9 fun fall activities for the whole family


From left, Hannah, 10, and Haley Halterman, 7, both of Tonganoxie roll a pumpkin Oct. 17, 2013, at Schaake's Pumpkin Patch.


Lucy Devers, 6, and her brother Gabriel Devers, 4, both of Baldwin City, ride one of the carnival rides at the Maple Leaf Festival on Oct. 19, 2013, in Baldwin City.


Mike Amyx passes out candy outside his barber shop during the annual Downtown Lawrence Halloween Trick-or-Treat on Oct. 31, 2013.

Temperatures may be cooling down, but don’t expect to see a drop in fun, funky family events throughout the Lawrence area.

This fall, you’ll find plenty of kid-friendly activities on the docket. From spooky Halloween festivities to sci-fi celebrations to old-timey Americana, there’s something for every family.

Here, we round up a few of the highlights going on now through November. Check out our events calendar for more ideas.

Schaake's Pumpkin Patch

At Schaake's Pumpkin Patch, 1791 North 1500 Road, you'll find more than just jack-o'-lanterns-to-be. Stop by Schaake's (admission is free) throughout October and enjoy a full roster of autumn activities that include free hayrides, a hay maze, farm animals and the straw romp. Crafts and food (goodies like cider and cookies) are also available for purchase. Schaake's is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 31.


In this Journal-World file photo, members of the Peruvian Association of Lawrence, including Marieliza Suarez, of Lawrence, preform a Peruvian Festejo dance during the annual Festival of Cultures on Sept. 15, 2013, at South Park.

Star Wars Reads Day

The Lawrence Public Library and Lawrence Creates Makerspace are teaming up again for the third annual Star Wars Reads Day, an international event sponsored by Lucasfilm and publishers of Star Wars-related books to promote reading. Locally, the event will be held at Lawrence Creates Makerspace, 512 E. Ninth St., from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 11. Attendees, who are encouraged to come in costume, can enjoy snacks, crafts games and a Wookie yelling contest at this free event.

Festival of Cultures

Take the kids on trip around the world without leaving Kansas at the Festival of Cultures from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 12 in Lawrence’s South Park. The event (including music and dance performances) is free, but it’s a challenge to attend without dropping some cash on the festival’s smorgasbord of international culinary delights. Vendors will also be on hand with arts and crafts of various cultures.

Circo Comedia

Montreal-based performers Jean Saucier and Patrick Côté will bring their quirky brand of family entertainment to the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive, at 7 p.m. Oct 18. Their act, Circo Comedia, features acrobatic tricks and daring feats peppered with the duo's distinctly wacky humor. Come early for a free family party complete with food, activities and prizes, from 5 to 6:45 p.m. Tickets for Circo Comedia can be purchased online, in person at the Lied Center's ticket office or by calling 864-2787.

Maple Leaf Festival

Fall in northeast Kansas isn’t complete without a trip to the Maple Leaf Festival, a Baldwin City tradition for more than 50 years. This year’s celebration, scheduled for Oct. 18-19, kicks off with a full carnival Friday, followed by parades (both standard and kiddie variety) Saturday morning. Music, a quilt show, arts and crafts booths and, of course, food, are among the attractions at the festival.

Halloween Monster Ball

For a dose of high-brow but family-friendly Halloween fun, take your costumed kiddos to Lawrence Arts Center’s Halloween Monster Ball, where members of Lawrence Ballet Theatre and the Arts Center’s School of Dance will perform to modern incarnations of classic Halloween tunes. Shows are at 3 p.m. Oct. 25 and 26 and 4 p.m. Oct. 31. For tickets, call 843-2787 or visit the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., or its website, lawrenceartscenter.org.

Downtown Lawrence Halloween Trick-or-Treat

Celebrate Halloween in the heart of the city with this family-friendly event. Downtown merchants will hand out sweet treats and trinkets to trick-or-treaters with starting at 5 p.m. Oct. 31.

“Young Frankenstein”

Got a budding cinephile in the family? Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St., is celebrating the 40th anniversary of “Young Frankenstein” with special screenings 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Oct. 26. The black-and-white Mel Brooks comedy is a silly riff on the classic horror genre, and stars Gene Wilder as a descendent of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Tickets are $8 for adults, and $7 for seniors and children under 12.

“A Mark Twain Storybook”

Watch literature come alive in a re-enact some of Mark Twain’s most popular stories in Baker University’s production of “A Mark Twain Storybook.” Performances are scheduled for at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and 16, as well as 2 p.m. Nov. 16 in Baker’s Rice Auditorium, 404 Eighth St. in Baldwin City. Admission is free.


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