DAY TRIPS

7 Fall Day Trips Far Enough From Houston to Feel Like an Escape

Grab your flannels, jeans, and camera for the ultimate family fall fun in and around Houston.

By Geneva Diaz, Catherine Wendlandt, and Rebekah Kibodeaux Published in the Fall 2021 issue of Houstonia Magazine

EVERYONE KNOWS TEXAS HAS TWO SEASONS: hot and 50 degrees. If you want to experience autumn, you’ve almost always had to head up past the Red River to catch the full glory of Hallmark movie-esque sweater weather and changing colors.

But do you? We contend there’s plenty of fall to be had here in the Lone Star State. Whether you want to venture to the Hill Country for golden foliage, spot a ghost, spend a day at a local pumpkin patch with the family, or just sip a hearty Oktoberfest brew, there are myriad options both here in Houston and in the surrounding area.

1. Experience the Harvest Festival at Messina Hoff.

Whether you’re visiting the locations at Bryan, Hill Country, Grapevine, or Harvest Green in Richmond (in the Houston area), Messina Hof always has a bevy of exciting events for both wine-lovers and your entire family. From Harvest Festival events and wine tastings to murder mystery parties and cooking demonstrations, this day trip is a great option for your next fall adventure.

Each of the four locations offers a tasting room, with the Bryan and Harvest Green locations offering restaurants to pair with the tasting rooms. The Bryan and Fredericksburg locations are the only two that offer beautiful bed and breakfasts. For fall, check out their Halloween Gourds & Goblins cooking party event that features three recipes full of autumnal spices and flavor such as pumpkin pie, cinnamon spice, and mulled wine. Take a bottle of wine or two home with you to share for your next holiday gathering.

Distance from Houston to Richmond: 31 miles (about 50 minutes by car)

2. Check out Beaumont Main Street's Dogtober Fest.

Southeast Texas may not be the place you think of when you picture fall—due to the lack of leaves changing color and the weather being too warm to wear UGGs and a sweater—but the city of Beaumont has a calendar full of autumn activities. For starters, go to Rao’s Bakery for decorative cookies, pastries, and a pumpkin spice latte. Or try a seasonal pour from one of the local breweries like Pour Brothers or Struggle Street

The best time to go is for Beaumont Main Street's Dogtober Fest! Bring your canines on the second Saturday in October—this year it’ll be October 8—to enjoy food, music, and furry fun. Events include a “Strut Your Mutt” competition, PAW Readings, Puppy Kissing Booth, PAW-traitures, and other dog-themed activities. Dog treats, CBD products, and other gifts are available for purchase from local vendors and awards are given throughout the day for Master/Dog Look Alike, Best Dressed Dog, Cutest Dog, Best Tail Waggin', Most Talented Dog, and many others. 

Distance from Houston to Beaumont: 79 miles (about 1 hour and 20 minutes by car)

3. Pick a pumpkin at the Old Time Christmas Tree Farm.

Bring the whole family out to Old Time Christmas Tree Farm in Spring for a festive weekend at one of Houston’s favorite pumpkin patches throughout the month of October. The entry fee is paid at the gate upon arrival and no reservation is required. Once inside, browse around for the perfect pumpkin(s) to take home and purchase tickets to one of the many attractions available for kids. 

Take a train ride or hay ride around the farm, hang out with furry friends at the petting zoo, or let the kids jump on the inflatables. Enjoy some BBQ from Rosemeyer, shaved ice from Tikiz, and fried Oreos from The Sweet Zone. This farm features 40 acres of pine and cypress tenenbaums, so be sure to scope out your next Christmas tree as you go. Don’t forget to come photo-ready to snap holiday pictures of your family and pets.

Distance from Houston to Spring: 25 miles (about 30 minutes by car)

4. Make your way through the corn maze at Dewberry Farms.

One could spend an entire Saturday at Dewberry Farms in Brookshire, about 15 minutes west of Katy off I-10. Wile your morning away stalking the twists and turns of the massive corn maze. Every summer, Dewberry carves out a fun design, like a Texas flag in 2020, into the eight-acre cornfield.

Once you make it to the other side, chow down on a pulled pork sandwich or a Frito pie at Mattie’s Kitchen, then visit Goatel 6 in the barnyard and take a spin on the merry-go-round. Before you head home, hitch a hayride out to the pumpkin patch too.

Keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for word puzzles, or “CORNnundrums,” scattered around the farm for you to find and solve.

Distance from Houston to Brookshire: 37 miles (about 45 minutes by car)

5. Get spooked at the Creepy Hollow Haunted House.

It’s close to midnight, and something evil’s lurking in the dark. It could be Houston favorite Rellik the Clown, with their shockingly green locks and dark, searing eyes, or perhaps it’s Willy Vodka, renowned for a cackle that will send shivers down your spine and make every hair stand on end. Creepy Hollow Haunted House in Rosharon has a scare and a spook for everyone who dares enter. With a cast and crew composed of dedicated volunteers and enthusiasts, it isn’t out of the ordinary for Creepy Hollow to see over 100 victims, or guests, a night.

Creepy Hollow is open every Friday and Saturday in September, October, and November. If you think you know what to expect from one of the most terrifying haunted houses in the entire state, well, you’re dead wrong. 

Distance from Houston to Ronsharon: 33 miles (about 40 minutes by car)

6. Pick flowers at Froberg’s Farms Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch.

Known for its vibrant strawberry season and fresh, crisp produce, Alvin’s Froberg’s Farm shows off its autumn colors every October with a family-friendly Fall Festival.

Over the farm’s 22-acres, Froberg’s Fall Festival includes an intricate corn maze, a pick-your-own flower station, festival-favorite activities, like face-painting and photo opportunities, and the ever-popular pumpkin patch. There’s also a market on property, where you can shop for grocery staples, neighborhood specialties, and seasonal goodies, like homemade pralines, caramel popcorn, and the on-site bakery’s famous pies. We recommend the pumpkin, of course.  

Distance from Houston to Alvin: 32 miles (about 40 minutes by car)

7. Partake in Oktoberfest at BAKFISH Brewing Company’s Music to My Beers.

There’s nothing quite like an autumnal outing at one of the Houston-area’s many hip and trendy breweries. Between the fall weather, the laid-back atmosphere, and the seriously delicious beers, it’s no wonder why people come from far and wide to see, feel, and taste the Bayou City vibe for themselves. Thanks to the BAKFISH Brewing Company, this year you’ll only have to make one stop to enjoy beers from multiple local brewmasters at their Music to My Beers: Oktoberfest event.

Head down to the Pearland Town Center on October 1 for live music, unique art installations, and a Brewery Promenade filled with Oktoberfest-themed, seasonal brews from local brands you already know and love. Cheers to the, hopefully, 70-degree weather, and to supporting area hops lovers with a sip or two of that cozy, malty goodness.

Distance from Houston to Pearland: 22 miles (about 30 minutes by car)

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