Things to Do in Texas During October

children trick-or-treating
••• Trick-or-treating is always a popular fall activity. Rebecca Nelson / Getty Images

October is an excellent month to visit Texas. Fall is settling in, with cooler weather and all the traditional autumn activities. Plus many festivals and events give you a variety of things to do in Texas in October.

Many events are themed around October itself (Oktoberfests) or Halloween. Football season is also at the midway point, which always means there are plenty of great games to watch, including one of the year's most anticipated games—the Red River Showdown between the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma. This football showdown is just one of the many activities happening at the State Fair of Texas, which covers the first few weeks of October.

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    State Fair of Texas
    ••• State Fair of Texas. Kairos14

    This annual event runs from late September to early 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 find everything from live music and good eats to carnival rides and art shows at the fair. In addition to these traditional fair events, any Texan knows that the highlight perhaps of this fair is the annual Texas Longhorns–​Oklahoma Sooners college football game. Of all the things to do in Texas in October, put the state fair at the top of your list.

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    Angelo State Football
    ••• Angelo State Football. Angelo State University

    October is the quintessential "football month" in Texas. By then, the season is old enough that most teams have worked out the kinks, yet 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 high school, college, and pro football games taking place across the Lone Star State. These games are popular for Texas residents and visitors alike. If you are in the mood for some pigskin action while visiting the Lone Star State, head to one of these famous Texas football stadiums.

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    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 events are still well attended. So, as Halloween draws near, start making plans to visit some of Texas’ top Halloween celebrations.

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    Oktoberfest Northwest
    ••• Oktoberfest. 46137 via Flickr

    Texas has a rich German heritage, which explains the numerous Oktoberfest events across the Lone Star State. Anyone who enjoys German food, drink, and music will certainly want to make plans to attend one of these events. Many of the state's best Oktoberfests take place in the heavily German-influenced Texas Hill Country, although every corner of the state has great Oktoberfests at some point this month.

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    Roses have different scents.
    ••• Not all roses smell like roses! This rose has a characteristic Damask rose scent, but some roses smell like citrus fruit, spices, or licorice. Kurt Stüber, Creative Commons License

    Since 1933, the East Texas town of Tyler has celebrated the rose, a flower vital to the town’s economy. Tyler is even nicknamed the Rose Capital of the World, because it has long been one of the nation's leading producers of roses and rose bushes. The festival features a parade, coronation ball, live music, and more. But don’t forget to also visit the Rose Museum during your visit to Tyler. Be sure to take advantage of this unique thing to do in Texas in October.

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    Jousting Knight
    ••• DHuss / Getty Images

    If you’re visiting in October (and even November), one festival in Texas you don’t want to miss is the Texas Renaissance Festival. It’s the nation’s largest homage to this era of rebirth with its impressive number of daily performances, arts and crafts vendors, food options, and 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.