Fall Fun in Kansas City!
79 ways to savor the season
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Fall in the Midwest is a magical time of year. The air is crisp, the trees are painted vibrant shades of orange and gold, and Kansas City's cultural scene is teeming with activity. The following pages are ripe for the picking with can't-miss concerts, bold theatrical performances and family-friendly festivals — from Lady Gaga and Janet Jackson at Sprint Center, to August Wilson's Fences and Jodi Picoult's Between the Lines, plus college football games and so much more — that will keep you entertained until the holiday season.
Pumpkins at johnson Farms plants and pumpkins
Kansas City, Mo.
Located right in Kansas City, this pumpkin patch is a short drive for any family looking for a classic kickoff to the fall season. In addition to finding the perfect pumpkin, families can enjoy an array of activities such as a petting barn and a field maze, as well as hot cider and delicious treats. $7 to $9. faulknersranch.com
Johnson Farms Plants and Pumpkins
Sept. 23–Oct. 31
If you’re looking for a fall day with a bit of a country vibe, load up the car and head out to Johnson Farms Plants and Pumpkins in Belton. This sprawling, 140-acre farm has tons of pumpkins, kids’ activities, farm animals and more to go around, and its location away from the bustling city makes it a perfect way to slow down and enjoy the season. Free to $13, plus price of pumpkins. johnsonfarms.net
Cider Hill Family Orchard U-Pick Apples and Pumpkins
Open Tuesdays – Sundays in September and October
Kansas City, Kan.
Spend a day picking apples at this scenic orchard where the fall sights and smells surround you as you fill your basket to the brim. Be sure to snack on plenty of apple cider doughnuts, apple crisp, apple pies and warm apple cider throughout the day, too — doctor’s orders! Admission is free. ciderhillfamilyorchard.com
Liberty Corn Maze
Open Sept. 8 – Oct. 29, weekends only
They don’t call the Midwest the Corn Belt for nothing, and Liberty knows how to put that title to good use in the fall. Known for its sprawling, intricate and often Kansas City-themed maze designs, this corn maze has different paths for every level of difficulty, making it a sure challenge for even the best puzzle solvers. $8 to $10. libertycornmaze.com
Mizzou Football Conference Opener vs South Carolina
Sept. 9, 6 p.m.
The Tigers start their SEC season off at home against the Gamecocks. The two teams have gone back and forth in their match-ups the past 4 years, with each team taking home two wins and two losses. The Tigers have had a shaky performance in the SEC, with two championship games early on but a poor performance this past season, so this first SEC game could be telling of their chances at success this year. $150 to $379. mutigers.com
Kansas Football Conference Opener vs West Virginia
Sept. 23, time TBA
After a 1-8 season in the Big 12, KU fans will surely enter Memorial Stadium in Lawrence with their fingers crossed when the Jayhawks take on their first conference opponent of the season. West Virginia had a strong year this past season, with a 10-3 overall record and an AP Poll ranking of No. 18, but with a clean slate before them, the Jayhawks have a chance to turn their season around this year. $25 to $60. kuathletics.com
K-State Football Conference Opener vs Baylor
Sept. 30, time TBA
Finishing the past season at No. 4 in the Big 12 with a 6-3 conference record, K-State had a decent season, and with a history of consistency, the Wildcats are set to have another good year. They kick off their conference season with a home game against Baylor. $37.25 to $80. kstatesports.com
Missouri State Football Conference Opener vs Illinois State
Sept. 23, 2 p.m.
Coming off a 2-6 conference record the past season, the Bears are looking to get a better start to their conference this season. Illinois State beat Missouri State 37-0 in their face-off last year. missouristatebears.com
crown center ice terrace
Crown Center Ice Terrace
Opens Nov. 3
Kansas City, Mo.
As the weather turns colder and holiday tunes take over the airwaves, lacing up the skates for a day of fun on the quaint Crown Center ice rink is a must. The whole family can enjoy gliding across this outdoor rink, and there’s plenty of warm food and drinks inside to finish the day off. Free to $6. crowncenter.com
Tour de BBQ
Sept. 30, 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m.
Overland Park, Kan.
There’s no need to sprint through this barbecue-studded bike tour of Kansas City that raises money to fight cancer. It’s all about enjoying the ride — and the ribs. Riders select the distance of their ride, from the Full Slab (62 miles) to the Short Stack (12 miles), and pedal their way through the event with stops for barbeque samplings from a variety of KC favorites every few miles. Cold drinks, great music and, of course, more barbecue greet finishers at the end of the ride. $45 to $70. kc.tourdebbq.com
The Great Pumpkin Run: Kansas City
Oct. 14, 9 a.m.
Kansas City, Mo.
Insert a cliché Charlie Brown pun here, or just enjoy a great autumn morning jog along the Berkley Riverfront Park with fellow fall-in-KC lovers. Daring runners can try the Tough Pumpkin challenge, which requires them to run while holding a small pumpkin. All runners get a free small pumpkin and a cup of apple cider after the race. $40 to $50. thegreatpumpkinrun.com
Fall Family Timber Challenge
Oct. 22, 8:30 a.m.
Bonner Springs, Kan.
Get down and dirty in nature with this Halloween-themed obstacle course run. Mud pits, zip lines, hay mountains and foam climbs lie at each twist and turn of the course, keeping you on your toes the whole time. Throw on a costume and bring the whole family out for some fall fun. $39 to $44. kctimberchallenge.com
The Paseo, north and east to Gladstone Boulevard
A beautiful drive, walk or bike ride any time of year becomes even prettier when fall rolls around. This long, winding road glistens gold, red and orange, and it’s closed off to cars on the weekend, making it the perfect time to lace up the running shoes or air up the tires on that bike one last time before it gets too cold. kcparks.org
Kansas City, Mo.
Sit and admire the lake after enjoying the foliage that radiates at Loose Park in the fall. This 74-acre park offers great walking trails on which to take in the colorful sights, and the bridge over the lake is a prime spot for your next stunning Instagram post. kcparks.org
Trip the Light Fantastic
Nov. 21, 7:30 p.m.
Frank White Jr. Softball Complex, Lee's Summit, Mo.
Dress you and your bike up in warm holiday garb and head out to Jackson County’s Christmas in the Park drive-thru light display. This 4.5-mile bike ride through glowing candy canes, animated skiers and huge snowmen is the perfect winter fitness event to offset all the holiday cookies you’ve been enjoying. Free to $5. jacksongov.org