Aw fall… Beautiful colors, crisp mornings, football, and sweaters. Who doesn’t love fall?! Below is a summary of 6 ways to explore the KC area over the next couple of months. Even though it is tempting to curl up on the couch and watch football all weekend, get out there and enjoy the beauty that is KC in the fall!
It just would not be fall without a trip to the pumpkin patch! Most pumpkin patches are open from mid-late September until the end of October. There are many beautiful ones to choose from in the area. My personal favorite is Schaake’s Pumpkin Patch just on the edge of Lawrence. There is no cost to get in and they will take you on a hay ride right out to the best parts of the field to find your perfect pumpkin. There is also a hay maze, a playground, picture opportunities, and a number of farm animals roaming around.
Another great option is the KC Pumpkin Patch in Olathe, KS. KC Pumpkin Patch does charge an admission but they have a large amount of family friendly activities that are included with that admission including themed logic mazes, farm games such as pumpkin bowling, a ride on the Barrel Train and much more.
More options include Carolyn’s Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch in Liberty, Johnson Farms in Belton, Louisburg Cider Mill & Pumpkin Patch in Louisburg, Faulkner’s Ranch Pumpkin Season in Kansas City, Shuck’s Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch in Pleasant Hill and Gieringer’s Orchard in Edgerton. Find the one that best suits you and pay it a visit!
When most people think of the American Royal they think of the World Series of Barbecue®. The first couple of years I lived here I thought the American Royal was just the BBQ competition (a great one at that!). My fiance is part of Brothers BBQ which has a team in the BBQ competition (little bit of bragging… they finished 25th in brisket of more than 600 teams last year!) so I’ve come to associate BBQ with the American Royal.
In fact the American Royal spans two and a half months and includes more than 40 activities including professional rodeos and prestigious horse shows. The American Royal has been a KC tradition since 1899 and if you have never checked it out you are definitely missing out on a deep and rich tradition.
Plaza Art Fair (Bonus! Unplaza Art Fair)
KC definitely likes their traditions. And the Plaza Art Fair is another impressive one that spans 85 years. Often recognized as one of the top art fairs in the country, this year’s event will be held September 23rd-25th. The Plaza Art Fair features 240 artists, 3 lives music stages and over 25 restaurant booths spanning nine blocks. And did I mention that it’s FREE?!?!
Just a few blocks east is the lesser known UNplaza Art Fair to be held on September 24th and 25th. Spanning 22 years the UNPlaza Art Fair certainly has their own great tradition. About 85 artists set up on the grounds of the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church. This event is certainly a little edgier but family friendly and they will have a free Children’s Art Play table for the kid’s to express their creativity. The UNplaza Art Fair is the sole fundraiser of PeaceWorks-KC. No need to choose between the two fairs, visit them both!
One event I have always wanted to attend and it has never worked in my schedule is the Louisburg Ciderfest. First of all I love FREE events and FREE parking (there is an admission fee for the corn maze and pumpkin patch area). And I love cider. And I love donuts. I need to make the trip south for this festival this year!
Festival goers can enjoy pancake feeds, live music, a look into the apple press, photo ops, arts and crafts booths, and pony rides. The festival spans over two weekends so I should not have an excuse not to find time to check it out, nor should you. This year it will be held September 24th-25th and October 1st-2nd from 8am-6pm.
Talk about awakening the senses! In it’s 10th year Waterfire is held along the banks of Brush Creek by the Country Club Plaza on October 1st with live performances from 7-10pm. The focal point of Waterfire is moving art installations of beautiful, floating bonfires. Created by Barnaby Evans, this event is extremely unique and multi-sensory.
In addition to the art there will be many live performances including my favorite acrobatic group Quixotic. Plaza restaurants will also be on hand with pop up food and drinks stands.
This is my one option that is not a family friendly event, but is great for a nice date or girl’s day out. My fiance and I love to visit little wineries all around the KC area. Every one of them is unique and has their own story to tell. Wineries are great year round, but I am particular to them in the fall because you can sit outside with a great glass of wine and enjoy the crisp fall air, and the trees with their beautiful colors.
It would be impossible for me to discuss all the wineries. I truly feel they are all worth checking out. Most of them do special events such as live music, arts & crafts, and yoga at the winery just to name a few. The most recent winery I visited was in a little converted schoolhouse just outside of Westin, MO called Riverwood Winery. They also have a whiskey bar if your date does not care for wine. I walked the hallways like a student would and reading their educational posters on wine. We enjoyed a glass of wine overlooking the vineyards. I might be slightly partial to this winery as I did get engaged shortly after visiting it!
Here is a list of all the wineries in Kansas and Missouri that in typical schoolhouse fashion were listed on a chalkboard at Riverwood Winery. Make sure to check out at least one or two this fall!