Things to Do in Texas During October

The Walking Man, Robot, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Joe daniel price / Getty Images

October is an excellent month to visit Texas. Fall and cooler weather are settling in, and all the traditional autumn activities start to take place.

Many events are themed around October itself, such as Oktoberfest celebrations and Halloween outings, and football season is at the midway point, so there are plenty of great games to watch. The State Fair of Texas covers the first few weeks of October and is a can't-miss fall icon, and you'll also find a variety of events and festivals at which to have fun in the Lone Star State this fall.

01 of 06

See the State Fair of Texas

Ferris wheel and fairground ride, Texas State Fair

Richard Cummins / Getty Images

This annual event runs from late September through the third week of October, giving you plenty of time to appreciate all things Texan that it has to offer. Located in Dallas, this is the state’s largest fair and stock show. You’ll see everything from live music and good eats to kids' cooking classes to carnival rides and art shows. In addition to these traditional fair activities, the highlight of this event is the annual Texas Longhorns–​Oklahoma Sooners college football game known as the Red River Showdown, which has taken place at Cotton Bowl Stadium since 1929. Of all the things to do in October, put the State Fair of Texas at the top of your list.

02 of 06

Catch a Football Game

Angelo State Football
Angelo State University

October is the quintessential "football month" in Texas. By then, enough time has passed in the season for most teams to have worked out the kinks, yet it's still early enough that the majority of high school, college, and pro teams still have a shot at postseason play. As a result, October sees some of the most spirited football games of the year, with opposing teams often having plenty to play for. Every weekend in October, from Thursday through Sunday, there are games taking place across the state—a popular outing for Texas residents and visitors alike. If you are in the mood for some pigskin action while visiting, head to one of the Lone Star state's famous football stadiums, including the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, which is home to the NFL's Cowboys, and Kyle Field in College Station, where Texas A&M plays.

03 of 06

Dress Up and Go Trick or Treating

Children trick-or-treating
Rebecca Nelson / Getty Images

There are always plenty of spooky events held across the Lone Star State on October 31, and even when Halloween falls during the middle of the week, these festivities are still well attended. You'll find a 20-acre forest with three haunted houses 35 miles from Austin, or check out the Houston Halloween Festival with family-friendly activities from food trucks to live music to arts and crafts vendors and a "fright zone." Another option is downtown New Braunfels' Dia de Los Muertos Festival celebrating Hispanic culture with mariachis and Day of the Dead costumes.

04 of 06

Celebrate at an Oktoberfest Event

friends drinking beer at the oktoberfest

Franckreporter / Getty Images

Texas has a rich German heritage, which explains the numerous Oktoberfest events across the Lone Star State. Anyone who enjoys food, drink, and music from Germany will certainly want to attend one of these celebrations. Many of the state's best events take place in the heavily German-influenced Texas Hill Country, such as Wurstfest, which has entertained people in New Braunfels for more than 40 years with sausage, rides, dancing, and beer. But every corner of the state has great Oktoberfests at some point this month: The Addison event is known as one of the country's largest and best Oktoberfests.

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05 of 06

Stop and Smell the Roses

Roses have different scents.
Kurt Stüber, Creative Commons License
420 Rose Park Dr, Tyler, TX 75702, USA
+1 903-597-3130

Since 1933, the East Texas town of Tyler has celebrated the beloved fragrant flower at the Texas Rose Festival. Tyler is even nicknamed the Rose Capital of the World because it has long been one of the nation's leading producers of roses. The festival features a parade, coronation ball, live music, an arts and crafts fair, and more from October 17 through October 20, 2019. While you're spending some time east of Dallas, don't miss the Tyler Rose Museum during your visit.

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Step Back in Time During the Texas Renaissance Festival

Jousting Knight
DHuss / Getty Images
21778 FM 1774, Todd Mission, TX 77363, USA
+1 800-458-3435

If you’re visiting in October (and even November), one event in Texas you won’t want to miss is the Texas Renaissance Festival in Todd Mission. It’s the nation’s largest homage to this era of rebirth, with an impressive number of daily performances, arts and crafts vendors, food options, and 16th-century characters roaming the fairgrounds in costume. If you come on opening weekend in October, you can celebrate the fair’s Oktoberfest theme. Other weekends during the festival have special themes as well.

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Fun Things to Do in October in Texas