Kansas City’s Fall Themed Favorites
Apples, pumpkins, hayrides and fall foliage are just a few fragrant, festive traditions that add to Kansas City’s autumn makeover. Enjoy some of them with your family.
Autumn and apples—the two go hand in hand. Enjoy the best apple themed fun in KC with these ideas.
- Treat the kids to giant caramel apples from Sweet Caroline's (7723 W. 151st St., Overland Park, KS, 913.495.9993), one of the most decadent shops in the metro. With large delicious apples, Sweet Caroline's serves up many flavors and combinations of coatings for the fruit that are almost too pretty to eat!
- Watch the making of cider and donuts. Nothing says autumn quite like a nice glass of apple cider or a warm cider donut! You can observe the process at the Louisburg Cider Mill (14730 Hwy. 68, Louisburg, KS, 913.837.5202). Visitors watch as apples are washed and made into cider, and the delicious drink is bottled. Then some of the cider is used to make Louisburg’s famous apple cider donuts. The mill’s pumpkin patch, corn maze and the annual Louisburg CiderFest are also visitor favorites.
- Attend Apple Fest the October 1 & 2. The Weston Apple Fest features everything apple. From homemade apple dumplings to an old-fashioned parade and apple themed crafts, the day celebrates everything autumn. In addition to the festival, take a hike or a scenic bike ride at Weston Bend State Park. Follow your excursion with exploration of the boutiques and museums in Weston, including lunch at O’Malley’s Irish Pub and a visit to the Weston Red Barn Farm.
- Enjoy fall fun in the Northland. Go apple picking at Schweizer Orchards in St. Joseph or Alldredge Orchards in Platte City. These local u-pick orchards offer more than a dozen varieties of apples. Round out the day with a visit to the Patee House Museum, the Pony Express Museum or the Jesse James Home. For more local apple orchards, read our KC Apple Picking Guide.
- Eat Levee High Apple Pie. If you’re traveling through Missouri, one of the state’s landmark restaurants is the Blue Owl in Kimmswick (118 Market St., 636.464.3900), famous for their home cookin’ and Levee High Apple Pie. The pie, made famous as one of Oprah’s favorite things, is made with 18 Golden Delicious apples, piled 9 inches high and weighing in at a whopping 10 pounds! Can’t make it to Kimmswick? No worries. You can order the pie online at TheBlueOwl.com.
October is pumpkin season in Kansas City, and our local attractions know how to make pumpkin season great.
- Ride the Pumpkin Express. On weekends in October, the Belton, Grandview and Kansas City Railroad offers Pumpkin Express rides aboard a 1920 passenger coach that traveled more than one million miles before being retired in 1984. The engine is a 1950s diesel locomotive that travels through Old Towne Belton on a 5-mile, 45-minute round trip, with a stop at the pumpkin patch where children select a favorite pumpkin to purchase.
- Walk through 700 glowing jack-o’-lanterns. Attend GLOW Jack-O-Lantern Festival, Oct. 14-15, at Powell Gardens (1609 NW US Hwy. 50, Kingsville, MO, 816.697.2600). The annual event is a spellbinding Halloween experience where you walk a 1-mile trail through the gardens lit by more than 700 hand-carved jack-o’-lanterns. Costumed characters, hayrides, pumpkin painting and more family fun round out the festival as a fall favorite.
- Pick the perfect pumpkin at the perfect patch. Kansas City’s pumpkin patches are all one-of-a-kind, each with a unique theme and special attractions. Giant jumping pillows, petting zoos, pumpkin chomping dinosaurs, tractor rides, pumpkin cannons, live entertainment and corn mazes are just a few of the fun attractions designed with the entire family in mind. Visit our KC Pumpkin Patch Guide for tips for each local patch.
- Experience the Great Pumpkin Fest. For more than 42 years, Worlds of Fun has sought to thrill visitors. This October on weekends, families can enjoy daytime fun with a visit to the Great Pumpkin Fest, an uproariously delightful event sure to please the whole family! Families enjoy fall activities, a petting zoo and trick-or-treating alongside the whole Peanuts gang within Planet Snoopy!
- Attend Hoots & Howls or Boo at the Zoo. The Kansas City Zoo gets in the spirit with special events every weekend in October. Hoots and Howls (first three weekends in October) includes rides on a pedal tractor, navigating a hay bale maze and having your face painted like your favorite animal. The animals even play with pumpkins at scheduled times throughout the day. Oct. 29-30, enjoy Boo at the Zoo, with trick-or-treating for kids and more Halloween fun.
Bonus: Enjoy a pumpkin pie concrete at Sheridan’s (Find a location near you: SheridansFrozenCustard.com). Leave it to Sheridan’s to take a slice of pumpkin pie, blend it into their yummy custard, and serve up a holiday treat that’s hard to resist! Search Pumpkin Treats on KCParent.com for more delicious seasonal favorites.
Fall Foliage and the Great Outdoors
Autumn is especially beautiful in the Midwest, and these are some of our favorite ways to enjoy fall’s splendor.
- Go camping! Missouri and Kansas state parks are especially beautiful in the fall when the autumn leaves start to change. Camp at Lake of the Ozarks State Park, then enjoy nearby castle ruins at Ha Ha Tonka. Or plan ahead and make reservations for a Halloween campout on Oct. 22 at Watkin’s Mill State Park or Elk City State Park, where the rangers plan special themed activities for the entire family.
- Go chasin’ waterfalls. Pack a picnic and explore Waterfall Park (4501 S. Bass Dr., Independence, MO, 816.325.7375). The 18-acre park, near Bass Pro Shops, is nestled in a wooded area overlooking a lake and waterfalls and features a fantastic playground, small rock wall, small lake, walking trails, picnic tables and the scenic backdrop of a waterfall. After playing at the park, treat the family to some miniature golf at Cool Crest (10735 US 40 Hwy., Independence, MO, 816.358.0088). Discover more Midwest waterfalls with our guide.
- Go on a driving tour to enjoy Missouri’s most vibrant fall leaves—and don’t forget the camera! Visit MDC.mo.gov/discover-nature/outdoor-recreation/driving-tours/fall-colors for a leaf map recommending the best places for the best views.
- Feed bison. Visit the Native Hoofed Animal Enclosure (8010 E. Park Rd., Lee's Summit, MO, 816.229.8980) at Fleming Park, where you can watch white-tailed deer, elk and bison eat and play. Then enjoy a walk or hike on one of the many trails in Fleming Park with beautiful woods and views of Lake Jacomo.
- Visit The Scout at Penn Valley Park. Kansas City’s most iconic piece of art, The Scout ironically wasn’t even supposed to be here. The statue of a Sioux scout atop his trusty steed was passing through as part of a temporary exhibition in 1922. Local residents fell in love, and they raised $15,000 to claim him for keeps. A visit to see The Scout provides the added bonus of a fabulous view, made even more spectacular by native foliage.