Friday Freebies: Fall Festivals

It might not feel cool and crisp like fall this weekend, but there are plenty of free festivals to get you in spirit of the season.

The Pumpkin Patch Fall Festival at the Nature Discovery Center on Newcastle is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission and parking are free, but you will need to buy tickets for most activities and food. Tickets are 50 cents each.

Build your best scarecrow and haul it out west to Cross Creek Ranch in Fulshear for the Scarecrow Festival (hyperlink to: http://www.crosscreektexas.com/scarecrow-fest) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The best design will go home with $1,000. You have to register online for the contest. For the rides, live music and games, all you have to do is show up.

See birds of prey and march in a Halloween costume parade along the banks of Buffalo Bayou at the 10th annual KBR Kids Day on Sabine Street. Bring $2 if you'd like to take a ride in a pontoon boat. All other activities are free.

Make a lesson in fire safety fun for your family at Houston Fire Fest  from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Firefighters will have live fire demonstrations, a kids' zone, a parade and more on Braniff Street on the city's southeast side.

Get the kids moving at the Ultimate Fitness Challenge at the University of Houston from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. There's a time-based obstacle course that will have them sprinting, jumping rope and crawling walls before they dash to the finish line. The event is free, but you have to register online to get in.

Visit Houston on the Cheap to find more free and cheap events this weekend.