Welcome to Platte County, Missouri, the union of many rivers and Midwestern walks of life. While Platte County has been influenced by the hip, cosmopolitan Kansas City, it has kept its vibe as a friendly and tight-knit community. It’s the perfect spot to plan a getaway that’s full of fun events, beautiful nature and entertainment for the whole family. Wondering when is the best time of year to visit? Thankfully, there’s no off-season for a place like this, so regardless of the time of year, come up north to this laid-back corner of the Kansas City region.
Platte County bursts with life and celebration as winter turns to spring, and there’s endless ways to explore the countryside, be it on foot, horseback or by car.
Weaving alongside the Missouri River’s banks and bluffs, the Lewis and Clark Trail is one of Platte County’s finest features. Follow the preserved trail on foot, bike or car as it winds through Riverside, Parkville and up to Weston. One of the best outdoor gems of the Lewis and Clark Trail is Weston Bend State Park. Trails and campsites abound in this prominent migratory bird corridor that attracts birders from around the globe. The site has earned its reputation as a bird watchers’ paradise—each spring, three-quarters of migrating bird species on the continent cross this corridor! Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars, a guidebook, sharp eyes and listening ears.
Bring back a Platte County-original souvenir from the source at Comanche Acres Iris Gardens. Cultivated by a regionally famous gardener for four decades, you’ll find Comanche Acres Irises in gardens across the country. See the art of carefully cultivated blooms for yourself as you stroll among the countless varieties hybridized on the farm.
Sometimes driving a car to take in the beautiful countryside just doesn’t cut it. Why not experience it on a on a guided horseback ride with Wild Rose Equine Center? This family activity is the perfect way to get fresh air and see the sights, even if you’ve never been riding before. The horses are gentle, and the staff is well trained to teach both you and your smallest cowpoke how to ride.
On St Patrick’s Day, celebrate in more memorable ways than by just wearing green. Grab a pint at O’Malleys in Weston, the oldest pub in the US, west of the Hudson River. Christened in 1842, when the State of Missouri was only 21 years old, O’Malleys and Weston Brewing Company continue specializing in Euro-style beers and traditional Irish fare. The place roars with the sound of several Irish artists and bands each St Paddy’s Day, in unmatched revelry.
Ready to do a wee bit more celebrating? Drop by Weston’s Celtic Ranch, purveyor of fine Irish fashion and gifts. Whiskey aficionados also must come during one of the Celtic Ranch’s tasting events and develop a refined appreciation for Irish whiskey, scotch, bourbon and offerings from newer distillers.
Summertime in Platte County is all about festivals, free concerts and family fun. Start your adventures with the Platte County Fair. As one of the most anticipated events of the region, it’s packed with heart-pounding classics like the rodeo, demolition derby, a mud-a-thon and live music. Be sure to bring your family for the petting zoo, 4H competitions and carnival rides.
It’s also the perfect time to enjoy the sweet sounds of summer. Missouri has a legacy of profound impression on American music, especially jazz. Experience it for yourself in Kansas City’s Zona Rosa, as they keep the city’s scene thriving with their free music concerts. Running Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer months, you’ll be able to relish the best of modern Kansas City with a genre-bending blend of local talent ranging from rock and roll and blues to country and folk.
Embrace the beauty and charm of the countryside with a visit to Green Dirt Farm. They’re a nationally awarded sheep dairy farm with a unique story and fascinating tours. You’ll learn firsthand about life on the farm and have a chance to reserve a chair at a gourmet farm-to-table dinner. Top-notch chefs travel from around the country to prepare an intimate and exquisite dining experience. For more information, check their website for upcoming dining and pairing events.
Harvest season is a joyful time in Missouri. Aside from spectacular leaf-peeping opportunities, it’s also the season to come share in the first fruits of Platte County’s farms.
Forego the grocery store and pick a perfect basketful of apples yourself at Alldredge Orchards of Platte City. This family farm is famous for its wide range of apple varieties, but they also sell local treats at their on-site café. Children also get a chance to feed farm animals and pick their perfect October jack-o-lantern pumpkin.
Ready to keep the apple party going? Weston’s beautiful downtown roars into gear during the yearly Applefest Parade, complete with a parade of classic cars and tractors. Bring an appetite for the classic and curious—you’ll be surprised how many dishes are made with apples.
Do you long for the lilt of a bagpipe and opportunity to don the old kilt? Return to Weston again for the Irish Festival in October. This three-day event features Celtic music from around the country and across the Atlantic. Singers and bands run the full gamut of Irish music, from folk to punk and Celtic rock. All the while, keep your glass full with the many European-style beers from Weston Brewing Company.
The towns of Platte County transform into storybook scenes for the holiday season. On the banks of the Missouri River, the idyllic town of Parkville has been heralded as the Most Charming Main Street in Missouri. When decked in tinsel and fir, downtown Parkville looks like a painting. Embrace the holiday cheer during their Christmas on the River Festival in early December. This free family-friendly event occurs each December and features a 1,000-voice choir, Christmas caroling and fireworks.
Not to be outdone, Weston holds its own holiday traditions. Each November, Father Christmas kicks off the season with the Holiday Open House and children’s parade. This is also your chance to ride in a one- (or two-) horse open sleigh on the carriage rides that run throughout the event. Mark your calendars to return in mid-December for their Candlelight Homes Tour, where century-old houses and churches are graced with Victorian Christmas decor and are open to the public.
Keep active in the winter with a day at Weston’s Snow Creek Ski Area. You’ll be able to pose for the family Christmas card and “Skisons Greetings” before zipping down well-groomed runs or shredding it in their two freestyle terrain parks. Abundant snowmaking ensures slopes are open throughout the winter. Never been skiing before? Snow Creek is a perfect place to learn, and they offer lessons tailored to adults and children. If you’re entirely new to the snow and want to get on the slopes, try their massive tubing hill, perfect for families with young children.
No matter the season, Platte County has activities and events for the whole family. When you visit, be sure to take a deep breath and take it all in. The gorgeous scenery, the sounds, the sights… blink and it will be replaced with the next big moment. But, in a place like Platte County, that just means something new to look forward to.