There are many fun things to do in Dallas and surrounding cities for kids, adults and families to enjoy throughout the year. Even though my children are now grown and gone, I continue to look and find fun things to do for us to enjoy during the spring, summer, fall and winter months. No one likes to be bored, especially me, feeling like there’s nothing to do in the fall or cold Texas winters.
Fortunately, the Dallas area has events and festivals in the fall that fill our calendar with lots of fun things to do for us grown adults, grandparents, and children too. Labor Day weekend marks the end of summertime fun, but North Texas cities and counties like Plano, Dallas, Addison, McKinney, Richardson, Sachse, Little Elm, Rockwall and Garland, have events and festivals in the fall for everyone to enjoy.
The fall festival season typically runs from mid-September to mid-October, which includes Oktoberfests in both Addison and McKinney, the Taste of Collin County, the Plano Balloon Festival, Richardson’s Cottonwood Arts Festival, Lake Highlands area Autumn at the Arboretum, Garland’s Wild West Cowboy Round-Up, the annual Sachse Fall Fest, and the State Fair of Texas, just to name a few. Scroll to find your town’s 2010 fall festival or event.
McKinney – The Taste of Collin County in McKinney TX will be held on Monday, September 13, from 5-9 pm. Drat, of all days to have a festival, it’s today and on a Monday weeknight no less. This Taste Of fest will have food, wine and beer samples from over 40 Collin County restaurants, plus live entertainment and kids activities, with event proceeds benefiting the North Collin County Habitat for Humanity organization. Held at the Collin County Regional Airport in McKinney, located at 1496 E. Industrial Blvd, admission prices are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and $10 for kids to get into the event. For more information, visit www.tasteofcollincounty.com or call 972-542-5300, ext. 104.
Addison – Addison Oktoberfest (held in September) may not get the huge crowd turnout that Kaboom Town gets each year, but over 60,000 visitors are expected at Addison Oktoberfest, complete with four full days of fun activities, food and entertainment for kids and families. Authentic German food, beer hall and Weingarten, music and folk dancing, arts and crafts, amusements, children’s entertainment etc. Oktoberfest in Addison starts on Thursday, September 16 and ends on Sunday, September 19. Thursday’s scheduled time runs from 6-11 p.m.; Friday from 6 pm to midnight; Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday from noon to 5 pm. This festival in Addison is located at Addison Circle Park, 4970 Addison Circle Drive. Admission is Free on the 16th, and $5-$10 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for anyone 4 years old and up. DFW area Albertsons stores are selling discount coupon tickets for admission, food and beverage for $5 anytime for the Addison fest. For more information, visit www.addisontexas.net/events/Oktoberfest/ for further details.
Plano – The Plano Balloon Festival is a very popular North Texas event, which features over 60 hot air balloons, sky divers, inflatable rides, face painting, crafts, fireworks and live entertainment, and balloon rides. Country singer Scott Ewing will perform live. Balloon rides at the Plano TX festival are available for a cost of about $250.00 per person. The Plano Balloon Fest runs for three days, from Friday, September 17 through Sunday, September 19. The fairgrounds in Plano is located at Oak Point Park, at 2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway.
The price for admission tickets to the Plano event vary: $5 per person for a 1-time admission; $8 per person day ticket – 2-time admission; $4 per person discounted admission 9:00AM – 3:00PM; $1 off for Seniors 65 and over; Kids under 36 inches get in Free. Parking is available for $10 per car plus admission at the Collin College Spring Creek Campus, Oak Point Recreation Center (Jupiter and Spring Creek Parkway), and the First United Methodist Church (Parker and Spring Creek Parkway). $5 parking offsite is available at the Plano Centre (2000 E. Spring Creek Parkway) and the Collin Creek Church (1905 E. Parker Road). For more information, visit www.planoballoonfest.org.
Garland – The City of Garland’s second annual Wild West Round-Up in downtown Garland features chuckwagons serving authentic cowboy grub such as meat, beans and potatoes from dutch ovens; Stagecoach rides; live western entertainment; a petting zoo; face painting; hay mazes; pony cart rides; and a variety of crafts. Garland’s festival is being held on Saturday, September 18, from 10 am to 7 pm, at the Downtown Garland Square, Sixth and Main streets. Admission is Free. For more information and the complete rundown of everything scheduled for this fun event, visit www.garlandcowboyroundup.com.
Rockwall – The City of Rockwall is hosting its annual Aspasians Fall Arts & Crafts Fair, where some 200 vendors will sell a variety of foods and merchandise like jewelry, gourmet popcorn and woodwork. Sponsored by Aspasians nonprofit women’s service organization, proceeds from the Rockwall event will be donated for college scholarships for high school graduating seniors. This event is being held on Saturday, September 18, from 9 am to 5 pm at the Historic Downtown Rockwall Square, located at the intersection of Goliad, San Jacinto, Kaufman and Rusk streets. Admission is Free. For more information, visit the Aspasians website at www.aspasians.com.
Lake Highlands, Dallas – The Dallas Arboretum’s Autumn at the Arboretum begins with the Great Pumpkin Festival (September 18 – November 14), which will include a Storybook Pumpkin Village, a hay bale maze, the Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch, and thousands of the most gorgeous fall plants and flowers you could imagine. Other fall fun events in Dallas include the Fall Family Fun Weekend (October 30 and 31) and Cool Thursdays Concerts series at the Arboretum (7 pm from September 16 – October 29). (I can’t wait until the Twilight Tuesdays Concert Series at the Dallas Arboretum returns in Spring and Summer 2011, because the lineup of live music was amazing this year, especially since local favorite Emerald City Band performed). The Dallas Arboretum is located at 8525 Garland Road in Dallas, near White Rock Lake. Adult admission is $10, $7 for kids 3-12 years old, and $9 for seniors 65 and up. For more information, visit www.dallasarboretum.org or call (214) 515-6518.
Little Elm, Denton County – The town of Little Elm is hosting its annual Little Elm Autumn Fest, from Thursday September 23 to Sunday, September 26. Featured activities include a family carnival, games, rides, contests, 5K memorial fun run, Little Miss Autumn Fest Pageant, a barbeque cook-off, a 1-mile walk, and various vendors selling arts, crafts and food. Admission is Free. The festival will be held at the Little Elm Park, located at 704 W. Eldorado Parkway, in Little Elm Texas. For more information, visit www.littleelmtx.us.
Dallas – The State Fair of Texas in Dallas Texas is a huge local event, with visitors coming from all over the country to attend this extremely popular event. The 2010 Dallas State Fair includes the ever-popular Chevrolet Main Stage live music entertainment, parades and pyrotechnics, the auto show, a petting zoo, pig races, special shows and exhibits, amusement rides and some of the strangest “award winning” fried food concoctions known to man, and so much more. The State Fair begins on Friday, September 24 and ends on Sunday, October 17. The Fair Park fairgrounds open at 8 am, located at 3921 Martin Luther King Blvd, but closing times vary throughout the event dates. General adult admission is $15; $11 for kids and senior citizens over 60; children under 2 get in Free. For more information, visit www.bigtex.com
McKinney TX – McKinney Oktoberfest is a two-day, family fun event, hosted by McKinney Main Street, shops in downtown McKinney and various supporting sponsors. Activities celebrating a popular tradition that started 200 years ago in Munich, Germany include authentic German beer, wine and foods, authentic German music, traditional costumes, dancing, fun interactive activities for kids such as face painting, pony rides and all types of arts and crafts. Oktoberfest in McKinney is being held on Friday, September 24 (4 pm to 11 pm) and Saturday, September 25 (10 am to 11 pm) at the Historic Downtown Square, located at the intersection of Virginia, Louisiana, Tennessee and Kentucky streets. Admission is Free. For more information, visit www.downtownmckinney.com.
Richardson – Now in its 42nd year, Richardson’s Cottonwood Art Festival is a nationally recognized fall attraction in Texas. This Art Fest features over 240 local, regional and national artists exhibiting their museum-quality work. Local and regional bands perform rock, jazz, country, blues, swing and folk music during this event. 14 categories of art are included at this festival, including 2D and 3D Mixed Media, ceramics, drawings/pastels, fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metals, paintings, photography, sculpture and wood are some of what visitors can expect to see. Held at Cottonwood Park on Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3, from 9 am to 6 pm rain or shine. Cottonwood Park is located one block east of Coit Road, 1321 W. Beltline Road, in Richardson Texas. Food and drink vendors will be available in the courtyard, and kid’s activities are available at the ArtStop children’s area. Admission is Free, but some kid activities may require a fee.