The weather might not feel particularly fall-like, but October usually ushers in a profound new feeling. Sweaters. Campfires. Pumpkins and pecan pie.

The weather might not feel particularly fall-like, but October usually ushers in a profound new feeling. Sweaters. Campfires. Pumpkins and pecan pie.

It’s one of the best times of the year in Missouri, with the sweltering heat gone (at least, we hope so!), but the doldrums of winter still months away. October is arguably the best time of the year to pack the car up for a day and hit the road in search of fun with friends and family. If you’re in search of fall-themed ideas and destinations, try out these ideas.

Put on your boots, pull out some plaid, and let the fun begin.

Best place to get lost

October is a time of transition, and that includes the world of sports. Baseball is wrapping up, football is in full swing, and hockey has just begun.

For those still high on the incredible ride the St. Louis Blues hockey team took the region on, there’s good news.

A corn maze in Millstadt, Illinois, pays homage to the Blues and their Stanley Cup-winning performance in 2019.

Sure there are nearer corn mazes, but few have as much team spirit as the 2019 Eckert’s corn maze in Millstadt. Carved in the shape of the iconic Blue Note and the Stanley Cup, this corn maze is one for the history books. This 12-acre maze is available to the public every Friday through Saturday through Oct. 27.

Tickets for the maze are $13/person.

Best festival you’ve never heard of

Tiny Mt. Vernon, Missouri, in the southwest part of the Show-Me State, may claim as its biggest claim to fame, its Old Spanish Fort Archaeological Site. But on Oct. 11-13, 100,000 people will descend on the town to experience some of the finest home cooking resulting in one of the tastiest condiments – apple butter.

Just three hours from the lake area, Mt. Vernon’s Apple Butter Makin’ Days allows visitors to see how the scrumptious spread is made traditionally in copper kettles – beginning at dawn.

Enjoy the butter on one of the many food vendors before strolling through tent after tent of some of the finest hand-crafted wares from across the country.

Top it all off with lively bluegrass and a weekend packed of activities, and you’ve got yourself a fine fall fling.

Best place to see fall colors

For those not in a position to travel far, there’s plenty of opportunity to experience the best of fall right here in the lake area – just head outside.

The peak of fall color in Missouri is usually around mid-October. This is when maples, ashes, oaks, and hickories are at the height of their fall display. Normally by late October, the colors are fading and the leaves beginning to drop from the trees.

And the lake boasts one of the best places in the entire Midwest to observe fiery fall foliage. Head to Ha Ha Tonka State Park west of Camdenton to see the reds, oranges, and yellows of autumn reflected in the Lake of the Ozarks. Then, head along one of the hiking trails to see the maples, ashes, and oaks at their best.

Best way to celebrate homecoming

While each of the local schools celebrate homecoming, just an hour north of the lake area, the University of Missouri – which lays claim as the originators of the annual celebration – sports one of the most impressive homecomings in the country, and not just because of the football.

Sure, the Tigers will play Ole Miss on October 12 during the homecoming but arrive early for an unrivaled display of school spirit.

Wander through the campus’s Greek Town on Oct. 11 to view elaborate sets made nearly entirely of tissue paper and watch cute skits cheering on Truman the Tiger. Then, enjoy a parade through downtown Columbia on Oct. 12 before cheering on the Tigers to victory. Winery, founded in 1984.