Mari's Moments

Family fun: Fall events for kids in Dallas-Fort Worth

Calloway’s Nursery offers a free fall event that includes pumpkin decorating.
Calloway’s Nursery offers a free fall event that includes pumpkin decorating. Calloway’s Nursery

Fall is my favorite family fun time of the year because the temperature is just right — not too hot, not too cold. Unfortunately in Texas, the season seems shorter than most, and extreme temps seem just around the corner.

It’s a good time to head outdoors to explore with the family. Here are five ways to have fun with the family this fall.

After Dark in the Park

Here’s your opportunity to give last year’s Halloween costume another go or test out a new one. The annual festival, which benefits education programs at River Legacy Living Science Center, has fun games for the little ones, bounce houses and live animal encounters.

Good to know: Park your car in River Legacy Parks and get a free hayride shuttle to the event entrance.

When: 5-9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 6 through Sunday, Oct. 8. No event entry after 8:30 p.m.

Where: River Legacy Living Science Center, 703 NW Green Oaks Blvd., Arlington

Cost: $8 per person, ages 3 and older. Some activities and food require coupons.


Fall Festival at Calloway’s

The annual event will feature free activities including pumpkin decorating, pansy planting and an interactive science demo at all participating Dallas/Fort Worth locations.

Good to know: Complimentary popcorn provided and at select locations there will be samples of cotton candy and Rita’s Italian Ice.

When: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7

Where: Calloway’s Nursery locations. Find nearest one at

Cost: Free

‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ at Casa Mañana

Mr. Popper’s Penguins“ tells the story of a painter named Mr. Popper who dreams of adventure, specifically to Antarctic. One day, he gets a mysterious package and his life is changed forever. Kids will love the puppet penguins and parents will enjoy the musical adaptation based on Richard and Florence Atwater’s popular children’s book, which was also made into a movie film starring Jim Carrey.

Good to know: At intermission, your child can color their own penguin keepsake.Stay until the end of the play to participate in a lively penguin dance.

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6; 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7; 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8; 7 p.m. Oct. 13; 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Oct. 14; 2 p.m. Oct. 15

Where: Casa Mañana Theatre, 3101 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth

Cost: $17-$39


Autumn at the Dallas Arboretum

Walk through the botanical gardens stunning fall displays. This year’s theme is “The Wonderful World of Oz,” which will feature 150,000 fall-blooming plants. Don’t forget to stop by Pumpkin Village to get your requisite fall family photo.

Good to know: Check out the new 3 1/2 acre ornamental garden, pavilion and kitchen inspired by the movement toward growing and eating fresh, sustainable, locally-grown food.

When: Through Nov. 22

Where: 525 Garland Road, Dallas

Cost: $10-$15; children 2 and younger are free.

Hall’s Pumpkin Farm and Maze in Grapevine

At one of the last working farms in North Texas, families can celebrate the harvest season with pumpkin photo ops, hayrides and including a 2-acre corn maze ($5 per person).

When: Open daily through Oct. 31. Hayrides start at noon

Where: 3420 Hall Johnson Road, Grapevine

Cost: Free admission and parking. Some activities require a fee.


Maricar Estrella blogs at Find her on Twitter @mymarimoments +