Hands dig into the springtime earth, heaving up tufts of Missouri dirt cooled by the nearby waters of historic Jowler Creek. The year is 2004 and Colleen and Jason Gerke are trying their hands at winemaking, planting 250 norton grapevines in the ground near their home. Today, the 7-acre plot of land houses more than 3,000 vines, protected by insect-consuming chickens, rodent-hunting hawks and owls, and weed-noshing sheep who graze at carefully managed intervals. The sustainable vineyard sprouts grapes used to concoct eight award-winning wines—from dry to sweet—which are crafted with solar-powered devices. Jowler Creek Vineyard and Winery regularly hosts tours for up to 20 people, where patrons spend approximately 90 minutes observing the crash-diet techniques grapes undergo before squeezing into Jowler Creek's trademark baby blue sealed bottles.
The stresses of the city seem light years away for guests who retreat to Screamin' Oaks Farm, a working farm with goats, pigs, peacocks, chickens, cows, geese, quail, donkeys, and hound dogs. Visitors meet the farm's fleet of white and black goats, whose milk is sold onsite and also made into creamy chèvre goat cheese and homemade ice cream. Farmhands foster introductions to creatures large and small, letting guests milk the goats themselves and pet the furry mane of a young donkey. Turtles idle along in their own dedicated habitat as peacocks stalk the grounds, opening and expanding their turquoise plumage when a mate is nearby or when they want to take up two seats on tractor rides.
Kansas City's Ghosts and Gangsters Tour takes thrill-seekers by coach for an authentically spooky look at KC's paranormal and Mafia life. Strap on a proton pack and let an engaging guide tell of the history and hauntstory of landmarks such as the Hotel Savoy, the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi, and St. Mary's Church, which the ghost of Father Henry David Jardine is said to haunt to prove his death wasn't a suicide and his car wasn't a bicycle. In addition to spectral sights, you'll see several worldly Mafioso spots, such as the location of several late-1970s bombings and bullet holes from a 1933 massacre of four police officers and a fugitive at the Union Station railroad depot. Tours, which start at 1300 W. 12th Street, are held by reservation on Friday nights and Saturday nights from 6 p.m.–9 p.m. and 9 p.m.–12 a.m.
The Chambers of Edgar Allan Poe transports brave souls into a house where Poe's macabre poetry and short stories come to life. Literature buffs and horror enthusiasts will both be enthralled walking into such cryptic Poe classics as The Raven, Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, and Cheerleader Motel. Enter Poe's nightmarish House of Usher and attempt to escape the ghoulish reverberated sounds emanating from the walls. Your morbid journey replicates the feeling of being buried alive, suffocating, claustrophobia, suffocating, and being buried alive. This deal also gets you a line pass, so you'll skip to the front of an often-lengthy queue.
It’s hard to make new friends in a park; but, thanks to KC Crew, friendships have been blossoming all over Roanoke Park, One Park Place, and Penn Valley Park. The secret to their success is rec leagues, in which players compete in softball, tennis, and sand volleyball, a beachy sport far preferable to speed eating shells. The organization provides umpires, a game schedule, and a $100 credit at a local bar awarded to the winning team. And after the sun goes down, the organization offers more in-depth studies of the area nightlife through bar crawls, themed to celebrate holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day or simulate a zombie apocalypse.