It is no secret that I absolutely love Kansas City. Everything about living here is so great– it seems like the best of all worlds with it’s small town feel and big city thrill, the fantastic weather (we are so lucky to experience all four seasons, including this beautiful fall weather that we’ve already gotten a taste of this year)… just everything. So whether you’re from here, or you’re just visiting this fall, there is plenty to do if you have a family– from animals to pumpkins and everything in between, this list has you covered with all of the coolest things to do in KC this fall– both on specific weekends and all autumn long. It’s your ultimate Kansas City Fall Bucket List!
The Louisburg Cider Mill, Louisburg, Kansas.
For: foodies, outside fun, shopping, pumpkin patches, education
The Louisburg Cider Mill is less than an hour outside of Kansas City, and it’s well worth visiting– from CiderFest celebrations to the hot apple cider donuts, it’s great for apple lovers (you can even watch them making the apple cider and cider donuts if you’re interested in seeing the prep– the processes are done behind glass, so you can get a clear view of the process, start-to-finish). Plus, they’ve got a great pumpkin patch and corn maze with tons of great activities for the entire family. If you want to take some home with you, the Louisburg Cider Mill also has a country store, open 7 days a week, almost every day of the year, with fresh apple cider, cider donuts, Lost Trail Root Beer, and more. This year, the corn maze is a headless horseman, and it opens TODAY– 9/18– and runs through November 1! The Corn Maze costs $8, with discounts during the week (because there’s no hay ride during the week). That ticket includes the corn maze, hay rides on the weekends, a sunflower slide and straw fort to play in, farm animals to see, and access to the pumpkin patch (pumpkins sold separately from $3-$15, depending on size). Of course, watching the cider making is always free. If you want to visit CiderFest, which is a massive craft fair, live music event, and other festivities, you can join in the fun on September 26-27 and October 3-4. You can learn more on the Louisburg Cider Mill website or check out my past trip to the Cider Mill for a first-hand look at the cider making process and more. While you’re there, pick up some apple cider, Lost Trail Root Beer, and apples, so you can come home and make this Apple Cider Pulled Pork with Homemade Apple Cider Barbecue Sauce, and these delicious Lost Trail Rootbeer Chocolate Cherry Cookies.
Overland Park Farmers’ Market, Overland Park, Kansas.
For: foodies, outside fun, shopping
So often, we think of Farmers Markets being a summertime thing, but there is still so much fresh produce locally for fall. Local vendors like Shatto Milk, Heartland Honey, Heritage Acres Farm, and more sell delicious goods that are perfect for those seasonal cooks, and even better for introducing children to a wide variety of fall foods. With a wide variety of vendors (urban and rural, bakeries, dairies, and more!), there are plenty of options, and you’ve got choices in payment, too– the Overland Park Farmer’s Market accepts cash, Debit Card tokens, EBT, Senior Vouchers, and more. Some vendors also accept credit cards at their booth. For tokens, you can make purchases in $5 increments at the market information booth for green tokens, which you then spend at the various booths at the Farmer’s Market. For participants in EBT/SNAP/SFMNP, you can also use your card to get tokens that can be used on select products at the Farmers’ Market (for example, you can buy fruits, veggies, meats, and more, but you couldn’t buy soaps or body oils, or foods prepared on-site). Basically, if you missed the chance to visit the Farmers’ Market this summer, there’s still time to visit– and you can soak in the beautiful aromas and flavors of fall from around the City. One of my favorite parts? Shatto Milk almost always has their limited edition and seasonal milk on hand– great way to try some of the unique ones (like Root Beer milk). The Overland Park Farmers Market is open Saturday mornings. You can find the full list of dates and vendors on the Overland Park Farmers Market website.
Strawberry Hill Povitica, Merriam, Kansas
For: foodies, inside fun, shopping, tours
Okay, so this one isn’t just for fall, but for some reason, fall just feels like the right time to have the traditional eastern European nut loaf that is impossibly good. By calling ahead to see if they’re baking that day, you can get a glimpse of Strawberry Hill Povitica being made fresh, or you can even book a tour to visit with your group and learn the full story of Povitica. Of course, you’ll want to buy some or order some to be shipped to your loved ones during the holidays, but with plenty of free samples, you’ll have a hard time deciding– trust me, I can never pick just one loaf to bring home. And these aren’t small loaves, either– each one weighs 2.5 pounds and has around 20 servings (unless you choose to eat the entire loaf yourself… not that I have any experience with that or anything…). You can find out more information about Strawberry Hill Povitica on their website, and you can contact them for the best times to visit so you can watch Povitica baking in action! (and pssst… don’t miss the limited time Pumpkin Spice Povitica if you’re a fan of all things pumpkin this fall!)
Shatto Dairy Farm, Osborn, Missouri
For: foodies, outside fun, tours, animal lovers
With regular seasonal flavors, you’ll understand why Shatto Dairy Farm is a must-see in the fall especially. While their recent Chocolate Peanut Butter Milk sold out so quickly that it was gone before many got to try it, they’ve got a new seasonal flavor coming out in the first week of October, which makes fall the perfect time to take a trip to Osborn for a look at the Dairy Farm. You can either schedule a tour by contacting them directly, catch them at the Overland Park Farmers Market to buy milk, or go to Family Day at the Farm on September 26 from 11 to 3, where you can tour the farm, milk a cow, sample the products, and more. You can, of course, stop into their country store Monday through Saturday, but I really do recommend checking out the tour if you have a group! You can find more information about visiting Shatto and learning more about the dairy process by visiting the Shatto milk website.
Sea Life Aquarium, Kansas City, Missouri, Crown Center District.
For: animal lovers, inside fun, museum, education
While they haven’t yet released their October activities this year, Sea Life is always a fun place to visit in the fall. When we visited last year, there were seasonal decorations in the displays and special pumpkin-themed events, so definitely keep an eye out for the announcement on those this year. If you’re a homeschooler in the Kansas City area, you’ll also want to know that Homeschooling Week for the Crown Center district is September 28 through October 2, and Sea Life Aquarium is just one of many places where you’ll get a great discount (Legoland, Union Station and the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, Crown Center, Liberty Memorial, and more are others that will have discounts during the week). The Sea Life website will keep you up-to-date on the latest events this fall, and you can check out our experience at Sea Life last fall during Homeschool week.
The Kansas City Zoo, Kansas City, Missouri, Swope Park Area
For: animal lovers, outside fun, trick or treating
The Kansas City Zoo has some AMAZING activities all season long to celebrate fall. While many events are definitely themed to the animals (obviously), there are a few that are really great for those of you looking for something fall-specific to do. Hoots and Howls will be 3 great weekends of fun in October, from 10am to 3pm each time, where kids can cruise around on a pedal tractor, go through a hay bale maze, or check out face painting. There’s even a hay ride around the zoo and wild crafts, too, plus animals will be smashing pumpkins! During specific weekends, there will even be special themed events (like Dinosaurs or Bugs) so keep that in mind, too. Later in the month, there’s the adults only Brew at the Zoo and Wine, too, for the 21 and over crowd, with the more kid-friendly Boo at the Zoo wrapping up the fall celebrations on October 24, 25, and the 31st. There will be a chance to trick-or-treat at the zoo with Halloween themed activities, and if you’re a Friend of the Zoo member like us, you can even get in for a very special FOTZ-only trick or treating time in the morning. Of course, there are all kinds of other activities (like day camps for preschoolers, chances to get to know the newest animals at the zoo, and November 7th’s Great Pumpkin Smash). We, of course, love having a Friend of the Zoo membership that allows us the chance to go to all of the great events the zoo is offering this year– you can learn more about how fast a membership will pay for itself in my post about the top Kansas City memberships for families. You can also see more about fall events at the KC Zoo on their website’s Zoo News section.
Kansas City Royals, Kansas City, Missouri and Sporting KC, Kansas City, Kansas
For: Sports fans, outside fun
Both the Royals and Sporting Kansas City are looking to have a post-season run this year. Either way, there’s still time to check out a regular season game for either team, also– don’t miss your chance to enjoy both of these well-performing teams. They’ve both had really great seasons and have tons of fan support and a great atmosphere behind them, so it’s well worth catching a game if you can. Of course, the Kansas City Chiefs have just started their season, also, so be sure to get in a fall game before the weather gets too chilly to visit. Fan support in Kansas City is huge right now because our teams seem to be on top of the world, so even if you’ve never been to a game or know nothing about the sport, it’s SO worth making a trip up for the experience this fall season.
KC Pumpkin Patch, Olathe, Kansas
For: outside fun, pumpkins
After a year off to relocate from Gardner to Olathe, the KC Pumpkin Patch is back and better than ever! They’ve got pumpkins and plenty to do, so be sure to check them out– they’re open 7 days a week during the fall season. There are plenty of pumpkins, a slide mountain, a goat walk, zip lines, farm games, gourd guns, and more! This year, there are even brand new things– like the equestrian style barn and the Hog Wild Cafe. For kids, there are Mazes, animals to see, a play gym and pirate cove, a corn crib, and more. If you’re planning a visit, tickets are $9.95 plus tax, with a discount for military, and kids under age are free. You’ll get the most bang for your buck on a weekend, because some attractions are closed on weekdays. Some attractions do require an extra fee, like face painting and the gourd gun, and pumpkins aren’t included in the cost, but I love making the trip up there, even if we don’t splurge on the extras. I wrote about my experience visiting the KC Pumpkin Patch a few years ago, but remember, the Patch has moved, so some of the information in that post has changed. You can get the most up-to-date information on the KC Pumpkin Patch website.
Ernie Miller Nature Park, Olathe, Kansas
For: animal lovers, outside fun, education, hiking
The Ernie Miller Nature Center is a great place to visit in the fall, as all of the leaves are changing color. Enjoy great events (like yoga classes or a preschool twilight hike) for the whole family. Twilight Hikes are great fun and allow children ages 2-6 (with adult) to explore and listen to nocturnal animals as the sun sets. You’ll get to gather around the fire afterwards and sing songs and enjoy a tasty treat together. There will also be a special Home School Class on October 15 for ages 6-12 to check out the signs of fall, a Haunted Kansas night for ages 8 and up, which is an experience with spooky stories, a nighttime nature walk, and legends from long ago around the campfire. Even without the events, it’s nice to just take a walk around and enjoy the changing leaves and the trails, which are open to the public. You can find the full list of fall events at the Ernie Miller Park on their Calendar Page.
Union Station, Kansas City, Missouri, Crown Center District
For: inside fun, education, museum
There’s a lot happening this year at Union Station when it comes to fall fun. While we love to visit Science City year-round, and to check out the FREE Model Rail exhibit, there is more to see and do during the fall, too. On October 24 from 5pm to 8pm, Science City will be holding their annual Spookfest, which is free with admission to Science City (or with Union Station membership). There will be maker magic in the Maker Studio, robots in the Engineerium, creepy critters in the Nature Center, eerie edibles in the Test Kitchen, spooky science demos, and more– plus goodie bags while supplies last. It’s a great chance to spend an evening at Science City, and the fun event is great for kids to learn while having spooky fun. That’s not all, of course. You can check out the Ada Lovelace Day on October 10, which will be in Science City, celebrating the achievements of Women in STEM– perfect if you have an engineering or math minded girl and want to encourage her in that, or if you want to get her excited about what women in science can do. October 18-24 is national Chemistry week, as well, so that’s a fun time to visit! Don’t miss all of the great things that Union Station and Science City have to offer in the fall (and if you’re visiting when it’s cold, you will be happy to know that the Link, which is an indoor pathway around Crown Center, will connect you from Crown Center shopping, to right across from the Aquarium and Legoland, to the hotels in the Crown Center district, and even Union Station, without having to walk outside or move your car from lot to lot!) For more on Union Station and Science City events, you can visit the Union Station Website here. I would also encourage you to learn about getting a Union Station membership– it is hands down my FAVORITE Kansas City area membership, and definitely pays for itself. Finally, you’ll want to check out my write-up on the new Science City exhibits (they’re new this year and permanent to Science City, created by local students) as well as my post on how fun it is to visit Union Station!
There is a ton more stuff to do in Kansas City that I didn’t get the chance to mention, but this should give you a great idea of some of our favorite things to do in fall in Kansas City. Will you tell me your favorite Kansas City fall activity in the comments below? I’m always looking for new ones to add to my list!
Not in Kansas City? That’s okay! Come back in October to find out great fall activities to do around the entire nation!