The Ultimate Fall Bucket List {Houston 2015}

Oh, fall. You are a fickle thing here in Houston. 90 degrees and 125% humidity doesn’t exactly scream the change of seasons. But, according to the calendar, you are here — and thank goodness! Our amazing city has so many fantastic events to offer during these next couple of months, and my family can’t wait to hit up all of them, even if we do sweat through our seasonal monogrammed shirts while holding our Pumpkin Spice Lattes. As is our tradition, our fantastic team has compiled all of the latest and greatest to celebrate fall in Houston, places to visit, things to eat, and crafts to do at home. We highly, highly recommend downloading our super handy FREE printable at the end of the post so you can start checking items off the list!

Before we start dreaming of all things pumpkin-spiced and cool{er} temps, I must start with a HUGE thank you to our generous friends at The Health Museum for sponsoring this absolute goldmine of a bucket list.  The Health Museum is Houston’s most interactive science learning center and a member institution of the world-renowned Texas Medical Center. Located in Houston’s Museum District, The Health Museum’s mission is to foster wonder and curiosity about health, medical science, and the human body. The Museum treasures Houston’s diverse population and welcomes individuals of all backgrounds. Since 1996, they have serve over 2.5 million visitors – WOW!!! From exhibits, seasonal camps, and educational events for the entire family, they have Houston health covered! Just a few highlights with more featured below :: 

  • See here for their hours of operation, and entry into the Museum’s newest exhibit The Bone Zone is included. This 1,500-foot carnival themed exhibit features NINE informative, interactive displays that engage children and adults to help them develop lifelong, healthy habits.  The displays feature interactive games, hands-on activities, entertaining videos, and information about bone health, diet, and exercise.
  • Eat Well, Play Well explores nutrition and fitness in 22 engaging and interactive areas including things like test your flexibility and balance, learn about veggie power, take the calorie quiz, and much more.
  • “Surviving After Survival” :: We love this panel discussion and Pink Fashion Show that will take place on Saturday, October 17th {10am – 1pm}, highlighting breast cancer awareness and survivors.

One more thing… Be sure to connect with us {Houston Moms Blog} on social media to stay up to date on family friendly fun around town and to connect with other local families too – Facebook, Twitter, InstagramPinterest, and our weekly newsletter delivered straight to your inbox.  Now ready for the Ultimate Fall Bucket List?  Here goes…

Fall Bucket List 2015 - Featured

:: Photo Credit – Momma’s Gonna SNAP Photography ::

 Fun Fall Events

  • Fun on the Farm! Blessington Farms {Simonton, TX}, Froberg’s Farm {Alvin, TX}, and Dewberry Farm {Brookshire, TX} all offer their fair share of outside adventures and acres and acres of family fun!
  • Find the perfect pumpkin at any one of the great Houston Area Pumpkin Patches.
  • Schedule Fall family portraits! Check out our Ultimate Guide to Houston Area Photographers!
  • The National Museum of Funeral History has SO much in store this fall season, including a Family Friendly Haunted House {Oct. 1st – Nov. 2nd} and the 8th Annual Halloween Classic Car Show {October 24th}!
  • Enjoy the Pumpkin Patch and Scarecrow Festival at the Oil Ranch in Hockley :: Free pumpkin for every paid child’s admission…festival kicks off on October 1st!
  • peter panCross your fingers Peter Pan 360 Tour is still in town! Tickets to this amazing, family friendly show are available through October 25th.
  • Rainy Saturday? Head to any Lakeshore Learning Store for free activities and crafts for kids 3+. All locations, every Saturday from 11am-3pm.
  • Observe Mental Health Day on Saturday, October 10th {1pm – 4pm} with The Health Museum and The Many Minds of Hope! Enjoy family game time, relax in a relaxation room, engage in yoga and meditation techniques provided by YogaOne Heights, and more. Presentations provided by The Menninger Clinic and The National Alliance on Mental Illness {NAMI}.
  • Catch Main Street Theater’s performance of Good Night Moon. The dish and the spoon are brought to life from Oct. 6th – Nov. 7th.
  • Monsters’ Museum at the Children’s Museum of Houston – enjoy THREE weeks of Halloween with Trick-or-Treating every day from Oct. 9th – Nov. 2nd!
  • Zoo Boo! Celebrate Halloween at the Houston Zoo with activities that are fun for the whole family! {Oct. 10th – 26th}
  • BOO on the Boardwalk at the Kemah Boardwalk :: Kids can enjoy the Little Boo Haunted Fun House, plus pumpkin decorating, trick-or-treating, and much more. {Oct. 9th – 31st}
  • Look West for a good time at the Katy Rice and Harvest Festival. Craft booths, kids’ entertainment, food, and a parade. {Oct. 10th & 11th}
  • Break out the chainmail for the Texas Renaissance Festival! Enjoy arts and crafts, food, and entertainment! {Oct. 10th – Nov. 29th}
  • Check out the Health & Wellness Expo from our friends at Fusion Academy featuring Healthy Habits, Music Expression, Physical Wellness, and Art Expression too.
  • Join the fun at Bayou City Art Festival where hundreds of artists are joined with music, food, and fun. Kids under 3 are free! {Oct. 11th & 12th}
  • Attend Kids Day on Buffalo Bayou :: A day filled with FREE family fun…featuring hands-on education activities, music, food, park performers, and boat rides on the bayou! {October 17th}
  • zooDon’t miss the Pumpkin Patch Festival at Nature Discovery Center. Pumpkins, wagons, face-painting, rock wall and food trucks! {Oct. 17th & 18th}
  • “Surviving After Survival” with The Health Museum and highlighting Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Start off the day with a Breast Cancer Awareness panel discussion and a pink survivors’ fashion show.  A panel of experts from the Texas Medical Center will team up with The Health Museum as they celebrate survivors and their family members, friends, and care givers who are on the journey. {October 17th, 10am – 1pm}
  • Entertain your aspiring aviators at the Wings over Houston Airshow at Ellington Field! Featuring the US Navy Blue Angels, Vietnam Demo, and much more. {Oct. 17th & 18th}
  • Celebrate Houston’s Diversity at the East End Street Fest :: You’ll enjoy food, street dancers, music, and children’s activities while you learn more about the diversity that Houston has to offer! {October 17th}
  • Trick or Treat in Nature at Houston Arboretum and Nature Center’s ArBOOretum. Trick or treat trails, hay rides, petting zoo, and pumpkin decorating! {October 24th}
  • Enjoy an evening treat listening to the Houston Symphony perform their annual Hocus Pocus Pops at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion with free lawn and mezzanine seats! {October 24th}  PLUS…now is a great time to sign up for their Family Series before the first show – Ghostbusters  & Ghouls!! {October 31st}
  • Discover more than 150 years of Texas history at Texian Market Days  :: Hands-on activities, battle re-enactments, music and entertainment, historic home tours, cowboys, food, artisan vendors, and more! {October 24th}
  • Make sure to stop by the City’s Official Halloween Party! Scream on the Green at Discovery Green includes a costume contest, prizes, music, and more! {October 30th}
  • Spooktacular at the Woodlands Children’s Museum – Wear your costume and come to the museum for festival games, experiments, face painting, and treats. {October 31st}
  • Looking for something new? Head to Traders Village for the Native American Championship Pow Wow! Entertainment, Artisans, authentic Native American food, and true-life experiences await you. {Nov. 14th & 15th}
  • Have great family fun at the Annual Children’s Festival at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion :: Lots of activities are located in different zones, so every child has something to enjoy! {Nov. 14th & 15th}
  • Make plans to drop in on Bayou Bend Family Day for activities, music, performances, craft workshops, giveaways, and more abounding throughout the home and gardens. {November 15th}
  • Head Downtown and be part of Via Colori, Houston’s Largest Street Painting Festival! Dancers, music, scavenger hunt, kids chalk art, balloon animals, face paint, and the list goes on all benefiting the Center for Hearing and Speech. {Nov. 21st & 22nd}
  • Don’t be late for Houston’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! The fun begins at 9am on November 26th.
  • Be sure to show up for the Uptown Houston Holiday Lighting with live music performances, Santa officially lighting Post Oak Blvd, and Fireworks to end the night!  {November 26th}
  • Wishing for some snow? Try your feet at ice skating at ICE at Discovery Green – the rink opens late November!
  • And while you’re out and about, keep the number to NightLight Pediatric Urgent Care handy.  Just in case.

Warm Eats & Yummy Drinks

  • Who doesn’t love a cold beer on the patio in the fall? The St. Arnold Pumpkinator pairs perfectly with cooler weather.
  • Make pumpkin bread and serve it for breakfast, dessert…or both! Take the shortcut and just make the Libby’s boxed pumpkin bread – it’s easy and delicious! Pick up a box at your grocery store.
  • Game day? Whip up some of these delicious eats and treats.
  • You know when you are in the mall and you catch a whiff of the cinnamon pecans kiosk? Surely it’s not just my mouth that waters at this smell. You can easily make these yourself in the crockpot. You’re welcome.
  • Instead of a lemonade stand, help the kids set up an apple cider and donut stand in the front yard.
  • Wander through your neighborhood Trader Joe’s and you’ll find yourself in pumpkin heaven. They’ve got everything from pumpkin scones to pumpkin spice coffee and much more.
  • When the Texans win, so do you! Grab a free slush on Tuesdays!
  • Make homemade pizza with the fam!
  • Love pumpkin pie? Hugs & Donuts in The Heights has a pumpkin pie donut that you must try.
  • This salted caramel bourbon milkshake is everything. Trust me.
  • Make a cranberry + pecan cheeseball and serve with your favorite crackers {I prefer Wheat Thins}. This is the most addicting appetizer on our tailgate spread in the fall.
  • Pass out these Halloween popcorn balls to your trick-or-treaters!
  • Whip up Jenn’s healthy game day wings.
  • Have a lazy Saturday morning and make pumpkin pancakes.
  • Don’t forget about these Top 10 Back to School meals. Easy, healthy, and delish!
  • Cook caramel over the stove and have a fondue night. Use apple slices and mini-waffles to dip in the caramel.
  • Visit the River Oaks Shopping Center and pop in MACARON by Patisee for a fabulous salted caramel macaroon {or three}.
  • I have eaten frosted brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts for breakfast nearly everyday since I was in high school {clearly, I’m not much on variety}. This year, Kellogg’s got in on the pumpkin madness and they have introduced the Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop Tart. Y’all. Can’t even.
  • Butternut squash is the vegetable of the season. Roast some of this delectable veggie and have it with dinner, make butternut squash ravioli, or try your hand at making butternut squash soup {hint :: its not as hard as you might think}.
  • Spaghetti squash is also in season. Make this yummy {and easy!} spaghetti squash dinner.
  • starbucksWe Houstonians LOVE the pecan pie from Pappa’s Restaurants. We have at least two on our dessert table every Thanksgiving!
  • Nothing says fall like chili. We’ve tried dozens of chili recipes in our house, and this one is our favorite {warning :: it’s got a kick to it!}.
  • My world revolves around this candy during the fall {and no…it’s not candy corn!}.
  • The unanimous Houston Moms Blog Contrubutors’ favorite fall drink is none other than a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks!  Yours too?

Create & Craft

  • Grab some paint, craft sticks, and raffia to make these adorable scarecrows.
  • Decorate a pumpkin! Get inspired with 20 no-carve ways to decorate.
  • Do some taste testing while the kids use candy corn and construction paper to make these cute candy corn turkeys.
  • Mod podge fake leaves onto a mason jar and tie on some raffia or jute for a cute candle holder.
  • Make a fall tree with construction paper and dot markers or try your hand at Jenn’s adorable wine cork art!
  • Use black pipe cleaners and googly eyes to make creepy crawly spiders.
  • Thin round sandwich bread + peanut butter + pretzel stick + M&M’s = fun and delicious edible fall trees.
  • Make your own pumpkin shirt {or onesie!} for the kids to wear to the pumpkin patch.
  • Carve a pumpkin for the front porch. You can find tons of free pumpkin stencils to download online, from Elsa and Anna to Barack Obama!
  • Cut apples in half to make apple stamps — incredibly easy and lots of fun {make sure to use washable paint!}.
  • Everything is better with glitter, including this fall leaves garland.
  • Make leaf rubbings by placing white paper over collected fall leaves and rubbing a crayon over it to reveal the shape and texture of the leaf.
  • The kids will love making these cute and delicious candy apple turkeys.
  • This one is for the moms… How cute are these paper candy corn pennants? This would look adorable hanging across a mantle with other fall decor.
  • Use black markers and scissors to turn an orange paper plate into a pumpkin mask.
  • Grab a pine cone from your yard or the park, then cover with peanut butter and bird seed to make an inexpensive bird feeder.
  • Decorate your front porch with Halloween decor.
  • Go on a nature walk so the kids can collect leaves to glue onto a ring {paper plate with the center cut out) to create a leaf wreath.
  • These felt and pinecone owl ornaments are adorable and would be great to give as Christmas gifts in a few months.
  • Use this recipe to make homemade play dough in fall colors.  {Sprinkle in some pumpkin pie spice to make it smell amazing too!}
  • Skip the traditional plastic pumpkin and decorate or make your own trick-or-treat bags.
  • Create paper fan turkeys out of construction paper, tape, and glue.
  • Laminate fall leaves to make refrigerator magnets.
  • Reflect on all the things your are thankful for this fall by creating a thankful tree.
  • Don’t toss those wine corks! Check out the creative crafts that kids {and moms!} can make with them.
  • Or if you’re not feeling crafty, then visit Too Cute Monogrammed and Personalized Gifts to snag some custom holiday goodies instead {think Halloween pails and Thanksgiving placemats}!

Move & Groove

  • Get Fit & Fly :: The Health Museum of Houston brings you “Get Fit and Be Fly” November 9th through 13th – just in time to prep for all the holiday goodies! Enhance your physical fitness techniques and nutrition habits!
  • Take hike or bike with your family!  Did you know that Houston has more than 128 miles of trails that loop within our parks or are linear and run along bayous and outside park boundaries?  Awesome, huh!?
  • Have you visited the McGovern Centennial Gardens with your kids yet?  This 8 acre beauty was recently completed and is a perfect spot to get your family moving and then relax together too!  The “birthday cake” hill is a favorite for kids!  Get there!
  • Rake the fall leaves together and jump in!  Making messes and being silly with mom and dad are some of the best memories for kids.
  • Now that the weather is cooling down, see what Baby Boot Camp is all about! Your first class is FREE!!
  • Jump into The Health Museums’s Fall & Winter Dunk Camps! Boys and girls {ages 5 – 13 yrs old} are invited to get smart and fit, learning while they play basketball. Check it out for all available dates and details. {Camps available over Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break!} Hurry, registration begins soon!
  • Don’t miss The Color Run 5K, also known as the Happiest 5K on the Planet! The Color Run is a five-kilometer, un-timed race in which thousands of participants, or “Color Runners”, are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer.   As an added bonus, this year they are partnering with charitable organization, Color Cancer, whose mission is to provide free at-home care supplies to cancer patients in need.  Can’t go wrong there!
  • Consider signing up for classes with our friends at The Little Gym or Gymboree – always a hit with the little ones!!!
  • Looking for a way to get your family moving AND support our troops?  Look no further!  The Homes for our Troops 5K/10K is a race that donates 100% of race proceeds to HFOT to build specially adapted homes for Texas Veterans that have lost limbs and suffered traumatic brain injuries during combat.
  • Bring your family and friends together on Thanksgiving Day for a healthy start!  Always a fun race in Houston…The Turkey Trot!
  • Get outdoors and explore nature!  Take the kids to visit The Houston Arboretum and Nature Center.  Check their site for weekly schedules and even some Halloween fun!
  • Invite family/friends to join a friendly game of flag football.
  • Set up an obstacle course or relay race and invite the neighborhood kids!
  • Have a neighborhood parade. Dress up in your Halloween costumes! Invite all the neighbors to come and watch.
  • Go on a bug hunt!
  • Feeling adventurous?  Visit iFLY Houston!  {iFLY is an indoor skydiving experience that creates true free fall conditions, just like skydiving, without having to jump out of an airplane. There’s no parachute, no jumping, and nothing attaching you to planet Earth. It’s just you and the air, and it’s the most incredible adrenaline rush.}
  • Visit the Kemah Boardwalk!
  • Go cheer on our Houston teams!  If you love soccer…Houston Dynamo games are exciting!  Or if football is more your style, take the family to a University of Houston football game!
  • Beat the Houston heat and go ice skating at the Galleria!
  • Take your kids to an indoor trampoline park.
  • Sign up for a fitness class together at your local YMCA or city park and recreation center.  If nothing else, you can laugh while you exercise together.  Make memories!!!
  • Visit Discovery Green!  So much to do there with the family!  Check out their website for weekly happenings, including Toddler Tuesdays, and free exercise classes!
  • zoo booDiscover a new park or visit your tried and true FAVE!  Local parks are awesome places to let your kids run wild and free {while you can still see them!} and release energy!
  • Wanna support some of Houston’s littlest victims?  Bring the family out to the Child Advocates Superhero Run!
  • Get moving, but let the Metro Rail do the movin’ for you!  Plan a day to see Houston with the family and visit some great stops, shops, and eats along the way!  North Main, Downtown, Midtown, Museum District, Texas Medical Center, NRG park…you can see it all!
  • Find a local track, and you’ll get your heart rate up for sure – kids love to race mom and dad!

Community & Giving Back

So, Houston parents…you are set! What activities are you most looking forward to? We hope this list will give you some fun and unique ideas to make forever memories with your family. And remember that FREE printable we mentioned? Grab it below, post it on your fridge, or keep in your car for easy access. We can’t wait to see you out and about for one of the best seasons in Houston!

HMB Fall Bucket List 2015

>>> Click here for PDF download. <<<

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Meagan Clanahan
Meagan is a Dallas native who has lived in the Katy area for over a decade. She kicked a soccer ball all the way to Louisiana to attend college at her family’s alma mater of LSU, where she promptly fell in love with a Texas Aggie in Baton Rouge for an internship. After swimming back to Texas following Hurricane Katrina, Matt and Meagan fell in love with the Houston area and now couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Following several years of infertility, their miracle twins Ryan and Quinn were born in June of 2010. She believes there is nothing better than a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio, a large Sonic Diet Coke, sushi take-out, Girls Nights Out, and a mindless book to curl up with. Besides playing chauffeur and catering to the whims of her children, Meagan also is the Co-Owner of Houston Moms Blog. You can keep up with Meagan at The Clanahan Fam and on Instagram @meaganclanahan!


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