This fall season is destined to be different, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still explore. It’s time to load up the family for a well-deserved, socially-distanced getaway! From Cowboy Country to the BBQ Capital, all the way to the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, we’re taking you on a fall foliage road trip across the Midwest that is great for the whole family. Don’t forget to bring your fur friends along for the ride because we’re waiving pet fees through August 2021!
Welcome to Oklahoma City! Also known as the ‘Modern Frontier’, Oklahoma City was named by Travel + Leisure as one of the 50 Best Places to Travel in 2020 and is the perfect stop for some family fun. A Purple Penguin will be eagerly awaiting your arrival at 21c Oklahoma City. Once you get settled in, head down to Mary Eddy’s to grab a bite to eat from Chef Jeff Patton’s lounge menu. Next, explore over 14,000 square feet of exhibition space featuring our current exhibition, SEEING NOW.
There is so much to do in Oklahoma City this fall. Once you’re ready to venture out, we recommend first visiting The Great Pumpkin Patch at Myriad Botanical Gardens. Visitors can enjoy brightly colored murals and pumpkin mosaics that will be placed around the Garden grounds. Looking for some contact-free trick-or-treating? Haunt the Zoo is the place to go for Halloween fun in a safe environment, so don’t forget your costumes! And it wouldn’t be fall without bundling up for a hay ride or getting lost in a corn maze. Orr Family Farm is an OKC favorite and just 15 miles south of the hotel.
We’ve only scratched the surface, so check out our Neighborhood Guide for our favorite places to dine, shop and explore. Too much to see with too little time? Don’t worry, you’re always welcome in the 405!
When you’re ready to pack up and head North to the City of Fountains, be sure to take the scenic route! Discover Oklahoma’s natural beauty at Osage Hills State Park. Here you can enjoy fishing and biking, or simply enjoy the vibrant views of changing leaves. The end of October – beginning of November is typically when you will see the foliage at its peak, so plan accordingly!
It’s time to jump back on the road to your next stop: 21c Kansas City. Nestled between Power & Light District and River Market, the Sky Blue Penguin is ready to welcome you with open wings! Peruse the current exhibition, OFF-SPRING: New Generations before fueling up at The Savoy. You’re sure to enjoy Kansas City native Joe West’s take on modern Midwest cuisine.
Just a short drive from downtown Kansas City, you’ll find Cider Hill Family Orchard. Pick out your own apples and enjoy delicious treats like cider donuts, kettle corn, & apple cider slushes – your family will love it! Big sports fans? Check out a game at Arrowhead Stadium to watch the Kansas City Chiefs, because it wouldn’t be fall without some football. Don’t think we forgot about showing you the picturesque autumn views in Kansas City. After all, it was named one of the 15 Best American Cities for Viewing Autumn Foliage, according to TripAdvisor, and we don’t disagree.
Our list of favorite things to do is limitless, so it was hard to narrow it down for you. Check out our Neighborhood Guide to see for yourself all the amazing things Kansas City has to offer!
Your third and final stop is Bentonville, a small-town destination with a big city feel and just over a three-hour drive from Kansas City. When you’re ready to check-in, 21c Bentonville and the Green Penguin will be there to greet you alongside two dramatic pieces – Orange Tree, a large-scale sculptural exploration of the relationship between sports and urban street culture, and Making Change, a Fleetwood Cadillac limousine covered with thousands of nickels, dimes and pennies, inspired by the original Walton Five and Dime located on the Bentonville town square. From there, take a self-guided tour of the current exhibition: BuzzKill. Visiting on the weekend? Brunch at The Hive is a must if you’re looking to devour Chef Matthew McClure’s refined country cooking.
Monica Mahoney (American), Making Change, 2015.
Did you know that Bentonville is the birthplace of Walmart? The Walmart Museum is located in downtown Bentonville and allows visitors to revisit the dime store experience of Walton’s original 5&10. The museum is temporarily closed for now, but you can still explore the history through the Digital Museum. Speaking of the Walton family, the next place on the list is the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which was founded by Sam Walton’s daughter, Alice. This 120-acre park unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Not to mention, it boasts a beautiful array of leaves in the fall which is the perfect cherry on top of this foliage tour of the Midwest. As you can see, there’s more to Bentonville than its small-town charm, so be sure to check out our Neighborhood Guide to experience it all for yourself!
That concludes the Tour De Midwest! We all need some fresh air and a change of scenery, especially while trying to navigate this ‘new normal’. Lucky for you, we’ve done most of the planning for you and your trip is just a few clicks away. We can’t wait to C U soon!
For your safety and the safety of our communities, we ask that you wear a mask and practice social distancing during your visit. Not to worry, our Penguins are masking up too! For the most up to date information about all of our cleanliness and wellness policies, click here.