Four Fall Fun Ideas for Free in KC
By Kristina Light
- Visit 40 acres of sunflower fields at Grinter Farms (24154 Stillwell Rd., Lawrence, KS, Facebook.com/GrinterFarms) for amazing photos ops. This spectacular autumn experience offers breathtaking views of acres upon acres of sunflowers. Typically, the flowers bloom early September through early October. Splurge with a stop by Sunflower General (14755 243rd St., Lawrence, KS), where you can purchase locally-made goods and enjoy treats from the bakery.
- Take a day trip to Weston and ride bikes or walk the trails at Weston Bend State Park (16600 Hwy. 45 N., 816.640.5443. MoStateParks.com). With trails leading to the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, this park offers beautiful autumn views. Many of the trails include exhibit information about Lewis and Clark’s expedition. For more area history, you also can visit an old tobacco barn (the native crop for the area) that currently is being renovated. The barn includes an exhibit on the history of tobacco farming in the area. And plan ahead: Every October, Weston hosts one of the best fall festivals around, the Weston Apple Fest (Oct. 7-8). You won't want to miss it!
- 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. Bring apples or carrots and feed the animals through the fence. Then enjoy a walk or hike on one of the many trails in Fleming Park with beautiful fall foliage and views of Lake Jacomo.
- 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.