60 fun and safe fall activities to do around Kansas City

Photo by Samantha Levi

We’re still living in unusual times—but with crisp autumn weather arriving after a long and hot summer, it’s a good time to get out and (safely!) enjoy Kansas City. Here are sixty fun but safe ideas for getting the most out of your fall.

1. Get Fresh Cider and Donuts at Louisburg Cider Mill

Photo by Samantha Levi

Let’s start with the one you know and love: It really doesn’t get much better than the Louisburg Cider Mill if you’re looking for instant autumnal fun. This eighty-acre farm offers pick-your-own pumpkins, of course, and a socially distanced wagon ride down to the patch. There’s also a corn maze and a slide they’ve deemed “Mount Sunflower” after the tallest hill in the state. Oh, and a giant swing set, rentable fire pits and a beehive exhibit. (Masks are required any time you’re indoors this year, including inside the popular country store.)

The best thing about Louisburg Cider Mill is the cider. Since the seventies, they’ve been pressing eight varieties of apples to make cider without concentrates or preservatives. In addition to their time-tested blend, they’ve also got a newer version made just from Honeycrisp.

2. Haunted Wornall House

The John Wornall House was built in 1858 on a five-hundred-acre farmstead that’s now Brookside. Used as a hospital during the Civil War, it now serves as a museum, and you have a couple opportunities to get a scare there this year.

The museum is offering two Halloween tours, starting with a self-guided “Spectral Distancing” audio tour. For $20, you go at your own pace to learn about the house’s legends. (Tours run Oct. 16, 17, 23, and 24 from 6-8:30 pm.) The house is also offering tours guided by a professional paranormal investigator. For $50, you tag along as they use actual ghost hunting gear and attempt to communicate with one of the House’s ghosts. (Tours run Oct. 16, 17, 23 and 24 at 10 pm and 12:15 am).

Registration and masks are required, and space is limited to ensure proper social distancing.

3. Leaf Peep by Bike on Cliff Drive

Curvy, steep Cliff Drive climbs up the limestone bluffs east of downtown, starting at the Paseo. America’s shortest scenic byway feels more like a trail than a road, traveling four-and-a-half heavily wooded miles. It has traditionally been closed to cars on weekends, but during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s only been open to cyclists and walkers daily. There’s no better place to leaf peep without having to leave the city.

4. Get Authentic German Sausages at Werner’s in Mission

Photo by Natalea Bonjour

Oktoberfest is canceled this year, in Kansas City and abroad. But if you want to replicate the Marzen-fueled debauchery of the festhalles under your own backyard canopy, make a trip to Werner’s in Mission, which specializes in imported German fare and house-made sausages. For Oktoberfest revelers, the top picks are traditional German bratwurst and knockwurst, plus the house’s cheddar-stuffed bier brats.

5. Get a Small-Town Spook at Child’s Play Cemetery

In rural Coffey County, Kansas, it’s a rite of passage for teenagers to visit Child’s Play Cemetery. For generations, teens have gone to the cemetery outside of Le Roy officially known as Lorenz Schlichter Memorial Cemetery to see if what people say about it is true.

The rules are as follows: Wash your car before you go, drive down the twisty gravel roads to the cemetery and once you’re there, turn your car and all of the lights off and sit in silence. Don’t get out of your car and don’t touch anything. You can only leave once you hear a noise, like someone slamming something against your car.

Once you get back home, your car will be dirty from the gravel, but you’ll see more than just dust. The cemetery is infamous for leaving small handprints all over people’s cars—actual fully formed handprints. The legend is that the handprints come from the ghosts of the cemetery, specifically from the children buried there.

6-10. See a Spooky Movie

Despite movie theatre closures and paused film productions this year due to the pandemic, scary movies are still making their mark this spooky season. From psychological thrillers to horror fantasies, these upcoming releases are must-watches for your next night in.

September 18: Antebellum

Kansas City native Janelle Monáe stars as an author who is mysteriously transported to the dark reality of the Antebellum South in this horror thriller that will be released via video on demand.

October 9: Possessor

Possessor, written by the son of controversial filmmaker David Cronenberg, takes place in a futuristic world where a secret agent is able to inhabit others’ bodies—until things take a turn for the worse.

October 11: I Am Lisa

October 21: Rebecca

October 30: Come Play

11. Spend First Friday in the West Bottoms on October 2

Photo courtesy of Good Juju’s Facebook page

First Fridays in KC is typically associated with the Crossroads Arts District, but the West Bottoms brings a whole new element—the streets of the historic district are blocked off and filled with antique sales, street painters and live music into the evening. This is also a good chance to try out Chef J BBQ’s Texas-style brisket in The Beast building; pitmaster Justin Easterwood typically only operates on Saturdays, but fires up the smoker Friday through Sunday on First Friday weekends.

12. Get a Close Look at Mars on October 13

If you want to get a good look at Mars, your last best chance until September 2035 comes on Oct. 13. The Red Planet is currently “at opposition” and not only very close to Earth right now but also at an angle that’s very favorable to skywatchers in the northern hemisphere. With clear skies, you should be able to see Mars and its two moons with binoculars or a small telescope.

13. Stroll through a lit-up fall forest at Crystal Bridges

Photo courtesy of Crystal Bridges Museum

There are a lot of reasons why Crystal Bridges in northwest Arkansas is a world-class art museum. But given our current predicament, this outdoor art installation soars to the top of the list. The museum has lit up its north woods for the season, using lights and sound to turn the forest into an immersive art installation with the help of Montreal-based multimedia artists Moment Factory. The ancient trees of the Ozarks talk as viewers gather around the warm glow of a sculpture meant to mimic a bonfire. The installation is open after dusk on weekend nights and running at one-third capacity, with face masks required.

14. See Fall Foliage at Perry Lake

If you’re in the Lawrence area, take Ferguson Road north from the town of Perry to see great fall foliage. The best viewing spot is near the Perry Public Use Area. You’ll first be engulfed in the trees, but once you hit the bridge crossing over the lake, there is an amazing view of the water and the colors of autumn. If it’s warm enough outside, you might still see some boats out on the water, making the location especially photogenic.

15. Rent a Campfire at Liberty Corn Maze

Want to have a fall bonfire without chopping wood or risking your eyebrows to kerosene? The Liberty Corn Maze has you covered with campfire rentals. For the individual admission cost ($10 children, $12 adults) plus a campfire rental fee of $40, you and up to fourteen friends can sit back on hay bales for three hours starting at 7 pm. You can add s’mores and/or hotdogs for a modest upcharge. The campfire rentals run on weekends starting Sept. 26—you should book in advance.

16-23. Have Your Own Oktoberfest

Photo by Natalea Bonjour

Prost Marzen

Denver is home to some of the nation’s top German breweries (hallo, Bierstadt Lagerhaus!) including Prost, which recently began distributing in KC. Their traditional Marzen has perfect balance and manages to be both interesting and crushable.

Free State Octoberfest

The second beer ever brewed by the grand-daddy of Kansas breweries, this amber lager with Reagan-era Hersbrucker hops is a reliable classic with a bright, floral nose.

Logboat Brewing Knot Hole Oktoberfest

Columbia’s Logboat Brewing has grown by leaps in the last few years, and this crisp, clean lager is a tad boozier than others here.

Martin City Oktoberfest

Martin City is more known for their hoppy IPAs, and you’ll notice a nice bite to this spicy, bready beer.

Boulevard Bob’s ’47 Oktoberfest

This dark amber lager is a local classic, a Munich-style Marzen that’s been brewed every year for a quarter century.

Public House Bierleichen Marzen-Style Lager

Public House hails from Rolla, in the foothills of the Missouri Ozarks. Brewer Matt Burkhardt is a German-trained lagerhead who made this with a grain bill that leaves it round and earthy.

Surly Hell

This offering from the beloved Minneapolis brewery is a limited release in KC, so nab this pale lager on sight. Surly is known for their IPAS—and this beer is layered with luscious hops—but the founder’s mother comes from Germany and asked her son to make a Helles like home.

KC Bier Co. Festbier

This large Waldo brewery had to put its big downtown festival on hold this fall, but you can still enjoy a glass of this malty Vienna-style lager made with yeast from Bavaria’s Andechs brewery.

24. Level Up from the PSL at Wild Way

This fall, the pumpkin spice latte craze will hit coffee shops across the country. And while I won’t judge you for donning your Uggs and shuffling to your nearest Starbucks, I do want to let you know this one thing: There’s another path for you, friend.

The Wild Way Coffee Camper is a mobile coffee shop found throughout the Kansas City metro on a rotating schedule (find them on Instagram @thewildwaycoffee). Wild Way highlights a different fall flavor with a little something called Eve’s Fallen Apple. This iced beverage takes Wild Way’s house-made nitro cold brew (beans from Lawrence’s Repetition Coffee) and marries it with apple cider from Louisburg Cider Mill, a dollop of fresh cream from local Hildebrand Farms Dairy and a pinch of cinnamon. It’s finished with a crisp apple slice coated in coconut, sugar and caramel. “We’re around farmers all the time, and we try to use ingredients that they have in season,” says Wild Way co-founder Christine Clutton. “Weather is so unpredictable in Kansas City—it can still be really hot, so you need an iced drink, but you want to feel cozy.”

Eve’s Fallen Apple has just the right notes of tart apple and sweetness, plus a big jolt of caffeine, and it puts you in the mood to lace up your boots and map yourself to the nearest orchard.

Eve’s Fallen Apple

• 3/4 cup cold brew

• 3/4 cup apple cider

• 2 tablespoons heavy cream

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Fill a 12-ounce glass with ice. Add cold brew, cider, cream and cinnamon and stir together

25. Fire the Corn Cannon and Pick Your Perfect Pumpkin at Faulkner’s Ranch

Faulkner’s Ranch in Raytown is a relative newcomer to the Halloween fun game, having opened in 1998. This rootin-tootin’ pumpkin patch is a country-fried alternative to the tweedy Louisburg Cider Mill, with “hillbilly golf,” horseshoes, a cow milking contest and a Western-themed playground all included in the standard admission ($10 weekday, $15 weekends). For an extra $5, you can fire a corncob out of a cannon or ride the mechanical bull. Advanced tickets are required this year, so order online.

26-33. Weston

No town relishes in the autumn season quite like Weston does. Here is a list of must-see stops for a perfect fall day in the charming town.

Apple Fest

Every year for thirty-one years now, apple lovers have made the pilgrimage to Weston to indulge in apple dumplings, cider, pies, butter and cookies. The thirty-second year will look a little different: To eliminate crowds, Apple Fest will be taking place over a series of weekends in September and October as opposed to one singular weekend. Follow Weston MO Chamber of Commerce on Facebook for week-by-week Apple Fest updates.

Tobacco Barn

Weston has a flourishing tobacco history—until 2001, the small Missourian town was the only tobacco market west of the Mississippi. Today, Platte County honors their biggest cash crop through Weston Tobacco cigar lounge on Main Street and the old tobacco barn still standing in Weston Bend State Park.

O’Malley’s Pub

Photo by Katie Currid

The historic bar alone is worth the hour or so drive up to Weston. It sits six stories below the limestone bones of the old Weston Brewing Company, which dates back to the mid-1800s. They plan on releasing a Festival Ale as an ode to Oktoberfest this fall. The bar will also host a pumpkin chainsaw carving demonstration on Halloween.

McCormick on Main

Whether you’re looking to snatch a bottle of lauded Five Farms Irish Cream Liqueur to take home with you or want to try out the newest funky flavor in the 360 Vodka collection, this is the place to belly up to the tasting bar and do it.


Also at Weston Bend State Park are trails with some of the area’s most scenic hiking views, especially in fall. The West Ridge Trail is known to be the best: A large portion of the two-and-a-half-mile loop abuts the Missouri River and gives hikers amazing sweeping views of the other side of the state line. There’s a lookout point a few feet from the West Ridge Trailhead—we recommend saving this for the end of your hike as a reward for your efforts. The scenic overlook, a planked deck tapered around a tree, gives panoramic views of the state line river and Fort Leavenworth’s imperial-looking clocktower.

Buffalo Ranch

If you’re one of those people who insists on drinking peppermint mochas and watching Hallmark Christmas movies before the leaves even change, Weston has its own little winter wonderland for you. Buffalo Ranch has two storefronts in little Weston. The one on Main Street is the traditional home furnishings store. The one on Thomas Street is their magical seasonal Christmas shop filled with all the handmade ornaments and yuletide trinkets, opening the first weekend of October.

Weston Orchard & Vineyard

Photo by Katie Currid

Inside the bright red-roof barn at Weston Orchard and Vineyard is a spacious spread of caramel apples, house wines, bottles of apple cider and locally canned salsas and pickled goods. Rows of trees in ten apple varieties for picking stripe the fields outside.

Tin Kitchen

Located inside an old hardware store on the main drag, Tin Kitchen is a BBQ pit that smokes up competition-style ‘cue on straight pecan. The ribs are our favorite, but don’t skip the pimento cheese appetizer.

34. Tour the Haunted 1859 Jail Museum

Photo provided by 1859 Jail Museum

If you’re looking for something a little bit different to try this fall, you might consider the 1859 Jail Museum in Independence. The museum features history dating back to the Civil War and is said to be home to the ghosts of past residents. Tom, a ghost tracked down by the paranormal investigation team Dusk 2 Dawn, is said to still be lurking in his jail cell, and some say you’ll even feel him pull your hair. Scents of cigar smoke, baking bread and lady’s perfume have also been reported by museum staff and visitors. The Jail Museum has ghost tours every Friday and Saturday in October (tour times are 7, 8, and 9 pm). Enjoy a tour through the jail to learn about its dark history, then take a covered wagon ride through Independence Square afterward. Tickets must be purchased in advance due to limited space, and masks are required.

35. Shop for Specialty Popcorn in Amish country

Snuggling up with a fresh batch of popcorn and a Halloween movie is a nice way to spend a chilly fall evening. Instead of nuking another bag of Jiffy Pop, try some artisan kernels from Kuntry Bulk Grocery, an Amish country store in Windsor, Missouri (11217 Brandon Road). This shop has no electricity and only accepts cash, but the unparalleled selection of popcorn sorted by kernel size, flavor and color will wow you. According to the folks at city hall, the shop has remained open throughout the pandemic.

36. Find Your Way Through an Elite-Designed Corn Maze

Photo provided by Precision Mazes

A nationally renowned corn maze design firm out of Lee’s Summit uses advanced GPS technology to create elaborate corn mazes in cornfields around the country.

“If you name a state on this side of the Rocky Mountains, we probably created a maze in it this summer,” Precision Mazes owner Rob Stouffer says.

The main design starts with the client. “I try really hard to elicit a concept or an idea from the client,” Stouffer says, “because they’re the ones who will be marketing and merchandising and need to be excited about the idea.”

Then, Precision Mazes designers draft a custom concept that fits what the client is looking for and one that will also fit the parameters of the field they’re working on. Once the client approves the image, Precision Mazes employees create geo-graphic data to display on a screen in the rototilling machine. Stouffer then steers the machine to match the design. Precision Mazes creates mazes in about thirty different states each year. The latest one to make headlines was at Walters Farm in Burns, Kansas (about forty-five minutes northeast of Wichita)—a Kansas City Chiefs logo with “Chiefs Kingdom” plowed underneath.

37. Sip Wine and Ghost Hunt at Belvoir Winery

If wandering around an abandoned—and supposedly haunted—orphanage and nursing home with a glass of dry red in hand sounds like your kinda spooky fall Friday night, take a trip up to Belvoir Winery in Liberty (1325 Odd Fellows Road).

The former Odd Fellows District on a two-hundred-forty-acre farm in Liberty was once an almshouse—a charity house for poor people to live in—where orphans, widows and the elderly could stay. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was a national secret society with its own system of rules and passwords whose Liberty chapter occupied the buildings where Belvoir stands today. One of three buildings in the Odd Fellows District has been restored into a winery tasting room and an inn with several private party rooms. The other two buildings, the Old Folks Building and the Old Hospital, are completely abandoned.

Trails through the property let you get an up-close look at the vacated buildings, and the winery offers monthly tours of the buildings led by equipped paranormal investigators.

38-42. Try a Whole Collection of Pumpkin Beers

Lots of breweries make pumpkin beers, but we’re not sure any have gone as wild as O’Fallon Brewery in the suburbs of St. Louis. This year, O’Fallon has released a suite of five different pumpkin beers, starting with real pumpkin in the mash plus the usual assortment of spices. They have variants that add up to a whole dessert table of offerings: pumpkin stout with whipped cream, a light-bodied pumpkin cream ale, Mexican hot cocoa and salted caramel variants.

43. Spend a Weekend at Big Cedar Lodge

Photo provided by Big Cedar Lodge

Big Cedar Lodge in the Missouri Ozarks is the state’s premier resort, a magical place with oodles of activities from spas to target shooting. Tiger Woods is hosting a Ryder Cup-style tournament there in late September to celebrate the opening of the legendary golfer’s first-ever public course, which is on the resort’s grounds in Ridgedale. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better fall Saturday than one spent on the lake here that ends by the bonfire or in one of the resort’s hot tubs.

44. Take a Tour of haunted spots in downtown Lee’s Summit on October 17

Downtown Lee’s Summit is organizing evening tours of purported haunts in the quaint downtown, which will start at 6 pm and go until 10:30. The tours, which last about an hour, will cover the ghostly occurrences at an old downtown hospital that’s now an office and a former morgue, which sat above a furniture store where bodies were purportedly stored when they needed the space. The tours are $25, require advance purchase and will be outdoors only with masks required.

45. Brave the Trail of Terrors

Want to get your annual fix of jump-scares without going into a dark, cramped space where dozens of others have been pawing around and yelling? Kansas City is lucky to have one outdoor haunted house, Exiled: Trail of Terrors. This haunt takes place on a one-mile trail through the woods near Bonner Springs. Hikers have to crawl, bend and climb by the light of a small red LED flashlight. This year’s version will have timed entry, and masks are required.

46. VOTE!

Don’t forget to vote in this year’s extremely important election. Find out how to register here.

47. Go Leaf Peeping in Parkville

Photo by Mike Day Photography

The picturesque Platte County town of Parkville has actually been recognized as one of the best places to see fall foliage nationally by Country Living magazine. The town is notable not only for its antique shops, limestone buildings and gabled roofs but also for its proximity to the Missouri River, which, in autumn, reflects the golden, red and orange hues of the oak and hickory forests. If you want to add a walk into the mix, the Green Hills of Platte Wildlife Preserve has two short, heavily wooded trails.

48. Crunch into a Caramel Apple from Sweet Caroline’s in Overland Park

For fifteen years, Sweet Caroline’s candy store in Overland Park has been channeling the nostalgic vibes of old-school sweet shops. New owners have kept the vibe, along with rows of candy that line the walls and range from licorice to sour treats. With the arrival of fall, the must-get treat is the seasonal caramel apples, made in twenty-plus flavors. A popular choice is apple pie—a crisp green apple coated with caramel, cinnamon, sugar and icing. Other options include apples coated in pretzels, coconut and M&Ms.

49. Forage Wild Persimmons

Persimmon trees are native to Kansas City. Come autumn, they yield a round orange fruit that looks something like a clementine with the skin of an orange plum. The trees tend to grow in rich soil at the edge of farm fields and along the roadside. You’ll know persimmons are ripe and ready to eat when they’re super soft, almost mushy, and when the astringent bite of the unripe fruit has given way to a sweet, date-like flavor. You can chop them up and eat them plain, but there are also lots of great persimmon recipes online.

50. Get Your Porch Music Fix on October 3

Kansas City’s annual Porchfest is normally one of the most unique and anticipated musical events on the city’s calendar. Unfortunately, the full-scale event with a hundred-strong houses is canceled due to Covid. However, you can get a small fix at this one-off porch concert in the West Plaza, just a block east of the state line. The home of Larkin Sanders and Taylor Block (the intersection of 45th Street and Bell in KCMO) will host between three and seven musicians on Saturday, Oct. 3, from 7:30 to 9 pm. It’ll also be live streamed via Facebook, in case you want to sit on your own porch and listen instead.

51. Get Your Annual Dose of Halloween Horror with Panic Film Fest’s “Tricks and Treats” from October 30 to November 1

North Kansas City’s Screenland Armour has forged ahead during the coronavirus pandemic, showing new releases and indie classics since reopening in June.

Screenland owner Adam Roberts also co-founded the annual horror film festival Panic Fest, which takes place early in the year. This year, they’re bringing Halloween programming to audiences with Tricks and Treats, a new, three-day virtual event on Halloween Weekend.

“We were actually one of the only film fests that happened in-person this year with Panic Fest at the end of January,” Roberts says. “Tricks and Treats is more of a celebration of Halloween.”

A $30 ticket gets you access to a full lineup of horror movies, shorts, live script readings and games you can play at home.

52. Harvest Sorghum at the Mahaffie Fall Harvest Festival on October 17

Photo courtesy of Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop’s Facebook page

Celebrate fall like its 1860 at the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop’s fall harvest festival (mahaffie.org). The annual get-together at the historic site in Olathe celebrates the harvest and processing of the farm’s trademark crop, sorghum. During the festival, visitors can help cut sorghum stalks and juice them through a horse-powered press. The juice is then boiled down into a syrup and used in goods like cookies and bread.

“It has a sweeter taste to it,” Alexis Radil, events coordinator through the City of Olathe, says of sorghum. “The best that I can describe would be like molasses.”

The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm was named for the Mahaffie family, settlers from Indiana who bought the land on the Sante Fe Trail in 1858.

53-58. Take a Fall Hike

Photo by Kayla Szymanski

Prickly Pear Nature Trail (2 miles, easy)

Located in Lee’s Summit, the Prickly Pear Trail contains a variety of rock formations that keep the hike interesting throughout. Be sure to use the trail on a dry day or else the mud will prevent you from passing certain areas. A variety of wildlife and hidden gems, such as the pond, make this trail a must-do if you’re looking for a short trek on a nice autumn day.

Directions: From I-470, take exit 11 onto Strother Road then turn right onto 83rd Street. Turn right onto N.E. Todd George Parkway, left onto Leinweber Road and stay right onto Beach Road. Park in one of the lake’s lots. The trail will be on the opposite side of the street.

Rozarks Nature Trail (4.5 miles, moderate)

Rozarks Nature Trail is proof that a moderate-difficulty trail can exist in an urban setting and even make you feel like you’re tucked away in a state park. Just off Southwest Boulevard, the trail includes some moderately steep elevation changes and sharp turns. There’s even an obstacle section of the trail dedicated to bikers or parkour, if that’s your thing. After your hike, follow the road up to the Rosedale Memorial Arch, where you’ll find killer skyline views.

Directions: From Southwest Boulevard, turn onto Rainbow Extension (near the Sonic and Home2 Suites). Take the winding road up to Park Drive. The trailhead is at the first parking lot.

Hidden Valley Park (3 miles, easy)

This three-mile trail begins in an open field but soon takes you into a beautiful, shaded woodland. Named for the valleys hidden behind the trees among the trails, this is a great smooth and easy trail to try out on a cool autumn day.

Directions: From I-29 north, take exit 6. Turn right onto Armour Road, then left onto Searcy Creek Parkway, then right on N.E. Russell Road. There will be a parking lot for the park on the left side of the road. The trail is located on the other side of Russell Road and is marked by a sign in between the rocks that line the street.

Carl L. Chinnery Nature Trail (3 miles, easy)

Unity Village is the headquarters of an international spiritualist movement founded in the late 1800s. Although it’s incorporated as a village, to the public it’s mainly a conference center with bucolic grounds, including this three-mile trail which begins just beyond the labyrinth in the parking lot. The trail is wide and mostly covered in crushed stone. It travels through thick forests and along the edge of two lakes and rolling corn fields, making it an ideal jaunt on a crisp fall day. A bonus side hike to a damp cave, called a natural bridge, is a must.

Directions: From I-470 east, take exit 7A to go north on Blue Parkway, then follow signs to go east on Unity Circle into the Village.

Gary L. Haller Trail (13.5 miles, moderate)

The beginning of this hidden gem trail can be found in Mill Creek Streamway Park in Shawnee. However, there are at least eight different access points, as the trail stretches across Shawnee, Lenexa and Olathe. The trail is completely paved with mostly flat terrain, though there are some hills here and there. There are many sights to see along the way, including heavily wooded areas, a railroad and Mill Creek. If you start at Wilder Drive, keep an eye out for the photo-worthy bridge, which you’ll see about a mile into the trail.

Directions: To start at Wilder Road access point, take I-435 west to Shawnee. Take exit 8A toward Holliday Drive. Follow signs for Mill Creek Streamway Park.

Deer Run Trail at Wallace State Park (2.1 miles, moderate)

About forty-five minutes out of the city, Wallace State Park—and its centerpiece, Lake Allaman—is a quiet and serene getaway. Deer Run Trail loops just over two miles—three if you decide to take the Deer Creek outlet, which was closed when I was there due to bridge issues. Cool off after your hike by dipping your feet in the lake, which is plenty clean and filled with anglers.

Directions: Take I-35 north about 45 minutes. Take exit for US-69 toward Lawson/Cameron. Take a left on 121, which will take you into the park. Follow signs to the lake.

59. Get Creeped Out at a Museum in St. Joe

When an occupational therapist in St. Joe asked some of his patients to create replicas of old psychiatric devices, the Glore Psychiatric Museum was born. In 1968, George Glore started the project of recreating antiquated mental health treatments for a display during Mental Health Week. Now, it’s a large museum of psychiatric exhibits. Some of most disturbing exhibits include the “luna-tic box,” which was an upright box that contained patients until they calmed down, a “tranquilizer chair” that some patients were forced to remain in for up to six months, and a display of four hundred fifty-three nails that were swallowed by a resident at the hospital.

60. Pick a Peck at Cider Hill Family Orchard

Cider Hill Family Orchard in KCK is an apple lover’s dream. This thirty-eight-acre farm has more than eighteen hundred apple trees representing more than twenty different cultivars, with more being added every year. Harvest has been going on for more than a month now, but you’ll still be able to fill a bag or two, plus pick a pumpkin and treat yourself to a cider slushie and a donut. Masks are required in common areas, and there will be a timed reservation system during the height of the season.

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