Savor the season

Bountifall activities and events

Written by Karen Long

Get your adrenaline pumping and your heart racing this October while running the Prairie Fire Marathon, hiking through a haunted field or taking in breathtaking views, vistas and activities at one of many area pumpkin farms. Or be moved and delighted in the comfort of your own home during virtual Tallgrass Film Fest. Take in all the autumnal ambiance of these outdoor and online activities while ensuring that your fall is spooky and spine-tingling for all the right reasons. Check websites for times and Covid precautions; some of your favorite attractions may have modifications to accommodate current conditions.

Active and outdoorsy

Boats and Bikes at River Vista, through Oct. 25
Bask in crisp fall air and cool temperatures on the banks of the Arkansas River — or play on the river itself. Rent kayaks, scooters, stand-up paddle boards and trikkes. The latter is a sort of invigorating three-wheeled scooter, human-powered in a back-and-forth “S” motion. Visit wichita.edu/athletics/rowing/boats_and_bikes.php.

Prairie Fire Marathon, Oct. 11
Run freely through the heart of downtown Wichita starting at Wave and follow the Arkansas River through scenic Riverside. The full marathon, half marathon, Mayor's 5K Challenge and Youth 5K are taking place with Covid precautions, including suspension of post-race activities and a trickle start to allow proper spacing. Visit prairiefiremarathon.com.

WSU Virtual Pumpkin Run 5k and 1k, Oct. 10–24
Pick a time within the 2-week window and choose your own course — or run the 5k on the picturesque university grounds on specified days. international runners will be joining from around the globe, and athletes from ages 0 to 12 are invited to the virtual 1K Little Pumpkin Fun Run. The race may be virtual but the t-shirts, finisher medals and other swag are very real. Visit runsignup.com/Race/KS/Wichita/WSUPumpkinRun.

Pumpkin patches and farm fun

Klausmeyer Dairy Farm and Pumpkin Patch, Clearwater
Pick a pumpkin straight from the vine, cheer on the pig races and shoot live zombies with paintball guns from a hayrack ride. And don’t miss the giant jumping pillow, bounding barn, gem mining, petting zoo and hay bale maze! Visit klausmeyerdairyfarms.com.

Applejack Pumpkin Patch, Augusta
Can you find your way out of the corn maze? Ride the Grain Train and pedal cars or fire the Gourdinator gun and Pumpkin Cannon. Explore an abundance of agricultural activities, many of them designed for grownups and kids to relish together. Visit applejackpumpkinpatch.com.

Cedar Creek Farm & Pumpkin Patch, Maize
S’mores, fire pits and a corn maze are just appetizers before the pumpkin patch, barrel train, pony rides and petting zoo. Halloween weekend features Sweetwater Band live at the farm on Friday, and the Halloween Hootenanny Trick-or-Treat on Saturday. Visit cedarcreekict.com.

P and M Pumpkin Ranch, Moundridge
Gear up for some serious play time with a sports barn, pedal kart tracks, Outlaw Oinkers pig race and a western-themed playground. Plus — new this year — Connect4Golf, Barnstormer Ride zipline, hover ball and an expanded nine-building obstacle course. And that’s just the beginning! Visit pandmpumpkinranch.com.

Haunted houses and happenings

Wicked Island, Wichita
What’s lurking in the shadows under the trees? Find out in this treacherous walk through the frightful forest on Wicked Island at O.J. Watson Park. Will the Campbells make their spooktacular presence known this year? Visit wickedwoodswichita.com.

Haunted Cannery, El Dorado
A journey down a long, dark and winding road over a haunted bridge takes you to an abandoned four-story canning elevator and Lunatic Asylum, all infested with clowns, chainsaws, zombies, spiders, werewolves, vampires and everything shiver inducing! Visit hauntedcannery.com.

Field of Screams and Clown Town, Maize
These tainted grounds, long haunted by the Spurlock family, have become a leading regional attraction. In the middle of towering sorghum fields and terrifying tunnels you’ll find the ominous Spurlock workshops. At Clown Town prepare yourself for chaotic mazes, ghastly clowns and dizzying 3D effects. Beware of where the fields are sick! Visit scaryprairiepines.com.

Boos and Brews, Oct. 9
What restless spirits stalk the ancient streets of Cowtown this month? Find out at Boos and Brews. Go on a ghost tour lead by the Wichita Paranormal Research Society, take part in a Victorian seance and belly up the bar at the saloon. Visit oldcowtown.org

Autumn festivals and tours

ICT Bloktoberfest, Oct. 2–3, Wichita Boathouse
It’s not Oktober without wiener dog races, axe throwing, keg rolling, food trucks and a biergarten brimming with 99 local, regional and German beers. Unpack your stein and head to this indoor-outdoor event at the Wichita Boathouse. New this year is Das Party Tent, an upscale all-weather experience complete with bar, wait staff, exclusive stage and private restrooms. Kid and dog friendly. Visit ictbloktoberfest.com.

Junior League of Wichita, Taste of Wichita Restaurant Tour, Oct. 2–11
Pamper your palate with this fundraiser to replace Holiday Galleria, which was cancelled this year due to Covid. Participating restaurants include hot new eatery The Belmont plus culinary luminaries such as Bonefish Grill, 6S Steakhouse, Georges French Bistro, Molino’s Mexican Cuisine, Prost, Sapporo, Two Olives and more. Reservations are recommended, view all the menu options at tasteofwichita.org.

“Depth of Field: A Wichita Photo Album,” Nov. 6–16
In November stroll or drive by this downtown art installation saluting the people and events that have shaped the history of Wichita. Created by Wichita Festivals, Inc. in partnership with AIGA to celebrate the city’s 150th birthday, the show replaces the large-scale event, Wonderfall, postponed due to challenges with Covid.

Tallgrass Film Festival, Oct. 16–25
Streaming soon at a device near you! Enjoy this expanded, 10-day virtual film feast from the comfort of your own home. All the guest Q&As, industry panels and roundtables will transition online, and the TALLPass is back, granting you exclusive access to more than 100 films, VIP happy hours and gala parties. Visit tallgrassfilm.org.

 
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