Best of October in Kansas City: 2014

Celebrate autumn with day trips, pumpkins, costumes, magical moonlit walks, fantastic shows, the American Royal and Fall Festivals for the entire Family.




Visit the Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patches in Kansas City

  • When, Where, What: Many Kansas City area Pumpkin Patches open thru October.
  • Why We LOVE It: Pumpkin Patches are Fall Amusement Parks offering fun-filled attractions for the entire family! With Pumpkin Cannons, Pony Rides, Pumpkin Chomping Dinosaurs, Creative Play Areas, Jumping Pillows, Corn Cribs, Train Rides, Corn Mazes, Ziplines, Petting Zoos, and of course... hayrides to pick the perfect pumpkin, a visit to the local Pumpkin Patch is a Fall Bucket List MUST! With so many local patches to choose from, and so many activities to enjoy, how do you make the most of the fun? Read our Tips for Pumpkin Patch Fun and use the KC Pumpkin Patch guide to pick this year's patch for your family!

Kansas City Renaissance Festival


  • When, Where, What: Sat & Sun through Oct. 13. KC Renaissance Festival in Bonner Springs, KS.
  • Why We LOVE It: Voted Kansas City's Favorite Fall Attraction and Favorite Family Festival in 2013, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival promises to be even better then year with new entertainments acts, new food items, and overall fun!! Join them for a one of a kind experience and relive history the fun way!


Races at Kansas Speedway

Kansas Speedway

  • When, Where, What: Oct 3-5. Kansas Speedway
  • Sprint Cup Series Qualifying Day ARCA Racing Oct. 3:  Enjoy NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup practice, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying for Sunday and an ARCA Race under the lights!
  • NASCAR Nationwide Series Oct. 4:  Don't miss the return of the NASCAR Nationwide Series to Kansas Speedway on Oct. 4, 2014. Tickets start at $40 for adults and $15 for youth tickets (12 & under).
  • Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Oct. 5: Don't miss the fourth Race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on Oct. 5, 2014 at Kansas Speedway! More tickets than ever before are available for $99 or less, youth tickets (12 & under) start at $29.
  • Why We LOVE It:  The Kansas Speedway provides plenty of pre- and post-race entertainment, so it's a full day event filled with fun for the whole family.

American Royal Bar-B-Q

American Royal Bar-B-Q

  • When, Where, What: Oct 4 -7.
  • Why We LOVE It:  The American Royal Barbecue, Kansas City's signature autumn event is the season finale for the competitive barbecue circuit. The American Royal Bar-B-Q is the largest barbecue contest in the world, occupying 20 acres in Kansas City’s Stockyards District with 500+ competitive teams in four meat categories. Family friendly events at the barbecue include Cooking Demos, the Kids' Korral (on Saturday), and live music on the concert stage. Food will be available to the public for purchase by licensed vendors only

Kansas City Ballet presents Alice (in wonderland)

KC Ballet Alice in wonderlandWhen, Where, What: Kansas City Ballet presents Alice (in wonderland) Oct. 10-19 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 

  • Why We LOVE It: The Kansas City Ballet never disappoints, and their performance of Alice (in wonderland) will surely be no exception! Performances will take place Oct. 10-19 at the stunningly beautiful Kauffman Center. Be sure to get your tickets early, because this is going to be a performance that families will not want to miss. Follow Alice down the rabbit hole and visit all of your favorite friends in Wonderland. This highly imaginative ballet shares the beauty of dance, while telling this curiously classic tale that we all know and love.

Bark in the Park

Bark in the Park Nelson-AtkinsWhen, Where, What: Oct. 11, 1-4pm at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

  • Why We LOVE It: The Nelson-Atkins is celebrating four-legged friends and we can't wait! Snap pics with your pup and enter the photo contest. Decorate a doggie bandana with Sculpture Park-inspired designs. While supplies last. Stamp your program at the doggie paw print station. Explore the Sculpture Park and walk the doggie version of the Glass Labyrinth.



XTreme Bugs at Union Station

XTreme Bugs at Union Station

  • When, Where, What: Opening Oct. 17 at Union Station.
  • Why We LOVE It:  The educational science exhibits at Science City just keep getting better! We're excited about their newest exhibit, "Xtreme Bugs." What to expect? " Enveloped in the larger-than-life landscape of Xtreme BUGS, you will be transported into a vivid, dynamic and awe-inspiring new environment. Surrounded by giant, larger-than-life animatronic insects, this up-close look at the bizarre physical characteristics of bugs and the science behind their mind-boggling behaviors will inspire, surprise and educate you and your family.  These tiny creatures have an amazing ability to make us squirm – our skin crawls and a sense of foreboding arises. You are invited to walk through the lens of a bug’s eye and shift their perspective from “ew” to “awe” about the fascinating little creatures that share our ecosystem."

October at the Kansas City Zoo

Hoots & Howls at the Kansas City ZooWhen, Where, What: Kansas City Zoo events all month long

  • Family Science Night: Wicked Weather Oct. 3 These FREE events are a wonderful way to explore hands-on science as a family! Activities and experiments are designed for children grades K-12.
  • Hoots & Howls Oct. 4 & 5 and 11 & 12 Head out to the Zoo for some Halloween fun at Hoots & Howls. Join us Saturday, October 4 and Sunday, October 5 for some spooky, not scary, activities and entertainment.  From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. you can cruise around on a pedal tractor, navigate a hay bale maze and show off your artistic side with chalk art and face painting. Shake your ghoul thing at the Monster Mash Bash. Visit the Slitherin Snake Shed, enjoy a hayride around the Zoo, create a wild craft and hear a spooky take in the lobby. Our animals are joining in the fun by smashing pumpkins. Come dressed as a polar bear and show off to our rock star polar bears,  Nikita and Berlin. Thanks to Ford Motor Company for sponsoring Hoots & Howls. It's sure to be a howling good time! 
  • Boo at the Zoo Oct 25 & 26 From 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. children will trick-or-treat the Zoo while enjoying Halloween themed activities and entertainment. Be sure to explore the boneyard graveyard Ford will be handing out backpacks to trick-or-treaters while supplies last. It's spooktacular fun for kids of all ages!
  • Spooktacular Zoo Safari Overnight Oct. 25 Spooktackular Zoofari for families with children ages 6 to 11 Come dressed in your favorite Halloween costume and celebrate a kid-friendly Halloween the Zoo way this year! Meet some of our creepiest crawlers, go on exclusive tours, and much more!  Overnight includes: Themed activities. Animal Encounter with some of our education animal ambassadors. Night hike. Exclusive tour. This sleepover is held in the Zoo Learning Center and runs from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. the next day One adult chaperone per 10 children under 18 is required A continental breakfast will be served in the morning. Please note:  Dinner is provided! A minimum of 20 participants is required for campouts. If the date you select does not fill, we will do our best to reschedule you.  Cost:  $50 Zoo admission not included the following morning.
  • Howling Halloween Nocturnal Overnight Oct. 31 Halloween based Nocturnal Overnight specifically designed for children ages 10 and up, who must be accompanied by an adult chaperone As darkness envelops Africa, your adventure will begin as you take a walk to experience what creatures come out at night. Look out for things that are creepy, crawly and may slither or slink through the gloom. What could be better on All Hallows Eve but a campfire, smores and scary stories! You may have your eyes on creatures of the night, but what has eyes on you? The following morning will serve a continental breakfast for those brave enough to stay all night... Program starts promptly at 6 p.m. and ends at 10 a.m. the following day, rain or shine. Late-comers will not be accommodated. This is a lock-in, so participants should plan on staying for the duration of the program. The overnight will end no later than 10:30am the following morning. This does include Zoo Admission the following day We require a minimum of 20 paid participants overall for the program. Overnights may be cancelled if the minimum number of participants is not met. If this is the case you will be notified at least two weeks from the overnight date Cost: $35 per person, with a 10% discount for FOTZ members.
  • Why We LOVE It: The Kansas City Zoo is celebrating fabulous events all month long! Halloween events and the much-anticipated arrival of the Penguins! You can't beat October at the Zoo!

Louisburg Cider Mill's Annual Ciderfest

Louisburg Cider Mill

  • When, Where, What: Sept. 27 & 28, October 4 & 5, Louisburg Cider Mill. 913.837.5202 
  • Why We LOVE It: Enjoy Handmade Crafts, Barbeque, Live Music, Old Fashioned Good Eats, Pumpkins and a lot of other Fun Activities! From the Pumpkin Patch to Kettle Corn, there is something for everyone in the family. Craft Fair, Fresh Cider Making, Cider Donuts, Live Music, Kids Activities, Hay Castle, Hayrides, and Farm Animal Viewing Area. This annual event offers delicious autumn fun for the whole family! 

Walk to School Day

Walk to School

  • When, Where, What: Oct. 8 Walk to School Day
  • Why We LOVE It: Walk or bike to school with your child on Wednesday, October 8 Greater Kansas City's celebration of International Walk to School Day is organized by BikeWalkKC and the Mid-America Regional Council. Individual schools organize their own events, while we provide technical assistance, advice, and publicity Take the pledge and visit  to learn more





Pumpkin Express Train Rides

Belton Railroad

  • When, Where, What: Sat & Sun in October at Noon, 2pm and 3:30pm each date. $9/ticket aboard the Belton, Grandview, and Kansas City Railroad
  • Why We LOVE It: Enjoy a ride on the Belton, Grandview, and Kansas City Railroad where the train stops at the end of the line for Halloween games and pumpkins for sale! Come, take a step back in time to the first half of the last century and ride a train like your grandparents may have ridden. Board a 1920's era passenger coach, or our open-air excursion car and take a ride behind the 1950's diesel locomotive through Old Towne Belton, Missouri and the surrounding area. Come in costume or fall favorite clothes for photo ops aboard the Pumpkin Express!
  • Bonus: Read about our adventures aboard the Pumpkin Express before you go.

JCCC Performing Arts Series

  • Riders in the SkyWhen, Where, What: Johnson County Community College Performing Arts Series.
  • Julie Fowlis: Oct. 18. Fowlis sang “Touch The Sky,” the theme song for “Brave,” Pixar’s Oscar and Golden Globe award-winning animated hit. One of the Western Isles’ true contemporary treasures — the pure, voice of Julie Fowlis will take you to the Highlands of Scotland as you get lost in sensitive tales of love and tradition with a background of lush arrangements from a host of brilliant musicians from Scotland, Ireland and farther afield. Her personal stories and dedication to her roots will make you laugh, move you to tears and give you a sense of belonging.
  • Riders in the Sky: Oct. 25.  The ponies are rested and watered – America’s favorite classic cowboy quartet is ready to saddle up and ride into Johnson County. Riders In The Sky have been keepers of the flame passed on by the Sons of the Pioneers, Gene  Autry and Roy Rogers, reviving and revitalizing the genre. Remaining true to the integrity of Western music, they are modern-day icons, branding their performances with their own legendary wacky humor and way-out Western wit.  Hey buckaroos and buckarettes , wear your cowboy finery for this show! Watch those spurs!
  • Why We LOVE It: The Johnson County Community College Performing Arts Series consistently brings top notch entertainment to the metro. Featuring a wide range of shows, there is something for everyone.

Folly Theater Kids Series presents Curious George

Folly Theater Kansas CityWhen, Where, What: Kids Series Shows Curious George at 10am and 11:30am at the Folly Theater, on Oct. 27 Just $6/ticket.

  • Why We LOVE It: The Folly Theater is one of Kansas City's most spectacular theaters. It is such a treat to share this historic gem with children at delightful and educational shows designed with them in mind. October's Curious George is a family favorite! Join the inquisitive, lovable little monkey Curious George in this delightful new musical! All–You-Can-Eat Meatball Day comes just once a year. George has been waiting all month for that day, a day almost bigger than his birthday! On Meatball Day, George helps his friend Chef Pisghetti cook some delicious meatballs, and serves them to the hungry crowd. But this year, the  crowd has vanished! George goes on a mission to help his friend and everything turns upside down! Join George as he takes the audience through a fun flavor-filled adventure!At just $6/ticket, this is a wonderful family outing.

Fall Festivals & Day Trips

Fall Festivals in Kansas City

  • When, Where, What: October is great for an annual Fall Festival! Read our guide to Fall Festivals in Kansas City to learn more.
  • Why We LOVE It: Everything wonderful and iconic about autumn is part of our favorite day trips, from homemade apple cider to fresh pumpkin pies, scenic views and old-fashioned country parades. These charming day trips offer terrific off-the-beaten-path sites to explore and fall festivals brimming with fun and memories of a simpler time Read our guide to Fall Festivals in Kansas City for more.

Brick or Treat

  • Brick or Treat LegolandWhen, Where, What: Weekends in October (4th-25th) at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Kansas City.
  • Why We LOVE It: We always have a great time with the kids at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Kansas City, but October is especially fun! A ghoulishly good time is brewing during Brick-or-Treat Halloween extravaganza weekends in October. Activities include: LEGO Pumpkin Patch, Scavenger Hunt, Costume Contest, and more! 

Magical Walks through the Woods

Powell Gardens Halloween

  • When, Where, What: 
  • Superheroes and the Curse of Alien Invaders. Oct. 4, 1:00-3:00 and 5:30-8:30, Burr Oak Woods (1401 NW Park Rd., Blue Springs, MO, 816.228.3766). Admission is free. Batman, Superman, Aquagirl, Spider-Woman and many others will enchant audiences along a luminary-lit trail as visitors learn about conservation at this educational and entertaining event.

  • Introducing Glow: A Jack-o’-Lantern Festival Oct. 18 & 19, Powell Gardens (1609 NW US Hwy. 50, Kingsville, MO, 816.697.2600, As the region’s largest pumpkin fest, “Glow” promises to become a new favorite garden tradition for all ages. Festivities kick off Friday, Oct. 17, with a celebrity jack-o’-lantern carving of some 25 jumbo pumpkins. Along with the jack-o’-lantern display, visitors can enjoy pumpkin painting, hayrides, costumed characters, games, crafts, storytelling and more. Festival admission applies on Saturday and Sunday ($12/adults, $10/seniors, $5/children 5-12; gold level and above members FREE).

  • Magic Woods: Oct. 10, 6:00-9:00, and Oct. 11, 5:00-9:00, Lakeside Nature Center (4701 E. Gregory Blvd., Kansas City, MO, 816.513.8960, Magic Woods features a walk on the nature trail where hikers will meet Mother Nature and her friends. Eco-Elvis and Eric the magician will be entertaining at this year's event. Admission is $5/person.

  • Night of the Living Farm: Oct. 17-18 & 24-25, Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead (13800 Switzer, Overland Park, KS, 913.897.2360 ext. 33, Old-fashioned lanterns and carved pumpkins will lead costumed trick-or-treaters through pathways of graves and ghouls. Tickets in advance are $8; at the door tickets are $10. Advance group tickets are available online only (50 or more) for $7/ea.

  • Enchanted Forest: Oct. 23, 6:30-8:30, Sar-Ko-Par Park (87th & Lackman Rd., Lenexa, KS, Admission is free. Unlimited access to hayrides, inflatables and mini-pumpkin decorating is available with the purchase of a $3 wristband at the information booth. The trail features performances by marionette puppets, magicians and singers.

  • Why We LOVE It: Every October, we look forward to magical walks through Kansas City’s nature trails and gardens, as paths are transformed into glowing trails of surprise and enchantment. Make an evening of it with dinner or dessert before or after the event.

Trick Or Treat

Trick or Treat in Kansas City

Still looking for more great family fun ideas in Kansas City? Check out our Kansas City Calendar of Events and Going Places in Kansas City on

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