By Kristina Rowe, NewsCastic
With school back in session and cooler weather on its way, it almost feels like autumn feels in the rest of the world, even if most of our leaves don’t turn colors — yet.
With earlier sunsets, DFW evenings will soon shine bright under darker skies. Festival sights, sounds, and smells are in the air. Halloween is creeping around the corner with Thanksgiving not far behind. Autumn starts officially on September 22nd this year, but that’s only the beginning.
Here are 25 of our favorite photos that really show off why fall is king in DFW:
Here in DFW, and all around the gorgeous state of Texas, we tend to think of wildflowers in the spring. These fall flowers may not beat bluebonnet beauty, but they do make us smile.
There’s no better time for the great outdoors than autumn in DFW. Look for fall colors at scenic locations around the metroplex like White Rock Lake.
Oh Great Pumpkin
Pumpkins everywhere! Look for dozens of displays in DFW this fall; Pumpkin Village at the Dallas Arboretum is a must-see!
To Market, to Market
You can buy a fat pumpkin at dozens of farmers markets in the suburbs or the excellent Dallas Farmers Market in downtown Dallas. Pumpkins make great photo backdrops too — for you, your kids, or even your pooch!
In the Middle of the City
Farmers markets aren’t the only places to go pumpkin crazy. Garden shops can provide you with pumpkins too. We love Ruibal’s Downtown — one of the prettiest places in Dallas, right across from the farmers market.
It’s Not All About the Pumpkin
Sure, it’s pumpkin season, but farmers markets can help you out with some late summer produce like these tomatoes, squash, and peaches seen at the Grand Prairie Farmers Market. Later in the fall season look for brussels sprouts, carrots, kale, and cauliflower.
Red Hot Chile Peppers
Hatch Chile Pepper season is usually gone by mid-September, but you’ll find those and other chiles as well as chili and chili cook-offs throughout the season.
Dozens of DFW cities hold fall festivals like the Ennis Fall Festival. Look for free family events in your town or all across the metroplex.
I’m Not Scared
If you like your fests a little more frightful, there are plenty of haunted houses and Halloween-themed festivals here in DFW. There’ll be zombies and ghouls galore at Six Flags Over Texas Fright Fest from September 24th through Halloween night.
Get Your Paws Off My Pumpkin
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If you have time, you can make your way to over a hundred festivals in DFW this fall. That doesn’t even count ranches and farms that host events like the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch to help make the season a smash.
Not Quite Pumpkin
You might not see pumpkins, but you’ll surely see burnt orange at the Texas OU Game in the Cotton Bowl. The Red River Showdown lets the two teams battle out their 111-year-old rivalry here in Dallas every year.
These Boots Are Made for …
You know the fair is almost here when Big Tex gets dressed. How we’re supposed to survive with only one State Fair of Texas a year, we’ll never understand.
Food as Far as the Eye Can See
Fair food is almost certainly what we love about the state fair. Let the food pics commence!
The fairgrounds of Fair Park have a lot of beautiful sights you might not even get around to during the fair. Plan a visit to stroll the grounds or check out one of its museums and gardens later this fall.
More Fall Food
Looks like we’re back to pumpkins again, and one of the best things about pumpkin is that you can make pie out of it. Check out the fall flavors at Emporium Pies or your favorite local bakery.
More Pumpkin, Please
It’s not just pie that makes pumpkin extraordinary – we like cake too!
PSL to the Nth
Sure, everybody needs a pumpkin spice latte, but really why not take it up a notch. The Pumpkin Spice Martini at The Woolworth will let you know in no uncertain terms that fall has arrived.
If autumn life is about more than just pumpkins, you still may enjoy The Dallas Arboretum. Look for fall flowers in one of the 19 gardens. The Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill and the Crepe Myrtle Alcover are especially gorgeous in the fall.
We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Coats
Fall fashions arrived in stores weeks ago, like this coat at Neiman Marcus. Even though we spend a lot of time outside in the fall, look for coats on clearance at your favorite stores in just a few weeks — long before you’ll need one in DFW.
Do Some Shopping
Even though we don’t need coats, we love our seasonal shopping. Pretty shopping centers in Las Colinas and many suburban downtowns have plenty of beautiful buys to tempt you with.
Get to the Garden
If you’re from Dallas or one of the eastern suburban ares, you may tend to forget about the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. This fall is a great time to go west and check it out.
The Gifts of Nature
You’ll find dozens of scenic spots for walking in the cool fall weather all around DFW. The Spring Creek Forest Nature Preserve in Garland is large enough to let you walk around all day.
Critters Come Out
If you like photographing or seeing all of nature’s creatures, autumn’s the best time to take your nature walks. Look for all kinds of flora and fauna at River Legacy Park in Arlington or a nature trail near you.
Hop on a Bike
If hiking isn’t your thing, there are plenty of great trails for bike riding in DFW too. The Trinity River Audubon Center is gorgeous this time of year.
Even the most citified among us in DFW love the outdoors — we just love it in a different way. Patios are popular for dining, drinking, and all sorts of play. Now that the blistering heat is headed out of town for a while, look for packed patios all over DFW, especially at night!