13 Fun Things To Do in Missouri in October

Last updated on October 7th, 2023 at 01:02 pm.

From rolling hills to natural springs and heartwarming events all throughout fall, Missouri never disappoints locals or tourists. Our list of things to do in October in Missouri includes festivals celebrating the local harvest, food, music, beer, Oktoberfest and more.

We’ve got you covered from From St. Louis to Kansas City and from Columbia to the Ozark Mountains. Whether you enjoy a great corn maze, love visiting pumpkin patches or looking for the best fall festivals, here are 13 things to do in Missouri in October 2023.

Things to do in Missouri in October

Most Popular Tour In Missouri This October

Night Ghost Tour of Pythian Castle: Explore Springfield’s haunted Pythian Castle on a 1.5-hour evening ghost tour. Uncover the castle’s Gothic mysteries, visit reputedly haunted spots, and hear century-long history along with chilling spectral stories. In this small-group, family-friendly tour limited to 15, you might even encounter restless spirits, creating a truly eerie atmosphere.

Fun Things to do in Missouri in October

Here are 13 fun fall activities to keep you and the whole family occupied in October. We’ve included the best places to visit for pumpkin picking, special events, where to find the best haunted house and so much more!

We also have lists for the best things to do in Kansas City in October and the most fun things to do in St. Louis in October.

1. Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in Columbia | September 29th – October 1st

Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival
Photo Credit: Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival

The 2023 Roots N Blues Festival will take place October 7-9 at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia, Missouri. The Roots N Blues Festival is the only American music festival owned by women.

The annual festival will have 30+ artists spanning various genres, including roots, blues, gospel, and more, with international, national, regional, and local talents. Praised by American Blues Scene Magazine as a top national festival, it offers live music and delectable BBQ from local vendors. Events include a Thursday kick-off, Saturday ½ Marathon/10K, and Sunday Gospel Celebration—a vibrant celebration of music, food, and culture.

Location: Stephens Lake Park; 2001 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201

2. Republic Pumpkin Daze in Republic | October 6-7, 2023

Republic Pumpkin Daze
Photo courtesy of Republic Pumpkin Daze

No one expects October to pass by without seeing pumpkins. The Republic Pumpkin Daze has expanded to a two-day event for 2023. This is no ordinary pumpkin event; it celebrates and showcases GIANT pumpkins. Beyond the pumpkins, vendors gather to show off fall arts and crafts, and families from all over Missouri and beyond gather to celebrate the harvest season. Get into the fall spirit of Ozark by visiting the pumpkin daze on the first Saturday of October.

At this family event, you have all the best treats; from cotton candy to burgers. If you want to go home with a gourd or squash, the vendors lining up the streets will make it possible.

Address: 300 E Hines St., Republic MO

3. Burg Fest in Warrensburg October 6-7, 2023

Burg Fest takes place the first weekend in October. Hosted in the streets of downtown Warrensburg, this two-day festival features a variety of activities. Lots of fun for the kids, including a bounce zone with new and exciting additions this year, are sure to entertain.

There will also be a performance stage with live performances and entertainment, classic car show, street vendors and much more. For the adults, a beer garden and the annual cornhole tournament.

Address: 300 N Holden St., Warrensburg, MO 64093

4. Cackle Hatchery Chicken Festival in Lebanon | October 6-7, 2023

Baby Chick

The 2023 Hatchery Chicken Festival is back! The official “Fall in Love with Chicks” Annual Festival is held in Lebanon, MO.

Visitors enjoy informative lessons from guest speakers on poultry and hatchery while enjoying refreshments and participating in games and contests to win presents and drawings. Activities planned include seminars on chicken health, grown chickens on display, limited hatchery tours, games and activities for children and adults. There will be displays, video presentations, contests, prize drawings, and much more. All activities will take place indoors rain or shine.

Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Address: 411W. Commercial Street, Lebanon, MO

5. Ozark Arts and Crafts Show | October 6-8, 2023

Ozark Craft Show
Photo courtesy of the Ozark Craft Show

Missouri is home to some renowned artists and the Ozark Arts & Crafts Show are the perfect place for visitors to experience the 40+-year-old culture, where residents and local businesses come together to showcase their homemade art.

The 2023 craft show will have more than 250 craft vendors, you get to experience crafted gifts, soaps, pastries, and other crafts on the serene and calm Finley River Park. This is a free event.

Hours: Friday & Saturday, 9am to 6pm. Sunday, 9am to 4pm.

Address: Finley River Park, 600 N 3rd St, Finley, Missouri 65721

6. Downtown Architectural Walking Tours in St. Louis | 7, 14, 21 28, 2023

St. Louis has beautiful landmarks and visiting all the famous spots on a tour is the best way to learn about the city, its history, and architecture.

Explore the fascinating rich history, culture, and architectural legacy of Downtown St. Louis from the city’s founding through its current development. Experienced guides will discuss famous landmarks as well as hidden gems, stunning architectural details, and the art of historic preservation.

The Landmarks Association of St. Louis offers two different tours at 9 am every
Saturday through the end of October.

Tours are $10 per person. Children under 12 are free. Tours run between 2 and 2 1/2 hours long and cover about two miles at a leisurely pace.

7. Pony Express Pumpkin Fest in St. Joseph – October 13-15, 2023

Pony Express PumpkinFest
Photo courtesy of Pony Express PumpkinFest

It’s time for Pumpkinfest 2023 in St. Joseph, Missouri. This is a family-focused festival sponsored by the Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph, MO. It starts Friday night at 5pm and runs on Saturday from 10am to 9pm, and Sunday from noon to 5pm.

The lighting of Pumpkin Mountain is always a highlight! Watch they light over 500 hand-carved pumpkins on the Mountain in front of the Museum at 8pm both Friday and Saturday nights!

There are no admission fees, yet you get three stages for national, regional, and local entertainment. More than 35 exhibitors put their work out there for you to see, as you enjoy food from over ten different booths and food trucks.

Location: 3406 Frederick Ave #2913, St Joseph, MO

8. Apple Butter Makin’ Days in Mt. Vernon – October 13-15, 2023

Apple Butter Makin Days

Apple Butter Makin’ Days is one of Missouri’s most popular festivals and has been held on the courthouse square in Mt. Vernon every October since 1967. The main attraction is apple butter, cooked using century-old methods in huge copper kettles over open fires. That craft is demonstrated on the southeast corner of the courthouse lawn starting shortly after dawn until early to mid-afternoon each day of the festival.

The free festival features 450+ booths of handmade crafts and food and draws nearly 90,000 visitors each year.

Beyond the main attraction of apple butter, there is a full schedule of fun each day including music from live performers, parades, contests, games, food booths, and craft wares from artisans from all across the country.

Hours: 9-6 Friday and Saturday. 10-4 Sunday

Address: 425 E. Mount Vernon Blvd. @ the Lawrence County Courthouse lawn

9. Cornucopia in Kansas City – October 13-15, 2023

Cornucopia Festival in KCMO
Photo Credit: Cornucopia Festival

Prepared for the ultimate fall festival? Or perhaps want to ride Downtown KC’s first Ferris Wheel? The Cornucopia festival is one of the best free things to do in Kansas City, Missouri AND fun things to do in Kansas City. Cornucopia hosts a variety of vendors serving delicious fall treats, rides and games, and musical festivities.

This is a must-see!

Price: Free!

Location: Grand Boulevard, Walnut Street and 14th Street, Kansas City MO 64106

10. Arrow Rock Heritage Festival | October 14-15, 2023

The 54th Annual Arrow Rock Heritage Festival is one of Missouri’s oldest and most popular heritage festivals. Featuring traditional and modern artistic hand- crafted items, historic reenactments, living history presenters, musical entertainment, and food vendors galore. Make sure you shop the unique stores of this historic village. Admission is FREE!

Location: 310 Main Street, Arrow Rock, MO 65320

11. Brew in the Lou In St. Louis | October 14, 2023

Beer Festival

Returning for its 11th year, Brew in the Lou is quickly becoming a favorite St. Louis tradition! Taking place at Franic Park, admission to this event includes unlimited beer, so be sure to bring a designated driver! Additionally, there will be food tastings while supplies last, but there will also be food vendors on site, and each guest gets to take home a commemorative glass!

Tickets to this event are $50 in advance and $60 day of the event. 

Location: 5399 Donovan Ave, St Louis, MO 63109

12. Maple leaf Festival Parade in Carthage | October 21, 2023

Every year, on the 3rd Saturday of October, is the Maple Leaf Festival Parade in Carthage. While the Maple Leaf Festival is celebrated throughout the month in the city, the 16th is the biggest celebration. The day begins at 9am with the largest parade in Southwest Missouri. The parade begins on the Historic Square and ends at the Carthage Jr. High.

Additional events are scheduled throughout the day including the band festival, art & crafts vendors, car and tractor shows, wine tasting, quilt show, food vendors, and live entertainment.

Parade Route: The parade will start on corner of 4th and Main, Go Main down to 3rd, 3rd to Grant. It will then follow Grant down to Grand, Grand to Centennial and over to River.

13. Halloween, Haunted HOtels & Haunted Places across Missouri

No matter your state or city in Missouri, Halloween is a big deal. There are plenty of locations for haunted houses. From Fear Factory to Labyrinth of fear and field of terror, there is so much you can do on this day.

For family fun-packed events (with less screams and terror), you can explore the Great Godfrey maze, Eckert’s Orchards, and Boo at the St. Louis zoo.

October is also the best time of year to explore the haunted side of Missouri!

Missouri pumpkin patches

pumpkin patch farm near kansas city

If you are looking for more fun things to do in MO this October, pumpkin patches should be at the top of your list. Check out the best pumpkin patches throughout Missouri!

Below are a few of additional favorite pumpkin patches in Missouri!

Lloyd’s Pumpkin patch in Ashland, every weekend of October

Pete’s Pumpkin Patch in Rolla

Peachtree Farm pumpkin patch in Boonville, every day of October

McKenna Family pumpkin patch held in Branson, open every day in October

Missouri Weather in October

Temperatures in Missouri in October are a bit chillier than September, but still quite comfortable. Mornings and evenings tend to drop a bit more this month with a daily low temperature average of 44°F (rarely falling below 32°F or exceeding 65°F). The daily high in October is about 63°F (rarely falling below 49°F or exceeding 85°F). September does bring rain and on average about 3.0 inches. 8 days of rain are normal. When you head out to the above October festivals and events, make sure to bring an umbrella or rain jacket!

Missouri Events for Every Month

There are plenty of activities in Missouri every month and we have lists of the best things to do in Missouri for every month of the year! Just click any month to plan your next MO adventure! January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

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Book Your Trip

If you’re planning a Missouri trip, there are several tools and services that can help you find the best deals, experiences, and protect yourself from unexpected events. Here are some recommendations to consider:

Book Your Accommodation
If you’re looking for a comfortable and affordable place to stay during your travels, I love VRBO for vacation rentals. My favorite hotel booking sites are Hotels.com and Booking.com. I love that Hotels.com gives you one free hotel stay for every 10 you book.

Rent a Car
Missouri is a big place and renting a car is the best way to explore and enjoy off-the-beaten path recommendations. I’ve used RentalCars.com for more than a decade to find the best rental car rates—it’s an aggregator that scours the web for the most competitive prices.

Find Interesting Things to Do
Viator, a TripAdvisor property, offers a wide range of tours and activities in Missouri, from city tours of St. Louis and Kansas City to outdoor adventures in the Ozark Mountains.
GetYourGuide is another great option, with a variety of tours and experiences in popular Missouri destinations like Branson and Springfield. Whether you’re interested in exploring historic sites, enjoying the outdoors, or trying local cuisine, these companies can help you find the perfect activities to make your trip to Missouri unforgettable.

Protect Yourself With Travel Insurance
It’s never fun to think about what could go wrong on a trip. A good plan can ensure that emergencies that may come up – medical trouble, stolen items, damage to your belongings, etc. – are easier to handle, and at little to no extra expense to you.

I highly recommend checking out World Nomads before you travel. World Nomads travel insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover trip essentials and is very reasonable.

I recommend Travelex for family travel insurance. Not only does this company offer ‘cancel for any reason’ policies, Travelex also includes coverage for children under 17 when traveling with an adult at no additional cost. (Be sure to read all terms and conditions.)

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