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23 Things To Do This Summer In Kansas City

23 Things To Do This Summer In Kansas City

Although I have lived in Kansas City for more than 20 years, I have yet to run out of things to do. The city is so spread out that there are always new places to see and try. The Summer just gives everyone a little more free time and weather to enjoy. Here are some the best things to do in Kansas City in June, July and August.

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Water activities in Kansas City

1. Water and Amusement Parks

Poseidon's Plunge at Oceans of Fun
Photo courtesy Visit KC

The best known options are Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun which are just south of the Kansas City airport. If you’d like to have some fun without the sun, check out the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, KS. 

2. Splash Parks

Almost every city and town around Kansas City has its own splash park. Some of the best are at: Jacob L. Loose Park, John Anderson Park (Grandview), and The Springs Aquatic Center.

Related post: I wrote a whole post about great outdoor activities for families in Kansas City!

3. Fishing

My grandpa used to say that any place with water is good for fishing. If you’re looking for places in Kansas City that actually have fish, here are some great spots to try.

4. Kayaking and Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) 

If you want to get on the water and get the benefit of a bit of exercise at the same time, rent a kayak or a stand-up paddle board at Shawnee Mission Park. They also rent paddle boats and canoes.

5. Motor Boating

Don’t own a boat, or have a friend with one? You can rent one! The three marinas at Longview Lake, Lake Jacomo, and Blue Springs Lake all rent pontoon boats. Lake Jacomo’s marina also rents out Utility Boats, Jon Boats, and a Fishing Boat.

Kansas City Attractions That Are Great In The Summer

6. Kansas City Zoo

Polar bear at Kansas City Zoo
Photo courtesy Visit KC

While the Kansas City Zoo is open year-round, the Summer is a great time to visit. With kids in mind, they offer a variety of day camps and special events during the Summer break.

7. Farmers Markets

Being in the middle of Kansas City, one might forget that we are in the middle of America’s Heartland. Many smaller farms encircle Kansas City and drive in their produce, flowers, and animal products for sale. Three great ones are: City Market, the Parkville Farmers Market and the Independence Farmers’ Market

8. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Visiting the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is nice any time of year, but even nicer in the Summer. The lawn is the perfect spot for a picnic or you can try your putt putt skills at the Art Course.

Art Course at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Photo courtesy Jenn Beard

Kansas City Summer Entertainment Options

9. Golf

Whether you are looking for 18 holes or something even your toddler can do, Kansas City has all the golf options you need. For the true golfer, there’s plenty of courses in Kansas City including Tiffany Greens Golf Club, Swope Memorial Golf Course, Heart of America Golf Course, and Hillcrest Golf Course.

If you’re looking for something easier try TopGolf (Leawood, Kan.), T-Shotz, or Cool Crest (Independence, Mo.).

10. Starlight

Ever since I moved to Kansas City, I love getting the Broadway Season flier in the mail from Starlight. Seeing a Broadway play under the stars at a beautiful amphitheater is the perfect summer night activity to me. They also host a series of concerts in the summer as well.

11. Drive-in Movies

Grab your snacks and your pals and pile into a drive-in movie at Boulevard Drive-In (Kansas City, Kan.) or Twin Drive -In (Independence, Mo.).

12. Catch a Game

Fans and players celebrate at a KC Sporting game
Photo courtesy Visit KC

If you’re into professional baseball fan or are a fan of soccer, you can catch a game in person during the summer. The Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Monarchs (formerly the T-Bones) play baseball throughout the spring, summer, and early fall. If you want to catch soccer match, you’ll find both Sporting Kansas City (men’s) and KC Current (women’s) teams playing in Kansas City.

13. Outdoor Theater

One of my favorite things to do in the Summer in Kansas City when I first moved here was to take a picnic out to an outdoor play. Theater in the Park (Shawnee Mission Park) is the largest outdoor community theatre in the country. The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival runs from mid-June into early July in Southmoreland Park. 

14. Botanical Gardens

Get out and smell the flowers at one of Kansas City’s botanical gardens. In the heart of Kansas City, you’ll find 2-acres of flowers and fountains in The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden.

If you want trails and more flowers, drive out to the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens or Powell Gardens (Kingsville, Mo).

15. Live Music

From Hot Country Nights on Thursdays in Power & Light District to a variety of shows at Azura Amphitheater (Bonner Springs, Kan.) you’ll be dancing under the stars.

A crowd outdoors during First Fridays in the Crossroads
Photo courtesy Visit KC

If you’d prefer to hear local acts, check out First Fridays in the Crossroads where you’ll find art, food, and plenty of live music.

Food activities in Kansas City

16. Get ice cream

Nothing says summer more than a cold cone on a hot day. Check out Betty Rae’s (two locations) or Frozen Gold.

17. Pick Berries

Berry picking near Kansas City

I’m not sure if there’s anything better in the summer than fresh berries. Except for maybe picking them yourself. You can pick blueberries and raspberries at Colonial Gardens (Blue Springs, Mo.), strawberries and peaches at Weston Orchard & Vineyard, and strawberries at The Fun Farm (Kearney, Mo.).

18. Check out a Food Festival

No matter what part of the world you like your food from, there’s a festival for it. Kansas City happens to have some great ones that happen in the summer including Festa Italiana, Boulevardia (which while known for beer has plenty of great food), and the Ethnic Enrichment Festival. The EEF is particularly fun because you’ll find food from all over the world from people who call Kansas City home.

Things To Do Indoors In Kansas City When It’s Too Hot

19. Visit Museums

Outdoors at Science City in Kansas City

There are some really incredible museums in Kansas City that are sure to entertain and keep you cool. Some of my favorites are Science City (inside Union Station), The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, and the TWA Museum.

20. Play Paintball 

There’s no cooler place to be in the summer than underground in a cave. That’s exactly where you’ll be at JAEGERS Subsurface Paintball

21. Indoor Gaming

From VR Gaming at Double Tap KC to skee ball and pinball at Up-Down KC, you’ll find plenty of places to play inside. For family-friendly venues (the first two have sizable bars), check out PowerPlay, Main Event, and Extreme Grand Prix Family Fun Center (Raytown, Mo.).

22. Go Back to School Shopping (Tax Free Weekends)

Each year as people head back to school or campus, the state of Missouri gives shoppers a break with a tax-free weekend. The dates for 2022 are Aug. 5-7 and you don’t need to be a resident to qualify.

23. Skydiving

Yes, you read that right. You can go skydiving indoors at iFLY Kansas City (Overland Park, Kan.). All the fun without having to jump out of a plane.

20+ fun things to do in Kansas City this summer! Tips include water activities, indoor attractions, summer sporting events, food to try and more.

About the author

Jenn Beard is the founder of Cocktails Away—a collection of adventures in pursuit of a great drink, a quality spirit, a unique ingredient, and the places they come from. When not traveling, she lives in Kansas City. Check out her blog for mouthwatering recipes and insider tips on DIY bartending and cocktail culture or travel to bars around the world at @cocktailsaway.

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