Weston, Missouri: Autumn Splendor!
Apples, Pumpkins, Autumn Leaves, Cinnamon Scented Candles, Hayrides, Fall Festivals, Homemade Pies and pressed Apple Cider… everything wonderful and iconic about Autumn is part of Weston’s signature and the reason this is an annual Autumn Day Trip for our family!
Weston, Missouri, was at one time the westernmost town in the United States. It was the second largest port on the Mighty Missouri River, second only to St. Louis, with over 300 steamboats a year docking at her port in the 1850s. After fires, floods, and the Civil War, the bustling town dwindled and was soon surpassed by Kansas City.
A trip to Weston now is like an architectural journey back in time with many of the original buildings and homes still serving as local shops, restaurants and businesses.
The local farms offer apple picking, pumpkins, a corn maze and fall fun! Don’t miss Weston’s Apple Fest on the first weekend in October! It is one of my favorite Fall Festivals with a wonderful small town charm coming through it's traditional Parade, booths, and homemade apple treats.
Weston is fun year-round. Main Street Weston is beautifully decorated for Christmas and we enjoy strawberry picking in the summer, but Autumn in Weston is my favorite!
Day Trip Diary:
Weston Red Barn Farm:
Details: 16300 Wilkerson Drive, 816.386.5437. www.westonredbarnfarm.com
Why I Recommend It: Visiting the Red Barn Farm is one tradition we enjoy every autumn. Walking up to the Barn, you feel like you’ve stepped into a painting. The Barn sits atop a picturesque hill overlooking farmland and forest.
This September, I took a Day Trip with my girls and we set out into their Orchards to pick apples. They provide apple baskets in various sizes and like Goldilocks, we trekked out... small basket for toddler, medium for preschooler, and large for mom. The apples are grown naturally, no pesticides or sprays, so they aren’t “pretty,” but they are delicious!
Apple trees aren’t very tall, so my 4 year old was delighted when she was able to reach and pick her own fruit. We took our apples home and made a crumb topped apple pie receiving rave reviews from daddy and an encore request from the junior bakers. Be sure to call ahead for apple picking availability and hours.
Beyond Apple Picking, the Red Barn Farm is home to many farm animals: ponies, goats, turkeys, chickens, pigs, cows, ducks, geese, and sheep. You can also enjoy the Pumpkin Market where many varieties of Pumpkins are available for your choosing!
On Weekends, from Labor Day through the first weekend of November, they celebrate Harvest with activities from 8am-5pm Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy a tractor or horse drawn hayride, explore the corn maze, or take a pony ride. Admission to the farm is free, but there are fees for additional activities.
Vaughn’s Orchard:Details: 23200 N. Hwy 273, 816.386.2900. Seasonal hours. Call for information.
Why I recommend it: Vaughn’s Orchard and Country Store sells several fall treats including Caramel Apples! We purchased Caramel Apples on our visit to Vaughn’s and they were so large, one apple fed all four of us. They are LOADED with Caramel and decorated with candy corn. The Orchard also features U-Pick Apples, but there is limited availability, so be sure to call ahead.
Weston Bend State Park:Details: 16600 Hwy 45 N, 816.640.5443. www.mostateparks.com
Why I recommend it: We’re always pleased with Missouri’s State Parks… they are well maintained and clean and the Weston Bend State Park is no exception. Weston Bend State Park features miles of trails (paved, chipped, and wood trails), picnic areas, playgrounds, and campgrounds. Many of the trails include exhibit information about Lewis and Clark’s Expedition. For more area history, you can also visit an old Tobacco Barn (the native crop for the area) that is currently being renovated. The Barn includes an exhibit on the history of tobacco farming in the area.
The highlight though, for an Autumn Day Trip, is the Scenic Overlook. Follow the signs, park your car, grab the camera, then take a short walk on a paved trail to the overlook for a magnificent view of Autumn color over the Missouri River. The view is exquisite and you don’t want to miss it!
Weston Historical Museum:Details: 601 Main Street, 816.386.2977. www.westonhistoricalmuseum.org. Hours: Tues-Sat 1-4pm, Sun 1:30-5pm. FREE Admission.
Why I recommend it: The Weston Historical Museum tells the story of Weston through exhibits including Native American artifacts, local memorabilia from citizens during the Civil War all the way through World War II, and more. Visit the old newspaper office to see how the media operated without the aid of computers. End your trip with a stop at the “Nostalgia Store” for souvenirs, games, books, and old-fashioned candy.
Other Attractions in Weston:World’s Largest Ball of String at O’Malley’s: 500 Welt Street, 816.640.5235. www.westonirish.com. Read about the Largest Ball of String and other local Oddities.
Bonnell Museum: 20755 Lamar Rd, 816.386.5587 Hours: May-Oct, Sat/Sun 1-5pm. The Bonnell Museum and farm is a step back in time. Witness life on an 1800s farm as you tour the historic house and outbuildings.Green Dirt Farm: 19605 Mt. Bethel Rd, 816.824.7784. www.greendirtfarm.com. The farm produces grass-fed lamb and sheep’s milk cheeses. They offer tours, but reservations are required.
National Silk Art Museum: 500 Main Street, 816.640.9902. Call for availability. This is a free exhibit inside the St. George Hotel. View French silk tapestries from major artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Pirtle Winery: 502 Spring Street, 816.640.5728. www.PirtleWinery.com. Visitors sample wine, most notably Mead wine which is made from Honey and inspired the term “Honeymoon.”
Walking Tour of Weston: Visit the Weston Information Center to request a free pamphlet of the walking tour of Weston. The tour includes 91 historic and antebellum homes and buildings. Weston Information Center 526 Main Street, 816.640.2909.
Shopping in Weston:
Main Street Weston is an Antique and Boutique Shopper’s Dream! It is important to note that most area shops are closed on Mondays. Two shops in particular are fun for a Family Day Trip:
5B&Co. Candlemakers: 408 Main Street, 816.640.5525. www.freesniffs.com Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-5pm, Sun noon-5pm. I think the entire town of Weston smells of autumn, but this shop wins the prize! With over 150 varieties of candles available for purchase, candles are poured at the store daily.
McCormick Country Store: 420 Main Street, 816.640.3149. www.mccormickdistillery.com. Hours: Tue-Sat, 11am-5pm, Sun. noon-5pm. Closed Monday. Purchase t-shirts and souvenirs. Samples from the McCormick Distillery, the oldest in the United States, are also available.
Family Friendly Dining in Weston:One of the best things about dining in Weston is the ambience of small locally owned restaurants each with a distinctive personality. There are several family friendly choices and these are a few we’ve enjoyed over the years:
O’Malley’s 1842 Irish Pub: 500 Welt Street, 816.640.5235. www.westonirish.com. Hours Monday-Sunday 11am-9pm. O’Malley’s serves authentic Irish fare in an authentic Irish-American Pub complete with Irish music. You can choose indoor or patio dining (where you see the famous Ball of String). The Menu includes salads, sandwiches, steaks, soups, and of course, fish and chips. I enjoy the signature sandwich, “The O’Malley,” which is corned beef, swiss cheese, and slaw on marble rye bread with spicy brown mustard. The girls like the Fish and Chips. Prices range from $8-21/entrée. Kids’ Meals are $5.99.
Main Street Galleria: 501 Main Street, 816.640.2825. Hours 10am-5pm Daily. The Main Street Galleria is a bit of everything… Antique Shop, Fudge Shop, Ice Cream Parlor, and Soda Fountain/Lunch Counter. You can order “Build Your Own Deli Sandwiches,” hot dogs, brats, Frito pie, or pizza and finish it off with an Ice Cream treat!
Old Time Pizzeria: 716 Thomas Street, 816.386.0101. Hours Tues-Thurs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 11:30am-6pm, Closed Monday. For delicious made-from-scratch pizza, this is the place. The small restaurant dishes up great pizza pie with friendly service!
Weston Cafe: 407 Main Street, 816.640.2224. Hours Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat 6am-8pm, Sun 6am-4pm. This is a family owned and operated café with daily lunch specials and home cooking. The treat is the made-from-scratch pie and homemade BBQ sauce.
Other Choices: Main Street Weston is home to many more cafés and bistros. You can also find franchise and chain restaurants off the highway.
More MoKan Day Trips & Vacations!
- 20-30 Min. East: Independence: Log Cabins & Trails West
- 45 Min. Northeast: Sibley: Lewis & Clark Country
- 1 Hour North: St. Joseph: Wild West in our Backyard
- 1 Hour Northeast: Lexington: Civil War in Missouri
- 1-2 Hours North: Jamesport: Amish Country
- 2- 3 Hours South: Carthage: Classic Rt. 66 Road Trip
- 2 1/2 - 3 Hours Southeast: Springfield: Ozark Country
- 4-5 Hours South: Branson: Vacation Capital of the Midwest
- 4-5 Hours East: St. Louis: Gateway to the West Kansas
- 20-30 Min. West: Bonner Springs: Be a Kid for a Day
- 30-45 Min. South: Louisburg: Apples, Autumn, and Astronomy
- 30-45 Min. West: Lawrence: Eclectic College Town & Family Fun
- 45-60 Min. Northwest: Atchison: History & Mystery
- 60-90 Min. West: Topeka: More than a Capital City
- 60-90 Min. South: Fort Scott: National Historic Site
- 3 1/2-4 Hours Southwest: Hutchinson: Soar to Outer Space