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CBS19'S GUIDE TO FALL: From fun facts to recipes — here's everything you need to know about fall!

From fun facts — to recipes — to the East Texas' best fall landscapes, this guide is sure to get you ready for #SweaterWeather!

TYLER, Texas — Sweaters, pumpkin spice coffee and bonfires! It's finally time to usher in the fall season!

From fun facts — to recipes — to the state's best fall landscapes, this guide is sure to get you ready for #SweaterWeather!


Fall is an absolutely gorgeous time of year across the nation, but do you know the history behind it?

Fear not! The Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College has compiled a list to celebrate the season.


Fact No. 1: Americans typically refer to this time of year as “fall,” while the British use the word “autumn.” Both terms date back to the 16th century but before that it was called “harvest.

Fact No. 2: Fall was called “harvest” because of the “harvest moon” that occurs when the full moon is closest to the autumn equinox. Before man-made lighting, this moonlight was essential to a prosperous harvest.

Fact No. 3: Weight gain around this time of year may not only be due to comforting fall foods like pumpkin pie and cider, researchers have found that lack of vitamin D reduces fat breakdown and triggers fat storage.

Fact No. 4:  According to The Weather Channel, pumpkins are the most craved food during the fall. Although, if you’ve left the house anytime recently, this may not come as a surprise to you.

Fact No. 5:  The yellow and orange colors you see actually always exist in leaves but they are overpowered by the abundance of green from chlorophyll. The amount of chlorophyll starts to decrease as the sun weakens and the days grow shorter.

Fact No. 6: Red and purple leaves are only that color because of the presence of sugars and sap that are trapped within the leaves. These sugars provide plants with the energy they need to survive.

Fact No. 7: Many birds will prepare for their winter migration during the fall. The distance they can travel is impressive; the Arctic Tern travels 11,000 miles each way for it’s annual migration. That’s no small feat.

Fact No. 8: Evergreen trees such as pines, cedars, and spruces stay green because their leaves (needles) are covered with thick wax and they contain materials that prevent freezing when it gets cold.

Fact No. 9: Men and women experience high levels of testosterone during the fall. This makes sense because more babies are conceived during the fall and winter. The cause is unknown but it could be due to lack of sunlight or even go back to ancient mating rituals.

Fact No. 10:  We can’t forget Halloween! Halloween takes place in the fall and comes from ancient Celtic tradition. They believed that ghosts roamed on Halloween and people would wear disguises in order to hide from these spirits. 



Could being born in the fall be the key to a long life? According to a 2011 study by the University of Chicago's Leonid A. Gavrilov and Natalia Gavrilova in the Journal of Aging Research, it just may be.

This study explored the effects of month of birth on the chances of survival to age 100. 

"Months of birth for 1,574 validated centenarians born in the United States in 1880–1895 were compared to the same information obtained for centenarians' 10,885 shorter-lived siblings and 1,083 spouses," the study said. "Comparison was conducted using a within-family analysis by the method of conditional logistic regression, which allows researchers to control for unobserved shared childhood or adulthood environment and common genetic background. It was found that months of birth have significant long-lasting effect on survival to age 100: siblings born in September–November have higher odds to become centenarians compared to siblings born in March. A similar month-of-birth pattern was found for centenarian spouses. These results support the idea of early-life programming of human aging and longevity."


Bobbing for apples has been a long-lived fun fall tradition. But, how did it get started?

According to History.com, the practice began as a British courting ritual, popular among young ladies and their potential beaus.  

"There were several variations of game: In one set of rules, each apple was assigned to a potential mate," History.com said. "The bobber would then attempt to bite into the apple named for the young man she desired. If it only took her one try, they were destined for romance. If she succeeded with her second attempt, he would court her but their love would fade. If it took three tries, their relationship was doomed. Another approach to the game was a race to be the first to bite an apple; the first to emerge successful would be the first to marry."


Heart attacks decrease in the fall, research shows.

According to a study led by the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center,  researchers found a 21% drop in the number of heart attacks the Tuesday after returning to standard time in the fall, when we gain an hour back. 


This list will be updated as more events are scheduled.

Sept. 23-Oct. 31 - Pumpkin Patch at Lane's Chapel
8720 Old Jacksonville Hwy. in Tyler

Oct. 1-31 - Corpse Grove Haunted Trail (7:30 p.m. - midnight)
15972 SH 64 in Tyler

Oct. 1-Nov. 30 - Danville 
2000 Danville Rd. in Kilgore

Oct. 1-31 - First Christian Church Pumpkin Patch
4202 S. Broadway Ave. in Tyler

Oct. 1-31 - Hill Creek Baptist Church Pumpkin Patch
14749 HWY 110 S. in Whitehouse

Oct. 1-31 - Plantation Pines
10098 CR 429 in Tyler

Oct. 1-31 - St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church Pumpkin Patch
214 College Ave. in Henderson

Oct. 1-31 - Lonesome Dove Drive-thru Safari and Sanctuary
1782 US 50 N. in Jefferson

Oct. 1-31 Palestine Grace Church Pumpkin Patch
2130 Country Club Rd. in Palestine

Oct. 1-31 - Pumpkin Patch at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
214 College Ave. in Henderson

Oct. 3-Nov. 5 - Blueberry Ridge Farm Pumpkin Patch
2785 E. US 80 in Mineola

Oct. 8 - East Texas Arboretum Fall Festival (9 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
1601 Patterson Rd. in Athens

Oct. 12 - Fall Barn Sale (2 - 7 p.m.)
10101 FM 2813 in Flint

Oct. 13 - Healthy Hornets Fall Festival (5:30-7:30 p.m.)
6735 Ted Trout Dr. in Hudson

Oct. 14 - Fall Piney Woods Wine Festival (8 a.m. - 7 p.m.)
205 E. North St. in Lindale

Oct. 22 - Jacksonville's 150th Birthday Party (10 a.m. - 8 p.m.)

202 Austin St. in Jacksonville

Oct. 3-31 - Zipline with the Zombies at Thomas Falls (Reservations only)
5543 US HWY 259 N in Diana

Sept. 17-Nov. 6 - Fall Festival at Yesterland Farms
15410 I-20 in Canton

Oct. 1-31 - Pumpkin Parch at Calie's Acre
10589 SH 300 in Gilmer

Oct. 13-16 - Texas Rose Festival
Click here for the full schedule of events

Oct. 14-15 - Longview Haunted Library (6 - 9 p.m.)
222 W. Cotton St. in Longview

Oct. 15 - Fall Fling (10 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
202 B. West Main St. in Bullard

Oct. 15 - Oktoberfest in Downtown Kilgore (1 - 9 p.m.)
Downtown Kilgore

Oct. 15 - "Hocus Pocus" at Liberty Hall (7 p.m.)
103 E. Erwin St. in Tyler

Oct. 22 and 29 - Pumpkin Patch Express
Texas State Railroad
789 Park Rd. 70 in Palestine

Oct. 19-22 - East Texas Yamboree
Click here for the full schedule of events

Oct. 22 - SPCA of East Texas Trunk-or-Treat (10 a.m.)
3393 W. Grande Blvd.

Oct. 21-22 - Feral Hog Festival 
1610 FM 279 in Ben Wheeler
Click here for the full schedule of events


If you're looking to take in the best fall foliage the Lone Star State has to offer — we've got you covered!

1. Lost Maples State Natural Area - 37221 FM 187 in Vanderpool 

You may know Lost Maples for its fall color, but it is spectacular year-round. Visit any time to see abundant wild­flowers, steep canyon walls and the scenic Sabinal River. The nature area is just two hours northwest of San Antonio.

Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

2. Garner State Park - 234 RR 1050 in Concan 

Fun traditions and beautiful scenery bring people back to Garner State Park time after time. Besides easy access to the Frio, the park offers many miles of hiking trails and camping options.

Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

3. Angelina National Forest - 111 Walnut Ridge Road in Zavalla  

The Angelina National Forest lies in the upper Gulf Coastal general plain province and the terrain is gently rolling. Longleaf pine is the predominant cover type in the southern portion, while loblolly and shortleaf pine are the dominant types in the rest of the forest.

Credit: United States Department of Agriculture

4. Guadalupe Mountains National Park - 400 Pine Canyon in Salt Flat 

Guadalupe Mountains National Park protects the world's most extensive Permian fossil reef, the four highest peaks in Texas, an environmentally diverse collection of flora and fauna, and the stories of lives shaped through conflict, cooperation and survival. Come experience mountains and canyons, desert and dunes, night skies and spectacular vistas within a place unlike any other within the NPS.

Credit: National Parks Service

5. Caddo Lake State Park - 245 Park Road 2 in Karnack

Bald cypress trees draped with Span­ish moss tower over the maze of bayous, sloughs and ponds of Caddo Lake. Paddle the waterways, stay in a historic cabin or try your luck fishing.

Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

6. Tyler State Park - 789 Park Road 16 in Tyler 

Tyler State Park features a cool, 64-acre spring-fed lake, 100-foot tall trees, and historic structures. Play at the lake, wet a hook, wander through the woods, or relax with your binoculars. You will love this peaceful get-away in Northeast Texas.

Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

7. Daingerfield State Park - 455 Park Road 17 in Daingerfield 

Tall trees reach for the sky in the north­east corner of Texas. Explore life in the forest at Daingerfield State Park as you wander the trails, paddle Little Pine Lake or relax at your campsite.

Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

8. Dinosaur Valley State Park - 1629 Park Road in Glen Rose

Long ago, dinosaurs left footprints in the mud at the edge of an ancient ocean. Today, you can walk in their tracks in the bed of the Paluxy River. This long trip to the past is just a short drive from Fort Worth.

Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

9. Lake Bob Sandlin State Park - 341 State Park Road 2117 in Pittsburg

Two ecoregions meet here on the shore of Lake Bob Sandlin in northeast Texas. The result: massive trees, tall grasses and a fascinating mix of plants and animals. The fishing is pretty good, too!

Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

10. McKinney Falls State Park - 5808 McKinney Falls Parkway in Austin

Listen to Onion Creek flowing over limestone ledges and splashing into pools. Follow trails winding through the Hill Country woods. Explore the remains of an early Texas homestead and a very old rock shelter. All of this lies within Austin’s city limits at McKinney Falls State Park — what are you waiting for?

Credit: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department


If you're looking to impress in the kitchen this fall, try one of these fall-inspired recipes!

1. Squash Gratin - Food Network

2. Baker, Baker Baked Stuffed Apples - Food Network

3. Bacon Harvest Chicken Skillet - Delish

4. Pumpkin Ravioli - Delish

5. Pumpkin-Chorizo Pizza - Country Living

6. Roasted Hasselback Sweet Potatoes - Country Living 

7. Pumpkin Lasagna Roll-Ups - The Pioneer Woman

8. Pumpkin Ice Cream Float - The Pioneer Woman

9. Merry Berry Salad - Taste of Home

10. Firehouse Chili - Taste of Home


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