Originally published November 2017.
We stay pretty busy during the school year and over the summer. But my most favorite season to make plans for is the fall! When the air turns cooler and we can bust out our boots and scarves… I am in heaven and I want to do so much more outdoors with my kids! We partake in local events in and around Dallas all year long. But come fall, I like to venture out of the DFW area to experience other towns and their events. It’s become a tradition in our family to explore nearby towns during the fall season and see what they have to offer that may be a little different than what we may see here in the Big D.
For the past six years, we’ve taken many day trips during the fall season. Here’s a list of our favorite day trips outside of Dallas County. Maybe, just maybe… we’ll see you out there too!
College Football Games
Football and fall weather go together like cafecito con pan dulce (coffee with Mexican sweet bread). We make it an annual family fall (day) trip to visit College Station for an Aggies game. We’ve made this a tradition and it’s always at the top of our “to do” list every fall. We enjoy dressing up in our team gear, eating at the same Mexican restaurant before the game and talking about the game highlights on the way home. For us, it’s a 2.5 hour drive to and from Kyle Field, but so worth it because the memories we’re making are priceless.
Mimosas at the Market in Corsicana
Alright, this has become my most favorite event this season. Corsicana’s downtown historic district is quite impressive. The antique shops and diners are worth the one-hour drive. Mimosas at the Market takes place on the 2nd Saturday of every month. Free mimosas while you shop?! Well, I don’t mind if I do! I always manage to find that one great vintage piece or that one trendy item for my wardrobe collection. You can’t go wrong.
2021 Update: Mimosas at the Market doesn’t appear to be happening this fall, BUT you can find their community events calendar here. Oktoberfest will be held 10/1 and the Kerens Cotton Harvest Festival is coming up on 10/16.
The Catfish Plantation in Waxahachie
If you don’t mind a friendly ghost encounter while you dine, then you should check out the Catfish Plantation. Well, there aren’t actually any guarantees you’ll experience any type of paranormal activity, but you will experience good Southern homemade cuisine and a friendly staff. The Catfish Plantation is open all year round of course, but we enjoy visiting this haunted spot every fall. There’s a pumpkin patch during the month of October and haunted ghost tours after hours. We have yet to experience that tour, it sells out too fast for us!
Santa Land in Lindale
I know there are several holiday lights drive-thrus in and around Dallas. But for us, nothing beats Santa Land. Each November we make the East Texas drive to see Christmas lights in Lindale (map address shows Tyler, TX). Every year we are amazed at the wonder of holiday lights as we drive through this park! And yes, we take our family photo with Santa here, too.
My kids’ extracurricular activities keep me on my toes each week and, at times, in bed early due to exhaustion. I don’t see afterschool activities with my kids as quality family time. Sure they’ll remember me driving them all over town for school events, but it’s just another school routine.
On our fall day trips, we typically have at least an hour on the road to our destination and I use that time to engage my kids in true conversation. Don’t get me wrong, we talk at home all the time. But there is something about being on the open road that opens my kids up more and they give us, their parents, a little more insight into what’s going on with them. Those are the moments I live for as their mom.