Austin in October 2016: Halloween Fun, Formula 1 Racing and Ironman

Perhaps it’s the almost perfect weather. Maybe it’s having all the University of Texas students back in town. And maybe it’s just because Austin loves to party.

But October tends to have one of the city’s best lineups of events of the year. From Austin City Limits Music Festival to Oktoberfest and Halloween events, Central Texas is rocking with all kinds of events — even an Ironman competition.

So, grab your calendar and lock in a few great weekends. Whether you want to try the best barbeque in Texas or want to meet famous screenwriters, you’ll almost certainly find something intriguing for yourself — and the whole family.

Let’s check it out.


October 1

Now that the kids are settled into the school routine and the sun goes down a little earlier, it might be the right time to buy a few new books. And the Texas Teen Book Festival is packed with them, along with chances to meet authors, get books signed and hear interesting discussions on teen writing.

When: It starts with a Friday night viewing of “The Outsiders” at 7 p.m. The rest of the festival starts at 10:15 a.m. and runs all day.
Where: St. Edward’s University, 3001 S Congress Ave. Book sales at the Alumni Gym
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October 7-9

It’s weekend number 2 at Austin City Limits Music Festival. The lineup includes Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar and Mumford & Sons — along with about 100 other performers.

When: All weekend
Where: Zilker Park, 2100 Barton Springs Rd.
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October 13-16

German heritage runs strong in the Austin area — as do a hunger for tasty sausages and a thirst for good beer. Banger’s Oktoberfest is one of a couple Oktoberfest celebrations in Austin this fall. The Rainey Street establishment will be offering plenty of sausage dishes, beers and live music over the course of four wild days and nights.

When: It kicks off at 5 p.m. Thursday and runs all weekend. See website for concert and event timing.
Where: Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden, 79 Rainey St
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October 13-20

Austin is home to actors like Matthew McConaughey and directors like Richard Linklater. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Austin has become a major destination for filmmaking. And the Austin Film Festival is one of the top showcases of what the city has to offer, with special emphasis on screenwriters and other behind-the-scenes innovators. This year’s festival features  Comedy Central President Kent Alterman, Bridesmaids and “Ghostbusters” Director Paul Feig and Shane Black, who wrote and directed Iron Man 3, Lethal Weapon and Last Action Hero.

When: Various times
Where: Various locations
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October 15

You don’t have to wait for Dia de los Muertos (Nov. 1) to celebrate. The Dia de los Muertos Music Festival features some of the best Latin and Texas music around, along with plenty of snacks, drinks and cultural performances. This year’s music headliner is Ozomatli, but you can also catch Metalachi (Metallica + mariachi) and Tiarra Girls.

When: 3-10 p.m.
Where: Fiesta Gardens, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia Street
More information


October 21-23

No speeding tickets to worry about at Circuit of the Americas. Formula 1 drivers will be pushing their state-of-the-art cars to maximum speeds during three days of racing that includes a ton of other fun activities and a headline concert by Taylor Swift.

When: All weekend long
Where: Circuit of the Americas, 9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd
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October 22

You might have already gotten a taste of the Oktoberfest spirit. Now it’s time for AustOberfest. The festival, now in its fourth year, features an amazing lineup of sausage from some of the area’s best meat experts. It also fits with Scholz Garten’s 150th anniversary, and if you venture inside, you’ll find the city’s oldest bowling alley and have a chance to roll with long-time club members.

When: 5 p.m.
Where: Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd
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October 23

It’s a spooky time of year. And it’s not just about masks and yard decorations. The Austin Symphony Orchestra is putting on a special Halloween children’s concert. So bring the little goblins and princesses down for a night of spirited music.

When: 3 p.m.
Where: The Long Center, 701 W Riverside Dr
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October 30

Not everything has to be scary this time of year. Take barbeque, for example. And you can get as much of that as you can handle at the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival. Taste the very best in a side-by-side setting where you can really decide what your favorite brisket in Central Texas really is. Come hungry.

When: 1:30-4 p.m.
Where: The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive
More information


October 30

What’s the polar opposite of that BBQ festival listed above? An Ironman race. Show your strength and stamina — or watch other people sweat it out — at the Ironman race, which is part of a worldwide series of races. The swimming is at Decker Lake and biking goes through the farmland of East Austin and ends inside Ludeke Arena. If you want to give it a shot, know that you’ll need to be able to bike 30 miles, run for an hour and easily swim 1,500 yards.

When: The race starts at 7 a.m.
Where: Travis County Expo Center, 7311 Decker Ln
More information


October 31

Happy Halloween! Have fun trick or treating, and be safe.