The best pumpkin patches in Austin
When the temperature starts dipping into the 80s, it’s time to plan a visit to the best pumpkin patches in Austin. True, autumn might not be super noticeable around these parts, but there are plenty of ways to welcome the season, from scenic day trips to Oktoberfest celebrations to the best outdoor activities in Austin. We’ve found the top pumpkin patches in the area to pick up that perfect orange squash, all located at farms and churches that offer an added bonus like corn mazes, hay rides and petting zoos. Embrace that Great Pumpkin spirit and start picking!
The best dog-friendly restaurants in Austin
Austin is consistently ranked one of the top dog-friendly cities in the nation, so it’s no wonder that there are plenty of fun Fido outings to choose from—including taking your best friend to one of the city's top dog-friendly restaurants. After exploring Austin's best parks and best hikes to get your pup some exercise, head to some of Austin's best restaurants that don't just accommodate four-legged friends, but put the welcome mat out for them, too. Here are some of our favorite places to take our dog on a date.
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Sweet Berry Farm
Sweet Berry Farms grows strawberries, blackberries, peaches, onions and potatoes starting in March, but September through October, they’re all about the pumpkins (75 cents to $60). This patch has enough activities to keep anyone busy for hours. Start with a hayride or travel on the Sweet Berry Express Barrel Train, then get lost in the Candy Corn Kid Maze or stuff your own scarecrow. From face painting to flower picking to bouncing in the Berry Bounce, Sweet Berry Farms has you covered. On weekends the Pumpkin Grill is open serving grilled corn, hot dogs and sandwiches. They even make their own pumpkin ice cream.
Barton Hill Farms
In Bastrop, on the banks of the scenic Colorado River, discover Barton Hill Farms, a 4-acre pumpkin patch playground. Explore a themed corn maze ($13, which also gets you a pumpkin)—this year’s maze design celebrates the 100th birthday of the U.S Army’s Curtiss JN-4 biplane—or Spookley Kid’s Maze, a “knee-high little maze just for knee-high kids”. Meet and feed the calves, goats and piglets, romp in the sandpit “ship” or on a giant jumping pillow, and enjoy old-fashioned yard games like Corn Hole and sack races. The laid-back option is to pick up some hot dogs and barbecue with wine and beer, provided on site, while listening to some good ole honky-tonk and Southern bluegrass music.
Evergreen Farms, established in 1989 and owned by Mike and Beth Walterscheidt, is known for their Pumpkin Hunt (and later in the season, their Christmas trees.) The Pumpkin Hunt involves a wagon ride into the Christmas tree fields where mini pumpkins are hidden in the trees. After the Hunt, there is much to be done with pumpkin decorating, pumpkin races, train rides, a fishing pond, Hop-Along Ponies and fire truck rides on an authentic pumper fire truck. Kiddos get to go home with a fire hat after their ride.
Cross Plants and Produce
Cross Plants and Produce is a year-round, family-owned farm selling milk, eggs, honey, meats and produce, as well as a local plant nursery that transforms into a pumpkin patch playground in early October. Besides picking out a pumpkin, you can paint your squash, enjoy storytime in the pumpkin patch, climb on a hay pyramid, explore a tractor or swing from the trees. Bring a picnic and visit with the local mini horse and mini donkey, Shorty and Spot.
Elgin Christmas Tree Farm
The Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, run by the Walton family since 1984, keeps kids of all ages busy with three mazes: The Hay Bale Maze, Corn Maze and Crazy Maze. Get competitive in the rubber duck race, take a ride on the farm train or a long winding hayride around the Christmas trees. Also on site to greet visitors are goats, pigs, alpacas, rabbits and donkeys and, during the Pumpkin Festival, there’s Elgin sausages and other family friendly concessions, a bake sale and shopping at the Cottage and Barn Store. Did we mention they have pumpkins, too? Children receive a mini pumpkin to decorate and take home, or you can purchase additional pumpkins at the farm.
Moontower Saloon in “way South Austin” is the equivalent of crashing a rad house party (often with your dog in tow). The converted 1950’s ranch-house on 11 acres with multiple oak-shaded decks and patios hosts live music, volleyball and Triplewide, a food trailer serving comfort foods like Texas chili dogs, chicken and waffles, Cajun tots and “Deez” Lugnuts (pepper jack cheese stuffed dough wrapped in bacon and served with ranch dip.) Since all dogs love bacon, Moontower is sure to be a hit with the canine set as well.
While most restaurants welcome dog patrons alongside their regular patrons, Yard Bar was created with dog patrons in mind. They boast an off-leash dog park with agility equipment, shaded areas to beat the heat and bark rangers to help keep the peace. Small and large dog areas populate the space—just be sure to heed the rules. The kitchen serves up hush puppies, burgers, fresh salads and Antonelli's cheese plates as well as local craft beers, frozen drinks and cocktails, and doggies can feast on Bones & Co sliders and house-made ice cream. Special events include doggie themed movie nights and live music. Score a day pass for $5.50 per dog, or invest in monthly or annual memberships.
With a name like Austin Terrier, you'd expect that this family-friendly restaurant serving pizzas, sandwiches, salads and burgers would be dog-friendly. And you’d be right: Dogs enjoy the patio, free treats and freshly filled water bowls while their companions enjoy craft beer, wines and the house-favorite, the Trio of Fries: ultra-crispy sweet potato fries, truffle and Parmesan fries, and zesty paprika-and-mustard fries. The interior has a colorful, playful terrier motif and, best of all, Austin Terrier gives back to local dog charities.
Uncle Billy's Smokehouse + Brewery
Named after William “Uncle Billy” Barton, whose 1830’s tract included the renowned Barton Springs, Uncle Billy’s is now a brewery and smokehouse with a great patio for dogs and their owners to relax on. With frequent live music and special beer and brunch events, Uncle Billy’s has a stay-all-day kind of vibe.