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6 Things To Do In Kansas City Before Fall Is Over

Winter is coming, but you can still get a taste of the autumn spirit with the Great Midwest Balloon Festival and other activities going on in Kansas City next weekend.

Fall is in full swing – and fading fast.

That’s the funny thing about fall. One moment the leaves are changing color and the next they’re on the ground. Turn away and you’ll miss it.

Don’t be left holding a rake – or, worse, a snow shovel – before taking advantage of what this fun and fleeting season has to offer.

1. Pumpkin love

Orange you glad that the Kansas City area has so many pumpkin patches to pick from? I could tick off a good 10 or so, but that’s what internet search engines are for. One favorite spot is Powell Pumpkin Patch, whose longtime family proprietors call it the metro’s “most traditional” (read “sincere”) patch. No doubt, the Great Pumpkin would approve. Besides an array of on-the-vine gourds at reasonable prices, the 35-acre setting includes a nature trail, a small playground, hay rides and a corn maze. And, if you’re thirsty, it’s in the same vicinity as the Louisburg Cider Mill, which also has its own 10-acre pumpkin patch. They’re everywhere!

Daily through October 31, 9 a.m.-6 pm.; Powell Pumpkin Patch, 25695 Spring Valley Road, Louisburg, Kan.; admission: free (corn maze entry is $4 for ages 12 and older; $2 for ages 6-11).

2. Great Midwest Balloon Festival

The sight of expertly piloted inflatables flying above the horizon is the marquee attraction of the Great Midwest Balloon Festival. In addition, the public can also take balloon rides, both untethered (scary and expensive) and tethered (less scary and inexpensive). But folks won’t have to leave the ground to get that soaring feeling, thanks to evening balloon glows, during which festival pilots will collectively light up their balloons on good old terra firma for a splendiferous photo opp. And the shapes of some balloons will be special, too, including an Angry Bird, a Purple People Eater, a scarecrow, a haunted house and the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. Trust me, it’s going to be a really big shoe!

Oct. 23, 4-10 p.m.; Oct. 24, 2-10 p.m.; National Agricultural Center Hall of Fame, 633 N. 130th St., Bonner Springs, Kan.; admission: $18 adults ($23 two-day pass); $10 ages 4-14 ($13.50 two-day pass); balloon rides cost extra.

3. Football folly

The Kansas City Chiefs have put themselves in a tight spot, with only a single victory to show for fans’ high expectations coming into the season. Still, even with franchise running back Jamaal Charles injured and out for the year, many games remain to be played and anything can happen. OK, it’s basically over. But if the team’s chances for making the playoffs look bleak at best, look on the bright side: Affordable tickets on the secondary market should be easy to come by when the Chiefs host the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium. Go Chiefs! Please, go Chiefs.

Oct. 25, noon; Arrowhead Stadium, 1 Arrowhead Drive, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $115-$385.

4. Pagan Garage Sale

What do witches want to get rid of? Find out at the fourth annual Pagan Garage Sale, a fundraiser for the Kansas City Witches Meetup Group. The KCWMG invites pagans of all persuasions to socialize and learn about witchy stuff at monthly meetings around the Kansas City area. And to think that witches were once burned at the stake! Not that they’re still bitter or anything, but be polite while haggling at this sale. You wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of anyone’s wand. Zap! Oh, great, now I get to go home as a toad.

Oct. 25, noon-5 p.m.; behind Aquarius New Age & Metaphysical Store, 39th Street and Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

5. Janet Jackson: ‘Unbreakable World Tour’

Did you fall for Janet Jackson when she was a cute kid actor in the 1970s sitcom, “Good Times?” Or was it when she broke out as a red-hot singer and sexy dancer in the ’80s? It might have been years later, when she became an appealing presence in such big-screen comedies as “The Nutty Professor II.” If you’ve somehow never fallen for the multi-talented and mega-successful Ms. Jackson – the younger sister of the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson – her fall concert tour offers an unusually enticing opportunity for those yet to be smitten to find the rhythm. Oh, go on. You know you want to.

Oct. 27, 8 p.m.; Sprint Center; 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $37.50-$123.

6. Day of the Dead Festival

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will celebrate the Day of the Dead – the Mexican holiday that evokes thoughts of deceased family and friends – with the installation of a colorful (as in skeleton-adorned) alter, along with related readings, music, dancing and art activities. The latter includes decorating a miniature skull made of sugar to do with as you please. A sweet memory, indeed.

Nov. 1, noon-4 p.m.; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

Brian McTavish follows popular culture in the belief that the search for significance can lead anywhere. Brian explains, "I've written articles and reviews ... reviewed hundreds of concerts, films and plays. And the thing is, these high arts all sprang from the pop culture of their day. Don't forget: Shakespeare was once Spielberg."
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