Fall approaches and it is festival season in Houston. The more moderate temperatures than we experience in the summer time make Fall the perfect season to celebrate more than just Oktoberfest or the Fall holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving. Find out my picks for the best of Houston Fall Festivals!
The Cajun Catfish Festival
Oct. 8-10 in Downtown Conroe
Traditional Cajun cuisine including catfish, shrimp, gumbo, frog legs, boudin, chicken and red beans and rice are available along with a foot stomping, toe tapping good time with musical headliner Cowboy Mouth. Admission is $10.00 for adults and children 12 and under are free.
The Catfish Festival will have some competition as the weekend of Oct. 7-10 is also host to The Original Greek Festival at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral complex. Fun, food, history and culture all meet with as you sample authentic Greek dishes, watch the dancers, and participate in the children’s activities and play area. Tickets are $5.00 for adults and children 12 and under are free.
Festa Italiana is being held at the University of St. Thomas on Oct. 15-17, 2010 with fun and activities including grape stomping, pasta eating and even an Italian-American Idol contest. Admission is $6.00 for adults (be sure to bring extra money for the wine and dining at this festival) and children 12 and under are free.
Oct. 23 9am-5pm Texian Market Days Festival
George Ranch Historical Park
The biggest event of the year at George Ranch Historical Park it showcases history from the 1830’s through World War II. The event will offer re-enactments, demonstrations, live music, hands-on activities, food, arts and crafts and tours of historic homes. School groups can schedule their own special day on Friday, Oct. 22. “This festival is just pure fun to step back in time for a day . . .it has something for everyone . . . from a corn husk doll, writing with a quill pen, listening to fiddler music or tasting fresh cobbler . . .it’s a day full of family, historical and educational fun, ” says Jennifer Farrell, publicity coordinator Fort Bend County Museum Association. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children ages 5-15. Visit the George Ranch Historical Park website for more information.
Oct. 29th-Oct. 31 Houston is host to the ReMax Ballunar Lift Off
You can really fly at this family friendly festival with NASA mini-tours and open house, public safety exhibits and information, kids can sing, dance and play with Radio Disney Live on stage and see giant air balloons in competition. Look to the skies for military displays, sky divers in formation and aerial acrobatics. Musical performances, midway rides and children’s activities round out the day, but don’t forget to stop by and get a NASA Astronauts autograph.
October is a popular month for festivals in Houston, and if none of these appeals to you consider the Houston Turkish Festival, The Puerto Rican and Cuban Festival or the Day of the Dead Celebration at Traders Village, all of which take place in October.
Nov. 4-7 2010 International Quilt Festival
George R. Brown Convention Center
Called “The World’s Fair of Quilts” it is all that and so much more. Growing up my grandmother was always working on a quilt for friends, family, church members or a new baby. The age old art of quilt making is celebrated while new textures, ideas and designs are exhibited. There are more than quilts at this festival with plenty of crafts, scrapbooking, rubber stamping, mixed media arts and paper arts and crafts. At the International Quilt Festival there are a mixture of classes, special events and tours. Tickets prices range from $8.00-$35.00. For more information and to order your tickets online visit Quilts.com.
Quite possibly one of the best family fun festivals around is the Annual Children’s Festival in the Woodlands.
Where? Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
When? Nov. 13 10an-5pm and Nov. 14 Noon-5pm
This festival focuses on the performing arts and gets the children and the whole family involved in the fun. There is not sitting still in this audience. Some of the activities include Mad Science CSI, a safe for kids mystery to solve, musical performances, creative stations to visit, make your own crafts, and find out about health and nutrition. Tickets are $8.00 in advance and $10.00 at the gate. Preferred parking is available for $5.00 plus a service charge at Ticketmaster locations. For more information visit Woodlands Center events.
Though not a festival, the fall season would not be complete without a visit to the Dewberry Farm and pumpkin patch. Dewberry Farm is only open for a limited time and only open to the public on weekends, the farming adventure never ends. You can tour the farm, race the ducks, feed the goats, take a hayride, pick a pumpkin and play on the playground. Other activities include pumpkin and corn cannons, flower picking, jumping pillows, mine for gems and watch the show of singing chickens.
Houston has one really “hot” season for festivals, and Fall is it.