Every October brings the expectation of a great Halloween, especially in places like Kansas City where the fun crosses over from Missouri to Kansas and places in between. Kansas City haunted houses and spooky fun, here we come!
We know that some of you might not want to be scared and spooked and up with kids suffering from nightmares, and that’s just fine. Kansas City has fun entertainment at The Blue Room, an intimate and family-friendly music lounge attached to the great American Jazz Museum. Just walk in, put some headsets on those kiddoes tuned to Duke Ellington, and just watch them tap their toes. This listening space is sister to the wonderful Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at 18th and Vine, a place where the horror of racist indignities suffered by these amazing athletes is ever so gently felt. There are plenty of other options for Halloween family fun… But why wait until October 31st when you can celebrate as a family all month long?
Low Freak Out Factor: Worlds of Fun, Kansas City, Missouri
Halloween isn’t so scary when you’re surrounded by your favorite lovable characters like the Peanuts cast. Little ones can have a fun “haunt” without all the fear at Great Pumpkin Fest, the G-rated part of Halloween Haunt at Worlds of Fun. They promise “all treats and no tricks” in Planet Snoopy, so your tiny travelers will have a blast. Weekend days and nights other than Friday are kid celebrations from mid-September through Halloween weekend, time for kids to enjoy a pirate adventure in Spooky Planet Snoopy with Charlie Brown, and a treasure hunt with Snoopy. For braver youngsters, there’s a Kansas City haunted house, but one that isn’t too scary.
Over the Top Freak Out: Worlds of Fun and Kansas City Haunted Houses
Keep in mind that every Friday night, active, retired and veteran military are welcomed into Worlds of Fun with a big discount. Why would you need military on site? Well, we heard at the recent TMS Family Travel Conference that after sundown at Worlds of Fun, the place goes wild (and gets scarier!)
The adults’ Halloween Haunt is the Midwest’s largest haunted attraction with more than 500 costumed characters making the 235-acre theme park a positive misery. For older kids and adventurous adults, get ready for eight super scary mazes and scare zones, Kansas City haunted houses and live shows with plenty of scary entertainment. Locals love it because the park closes seasonally in September, then reopens for the holiday. If you don’t have a season pass, check out their site for packages including meals, first in line passes and more.
Low Freak Out Factor Fun in and around Kansas City, Missouri
Boo at the Zoo takes place at the 200-acre Kansas City Zoo, where several Trick or Treat stations are set up for kids of all ages. The zoo is home to 1,500 animals from around the world. On the last weekend in October, the zoo offers trick and treating games, fun and entertainment. At 9:00am, the zoo’s animals take place in a Great Pumpkin Smash to crush, play and destroy their very own pumpkin. Families can tour the Boneville Graveyard, the New Haunted Woods of the Valley, a Jack-o-Lantern display, ride the Scarecrow Train Express, see a “spooky” animal show and much more.
Go for a brick-or-treat adventure at LEGOLAND Kansas City; this ghoulish good time is usually held the last two weekends in October. Inside the mega-store, kids can work on fall-themed builds, go on a scavenger hunt, enjoy a Spooktacular LEGO pumpkin trail and enter a costume contest. Don’t miss the fun mini-ride where you can point your lasers at the bad guys and watch LEGO good guys take the day! Children 2 and under visit free.
Gentle Frights and Farm Style Freak Outs in KC, Kansas
At Overland Park, a planned community dating back to 1905, families can visit the unique Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead at 138th and Switzer in nearby Kansas. It opens each spring and continues with family programming and special fall attractions through October 31 each year. Join their Night of the Living Farm Fundraisers for pumpkins, old-fashioned lanterns and trick or treating. Held on the last two weekends prior to Halloween, families can explore a haunted barn, haunted horse-drawn hayride, hear from a fortune teller, enjoy a marshmallow roast and the Halloween dancing stage.
Kids and train aficionados alike will love the Pumpkin Express Train Rides from Belton, Grandview, and Kansas City Railroad. The end of the line features Halloween games and pumpkins for sale after de-boarding the 1920s era passenger coach or open-air excursion car. Check their calendar of events for an updated schedule; in 2017 they plan to run three rides each weekend day and two on Halloween itself.
From late September to October 31, the Farmstead’s Pumpkin Hollow becomes a pick-your-own-pumpkin extravaganza. Ride the horse-drawn wagon to and from the pumpkin patch, where each person can take home a pumpkin of their choosing. Kids can also ride the Pumpkin Hollow Express — a barrel train pulled by a real farm tractor — or enjoy several other farm activities including: a hay maze, climbing a hay pyramid, play in a “corn” box, slide down a hay-slide, or race pumpkin boats.
We stayed on the Missouri side at the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center on a recent visit, which was convenient to all sorts of family fun including Kansas City haunted houses and even had a great big heated pool. If you don’t want to rent a car, or are afraid of being chased by zombies, hail an Uber, which is widely used throughout the region. For more scary activities, ask the friendly folks at VisitKC, the tourism office which publishes its own blog of KC Fright Night Activities.
Want even more Halloween ideas for kids around the country? See our round-up of what’s going on for Halloween this year.
Share your favorite Kansas City haunted houses and Halloween fun events in the Comments section below!
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