Lake of the Ozarks is known as the place to be for summer fun. But as the temperatures cool and the trees begin to turn, opportunities for enjoyment still abound. Here are some ideas for activities that take advantage of fall’s perfect weather and stunning foliage at the Lake.

1. Visit A Pumpkin Patch… Or Three

Pickin' Pumpkins

Mecca Farms

Mecca Farm is one of the Lake’s top pumpkin patch destinations! With a 150ft slide, corn crib for kids to play in, obstacle course and more pumpkins then you can shake a stick at, Mecca Farms offers a full day (or longer!) of fun for the whole family. Mecca Farms is a great spot for anyone looking for something to do this weekend.

Where: Located just outside of Camdenton.

When: Open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. until the end of October.

Admission: $7/person, and kids 2 and under get in free

For more info, click here:

The Cave Pumpkin Patch

Just 10 miles down Highway 42, outside Osage Beach, The Cave Pumpkin Patch in Brumley is another great option for families looking for fall fun! A field full of pumpkins, playground equipment, outdoor games, a hay ride, snacks, and even places for water balloon fights and paintball! The cave door perched on the hillside is painted up like a big Jack-O-Lantern.

Where: 123 Swinging Bridges Road, Brumley, MO

When: Every Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Admission: $7/person, and kids 2 and under get in free

For more info, click here:

Fischer Farms

A bit more of a drive, but still well-worth it, head to the Fischer Farms Pumpkin Patch! Located in Jefferson City, Fischer Farms offers a 10-acre corn maze, plenty of animals to delight the kids, and hayrides. With fresh produce, pumpkins and mums for sale, Fischer is also a perfect spot to get all your fall shopping completed.

Where: 1905 Old Mokane Rd. Jefferson City, MO 65101

When: Open Friday 4-9pm, Saturday 12-6pm, & Sunday 12-6pm through October

Admission: $7/person, and kids 2 and under get in free

For more info, click here:

2. Take A Hike!

Hiking In The Fall

Ha Ha Tonka State Park: The obvious choice! Walking the million (ok, it’s only 316, but it feels like more) wooden steps from the castle down to the gorgeous blue springs, and then back up… it’s a perfect way to enjoy the colors of fall, perfect temperatures, and beautiful views of the Lake.

Lake Of The Ozarks State Park: Several trails offer varying lengths and terrain. Until we get a freeze, you’ll still want to spray down with something to keep the ticks and chiggers at bay. Start your hike at the Trail Center. Click here to view a map.

View an interactive map of all Missouri State Park trails.

Lake Area Municipal Parks:

Peanick Park (Osage Beach, Hwy 42)

Osage Beach City Park

Camdenton City Park

Laurie Fairgrounds

3. Cave In!

Bridal Cave

No, we’re not talking about buying pumpkin-spice everything or shopping for Christmas decor way, way too early. The fall is the perfect time to go caving at the Lake!

Visit Jacob’s Cave, Bridal Cave, and Stark Caverns just to whet your appetite. The Lake’s caving scene offers the perfect outdoor experience when the temperatures are beautiful. Ready to take your caving to the next level? Check out the area’s advanced caves for more serious spelunkers, in the article below.

Missouri has more than 7,400 documented caves; so its nickname, “the cave state,” is well-ea…

4. Do Some Paddling

Couple Kayaking

There’s never a bad time of year to paddle one of the nearby streams in the Lake of the Ozarks area, but fall paddling can be particularly picturesque. The water and air will be getting too chilly for a dip in the river midway through the trip, but when temps are in the 60s, you won’t be breaking much of a sweat anyhow.

The most popular streams to paddle in the Lake area are the Niangua River and the Little Niangua River.

For the Niangua River, check out NRO Campgrounds: it’s an hour or less from the heart of the Lake area, and they offer all the rentals you’ll need — canoe and kayak — for a memorable day on this Ozark stream. Portions of the river wind through valleys, which makes for especially picturesque paddling when the foliage is turning. Varying paddling trip lengths and everything you need to know can be found here.

Or paddle the Little Niangua, here’s a guide to the significant waypoints. You’ll probably want to bring your own kayak or canoe for this one, as the aforementioned Niangua River is more equipped with campgrounds and outfitters.

Of course, with the diminished boating traffic on the Lake this time of year, putting your kayak in any cove or public access point can be the start of an enjoyable paddle trip; you just won’t have a current to carry you along. One of the Lake’s most popular paddling spots is Ha Ha Tonka Cove: they even have a kayak launch. Read more here.


5. Hop Aboard!

Fall Boating At Lake Of The Ozarks

The fall is the most underrated season for boating at Lake of the Ozarks. As most boaters don’t live here full-time and those with inboard motors are winterizing for the season, the Lake is virtually empty, especially during the week. But under the warm sun, the crisp air pairs with the golden hickory and crimson maples to paint a perfect day on the water. Fishermen find fall is also a great time to wet a line.

Want especially grand fall foliage on the water? Head upstream. Just before the big bend at Bear Bottom Resort and the iconic Morris lighthouse, a cliffside full of cedars and maples is absolutely breathtaking when the colors are at their peak. Keep going upstream for more spans of undeveloped shoreline and cliffs streaked with fall’s bright colors.

6. Closing Weekend At Lakefront Restaurants & Bars

Beers - People Toasting - Cheers

Friends clinking glasses with beer in pub

Closing weekends at popular lakeside bars and restaurants are not to be missed. Most of the patrons tend to be locals at this point, with a few city visitors looking for that last blast of the summer season. Bargains are the order of the weekend with many businesses running half-price deals on food and drink to clean out their inventory before closing for the year. It is a bittersweet, reflective time to sit on the deck in the crisp, fall air with the last frozen drink in hand and think back on sunny boat rides in 90 degrees.

Check your favorite Lakefront bar’s Facebook page, of course, and watch for a list of what restaurant bars will be closing for the season, and when.

7. Visit A Winery

Wine & Grapes & Cheese - A Winery Tour

The Lake area is without an official “wine trail,” but that just means wine-lovers can DIY it. There is no better time to visit wineries than the autumn season. Pack a wine picnic bag, or eat on site, either way, you can’t go wrong. The essential wine picnic bag contains crackers or crusty bread, cheese of various kinds, a little relish or mustard, something pickled, plates, knife, and napkins. Once you get to the winery, all you have to worry about is picking the vintages that you want to enjoy. Fall also often brings special seasonal wines that you can’t get other times of the year, such as spiced, or fruit selections such as apple pie, or cranberry.

Seven Springs Winery

It’s a well known destination for events and weddings, but what stands out at Seven Springs Winery is the wine infused food offerings on the restaurant menu. Beef Bourguignon wraps with Norton wine simmered beef, or a Norton burger with the vintage showing up in a demi glaze are a couple of the offerings. The wine list is blessedly simple to navigate: five reds and five whites of the most popular varieties; Norton, Syrah, Vignoles bring unique and local flair. They also offer a few dessert and sparkling wines which are a welcome find. Seven Springs Winery is located at 846 Winery Hills Estate, Linn Creek.

Open daily, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Shawnee Bluff Winery

Shawnee Bluff is a fixture in the Lake’s winery scene. With the Winery overlooking the Lake on Bagnell Dam Blvd., an afternoon or evening at Shawnee Bluff is an easy win.

If you’re feeling adventurous and effervescent, try Shawnee Bluff’s sparkling tap wine enough. A little fruity, and slightly carbonated, a carafe of the bubbly house stuff goes great with one of their thin crust pizzas and the live band quietly playing in a corner of the beautiful tasting room.

Specialties like wine slushies and fresh salads are enjoyed on an unmatched view from the patio overlooking the main channel and toll bridge at the Shawnee Bluff Winery above the Bagnell Dam Strip.

Closed Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Open Thursday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Dale Hollow Winery

A little bit of a drive—but through beautiful countryside, and well-worth it—visit Dale Hollow Winery in Stover. Winners of the 2019 Missouri Wine Competition’s Best of Class Sweet Red Wine, for their 2018 Concord, Dale Hollow is quickly becoming a staple Missouri winery.

Read this article about them in Missouri Wines:

Try their LakeHouse white wine blend, which their website describes as “a delicate, dry white blend with bright acidity.”

Open through Oct. 31.


Thurs: 1pm-6pm

Fri: 1pm-7pm

Sat: 12pm-6pm

Sun: 12pm-5pm

More info:

The importance of the changing of the seasons is to get out and experience the crisp fall air, and colorful display. Have some fun with the family in a laid back environment before the hectic holidays come upon us. Appreciate what a valuable commodity and varied culture that the lake area affords us locals to have fun year round. 


Get exclusive info about the festival

Subscribe to our newsletter and don’t miss anything.

We promise we will not spam you!

Follow the Avada Festival