10 Best Ways to Celebrate Fall in the Dallas Area

Fall is on its way–at least according to the calendar. Though, while the weather may not exactly send chills up your spine, it usually signifies a much-welcomed break from triple digit temperatures. It’s also the time when the entire metroplex shifts into high gear with non-stop events leading all the way up to the holiday season. And one of the biggest is the State Fair of Texas, which draws over three million visitors annually for livestock shows, top-notch entertainment, a jam-packed midway and deep-fried everything.

If leaf-peeping and pumpkin patches are your fall favorites, then you’re going to want to check out the autumn festival at the Dallas Arboretum. Along with over 150,000 fall blooming plants and a nationally acclaimed pumpkin village, the fest boasts a full slate of fun activities for adults and kids alike.

Speaking of festivals– for four days every year, the city of Grapevine plays host to GrapeFest, the largest wine festival in the Southwest. There's also a massive Oktoberfest celebration going down in the city of Addison.

And we’d be remiss not to include Halloween. So those looking for a truly immersive, next-level haunted house experience, Dark Hour is the place to go.

On the hunt for more stellar things to do? Then check out our guide for the 10 best things going on around Dallas this September, October and November.

Outside the City
Sail With Scott
Photo courtesy of Sail With Scott


We can't think of a better way to enjoy the cooler weather than with one of Scott Self's sailing cruises on Lake Ray Hubbard. From April through the end of October, Self operates moonlight and daytime cruises every weekend, and sunset cruises...  Read More

Shakespeare in the Park
Photo courtesy of Shakespeare in the Park


Those seeking an open-air culture fix will want to head to one of Shakespeare Dallas' alfresco performances, held at Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre and Addison Circle Park. The 2018 fall season features one of Shakespeare's greatest tragedies,...  Read More

Outside the City
YesterLand Farm
Photo courtesy of YesterLand Farm


Nothing screams the arrival of autumn like pumpkins. And to really ratchet up the fall factor, Yesterland Farms, located about an hour east of Dallas, will be decking the fields with pumpkins of all sizes, colors and shapes. But the seasonal fun...  Read More

Meadows Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of Carrie Sanger


Art enthusiasts are descending on Dallas this fall for a first-of-its kind exhibition focusing exclusively on the small-scale paintings of Salvador Dalí. "Dalí: Poetics of the Small, 1929–1936," on display from September 9 through...  Read More

Plano Balloon Festival
Photo courtesy of Priscilla Killion


Each September, more than 90,000 balloon enthusiasts converge on Plano for one of the largest hot air balloon festivals in Texas. Running September 21 through September 23, the event showcases more than 40 balloons (including twelve special...  Read More

Dark Hour Haunted House
Photo courtesy of Dark Hour Haunted House


It's a given that the autumn season is also the Halloween season. So, those who have a plight for fright may want to hit up this 30,000-square-foot house of horrors located in Plano. With elaborate sets, high-tech special effects and...  Read More

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Photo courtesy of Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden


Leaf peeping in Dallas? Yes indeed. There's not a better place to experience the colors of the season than at this 66-acre oasis, especially when it holds its annual fall festival, Autumn at the Arboretum. Held September 22 to November 21, the...  Read More

Grapevine GrapeFest
Photo courtesy of Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau


Considering that Texas is the fifth-largest wine producing state in the nation, it's only fitting that a Texas town named after grapes would be the setting for the biggest wine festival in the Southwest. The four-day event (held September...  Read More

Addison Oktoberfest
Photo courtesy of Addison Oktoberfest


Sure, Munich may be home to the grandest Oktoberfest of all, but Addison's celebration (held in Addison Circle Park) is no slouch. Billed as one of the most authentic in North America by Forbes and USA Today, the Addison Oktoberfest features an...  Read More

State Fair of Texas
Photo courtesy of Kevin Brown-State Fair of Texas


For Dallasites, fall means the arrival of the State Fair of Texas, one of the country's largest and longest-running state fairs, attracting over 3 million visitors each year. Held in Dallas' historic Fair Park, the event runs for 24...  Read More


Meet Ilene Jacobs

As a perpetual wanderer, foodie freak and wannabe chef, Ilene is always on the lookout for the best places to see, eat, drink and sleep. When she's not writing about the latest happenings in...  More About Ilene