As the weather cools off in Houston, everyone looks for a reason to head outside and enjoy the best of what our city has to offer, which often includes food, football and festivals. Whether you’re looking for good eats, delicious drinks, wanting to put on a costume or just people watch, we’ve got you covered with plenty of fall festival options.
Hear ye, hear ye, first up in our festival line up is the iconic Texas Renaissance Festival. The festival begins Sept. 29 and runs through Nov. 25. RenFest, as it’s affectionately referred to, boasts a loyal following of lords and ladies from all over Texas and surrounding areas who continually make the pilgrimage back to the Middle Ages. Grab a turkey leg, drink some mead and enjoy the festival’s jam packed entertainment list with tons of bands, ventriloquists, dance troupes and more! There are also hilariously themed weekends like Okotober Fest, Barbarian Invasion, Pirate Adventure, Roman Bacchanal, Highland Fling and Celtic Christmas. Pick the weekend that best suits your tastes and bring the family, the festival is family friendly. For more information on the Texas Renaissance Festival, click here.
Not to be outdone by Middle Ages enthusiasts, Oktoberfest Houston begins Sept. 29. Enjoy a celebration that encompasses the best of German and Texas cultures. Meaning, whether you want to wear your lederhosen or your cowboy boots, everyone is invited to the party. The event will take place at The Water Works in Buffalo Bayou Park. The musical line up includes traditional German music from Enzian Buam, Auf Gehts, Eurofest, Yodel Blitz, DJ Big Reeks and more. Polka and yodeling guaranteed. Food vendors are plentiful with the promise of bratwurst, sauerkraut and giant pretzels, complemented by traditional Texas-inspired fare. For the competitive festivalgoer, there will be lots of fun activities like cornhole, Jenga, Connect Four and even a few feats of strength competitions. Prove your German prowess by competing in the stein race, stein hoisting or brat toss! For more information on Oktoberfest Houston, click here.
After a weekend of schnitzel, make your way over Italy. From Oct. 11 to Oct. 14, Festa Italiana or the Houston Italian Festival will take place at the University of St. Thomas. Wine flows and the smell of homemade pasta and savory sauces fill the air at this 40-year-old festival. Festa Italiana celebrates and helps maintains Houston’s strong Italian heritage, as proceeds support Italian language schools, scholarships and other cultural events. There will be tons of entertainment throughout the weekend, including a poker tournament, bingo, an Italian wine- and beer-tasting events. Visitors can enjoy the on-site classic car show, grape stomp or pasta-eating contest, while kids are encouraged to enter the sidewalk art contest. For more information on Festa Italiana, click here.
Any art enthusiast will love the Bayou City Art Festival taking place in Downtown Houston. The event, put on by the Art Colony Association, spotlights 300 artists in an outdoor fine arts festival. With everything from original art to prints, sculptures and more, the streets of Downtown will be lined with exciting pieces for collectors or the casual shopper. While the artwork is the main driver for the festival there will be plenty of entertainment with The Mad Man of Maui Fred Lowery, RKN Country Blues Band and Zachary Lerner performing. There will also be roaming performances and a children’s creative zone complete with bubbles and poetry workshops. Culinary treats abound with food trucks like The Burger Joint, Churrasco Food Truck, Happy Endings, Muiishi Makirritos and Rita’s Italian Ice and more! Proceeds for this event work to provide financial support to local nonprofits. To learn more and purchase tickets, click here.
Celebrating art and culture is something that Houstonians love to do. Unleash your creative side at the Via Colori Street Painting Festival on Nov. 17 and 18. Celebrating its 13th anniversary, this festival benefits The Center for Hearing and Speech, a local nonprofit that serves children with hearing loss. You’ll be amazed at the result when 200 artists turn Downtown streets into true works of art. Located in Hermann Square, Via Colori is the only street painting festival in the region, attracting attendees from far and wide. Aside from just street painting, there will be an on-site Instagram contest, life-like 3D art displays, wine and beer booths, an outdoor game station with cornhole, chalk games and more, assuring all ages will have a great experience. Plus, it’s always easy to have a great time when you know your funds are going toward a great cause! For more information on Via Colori, click here.