Favorite Places for Fall Photos in KC
It’s Baby’s first autumn. Capture smiles this season at local landmarks.
Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins
Carolyn’s Country Cousins
17607 NE 52nd St, Liberty, MO, 816.781.9196, CarolynsCountryCousins.com. Admission charged.
The Setting: Carolyn's is one of the largest patches in the area and one of the most popular. The attraction is beautiful, educational and offers a lot of family fun. It is a priority for Carolyn and her team to continue a tradition of agricultural education and visitors find signage and exhibits throughout the attraction teaching about animals, crops, and the role of farming in America. A day at the farm is more than fun, you learn something too!
The Fun: Unique features at Carolyn's include Little Bud's Railroad, a giant rocking chair, Uncle Lester's Pig Races, visits with the Pumpkin Princess and the trike track. The Pedal Kart track with large karts for big kids, teens and two seaters for a parent and a child is a favorite with our family. In addition to these great attractions, we love that Carolyn's is a REAL pumpkin patch, with beautiful pumpkins picked right off the vine (amidst Charlie Brown and the gang awaiting the arrival of the Great Pumpkin)! In addition, you may select specialty "off the vine" pumpkins in their shop.
Fave Tip: Known for their delicious pumpkin donuts (my personal favorite!) and apple cider slushes (purchase a refillable pumpkin cup years ago and bring it every year) and concessions, you can enjoy a delicious lunch on site.
Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
8909 W. 179th St., Overland Park, KS, 913.685.3604, OPABG.org. Admission: $3/ages 13 and over, $1/6-12, Free/5 and under. Each Tuesday admission to the arboretum is free.
The Setting: The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are breathtaking. The Monet Garden is exquisite, as if right from one of Monet’s paintings. The first of the botanical gardens, the Erickson Water Garden, is home to bird and butterfly plants, wildflowers and ornamental grasses. In December, the Arboretum is transformed into a wonderland of candles and lights, music and holiday fun. Thousands of candles line the walkways and trails. Holiday lights will be on display from trees, buildings and bridges. Best of all, something is always in bloom, creating ideal backdrops for snapshots.
The Fun: Children love exploring the maze in the Children's Garden and the whimsy of the Train Garden. Enjoy bird-watching, rose sniffing and picnics.
Fave Tip: Check the arboretum’s calendar for special programs throughout the year.
1609 NW US Hwy. 50, Kingsville, MO, 816.697.2600, PowellGardens.org. Admission mid-March through October: $10/adults, $9/seniors (60+), $4/children 5-12. Admission November through mid-March: $7/adults, $6/seniors (60+), $3/children ages 5-12.
The Setting: Powell Gardens is home to a beautiful island garden, rock wall garden, conservatory, Heartland Harvest Garden, Iris Hill and acres of trails overlooking beautiful flowers, plants and prairie. One of the loveliest gardens at Powell Gardens, the Rock & Waterfall Garden, is a photographer's dream! With a vibrant display of blooming flowers and the pleasant melody of rolling water, this is one of the most peaceful spots at the garden.
The Fun: Let the kids frolic in the play area in the Heartland Harvest Garden, where they explore a mint maze, pretend to feed chickens and gather eggs, and catch a bird’s eye view of the garden from the top of the silo. In October, attend Glow Jack-O’-Lantern Festival or the Antique Tractor Festival. Then play in the pirate fort overlooking the pond or enjoy a game of I Spy throughout the gardens.
Fave Tip: You may pack a picnic to enjoy at one of the picnic shelters. They ask that food only be enjoyed in designated areas and that all guests clean up after themselves.
Waterfalls in the Woods
Waterfall Park in Independence
4501 S. Bass Dr., Independence, MO, 816.325.7375
The Setting: The 18-acre park, near Bass Pro Shops in Independence, is nestled in a wooded area with walking trails overlooking a small lake and waterfalls.
The Fun: The park also features a fantastic playground and picnic area. Playing at Waterfall Park is an escape to the woods right in the midst of the city.
Fave Tip: Visit nearby Bass Pro where little ones especially enjoy the large aquariums of native fish.
Downtown Kansas City
The Setting: Ride the streetcar and snap urban photos at several local landmarks. Some of our favorites include:
- Crown Center: Take photos outside near the fountains or inside in front of the waterfall in the Westin Crown Center lobby.
- Union Station: Capture smiles watching the model trains at the KC Rail Experience or in the Grand Hall.
- Rooftop Park: Above Consentino’s Market in the KCP&L District, enjoy a stroll (and perhaps a picnic purchased from the grocer’s deli) atop the roof of this downtown building. The green space offers a great place for a break and photos with a view of the city skyline.
- City Market: The farmers market is open on weekends with vendors selling seasonal produce.
- Central Branch KC Public Library: Take the kids through the pages of a giant book as you enter their magical children’s section. Then, go to the roof where you can play a giant rooftop game of chess and catch photos of the city skyline.
- KC City Hall Observation Deck: Open Monday through Friday, 9:00-3:00, the observation deck offers another unique view of the city.
The Fun: Crown Center offers a lot of fun options, from Kaleidoscope (free) to Legoland and Sea Life. Or enjoy Science City at Union Station. Catch a movie at the Alamo in the KCP&L District or discover local artists in the Crossroads.
Fave Tip: On the second Saturday of the Month (through October), visit Sprint Family Fun Days, a free festival for families in the Power & Light District. Admission charged for some activities.
Kristina Light looks forward to pumpkin donuts with her girls every year.