Hall's Pumpkin Farm and Corn Maze1 of 9
This list isn't in rank order, but Hall's is in the No. 1 spot for a reason. This pumpkin farm, complete with a huge twisting corn maze, festive food and drink, an animal farm and hayrides, opens Friday, September 30, at 3 p.m. for the 2016 season. Bring younger kids during the day when the goats, sheep, chickens and rabbits are up and grazing, and bring older kids at dusk for the after-dark hayrides and twinkling lights over the pumpkin patch. Take home a large orange pumpkin for carving or a miniature white pumpkin for art projects.
Six Flags Fright Fest2 of 9
Photo Credit: Six Flags Over Texas
Do your kids love amusement parks and Halloween? What kid doesn't? Check out this year's Fright Fest at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington for lighthearted daytime tricks and treats or post-sundown spooks and scares. Youngsters will love meeting Looney Toons characters for a trick or treat event while older kids up for a few scares can venture into the haunted mazes and check out classic rides with Halloween twists. Be sure to come in costume for the under-10's costume contest.
Plano Balloon Festival3 of 9
A DFW fall classic, the Plano Balloon Festival returns September 23-25 at Oak Point Park. Between balloon launches, festival snacks and booths, concerts and parachute demonstrations, kids will have plenty to see and do. Don't miss the Balloon Glow, held Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., to see the balloons light up against the dusk sky. Active families can participate in the 1K Fun Run on Saturday. Whichever day you go, be sure to allow plenty of time for parking and walking to the festival.
State Fair of Texas4 of 9
What's fall in Dallas without at least one trip to the State Fair of Texas? Dallasites tend to take their proximity to the fair for granted, but don't let that stop you from participating. Take the DART straight to Fair Park's opening gates and use your home field advantage to ensure the first spot in line for the Texas Star, the largest Ferris wheel in North America. And of course, be sure to try the newest fried creations in the country. This year's fair runs from September 30-October 23.
Halloween Treat Train5 of 9
History and candy together? Sign us up! The Grapevine Vintage Railroad holds a yearly "Treat Train" for families to celebrate Halloween while experiencing the steady, slow travel of the olden days. The event happens every year in October, so check back on the Grapevine website for dates as it gets closer to Halloween.
Pumpkin Village at Autumn at the Arboretum6 of 9
Picture Cinderella's carriage. Now picture yourself as the fairy godmother and substitute every part of that carriage with pumpkins. Sound impossible? It's not—in fact, Cinderella's Pumpkin Carriage is a staple of the Dallas Arboretum's Pumpkin Village, a fun part of Autumn at the Arboretum. The Arboretum itself will focus on its "Art of the Pumpkin" from September 17 through November 23 this year. But for kids, the Pumpkin Village in particular is the place to be. Enjoy exploring pumpkin houses, a hay bale maze and the "Great Pumpkin Search."
Boo at the Zoo7 of 9
If you don't mind the short hop over to Dallas's sister city for the day, check out the Fort Worth Zoo's annual Boo at the Zoo. The Fort Worth Zoo, ranked in the top five zoos in the country, holds its Boo during daylight hours (10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 28-30) for the littlest ghouls and goblins to enjoy fall fun without fear of the dark.
Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day8 of 9
The Dallas YMCA's annual Turkey Trot welcomes all runners and walkers, young and old, at its Thanksgiving morning run. Children older than 6 can sign up as a regular participant while children 6 and under classify as "Tot Trotters" and receive their own special number to race with their families.