Fall 2021: Check out these festivals, pumpkin patches, haunted houses in Corpus Christi

Allison Ehrlich
Corpus Christi Caller Times

It's fall, y'all. About time, too.

While some events have been canceled or postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there are still lots of opportunities to get out and about in the Coastal Bend. See our lists below for festival, pumpkin patches and haunted houses around the area. Have an event to add? Email the information to calendars@caller.com.

Pumpkin patch

Ongoing

Holly-Days at South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

What: Enjoy Holly-Days at the Gardens featuring a live, lighted 20-foot fir tree and thousands of colored lights, on the Rose Garden lawn, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday evenings plus photos with parrots; hay rides; photos with Santa; Reptile Room; and S’mores and cocoa. Smaller trees “spruce” up conservatories and Butterfly House, with light displays and cut-out photo ops scattered through Gardens.  On Saturdays beginning at 9 a.m. visitors will find a petting zoo; hay rides; Rep-Tales; photos with decked-out tortoises; a “hay maze”; and photos with Santa. Merry Macaw photo sessions are $15 and prepackaged cocoas and s’mores $5.

When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 26-27; Dec. 3-4; Dec. 10-11; Dec. 17-18

Where: South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, 8545 S. Staples St.

Cost: Free for members; $9 adults; $7 seniors (60+)/military/college students with valid ID; $5 children 3 to 12 years old; Free children under 3 with adult admission

Contact: 361-852-2100 | http://www.stxbot.org/

Other events and festivals

Thanksgiving Break ‘Vacation Station’ Camps

What: Keep the kids active and having fun with the Corpus Christi Parks & Recreation Department’s Vacation Station camps for boys and girls ages 5 to 13. Campers will enjoy days filled with fun and constructive activities that include arts and crafts, sports, gaming tournaments, and more! The camp serves the needs and concerns of busy and working parents. Breakfast and an afternoon snack will be provided daily. Please send a sack lunch with your child (no glass containers or microwaveable items, and NO peanut products allowed). REGISTRATION - Online sign-up is now through 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12.

When: 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 22 through Wednesday, Nov. 24 for CCISD camp and 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 22 through Wednesday, Nov. 24 and Monday, Nov. 29 for Calallen ISD camp

Where: Corpus Christi ISD camp at Galvan Elementary School, 3126 Masterson Drive; Calallen ISD camp location TBD

Cost: $30 per child per day for Corpus Christi ISD; $20 per child per day for Calallen ISD

Contact: 361-826-3499 | https://www.cctexas.com/services/general-government/latchkey-program

2021 Islander Lights & Holiday Craft Market

What: Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi presents its annual Islander Lights Celebration for the campus and community. Bring the whole family to enjoy the campus and our blue and green Islander Lights activities.

When: 5-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19

Where: Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, 6300 Ocean Drive

Cost: Free

Contact: 361-825-2231 | https://islanderlights.tamucc.edu/

30th annual Ranch Hand Breakfast at King Ranch

What: Come enjoy an authentic, hearty, cowboy breakfast cooked and served outdoors on the historic King Ranch. Local volunteers will be serving up heaping plates of eggs, refried beans, biscuits n’ gravy, sausage, tortillas, coffee and orange juice. Team roping, historical exhibits and old-time cow camp cooking demonstrations will be part of the morning’s activities, along with cowboy poetry, storytelling and musical entertainment. Come get a taste of cowboy life.

When: 7-11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20

Where: King Ranch, State Highway 141, Kingsville

Cost: $6 per person; Free kids age 3 and under

Contact: 361-592-6411 | https://king-ranch.com/visit/special-events

2021 Thomas J. Henry Drive-Thru Turkey Giveaway

What: Thomas J. Henry has been giving away Thanksgiving turkeys to needy families each November for more than a decade. It has become a tradition in the Coastal Bend -- a way to kick-off the holiday season and bring families and friends together for a day of fun and gratitude. To ensure the safety of our staff and event participants, the turkey giveaway will be drive-thru only again this year

When/Where:

  • 8-9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, Jim Wells County Fairgrounds, 3001 S. Johnson St., Alice
  • 9-10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, Bernarda Jaime Jr. High School, 609 W Labbe Ave San Diego
  •  9:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, RMB Fairgrounds stadium, 1011 Texas Yes Blvd., Robstown
  • 10-11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, Norman Thomas Elementary, 1404 S Norton Ave, Freer

Cost: Free

Contact: 361-254-7873 | https://thomasjhenrylaw.com/community-events/turkey-giveaway/

Kingsville’s Ranch Hand Weekend Festival and Country Concert

What: Everyone is invited for a weekend of food, fun and family as the City of Kingsville celebrates the Ranch Hand Weekend. The festival honors the city’s rich cultural heritage as one of the mainstays of the Texas ranching industry and will feature food, live music, cooking demonstrations, art, storytelling, car show, two-step dancing and more. Catch the Kingsville Symphony Orchestra at 3 p.m. and the Steve Wariner concert at 6 p.m.

When: Saturday, Nov. 20; festival and market 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 3 p.m. Kingsville Symphony Orchestra concert,

Where: locations around Kingsville

Cost: Free admission for festival; $20 for symphony concert; $30 Steve Wariner concert

Contact: https://www.ranchhandweekend.com/

Market in the Park

What: CaTS Market's mission is to support small businesses and promote shopping local. This market is family and pet friendly, with a little something for everyone. Come on out to the Island and enjoy a day filled with shopping with friends and family. There is a playground, basketball court, and volleyball area to keep the kids busy while you shop.

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20

Where: Don & Sandy Billish Park, 15601 Gypsy St.

Cost: Free admission, items available to purchase

Contact: https://www.facebook.com/CaT.S.MarketUNA/

Corpus Christi Hot Tamale Fest

What: The tamales are back! Enrich Local presents the 6th Corpus Christi Hot Tamale Fest in 2021. Celebrate all that makes South Texas amazing: Tamales, music, tamales, art ... and more tamales! What can you expect? Plenty of vendors serving up delicious tamales, as well as other food and arts and crafts vendors, musical acts, a hot tamal eating contest and more. This year, proceeds from the festival will benefit the Coastal Bend Food Bank's Culinary Kits for Kids.

When: noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20

Where: Whataburger Field, 734 E. Port Ave.

Cost: Free admission, food and drinks available for purchase and a small parking fee

Contact: https://www.cchottamalefest.com/

78th annual Joe Salem Thanksgiving Dinner

What: The family of the late Mr. Joe Salem sends a special invitation to anyone who would like to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Everyone is welcome to the 2021 event which will be a drive-thru pick-up. Vehicles may begin lining up at 11 a.m., please wear a mask, remain in your vehicle and open the window or trunk when you enter the line.

When: noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 25

Where: Sokol Corpus Christi Gym, 5502 Kostoryz Road

Cost: Free

Contact: 361-946-3395 for event information | 361-739-8706 or 361-331-2006 to volunteer

Food Truck Christmas Village 2021

What: Bring your family out for a night not to be missed, for a Christmas celebration: The food trucks are coming to town! Gourmet food trucks will gather on location offering your favorites. Come fill your ears with Christmas music and Santa's Elves Play Zone and petting zoo and mini horse rides. Bring your camera or let us take your child’s photograph with Santa Claus (3-6 p.m.). Bring your shopping list, this pre-Christmas event will offer a unique shopping experience with many arts & crafts vendors to jump start your Christmas shopping.

When: noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27

Where: Heritage Park, 1581 N. Chaparral St.

Cost: Free admission, items available for purchase

Contact: 361-444-9566 | https://www.facebook.com/corpuschristifoodtruckfestival

This list is no longer being updated. Send your events to calendars@caller.com.

Allison Ehrlich writes about things to do in South Texas and has a weekly Throwback Thursday column on local history. Support local coverage like this by checking out our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe