Kansas City Irish Fest
Why should St. Patrick’s Day have all the fun? The Kansas City Irish Fest, held at Crown Center, celebrates all things Irish with a Labor Day weekend of live music, Irish dancing, Celtic heritage and history exhibits and all the green merchandise you could ever want. Oh, and did we mention there’s plenty of beer, too? Slainte!
This long-running Independence festival over Labor Day commemorates the origin of the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails during the country’s westward expansion. While paying homage to the festival’s history, browse more than 500 artisan, crafter, food and commercial vendor booths, as well as a carnival, three free entertainment stages, car shows and a 5K run.
Kansas City Renaissance Festival (September-October)
Step back in time at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, a medieval-themed village home to jousting knights, thrill-seeking acrobats and beautiful maidens. Keep your eyes peeled for the King and Queen while you explore the village shops and more than 20 stages of live entertainment. Food and drink abound, but make sure you don’t leave the festival without trying a favorite: the roasted turkey leg.
Break out your dancing shoes for Dancefestopia, a dance music festival that includes three days of nonstop music on three stages at Berkley Riverfront Park. If you can’t tear yourself away from the music, riverside camping is available. And if you’re feeling really brave, indulge your inner thrill-seeker with a zipline ride over the festival crowd.
Kansas City-area artists gather in the historic Westport neighborhood for Art Westport, a weekend-long event that showcases original art, jewelry, fine crafts and more in Kansas City’s oldest established community. With live music and plenty of nearby restaurants and bars, you can easily turn Art Westport into a multiple-day adventure.
Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival
Craft cocktails are the focus of the Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival, which combines seminars, live music, competitions and, of course, cocktails, all to promote the craft of bartending in Kansas City. What started as a regional competition has blossomed into a full-fledged festival that’s a can’t-miss for cocktail connoisseurs.
Plaza Art Fair
More than 200 artists exhibit their works over nine city blocks during the always-anticipated Plaza Art Fair. This nationally recognized art event typically draws crowds of more than 250,000 who gather for art, live music and food and drinks from a variety of Kansas City restaurants.
Ghosts, ghouls and other creatures of the night roam freely through Worlds of Fun during Halloween Haunt, which showcases the scarier side of the amusement park. Can’t get enough heart-pumping action? Tour 13 extreme haunts or see spooky nighttime shows designed for maximum thrills, all while dodging zombies, monsters and more. Note: Halloween Haunt is recommended for guests 14 years of age and older.
Wild West Days
Relive the excitement of the Wild West during Wild West Days at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site, a working 19th-century farm complete with oxen, horses and other livestock. Admission includes a stagecoach ride, live entertainment, a Chuckwagon Cook-Off and admission to the Mahaffie House, Agricultural Heritage Livestock Barn and Heritage Center.
American Royal Livestock, Horse Show and Rodeo
The American Royal Association dates back to 1899 and was created to celebrate the region’s agricultural heritage through a combination of competition, education and entertainment. That mission continues during the annual American Royal festivities, which include a livestock, horse show and several rodeos, including PRCA and invitational youth rodeos.
You’ve probably enjoyed hot or cold apple cider, but have you had sparkling cider? Or a freshly made cider doughnut? Try all of this—and more—during the Louisburg Ciderfest, an annual event at the Louisburg Cider Mill, where you can watch how apples are pressed into cider. Don’t miss the corn maze, and before you go, pick out your Halloween pumpkin at the Louisburg Pumpkin Patch.