Autumn Leaves & Pumpkins Please

Oh my gourd, how is it already October?!? All the fall happenings are, well, happening here in Kansas. Our agritourism businesses are bustling with fall festivals, pumpkin patches, and some of the best fall-inspired treats around. Here at Kansas Tourism, we are serving up spooky road trips ideas, featuring the most haunted hotels and attractions across the state. 

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The above photo was taken by @scottbeanphoto along one of the trails at the Landscape Arboretum near Wakefield

Bone Chilling Kansas Adventures

Spooky season is upon us and Kansas is a hot spot for haunted experiences. From small charming towns with secrets to hide to historic forts. We have several attractions that will give you goosebumps and send you running for the hills (we have those, Kansas really isn’t flat) . If don’t believe in the hocus pocus, but love good folklore, Kansas has plenty of those too!

The Oldest Halloween Parade in the Nation, Hiawatha’s Halloween Frolic

In 1914, Mrs. John Krebs held a party for the Hiawatha children.  In those first years, the youngsters dressed in costume and decorated their trikes and wagons….the first “floats”.  She entertained with awards and cookies for the little GHOSTS AND GOBLINS.  Mrs. Krebs started a tradition that has been expanded on to include two big parades, numerous contests with trophies and cash prizes, and a Halloween Queen contest.

Neewollah Celebration in Independence

Neewollah celebration (Halloween spelled backwards) began in 1919 as an effort to provide positive activities for kids of all ages in place of the typical Halloween pranks that occurred in the community of Independence, Kansas. In the beginning the events centered on parades, morning, afternoon, and night on October 31. The parades consisted mainly of decorated cars and carriages. Queens and princesses from area festivals rode in the parades, along with our own Queen Neelah who was selected based on votes bought at a penny each. The Great Depression and World War II interrupted the Neewollah celebration but in 1958 four businessmen revived and elaborated on the Neewollah theme bringing it back as a 3-day celebration.

Today Neewollah is the largest annual celebration in Kansas. The city of Independence will grow from a town of just under 10,000 inhabitants to 75,000 in the final days of the now 10-day celebration. Today’s celebration now includes 3 parades, a Doo Dah Parade (adult Kiddie Parade), a Kiddies Parade and a Grand Parade. Chili Cook-off, a hometown musical and queen’s pageant also add to the festival activities. The main downtown is filled with 30 plus food vendors, a large carnival and bandstand for nightly entertainment. The Arts and Craft show, the Band Competition and Fun Run provide activities for everyone. 

Needing a Luxury Getaway Before the Holidays?

Looking for a taste of luxury? We say “TREAT YOSELF!” But if you’ve got a desire for luxe with a budget in mind, we’ve got some ideas for you, too. Let’s take a look into some of our favorite luxe Kansas destinations, from hotels and B&Bs to dining and more. Now is the perfect time to plan a getaway before the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Take those vacation days, find a sitter and book your self-spoiling vacay today!

New “Women in Space” Exhibit at Cosmosphere

Cosmosphere’s “Women in Space” exhibit tells the story of individual women’s trials and triumphs as their lives intersected with the history of space exploration over the past six decades. From the disappointments suffered by American women who were found fit for spaceflight in the 1960s, but kept from space by NASA policies of the time, to this year’s joyful space launch of Wally Funk, one of those same women, Cosmosphere’s exhibit highlights twelve women’s inspiring contributions to space education and space exploration.

Events in Kansas

Check out the wide variety of special events taking place near you year-round – celebrating arts, culture, athletics and more! Need something to do this weekend? Or planning a trip? Kansas has you covered with events and festivals happening every single weekend across the state!

For more inspiration, check out the 2021 Kansas Travel Guide and the Kansas Byways Guide

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