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Family-friendly activities to make this fall a ball!

Children playing in a pumpkin patch

The leaves are changing, the air is getting crisp and pumpkins are popping up everywhere. We talked to Children's Mercy families about some of their favorite family-friendly fall activities - whether you prefer to get into the fall spirit at home or get out and about in the Kansas City area.

Visit a pumpkin patch to pick your pumpkins - plus much more.

Is there an activity that screams “it’s fall!” more than visiting the pumpkin patch? In addition to getting all the pumpkins you need for porch décor and Jack-o-lanterns, many area pumpkin patches have activities like wagon or hayrides, petting zoos, field mazes and plenty more to keep your kiddos entertained. Popular picks include Carolyn’s Pumpkin Patch, Weston Red Barn Farm, Faulkner’s Ranch and Deanna Rose Farm – but no matter your area of town, there’s sure to be a perfect pumpkin patch near you.

Carve or decorate pumpkins.

Once you’ve picked your pumpkins, you can follow up with this classic fall activity! Pick out a pumpkin for each member of the family and make an event of carving silly (or scary!) faces in them. If you have little ones, or simply prefer to avoid carving, decorating your pumpkins with paint, stickers or glitter is a safe and fun alternative. 

Go camping - in your backyard!

Pitch a tent, roast marshmallows and tell ghost stories – all from the comfort of your own backyard. This is an easy way to get an authentic camping experience under the stars, while still staying close to home. 

Tailgate at a Chiefs game or under the Friday night lights.

Head out to Arrowhead Stadium for a tailgate. Grab your burgers, hot dogs and yard games and make it a Sunday Funday while celebrating our reigning Super Bowl champions. Or, check out your local high school’s schedule and catch a game with your family under the Friday night lights. 

Make a day of apple picking.

Pack up your basket and head to one of Kansas City’s several area apple orchards. Options include Cider Hill Family Orchard, Alldredge Orchards and Weston Orchard. Once you’ve picked your bushel, many of these orchards have  games, apple treats and more fun activities – so you can make a whole day of it!

Get a taste of the golden days at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.

Hear ye! Held every Saturday and Sunday through Oct.15 in Bonner Springs, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival (also known as Ren Fest) has stage acts, jousting, music, food and more fun 500 years in the making!

Get active while doing good!

Events like Children’s Mercy’s Dream Big Day on Sept. 30 allow you to support your community, while also enjoying a chance to walk together and enjoy a family festival at Crown Center Square.

Have a pumpkin bake off.

Have a taste for all things pumpkin? Get creative in the kitchen with a pumpkin bake off! Let your kids come up with their own ideas – muffins, cookies, pumpkin bars, anything goes. Have prizes for things like most creative, best decorations and fan favorite. 

Shop local at an area Farmer's Market.

If you’re looking for seasonal produce, fresh flowers or want to discover your new favorite snack from a local vendor, check out an area farmer’s market. Popular options include The City Market, Parkville Farmer’s Market and Overland Park Farmer’s Market – but no matter what area of town you live in, there’s sure to be a great option close to you. 

Shop or DIY your Halloween costumes.

Whether you’re doing a themed family costume or the kids have their own ideas, shop for costumes as a family. Or, gather craft supplies and spend an afternoon in your garage DIY-ing them! A little paint, scissors and sewing can go a long way 

Sip on some fresh apple cider.

Pumpkin not your thing? Give some apple cider a try for a fresh fall flavor. Buy a few varieties at the store for a taste test or visit the Louisburg Cider Mill for an authentic cider experience. They’re open every day and the weekends host extra fun like food vendors, caramel apple making, donuts and more.  

Spend a day experiencing life on the farm.

Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is the perfect place to get in touch with nature. With over 250 animals and birds, a fishing pond and many different varieties of flowers and vegetables, your children can learn while you make family memories. The farm is open daily and the season runs through Oct. 31.  

We hope these tips help spark a fall full of fun and togetherness for your family. And if none of these activities excite your family, you can always stay home and make an afternoon of raking and jumping in leaves before clearing them out of the yard!