Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights

The Dallas Arboretum is the best come fall. Especially being that, here in Texas, fall weather comes late—long after the first pumpkin sightings at the grocery store and the PSL is back in season at your favorite coffee shop. There’s something about tens of thousands of pumpkins that makes you believe it’s actually autumn, even while you’re sweating outside in your pseudo-fall attire (because it would be weird to wear shorts and a summer top to the pumpkin patch no matter how hot it is, right?). Right.

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere!

C and I spent a day with friends at the Dallas Arboretum’s annual fall festival, Autumn at the Arboretum. The Pumpkin Village assembled there each year is always a sight to see. It’s one acre filled with pumpkins, gourds, squash, hay bales, cornstalks and fall blooms. It runs from September through November, so you do still have a couple of weeks left to check it out if you haven’t yet!

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

friends since we were still counting age in single-digit months

Those two definitely had fun! There are different special activities each day, but we went on a day with a children’s book reading, live music, petting zoo and trick-or-treating stations set up around the Pumpkin Village.

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

two little pumpkins with their lollipops, (semi) holding hands ♥

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

After taking in the Pumpkin Village, we headed over to the Children’s Adventure Garden, which is C’s favorite part of the Arboretum of course. So many interactive activities + sensory stations + educational programs going on throughout the day for kids of all ages.

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

before he was completely soaked!

Every time we go to the Arboretum, we mainly hang out in the “First Adventure” garden, which is essentially a giant sensory play space that’s perfect for my toddler to explore. Water play in the mushroom stream seems to be the favorite activity for every kid who enters—mine included!

Halloween Highlights

I love that there are so many fun activities around town that cater to the little trick-or-treaters. I just wanna soak these in every year I can before Halloween is all scary costumes and haunted houses. I was chatting with a mom in my neighborhood at her door while we were trick-or-treating, and she was gushing over C, reminiscing of the days when her boys were small. Like it was on cue, her sons then ran up in masked costumes begging to take the leaf blower out with them so they could pretend it was a chainsaw. :o

Oh please stay little, sweet and innocent boy of mine.

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

halloween night—our little “AJ” who told anyone who asked that his name was, in fact, AJ

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

gearing up to walk up the steps to the “spooky house”

C loves the TV show Blaze and the Monster Machines, and he wanted so badly to be AJ for Halloween. Do any of you have kids obsessed with Blaze too? It actually is a good STEM show about a monster truck named Blaze, his driver named AJ and all their friends.

Anyway, about that costume—I went searching for it a month in advance, and it was already sold out online! So I called around to all the local pop-up Halloween stores to track it down, and there was only one AJ costume in his size in all of Dallas. ONE. Of course I put that baby on hold, and we drove 30 minutes away to pick it up. I rode my own little “Mom of the Month” high for all of October, I tell ya.

Happy Halloween from "AJ" and Blaze! 🔥🏁 #blazeandthemonstermachines

A post shared by Sharisse | Savvy Sweet Life (@savvysweetlife) on

Seriously though, how could I not put in the effort for all this cuteness? He adores his AJ costume, and we did get to wear it out a few different times. Totally worth it.

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

We love going to our library’s special events throughout the year, and Halloween Story Time never disappoints. The librarians dressed up in costumes and acted out Halloween stories and then all the kids lined up for a costume parade, stopping at five stations around the library for a treat. Things like this are wonderful in my book because it’s not just a bunch of candy for my 2-year-old. He got a Halloween sticker, Halloween pretzels, Halloween gummies, play dough and a small chocolate bar, and then he promptly wanted to enjoy all his treats at the library’s café while we ate lunch.

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

preschool trunk-or-treat

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

pumpkin beanbag toss game

C’s preschool also had a costume parade to start the morning, and all the kids parading around the building in their costumes was too cute. His preschool had a trunk-or-treat in the evening that catered to the younger crowd with a fair amount of non-candy treats as well. I hadn’t done a trunk-or-treat before, and it was a great experience! There were raffle prizes, a food truck, bounce houses and lots of interactive trunks with games. These were great because the kids got to play a game (think carnival games—knocking over a stack of plastic cups with a ball, fishing for a duck with a number on the bottom indicating how many treats you get, etc.) before getting a treat.

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

OK last thing! One of C’s play group friends had a cute Halloween-themed birthday party, complete with a pumpkin piñata and other Halloween goodies.

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

the look of determination

Autumn at the Arboretum + Halloween Highlights | Savvy Sweet Life

and that’s the look you get when you get your little hands on some of that forbidden candy ;)

I’m not even a huge Halloween person or anything, but we sure did fit a lot of Halloween fun in this year! Even though it was nearly 90 degrees here the day of, thankfully November showed up real quick with the fall weather and cooler temperatures. Onward to Thanksgiving and more fall fun!

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