Best of October in Kansas City

October in Kansas City is all about visits to the pumpkin patch, fall festivals, great entertainment, new exhibits and family fun! Discover our Top Picks for Family Fun in October!

Pumpkin Patches

We have your guide to Kansas City's best pumpkin patches - complete with an online map, pumpkin patch features, photos and reviews.

Becoming Martin

Becoming Martin at The Coterie thru Oct. 21. This world premiere centers on the mentorship Martin Luther King, Jr., receives when he enters Morehouse College at age 15. Through debate over civil disobedience concepts, Morehouse College President, Dr. Benjamin Mays, sets young MLK on a path towards fighting for civil rights.

The Pigeon Comes to Topeka! A Mo Willems Exhibit

The Pigeon Comes to Topeka! A Mo Willems Exhibit thru Jan. 4 at the Kansas Children's Discovery Center. Co-organized by Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, the exhibition is inspired by the art and characters of the beloved children’s book author and illustrator, Mo Willems. Many familiar characters will be featured including best friend duo Elephant and Piggie, faithful companion Knuffle Bunny and The Pigeon, the wily city bird best known for his antics in Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!  Activities will give visitors the opportunity to make art that is inspired by Mo Willems and to learn about the rich social and emotional lives of the author’s characters. The exhibit will also feature prints of illustrations, including sketches and other preliminary materials, by Mo Willems. In this play-and-learn exhibit, visitors can: Have a hilarious conversation in the voices of Elephant Gerald and Piggie at a double-sided phone booth. Make Elephant and Piggie dance with old-time animation. Put on a wearable bus and take a drive around the exhibit. Spin the laundromat washing machine and uncover Knuffle Bunny and other surprises! Dress up Naked Mole Rat and send him down the runway for a one-of-a-kind fashion show. Stack lightweight blocks to create their own terrible monster or funny friend. Launch foam hot dogs at The Pigeon and play the plinko game to give the Duckling a cookie. Try out art techniques that Mo uses for his own books.

Kauffman Center Presents: iLuminate

iLuminate Oct. 7 at Kauffman Center, called “the best new act in America” by America’s Got Talent, iLuminate fuses technology and dance to create a visual experience unlike anything else. Audiences will see dancers in electrified, glow-in-the-dark suits performing dynamic routines and illusions on a darkened stage. iLuminate has been featured on Dancing with the StarsThe X Factor and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The group has appeared with GRAMMY-winning performers including Christina Aguilera and The Black Eyed Peas.

Walk to School Day

Walk or bike to school with your child on Wednesday, October 10. 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  to learn more.

Be My Neighbor Day

Be My Neighbor Day is Oct 13, 2018 at Toyota Plaza at Children's Mercy Park, 1 Sporting Way, Kansas City, KS. Join KCPT, PNC Grow Up Great® and Sporting Kansas City for “Be My Neighbor Day,” a family celebration featuring tigertastic events! The day will include appearances by Daniel Tiger of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, entertainment and hands-on learning activities focused on being a caring neighborhood! Do your first act of kindness by bringing in a pair of gently used or new shoes to donate to the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Shoe Drive, benefiting Soles4Souls.

Carlsen Center presents...

Enjoy a full season of professional shows at Carlsen Center. Concerts, live theater, dance performances, educational programs, magic... you'll enjoy a variety of spectacular shows all year long.

October's shows at Carlsen Center:

  • Emmylou Harris Oct. 13: A 13-time GRAMMY® winner and Billboard Century Award recipient, Emmylou Harris is known as much for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. Harris is one of the most admired and influential women in music. She has recorded with a huge group of diverse artists, selling more than 15 million records and garnering 13 GRAMMY® Awards, three CMA Awards and two Americana Music Association awards. In 2018 she received the GRAMMY® Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox Oct. 14: Postmodern Jukebox, also widely known as PMJ, is a rotating musical collective founded by arranger and pianist Scott Bradlee in 2011. PMJ is known for reworking popular modern music into different vintage genres, especially early 20th century forms such as swing and jazz. PMJ is a bona fide YouTube darling, having amassed over 912 million YouTube views and 3.2 million subscribers.

  • OK Go: The Live Video Tour Oct. 20: OK Go, the rock band famous for their wildly creative videos, brings their unique magic to the stage in 2018. As you might expect from the pioneering band who danced on treadmills and in zero gravity, this show is unlike any you’ve seen before: it’s a film screening and a rock concert rolled into one. The band will perform their songs live and in sync with 20 of their iconic videos, pausing for question/answer sessions with the crowd and special performances. See them perform on handbells and join in the high-tech interactive piece performed by the audience. Like the band, the show defies categorization, but bring your family and expect dancing, joy and wonder.

  • Morena Owen Cox Dance Group Oct. 20 & 21: Don't miss this collaboration between Owen/Cox Dance Group and Victoria Botero, Soprano with Ensemble presenting contemporary choreography danced to music traditionally sung by Jewish, Muslim and Christian women.

  • Aida Cuevas and Mariachi Juvenil Tecalitlán 'Totalmente Juan Gabriel' Oct. 26: An unforgettable concert featuring two Mexican icons, two masters of the mariachi genre, two lifelong friends and musical partners: Aida Cuevas and Queen of Ranchera Music present a mariachi spectacle paying tribute to her great mentor — and Mexico's best-selling artist of all time — Juan Gabriel. 

  • Tomás and the Library Lady Oct. 30: Tomás loves stories. As the young son of migrant farm workers, he spends the summer with his family following the crops north from Texas to Iowa, passing long days in the fields listening to his grandfather tell stories. When a chance encounter brings him to the local Carnegie Library, he meets the “Library Lady” who recognizes his thirst for knowledge and encourages him to read. By the end of the story, Tomás has great pride in becoming his family’s new storyteller, the guidance of a colorful mentor, and a lifelong love of reading.

2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400

October 21, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to Kansas Speedway for the second time in 2018 as the sixth race, an elimination race, in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.  See the best in racing compete to move on to the Round of 8 and to keep their Championship hopes alive.  General Parking at Kansas Speedway is free, and fans can bring a soft-sided cooler filled with their favorite food and beverage into the grandstands.

Worlds of Fun

Worlds of Fun is open with NEW attractions! This fall, you'll love The Great Pumpkin Fest Weekends thru Oct 28, 2018 at Worlds of Fun, 4545 Worlds of Fun Avenue, Kansas City, MO. Visit Worlds of Fun for the ultimate fall festival - The Great Pumpkin Fest! 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. Also, at the park enjoy the new Nordic Chaser where guests of all ages will board mini ships that rotate speedily around a circuit. The ride captures the imagination as guests experience the sensation of rising and falling along ocean waves. The ride will be placed in the park’s Scandinavia themed area. Guests will also enjoy the newly renovated Timber Wolf. Since its debut in 1989, Timber Wolf has cast an imposing shadow on the surrounding woods as Worlds of Fun's first wooden roller coaster. Timber Wolf opened as the top wooden coaster in the world and then received accolades as a top wooden coaster for over 8 consecutive years.Now, fan favorite and the park's original wooden coaster gets a new finale! Worlds of Fun replaced the helix with a high-speed over banked 70 degree turn. This thrilling final corner turns riders nearly sideways! ​

Kansas City Zoo Fall Fun

This year the zoo celebrates the opening of the brand new Stingray Bay, and Bam Bam, a new polar bear to join Berlin at the Kansas City Zoo. At stingray bay, visitors may touch cownose and southern stingrays and white-spotted bamboo sharks in this shallow touch pool. This indoor/outdoor facility is ideal for year-round guests, but most importantly, the state-of-the-art exhibit features a water filtration system providing a healthy habitat for the animals. Entrance to Stingray Bay is included with regular zoo admission. For an additional fee, you may participate in one of a limited number of feeding opportunities. The Kansas City Zoo is open year-round (except Jan. 1). (6800 Zoo Dr., KCMO. 816.513.5800). Pack a picnic and bring it to the zoo!

October's Special Events at the Kansas City Zoo: 

  • October 6 & 7 Hoots & Howls 
  • October 13 & 14 Hoots & Howls 
  • October 20  Brew at the Zoo  & Wine Too  (21+, registration required)
  • October 20 & 21 Hoots & Howls 
  • October 27 & 28 Boo at the Zoo

Ride the Rails

Ride the rails with the family aboard a real train with Belton, Grandview and Kansas City Railroad.  Enjoy excursions running south from Belton on a 5-mile, 45-minute round trip. Enjoy the Pumpkin Express in select weekends in October with a ride out to the pumpkin patch! Season: Regular Train Rides $10/ea Sat & Sun 2pm (May-Oct) Kids Under Three FREE!

Spookfest at Union Station

Family's will have a blast at Science City's sixth annual Spookfest: Night at the Museum! Enjoy Spooky Science Demos & Activities, Creepy Critters & Eerie Edibles, Spooktacular Science Stage Show,  Costume Contest, AND MORE! $8 General Admission $6 Union Station Members.

Trick or Treat Fun

Local businesses and attractions are hosting trick-or-treat events all month long and we have them all on our KC Halloween Guide!

Dinosaurs Revealed

Dinosaurs Revealed: Journey Across America, a world premiere exhibition opening at Union Station June 30! Come face-to-face with 26 life-size dinosaurs. See them move, hear them roar. Examine two massive full body skeletons and dozens of real fossils. Get hands-on digging for new evidence. Walk through the most prolific North American dinosaur dig sites. Visit the Paleontologist Hangout and meet real dinosaur hunters. Interact with a 3D augmented reality volcano, dinosaur tracks, puzzles and more. It's an adventure that promises to educate, fascinate and excite imaginations of every age.​

October Festivals

Enjoy fabulous festivals and fairs all month long! Read our complete KC Fall Festival Guide for more!

Our Favorite October Festivals:

KC Oktoberfest Oct 5-6, 2018 at Crown Center. A two-day celebration of Bavarian heritage modeled after the traditional Munich Oktoberfest in Germany. This festival will feature world-class music and entertainment, delicious menus crafted after the genuine tastes of Bavaria, and family-friendly games and activities inspired by those played in Europe.

Independence Fire & Ice BBQ Competition Oct 5, 2018 - Oct 6, 2018 at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, 19100 E Valley View Pkwy, Independence, MO. Established in 2015, this KCBS state championship quickly became one of the premier competitions in the Midwest drawing teams from across the United States each fall since its inception. 

Ciderfest RESCHEDULED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER - NEW DATES Oct 13, 2018 - Oct 14, 2018 at Louisburg Cider Mill, 14730 K68 Hwy, Louisburg, KS. Ciderfest activities begin with the Louisburg Lions Pancake Breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Other activities include: Live music beginning at 11 a.m., cider and donut-making, pony rides, and inflatable slide ongoing throughout the day until 6 p.m. Ciderfest also features craft booths, gift & collectible vendors, and multiple BBQ and food vendors. There is no admission or parking fees to attend. Also at Ciderfest, visit our huge pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkin, experience our 10-acre corn maze, visit with farm animals, play on the hill slide, enjoy the picnic areas and take advantage of the great photo opportunities we've set up. The Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch area has $10 admission, children 3 and under are free.

KC Japan Festival Oct 6, 2018 at JCCC, 12345 College Boulevard, Overland Park, KS. Experience Japan for a day without leaving the Kansas City metro area! The Japan Festival offers an exciting mix of Japanese popular culture including both contemporary and traditional music performances; martial arts demonstrations; tea ceremonies, Anime and Manga, Kimono exhibits, Samurai workshops, Sumo Suits, Bonsai and Ikebana (the Japanese art of flower arranging) a variety of exhibits, food from local Japanese restaurants, and much more.  New to the Festival this year will be performances by Ryoichi Kinoshita, a 7th degree Aikido master from Osaka.  Aikido teaches one to flow with natural energy and manage conflict in a way that brings about the restoration of harmony.  Kinoshita – sensei is also a master in the art of calligraphy. Also new to the Festival is Yukari Nakano. She is also a top calligraphy master in Japan and a member of the prestigious Japan Art Academy.  Festival-goers will have the opportunity to observe the approach of both these masters to the ancient art form. Japanese “J-Pop” singer Aya Uchida will return from Kyoto, Japan to perform with local songwriter and guitarist Jo Yamanaka. Music performances will include the powerful drum sounds of Denver Taiko, and Three Trails Taiko; and, the subtle styling of performers playing Japanese instruments Koto, Shamisen and Shakuhachi. Edible sculpture will be created on-site by Miyuki Sugimori, renowned Japanese Candy Artist, retired from Epcot Center. Festival-goers can visit a Japanese cultural village, learn about creating Japanese garden designs, and shop at a Japanese bazaar where they will find kimonos, other beautiful textiles, and small, handmade works of art.

30th Annual Weston Applefest Celebration Oct 6, 2018 - Oct 7, 2018 at Weston, MO.  Visitors to Applefest are encouraged to come early on Saturday morning to enjoy Weston’s hometown parade along Main Street at 10:00 am. The Saturday parade will feature antique tractors, classic cars, fire trucks, and bands. There will be over 80 art and craft booths along the downtown Main Street to peruse and you’re also invited to browse the many unique Weston shops during your visit. Our mini-hay baler has demonstrated and sold his hay bales for 26 years. Watch apple butter being made over an open fire and purchase a jar of apple butter to take home. Kids will love to work the apple press to see how apple cider is made. Weston’s famous apple dumplings, apple pies, and cookies will be available through our local churches. You can catch a quick and tasty bite at our Applefest Food Court or, you might choose to sit down, relax and enjoy the delicious cuisine at one of the several fine restaurants in Weston. Fun children’s activities both days are planned in the park with Pony Rides, Face Painting, Straw Bale Maze, Pumpkin Painting, and Agriculture Education Interactive Games and Activities.

CANCELED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER Missouri Town 1855 Fall Festival of Arts, Crafts & Music  FALL FEST CANCELLED THIS WEEKEND! Friends, we are disappointed to announce that the Missouri Town Fall Festival is canceled this weekend. The excessive rains received last night have made turf parking impossible and damaged roads into the village. We hope to see you next year!

CANCELED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER KC Games for Good Oct 6, 2018 at Front Lawn of the National WW1 Museum and Memorial, 2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO. KC Games for Good is a city-wide event intended to showcase and celebrate - service to our community... and organizations that deliver it.  This family-friendly event includes: Exhibit Area showcasing family services. Team Competitions for all. Kids Scavenger Hunt. First Responder displays, music, giant bounce house & more. KC Games for Good is a city-wide event intended to showcase and celebrate -- service to our community. All proceeds from KC Games for Good helps support those in need who are served by local nonprofit organizations.

CANCELED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER Waterfire Oct 6, 2018 at Brush Creek along the Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, MO. Experience the sparkling bonfires, live music, and performance art of WaterFire KC. 

Fall Festival at Shawnee Indian Mission Oct 12, 2018 - Oct 14, 2018 at Shawnee Indian Mission Museum, 3403 W 53rd St, Fairway, KS. Enjoy music, local vendors, Living History, crafts, children’s games, food trucks and performances. The festival kicks off with a free Friday night concert on the West building porch from 6-9pm, and goes into full swing on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. There is a suggestion donation of $2 per adult to enjoy the festival, and all proceeds go to support the Mission.

Summit Art Festival 2018 Oct 12, 2018 - Oct 14, 2018 at Downtown Lee's Summit, Third Street and SW Main Street, Lee's Summit, MO. The Summit Art Festival is a free, outdoor, 3-day, high-quality, juried fine art event in the historic downtown district of Lee's Summit, Missouri. Featuring over 90 local, regional and national artists, visitors will enjoy a unique blend of art and music in addition to the Student Art Pavilion showcasing over 200 works of art created by local middle and high schools students, and the KidsArtZone offering hands-on children's art activities. Entertaining non-amplified music will be provided by several local musicians throughout the entire weekend at various performance locations. Plenty of free parking and unique food and beverage choices offer a fun opportunity for the entire family!

Fall Swing Pop-Up Oct 13, 2018 - Oct 14, 2018 at Swope Park, Kansas City, MO. The Weekend will feature visual art, music, dance, theatre, film, poetry and culinary arts and celebrate unity and social change through art. And, finally, through The Expanded Field, Open Spaces will highlight even more events, exhibitions, and activities throughout the city hosted by Kansas City’s thriving arts organizations and its thriving arts community.”

Arrow Rock Heritage Festival Oct 13, 2018 - Oct 14, 2018 at Arrow Rock, MO. Arrow Rock was one of the first towns to host a heritage craft festival, and its festival continues to draw thousands each year. This year’s festival is extra special as we celebrate our 50th year! Enjoy lost-art crafts demonstrated and sold by costumed artisans, live music and entertainment, great food, and the historic ambiance you won’t find anywhere else! Admission is $2 per day and includes parking. 

Old Fashioned Street Faire Oct 13, 2018 at​ Downtown Smithville, 100 So. Bridge, Smithville, MO. Enjoy a perfect Fall day filled with fun, food, entertainments and delightful arts, crafts and more just in time for the holidays. 

Topeka Science & Tech Fest Oct 13, 2018 at 700-block of S. Kansas Avenue, Topeka, KS. Hands-on activities and demonstrations aimed at toddlers to eighth-graders will line the street, plus food trucks and other fun.

Enchanted Forest: Independence Weekends Oct 19, 2018 - Oct 27, 2018 at George Owens Nature Park, 1601 S. Speck Rd., Independence, MO. $3 / person at the gate. A non-scary, family oriented, Halloween event at George Owens Nature Park. Storybook, fairy tale, and popular movie characters come to life.

Glow: A Jack O’ Lantern Festival Oct 19, 2018 - Oct 20, 2018 at Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville, MO. Enjoy this highly anticipated fall festival featuring hundreds of carved pumpkins and a variety of family-friendly activities! Walk a nearly mile-long pathway lit by light displays, jack-o-lanterns and fantastic pumpkin sculptures. Enjoy stops along the way including children’s activities, hayrides, a fire-pit, hospitality stations with wine, beer and nonalcoholic beverages, food vendors and a demo and display tent featuring master pumpkin carver Rudy Garcia and his fantastic creations.

Lenexa Chili Challenge Oct 19, 2018 - Oct 20, 2018 at​  Old Town Lenexa, Santa Fe Trail Drive & Pflumm Road, Lenexa, KS. About 200 teams compete in our chili, salsa and hot wings contests in hopes of taking home the Grand Champion prize. Teams host private parties on Friday night and give out samples to the public on Saturday. Activities include musical entertainment both days, fireworks on Friday night, and the Kids Kornbread Contest on Saturday.

Miami County Fall Farm Tour 2018 Oct 20 & 21, 2018 in Miami County, KS.  This free event is a great time for families and or a date day.  There are 14 farms participating this year including Timber View Farm Alpacas, Cozy Acres, Rocking Goat Farms, Terebithia Dairy Goats, Red Barn Quilts, Prothe's Pecans, Star Thrower Farm, Silver Lining Herfeords, Sunflower Orchards, Whispering Elm Farm, and 4 local wineries.  Make it a complete day.  Interaction with the animals and farm stores or goods for sale at most sights!  Food is also available at many of the sights!

Enchanted Forest: Lenexa Oct 25, 2018 at​ Sar-Ko-Par Park, 87th & Lackman, Lenexa, KS. Free admission. For one night only, Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park is transformed into The Enchanted Forest, where there is something to delight even the smallest of Halloween revelers. You can enjoy performances by puppets, musicians and singers along the trail around Rose’s Pond and fun photos in the photo booth. Stroll the seasonal displays, visit friendly characters and enjoy performances at your leisure. The Enchanted Forest is primarily an entertainment event - not a trick-or-treating event. However, there will be a limited supply of candy in the sponsor area, thanks to their generosity.

Mildale Farm Fall Fest Oct. 27, 2018 at Mildale Farm, Edgerton, KS. Bring the family and spend the day exploring the Mildale Farm property and enjoy a number of fall activities during this free public event. Visitors can explore and picnic on the 158-acre site including the 22-acre rental property as well as about 136 acres of adjacent agricultural property. Park near A tractor-drawn hayride will take visitors to a fire circle in the south-central portion of the Mildale site, where they can roast marshmallows and enjoy storytelling. Catch-and-release fishing in any or all seven ponds within the 158-acre area will also be offered, so bring your own bait and tackle. While district fishing permits have been waived for this event, Kansas residents ages 16 to 74 and nonresidents 16 and older need to have a Kansas state fishing license.

Historical Hauntings Oct 27, 2018 at Shawnee Town 1929, 11600 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, KS. The Optimist Club of Shawnee-Mission will be selling snacks at the “Ghoul Café” and there will be trick-or-treating, tractor drawn hayrides, Farmstead tours, an eyeball candy counting contest, opportunities for Halloween photos and costume contests with five separate categories and awesome prizes!

This is just the beginning... read our complete KC Fall Festival Guide for more fabulous festivals!


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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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