Experience one of the area’s botanical gardens. Powell Gardens is home to a beautiful island garden, rock wall garden, conservatory, Heartland Harvest Garden and acres of trails overlooking beautiful flowers, plants and prairie. In the fall, enjoy scarecrows in the gardens, GLOW: A Jack-O’-Lantern Festival and cooking demos by local chefs. During the holiday season, make reservations for the annual luminary walk. The Overland Park Arboretum is home to a Monet garden, train garden and beautiful trails to explore. The gardens are glorious with fall foliage, and their holiday luminary walk is a favorite tradition for many families.
Meet exotic animals at the Kansas City Zoo at Swope Park, where Berlin the polar bear, the Helzberg Penguin Plaza, Sumatran Tiger Exhibit and the Tropics are favorite attractions. Ride the train, carousel, boat, tram and Sky Safari to enjoy terrific views of the animals. In the fall, enjoy Boo at the Zoo, an annual Halloween event. At Christmastime, visit Santa at the zoo. Year-round check out the zoo’s calendar for special events, including overnights with the penguins and polar bear. Enjoy other attractions at Swope Park, including GoApe KC zipline adventures, Lakeside Nature Center and the Battle of Westport Museum.
Cedar Cove in Louisburg, KS, is an animal refuge for a variety of endangered or rescued big cats. Tour Cedar Cove to see leopards, cougars, wolves, bobcats, a white tiger, black leopards and caracals. On Saturdays through October, Cedar Cove hosts public feedings of the cats and remains open until 5:00, weather permitting. Also in town, enjoy fresh-made cider at Louisburg Cider Mill, where visitors watch as cider is pressed and cider donuts are made. The mill is also home to a seasonal pumpkin patch and corn maze. On Saturdays through October, visit Powell Observatory for a public stargazing session with one of the largest telescopes in the region.