18 things to do in the San Antonio area this fall

There are also a couple day-trip options for fun fall festivals in central Texas

Top Left: Lost Maples State Park (Flickr, G. Lamar), Top Right: Muertos Fest (Francisco Cortes, Muertos Fest), Bottom Left: Ford Holiday River Parade, Bottom Right: Marble Falls Walkway of Lights (Look Think Make) (KSAT 12)

Fall is a favorite season for many and it’s something to look forward to after the brutally hot summer Texas has experienced.

It signals the return of pumpkin spice and kicks off the start of the holiday season with Halloween and Thanksgiving.

This year, the autumnal equinox which marks the start of the fall season falls on Sept. 22.

Here are some things to do around the San Antonio area this fall:

  • Pumpkin patches - Pumpkin patches start popping up in September ahead of the Halloween season. The times and dates for pumpkin patches vary by location. Pro-tip: Pick a pumpkin with a flat surface to make carving easier.
Pumpkin Patch
  • Football season - The NFL 2022 season kicked off on Sept. 8. Fall football is an American pastime and you can watch from home or find a local watering hole to enjoy the games.
  • Spirit Halloween - Spirit Halloween stores are already open for the spooky season. Spirit Halloween is the largest Halloween retailer in North America, according to the company’s website, and it sells everything from costumes to decorations. What makes trick-or-treating with twin witches so challenging? You never know which witch is which.
  • Haunted Houses - Haunted Houses are a fall favorite for scare seekers. There are many popular locations around San Antonio and some are located within theme parks like SeaWorld San Antonio and Fiesta Texas.
  • Lost Maples - Lost Maples State Natural Area is a picturesque paradise when the leaves change. The Texas state park is located roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes from downtown San Antonio but it’s a great day trip for taking in some fall foliage. The peak season is usually somewhere around the middle two weekends of November.
  • Parktoberfest - Celebrate San Antonio’s German heritage with free beer tastings and live music at Parktoberfest. Parktoberfest will take place from 2-5 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the Koehler Pavilion. The festival honors the legacy of Emma Koehler who donated 11 acres of land to the City of San Antonio in memory of her husband Otto Koehler, who owned the Pearl Brewing Association.
  • Dripping Springs Pumpkin Festival - Head to the Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead from Sept. 24 through Oct. 31 for the Dripping Springs Pumpkin Festival. There are over 50 fall-inspired games, activities and attractions for families to enjoy. Admission is $5 on weekdays and $10 on the weekend.
  • Texas Pumpkin Fest - The Texas Pumpkin Fest is a bit of a drive but it’s a great option for a day trip. The festival will take place Oct. 8-30. Admission to the annual family-friendly event varies from free to $10 depending on the day you attend. The festival takes place at 8760 FM 2243 in Leander.
  • Barbacoa and Big Red Festival - The uber-popular Barbacoa and Big Red Festival is returning on Oct. 8 and 9 after a two-year hiatus. The festival will take place at the R&J Music Pavilion, located at 18086 Pleasanton Road. Tickets go on sale Friday, Aug. 26.
  • Spook Track-ula - This family-friendly series at the Texas Transportation Museum will take place from 4-9 p.m. on Oct. 22, 23, 29 and 30. There will be trick or treating and creepy cabooses. The museum is located at 11731 Wetmore Road.
  • Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival - A food and wine festival as big as Texas is coming to San Antonio this fall. Tasting Texas Wine + Food Festival will take place Oct. 27-30 and feature top culinary leaders from across the U.S. and Mexico.
  • Family Fall Fest - This family-friendly festival will take place in Spring Branch on Oct. 29. There will be games, s’more roasting, hayrides and trick-or-treat opportunities. Tickets are $5 per child and adults are free. The event will take place at 9957 Spring Branch Road. Tickets are available online.
  • Muertos Fest - One of the largest Día de los Muertos festivals in the United States takes place in downtown San Antonio. More than 100,000 people are expected to attend Muertos Fest from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Oct. 30 at Hemisfair. The festival is free to attend. KSAT12 will be on-site on Saturday, October 29 to record a prime-time special, which will air on Sunday, October 30 from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. on KSAT12, KSAT.com and KSAT+.
  • Wurstfest - This 10-day annual festival is a tradition that started in New Braunfels in 1961. Wurstfest is one of the Hill Country town’s biggest events and attracts thousands of visitors from across the state and beyond every year. This year Wurstfest takes place from Nov. 4-13.
Alex Meixner at Wurstfest in New Braunfels. (Alex Meixner)
  • DiwaliSA Festival of Lights Parade - This free event will take place from 4:30 p.m. to midnight on Nov. 5 at Hemisfair. There will be live entertainment, food and handicrafts for sale, 2,000 floating diyas to be released, and a DJ area for dancing the night away at DiwaliSA.
  • Lightscape - The immersive holiday light display Lightscape will return to the San Antonio Botanical Garden for the 2022 holiday season. Lightscape will run from Nov. 11 through Jan. 8, 2023. There will be a fire garden and a “more spectacular” display of bluebonnets, which is an installation unique to Texas. Tickets are currently on sale.
  • Marble Falls Walkway of Lights - Official dates for the Marble Falls Walkway of Lights have not yet been announced but in years past the annual event has kicked off in mid to late November. There is no cost to attend the Walkway of Lights, which includes two million lights that cover more than 350 sculptures. Marble Falls is a roughly 90-minute drive from downtown San Antonio.
  • Ford Holiday River Parade - The grand marshal of this year’s Ford Holiday River Parade will be none other than the cynical Christmas grump, the Grinch. The theme for the 41st annual parade, which takes place on Nov. 25, is “Tastes and Traditions Around the World.” Tickets are on sale now.

About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.