Pumpkin Spice Lattes have arrived, which means it's officially fall, and ROI Online couldn’t be more pumped!
Seriously, who doesn’t love fall?
From the cool, crisp weather and breathtaking fall foliage to pumpkin carving and pumpkin eating — not to mention Halloween and Thanksgiving — fall is unequivocally the best time of the year.
There are so many fun festivals, fundraisers and events taking place this fall season in Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle, and it’s hard to pick out just a few.
Alas, we can’t list them all, so here are our Top 12 Can’t-Miss Fall Activities.
1) A Ghostly History
Llano Cemetery by Twilight: On Saturday, Oct. 15, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum and Llano Cemetery Association’s will host the “Llano Cemetery by Twilight” Tour. The annual event runs tours from 3:30-6:30 p.m. The tour of Llano Cemetery, which is the largest and oldest cemetery in the Texas Panhandle, will present historical stories, highlight the gravestones of prominent Panhandle people and discuss the cemetery’s architecture and monuments. This year there will be a special emphasis on Women of the West, the females who helped shape the Panhandle culture and community.
Cost is $5 per person; children ages 3 and under are free. Weather permitting.
2) Leaves, Please
The Canadian Fall Foliage Tour tradition is more than half a century old! Take a drive on up to Canadian the weekend of October 20 and tour some beautiful homes as well as the Citadel mansion, take a wagon ride, stop by the arts and crafts festival, and last but not least, admire the spectacular colors of autumn.
Check its website again soon for a full schedule of events.
3) Coffee Craze
We've already mentioned Starbuck's famous Pumpkin Spiced Latte, so we're going to focus on Amarillo's a-mazing coffee scene instead. From the award-winning Palace Coffee and Evocation Coffee to Roasters and Urbana Coffee Works, Amarillo is brewing some top-notch java. We wouldn't dare tell you to give up your Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, but try to support local, too!
4) Fun On The Farm
There’s a slew of family-friendly activities on local farms, including the beloved Maxwell’s Pumpkin Farm and Amazingly Fun Farms. There are also several other pumpkin patches open to the public around town, including one on Western Street, between Hollywood and Hillside Roads, as well as one at 45th and Bell, just south of United Supermarkets. Enjoy hayrides, pumpkin picking, corn mazes, petting zoos and endless Instagram photo opps for your kiddos. Admission prices vary.
Children of the Corn more your style? Check out Farmageddon, the haunted cornfield where you can take a zombie safari. Friday nights are $20 per person; Saturday nights are $25.
5) Rein It In
The Tri-State Fair Expo's calendar is full of exciting shows and competitions. Check out their upcoming events, here.
6) All Hail, Halloween
Who doesn’t love a good scare? To get spooked, or make fun of others getting spooked, head over to the Amarillo Scaregrounds, Van Buren Frightmare, 6th Street Massacre or Chainsaw Massacre. These activities run throughout the month of October. Prices vary.
The Big Boo returns to the Big Texan this year. If you're a fan of creepy dolls (anyone remember Talky Tina?!), then The Dollz Haunted is right up your alley. Get your scream on Fridays and Saturdays starting Oct. 2 through Oct. 31 and enjoy a Big Texan craft brew after (you'll to calm your nerves). $15 per person.
If you don't want to give your kid nightmares, opt for the Amarillo Zoo's Boo At The Zoo. Enjoy fun games, a costume contest, treat stations, live music by Andy Chase and more. Doors are open from 5:30-9 p.m. October 21-22, and from noon to 5 p.m. on October 23. $5 per person.
Kids will also get a kick out of Don Harrington Discovery Center's Monster Bash on October 30. This safe, yet fun event boasts cool science experiments and crafts. The annual event takes place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 per child and chaperones get in free. Be sure to wear a monstrous costume!
7) Autumn Tunes
It’s always a sad day when summer ends in Amarillo, because all the great outdoor music events leave us, too. So be sure not to miss out on Center City’s Jazztober. Every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in October, chill out on the Chamber of Commerce porch and listen to good tunes. Bring a chair and a picnic to the free event. For a full schedule, click here.
In addition, the Amarillo Youth Choir puts on their annual Fall Concert on Nov. 1 at Paramount Baptist Church.
8) Get Your Treats
Trunk or Treat is a Trick or Treat trade-off, if you will. Many of the local churches, such as Polk Street United Methodist Church and Saint Stephen Church, are holding fall carnivals and festivals. These offer a safe, yet fun and family-friendly alternative for Halloween activities.
9) Fall Fundraisers
Amarillo is such a giving community, and throughout the entire year amazing fundraisers and benefits take place. In the fall, some of our favorites are the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Sept. 24, Opportunity School's LIPS on Oct. 6, Don Harrington Discovery Center’s Mad Scientist Ball on Oct. 15, and the Junior League of Amarillo's Hidden Treasures Rummage Sale on Oct. 22.
One that we can’t leave off the list is 575 Pizzeria’s annual pub crawl on Sept. 25. P3, which stands for people, pints and pedals, is a free event that takes cyclists on a several-mile route throughout Amarillo with frequent stops at some of the city’s favorite watering holes, like GoldenLight Cantina, Crush, and of course, 575. Proceeds benefit Ambucs, which donates modified bicycles (AmTrykes) to children and veterans with special needs.
10) High Plains Highways
The Amarillo Museum of Art will open High Plains Highways, a juried exhibition of photography of the High Plains submitted by residents in and outside of the region. From northwestern Texas and eastern New Mexico to southwestern South Dakota and southeastern Wyoming, the exhibit will display images of eight states.
The exhibit will be on view from Nov. 11, 2016 through Jan. 15, 2017.
11) Fall Fitness
Fall, hands down, has the best weather. Take advantage by bringing your workout outside. In addition to Race for the Cure, you can run in the San Jacinto 6k on Oct. 8, the Palo Duro Trail Run on Oct. 15, the Brawt Trot on Oct. 15, Roasters Rock the Park 5k on Nov. 5, and the Turkey Trot 5k on Nov. 25. For a full list of running races in Amarillo, visit the Lone Star Runners Club.
12) Christmas In October
From Oct. 29-30, drop by the Amarillo Civic Center for this cool craft show. The annual event, held by Sharing Hope Ministries, boasts more than 100 vendors. It also puts on one of the Texas Panhandle's biggest bake sale.
Tickets are $5; proceeds benefit Sharing Hope Ministries.
And speaking of the Civic Center, Disney on Ice will wow crowds from Sept. 29-Oct. 2. This is a show the whole family can enjoy — no matter your age. Tickets are on sale now.
This is a short list of all Amarillo has to offer, so why not help us add on? What are some of YOUR favorite fall activities to participate in around the Texas Panhandle?
*Editor's note: This blog has been updated to reflect current dates.