As the temperature in northwest Missouri starts to dip and the colors on the trees come alive, the special season of Autumn ushers in a full calendar of seasonal events and festivals guaranteed to put you in the mood for camfpires, pumpkin pie and hot apple cider. Fall is One of the best times to experience the hometown hospitality and eclectic atmosphere of St. Joseph, the river town situated in the rolling bluffs of the Missouri River, just 50 minutes north of Kansas City.
There’s nothing that says, “Fall in Missouri,” quite like a trip to the pumpkin patch.
Schweizer Orchards, 5455 SE State Route FF in St. Joseph, has been in operation for four generations.Their quaint farmers market store sits on the grounds of an 86-acre U-pick orchard of blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, apples, and pumpkins. In the fall, the hayrides to the apple trees and pumpkin patch bring people from far and near to northwest Missouri to celebrate the fall season. Then, make sure to come back in the winter and pick your own Christmas tree.
At Hunts Orchard, 14615 State Route K in Amazonia, just 12 miles north of St. Joseph, visitors are treated first to a trip inside the general store where you can pick up homemade pies and fresh picked apples. Outside the door is a petting zoo, pony rides and the cutest little tractor-pulled kiddie train, complete with red caboose. Then take a hayride to the pumpkin patch, grab lunch at the outdoor concession area, and watch the kids run through the hay maze or paint their very own pumpkin.
And while not a pumpkin patch, but perhaps a “grape-patch,” Tipple Hill Winery and Vineyard is set atop a high bluff in the countryside with a beautiful view, perfect for capturing the stunning beauty of Autumn. As the first, and as of now only, vineyard in Buchanan County, MO, Tipple Hill always has a full calendar of events including live music, wine&canvas painting classes, and on November 11, an interactive murder mystery event called “The Bane of Bacchus”. Guests are provided with a character background, personal script, itinerary and clues, then dressed and acting in character,you will participate in solving the murder.
Another way to get out and enjoy the crisp fall weather is by taking part in a walking or driving tour, which is available at the St. Joseph Visitors Bureau. Check out the Downtown Architecture walking tour, or the Sculpture Walk tour throughout downtown. We even have a Jesse James driving tour you can explore via car or motorcycle, throughout the northwest Missouri region.
Looking to discover some of the most amazing architecture in the nation? Look no further than St. Joseph. Vast wealth generated by St. Joseph’s manufacturing and wholesale trade is reflected in our city’s extraordinary buildings and homes. Architects working here in the 19th century studied at the finest schools in America and Europe, such Paris’ Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Their works here reflect the heights of fashion and design of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, you will ind 17 historic districts and over 1700 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
Here are some events featuring St. Joseph’s incredible architecture.
Halloween-theme tours focus on the amazing architecture of one of our 17 historic districts at the Harris-Kemper Neighborhood Haunted Walking Tour. This nationally recognized historic district shares their spooky stories during the Halloween season with costumed, guided tours that focus on the architecture of Harris-Kemper Neighborhood. Ticket price $15. Also includes Psychic Fair, $12 readings.
LAST TWO WEEKS IN OCTOBER
One of the most impressive examples of historic renovation can be found at the JC Wyatt House, which goes well beyond one’s anticipated expectations of the Halloween season. The owners Jim Pallone & Chef Jeffrey Keyasko not only create a devilish 5-course gourmet meal, but
immerse you into a hauntingly magical world transforming the home into a different Halloween theme each year. You really must see it to believe it. Call for reservations.
Witches Tea Party Luncheon
Gather your friends (and their brooms) and reserve your spot at the Annual Witches Tea Lunch Party at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. Enjoy a foul feast of lurid lunch fare accompanied by be malevolent mind-readers, putrid prizes, wayward wandering witches, and sickening surprises. Costumes strongly encouraged. This event is not for young ghouls, it is designed for their mummies. Cost is $25 and includes drink, entrée and dessert, Cash bar available.
And as if that wasn’t enough, St. Joseph has several fall-themed family festivals sure to entertain young and old alike.
Pony Express PumpkinFest is a free, family arts festival celebrating the fall harvest with live entertainment, a children’s costume parade, festival rides, games,storytelling, crafts and food. A cannot miss is the lighting of the “Great Pumpkin Mountain” on opening night when thousands of people come to view hundreds of carved, electrically-lit pumpkins come to life with the lip of a switch!
During Voices of the Past, visitors can stroll Mausoleum Row in Mount Mora, a rural garden cemetery established in 1851, and experience St. Joseph’s past through intriguing stories told by costumed living history characters. This year’s theme is“Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief, Doctor, Lawyer, Merchant, Chief.”
Rounding out the fall season and gearing up for winter holidays is the annual Sugarplum Festival inside the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. Over 40 artisans will be on hand offering beautiful holiday gifts and treasures guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit.