Whether a pumpkin spice latte or a cozy cup of apple cider is your thing, fill up your thermos, put your kid in their cutest overalls and head to one of the many fall KC activities sure to make your fall months memorable. We’ve compiled our team’s favorite Kansas City festivals, apple orchards and pumpkin patches along with our tips for ensuring great memories and photo opportunities for the whole family.
Fall Festivals & Fairs in Kansas City
Celebrate westward expansion at this Independence festival, Aug. 31 – Sept. 3. More than 400 booths, free entertainment, a Midway carnival and bingo. Free parking is available at the Community of Christ Auditorium parking lot located at 1001 W. Walnut.
KCMB Tip: Check out root beer chugging contest and ice cream eating battle on the Community Stage… ouch.
Kansas City Renaissance Festival
Seven themed weekends are featured during its run Sept. 1 through Oct. 14 in Bonner Springs, Kan., many of which include special activities for kids – pirate hat and fairy wand making, watching the children’s knighting ceremony, maypole dancing, and more! Tickets can be purchased online for a discount from gate prices. Children four and under are free. Parking is free.
KCMB Tip: Be sure to check the website for contests for each weekend, which include child-only, adult-only and family battles!
Lenexa Spinach Festival
Johnson County houses Lenexa – the spinach capital of the world (who knew?!). Come out to the Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park (95th and Lackman, free parking shuttles) on Saturday, Sept. 8 for music, arts and crafts and of course, the world’s largest spinach salad (think: 150 pounds of the leafy greens.)
KCMB Tip: Great activities for kids are on the schedule, even a crawling contest for the littlest spinach-lovers and a rock skipping contest.
Plaza Art Fair
The 85th annual Plaza Art Fair, Sept. 21-23, is expected to draw crowds of more than 250,000 people, 240 artists and covers nine city blocks. The kids will enjoy several interactive areas. Moms can relax in the Nursing Mother’s Lounge, and new this year – an area for dads or other support people. (Slow…clap!) Located on Ward Parkway between Central and Broadway Streets (near Seasons 52) Visit the event website for a full schedule of live entertainment and parking maps.
KCMB Tip: This event is totally doable with kids, but easier with some advanced planning. Check out our tips for making this a family-friendly event, including stops for kids art and food. If you get itchy in crowds, get a babysitter and enjoy a glass of wine while looking at art sans stroller.
Live music, a look into the apple press, that iconic pumpkin photo op, arts and crafts booths, pony rides and most importantly, cider donuts! This two-weekend festival runs Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 6-7, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
KCMB Tip: The festival itself is free (and free parking) but there is an $10 admission fee (3 and under free) for the corn maze and pumpkin patch area.
Overland Park Fall Festival
Downtown Overland Park celebrates the season on Saturday, Sept. 29 with live music, an arts and crafts fair, food trucks, extended Farmer’s Market hours, and children’s entertainment.
KCMB Tip: Don’t miss the 10 a.m. parade down Santa Fe Drive.
A KCMB team favorite, the city of Gladstone does fall festivals well. This year’s theme is Traveling Through Space and Time. Check out the Saturday morning parade, three days of carnival rides, arts and crafts booth and all the fall fun you can handle.
KCMB tip: All you can ride wristbands are $23, check the website for updated hours.
Sprint Family Fun Days Fall Festival
Test out your Halloween costumes for some early trick or treating at the Power and Light District’s shops and restaurants on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Pony rides, games, train rides, puppet shows, inflatables and face painting make for a full day at P&L. Event is free but some activities have a fee. Buy an all-access wristband for $5.
KCMB Tip: Parking is available for $2 in the KC Live! and Main Street parking garages or free along the surrounding streets.
Weston Apple Fest
A great day trip from Kansas City, the Weston Apple Fest, Oct. 6-7, is known as one of Missouri’s best fall festivals. Main Street is lined with vendor booths and the local churches have apple dumplings, pies and cookies on hand. Children’s activities both days are planned in the park with pony rides, carnival style games, face painting and pumpkin painting.
KCMB Tip: Check out the Applefest Food Court for fast food to curb hangry tantrums.
WaterFire Kansas City
Check out a display of floating fire, live music and food at this annual Plaza event, 7-10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6.
KCMB Tip: This event will get rescheduled for rain, so check the website if it looks cloudy.
Free Weekend at the Overland Park Arboretum
Enjoy free admission Oct. 6-7.
KCMB Tip: The train park and garden. Don’t miss it and all the updates added this year!
Pony Express PumpkinFest
This outdoor arts festival, Oct. 12-14, kicks off with the lighting of “Great Pumpkin Mountain.” Don’t miss the costume parade, rides, games, storytelling and fall food.
KCMB Tip: Visit the Pony Express National historic Site and learn about Pony Express riders while you’re there.
Lenexa Chili Challenge
The festivities start Friday, Oct. 19 with live music, the hot pepper eating contest and fireworks. The chili challenge begins Saturday morning, Oct. 20, with free samples for the public (while they last) and arts and crafts for kids.
KCMB Tip: Kids (12 and under) can show off their culinary skills in the Kids Kornbread Contest.
Glow: A Jack O’ Lantern Festival
This event at Powell Gardens features hundreds of carved pumpkins and a variety of family-friendly activities. Walk a nearly mile-long pathway lit by light displays, jack-o-lanterns and fantastic pumpkin sculptures. Enjoy stops along the way including children’s activities, hayrides, a fire-pit, hospitality stations with wine, beer and nonalcoholic beverages, and food vendors. Admission is $12 for adults, $5 for kids, 4 and under are free. Parking is $5 (members free).
KCMB Tip: If you attend several of events at Powell Gardens, consider a membership, which gives you free admission and parking all year.
Night of the Living Farm
Old-fashioned lanterns and carved pumpkins will lead costumed trick-or-treaters through pathways of graves and ghouls at Night of the Living Farm at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, 6 – 9 p.m. Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 26-27. Activities include pirate ship races, a fairy princess party, a haunted barn, a flashlight scavenger hunt, hayrides (both scary and non-scary) and a marshmallow roast.
KCMB Tip: Come hungry for bratwurst, hot dogs, apple cider and caramel apples.
Kansas City Kids Marathon
Sponsored by Children’s Mercy and Chick-fil-a, this 1.2 mile run is for kindergarten through eighth grade runners and coincides with the Kansas City Marathon on Oct. 20. Registration is available for teams and pre-race training programs are available.
Maple Leaf Festival
Baldwin City’s fall festival began in 1958 and was timed to coincide with the best time to view the changing colors of the maple leaves. This year’s fest, Oct. 20-21, includes a parade, arts and 300 crafts booths, a carnival and the kids zone.
KCMB Tip: Ride the Midland Railroad from Baldwin City to Nowhere, Kansas.
Apple Picking, Pumpkin Patches and Cider Donuts in Kansas City
Johnson Farms - Plants & Pumpkins
Johnson Farms Plants and Pumpkins exists to offer high quality plants and produce in a beautiful, relaxed setting. We welcome you to visit and share in the harvest of our farm. At Johnson Farms this fall you’ll find:
- U-pick Vegetables and Pumpkin Patch open daily
- Tractor pulled wagon rides
- Farm animal corral
- 15 acre corn maze included with admission
- Barnyard Grill, Pumpkin Donuts & Cider Slushies
- Adult & family season passes available to visit all fall for one low price
- Birthday parties, school tours, group & military discounts available
We are crazy about sharing all there is at Johnson Farms and encourage others to put on their overalls and get outside.
KCMB Tip: With a season pass to Johnson Farms, families can visit all season long (9/23-10/31) for the price of 1 1/2 visits! This is a great way to enjoy the many activities Johnson Farms has to offer. Watch the litter of piglets grow, enjoy our super fun playground, explore the corn maze, tractor pulled wagon rides, pick sunflowers and veggies and find the perfect pumpkin in our u-pick pumpkin patch.
Weston Red Barn
Beginning Labor Day Weekend, the farm is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily through the first weekend in November. In addition to picking the perfect pumpkin, make a day of it with tractor or horse-drawn hay rides, pony rides, farm animals, country store and a corn maze.
KCMB Tip: Admission and parking are free. Just pay for the activities you want to participate in.
Liberty Corn Maze
This year’s design features all the things that make Kansas City great: fountains, barbecue, jazz, trains and of course the infamous We <heart> KC design by Charlie Hustle! The festivities begin Sept. 7 and in addition to the corn maze, try the jumping pad, sunflower maze, yard games, and more! Check out the rules and maze hours before you go.
KCMB Tip: Who says kids have all the fall fun? Make this a date night and rent (in advance) a Hillbilly Kampfire and relax at the Grain Drain Saloon and Beer Garden!
Dunn’s Cider Mill (Belton, Mo.)
Bonus! On your way back from Johnson Farms, stop by Dunn’s for fresh cider donuts and (the real) apple cider. Or if you want to avoid the lines, GO EARLY!
KCMB Tip: Open limited days and hours, mid-September to mid-November. Check Facebook for changes and supply updates.
Faulkner’s Ranch Pumpkin Farm (Kansas City, Mo.)
Highlights include a pumpkin patch, Wild West playground, hayride, petting farm barn, field maze, duck races, games, train ride, corn cannon and face painting (some attractions weekend only). Open Sept. 29- Oct. 31.
KCMB Tip: Special themed weekends include grandparents weekend, Sound of Music, Wild Western and Halloween.
Cider Hill Family Orchard (Kansas City, Kan.)
An apple wagon will take you to pick from the orchard’s more than 1,300 apple trees. Once you fill your bags, you can pick out a pumpkin or fish at one of the orchard’s five ponds. Cider Hill apples are already available and pumpkin season begins in October. Closed Mondays.
Mom Tip: Apples are sold by the bag size not the weight so fill that bag up to the top!
Carolyn’s Country Cousins (Liberty, Mo.)
A mining camp, petting zoo and pig races highlight this pumpkin patch that also offers a variety of food options. Check out the newest attraction: the carousel! The farm opens Sept. 16, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily.
KCMB Tip: Buy your tickets ahead of time online. For a $2/ticket weekend discount, by five or more tickets at once. Season passes available.
Alldredge Orchard (Platte City, Mo.)
Get your apples and pumpkins in one spot! Alldredge is open Saturdays and Sundays in September and October for apple picking and weekends in October for pumpkins. Opening Day is Sept. 1! The orchard also has a playground, store, bakery and cafe and farm animals.
KCMB Tip: Check Facebook before you go to ensure the variety of apples available is one you want.
Opening Sept. 28, Deanna Rose is transformed into a pumpkin farm with horse-drawn wagons that take you to a pumpkin patch to pick out your favorite (included in admission). Other special activities include a corn maze, hay pyramid, corn box, hay slide and the Pumpkin Hollow Express barrel train. Open 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekends.
KCMB Tip: Additional admission fee of $8 applies to participate in Pumpkin Hollow activities. Kids under 1 are free.
Powell Pumpkin Patch
This family-owned patch in Louisburg offers FREE admission! Opening Sept. 29, this 35-acre patch offers free hayrides and a corn maze for an additional fee. Small concession stand with packaged snacks and drinks available. Open daily, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. No credit cards.
KCMB Tip: A quarter-mile nature trail has a great view of Kansas wildlife and trees.
Schaake’s Pumpkin Patch
Another free admission patch! Schaake’s in Lawrence features pick-your-own-pumpkins, hayrides, a hay maze, the straw romp, farm animals, and a photo area. Opens Sept. 22 daily, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
KCMB Tip: Snack concessions include buttered popcorn, cookies, donuts and slushes.
Gieringers is expanded their orchard last year to include a corn maze, pumpkin patch, sunflower fields, hay rides and other fun activities beginning Sept. 28. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
KCMB Tip: Admission is $10, 2 and under free – includes all activities, pumpkins an extra per pound cost.
Fun Farm Pumpkin Patch
This Kearney farm has a pumpkin patch, barrel train, pig races, tricycle track, pumpkin cannon, rubber duck races and more. Opens Sept. 14.
KCMB Tip: Rent a fire pit for $50 (20 people or less) for a private event for your family and friends.
Don’t miss the Spook House, horse swings, lasso practice areas along with a pumpkin patch, corn maze, farm animals and play areas. Opening September 29 in Bonner Springs, weekends only. $7 admission for ages 3 and up. Pumpkins are 50 cents per pound.
KCMB Tip: Cash and check only!
Though we aim to ensure the accuracy of all our postings, we always advise you check online before heading out for the most up-to-date information.