I love fall. The colors, the smells, and the coziness that fall brings just makes my heart happy. This year, I decided to do something I’ve never done before. I created a Fall Bucket List. I know, I know. I’m crazy. It’s okay, I’ve learned to accept that.
We did fairly well on crossing off most of our Summer Fun List, so I figured why not make this an every season thing?
Here’s my theory with the whole “bucket list” thing. I know we won’t check off everything. I have to be okay with that. We are busy. My husband and I both work full-time outside the home. Our daughter has started kindergarten this year, which comes with slightly stricter bedtimes, lots of school activities, and PTA meetings. She also has dance class three nights a week and participates in other sports and activities. So yes, free-time is limited to mostly weekends. However, for me, making a bucket list is about having a solid list of ideas that we can pull from to help create some magic and memories on these beautiful fall weekends.
Here are a few of our favorite ideas from our Fall in Love with Kansas City Bucket List.
Visit a Pumpkin Patch (or two). Our absolute favorites are Johnson Farms and Faulkner’s Ranch. You will be able to check off half of your bucket list just by visiting one of these fun pumpkin patches. At Johnson Farms be sure to take a wagon ride out to pick apples and, of course, your pumpkin straight from the field. Grab a pumpkin donut and some cider while the kids play on their amazing playground and don’t forget to grab some of their gorgeous mums on your way out. At Faulkner’s Ranch, your little one can feed the goats and ride a pony. You can go on a hayride and visit the kid-sized corn maze (you won’t get too lost). They have plenty of games to play, live entertainment, and, of course, lots of pumpkins to pick from in their barn. Make it a full day and grab some barbeque and a s’mores kit to roast marshmallows together over one of their firepits.
Bake a Pie. Now that we have picked apples and pumpkins, it’s time to make some pie. I love having my little helper help measure, mix, and create with me. Baking is an easy and fun way to add in a little math lesson and plenty of memories.
Go to Boo at the Zoo. One of our favorite fall traditions is going to the Kansas City Zoo’s for Boo at the Zoo. Dress your little ones up (and you too!) and watch your favorite animals smash pumpkins while you make stops at all of their trick-or-treat stops throughout the zoo. Most trick-or-treat stops are all together near the front of the zoo, so parents of little ones don’t have to worry about that long hike back to Africa with all your little ghosts and goblins. FOTZ (Friends of the Zoo) members get early admission on Saturday.
Paint a Pumpkin. I am definitely not an expert pumpkin carver. Last year, I managed to cut off the tail of the black cat that I tried to carve into our family pumpkin. Instead, I have found that painting pumpkins is a lot more my speed. Even the smallest kids can pick up a paintbrush or use their hands to fingerpaint a design you will love. Bonus: you don’t have to deal with pumpkin guts and little hands that want to play with the carving knife.
Check out Oktoberfest. We love a good carnival and festival and Oktoberfest is one of our favorites. Grab an adult beverage for yourself and some ride tickets for the kids and enjoy the beautiful weather. We love visiting the Lee’s Summit Oktoberfest in downtown Lee’s Summit (very family friendly and free admission). If you are looking for the biggest Oktoberfest in Kansas City, be sure to check out the KC Oktoberfest at Crown Center.
Go to a Friday Night Lights High School Football Game. While we love to root on our Chiefs on Sunday afternoons, there is something so nostalgic about those Friday Night lights. Local grads, take a trip back to your alma mater and relive the “good old days” with your own family.
Go to the Great Pumpkin Fest at Worlds of Fun. Worlds of Fun is almost always on our bucket list. Season Passes make frequent visits easy and affordable, and Worlds of Fun makes multiple visits fun and exciting with multiple festivals throughout their season. We loved Grand Carnivale during the summer, Winterfest during December, and we are super excited for the Great Pumpkin Fest this fall. For those with older kids, Halloween Haunts is scary fun, but for parents with easily scared little ones, be sure to head out before 6:30 in the evening as that is when the scary zombies and ghouls come out to play.
Visit Powell Gardens Fall Fling. More than 800 pumpkins and other autumn botanicals are on display. This year’s theme is Alice in Wonderland inspired, Fall Fling: Through the Looking Glass. Each weekend has unique exhibits and activities that are included with your festival admission.
Eat Cider Donuts. A trip to Louisburg Cider Mill is always a family favorite. Visit during CiderFest for live music, kettle corn, fresh pressed cider, crafts, and, of course, those cider donuts.
For more fall fun ideas, check out our Guide to All Things Fall in Kansas City.