Itching to enjoy fall festivities like you used to? This fall may not look the same as years prior but rest assured, Austin is still finding ways to make this autumn a fun one. From family fun to spooky outings to drive-thru Halloween events, here are six ways to make your fall season count.
For lovers of all things autumn:
Sweet Berry Farms Texas Maze and pumpkin patch
Texas-shaped mazes, pumpkin patches and hayrides, oh my! Sweet Berry Farm, located on 1801 FM 1980 in Marble Falls, has opened up its 60 acres of fields yet again this year for fall flower and pumpkin picking, scarecrow stuffing, hayrides and all different kinds of mazes. The farm will be open now through Nov. 8 and requires customers to wear face masks at all times.
Enjoy the (brief) fall weather by heading outdoors
Lady Bird Lake
Make the most of the forgiving Texas fall weather by getting outside. Zilker Park and Botanical Gardens, Emma Long Metropolitan Park, Lady Bird Lake, Barton Creek Greenbelt, Deep Eddy and Barton Springs pools are all open, including others. Take this time to hold a picnic, get out on the water or even take a brief walk outside and enjoy the weather—it will be over before you know it.
House of Torment
Affectionately dubbed the "scariest haunted house in America," the House of Torment, located at 2632 Ridgepoint Dr., is open for business as usual this spooky season. According to its website, capacity will be "extremely limited" for COVID-19 purposes, which will, in turn, reduce wait times so you can get the pants scared off you faster. As for the experience, the only thing that changed is that you and the actors will all be wearing masks and groups will have more distance between them. Tickets start at $22.99.
Attend an Austin Ghost Tour
If ghosts and ghouls are more your speed, reserve a walking tour through downtown Austin with Austin Ghost Tours. The walking tours take patrons all over town, to the Texas Capitol, Austin's first hospital, the Driskill Hotel, the old Travis County jailhouse and more, telling historically-researched ghost stories all the while. Austin Ghost Tours also offers late-night haunted tours through Pioneer Farms every Thursday in October. Tickets start at $22.
For the kids:
Boo at the Zoo
Get your Halloween garb on and head to the Austin Zoo for its annual Boo at the Zoo. The evening will include a haunted train ride, haunted mansion, shows and a chance to see the zoo after hours, decked out and illuminated during October. The zoo is not normally open at night, so this is a great time to see nocturnal animals in action. Tickets start at $17.50 and are limited; purchase by calling 512-288-14990.
Street of Treats
Many families have electing not to trick or treat this year but there are still ways to get your candy fix and stay safe. For the Hill Country Galleria's Street of Treats Halloween Drive-Thru, which takes place on Oct. 24 from 10 a.m.-2p.m., you never have to leave the safety of your vehicle; oh, and don't forget the family dog. During the event, families will drive through the outdoor mall and have bags of candy passed to them through open windows. Plus, the event is completely free.While this fall may not include the typical traditions, there are many other ways to celebrate and even create new traditions. Here's more ways to stay safe for the holidays:
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The 40-hour workweek has reigned since around the time of the Great Depression. But a new schedule gaining steam could lead some companies to throw out the practice of having employees clock in five days a week.
Promising results are coming out halfway into a six-month trial of four-day workweeks in the U.K. with 35 out of 41 companies responding to a recent survey saying they were “likely” or “very likely” to continue the reduced week after the pilot ends.
The trial, which began in June, is run by nonprofit 4 Day Week Global, think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK campaign and researchers at Cambridge University, Boston College and Oxford University. It involves 3,300 workers across 72 companies who are trying out one paid day off per week between Monday and Friday.
During the four-day week, 34% of companies reported that productivity “improved slightly” and 15% say it “improved significantly.”
With the survey indicating that a four-day workweek could have some perks for companies and employees alike, will Austin join in on the trend?
On job searching tools like LinkedIn and Indeed, some jobs based in Central Texas are boasting a four-day work week. And Coltech Global, a recruiting firm based in London with a growing presence in Austin, began the four-day work week about a year ago.
Jessica Sutcliffe, a staffing consultant at Coltech, joined the company to help grow the U.S. market. She says due to the time difference between the U.S. team and the UK one, the company implemented a four-day week.
"I’ve found it very beneficial as it allows time to rest and complete life admin, whilst also enjoying life, travel and be able to come back to work rested/fulfilled outside of work, which ultimately helps focus inside of those core work hours," Sutcliffe said via email.
In an Instagram post, Coltech said that not only are employees feeling the benefits of being more refreshed in the mornings, having reduced illness and a less stressed atmosphere, but it’s also improving their carbon footprint since there’s less time spent traveling to the office and using energy.
Niki Jorgensen, director of service operations at human resources service provider Insperity, noted similar factors driving companies to make the change to a reduced work week.
“The most significant benefit for a company to adopt the four-day workweek is the improvement of employee morale,” Jorgensen told Austonia via email. “Over the past two years, numerous studies have shown employees think a four-day workweek reduces stress and burnout. With reduced stress and burnout comes improved employee engagement.”
And while Austin is already drawing in plenty of workers who are in their early careers, a four-day week may help companies stand out to that bracket’s top talent even more.
“Companies can leverage this to make their company more appealing, especially to younger generations who strongly consider factors outside of compensation when choosing employment,” Jorgensen said.
She went on to offer a few tips for making a smooth transition to a four-day week like setting expectations and staggering coverage so that it’s still possible to see clients five days a week. Also, employers should be flexible. She says some employees may not be able to get 40 hours of work done in a shorter week due to responsibilities like childcare, so employers should consider how they can still accomplish their duties.
Before ditching the 40-hour workweek though, it can help to take a temperature check to see if an extra day off is the right fit for the workplace.
“Do not implement a flexible schedule such as the four-day workweek if business owners and managers cannot commit to the level of trust and flexibility needed to ensure the schedule’s success,” Jorgensen said.
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Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!
Fall promises to be a one-of-a-kind camping experience. From Sept. 16 to Nov. 24, weekends will be packed with fall-themed activities, including special Halloween weekends in October. Campers can enjoy activities like fall crafts, campground trick-or-treating, costume contests, site decorating, outdoor movie nights, and more!
Packages and Ways to Stay
Camp Fimfo Waco
Located just 5 miles from McLane Stadium, Camp Fimfo Waco is the perfect place to stay during home game weekends. Skip the stuffy hotel room and embrace the great outdoors before cheering on the Baylor Bears! Campers can purchase a Baylor Tailgating Package that includes a pre-game meal from Executive Chef Sean Kelley and transportation to and from the game! Chef Kelley will also be cooking up delicious, elevated tailgating meals near the stadium so make sure to check out The Plaid Plate food truck before the game.
Stay in style and comfort, no matter your camping preference! At Camp Fimfo Waco, there are multiple ways to stay. Red Carpet RV sites come with a concrete pad and patio, full hook-ups, cable hook-up, a charcoal grill, fire ring and fire pit. Back-in or pull-thru options are available, as well as coveted spots tucked along the Bosque River!
Don’t have an RV? Not a problem, Camp Fimfo Waco has cabins too! Book a Riverview Firewheel Cabin if you’re looking for an air-conditioned oasis for the whole family. Complete with a kitchen and private bathroom, this cabin can fit up to 10 people. Elevate your stay by adding on a golf cart or snag a private cabana by the pool for guaranteed shade. With wifi available throughout the park, you can stay connected during your stay!
Amenities and Activities
Camp Fimfo Waco
Camp Fimfo Waco features lots of amenities to fill your days with fun, whether you’re a kid or kid at heart. After challenging your friends to a game of pickleball, basketball, or mini golf, go for a dip in the resort-style, heated pool - open daily through October! Stay on the weekends through October to enjoy the interactive splash playground. With plenty of ways to burn off energy, like the jumping pillow or playground, you can be sure to end the day with a peaceful night around the campfire!
Right now, you can get the fourth night FREE when you book three nights with the promo code BONUS! Check out the Offers page for full details and more promo codes!