Kansas City autumns are a special time. Tree leaves become a distinct collage of burnt oranges, toasty reds and golden yellows. Families travel to pumpkin patches and apple orchards for treats to be tasted and memories never to be forgotten. Meanwhile, the bustle of some of the city’s biggest events becomes the talk of the town, whether it be tossing the pigskin or saucing your pulled pork.

Here’s everything you need to know about fall in KC:

Harvest in the Heartland

One of the many benefits of being located in the middle of the country is that fall harvests are a bountiful affair. If you’re looking to carve jack-o-lanterns, pick out your pumpkin at Carolyn’s Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch in Liberty or Faulkner's Ranch and Pumpkin Farm, located south of I-470 on Raytown Road in Kansas City.

Apple picking is a tradition at Cider Hill Family Orchard, only a short drive northwest from Village West, and Louisburg Cider Mill in Louisburg, Kans., which holds the uber-popular Ciderfest each year. Meanwhile, the Liberty Corn Maze bills itself as “the largest corn maze in Missouri,” perfect for people of all ages.

Game on at the Gridiron

It’s no secret that football is a way of life in Kansas City. The resident NFL team, the Kansas City Chiefs, bring out the best in the city’s fans each home game. Be prepared to arrive early and stay late, as tailgating is essential to the Arrowhead Stadium experience. College football is just as popular thanks to KC’s central location near several big-time NCAA football programs. Watch parties can be found at bars all throughout the city as fans root on their respective teams, including the Missouri Tigers, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Iowa State Cyclones and more.

Home for Haunted Houses

A distinct chill descends upon Kansas City after the sun sets in the fall. As families gather together to carve pumpkins and sip cider, something more sinister lurks in the shadows. That hair on the back of your neck? It’s standing up because of the city’s ghoulish collection of haunted houses and chilling experiences, including The Beast, Edge of Hell, Macabre Cinema, plus Worlds of Fun's signature Halloween Haunt and more. Combined with KC’s pioneering use of the “open format,” which allows visitors to wander without a predestined path, the city has earned the moniker of “The Haunted House Capital of the World,” making it one of the best places to visit during Halloween season.

Fall Festival Daytripping

Fall festivals reign supreme in towns just outside of Kansas City, making them the perfect daytrip destinations. Take Weston, Mo., for instance, which is less than 45 minutes away from Downtown KC and hosts the annual Weston Applefest, a 28-year tradition that includes a parade, crafts booths, produce vendors and more. To top it off, the city’s famous apple dumplings, pies and cookies are available at local churches in the area.

Be sure to check out the Weston Irish Festival as well and salute Irish culture each October with live music and traditional fare. Or, spend some time in a different time at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival in Bonner Springs, Kan., where guests are whisked away to a 16th Century village occupied by jousting knights, daring acrobats and ruled by queen and king.

No Tricks, Only Treats

What could be better than trick-or-treating throughout the Kansas City Zoo? Break out your best costumes and spend the day out and about among the animals at Boo at the Zoo. Kids will also love Halloween-themed activities and entertainment that offers plenty of treats—no tricks or scares here!

Worlds of Fun always offers up Halloween amusement with The Great Pumpkin Fest, where young ones can celebrate the season with Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Costumed kids are invited to Crown Center for Halloween at LEGOLAND Discovery Center, a weekend of pumpkin carving, costume contests and more. 

Rooted in the West

Much like the mass of pumpkin-spiced drinks at coffee shops, Kansas City’s Western roots come out in full force in the fall as the American Royal takes center stage. From horse shows to rodeos and livestock judging, the Royal brings visitors in from all across the country.

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