Fall Foliage in the ‘Burbs

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”  –William Cullen Bryant

In less than a week, the official start to fall will be underway. The temps in Kansas, according to Weather Center, will remain in the 80’s, but we Kansans flock to our sweaters and jackets the moment a slight chill is in the air. You might think that Kansas isn’t necessarily the greatest spot to view the beautiful colors of fall. Well, while we may not have the foliage followers of the Northeastern states, we can certainly hold our own in beauty, color and fantastic weather when the leaves do begin to turn.

Here in suburban Merriam, just 10 minutes from downtown Kansas City, it can be challenging to find large swaths of foliage to gaze upon, but we are definitely full of pockets of autumn Pantones across the city. Take a peek at our favorite spots to view the changing leaves this season!

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Antioch Park, Merriam Kansas

  • Turkey Creek Streamway Trail — running along the west side of I-35 from Waterfall Park to the 75th Street access point, this 4-mile paved trail is full of trees, shrubbery, wildlife and a trickling stream for a beautiful nature walk this fall.
  • Antioch Park — the most popular park in Merriam, Antioch Park offers picturesque views of some of the most vibrant and beautiful trees in our city.
  • Merriam Historic Plaza — check out the pretty line of maples along the sidewalk of Merriam Historic Plaza at Shawnee Mission Parkway and I-35. While you’re there, take in a mini history lesson about our great city on the outdoor walking path.

Nature’s beauty is never more evident than when the trees become ablaze in brilliant shades of oranges, reds and golds. Where’s your favorite spot to view the leaves in Merriam? Snap a pic when the colors are in full bloom, share it socially and tag us @ExploreMerriam–we’d love to see your fall photos.


For the locals:
The leaves are pretty but they eventually fade and drop to the ground. This year, the City of Merriam has arranged for Benjamin Lawn & Landscape to offer a group rate for residential curbside leaf removal in neighborhoods. Click here to learn more!

For the visitors:
Stop by the Merriam Visitors Bureau office at 6304 E. Frontage Road (M-F 8-4:30) to pick up a Merriam Visitors Guide full of attractions, shops and restaurants, or click here to explore our seasonal favorites in and around Merriam!

Eclipse With Merriam!

Have you ever heard the saying, “the future’s so bright we gotta wear shades?” Well, that rings true for Merriam, Kansas and the entire Nation on Monday, August 21, 2017 when the solar eclipse treks across the country–an event not witnessed in 38 years and one that many of us may never see again.

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To welcome the eclipse, Merriam has teamed up with other local CVB’s and Chambers, the Johnson County Park & Recreation District and local food trucks to offer “Total Eclipse in the Parks.” If you have the opportunity, you should try to make the trek to the path of totality and we are aware that our destinations are not in the path of totality. But, there are some folks who simply can’t make the trip to the path, so we’re hosting eclipse viewing parties in Merriam, Shawnee/Lenexa, and Olathe. We’ll be 99.8% dark during the eclipse, so if you’re looking for a lunchtime spot to view this celestial celebration, come on out to Antioch Park, Heritage Park or Shawnee Mission Theater in The Park anytime between 11:30-1:30 on Monday! If you’re one of the first 200 individuals to join us, you’ll score a FREE pair of ISO certified solar viewing glasses.

Until then, check out a few eclipse tips we think you’ll enjoy! Happy eclipsing.

  • Arrive a little early to your view site to secure your prime viewing location. Antioch Park view site will be at Shelter 2. Parking is limited (again, not in the path of totality, just FYI)
  • Bring plenty of water, a lawn chair or blanket, sunscreen and bug spray.
  • Pack a cooler or bring some cash (or credit card) to grab a bite from the Fresh & Tasty Food Truck–they’ll have cold sandwiches, baked potatoes, mac & cheese and cold drinks.
  • Secure your solar viewing device early! Many places are selling non certified glasses now which are not safe to view the eclipse. Look for the proper ISO requirement on the glasses.
  • Bring a camera to document the event, but don’t miss the actual peak by viewing through a camera lens. Take it in and enjoy this historic celestial moment. If you must shoot photos, remember to still protect your eyes.
  • If you can’t even make it outside at all, download the Total Solar Eclipse 2017 app by Exploratorium. This cool app will feature live streaming by educators and NASA scientists. NASA will also live stream on television so everyone can view.
  • Check-out this eclipse map which details the path of totality across Kansas!
  • Here’s a list of fun eclipse events in our region!

Happy eclipsing everyone!