Day Trips & Beyond: October Events Roundup

Chinati Weekend in Marfa, Lantern Fest in Paige, and lots more!

The number of festivals, carnivals, fairs, and cook-offs is heating up as the weather cools off. It’s time to go exploring.

Monument to the Last Horse, by Claes Odenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, at Chinati Foundation in Marfa. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

Artist Donald Judd arrived in Marfa in 1973 and made lasting changes to the desert landscape until his death in 1994. His legacy is a world-class art center that continues to inspire and educate. Chinati Weekend offers an open house to the Judd Foundation and Chinati Foundation properties around town along with gallery tours and special events.

Oct. 8-9, Marfa,

Estilo Tierra Caliente food truck at 1919 W. Alabama at McDuffie Street is one of eight taco trucks participating in the voter registration drive in Houston. (Photo by Gerald E. McLeod)

The Houston design firm of

Chinese lanterns have been used to symbolize good fortune, request favorable weather, and celebrate the lives of loved ones for centuries. The Lantern Fest brings this ancient tradition to the Austin area in a festival that includes food, music, s’mores, and children’s entertainment. When the sun goes down, lanterns paint the sky in one spectacular release. (Photo Courtesy of Sack Lunch Productions)

There is still time to get tickets to Lantern Fest, one of the most unusual and beautiful light shows to be brought to Central Texas. Spectators are participants in the release of hundreds of paper lanterns that fill the night sky like twinkling stars rising from the ground. The festival offers an evening of family fun in preparation for the nighttime spectacular at Cotton Bowl Speedway in Paige about an hour east of Austin.

Sat., Oct. 22, Paige,

Travel Notes:

Take a tour of the geology of Texas from your computer on the Texas Geology Web Map. The interactive map lets you explore different layers of a location and retrieve detailed information about the geologic formation without being too technical. If you want to see something pretty cool, look at the cliffs and riverbeds at Caprock Canyons State Park at

Beginning in October and running through the end of the year, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston shows the artistic side of early Texas through two exhibits: “Julian Onderdonk and the Texan Landscape” and “A Texas Legacy: Selections From the William J. Hill Collection.” A San Antonio native and educated in New York, Onderdonk mastered the art of capturing the Texas landscape. A Texas Legacy showcases 65 examples of early Texas decorative arts. Through Jan. 2, 2017, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston,

This year the Texas State Fair in Dallas celebrates its 130th year. To honor the Texas institution, the DeGolyer Library at SMU’s Fondren Library Center in Dallas presents “The State Fair of Texas, 1886-2016, Celebrating 130 Years of a Texas Institution.” The free exhibition features historic photographs taken by Lynn Lennon who visited the fair every day during its three-week run from 1984 to 1993. The rare photos are supplemented with vintage State Fair items collected over the years. Through Dec. 16, Fondren Library, SMU, Dallas,

Looking for something to do around Texas or around the world? Check out everfest, an exhaustive online list of happenings no matter what direction you happen to be going. For events unique to Texas go to

Other October Events:

State Fair of Texas
Through Oct. 23, Dallas,

Texas Wine Month Trail
Oct. 1-31, Fredericksburg,

Sand Castle Days
Oct. 6-9, South Padre Island,

Oct. 6-9, Rockport,

Gruene Music & Wine Festival
Oct. 6-9, Gruene,

Astronaut Interactive Exhibit
Oct. 6-Jan. 16, Space Center, Houston,

Memories of Broadway
Oct. 7, 8pm, Cave Without a Name, Boerne,

Sacred Springs Powwow
Oct. 7-8, San Marcos,

Star Party
Oct. 8, Fountainwood Observatory, Georgetown,

Dogtober Fest
Oct. 8, Beaumont,

Celtic Festival and Highland Games
Oct. 8, Kerrville,

Crazy Water Festival
Oct. 8, Mineral Wells,

Stonewall VFD Fall Fish Fry
Oct. 8, Stonewall,

Scarecrow Festival
Oct. 8-9, Chappell Hill,

Bayou City Art Festival
Oct. 8-9, Houston,

Old Town Festival
Oct. 8-10, Port Aransas,

Texas Renaissance Festival
Weekends Oct. 8-Nov. 27, Todd Mission,

The Butcher’s Ball
Oct. 9, Rockin’ Star Ranch, Brenham,

Rose Festival
Oct. 13-14, Tyler,

Original Texas Bigfoot Conference>br> Oct. 14-16, Jefferson,

Ranch Heritage Day
Oct. 15, Bandera,

40th Celebration Art Festival
Oct. 15, Liberty Hill,

San Antonio Beer Festival
Oct. 15, San Antonio,

Chalk Festival
Oct. 15-16, Kerrville,

Island Octoberfest
Oct. 21-22, Galveston,

Prickly Pear Food + Wine Festival
Oct. 22, Coleman,

World Championship Fiddlers Festival
Oct. 22, Crockett,

HogEye Festival
Oct. 22, Elgin,

Untapped Music & Beer Festival
Oct. 22, Houston,

Texas Clay Festival
Oct. 22-23, Gruene,

Haunted Zoo
Oct. 27-20, Victoria,

Oct. 28-30, Flatonia,

Oakwood Cemetery Tours
Oct. 28-30, Fort Worth,

Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
Oct. 28-30, New Orleans, La.,

Handmade Market
Oct. 29, Boerne,

Dia de los Muertos Festival
Oct. 29, Concordia Cemetery, El Paso,

Egyptian Festival
Oct. 29, Houston,

Texas Country Reporter Festival
Oct. 29, Waxahachie,

Pecan Fest
Oct. 29-30, Seguin,

Islamic Arts Festival
Oct. 29-30, Spring,

Gerald McLeod has been traveling around Texas and beyond for his "Day Trips" column for the past 24 years. Keep up to date with his journeys on his archive page. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 40312, South Austin, TX 78704.

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October Events, Texas, Chinati Weekend, Marfa, Rigsby Hull, Mi Familia Vota, National Taco Day, Lantern Fest, Texas Geology Web Map, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas State Fair, Everfest

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