Faster than you can say “pumpkin spice,” fall will be upon us. As you prepare to make the transition from sweating to sweaters, it’s time to plan your seasonal to-do list. From yoga and beer to music and… uh, more beer, there’s something for every Austinite this season, and to save you the pain of sifting through hundreds of (mostly lame) Facebook events, we’ve gathered the best happenings and laid them out for you here. All you have to do is show up.
September
Austin City Limits Festival
ACL Festival | Reagan Hackleman/Courtesy of Austin City Limits Fest

September

Monday
Sep 5
Multiple locations
Whether you’ve got Gumby-like flexibility or can barely touch your toes, it’s always great to hit the mat in the quest for (probably about an hour of) inner peace, and with studios across the city participating in a Free Day of Yoga, it’s the perfect time to try out a new studio or instructor, sans cost. The kickoff starts at 7am at Whole Foods Downtown, so show up early and start your day with some namaste.
Sunday
Sep 18
Various locations
Fans of art, history, science, nature, and culture, rejoice! On Austin Museum Day, you have the chance to broaden your horizons with FREE access to institutions and events across the city. You can’t put a price on education and the museum experience… but if you could, today it would be $0.
Saturday
Sep 24
While admittedly this sounds like an ambitious fraternity event (“Bros, black light party meets slip-n-slide!” - Every Bro Ever), it also admittedly sounds like a damn time. Think neon, glow-in-the-dark water, a big-ass slide, an after-party with a DJ, and even a charity tie-in, which, when combined -- especially at $20 -- sounds like an interesting, inexpensive departure from your typical Saturday night.
Saturday
Sep 24
Fiesta Gardens
With dozens of brewers and nearly 200 beers on site to sample, we’re likely to believe this fest when it proclaims to be “the greatest showcase of Texas craft beer. EVER.” A $35 ticket gets you a tasting cup with eight sample tickets, while there’s also a (sold-out, but probably Craigslist-able) VIP package and even a $10 option for your designated driver, which comes with snacks and NA bevs.
Saturday - Sunday
Sep 24-25
Sixth Street
Dirty Sixth gets a family-friendly makeover every fall and spring with this two-day, biannual festival that combines arts/crafts, live music, food, and fun in the heart of Downtown Austin. Admission is free, but cash is definitely recommended, for beer and kettle corn, primarily.
Thursday - Sunday
Sep 29-Oct 2
Imagine the typical music festival... now strip away all the stuff that sucks. The result is UTOPiAfest, which eliminates the hassles and headaches of typical massive live music elements with key differentiators: no music overlap (especially key with a lineup this good), free parking, a BYOB policy, and attendance that caps at 2,000. Oh, and there’s also yoga, hiking, secret shows, and other magical elements that make this event in the hills of Utopia, Texas totally worth the commute.
Friday - Sunday
Sep 30-Oct 9
Zilker Park
Grab your CamelBak and your flower crown, cop a wristband on Craigslist, and get ready to fight the crowds during two back-to-back sweaty, boozy festival weekends. This year’s lineup features huge headliners like Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, and Mumford & Sons, who’ve all been making the festival rounds this summer, plus an impressive selection of other acts, which varies slightly depending on the weekend. And while cynical locals might complain about resulting traffic and tourists and how the festival “totally changed,” let’s be real: it’s always guaranteed to be a damn good time.
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Courtesy of Timberland
October
Formula 1 United States Grand Prix
US Grand Prix | Courtesy of Circuit of the Americas

October

Thursday - Thursday
Oct 13-20
Various locations
Also known as “The Writers Festival,” AFF is part conference, part competition, and a complete celebration of the craft of filmmaking and the brilliant artists and creatives involved. While many of the panels are geared towards those in the industry, the screenings are enjoyable for both cinephiles and the average moviegoer alike. After all, while we all enjoy blockbusters, sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the million Marvel flicks and watch something a little more… artistic.
Friday - Sunday
Oct 21-23
The race is on at COTA, as the “world's premier motorsport series” hits Austin for year five. Think The Fast and the Furious but more regulated...and more European...and instead of Ludacris, a performance by Taylor Swift. (OK, it’s nothing like The Fast and the Furious.)
Saturday
Oct 22
The Austin Saengerrunde invites you to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Scholz Garten with this event, now in its fourth year, that pays homage to Central Texas German heritage with bowling, music, contests and an insane amount of sausage and bier. (Hint: you know it’s legit when it’s spelled “bier.”)
Sunday
Oct 30
City Terrace at the Long Center
As if Austinites needed another excuse to binge on barbecue, this fest offers you the chance to check out hits from pits across the state. This year, over 20 BBQ joints will be in attendance, serving up samples of sausage, brisket, ribs, and other smoky, sauce-slathered stuff, and $80 gets you a GA ticket. (Resulting meat sweats come free.)
November
Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot
Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot | Courtesy of Thundercloud Subs

November

Thursday - Sunday
Nov 3-6
Don’t have enough junk of your own? Whether you’re in it for antiques, toys, someone else’s old sweaters, or Christmas presents for those cousins you don’t really care about, the options are endless at this massive event, which -- despite the jokes -- actually has some pretty awesome stuff on offer. And, as a bonus, all proceeds go to The Settlement Home for Children, so when you’re stocking up on clocks and socks, consider it hoarding… for a cause.
Friday - Sunday
Nov 4-6
This brand-new festival makes its debut at Sherwood Forest with an eclectic lineup reminiscent of what many consider its (totally unofficial) predecessor, Fun Fun Fun Fest. Think crowd-drawing acts like Beach House, Explosions in the Sky, Run the Jewels, and Mac Demarco; rowdy rockers with cult followings like Beach Slang and Diarrhea Planet; and local acts like Hard Proof and Calliope Musicals. Oh, and campgrounds, a castle, and stuff… naturally.
Saturday - Sunday
Nov 5-6
Multiple venues
Whether you’re a bona fide bookworm or only read Buzzfeed and the backs of cereal boxes, there’s plenty to enjoy at this annual fest that features 250+ recognized writers, takes place across over 20 venues, and also includes exhibitors, live music, activities, and more. When your first-grade teacher told you reading was fun, she was talking about this.
Friday
Nov 11
Jon Stewart’s successor hits the stage in Austin with his stand-up act this month. While we’re not sure how political he gets off the set of The Daily Show, we’re sure Election Day -- a mere three days before this show -- and the aftermath will provide him with some pretty interesting material.
Thursday
Nov 24
Want to feast guilt-free? Start your Thanksgiving off at the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot, which has been taking place in Austin for 26 years. Whether you opt for the 1-mile walk, the timed or untimed 5-mile run, or to volunteer, you can feel good about helping Caritas of Austin, which combats poverty, homelessness, and hunger in Austin. If that doesn’t earn you an extra piece of pie, nothing does.

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