Welcome to Go Inside: Exploring Texas Culture! Brought to you by First Choice Power, this series will explore the legends and history that make up the meat and bones of the Lone Star State. Specifically, we’ll share our favorite indoor attractions to visit, which includes the great museums and quirky cultural outposts that fill the Texas landscape.
The fall is that time of year when Texas rejoices for the cooler temperatures. Having endured the flames of summer, we look forward to heading outdoors and gathering among our fellow Texans to jam, dance, dress in costume, eat bratwurst, and holler “Aye Matey,” as though we are performing in a Shakespearean play, just for the fun of it.
As diverse as Texas is, it’s festivals reflect the same eclectic scene.
From old fashioned corn mazes to bluegrass music to the celebration of artisans and their work, we share our favorite Texas celebrations that define our festival scene.
What began as a few simple improv performances and artisans selling their wares on blankets in 1974, has since expanded to become the nation’s biggest Renaissance Festival.
Renn Fest, as we lovingly call it, resides on 55 acres in Todd Mission, about an hour north of Houston, and offers camping to it’s patrons on an additional 200 acres.
More than 500 costumed performers across 25 stages provide entertainment to the young and old. It’s a visual spectacle to say the least!
Jousting performances happen multiple times throughout the day at the main arena that seats thousands, and stand in the marketplace at the right time and watch the parade file through. Those selling pretzels, beer, cotton candy and burgers, are dressed in costume, too, complete with an olde English accent.
Over the course of the nine week long festival, themed weekends give festival goers specific music, foods, performances, and costumes to look forward to.
From the Highland Fling to Pirate Adventure to the Barbarian Invasion, there are themes to play into your wildest alter-ego.
Rides are all human powered, and visitors can enjoy performers fire breathing, birds of prey presentations, and lots of comedic performances.
The shopping is also fantastic, and are a permanent fixture in the festival grounds. Beeswax candles, costumes, fairy wings, hats, one of a kind cloaks, belts, oils, toys, leather goods, and jewelry, are just a few things to save your money for!
Taking place in the picturesque Zilker Park that sits across from the stunning backdrop of downtown Austin, Austin City Limits Festival now expands across two weekends in the Fall.
Dozens of bands make the line up for ACL fest, some of which are the biggest names in music. But don’t sit around and wait for them to take main stage, head to some of the smaller stages throughout the day and find sounds you’ve never heard of.
There is also an art market to shop for local artisan crafts, and you can grab a bite from some of Austin’s most prized independent ice cream shops, juice makers, taco shacks and foodies. Leave the popcorn and funnel cakes to the other folks!
Each weekend in the month of October, Froberg’s Farm opens on the weekends from 9 am – 5 pm, as well as Friday and Saturday nights, from 6 – 10 pm, for fall inspired family fun.
The corn maze is the main attraction, where visitors test their luck trying to find their way to the exit, while they wander through a tall labyrinth of corn stalks!
They also have hay rides, fun plastic duck races (more exciting than it sounds!), a planting booth, face painting, glitter tattoos, opportunities to pick your own flowers, and new for this year, a corn cannon!
Visitors can shoot corn cobs out of a cannon and try to hit their emoji markers. And if you’re hungry, then head inside for a fried pie or a homemade cookie, and select your fall pumpkins. They have all sizes including tiny ones, and flint corn for fall decor. You can even take a full size pie home with you.
Their pick-your-own strawberry season starts in January so mark your calendar for that now!
Early November brings German revelry and fun to the river town of New Braunfels, where good food, great music, carnival rides, and the finest in Alpine and Bavarian style entertainment, all collide at Wurstfest.
The festival began in 1961 when Ed Grist, the city meat inspector and practicing veterinarian, created a festival to honor sausage. As Wurstfest grew in popularity and thousands of pounds of sausages were consumed, the festival was able to purchase more land, develop a biergarten, and lay down the foundation for what is now, one of the fall season’s funnest festivals.
It runs for the duration of ten days covering two weekends and the entire week in between. Grab the family and head to where the Comal and Guadalupe Rivers flow, for an authentic and merry time. Prost!
20 minutes northeast of Dallas is the suburb of Farmers Branch, where every year, towards the end of October, they host a free festival and chili cookout honoring bluegrass music on Friday night and all day Saturday.
Bluegrass bands from all around gather to pick, pluck, and take part in this showcase that celebrates American roots music.
If you’ve been holding onto grandaddy’s secret chili recipe all these years, then this might be the time to pull it out. Organized by the folks that do the Terlingua Chili Cook-Off each year (the biggest chili cook off of its kind), 75 groups compete for the best tasting chili.
The festival also includes a marketplace for artisans to sell their wares, a KidZone where the young ones can enjoy a bounce house, a bungee run, a rock climbing wall and petting zoo. And don’t forget to bring your instrument – there’s plenty of open space and old buildings for small groups to gather around and jam!
Located in the Greune Historical District, this year marks the Texas Clay Festival’s 25th year. Featuring work of over 60 Texas potters and clay artists, the festival affords visitors the opportunity to purchase work, or take in demonstrations from seasoned potters and sculptors.
From hand-building to raku firing to learning to make forms on the potters wheel, there is something for everyone.
So gather the family and head to one (or all) of these Texas festivals this fall season!