really big, fun festivals have kettle corn and hot beverages for sale, activities like face painting and train rides, and some even have corn mazes! They aren't spooky like a haunted house, so they're great for young children.
We've made a complete guide to all of the best pumpkin patches in Austin this year, but here are a few of the best pumpkin patches in and around Austin:
Dripping Springs Pumpkin Festival |WEBSITE| This beautiful event has 50+ games, activities, and other fall-inspired things to do like a train ride, yummy food and drinks, and of course TONS of pumpkin photo ops.
Sweet Eats Fruit Farm |WEBSITE| Georgetown has an amazing pumpkin patch at Sweet Eats Fruit Farm. Enjoy pony rides and a petting zoo, a cute hay maze, and of course lots and lots of pumpkins.
Note: Barton Hills Farm has been one of the best pumpkin patches in Austin in years past, but they decided to permanently close in 2023. If this is traditionally your pumpkin patch of choice, start looking for other options. Thanks for all the memories, Barton Hills Farm! |WEBSITE|
2. Bring Your Kids on the Boo at the Zoo
Here’s an opportunity to wear your Halloween outfits an additional time! Put on your spookiest attire and head to the Austin Zoo for Boo at the Zoo event. It's happening every single Saturday and Sunday in October 2023 - be sure to get your tickets in advance!
Boo at the Zoo in Austin is a fun evening event where you can wander the zoo in the dark hours and hear the sounds of all the nocturnal animals. They also have a spooky train ride, a haunted mansion, and a really cool view of the zoo after hours. They light it up for Halloween and decorate it with October flair. It’s a fun fall activity in Austin to add to your calendar! |WEBSITE|
3. Drink Some Fall-style Beer (Like Oktoberfest!)
You don’t have to make any special arrangements for this one! Just show up to almost any Austin craft brewery and see if they have some seasonal beers on tap. Most breweries brew an Oktoberfest at this time of year (Oktoberfest is an amber-colored Marzen beer, which tastes great in the cooler months of the year.)
Here are a few Austin breweries that typically have a great Oktoberfest beer on tap during the fall months in Austin:
Live Oak Brewing |WEBSITE|
Celis Brewery |WEBSITE|
St Elmo |WEBSITE|
4. Visit a Haunted House in Austin
If you love getting spooked during the month of October, you've got to visit one of these scary haunted houses in Austin! Check out this guide for all the details + a map of where to find a haunted house experience near you.
BTW, The House of Torment is our top pick for the ultimate haunted house in Austin! If you love getting truly terrified at a haunted house, be sure to book tickets to this one because the weekends fill up quickly. |WEBSITE|
5. Go To Austin City Limits Music Festival
Austin City Limits is one of the biggest and best festivals to happen in the fall in Austin every year! Get tickets to one of the two full weekends of live music on 8 stages with over 100 bands.
Folks who are new to Austin as well as OG Austinites consistency consider ACL Fest one of the very best things to do in Austin in the fall.
New to ACL Fest? Here are our top 10 tips for attending Austin City Limits Music Festival.
6. Attend Texas Book Festival 2023
The Texas Book Festival is a free annual event that happens every fall in Austin. This year it will be on November 11-12, 2023. It's a community event that brings together best-selling authors and readers to celebrate books and reading.
It happens in downtown Austin at the state capitol and the surrounding streets. It’s completely FREE and open to the public, and they even offer free parking at the capitol parking garage. They've announced the 2023 author lineup, and it's a pretty impressive list including an Oprah Book Club author, Time magazine editor, and a NYT bestselling author, among many others.
BookPeople is one of the sponsors, so they’ll be there selling books. Listen to your favorite author give a keynote, grab a new novel for the fall, cozy up at home in your sweater and slippers with a fall candle while you devour your new book. |WEBSITE|
7. Eat Outdoors At A Fun Austin Patio
Patio season in Austin is honestly year-round, but the hot summer months can be pretty brutal. Now that it’s cooling down again, enjoy the beautiful patio weather! Check out Fresa’s on South First, La Piscina in downtown Austin, or Perla’s on South Congress. Or visit one of these 20 Austin patio restaurants.
8. Oktoberfest at Banger’s!
Every year, Austin has a couple of really fun Oktoberfest events! Banger’s Beer Garden hosts an epic one that's traditionally one of the BEST Oktoberfests to attend in Austin.
This year it's happening September 28-30, 2023 so mark your calendar. Get read for lots of beer, music, and (of course) delicious sausage. |WEBSITE|
9. Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg
If you’re willing to venture a bit out of town, the 43rd annual Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg is definitely a bucket list item! This fall activity near Austin (about an hour drive from downtown) is a great way to get in the autumn mood. It’s held every year in downtown Fredericksburg Marktplatz.
Since Fredericksburg is a German town with German roots, this festival honors Fredericksburg’s heritage with food, drinks, live music, local artists, and family-friendly activities. This year it's happening on October 6-8, 2023. Put it on your calendar and get tickets early - it gets pretty crowded every year! |WEBSITE|
10. Explore Austin's Hiking Trails
There are plenty of locations for you to take a hike in Austin. If you want to stay local, you can of course enjoy the Lady Bird Lake shoreline and hike or bike on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail.
Looking to enjoy a more strenuous hike? River Place Trail has some stairs and hilly terrain that will get your heart pumping. And if you're willing to drive out a bit, Enchanted Rock is a fantastic place to enjoy a gorgeous view. The Barton Creek Greenbelt is also a very popular trail - here's a guide to all the entry points!
11. Eat Pumpkin Pancakes at Kerbey Lane
Nothing screams “fall” like those delicious pancakes at Kerbey Lane! They’ve been making Austin’s favorite pancakes since 1980, and every fall they bring back their delicious pumpkin-flavored pancakes. They’re topped with a delicious sugary glaze and taste soooo good on a brisk fall morning.
12. Enter a Corn Maze and Get Lost
Looking for an Austin activity to do with your friends this fall? Try going to a corn maze in Austin! Have fun and get lost in the middle of huge corn and hay as you find your way out. Try going with a group of friends and splitting up into teams to see who can find their way out the fastest!
Here are a few corn mazes near Austin:
- Sweet Berry Farms
- Graff 7A Ranch
- Robinson Family Farm
- Yesterland Farm
13. Outside City Limits Music Festival
Don’t want to commit to ACL Fest this year? There’s another festival called Outside City Limits, and it happens each year at Vista Brewing. They have a beer, live music, and delicious food, and tickets that are really reasonably priced. Get them fast - they typically sell out! |WEBSITE|
14. See The Artisans at Pecan Street Festival
Every fall, the Pecan Street Festival sets up in downtown Austin for a weekend of music, food, and shopping! It's happening Sept 16-17, 2023. Learn all about it here!
Explore booths from dozens of local and national artisans who are selling everything from coasters to fuzzy socks. Get a few tips on how to get the most out of the Pecan Street Festival here.
15. See an Outdoor Movie in Downtown Austin
Did you know you can see outdoor movies from the top of a parking garage in downtown Austin? And autumn is an especially fun time for this event because there’s nothing better than cozying up in the back of the car for a fun date night under the stars while you watch a scary movie together!
Check out the drive-in movie theater's website for tickets and details. This one definitely makes of for a fun autumn date night activity. (BTW, here are 100 creative date ideas in Austin when you're looking for something fun to do!)
16. Book Your Fall Family Photo Shoot
Holiday cards sneak up later in the year, so book your annual family photo shoot early and get it done this autumn! Whether you're taking photos with a significant other, friends, or you fur-babies, here are some of the most beautiful spots in Austin for for family photos.
This is a great fall activity in late September or early October when the weather starts to really cool off!