October is a beautiful time of year in Austin, just when the leaves are turning and the weather cools. It’s also the perfect time of year to plan a trip! The summer crowds have dispersed and hotels are offering great seasonal rates. Check out our favorite seasonal things to do in Austin this October that should definitely be added to your vacation itinerary.
What’s more festive in October than a pumpkin patch? Austin has some great farms that host fall festivals — pumpkin patches included!
Barton Hill Farms is one of the most scenic pumpkin patches in Austin with tons of fun for the family! Kids will love exploring the 5-acre corn maze, petting and feeding baby farm animals, taking train rides and hayrides around the farm, bouncing on the jumbo jumping pillow, climbing the Texas-sized tree fort and receiving fall-themed face paintings. The whole family can enjoy live entertainment on the TX Live Music Stage and delicious grub from one of the two restaurants on-site. Adults will love The Apfelwein & Biergarten, a special 21 and older outdoor hangout serving up multiple craft beers and ciders on tap from local breweries. The farm is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from late September to early November.
Another great farm to check out this October in Austin is Evergreen Farms. The Christmas tree farm is well known for its annual Pumpkin Hunt, where families can take a wagon ride into the Christmas tree fields to find the hidden mini pumpkins in the trees! Evergreen Farms also has other fun activities like pumpkin races, pumpkin decorating, tractor rides, two fun mazes and a kids-sized zipline. The Pumpkin Hunt will take place throughout the month of October, with varying times for weekdays and weekends. Plus, admission is free!
This one-of-a-kind Halloween-themed pumpkin patch is the largest pumpkin lights attraction in Austin. Pumpkin Nights features a walking path filled with over 3,000 hand-carved real and synthetic pumpkins. Along the way, you’ll discover the world’s largest pumpkin guitar, a life-size pumpkin pirate ship, 10-foot-tall Jack-o’-lanterns, a flying 40-foot handmade dragon and more pumpkin surprises. This event is open each evening in October.
Celebrate true German heritage at the annual Oktoberfest in downtown Fredericksburg, TX, just an hour and a half outside of Austin. Named one of the best Oktoberfests in the country by USA Today, Fredericksburg takes this annual tradition to the next level, blocking off a full city block in Marktplatz for the 3-day festival.
The opening ceremony and OkTUBAfest (the great tuba jam) kick off the event on Friday evening, followed by a full weekend of German traditions including the Hauptstrasse Chicken Dance, waltz and yodel contests, hi-striker competitions and oompah music playing of five stages around the event. Of course, there will be a wide variety of domestic, Texas and German beer and loads of German cuisine to enjoy. Be sure to take your kids by KinderPark, a play zone filled with age-appropriate games, face painting and more. Check the website for the dates of this year’s Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg.
If you can’t get to Mexico for Dia de Los Muertos, being in Austin for the celebration is the next best thing! Mexic-Arte Museum’s Viva La Vida Fest is the largest and longest-running Day of the Dead festival in Austin. Typically held on a Saturday in late October, this annual celebration gives visitors a chance to witness and experience the vibrancy and fun of this cultural holiday.
Festivities kick off at noon with the Day of the Dead Parade followed by a day filled with traditional food, vendor booths, live music and more. Be sure to visit the Muertos Mercado (Dead Market) to experience creations by artists in residence, face painting, flower crown building and authentic merchants. The Viva La Vida Fest also includes Lowrider Lane, featuring fifteen of Austin’s finest custom cars, and Central Market’s community celebration, featuring puppets, live drums and dozens of dancers. Visit Mexic-Arte Museum’s Facebook page for more event information.
Continue the Dias de Los Muertos celebrations as Planet K presents the annual Texas-sized fireworks show on October 31st at Krieg Field on S. Pleasant Valley Rd in Austin.
One of the most iconic things to do in Austin in October is to visit a haunted house and we have two of the scariest on our list!
Head over to House of Torment to experience three of the creepiest and spookiest attractions that are sure to make you scream. Experience first-hand the tale of the Jensen family massacre on Blackthorn Drive at The Boogeyman exhibit. Witness the madness of the doomsday squad recently escaped from prison at The Forsaken exhibit. Grab your HAZMAT suit and help contain the spread of a new chemical weapon unleashed on the city at the Operation: Laughing Place exhibit. For even more fun, House of Torment has 2 on-site bars, spooky mini escape rooms and axe throwing.
Located less than an hour southeast of Austin is Scream Hollow, a 20-acre forest filled with 5 haunted house attractions that are piss-your-pants scary. The Mansion of Terror Coven attraction tells the story of an 1842 orphanage run by a mysterious woman named Adella. Lost Pines Asylum depicts a run-down insane asylum that was over by its patients revolting against the staff that once mistreated and experimented on them.
You will definitely witness something creepy at the Wicked Darkness Maze, a hotspot of paranormal activity where the lines between this world and the next have been blurred. The Slaughterhouse 2 attraction depicts the tale of Lunatik’s revenge, a young boy who grew up to become a laughing, bloodthirsty clown. Scream Hollow’s newest attraction is Hell on Wheels, a haunted hayride that awakens the Wendigo spirits in the dark forest. After you’ve been thoroughly scared to the core, swing by one of Scream Hollow’s three bars and eateries or visit the gift shop to find a spooky souvenir to remember all the screams.
If you’re looking for something a little more historical but still spooky, why not try a ghost tour? Austin Ghost Tours offers two ghost tours every Thursday – Sunday evening during the holiday season. The Haunted Historical Downtown Walking Tour explores the most famous haunted locations in downtown Austin. While the exact route varies by guide and group, typical stops include The Paramount Theatre, The Wooten Building, The Susanna Dickinson Museum and The Driskill Hotel. The second tour offered is the Bartlett Ghost Tour. Attendees will learn the spooky history of the city of Barlett through the ghosts who have remained to keep their stories alive. Both tours include first-hand accounts, actual paranormal audio and photos and vibrant storytelling. Tours last about 90 minutes each.
Both locations offer comfortable apartment-style suites with convenient access to downtown Austin and affordable nightly and weekly rates. Every suite includes a full in-room kitchen with a Keurig® coffee maker, free Wi-Fi, smart HDTV with premium channels, rapid-charging USB ports and secure RFID room lock. Each property boasts a 24-hour fitness center, guest laundry facilities, EV charging stations and on-demand grocery delivery services.