By Ashley Donde
Gourmet food tastings, vintage train rides, jousting knights, and costume contests for you and your adorable puppy. Not only are these fun things you’ve got to see and do, they are essential ingredients to any fall season in Cedar Park. Settled among rolling hills of oaks just north of Austin, this family-friendly getaway has a long list of exciting ways you can enjoy the season. Check out the following events and festivals, mark your calendar, and plan your visit to this inviting corner of the Texas Hill Country.
Cedar Bark Festival
If you like your festivals with a side of cute and cuddly, here’s one you won’t want to miss. The Cedar Bark Festival (Oct. 12) is a fun-filled celebration for dogs and their people. Dress up your pooch for the costume contest, or—if you and your dog share an uncanny resemblance—enter the pet/owner lookalike contest. Watch energetic doggie demonstrations, shop vendors and pet products, and enjoy entertainment, food, and plenty of dog-friendly activities—all in the company of your furry friend. Join in the paw-some festivities at the Cedar Bark Park. Admission is free, but donations to the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter are encouraged. Plus, it’ll make you feel doggone good.
Taste of Cedar Park
Sample sophisticated flavors in a casual, community environment at Taste of Cedar Park (Oct. 15), a delicious annual food and wine event. Treat your date or bring your group of friends for an evening of live music, local eats, and the grand unveiling of the Cedar Park Sculpture Garden’s newest sculptures. Sip a full-bodied wine or an ice-cold beer and stroll from booth to booth for bites of some of the city’s most exquisite culinary creations. Admiring the art and savoring all the enticing flavors is a true treat for your senses.
Arts & Crafts Festival
Browse hand-made creations by more than 100 talented vendors at the Arts and Crafts Festival (Oct. 19). Enjoy live music and food concessions while you spend a fall afternoon beneath the glorious Texas sky shopping for gifts, home goods, and more. Vendors are only allowed to sell handmade products, so you can look forward to discovering unique and creative items that you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you want to do some early Christmas shopping or find a piece of artwork that’s just your style, there are thousands of items to choose from.
Medieval jousting featuring horses and knights, miniature train rides, and a whimsical costume parade. You’ll find all this, and much more, during Fable Fest (Oct. 26), a celebration of storytelling and the love of reading. The day is absolutely jam-packed with exciting events and games for kids, including a petting zoo, pony rides, and inflatables. Browse the arts and crafts market, get something tasty from one of several food trucks, and check out the jousts and parade before sitting down for Mother Goose Storytime. Hang out for the day and you’ll leave feeling like a kid again.
Ride a Vintage Train
All Aboard! This retro train is headed for an afternoon of fantastic fall fun. Join in the tradition on the Austin Steam Train Pumpkin Express (Oct. 27). Enjoy a scenic ride through the Hill Country until you reach the quaint town of Bertram, where you’ll pick pumpkins at the Depot Pumpkin Patch, sip apple cider, and tour a historic 1912 train depot. Along the way, you can order beer, wine, or a bloody Mary to add a little spark to your voyage. Reservations are required, so sign up quickly because space is limited.
If you love the idea of vintage train rides, be sure to check out the Hill Country Flyer, which offers regularly scheduled trips to Burnet, or the North Pole Flyer in November for an on-board visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.
The charming city of Cedar Park offers plenty of ways to experience the magic of autumn in Texas. Learn more about this Hill Country city and start planning your fall getaway today.
About the Author: Ashley Donde is a freelance writer who loves adventure. Her family of four can often be found exploring the great outdoors, touring museums, or enjoying a local festival.