Crisp air and changing leaves mean Kansas City’s festival season is in full swing, a time full of inspiring Midwestern culture, family-friendly festivities and tried-and-true regional traditions.
Mark your calendar for Kansas City’s loaded fall festival lineup leading up to Thanksgiving.
- Open Spaces: Kansas City’s newest arts event is a multisensory, cross-cultural experience featuring performers and artists from both around the world and close to home. Aug. 25-Oct. 28
- Kansas City Irish Fest: Celebrate KC’s Celtic heritage over Labor Day Weekend with three days of live music, local drinks, activities for young ones, tastings and plenty more in this beloved Crown Center bash. Aug. 31-Sept. 2
- Santa-Cali-Gon Days: This Independence festival commemorates the origin of the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails during westward expansion. Browse artisan, craft, food and commercial vendor booths, enjoy a carnival, run a 5K and more. Aug. 31-Sept. 3
- American Royal Livestock, Horse Show and Rodeo: With roots dating back to 1899, this iconic event celebrates the region’s agricultural heritage through competition, education and entertainment, including rodeos and livestock shows. September
- Kansas City Renaissance Festival: Step back in time to this medieval-themed village home to jousting knights, thrill-seeking acrobats and beautiful maidens. Sept. 1-Oct. 14 (Weekends)
- Dancefestopia: One of the largest camping and music festivals in the nation features some of the most prominent DJs in the world. Sept. 6-9
- Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival: Craft is the focus of this event, which combines seminars, live music, competitions and cocktails, all to promote the art of bartending. Sept. 6-9
- Art Westport: Local artists gather in KC’s oldest neighborhood for Art Westport, a weekend fair that showcases original art, jewelry, fine crafts and more. Sept. 7-9
- American Royal World Series of Barbecue: This signature fall event is the world’s largest barbecue competition. Expect other festivities as well, including live performances, a festival full of entertainment and plenty more. Sept. 13-16
- Halloween Haunt: Ghosts, ghouls and other creatures of the night roam freely during Halloween Haunt—a showcase of Worlds of Fun’s scarier side. Sept. 15-Oct. 31
- Plaza Art Fair: This nationally recognized, nine-block art event at the Country Club Plaza regularly draws huge crowds, all gathering for art, live music and food and drinks. Sept. 21-23
- Wild West Days: Experience the excitement of the Wild West during this event at Olathe’s Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, a working 19th century farm complete with oxen, horses and other livestock. Sept. 22-23
- Louisburg Ciderfest: Head to Louisburg Cider Mill for the annual Ciderfest, where guests are invited to watch how apples are pressed into cider, sample cider donuts and more. Sept. 29-30, Oct. 6-7
- Haunts and Haunted Houses: Give yourself a fright at some of Kansas City’s spookiest experiences, including several popular spots in the West Bottoms. October
- KC Oktoberfest: Head to Crown Center to experience a two-day celebration of KC Bier Co. craft brews, traditional European food, engaging games, activities and Bavarian-style entertainment. Oct. 5-6
- WaterFire Kansas City: This fiery art installation at Brush Creek is an internationally renowned art installation not to be missed. Oct. 6
- Missouri Town 1855 Festival: Enjoy wagon rides, reenactments, crafts and more in this annual festival at Missouri Town 1855, where guests can travel back in time to experience life in the 1850s. Oct. 6-7
- Weston Applefest: Explore historic Weston, Mo., as arts and crafts booths line Main Street, touting a tempting range of locally made apple treats. Oct. 6-7
- Boo at the Zoo: Break out your best costume and spend the day trick or treating at the Kansas City Zoo, where Halloween-themed activities offer plenty of treats without the spooky tricks. Oct. 27-28
For a full list of events, review Visit KC’s calendar.