Top Things to do in Austin this Fall!

Although it is obvious that I love summer... I must admit, fall is my favorite season of all.  And autumn in Austin really can't be beat.  The chilly mornings, warm afternoons, clear skies and crisp air!!  

There are also lots of festivals and events in Austin during this time.  I haven't made it to all of them, but if you're looking for something special to do, here is a good list of what is going on!

● Austin Museum Day
September 22

Since 1998, the Austin Museum Partnership has hosted Austin Museum Day – a free, city-wide rediscovery of Austin museums.   

The day provides families with a unique opportunity to access the dynamic museum community including local exhibits and activities at over 40 participating institutions at no charge!

Admission:  Free!

● Trailer Food Tuesday
September 24th, October 29th and November 26th
5 to 9pm

While this event goes on all year long on the last Tuesday of the month, autumn is the perfect weather to get out and enjoy it!

"Sample the delicious food trucks of Austin in one easy location. Try popular local favorites and enjoy something new every last Tuesday of the month."

Admission:  Free!

● Old Pecan Street Festival
September 28th and 29th

"The Pecan Street Festival is a FREE, bi-annual arts and crafts festival held on historic 6th Street every first weekend in May and every last weekend in September.

The show proudly features over 275 artisan vendors from all over the world who display and sell homemade art and craft work."

Admission:  Free!

● Fall Fun Harvest at Sweet Berry Farms
September 28th - November 8th - Closed Wednesdays
M - F 8:30am - 5:30pm, Sundays 1pm - 5pm

No pets allowed only cash or checks accepted

This is one of our all time favorite fall activities.  We have been doing it since the boys were very small.  There is something for everyone at this event.  Paint your pumpkins, stuff a scarecrow, go on a tractor ride, feed the goats or pick flowers

Our favorite is the Texas Corn Maze.  This is a huge maze, and you must find all the cities within the maze.  It can take up to 45 minutes to finish. Split into groups and see who is fastest!

Don't miss the freshly made pumpkin ice cream!!

Admission is free, however activities cost between $2.50 and $7 plus the cost of a pumpkin.  To participate in all events would be $40 per child... but we've never done that!  Pick and choose and you'll spend around $20 per kid..

● Austin City Limits
October 4th - 6th and 11 - 13th

"ACL Festival takes place on 46-acres in Zilker Park, the crown jewel of Austin’s public green spaces.

It plays host not only to 130+ artists from across the globe, but amazing local eats and wares, free fun for the kiddos, green goings-on, and other cool activities to entertain you between sets! Scroll down to see the Austin Eats Food Court, ACL Art Market, ACL Cares and Austin Kiddie Limits partners appearing at Zilker Park during both weekends of ACL Festival 2013!"

$200 for a three day pass 

● Boo at the Zoo
Fridays and Saturdays: October 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, and 26
6:30pm - 9pm

This fun event allows kids to view animals after regular Zoo hours. Pack a picnic and put your little ones in their costumes for a fun-filled train ride full of animals and ghosts( who pass out candy)!  

Younger children can take the earlier train rides, when it is still light outside. Bring a flashlight to better see the animals.

Boo at the Zoo is the Austin Zoo's annual fall fundraiser benefiting rescued animals. 

Admission:  $15

● Haunted Halloween: The Quest: Pioneer Farms
Friday, October 18th, Saturday, October 19th, Friday, October 26th, Saturday, October 27th  7 - 10pm

"When the veil between the worlds grows thin at the time of harvest, the powers of Darkness try to rip open a gateway that would permit evil to gain foothold in the mortal world....The Brotherhood wisely concealed magical symbols throughout the farmlands... Your quest is to locate and combine each of these symbols onto a single manuscript page and save our village."

Admission: $12

● Les Miserables at Zachary Scott Theater
September 25-November 3, 2013

I Dreamed A Dream...experience the international musical phenomenon LES MISÉRABLES, up-close and personal, in the intimate Topfer Theatre! Soaring anthems, unbridled patriotism and the quest for redemption reveal the heart of a man who must leave his past behind to fight for life, love and liberty. 

Admission:  Tickets start at $25

● Cedar Park Kid Fish
October 12th
8am - 1pm

This free community event includes fishing in Brushy Creek Lake, as well as an artificial pond stocked with hungry fish for beginner anglers. 

Smaller children can try a “backyard bass” activity consisting of rubber fish spread across a tarp “lake” that teaches children casting and how to identify legal game fish. 

Participants must complete a scavenger hunt in order to earn the chance for great prizes!

Admission:  Free

● The Boy who Loved Monsters and the Girl who loved Peas at the Long Center
October 12th and 13th and 19th and 20th

The Polyanna Theater Company presents a play about "Evan, like many 7 year olds, does not like to clean his plate, especially a plate filled with peas. And to make matters worse, baby sister Sue loves them. "

Admission: $11 adults, $9 children

● Texas Renaissance Festival
Weekends - October 12 - December 1st

Another long drive from Austin (about 2 and a half hours).  But this is a fun event that every family should try at least once!

"The enchanted 55-acre village comes to life as all of Europe comes to pay homage to the King and Queen with Eight Themed Weekends.  Hundreds of costumed performers are showcased in over 200 daily performances.  Visitors meander along shaded cobblestone walkways visiting almost 400 shoppes overflowing with unique arts and crafts of offering delicious foods and beverages.  "

Admission: $26 for adults and $13 for children

● Art Outside
October 18 - 21
Art Outside is a unique three day festival combining visual and interactive art, performance, film, as well as a wide range of music bridging genres, from bluegrass to experimental, hip-hop to dance music. Art Outside started with the idea to bring art out of the gallery and into a unique setting where different forms of art can connect and be enjoyed by all.

Art Outside - Folk it Up StageThe festival takes place at Apache Pass.  This site features hundreds of acres of grassy camping areas and lush pecan trees scattered throughout.

Admission:  Single Day passes range from $30 - $50, a full pass is $90

● Movies in the Park: Ghostbusters in Republic Square Park
Thursday, October 24 at 7:30pm

What better way to get in the mood for Halloween than watching Ghostbusters with your family!

Movies in the Park is a series of free films brought to you by the Austin Parks Foundation, and presented by the #1 movie theater in America, the Alamo Drafthouse.

Dogs, picnics, and lawn chairs are welcome. Alcoholic beverages, glass and styrofoam are not permitted in the park. 

Admission:  Free

● Goblins in the Garden at the Wildflower Center
Sunday, October 27th, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

"Families can dress up in their Halloween finest and bring a camera to take memorable snap shots. Come dressed as a character from nature and join the costume parade through the courtyard at 6:00 p.m. Think butterfly, moth, spider, and ladybug costumes. 

Be sure to stop by the Wildflower Center Café for hot chocolate and other seasonal beverages and food."

Admission: $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, $3 for children 5 through 12, and free for Center members and children under 5. 

● Pumpkin Sculpting Competition at Umlauf Garden
October 27 12pm - 4pm

"Bring your own pumpkin and carving tools to the gardens today for a workshop on pumpkin sculpting followed by an intense round of judging for their annual competition!

Workshop led by Texas Society of Sculptors’ Marla Riperda.

Categories include: Best Effort by an Adult, Most Likely to Disintegrate Today, Most Likely to Make it to 2013, Classiest Display, and of course Spookiest Sculpture!

Admission: Free when you bring your own pumpkin!

● Lost Maples Campground in Vanderpool Texas
Late October - Early November

This is a bit for from Austin - a little under a 3 hour drive.  But I've heard that some of the prettiest fall foliage around can be found in Lost Maples Campground. 

The park can receive over 1,800 visitors in a weekend.  So pack your hiking shoes for a day, or put your tent in the car and enjoy an overnight visit!

● House of Torment
Weekends in September and everyday from October 10 - October 31st

"House of Torment is a premiere haunted attraction at a multi-level, 20,000 square-foot facility at Highland Mall featuring elaborate Hollywood-quality sets, iconic characters portrayed by talented actors, towering animatronic monsters and terrifying scenarios."

Admission: $25

● Wurstfest in New Braunfels
November 1st - November 10th
A "unique annual celebration rich in German culture and full of Texas fun! Located near the headwaters of the beautiful Comal River in New Braunfels, Texas!

Here you’ll enjoy good food, music, dancing, exciting carnival rides and games, German, Texan and domestic beer, special events and the finest in Alpine and Bavarian Style Entertainment.

It all happens at Wurstfest! The best ten days in sausage history."

Admission: $10

● Austin Symphony's Halloween Children's Concert
Sunday, October 22nd at 2pm

"This year’s spook-tacular show is sure to have you shakin’ in your boots! Your little ghost or goblin will help haunt Long Center’s Dell Hall as the Austin Symphony Orchestra presents its annual Halloween Children’s Concert, featuring mindchilling songs that are entertaining for all ages! The entire family is encouraged to join in on the fun and dress to impress in their favorite costumes while attending a concert full of “boo-tiful” music."

Admission: $12 adults, $8 children

● Barton Hills Farm Fall Festival and Corn Maze in Bastrop
Saturdays and Sundays, September 28th - November 10th

"Barton Hill Farms is set among 100-year-old cottonwood trees, rolling grassy hills and the picturesque Colorado River. Our Fall Festival & Corn Maze is the perfect setting to let your kids enjoy true outdoor entertainment, including rides, games, a corn maze, pumpkin patch, local vendors and farm animals."

Admission: $10 (11 and up), children (3 to 10):  $7 plus $5 for an all access pass

● Bob Bullock Spooktacular
Friday, October 25th at 6pm

When darkness falls at the Bullock Museum, history's spookiest stories are brought to light. Discover terror-ific tales of Texas through games, storytelling, costumes and more!

● Texas Clay Festival in New Braunfels
October 26 & 27th

Featuring the work of over 60 Texas potters and clay artists, the festival offers the opportunity to view and purchase a wide variety of pottery, from traditional to sculptural by the top clay artist in the state. 

Take this unique opportunity to watch and learn as demonstrations are held in four tents throughout both days. From forming on the potters wheel to hand-building to raku firing, there is something for everyone.

Admission:  Free

● Texas Book Festival
October 26th and 27th

The Texas Book Festival celebrates authors and their contributions to the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination. 

The signature event has evolved into one of the premier literary events in the country and takes place in and around the State Capitol in Austin, hosting more than 250 authors each year. More than 40,000 book lovers of all ages attend the Festival annually, enjoying author readings and presentations, panel discussions, book signings, cooking demonstrations, live music, local food, vendors from across the state, children's activities, YA authors, and purchasing books in the Festival's tents. 

Admission:  Free

● Austin Celtic Festival
November 2nd and 3rd
12pm - 7:30pm

Join the Austin Celtic Festival as they present world class music, dance and fun for the whole family. 

Admission: $15

● Dia de Los Muertos 
Saturday, November 2nd

This unique festival features a full day Dia los Muertos cultural experience with live music, performances, art, costume contest, food and drink. The festival brings together a dynamic blend of the Austin musical landscape with vibrant Dia de los Muertos traditions. 

Proceeds will benefit Easter Seals Central Texas’ mission of providing exceptional services to people with disabilities."

● Fun Fun Fun Fest
November 8th, 9th and 10th
In 2006, Fun Fun Fun Fest booked its first set of acts in downtown Austin and it didn't take long for it to become the darling of independent festivals for music lovers and music makers in the United States. Throughout the years, Fun Fun Fun Fest has become renowned for its musical lineup, as well as its collection of comedy, food, action sports, and poster art experiences.

Now in it's eighth year and recognized as one of the most relaxed, creative, and pioneering festivals in music today, Fun Fun Fun Fest is custom booked for the most passionate, underground, and progressive musicians, comedians and fans around the world.

● Turkey Trot
Thanksgiving Day - November 28th

An awesome Austin tradition!  Join with a gaggle of other Austinites in this 5 mile run.  Nothing quite makes Thanksgiving dinner taste better than a nice run in the morning.

Whether you are a marathoner, or a mom with young children, this race is perfect for everyone.  Walk or run, it is always fun!  And that late start time (as compared a traditional start of 7am) makes this race perfect for first timers! 

Planning Your Go See It

You have 5 Go See its to plan with your den before your den crosses over to being Wolves.  Below are some tips for planning your year:

1 ●●  Know your cross over date
Each pack graduates its boys at different times. Some graduate Tigers to Wolves at their Blue and Gold Ceremony in February, some go all the way until the end of the May.  To best plan your year, it helps to know when you need to get everything completed by. If you don't know when the boys cross over to the next rank, ask your cub master.

2 ●● Don't deprive your den parents the chance of being seen a hero in their sons' eyes
I'll never forget the day I overheard a boy talk about his den leader.  "That's my dad", he said, brimming with pride.  Every child loves to see their parent in charge, leading.  As a den leader, make sure you give every parent a chance to shine in their child's eyes.  Don't try and plan everything yourself.  

The easiest thing to do, is to give each parent the responsibility of planning one go see it. Each event takes very little effort or time to plan, but allows parents to get involved... and shine :o)

3 ●Two deep leadership is essential.  It isn't just protection for our boys, it is protection for our leaders
This is serious.  You should never, never be alone with another child that is not your own.  If you are driving in the car, make sure there is another child, or preferably, an adult with you.  Going on a hike, do the same.

This is not just protection for our boys, this is protection for you.  You never want to be in a situation where it is your word versus a child's.  And if you  are never alone with a child, that can't happen.  Take this very seriously.  

4 ●● When selecting a date and time, sometimes it helps to use a planning tool
There are a lot of meeting planning tools out there.  Google Doodle was recommended; agreeadate is another.  Whichever tool you use, pick a couple of different dates, throw them out to all the parents, and pick the one where the most kids can attend.  This way, everyone can see which dates work best, it is easy to choose and it doesn't feel personal.

5 ●These  Go See Its will create amazing and awesome memories for a group of boys.  Enjoy them!!
Everyone says it, but it really is true.  These years with your kids fly by faster than you can ever imagine.  If you were a cub scout, think back to your memories in the den.  Go See Its should be fun.  They won't be perfect, kids aren't perfect and neither are adults.  But they should be fun!  Enjoy it!!

Next Page: 1: Making My Family Special

1: Making My Family Special

2: Where I live

3: Keeping Myself Healthy and Safe

4: How I Tell It

5: Let's Go Outdoors

If you have a great idea to add, please feel free to leave a comment below or to email Annemarie at

First Page: Making My Family Special Go-See-It ideas 

1 ●●● Making My Family Special

There are so many great places to go in and around Austin to learn about history.

The key, when picking this den activity, is to pick something that is going to be active and keep the boys' attention.

Below are just eight possible places you could go. Some, like the Capitol, are pretty fast and easy.  But if you have a whole day, check out the day trip to Brenham below for a really memorable event!

● Bullock Texas State History Museum
1800 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
(512) 936-8746
Museum: $8 Youth, $12 adult,  Movies are extra

One of Austin's newest museums, the Bullock opened in 2001.  Learn everything you might want to know about Texas History, enjoy the special effects at the Texas Spirit Theater, or watch an IMAX production.  

More details

● Pioneer Farms
10621 Pioneer Farms Dr, Austin, TX 78754
(512) 837-1215
Admission: $6 Youth, $8 adults
Located in North Austin, the farm has five themed historic areas to explore: an 1840s Tonkawa Encampment, an 1860s German Immigrant Farm, an 1870s Texan Farm, an 1880s Cotton Planters Farm and an 1890s Sprinkle Corner rural village.  They have many scheduled activities, so check out their calendar.  

● Sauer Beckmann Living History Farm
501 State Park Road 52, Stonewall, TX 78671
(830) 644-2455 
No Admission Fee
Located about 50 miles west of Austin, Sauer Beckmann Farm is a living history farm located in the LBJ State Park.  Costumed interpreters carry out the day-to-day activities of a turn-of-the-century Texas-German farm family. 

● Visit the Capitol
1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
(512) 463-0063
Admission: Free

Spend a morning or afternoon visiting the Capitol. Start at the Texas Capitol Visitors Center, a free museum that has a lot of interactive exhibits, to learn more about the history and building of our Capitol. Then head over to the Capitol for a free 45 minute tour. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the Capitol grounds under the huge pecan trees. 

● LBJ Presidential Library and Museum
2313 Red River St, Austin, TX 78705
(512) 721-0200
Admission: Children: $3, Adults: $8

This museum, also located on the UT Campus, has recently been renovated. Interactive exhibits give a complete look at the life and times of this famous president!

● Tour the University of Texas Tower
2247 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78712
(512) 475-6633
Admission: $6 per person
A 45 minute-long self-guided tour of the UT Tower escorted by UT student guides. 

Patrons will ride an elevator to the 27th floor of the Tower, then take three short flights of stairs to the observation deck. 

An auxiliary elevator is available to guests with restricted mobility.

More details

● Day Trip to Brenham and Washington on the Brazos
23400 Park Road, Washington, TX 77880
(936) 878-2214
Admission:  Entry is free; 
Historical Complex Tour: Adults: $9, Youth: $6 Includes Independence hall, the Museum and Barrington Living History Farm

This is a two hour drive from Austin, but if you are looking for a really fun day trip to take your dean on, this can't be beat!

The Washington on the Brazos state park is devoted to informing visitors about the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence. On site, there are a number of attractions, some are free, some are not. There is a visitor’s center, with a large walk-through display of Texas history.

More details

Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory Tour
As a super big plus to heading out to Washington-on-the Brazos, the Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory is located right around the corner!  After you finish with the park, take the kids for an hour long tour, finishing up with a scoop of ice cream.

More details

● Day Trip to Newman's Castle in Belville Texas
While this isn't really a historical building (it was built within the last ten years), it is a whole lot of fun to visit, and can bring up some really interesting conversations about what family life was like a  ... long...  time ago :o)

Belville is about two hours away from Austin, so this would have to be a day trip.  But if you are lookin for something really fun and different, it doesn't get much better than touring a castle!  And if the boys misbehave, you can just put them in the dungeon ;o)

More details

Next Page: Where I live 

Previous Page: Intro

5 ●●● Let's Go Outdoors

This is, by far, the easiest of the Go-See-Its. You can do it during a den meeting, you can take a hike during a campout, or you can plan a special hike.  One year, we took the kids to the zoo; we figured it was outdoors and they'd be hiking around.  It was a great visit.  

Below are some of my favorite hikes that will appeal to the younger crowd; caves, peacocks, waterfall and dinosaur prints.  What's not to love?? 

Dinosaur Tracks in Leander

About a half mile west from the 183 bridge that crosses the South Fork of the San Gabriel River is a truly amazing sight!  Approximately 12 (maybe 11) dinosaur footprints are embedded in the rock of the river bed.  

There is something amazing about looking down and seeing a trail of dinosaur footprints that are over 100 million years old!  

At this site there are no fences, no signs, nothing but a trail of prints on a dry riverbed.  

Trail head details

Mayfield Preserve
Many people are familiar with Mayfield park and its wonderful peacocks and manicured grounds.  A definite place to visit and see.  

But what many haven't discovered are the great hiking trails located at the back of the park!

There are two trails that lead off from the park.  
The western trail leads down to a sliver of Lake Austin.The eastern trail leads to a small creek, with teeny tiny frogs small fish and more. The trail then leads over the creek to an upper area with small caves that are perfect for climbing into and around.  

Hamilton Pool to Pedernales River

Hamilton Pool is a Travis County park located about a half hour southwest of Austin. 

While Hamilton Pool is mostly known for its wonderful swimming hole, there is also a really nice hike on premise!  

So, after hiking down the quarter mile down to the pool, check out the .6 mile hike out to the Pedernales River. 

The hike takes you from the verdant pool area through more typical Texas landscape and then out onto the Pedernales River.  

Goat Cave Karst Preserve
The Goat Cave Karst Preserve hike is very short (about .15 miles) but has three points of interest. 
The first point of interest, located only steps down the path, is the Wade Sinkhole.  

This is a four foot hole eroded out of the rock. Bring your flashlights and climb into the hole to check out the cave below the ledge!  

The second point of interest is a bit further down the path - called Hideout.  This one is only open to exploration by wildlife (and scouts don't count!)  

The final cave, Goat Cave, is entirely blocked off by a chain link fence.  You cannot even see the entrance to the cave.  The cave opens into a 25 foot drop, so the fence is four our protection.  But it does limit the interest!  

The trailhead is located along the side of Deer Lane (off of Brodie).There is no special parking lot, so just park on the side of the road!

Bull Creek Greenbelt
The Bull Creek Greenbelt is a gem of a hike, located near 2222 and 360.  The 3.5 mile hike has lots of small waterfalls, gorgeous wildflowers and all sorts of critters.

A short hike along the creek will take you to a less populated area, where dogs frequently roam free. With the drought the water isn't flowing as much, there is still water flowing through the creek.

Trailhead:  Park in the parking lot for Bull Creek Park and head down to the creek.  Cross the creek to get to the south side and you will see the trail start up.  You can also hike along the creek bed, but you will have to haul yourself up some steep rocks to get past the waterfall above and back onto the trail.  To continue on to the northern part of the hike, head back down to the creek after the second falls and continue under the Mopac bridge.

Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls

This hike is minutes from downtown, and yet hiking along the Barton Creek Greenbelt, you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere!  

Right now, the creek is mostly dry :o( but when it rains, it quickly fills up and provides a great swimming hole. However, even without the creek, it is still a nice hike!

Twin Falls is located about a half mile from the trail head, along a well-tended and downward heading trail.  

About a mile past Twin Falls is Sculpture Falls. You will pass high limestone cliffs riddled with caves, huge, old live oaks, and a variety of wildlife!  

More details

I hope this helps your den to plan their Go-See-Its.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email Annemarie at


Planning Your Go See It

1: Making My Family Special

2: Where I live

3: Keeping Myself Healthy and Safe

4: How I Tell It

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