1.Texas Renaissance Festival, Todd Mission The largest Renaissance Festival in the country, the Texas Renaissance Festival runs from the first weekend in October through Thanksgiving Weekend. Fun and amusing shows, great food, shops, people watching and games and rides will keep everyone entertained! Don’t miss The Joust, and as a finale to the day, The Fire Show and Fireworks are spectacular!
2. Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Glen Rose Amid all the exotic animals at this huge, drive through animal park, my favorites in the fall are the native ones! Beautiful white tail deer come up to your car alongside the antelope, and wild turkeys can be seen throughout the park. Visit the park, spend the night in one of their “safari tents”, the Bunkhouses or for a more luxurious stay, The Lodge. On a previous trip, we stayed in the Bunkhouses, and had a wonderful time!
3. Lost Maples State Natural Area, Vanderpool For a look at beautiful fall foliage, you can’t beat a visit to Lost Maples State Natural Area. The native Bigtooth Maples in their autumn colors last about two weeks in November. Take your camera and a sense of adventure, hiking throughout the park is exciting and a little strenuous due to the rocky terrains and hill country topography. The camp sites are limited, as are the number of cars allowed in the park at one time, and lines can be long, so visit early or on weekdays if possible!
4. Texas Citrus Season Beautiful, red grapefruit grown in the Rio Grande Valley, the Texas Rio Red, is in season! Purchase some and enjoy, or find new recipes to make that highlight the official Texas State Fruit, which was designated in 1993.
You can always order by mail, but for a real treat, why not head down to the Valley over Thanksgiving and pick up your own from one of the fruit stands along the road. While you are there, you can always enjoy the resorts and beaches of South Padre Island, because winter in South Texas is amazing!
5. Visit Amarillo Spend a week camping in one of the cabins along the Rim of the Palo Duro Canyon, the 2nd largest canyon in the U.S.! You’ll enjoy amazing hikes to some of the state’s most recognizable landmarks, such as the Lighthouse! The canyon also offers horseback and jeep tours, as well as zip lining across the canyon!
Also check out Dove’s Rest Cabins in the Canyon. Click HERE to visit their website.
You’ll enjoy all there is to do in the Amarillo area, including the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, seeing numerous prairie dog towns, visiting Happy, TX, as well as dinner and fun at the Big Texan Steakhouse, shopping and sight-seeing on historic Route 66 and of course, the iconic Cadillac Ranch!
The Fort Worth Nature Center also has a herd of Bison, with Bison feeding hayrides during the Thanksgiving break. These sell out quickly, so don’t delay in making your reservations.
8. Learn about the Native Americans that called Texas “Home” Although the Wampanoag Indians, with whom the Pilgrims shared their first Thanksgiving, lived in far to the North of Texas, November is still a wonderful time to learn about the Native Americans who called Texas home.
The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas in Livingston has the Tombigbee Campground, with tent, RV and even cabins to rent. Click HERE to visit their website.
Caddo Mounds State Historic Site in Alto, in East Texas, is a wonderful place to learn about the Caddoan Indians, from whom Texas derived it’s name.
Take the Fate Bell Shelter Tour at Seminole Canyon State Park, as guides take you to see American Indian Rock Paintings, estimated to be about 12,000 years old. Click HERE to visit their website.
9. National Take a Hike Day, November 17th There are so many wonderful places to explore in Texas, pick a trail and go!
10. Leonids Meteor Shower The Leonids Meteor Shower should peak on November 16-17th, offers a good view! Choose an International Dark Skies Park to watch the event, such as
- Copper Breaks State Park (Panhandle Plains)
- Enchanted Rock State Park (Hill Country)
- South Llano River State Park (Hill Country)
11. Visit a pecan farm Pecans are ready for your pies, so why not visit a local pecan farm? The Frio Pecan Farm is the perfect Texas Hill Country getaway, and they even offer overnight accommodations so you can relax, sit back and peel a few! Click HERE to visit their website.
12. Veterans Day Veterans Day is November 11th. Take some time to recognize this important day to your children. Hang your American Flag, get down some old pictures of family members who have served, or visit one of the 6 National Cemeteries in Texas.
13. Remember the Kennedy Assassination Not all events in Texas are to be celebrated, but should be remembered and memorialized. The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas chronicles the death of President John F. Kennedy, and the people involved in that sad day in American on November 22, 1963. Click HERE to visit their website.
A visit to the Sixth Floor Museum isn’t complete without a trip to the Texas Theater to see where Oswald was captured. Although they don’t do tours, and seldom offer family friendly movies, they will be showing for it’s 30th Anniversary the movie JFK on Nov. 22, the 58th anniversary of the assassination. The movie was filmed in Oak Cliff, and not to date myself, but I remember going to watch the filming!
While in Oak Cliff, grab dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, La Calle Doce, which offers authentic Mexican seafood dishes, as well as Tex-Mex favorites, in one of the areas renovated old homes with a courtyard and a mariachi band.
14. See a Wild Bald Eagle These migratory birds return to Texas each Fall to nest and raise their young before returning to the North for the Summer months, and can be seen all across the state! While it’s great to wait and see them with their newly hatched babies in winter, you can see them flying and returning to their nest NOW!
Take a drive out to John Bunker Sands Wetlands Center in Seagoville to see their resident eagles!
15. The 72nd Annual H-E-B Thanksgiving Day Parade, Houston The best of the best, as far as I’m concerned! I love this amazing parade, held the morning of Thanksgiving!
16. The 54th Annual Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot, Dallas Work up an appetite at this fun yearly event!
There are Turkey Trots held all over the place, so find one near you! It’s a great way to start the day! The 29th Annual Turkey Trot in Lubbock is always a fun and chilly one!
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