If you're like most people, the weeks between now and Thanksgiving are probably jam-packed with seasonal activities. The fall months bring so many opportunities for family bonding and fun, from Halloween celebrations to sporting events and food festivals.
Looking for some activities to pack your calendar over the next few months? Here are 15 bucket list items to check off before autumn flies by in a blur.
1. Eat some weird fried food at the State Fair. Every year, our state fair releases a variety of strangely delicious fried concoctions, and this year, they aren't disappointing. Try something especially unhealthy like Texas Thai Delight or a Fletcher's Cheezy Pup. Then spend the day exploring the rest of the attractions the famous fair has to offer, including free concerts and new exhibits.
2. Find a pumpkin patch for family photos. Nothing screams autumn more than some pictures snapped in a field full of orange gourds, am I right? Plus, many of these patches offer other fun activities like hayrides and petting zoos. Call ahead to make sure the pumpkin patch you select is open on the day you plan to visit, then have fun embracing some true seasonal fun.
3. Celebrate Oktoberfest at a nearby festival. Although most of us can't jet off to Munich for the official Oktoberfest from September 22 to October 7, the DFW area has several opportunities for drinking beer and embracing German culture. Addison is hosting a particularly impressive Oktoberfest celebration from September 20 to 23, and McKinney is promising plenty of festival food and entertainment from September 28 to September 30. If you know of other great Oktoberfest events, let us know in the comments on this post!
4. Go apple-picking at Henrietta Creek Orchard. Whether you're planning to bake a homemade apple pie or cover some Granny Smiths in sticky caramel, the best way to go apple shopping in the fall is to pick the fruits yourself. Head over to Roanoke to visit Henrietta Creek Orchard, which allows you to pick apples from more than 500 hybrid dwarf apple trees. They also sell fun products like fruit butters and honey. Don't forget that their apple-picking season usually ends mid-October, so it's better to visit sooner than later.
5. Visit the Pumpkin Village Dallas Arboretum. Every September, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden plans a variety of fun activities for the fall season, including a Pumpkin Village composed of more than 90,000 pumpkins, squash and gourds. Purchase your admission to the garden and you'll receive free entry to this magical photo shoot location.
6. Find a watch party for a football game. If there's one thing Dallas bars are good at, it's celebrating football season. Places like Christies Sports Bar & Deli and Frankie's are equipped with plenty of TVs and game-day drink specials,
7. Attend a local hockey game. The Dallas Stars' preseason just began on September 18, so now is the time to snag tickets and make your plans to support the city's favorite hockey team. You can also check out the fun Allen American games, which begin on October 12.
8. Brave a haunted house. If you're looking for a way to celebrate the trick side of trick-or-treating, Dark Hour Haunted House in Plano and other local DFW attractions are more than willing to help out. Check out this list of the spookiest haunted houses in the metroplex for 2018.
9. Enjoy the cool weather and go camping. Yes, it's still in the upper 80s in most parts of DFW right now, but cool weather is (hopefully) just around the bend. Take advantage of the comfortable temperatures in October and early November by going on a camping trip with friends or family. Need some suggestions for camping destinations? Check out these nearby locations. Don't forget the s'more ingredients!
10. Walk with dinosaurs at the Heard Museum. For the 13th year in a row, the Dinosaurs Live! exhibit has returned to the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney. Children and adults alike will have fun wandering the sanctuary's trails and gaping at the 46-foot tall T-Rex, among other life-size dinos scattered throughout the area.
11. Run a 5k with friends. Whether you want to run for beer at the Oktoberfest 5k in Fort Worth on September 29 or you want to help kids beat brain cancer by jogging in Westlake on October 20, there are more than a few 5ks to check out over the course of September and October. Form a team and support each other as you get active at a fun event with other community members.
12. Get outdoors with a family hike. Hopefully the weather will eventually cool down enough to encourage some hiking in the DFW area. Cedar Ridge Preserve, Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center and Arbor Hills Nature Preserve are just a few of the best places to check out when your lungs need a little fresh air.
13. Appreciate classic horror at Hitchocktober at the Angelika Film Center. During the entire month of September, the film center will be showcasing some of Hitchcock's greatest works. Enjoy celebrated classics like Rear Window on October 4 or Psycho on Halloween evening. After all, there's no better time to honor this master of suspenseful films than during the scariest time of year.
14. Purchase tickets for a big concert in Dallas. Everyone from Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran to Beyonce and Jay-Z will be strutting their stuff on Dallas stages this fall. Snag tickets for the most popular performers early to ensure you get the best seats in the house.
15. Check out a Day of the Dead festival. On October 27, head to Denton for a day full of Dia de los Muertos traditions and costumes. The family-friendly event will feature plenty of seasonal activities including coffin races, pumpkin patches, bounce houses, face painting and live performances with spooky songs and stories.
What's on your fall bucket list? Share other events and activities in the comments!