As a pandemic-laced summer fades away, fall is rolling in and with it comes the 15th annual Autumn at the Arboretum festival, running Sept. 19-Nov. 1.
The much-acclaimed festival is celebrating “The Art of the Pumpkin” with thousands of colorful, fall-blooming flowers throughout the garden and spectacular displays in Pumpkin Village featuring more than 90,000 pumpkins, squash and gourds from Floydada, the Pumpkin Capital of Texas.
Stroll the gardens, navigate a hay bale maze, take photos in front of the 20-foot-tall pumpkin houses and thump away until you find the perfect gourd to take home from the pumpkin patch. With the safety of visitors and staff in mind, COVID-19 rules will be in effect, including the wearing of face masks and social distancing.
There are plenty of special events and activities scheduled throughout the run of the festival, starting with an Oktoberfest celebration on Sept. 20. Weekends will be especially lively, with music on the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn every Saturday and Sunday, a salute to homecoming mums on Oct. 17-18, a Family Fun Halloween Weekend on Oct. 31-Nov. 1, and more. Visitors can also attend cooking demos in A Tasteful Place, see bird shows, get tips on floral arrangements and join in pumpkin scavenger hunts. Check the website for daily events.
Sept. 19-Nov. 1, daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas. Admission is $17 for adults, $14 for ages 65 and older, $12 for ages 2-12, free for children under 2. Under the arboretum’s COVID-19 protocols, tickets and parking must be purchased in advance. dallasarboretum.org.
Here are more places to pick out a plump pumpkin, snap cute photos and enjoy fall fun in North Texas. This year’s pumpkin patches are operating with COVID-19 safety in mind, so please check websites and Facebook pages for safety rules and any weather-related changes.
You’ll find plenty of pumpkins off the vine at Preston Trail Farms in Gunter. Families can also visit the petting barn, shop in the general store and grab a bite in the cafe. Hayrides, a hay bale maze, a roping pen and a farm train that runs on weekends are included in the price of admission. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome.
Sept. 26-Nov. 25, daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 15102 State Highway 289, Gunter (about 23 miles north of Frisco). Admission is $10, free for children 1 and younger. prestontrailfarms.com
Farm-fresh pumpkins are on display and for sale in the Shed, the market’s open-air pavilion. Visit on Oct. 10 for Texas Pumpkin Day festival with seasonal sampling, live music and crafts for the kids.
Through Oct. 31, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 1010 S. Pearl Expressway, Dallas. Free admission. dallasfarmersmarket.org
Formerly in Grand Prairie, Green Meadows has moved to the Camp Wisdom area of southern Dallas. It offers a pumpkin patch and kid-friendly interactions with the farm animals, including sheep and goats.
Oct. 9-11 and, Oct. 15-Nov. 1, Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 6400 W. Red Bird Lane, Dallas. Admission is $14 for ages 2-92. greenmeadowsevents.com
Pumpkins and tall corn stalks are in season at the Hall family farm in the heart of Grapevine. The 2-acre corn maze will be open with a limit on the number of guests allowed in at one time. Price of admission includes parking and a walk through the corn maze. Old-fashioned hayrides are also fun during the day and after sunset. And remember to take some “folding money” because Hall’s accepts cash only.
Oct. 2-31, Sundays from1 to 8 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays from 3 to 8 p.m., Fridays from 3 to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Oct. 12 (Columbus Day) from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 3420 Hall-Johnson Road, Grapevine. Weekend admission is $15 for ages 12 and older, $10 for children 4-11, $5 for seniors and veterans, free for ages 3 and younger. hallspumpkinfarm.net, facebook.com
Lola’s Local Market, home of Lola the pig, hosts pumpkin- patch shopping Tuesdays through Sundays through Oct. 31. Plan your trip on the weekend to enjoy special activities on Saturdays and Sundays such as pony rides, hayrides, pumpkin and face painting.
Sept. 26-Oct. 31, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. at 1771 Kever Main, Melissa. Admission is free, but activities have a fee, and parking is $5. facebook.com/lolaslocalmarket
Attractions at this Johnson County farm include bounce houses, pony rides, a petting zoo and a wooden maze. With paid admission, children can choose a small pumpkin and decorate it with markers.
Oct. 3-Nov. 15, daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Country Critters Farm, 3709 County Road 617, Alvarado. Admission is $10 per person. countrycrittersfarm.com
Experience a day of fall fun at the10-acre Ellis County creekside farm. Among the many activities, all included with the admission price, are hayrides, a corn maze, barnyard animals, a hay hill, a game area, a giant pumpkin jump pad, tractor seesaws and pumpkins. Pack a picnic or purchase food and drinks from on-site food vendors.
Oct. 3-Nov. 1, Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sundays from1to 6 p.m. and Oct. 12 (Columbus Day) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1530 Indian Creek Drive, Midlothian. Admission is $10 for ages 3-54, $8 for ages 55 and older, free for children 2 and younger. shadowcreekpumpkinfarm.com
Select from hundreds of pumpkins that cover the lawn adjacent to this Lake Highlands church.
Sept. 26-Oct. 31, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays from1 to 7 p.m at 9845 McCree (at Audelia), Dallas. stjamesdallas.org/pumpkins
Children’s admission includes pony rides, a slide bounce house, field games, a petting zoo, a hay maze, a wagon ride through an old Western town and a mini-pumpkin to take home. There will be concessions and more pumpkins available for purchase. Proceeds from the Pumpkin Patch support the programs of River Ranch Educational Charities.
Sept. 26-Nov. 1, Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to sundown at 3701 S. Custer Road, McKinney. Admission is $15 for children 2 and older, $5 for adults. Check the website for group options available Mondays through Wednesdays. storybookranch.org
Yesterland’s annual fall festival in Canton is packed with fun attractions and activities including a pumpkin patch, pumpkin houses, amusement rides, a corn maze, cute farm animals, festival foods and a fireworks display on Fridays and Saturdays. Check the website for specially themed nights during October such as trick-or-treating on Oct. 30-31.
Sept. 19-Nov. 8. September hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. October hours: Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with some after-hours themed events. November hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 15410 Interstate 20, Canton. General admission starts at $16.95 for ages 3 and older. yesterlandfarm.com