Boogie Down, Bike Around and Bear Up at October's Best Events
13 ways to get festive during 417-land's most colorful season.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.
Cowboys and cowgirls scoot their boots at Sycamore Creek Family Ranch's barn dances Friday nights in October.
Fridays and Sundays in October
Experience fall in its purest form at Sycamore Creek Family Ranch every Sunday in October. Explore the family-friendly corn maze, gather up the crew for a hayride, or keep your toes cozy by the bonfire. Ages 2 and under are free, ages 3–12 are $5 and ages 12 and up are $8. On Fridays, dust off your boots and boogie down at a barn dance where you’ll see the Texas two-step, some country waltzing, swing dancing, line dancing and more.
The Maple Leaf Festival is the go-to destination for all things quintessentially fall. The 51st annual festival takes place on the historic Carthage square, and is chock-full of food, crafts, a dog show, live music and so much more. The star of the show is the largest parade in southwest Missouri that takes place on October 21 featuring more than 200 entries. See more local fall fests here.
Hop on a haunted bus tour around downtown Springfield where you’ll visit a mass grave from the Civil War, Springfield’s first cemetery and other haunted sites. You’ll also learn all about local ghosts' personalities and past lives. Tickets start at $50, and VIPs get to enjoy post-tour appetizers and drinks at Hotel Vandivort.
Saturdays and Sundays in October
Tour SGF on two wheels with Springfield Bicycle Tours. There are five options for biking around the community, including one that highlights local coffee shops. All tours begin at The Potter’s House, and bikes are provided. Tours start at $14 and you can hit the road at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. Make sure to book 48 hours in advance by calling 417-421-8313!
Terrell Creek Farm and Mother’s Brewing Company team up for a night of decadence at Druff’s. The star of the menu is the feta-goat cheese sandwich with zucchini pesto, paired with Tart Peach Bier. Three other melty grilled cheeses are also available. Save room for the chocolate chip chevre mousse draped in strawberries. You cannot miss this taste bud explosion. Call 417-719-1719 to make reservations.
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apple Butter Makin’ Days in quaint Mt. Vernon. Live music and craft vendors can be found on the square, as well as every apple treat possible. Before sunrise on October 14, the apple butter makin’ begins on the courthouse lawn with the help of antique copper kettles. Bonus: Apple butter sales benefit multiple charities. Get some!
One of our favorite stars from The Food Network graces 417-land with his extensive food knowledge in mid-October. Head to Juanita K. Hammons Hall to see Alton Brown demonstrate creative culinary experiments and expose his form of science behind food and cooking. Snag tickets here.
Three-course meal with a side of mystery comin’ right up. The historic Pythian Castle hosts an interactive murder mystery dinner just in time for Halloween. The audience is encouraged to participate, so don’t be surprised if you end up eating dinner beside the killer. Make a reservation here.
Stuff yourself silly at Ozarks Public Television’s Wine and Food Celebration. Enjoy hundreds of wines, delicious food from Springfield’s finest restaurants, craft beer and specialty cocktails. All proceeds benefit educational children’s programming on Ozarks Public Television. Tickets start at $30 and you can get yours here.
Look no further than Cellar + Plate for your fall vino needs. Whether it’s celebrating Halloween like a kid again, or preparing an unconventional Thanksgiving meal, they’ve got you covered:
On October 26, try five types of Halloween candy and see what wines pair best with them. Admission is $20, and the sampling lasts from 6 to 8 p.m.
Shake up the Thanksgiving norm with a deconstructed Thanksgiving meal and wine pairings for only $25. Prepare your palate for turkey, potatoes and pumpkin pie in a brand-new way. Reserve a spot by calling 417-894-2003.
All hail maroon and white! Relive those college days and show your Bear pride at Missouri State University’s Homecoming. Start off the day with the parade at 9 a.m., then head over to BearFest Village to tailgate until the big game. The Bears take on the Indiana State Sycamores at 2 p.m. Following the game, Bears on the Square is the place to be downtown—wear your BearWear for special discounts. #BEARUP!
“Cause this is thriller, thriller night!” On October 28, you are in for a terrifying treat. You don’t want to miss out on any of the three performances of Thriller on C-Street. At 4 p.m., you’ll find a family-friendly performance not too scary for little ones, a PG-13 performance at 7 p.m., and the ultimate zombie-filled dance number at 7:30 p.m. Want to be a part of the thrilling show? Get all the details here!
The cult classic, Rocky Horror Picture Show is back at the historic Gillioz Theatre! Come in costume, and be prepared to do the "Time Warp." Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the film starts at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $12, and the evening also includes raffles, T-shirts and a costume contest.