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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

(Laura Figi)

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.

Spooooky events:

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:
Halloween and other holidays take on a new look in 2020 (Evgeny Atamanenko)

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Austonia file photo. (Christa McWhirter/Austonia)

Police have arrested one of two suspects involved in a mass shooting at Austin's Sixth Street in the early morning hours on Saturday, leaving 14 people injured and two in critical condition.

The arrest was made by the Austin Police Department and the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force. One suspect is still at large.

Police started receiving 911 phone calls at 1:24 a.m about a man that fired shots into a large crowd, and responded to a chaotic scene on the 400 block of East Sixth Street. Detectives are surveying video footage captured by bystanders and cameras on the scene to identify the suspect.

The Austin Police Department has narrowed down their search to two male suspects and believes there was "some type of disturbance" between the two parties.

No deaths have been reported. Fourteen victims are receiving treatment in a hospital in stable condition with one treated in an emergency room; two are in critical condition.

According to Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon, "almost all" of the victims are innocent bystanders but police have not ruled anyone out at this time.

Shooting on 6th Street Austin Texas 6-12-2021 (Aftermath) youtu.be


The shooting occurred on the weekend of the Republic of Texas Motorcycle Rally. With lots of people downtown, police say it was difficult to get EMS in and out of the scene. Police arrived while the scene was still an "active threat," officers "immediately began lifesaving measures" and drove six victims to the hospital in their squad cars, said Chacon, and four were transported in ambulances.

Chacon said that the incident is believed to be isolated, and they optimistic they will be successful in getting the two suspects into custody. Multiple departments, including APD, the FBI, Texas DPS and the ATF, are involved in the investigation.

Austin police are also requesting state troopers for patrol assistance in the coming days. Chacon stressed staffing issues are increasingly making responding to emergency calls "very hard."

"Overall, we remain a safe city," Chacon said. "Also keep in mind when you come downtown, you need to be safety conscious. Be vigilant of your environment and your surroundings."

Today marks the five-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in which 49 were killed and 53 wounded in Orlando, Florida. Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call 911 or 512-472-TIPS.

This story was updated at 2:47 p.m. to include new information and will be updated as more details are revealed.

Austin police are investigating a homicide in North Austin where a woman was shot and killed, just hours after a mass shooting in Downtown Austin hospitalized 14 people.

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