Don’t Miss These Family-Fun Missouri Fall Festivals

There’s still time to check out all of Missouri’s fall festivals, so pack the family in your trusty Jeep SUV or Dodge Grand Caravan and get ready for caramel apples, pumpkin pie, and malty brews!

These are just a few Missouri fall festivals and, we promise, you don’t want to miss a single one.

National Crafts & Cowboy Festival

Every Wednesday-Sunday, September 13-October 28

At Silver Dollar City theme park in Branson, visitors can be delighted by over a month of Wild West shows, authentic cowboy memorabilia and wagons, real wild mustangs, barn dances, and more.


Pumpkin Palooza

October 28, 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Visit lovely Washington, Missouri for their annual Pumpkin Palooza. With free admission, all-day activities for kids, plus a bountiful farmers food and craft market, this event is a guaranteed happy afternoon.


Scarecrow Festival

October 1-31

Every October, the town of Eureka is invaded by the most creative, sometimes-scary, always-delightful scarecrows this side of the Mississippi. The townsfolk go a little overboard inventing the most off-the-wall scarecrows you’ll ever see, and since each year brings something wacky and new to the scene, you won’t want to miss your chance to see what’s out there in 2017. Check out their website for a detailed calendar of events.


You need a reliable car, truck, or SUV to deliver those pumpkins from the patch to your front stoop, so pay us a visit at Gary Wood CDJ and we’ll get you into the best vehicle to meet your family’s fall-fun needs.

Verona Maize

Verona Maize - Gary Wood CDJ Blog

Fall is finally here, and nothing says autumn-time celebration like a good old-fashioned maze. At Gary Wood CDJ, we’re lucky to have perhaps the best maze in Missouri just fifteen minutes away. The Verona Maize is operated by the GRIP Boys Home, and was started 18 seasons ago. This 7-acre cornfield maze attracts families and friends from all over the area, and all proceeds go towards the GRIP Boys Home.

In fact, people of all ages are likely to have a swell time in the Verona Maize. The maze twists and turns for two miles, leading explorers to fake exits and dead ends. The maze takes an average of 45 minutes to complete. Once you’re finished, you can celebrate your win by participating in some of the other family-friendly activities on sight. Gather the group for an old-fashioned hayride, or give the kids a few minutes of wild fun on the giant jumping pillow.

The Verona Maize opens on September 23, 2017 and runs through October 28, 2017. The season includes admission to the maze, courtyard activities, and even offers haunted hayrides and events to spook you into the Halloween spirit. You’ll have plenty of chances over the next month to pay a visit to one of Missouri’s best fall sights, so don’t miss your chance.

Our Favorite Fishing Spots in Missouri

fishing spots in Missouri - gary wood cdj blog

There’s nothing quite like an afternoon spent fishing. Whether you’re catching some trout for dinner or taking the kids to hunt crawdads with a bucket, our home state of Missouri is chock-full of lakes and rivers that make for the perfect place to spend a few hours in nature.

It’s hard to pick out the very best, but here are just a few of our favorite fishing spots in Missouri:

  1. Stockton Lake is an enormous body of water about 50 miles from Springfield with dozens of great spots to toss a line. Stockton also boasts an impressive variety of fish, including Bluegill, Catfish, Walleye, and White Bass.
  2. Maramec Spring Park is a great place for old and new anglers alike. Stocked regularly for guaranteed good sport, Maramec Spring is also the fifth largest natural spring in all of Missouri.
  3. This list would not be complete without mentioning the Lake of the Ozarks. This lovely, scenic lake is one of the best places to fish for Bass in the entire Midwest, not to mention the views that will take your breath away.
  4. Finally, Bull Shoals Lake at the Arkansas border is an enormous manmade lake full of deep, clear water and swarming with a myriad of fish types. Whether you’re looking for Black Bass, Striped Bass, White Bass, or any kind of Bass, really, Bull Shoals is the spot for you.

Need a capable new SUV to get you to all these great fishing spots in Missouri? Visit us at Gary Wood CDJ to see our full lineup of Jeep vehicles, the perfect transporter for your every weekend adventure.

5 Best Missouri Hiking Spots for Jeep Drivers

There’s nothing in the world that says “the great outdoors” quite like venturing into the wilderness in your brand-new Jeep Wrangler. If you or one of your loved ones has a Jeep but hasn’t had the chance to go off on a fun hiking trip yet, then why not plan one soon? Here’s some recommendations for the best Missouri hiking spots.

Ozark Trail

When it’s finished, this trail will be over 500 miles long and stretch the length of the Ozark Mountains. Check out the 35-mile-long Taum Sauk section.

Natural Tunnel Trail

Head to this scenic trail in the Bennet Spring State Park to see the Bennet Spring Natural Tunnel, a 296-foot long passage. It also features diverse terrain.

Ha Ha Tonka state Park

Ha Ha Tonka State Park. Photo by Jason Runyon.

Lewis and Clark Trail

How could you pass up a trail named after the most famous adventurers of the pioneer era? View stunning limestone cliffs and the Missouri River.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

14 trails await you in this state park, including the otherworldly Devil’s Kitchen, Turkey Pen Hollow, and Colloseum Trail.

Mark Twain National Forest

This nationally-recognized forest is too huge to be explored all in one day, but some highlights include the 12,000-acre Hercules Glade Wilderness, the Rutherford Bridge, and Cedar Creek Trail.

Mark Twain National Forest

Mark Twain National Forest. Photo by Bhanu Tadlnada.

Need a Jeep to help you get to these scenic Missouri hiking spots? Just stop by our dealership here at Gary Wood today.

Summer Maintenance Tips

summer maintenance tips

Winter may seem harsh on a vehicle, but summer takes its toll on our cars as well. Make sure your vehicle from Gary Wood stays in great condition throughout the season by following these summer maintenance tips.


Summer is the season of road trips. Before your hit the pavement, prepare your car’s tires for all of the miles you’ll be putting on it. Make sure that their air pressure remains at the recommended PSI consistently for safe handling and the best possible gas mileage, and see that your tires remain free of cracks or debris stuck in the tread.

Coolant System

Your car gets hot in the sun, too. Check under your hood and make sure you have enough coolant fluid and that the hoses and your coolant reservoir look to be in good condition. Watch for cracks and leaks, and squeeze the hose to see that its firm rather than squishy.

Air Filter

There’s enough pollen and pollutants in the air as it is. Make sure you’re car is getting the cleanest air possible by changing your air filter at the beginning of the summer. This task is usually simple to do by yourself, but when in doubt you can always bring your vehicle into Gary Wood and let us handle your summer maintenance for you.

Fun Missouri Road Trips

Missouri Road Trip Area

Taking a much-needed road trip to a premier destination is one of the great things about owning a reliable and capable vehicle. Whether you’re looking for a hot vacation spot or a relaxing getaway, odds are there’s a place that’s right for you here in Missouri. The following are just a few fun Missouri road trips you can take in your new Chrysler, Dodge, or Jeep, from us here at Gary Wood.

  • Hotel Frederick – Those looking for a short trip from home will find it just an hour and 40 minutes from Kansas City. Built in 1905, Hotel Frederick features elegant art from the 1900s, with maps and historic pieces as well. 25 rooms and suites make it a great place to spend a few nights away.
  • Lakeview Resort – Located in Sunrise Beach, the Lakeview Resort is just under three hours from Kansas City. A total of 80 guest cottages feature anywhere from one to six rooms. Visitors also have access to the Natural Pebble Swim Area and a number of activities, like volleyball.
  • Grand Avenue – Dating back to 1863, the Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast offers a historic touch for modern visitors. A wrap-around front porch and a collection of antiques make it a lovely place to spend a weekend. Five guest rooms offer plenty of amenities that are sure to leave guests more than satisfied with their experience.

Welcome to our Gary Wood CDJ Blog!

We would like to officially welcome you to our Gary Wood CDJ blog!  Check our blog frequently for all of the latest and greatest news coming from Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM, and the dealership!

Gary Wood CDJ is proud to serve Aurora, MO and the surrounding cities with the most up-to-date inventory of new and pre-owned Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and RAM vehicles.  Not only do we carry the largest inventory around, we also provide you with a quality service, parts, and finance experience every time!

So we invite you to visit us at Gary Wood CDJ, conveniently located at Highway 60 and Business 60 E and find out how our 100+ years of car experience can help you!

Gary Wood CDJ Blog

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