2018 FALL FESTIVALS
Ah, fall in Dallas-Fort Worth. Sure, we’re looking forward to pumpkin-spiced-everything, cozy sweaters and cooler weather, but what we’re really excited for is fall festival season! Mark your calendars, ’cause trust me, there’s no better way to experience DFW than these local traditions.
AUTUMN AT THE ARBORETUM (September 22-November 21)
The Dallas Arboretum is always awe-inspiring, but during the fall it turns into a total wonderland with over 25,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash displays (perfect for photo-ops). This year’s theme is “The Adventures in Neverland”, featuring scenes from childhood tale Peter and Wendy. Be sure to check their calendar for live music and kids activities each week!
COST—$15 adult admission, $10 child (2-12) admission
SMOKED BBQ FESTIVAL (September 22, October 13)
Calling all BBQ-lovers: You have two chances this year to chow down on the best barbecue in the Lone Star State! Come dig in, drool a little, listen to live music and play games on the lawn. There will be different pit-masters at the Dallas and Fort Worth fests, so if you want to try all the BBQ, we won’t blame you for getting tix to both!
COST—$50 general admission, children 6-12: $10 and children 5 and under: FREE
STATE FAIR OF TEXAS (September 28-October 21)
The State Fair of Texas is one of the most iconic events in the state—running for over 130 years. This fall, jam out to live music on the Chevrolet Main Stage, experience thrills on 70+ rides at the Midway, cheer on the Sooners or Longhorns at the AT&T Red River Shootout and make sure to capture a photo op in front of the one and only, Big Tex.
COST—$18 adult general admission, $14 child (under 48 in. tall) general admission
DOG DAYS OF DENTON (October 6)
For 25 years, the Lil’ D has celebrated their pups with a doggone festival! Whether you want to bring your four-legged friend to meet other dogs or simply want to see some adorable pups, everyone’s invited to join in the fun. They’ll have “glamfur” shots for fashionista furbabies, a marketplace with pup stuff and contests!
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL (October 13)
Experience cultures from around the world without leaving the DFW Metroplex. Haggard Park in Plano transforms into an international destination with exciting performances, cultural displays from over 100 countries and culinary arts. This is an excellent way to introduce different cultures to the kiddos and bonus: The event is pet-friendly, so the whole family can join the fun.
WATER LANTERN FESTIVAL (October 20)
This wildly popular event has been making a splash around the country, and this October, is coming to Arlington’s Globe Life Park. Each ticket includes entry into the festival and a floating water lantern so you can partake in the most serene experience while you light up the water in amazement.
COST—Kids (8-14) $12, Adults $25
ENNIS AUTUMN DAYS (October 27)
This is one of my favorite small-town festivals! You get to experience charming downtown Ennis and enjoy a hay maze, rock climbing, paddle boats, live music and great shopping. They’ll even have trick-or-treating for the kiddos, and (new this year) a craft beer garden for the adults!
Want to oompah through DFW this fall? You can find even more festival fun at local Oktoberfests around town!
‘TILL NEXT TIME
These festivals have already passed, but don’t worry—you can experience them again next year!
ARTS & AUTOS EXTRAVAGANZA (September 8)
If you’re into old cars and art (or just love checking out the local scene), this is a must for you! It’s exactly what it sounds like—art and automobiles, all on the Historic Downtown Denton Square. They’ll also have talented chalk artists and live music!
DALLAS BREWFEST (September 8)
What better way to kick off festival season than sampling 400+ delicious craft beers? After enjoying Denton’s Arts & Autos during the day, head to Dallas Farmers Market for an evening of live music, responsible* drinking and chowing down on local food.
COST—$42 Advanced General Admission, $75 Advanced VIP Admission *If you get sample-happy, please take an Uber or Lyft!
GRAPEFEST (September 14-16)
Wine lovers, rejoice! This annual Grapevine festival is the largest wine festival in the Southwest. Sip on all kinds of Texas wines while exploring Downtown Main Street’s unique shops, listening to live tunes and even stomping on grapes. Although there’ll be vino a-flowing, this fest isn’t just for adults—kiddos will love the carnival and midway!
COST—FREE on Thursday 9/13 and Friday 9/14 until 5 p.m., single-day adult admission $8, single-day child (6-12) admission $5. FREE for children under 6!
DENTON BLUES FEST (September 15-16)
Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to boogie! This annual festival at Quakertown Park never fails to deliver awesome live music, food and a fun time for everyone. They’ll even have bounce houses and arts & crafts for the kiddos!
MAIN STREET EVENT (September 21-22)
Held in the heart of Irving’s Heritage District, this annual fest celebrates the city’s hometown feel with live music, a car show, craft market and even a Hot Sauce Fest. Different events happen each day, so be sure to check their calendar to see what’s in store before heading out!
EPICFEST (September 21-22)
Grand Prairie is celebrating the opening of Epic Central Park and highlighting the diverse community with an inaugural festival! They’ll have butterfly releases, multi-cultural performances, a beer garden for the parents, games for the kiddos and live music at the brand new Grand Lawn Amphitheater. This is sure to be an EPIC fest!
PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL (September 21-23)
Even though I’m in my early 20’s, I feel like a kid whenever I’m at this fest! It’s magical watching a field of hot air balloons rise up from the ground, and even more magical to ride in one. Yep, that’s right—they’ll have tethered air balloon rides along with live music, activities for the kiddos and Saturday night fireworks!
COST—Kids (3-12) $5, Day ticket $10, Weekend ticket $20
MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL (September 21-23)
Head to Asia Times Square for the largest Moon Festival in North Texas! They’ll have lantern decoration contests, carnival games, live music, multicultural performances and traditional Lion Dances. Love K-Pop? Don’t miss their K-Pop dance competition on September 23!
WESTERN DAYS (September 28-29)
When a festival has a cattle drive, you know it’s a real Texas town tradition! Channel your inner cowboy and celebrate the spirit of the west in Old Town Lewisville with a marketplace, fair food, live music and kids zone.
COST—FREE with ticket before 7 p.m., after $10 per person except for children under 12
Featured Image of State Fair of Texas, Courtesy: Joseph Haubert