Each season has its own unique rites and customs. But the fall traditions just may be the best on the entire calendar. Sunny days outdoors with families—that’s what we love about this season! After months of scorching heat, the relief of cooler temperatures makes us want to get outside and celebrate.
Here are 12 fall traditions you should put on your 2022 bucket list!
- Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Sure, you could pick up fall pumpkins at the grocery store. But there’s just something so festive about picking the perfect pumpkin at a pumpkin patch!
At our Fall Festival, the U-Pick Pumpkin Patch is within view of the sleepy Colorado River, making it one of the prettiest spots to pick a gourd in Texas. You’ll find pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, ready for fall decor or to be carved into Jack o’ Lanterns.
And speaking of Jack o’ Lanterns…
- Carve a Jack o’ Lantern
A fall favorite!
This is a great fall tradition for the family. The adults can cut off the top of the pumpkin, while the kids can get messy scooping out the stringy insides. Then older kids and adults can carve the decoration. There’s infinite variety in pumpkin carving, from simple faces to complex scenes. Or you can create a bit of pop culture iconography, like the Death Star from Star Wars or a favorite cartoon character.
Curious why we carve Jack ‘o Lanterns at all? Find out in this exploration of the origins of Halloween!
- Go Apple Picking
A day in the fresh air where you come home with freshly picked apples? That warms our hearts. Apple picking is such a nice old-fashioned way to celebrate fall.
Grocery store apples may have been picked weeks ago. But the apples you’ll pick at an orchard are fresh from the tree, and you’ll taste the difference.
What are you going to do with all those apples? How about…
- Bobbing for Apples
Texas is actually an ideal place for apple bobbing. It’s a damp endeavor, and our mild falls mean you won’t be freezing cold!
While we don’t know exactly how bobbing for apples originated, it dates back to at least the 14th century, as it was depicted in a drawing from that time. Back in the day, being the first to snag your apple with your teeth was said to mean you’d be the first to get married. But these days, it’s just a fun game.
- Bake a Fall Pie
The autumn season may as well be called pie season, because it’s when we get all the best pies for dessert. And there’s nothing quite like the smell of a pie baking on a cool fall day.
Of course, there are the classics that we all think of during this season—apple pie with fresh apples, pumpkin or sweet potato pie with fragrant cinnamon and nutmeg, or nutty pecan pie. But there are other wonderful options too, like cranberry pie with plenty of sugar to balance the berries’ tartness. Or pear pie, made from delicious fall pears that often get overlooked in favor of their apple cousins.
- Solve a Corn Maze
At Barton Hill Farms, our 5-acre corn maze is a sight to see, with a fun new theme every year. For 2022, our theme is Mazed and Confused, a tribute to Austin’s own Matthew McConaughey.
Come to the Barton Hill Farms Fall Festival this year to solve it! We’ll be open late on October 15th, 22nd, and 29th so you can have a go at the corn maze by flashlight. Spooky!
- Go For a Tractor Ride
There’s nothing fall-specific about a tractor—we use ours out at Barton Hill Farms year-round. Yet the Tractor Ride has a decidedly autumnal feel.
At the Fall Festival, the Texas Hayride is one of our most popular activities. Let us scoot you around the farm so you can get a bit of rest after solving the corn maze!
- Celebrate Oktoberfest
The real Oktoberfest takes place in Munich, Germany, in the second half of September each year. But there are plenty of local celebrations as well!
Here in the Austin area, you can attend New Braunfels’ Wurstfest in November, or head out to Fredericksburg for their single-weekend celebration. Enjoy German beer, oompah music, and plenty of schnitzels. Don’t forget your lederhosen!
- Go For a Fall Picnic
Summers in Central Texas can be a bit warm for midday picnics. But when fall comes around, it’s perfect picnic weather.
Pack a basket of fall favorites like apples and pears, turkey sandwiches, and salad made with beets and roasted butternut squash.
- Make S’mores Around the Firepit
Crisp fall nights are just perfect for a bonfire or firepit. With some marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars, you can make a sweet treat while cuddling up close to the heat.
- Watch Your Favorite Spooky Movies
Whether you prefer laid-back supernatural comedies or the scariest of slasher flicks, this is the season to watch them. Choose a few favorites and host your own Spooktober Film Festival! Bonus points for setting up a projector outside and making a party out of it.
- Visit a Haunted House
Don’t just watch the scares on screen—get in on the action at a haunted house! For families, look for a tame version that will be more fun than frightening. And for adrenaline junkies, find the most hair-raising, blood-curdling house of terror that you can.
(We will not be going with you to that one.)
How Many Fall Traditions Can You Check Off at the Barton Hill Farms Fall Festival?
Well let’s see!
✅ Pumpkin Patch
✅ Corn Maze
✅ Tractor Ride
✅ S’mores at the Firepit (when you rent one of our semi-private cabanas!)
And while we’re not celebrating an official Oktoberfest, we’ll have plenty of cold local beer to enjoy.
Not bad for one event!
Tickets for the Fall Festival, Pumpkin Patch, and Corn Maze are on sale NOW! Tickets must be purchased in advance for the day you plan to attend, so get yours today!