Best of October in Kansas City
Pumpkins, Halloween, and Fall Festivals for the entire Family. Discover our Top Picks for Family Fun in October as Kansas City.
Visit the Pumpkin Patch
Details: 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!
The Great Pumpkin Fest at Worlds of Fun
Details: from 11am-5pm. Weekends thru Halloween at Worlds of Fun.
Why We LOVE It: This family-friendly event is all treats and no tricks and features special Halloween-themed activities for kids plus PEANUTS-themed rides and attractions in Planet Snoopy! Kids can wear their costumes and trick-or-treat with Snoopy and the PEANUTS gang inside Planet Snoopy. You never know which PEANUTS character will be nearby to join the fun with their own festive Halloween costumes! Enjoy these attractions and more: Peppermint Patty's Hay Bale Maze: Kids will weave their way through a twisting path of hay bales and cornstalks in this harvest-themed maze, all while dodging a series of dead ends as they attempt to make their way toward the exit. Lucy's Costume Contest: Our smaller ghouls and goblins are invited to show off their costume creations in Planet Snoopy, Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm! Ages 11 and younger. Linus' Great Pumpkin Patch: Kids can choose their own mini-gourd to take home as a spooktacular keepsake! Limit one pumpkin per guest under 12 years of age. PigPen’s Creepy Crafts: Display your creative best with Halloween themed crafts, sure to bring out the artist in every kid! Sally’s Dance Spooktacular: Come sing and dance along with Sally and friends for festival fall fun with afternoon showtimes on Saturdays and Sundays.
Bonus: Read our Review of The Great Pumpkin Fest.
The Dinosaur Show presented by Mesner Puppet Theater
Why We LOVE It: Make no bones about it - The Dinosaur Show is sure to tickle your funny bone and stimulate your imagination. Mesner Puppet Theater reaches into the past using hand, rod, shadow and body puppets to bring this prehistoric tale to life. Join paleontologist Dr. Dino Sawyer in exploring scientific theories (as well as some improbable ones) that explain what was and what might have been in the Age of the Dinosaurs.
Special Events at the Kansas City Zoo
Why We LOVE It: The Kansas City Zoo (KansasCityZoo.org) has introduced amazing improvements every year for the past several years, including Polar Bear Passage, Tiger Trail, Orangutan Canopy, the Tropics, the Helzberg Penguin Plaza, the African Sky Safari and more. The latest addition is one of the most playful and interactive. This spring, the zoo opened the brand new Billy Goats Gruff Yard. More than 20 goats inhabit this interactive, goat-friendly playground.
Mark your calendar for these fun events at the Zoo:
- October 7 & 8 Hoots & Howls Sponsored by Ford
- October 14 Brew at the Zoo & Wine Too (21+, registration required)
- October 14 & 15 Hoots & Howls Sponsored by Ford
- October 21 & 22 Hoots & Howls Sponsored by Ford
- October 28 & 29 Boo at the Zoo Sponsored by Ford
- November 4 & 5 Great Pumpkin Smash
- And more on the Zoo Calendar!
Special Events at National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
Details: National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (5235 Oak Street, KC, MO. 816.235.8000)
- Oct. 8 from 2-3pm: MEET THE EXPERTS: MAGIC LANTERNS. Get to know the experts at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures through this monthly exploration of special topics. On October 8, museum educator Katherine Mercier will trace the history of magic lanterns, fantastical devices that introduced the world to projected images and became popular Victorian toys. The program includes a lecture and gallery visit. Included with museum admission.
- Oct. 13 from 6-9pm: VINTAGE BOARD GAME NIGHT FOR GROWNUPS. Don’t have a Clue what to do for your next Mystery Date night? Scrabble over to the museum where we have a Monopoly on classic board games. At $5 per person for all-you-can-play games, cider, and Halloween goodies, there’s little Risk involved. Please bring friends that are 18+ for this grown-ups only night. $5 General Admission. Free for Members.
Why We LOVE It: Explore the museum collection through gallery talks and guided tours, then visit the hands-on workshop to make your own toy or miniature. This museum offers a educational, interactive, and whimsical exhibits where the story of play comes to life!
Walk to School Day
Details: Oct. 4 Walk to School Day
Why We LOVE It: Walk or bike to school with your child on Wednesday, October 4. Encouraging your child to walk or bike to school is a way to instill in him or her the active habits that can contribute to a lifelong healthy lifestyle. But in addition to health benefits, there are intangible benefits as well. Many parents who have participated in a Walk to School Day or Bike to School Day say that the active trip to school has been a valuable way for them to spend time with their children and to socialize with other parents and neighbors. Take the pledge and visit WalktoSchoolKC.com to learn more.
Colonial Presbyterian's Homefest
Details: Homefest Sunday, October 8 from 4 PM - 6 PM at Colonial Presbyterian Church - Overland Park Campus 12501 W 137th St, Overland Park, Kansas.
Why We LOVE It: Colonial, in partnership with Care Portal and KVC Health Systems, is sponsoring an all-community event called Homefest KC on Sunday, October 8 at the Quivira Campus. This FREE fall festival will feature inflatables, hayrides, s’mores, and grilled food, and more—all with the purpose of supporting foster kids in our community! Interested in bringing a donation to support our Foster Care partner organizations? You can bring the following: 1. NEW car seats and booster seats for KVC Health Systems. Sorry, we cannot accept used items. 2. Cash Donations for Care Portal. Funds go directly to assist foster care families with rent, utilities, medical expenses, etc... All donations are tax deductible. Stop by for fun, food, and to meet your neighbors while supporting a good cause! RSVP and invite your friends, family, and neighbors!
Belton Train Pumpkin Express Rides
Details: Pumpkin Express rides Sat & Sun at 12:30, 2:00 and 3:30 in Oct aboard the Belton, Grandview & KC Railroad Co. (502 Walnut, Belton, MO). On the Pumpkin Express, ride out to a nearby pumpkin patch where children select their own pumpkin. Costumes are encouraged for passengers. The Belton, Grandview and Kansas City Railroad Co. is a short line passenger railroad and demonstration museum in Belton, Missouri, just south on US Hwy. 71 from the Kansas City Metro Area. The BG&KC offers excursions on our line running south from Belton on a 5 mile, 45 minute round trip. This is an all volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving rail travel and railroading. Call for more information: 816.331.0630. Kids under 3 FREE every day!
Why We LOVE It: All Aboard! The young, and the young-at-heart, LOVE trains... the charm, the fun memories and nostalgia. This summer, ride the rails with the Belton, Grandview & Kansas City Railroad. The organization is a non-profit volunteer organization run by volunteers like John, who happily tells every visitor his pay is the smile on the kids' faces... and do they ever smile!
JCCC Performing Arts Series
Why We LOVE It: JCCC brings a wide variety of shows and programs to local audiences all season long. Enjoy these upcoming shows:
- Oct. 4 - 7:30 p.m. John Cleese Live plus a Screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail
- Oct. 13 - 8 p.m.: iLuminate
- Oct. 15 - 7 p.m.: Winterlude – Hudson: DeJohnette, Scofield, Medeski, Grenadier
- Celebrate Jack’s 75th (Yardley Hall)
- Oct. 22 - 7 p.m.: American Rhapsody: The Gershwin Songbook
- Oct. 28 - 8 p.m.: William Shatner – Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It! Meet and Greet with William Shatner included with Orchestra Pit Seating
The Unknown Soldier at The Folly
Details: Oct. 30 at The Folly.
Why We LOVE It: With a tour timed to honor the centenary of WWI and America’s entry in 1917, this poignant new work explores themes of war, duty, courage, and sacrifice. Using the lens of history, we discover the meaning and importance of The Unknown Soldier the play and consider his significance for young audiences worldwide. The production tells two stories a century apart: the battlefields of WWI and the home front of modern day. 13-year-old Charlie is coping with his father’s return from Afghanistan with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Charlie’s Aunt Angela is a peace activist trying to make sense of it all. Through the discovery of some old letters, Charlie and Angela piece together the stories of Albert, a 16-year-old soldier preparing “to go over the top” while fighting for his Country, and Grace, a mother and volunteer nurse who is searching for her lost son. Through Albert and Grace’s letters, the historical war comes alive, and Charlie and Angela find a new perspective on the lives of soldiers, nurses and the families back home.
5th Annual Spookfest at Science City
Details: Spookfest is October 28 from 5-8pm at Science City at Union Station. Tickets: $6 UNION STATION MEMBERS | $8 GENERAL ADMISSION
Why We LOVE It: The Fifth Annual Spookfest: Science Unwrapped! promises to be a hauntingly goodtime for the entire family! Activities include: Spooky Science Demos & Activities, Creepy Critters & Eerie Edibles, Spooktacular Science Stage Show, Costume Contest, Community Clay Project with Belger Arts, AND MORE!
Costume Notes: Union Station and Science City are focused on providing the best possible guest experiences. Toward that end, we maintain certain guidelines to ensure safety and a welcoming environment in all respects. For SpookFest, we encourage guests to wear costumes and ask you to follow the guidelines below. Union Station and Science City reserve the right to disallow costumes that violate these standards. Costumes should be family-friendly and may not be obstructive, offensive, objectionable or violent in theme. Costumes may not contain features that resemble or could easily be mistaken for a weapon. Costumes may not contain sharp objects, pointed objects or materials that may accidentally strike or harm another Guest. For Guests ages 12 and under: Costumes and some masks may be worn, as long as the mask does not cover the entire face and eyes are visible. For Guests ages 13 and older: Capes may be worn if the length does not go below the waist. Themed T-shirts, blouses, sweatshirts, and hats are acceptable. Acceptable accessories include: transparent wings, plastic light sabers, toy swords, and tutus. Headwear may be worn as long as it does not cover the face. Masks of any kind may not be worn.
Gardens of Myth & GLOW: A Jack O'Lantern Festival at Powell Gardens
Why We LOVE It: Goblins and fairies and trolls, oh my! See these and other mythical creatures this summer as part of Gardens of Myth, which is making its garden debut at Powell Gardens! The exhibition is a collection of incredibly realistic sculptures depicting creatures of myth from around the world. They range in size from tiny fairies to an incredible 25-foot dragon! Each sculpture is hand made and painted by artist Kendall R. Hart and his team. Sponsored by J.B. Reynolds Foundation.
Special Event in October: Glow: A Jack O’ Lantern Festival Oct 20-21, Powell Gardens, PowellGardens.org. This spooktacular annual festival features a 1-mile path of 750 expertly carved jack-o’-lanterns. The weekend also offers fall hayrides, hands-on activities and food and beverage vendors. New this year, a carnivorous plant display, a Kids Corral and an After-Glow event for adults.
Trick Or Treat
Why We LOVE It: Enjoy family friendly fun at your favorite places in Kansas City with trick-or-treating, costumes, pumpkins, and more! Keep the kids safe as they Trick-Or-Treat with these safety tips from KC Parent. Check our KC Parent Halloween Calendar.
Mummies of the World: The Exhibition at Union Station
Why We Love It: The latest exhibit at Union Station allows visitors a unique opportunity to come face to face with the largest exhibition of real mummies and related artifacts ever assembled. The exhibit provides a window into the lives of ancient people from every region of the world including Europe, South America and Ancient Egypt, offering unprecedented insights into past cultures and civilizations. With over 1.6 million nationwide visitors experiencing Mummies of the World to date, the display at Union Station Kansas City is the regional premiere!
Fall Festival Season is here. There are dozens of festivals to enjoy for every interest. These are our top picks for fairs and festivals in Kansas City in October. Read our complete KC Fall Festival Guide here.
Gladfest Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Gladstone, MO, GladstoneChamber.com/gladfest. A carnival will be open all three days for kids of all ages. Marketplace tents will be located just west of the community center and offer valuable contacts with local businesses and civic organizations. Arts and crafts vendors will be located west of city hall and south of the carnival.
Kansas City Renaissance Festival Weekends thru Oct. 15, KCRenFest.com. Pay heed to the exploits of jousting knights on thundering steeds, roam the village shops for unique crafts, delight in comedy, music, magic and more on 20 stages of non-stop entertainment, and feast on delicious food and drinks from the far reaches of the globe! There’s something for the whole family in the enchanted 16-acre village.
KC Games for Good Oct. 7, National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial (100 W. 26th St., Kansas City, MO), KCGamesForGood.org. KC Games for Good is a one-day event to showcase—and celebrate—that sense of community service and civic pride for which both Kansas City and the Plaza Rotary Club are so well known.
Waterfire Kansas City Oct. 7, Country Club Plaza, CountryClubPlaza.com. The fragrance of aromatic wood smoke and flickering firelight of each brazier create a unique ambiance unlike anything else in Kansas City. Live vocals, dance and acrobatics will be performed by Quixotic, StoneLion Puppet Theatre, Rhythmic Flames, Kansas City Drum Tribe, Trio Forte and renowned operatic tenor Ben Gulley.
Missouri Town 1855 Festival of Arts, Crafts and Music Oct. 7-8, Missouri Town 1855. Skilled interpreters bring the antebellum living history site to life with the music, dance, games, crafts, and delicious foods of 1855. A full service food court will offer traditional festival culinary delights. Enjoy a fun-filled hay wagon ride with the entire family. Watch sorghum being harvested, ground and boiled to form exquisite syrup.
Weston Applefest Oct. 7-8, Main Street Weston, WestonMo.com. Visitors to Applefest are encouraged to come early on Saturday morning to enjoy Weston’s hometown parade along Main Street at 10:00. The Saturday parade will feature antique tractors, classic cars, fire trucks and bands. More than 60 art and craft booths will be along the downtown Main Street to peruse, and you’re also invited to browse the many unique Weston shops during your visit.
Capital City Jazz & Food Truck Festival Oct. 7, Kansas Avenue, Downtown Topeka, VisitTopeka.com. Come hungry and enjoy dozens of food truck options and great live jazz at this afternoon and evening event. With the Kansas State Capitol as a backdrop, you can’t go wrong.
Summit Art Fest Oct. 6-8, Downtown Lee's Summit, SummitArtFest.org. Music will fill the air as you wander from on artist’s booth to another. An interactive Kid’s Zone will be open for any budding artists to try their hand on an art project of their own. Food and beverages available for purchase throughout the weekend by various street vendors as well as local restaurants.
Lansing Fall Fest Oct. 14, Lansing, KS, Lansing.KS.us. Enjoy family fun in a great autumn setting. Live music, fall fun zone, local artists, food, beverages and much more. Pumpkin crafting offered as well.
Shawnee Indian Mission - Fall Festival Oct. 13-15, Shawnee Indian Mission, FairwayKansas.org. Including live musical performances from Folk Alliance International artists, outdoor vendor and artisan market, children's games and crafts, living history and first person reenactors and food trucks!
Lenexa Chili Challenge Oct. 20-21, Old Town Lenexa, Lenexa.com. About 200 teams compete in our chili, salsa and hot wings contests in hopes of taking home the grand champion prize. Activities include musical entertainment both days, fireworks on Friday night, the Kids Kornbread Contest and Hot Pepper Eating Contest on Saturday.