Summer Fun in Kansas City

There's something to love about every season in Kansas City, but summertime in this town is magical. It's when our city blossoms with endless possibilities on just about every corner. Whether you're looking to unleash your inner daredevil or are pumped up for annual concerts, our list has 133 ways to make your summer memorable. So come on out; the weather's fine.



Summer Fun 2016 435 Magazine Kansas City

 

Family Fun

All Summer Long

Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory & Education Center

   If you’re on the prowl for big fun, be sure to visit the Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory & Education Center in Louisburg, Kansas. Dedicated to the care and preservation of endangered large cats, this volunteer-run conservatory is home to majestic felines such as cougars, leopards, panthers, tigers and more. Free to $8. saveoursiberians.org

 

   What’s summer without a scoop (or two) of ice cream? Whether you go for the classic creations of Murray’s Homemade Ice Creams & Cookies and Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard or newcomers like Betty Rae’s Ice Cream in Waldo or local honey-sweetened Bee Sweet Ice Cream, there are plenty of reasons to scream for ice cream. facebook.com/murraysicecreams, foosfabulousfrozencustard.com, bettyraes.com, beesweeticecream.com

Betty Rae's Ice Cream Kansas city

Betty Rae's Ice cream - photo by Anna Petrow

 

   Young epicureans ages 3 to 14 can build their passion and interest in cooking with a variety of classes that teach basics in areas like preparation skills, kitchen safety, etiquette, meal planning and cooking at the Young Chefs Academy of Lenexa. Get cooking with programs, workshops and classes like Camp-Can-I-Cook, kinder cooks, junior, senior and master chefs, which are all hands-on and sure to turn up the heat on summer fun. $35 to $180. lenexaks.youngchefsacademy.com

 

   The Coterie Theatre makes the crowd “move it, move it” in its musical production of the Dreamworks favorite film Madagascar, June 14-Aug. 7. Follow friends Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippo, Melman the giraffe and of course those plotting penguins as they make their way from New York’s Central Park Zoo to the island of Madagascar. Theatre for Young America reimagines the classic English fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk (June 7-24) as a story of hardships, hope and blossoming dreams set in the Ozark Mountains and scored by old British folk melodies with new lyrics. $12 to $17. thecoterie.org; $10. tya.org

Urban Air Trampoline Park

Urban Air Trampoline Park - photo courtesy of Urban Air trampoline Park

 

   Defy gravity and literally bounce off the walls at the newly opened Urban Air Trampoline Park, which features The Dropzone, where you can perfect your favorite tricks and stunts, or take on the Urban Warrior obstacle course. Flip, fly and flop into a pit of 10,000 foam cubes, or dunk like a pro at one of three Sky Zone Trampoline Park locations. On Friday and Saturday nights, Cosmic Jump Trampoline Entertainment Center gets things rocking with trampoline park after dark, which features high-intensity dance music with live DJs, black lights, prizes and special times for different age groups. Free to $25. urbanairtrampolinepark.com; $10 to $22. skyzone.com; $12 to $18. cosmicjump.com

 

   This summer climb to new heights with Kansas City’s influx of indoor rock climbing gyms. Embrace your inner warrior at Apex Climbing Gym in Overland Park, where beginner to seasoned climbers can enjoy yoga, group ninja classes, introduction to bouldering and more. Make your way across the river for a day of adventure at RoKC in North Kansas City. Owned by Army veteran and KC native Andrew Potter and his brother, Frank, this state-of-the-art facility offers top rope and lead walls and bouldering climbing styles, as well as youth programs, fitness classes and a pro shop that provides all your climbing needs. $9 to $90. apexclimbinggym.com; $15 to $135. climbkc.com

bubble soccer

   Grab a few friends and bounce your way to a good time with KC Bubble Soccer. This hilarious take on European football puts each player in an inflatable a bubble, and the objective? Score a goal. But the task is much harder than it seems. Schedule or join a pick-up game and ricochet, roll, run and bobble your way to the goal all in the name of fun. Starting at $400 for group packages. kcbubblesoccer.com

Lakeside Nature Center Kansas City

Lakeside Nature Center - photo by Brooke Vandever

 

   Explore the wonderful wildlife of Kansas and Missouri at one of Kansas City’s nature and discovery centers. Hike and admire nature and its ever-changing ways at the Ernie Miller Nature Center. Enjoy two fishing lakes, three miles of hiking trails and a butterfly garden at George Owens Nature Park. Learn archery or how to fish at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center. Get an up-close look at wildlife with a live animal exhibit at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center. Or discover your favorite bird of prey at Lakeside Nature Centererniemiller.com, georgeowensnaturepark.org, mdc.mo.gov, nature.mdc.mo.gov, lakesidenaturecenter.org

 

   Test your eagle-eye observation skills with a nature-themed scavenger hunt at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Download the list from the Arboretum website, or create your own and take to the gardens for some fun. And when you’ve crossed off every item on your list, celebrate with a picnic or chase butterflies in the Erikson Water Garden. Free to $3. opkansas.org

 

   For some indoor fun, look to the Johnson County, Kansas City Public and Kansas City Kansas Public Libraries for kid-to-teen activities such as creative writing, coding, story time, arts and crafts, movie nights and special Shakespearean events. Keep minds sharp with summer reading programs, where participants of all ages log the books they read to earn prizes. jocolibrary.org, kclibrary.org, kckl.ent.sirsi.net

Sprint Family Fun Days Kansas City

SPrint Family Fun Days - photo courtesy of Power & Light District

 

On the Weekends

   Kick off summer with Sprint Family Fun Days at the Power & Light District. Held every second Saturday of the month through October, these free and fun-filled days bring themes like summer safari and ice cream social and are sure to delight kids of all ages. Free. powerandlightdistrict.com

 

   Swing over to the Kansas City Zoo for a summer’s worth of weekend animal fun. On second Saturdays and Sundays, explore the lives of koalas and kangaroos, endangered species, reptiles and amphibians and more with the Zootastik Learning Fest. For fourth Saturdays and Sundays learn about a new animal in the Species Spotlight. June 11 is Sporting KC Day, when Graham Zusi, Benny Feilhaber, Seth Sinovic and Brad Davis take on the zoo’s penguins and sea lions for an educational afternoon of fun. $11.50 to $14.50. kansascityzoo.org

 

   Become a ninja this summer at LEGOLAND Discovery Center’s new Ninjago Training Camp. As a ninja in training, you can master your skills by building Ninjago sets, playing a high-tech version of Whack-A-Mole, navigating through a laser maze, going on missions and more. Show off what you’ve learned Aug. 27 at the ninja dojo workshop, where there’ll be a real-life ninja guiding the class. Free to $14.50. legolanddiscoverycenter.com/kansascity

 

Park Place Leawood Kansas

Park Place Summer Sounds in the Park - photo courtesy of Park Place

 

Free Fun

   Kansas City’s parks and shopping centers “band” together all summer long with their free concert series. From jazz and calypso, to country and cover bands, there are plenty of reasons to bring a chair and the whole family for live music. Every Wednesday from June 1-July 27, Park Place offers its Summer Sounds in the Park series. Every Thursday in June Town Center Plaza’s Sunset Music Fest packs the parking lot and this year brings Smashmouth, KT Tunstall, Sister Hazel and Candlebox. After shopping ‘til you drop The Legends Outlets, get the weekend rocking on Saturdays from June 4-July 30 with bands like Lost Wax and Flannigan’s Right Hook. And enjoy live music every other Friday this summer at Howard Station Park in Lee’s SummitOverland Park offers a musical twofer with Friday concerts featuring food trucks at Santa Fe Commons Park on June 17, July 15 and Aug. 19 and Sunday concerts with the Overland Park Civic Band. parkplaceleawood.com, towncenterplaza.com, legendsshopping.com, downtownls.org, opkansas.org

 

   School might be out, but learning is still very much in session this summer. Honor and learn about Missouri’s past through authentic 19th-century buildings, self-guided tours and even live animals at Shoal Creek Living History Museum. On first Saturdays re-enactors bring the village to life with food, craft vendors, family activities, demos and more. shoalcreeklivinghistorymuseum.com

Johnson County Museum of History

   Johnson County’s history is literally at your fingertips in its museum of history. Before it moves to the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center in 2017, check out its exhibits such as Seeking the Good Life and the hands-on Kidscape, marvel its collection of photographs, artifacts and more. jocomusem.org

Boulevard Brewing Company

Boulevard brewing Company - photo courtesy of Visit KC

 

Follow the aroma of fresh-roasted coffee beans for an adventure on The Roasterie’s factory tour. Here you’ll meet your favorite blends while the beans are still raw, travel to the countries where The Roasterie gets its beans — from Panama to Ethiopia — and volunteer your taste buds for a coffee tasting. Become an expert on all things Boulevard Brewing Company with the brewery’s walking tour. Learn the history of the company, its brewing process and approach to beer, and then conclude with a sampling of Boulevard beers in the tasting room. Learn about the economy and the Federal Reserve Bank at the Money Museum by exploring President Harry S. Truman’s coin collection, lifting gold bars and even designing your own currency. theroasterie.com, boulevard.com, kansascityfed.org/moneymuseum

Warkoczewski Public Observatory UMKC

   Open to the public on clear Friday evenings, the Warkoczewski Public Observatory on UMKC’s campus is your ticket to the wonders of space. Channel your inner astronomer as you view the moon, planets, star clusters and nebulae like never before with the help of Newtonian and Schmidt-Cassegrain reflectors. Tip: Check Sky & Telescope to see what’s in the sky before your visit. cas.umkc.edu/physics/warko

 

Al Fresco Fun

Theatre in the Park Shawnee Mission Park

Theatre in the park's performance of Shrek in 2015 - photo by bob compton

 

Theater in the Park

   Enjoy entertainment under the stars with Theatre in the Park at Shawnee Mission Park. Experience doomed love, conflict and ominous political developments in 1930s Berlin in Cabaret (June 3-11). Pay tribute to the 1920s jazz era with the Tony Award-winning The Drowsy Chaperone (June 17-25), a play within a play that pokes fun at all the tropes that characterize musical theater. Get a behind-the-scenes look at auditions, the rise to stardom and chorus life in A Chorus Line (July 1-9); Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s retelling of the biblical tale of Joseph and his trials and tribulations, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat takes the stage July 15-23; and Disney classic Mary Poppins finishes out the summer series with a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical adventure July 29-Aug. 6Free to $8. theatreinthepark.org

   For its 24th season, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival presents Shakespeare’s romantic comedy Twelfth Night from June 14-July 3 at Southmoreland Park. The hilarious play centers on twins Sebastian and Viola who have been separated after a shipwreck. Entertainment and a love triangle ensues when Viola, disguised as a man named Cesario, falls for Duke Orsino, who is in love with Countess Olivia, who in turn is in love with Cesario. Free. kcshakes.org

 

   The Leawood Stage Company gives Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved The Princess and the Pea a hilarious spin in its summer production of Once Upon a Mattress (July 14-17 and 21-23). Find out what really caused Princess Winnifred’s sleepless nights. Hint: It wasn’t a pea. Free. leawoodstagecompany.com

Starlight Theatre Kansas City

Photo courtesy of Visit KC

 

   A bucket-list venue for Broadway musicals and top-act concerts, Starlight Theatre is the place to be this summer. Catch the irresistible Tony Award-winning stage adaptation of Robert James Waller’s novel The Bridges of Madison County (June 14-19). Woody Allen’s musical comedy about a desperate playwright, Bullets Over Broadway, takes the stage June 28-July 3. Be a guest for the smash-hit musical based on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (July 13-19). Explore the joys of today and the possibilities of tomorrow with If/Then (July 26-31), and consult A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Aug. 9-14 for how to get away with murder by tea time. $15 to $142. kcstarlight.com

   Just how far would you go to help your favorite team win? Gladstone Theatre in the Park finds out in its production of Damn Yankees (July 8-10), when baseball fanatic Joe Boyd sells his soul to help his beloved Washington Senators win the pennant. Revisit Shrek and his friends at the swamp for a family-friendly fairy tale adventure that’s more than meets the ears on Aug. 5-7gladstonetip.com

Trezo Mare Briarcliff

Trezo Mare

 

   When the weather is nice and the food is just right, who wants to dine indoors? Take in the sights and sounds of the Country Club Plaza on Gram & Dun’s patio. John’s Big Deck in downtown KC sets the stage for relaxing summer nights with its three-story bar topped by a rooftop lounge. And feel on top of the world as you sip wine and cocktails while overlooking KC at Trezo Mare in Briarcliff Villagegramanddun.com, johnsbigdeck.com, trezomare.com

 

   If roughing it in the wilderness isn’t your thing, have a hoot under the stars by glamping (short for glamorous camping) at Hoot Owl Hill in Paola. The 14-acre camping bed and breakfast overlooking the Marais des Cygne River valley takes the “rough” out of “roughing it,” with its bell tents that feature queen-sized beds, lanterns and furniture. New this year is The Hoot House, which can accommodate groups of six or more. $99 per person. hootowlgardens.com

 

Crown Center WeekEnder Kansas City

Crown Center

 

Cinema

   Round up the family, some snacks and a few blankets for Briarcliff Village’s Movie Night by the Lake at Mulberry Lake starting June 4 with Jurassic World. In addition to Theatre in the Park, Shawnee Mission Park shows G- and PG-rated films such as MinionsE.T. and Tangled for Movies in the Park, starting June 7. Every Thursday in July and August, Independence Riverview Park brings families together with summer blockbusters and classics like Inside OutStar Wars: The Force Awakens and Jumanji with its River’s Edge summer series. Beginning July 8Crown Center caps off the work week with a free movie, local music and food trucks with its WeekEnder series. First up, The Goonies and local band Drew Six. thevillageatbriarcliff.com, theatreinthepark.org, independenceamphitheater.com, crowncenter.com

 

Symphony in the Flint Hills

Symphony in the Flint Hills

 

Music under the Stars

   The Flint Hills are alive with the sounds of the Kansas City Symphony on June 11 for Symphony in the Flint Hills. This year’s theme is “Future of the Flint Hills,” explored by prairie education activities and presentations, guided prairie walks, dinner catered by the Cox Brothers BBQ and Kansas City Steak Company, horse-drawn carriage rides, and a concert of classical selections by the symphony until sunset. $96.75. symphonyintheflinthills.org

 

   Get movin’ and groovin’ this summer at Gladstone Summertime Bluesfest, which packs food, fun and great blues from acts like Anthony Gomes, the Ghost Town Blues Band and Bernard Allison into two magical days (June 3 and 4). Sway to the sounds of local jazz groups and enjoy brews and food at the SoJo Summerfest (formerly known as Jazz in the Woods) in Corporate Woods June 17 and 18$5 donation suggested. gladstonechamber.com; Donations accepted. sojosummerfest.com

 

Richard Petty Driving Experience Kansas Speedway

Adventure

Sometimes you just need to speed. At the Richard Petty Driving Experience, your racing fantasies come to life when you drive a 600-horsepower NASCAR stock car. Before your sweaty palms take the wheel, you’ll take a required safety class where you’ll learn the ins and outs of the track. Then, a crew member buckles you in, checks your radio, gives the "thumbs up" sign to your ride-along instructor, and that’s your cue to put the pedal to the metal and peel out. You’ll reach adrenaline-pumping speeds up to 155 mph on the 1.5-mile oval track where you’ll take up to 50 laps. $109 to $2,599. Kansas Speedway, 400 Speedway Road, Kansas City, Kan., 1-800-237-3899, drivepetty.com

 

   Make your Top Gun dreams come true in an air combat fighter jet at the Johnson County Executive Airport. Before you take to the skies, you’ll attend ground school to learn how to dodge enemy fire along with the principles of basic air combat flight maneuvers. Then, climb inside the cockpit alongside your personal instructor and you’re in for a thrilling, hour-long simulated dogfight in the sky. Keep your heart-pounding memories alive with your take-away, high-definition video taken by three in-cockpit cameras. Kansas City flight dates are July 9-11. $700 to $2,095. Johnson County Executive Airport, 15335 Pflumm Road, Olathe, Kan., 1-800-522-7590, aircombat.com

Old World Balloonery Overland Park

   When the same old dinner and a movie don’t seem to cut it, take your special someone on the ride of a lifetime. Together, you board an Old World Balloonery hot air balloon, escorted by your very own pilot. Feel the wind in your hair as you gaze over the horizon of the Kansas prairie, and take in the breathtaking sights you can only see from the perspective of a hot air balloon gliding through the city and surrounding countryside. Cap off the evening with a post-ride Champagne toast as the crew packs up the balloon. It’s sure to be a romantic adventure you won’t soon forget. $650 per couple. 12600 W. 142nd St., Overland Park, Kan.,  (913) 338-2628, oldworldballoonery.com

Lone Wolf Ranch Cleveland Missouri

barrel racing at lone wolf ranch - photo by melanie white

 

   Learn proper riding technique from the pros at the Lone Wolf Ranch, just east of Bucyrus, Kansas, in Cleveland, Missouri. Knowledgeable trainers offer tips for sitting squarely in the saddle and securely holding the reins. They also help you tune in with your chosen horse’s mojo and movement for a stress-free ride. Hint: Being tense makes for a bouncy ride and a grouchy horse. Once you’ve got the basics, you’ll quickly be channeling your inner cowboy or cowgirl as you ride the dusty trails of the ranch and surrounding woodlands. Guided trail rides start at $40 per person. 22801 State Line Road, Cleveland, Mo., (816) 618-7673, lonewolfarena.com

Skydive Kansas City

Skydive Kansas City - photo by Matthew S. Hicks

 

   Most people imagine skydiving is a lot like riding a roller coaster — sinking feeling and all. The only way to know for sure is to strap on a parachute, step to the opening in the belly of a plane at 14,000 feet and jump. Only then will you know the liberated feeling of freefalling, speeding toward Earth at 120 mph for about 60 seconds, then more slowly after your parachute opens. $16 to $210. Skydive Kansas City, 1413 N. Orange St., Butler, Mo., (816) 524-5867, skydivekc.com

 

   Picture this: You’re trapped in a room, the clock is ticking, and you’ve got 60 minutes to solve clues that will get you out before time is up. If this sounds like a thrill, then try one of the escape scenarios at Breakout KC, from River Quay Casino to Szechuan Secret. Up to eight participants must scramble to beat the odds. There is only a 22 percent to 33 percent success rate, so prepare yourself for a challenge. You can also test your logistical skills at the Escape Room, where the room themes include Prison Break, Secret Agent and The Theory of Everything. Up to eight players work together to crack the code and beat the clock to escape. Other escape rooms are Escape KC, which can accommodate up to 10 players, and the Tick Tock Escape Games, where you can compete with another team with exactly the same clues in an identical room next door. $28 per person. Breakout Kansas City, 114 West Third St. No. 102, Kansas City, Mo, (816) 945-2633, breakoutkc.com; $34 per person. Escape Room Kansas City, two area locations, escaperoomkc.com; $30 per person. Escape KC, 7223 W. 95th St. Suite 300, Overland Park, Kan., (816) 987-8100, escape-kc.com; $28 per person. Tick Tock Escape Games, 6398 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan., (913) 274-1112, ticktockescapegames.com

Go Ape Kansas City

photo courtesy of Go Ape

 

   Escape to the jungle of Swope Park’s Go Ape, the new treetop adventure course promising two hours of traveling through trees by zip lines, high ropes and obstacle courses. More than your ordinary treetop tour, Go Ape is made up of rope ladders, a log swing, the Wobbly Ladder, Japanese bridge, plank crossing, Yamazoe Steps, two Tarzan swings and five zip lines. Overall, there are five individual sections within the course, each taking you higher and deeper into the forest canopy. $38 to $58. 7331 Oakwood Drive, Kansas City, Mo., 1-800-971-8271, goape.com

 

   Caving is a great experience for adventurers who aren't afraid of tight spaces, heights, darkness and bugs. The best way to learn how to cave safely is by going with experienced cavers, like the members of the Kansas City Area Grotto, a nonprofit chapter of the National Speleological Society (NSS), an organization of cavers involved with caving projects throughout Missouri. Once approved for an exploration with the group, follow their lead as you go deep into dark crevices of various caves, experiencing thrill of a new adventure and marveling at the natural beauty that surrounds you. If you’re not feeling the dark and damp cave vibe but still want to climb, The Cave Bouldering Gym is a great place to break a sweat while trying your hand at underground rock climbing — one of the world’s fasting-growing sports. Let the adrenaline propel you up the brightly painted boulders dotted with helpful grips. Not sure where to start? The Cave has you covered with a Bouldering 101 class that will teach you how to climb like a monkey in short order. Kansas City Area Grotto, various locations, kcgrotto.org; The Cave Bouldering Gym, 3150 Mercier St. Suite 641A, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 569-5792, thecavebouldering.com

 

   Dive deep and see what lies beneath the surface with Frogman Dive Center. Expert divers teach you the basics of equipment, how to suit up and the best part: how to breathe under water. Start by gearing up and plunging into the indoor training pool. When you’re ready, head for the open waters, confident you have the skills you need to dive deep, practice digital underwater photography, explore shipwrecks and more. Not sure scuba diving is your thing? Midwest Aquatics offers a taste of scuba in a one-hour session, gear provided. Frogman Dive Center, 3855 N. Oak Trafficway, Kansas City, Mo., 816-200-2881, kansascityscubadiving.com; Midwest Aquatics, 7565 W. 160th St., Overland Park, Kan., (913) 402-0403, midwestaquatics.com

 

Alabama Shakes

Alabama Shakes - photo by Liza Agsalud

 

Bashes & Fests

   Nothing says summer like an outdoor concert, and 96.5’s Buzz Beach Ball at Children’s Mercy Park on July 16-17 is a summer bash you shouldn’t miss. Catch sound waves with a two-stage, all-day music lineup including Alabama Shakes, Fitz and the Tantrums, Glass Animals, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, Violent Femmes and more. $49 to $349. beachballkc.com

 

Big Slick Kansas City

   The boys – David Koechner, Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Eric Stonestreet and Jason Sudeikis — are back in town, and they’re teaming up once more with their star-studded cast of friends for Big Slick (June 17-18). Coinciding with this year’s “political campaign” to raise money for Children’s Mercy, the weekend of fun brings patriotic fun with a star-spangled celebrity softball game; red, white and bowl tournament; and a victory party and auction. $50 to $6,000. Sold out at press time. bigslickkc.org

Good Charlotte

Good CHarlotte

 

   Get swept up in the music and mayhem of America’s longest running touring music fest, Vans Warped Tour, July 28. Rock out until you pass out with seven stages of music hosting more than 70 bands, including old and new favorites like the reunited Good Charlotte, Real Friends and Falling in Reverse. $41.50. providenceamp.com

 

   Summer isn’t summer in KC without Mix 93.3’s annual pop music festival, Red, White and Boom. Bringing the fun and the noise to Silverstein Eye Centers Arena June 17, this favorite pre-Fourth of July bash features performances by Meghan Trainor, Lil Dicky, Timeflies and Krizz Kaliko that’ll have you yearning for the Fourth. $19.33 to $89.50. silversteineyecentersarena.com

 

   Creators, doers and thinkers gather ‘round for Maker Faire, the greatest show (and tell) on Earth. Celebrate creativity and innovation through rockets and robots, fine arts, DIY science projects, live music, art cars and more June 25-26 at Union Station. $7 to $70. makerfairekc.com

 

  Live life on the fringe with Kansas City’s art festival with a twist, Fringe Festival. Showcasing a bevy of all things artsy including burlesque, comedy, music, theater and visual arts spread throughout 11 days (July 21-31), this annual display of talent on tap is sure to enthrall. kcfringe.org

 

Summer Fairs

   Grab a funnel cake, take a spin on the Ferris wheel, and enjoy great entertainment at Shawnee’s Old Shawnee Days’ community fest June 2-5. Highlights include a carnival, baking contest, parade and of course food. Kick off the summer with six blocks of fun at Lee’s Summit’s Downtown Days…Streets Alive! From June 3-5, enjoy live entertainment, craft and food vendors, a carnival, a KCBS-sanctioned barbecue competition and more. oldshawneedays.org, leessummitdowntowndays.com

International Dragon Boat Festival Kansas City

Ethnic Festivals

   Festa Italiana at Zona Rosa invites you to feel molto bene with three days of Italian culture and fun including food, wine tastings, three-on-three soccer tournaments and more, June 3-5. Celebrate Chinese heritage with dragon boat races, puppet shows, Chinese chess tournaments and more at the International Dragon Boat Festival, hosted at Brush Creek on June 11. Or go Latin and enjoy delicious food, ice-cold beverages and performances by top acts and more June 17-19 at Fiesta Kansas City in Crown Center. Sample favorite Filipino cuisine, visit with vendors, take in performances from the Sampaguita Choir and the Sinag-Tala Dance Troupe and more at Fiesta Filipina June 25 and 26 at the Filipino Cultural Center in Overland Park. Then, feel the world beat in the heart of America at the Ethnic Enrichment Festival on Aug. 19-21, and celebrate Kansas City’s diversity through art, cuisine, dance and music from more than 60 different cultures. unicokc.org, chinagardensociety-kc.org, fiestakansascity.com, filipino-association.org, eeckc.org

 

Nick Jonas Demi Lovato Sprint Center Kansas City

Nick Jonas and Demi lovato - photo courtesy of Sprint Center

 

Music & Concerts

   The Disney Channel fuels your summer fun with can’t-miss shows by three of its alum at Sprint Center. First up, July 1, former Wizards of Waverly Place star Selena Gomez shows fans the different sides of her with a high-energy display featuring outfits that kill, sets to thrill and songs from her album Revival to dance your heart out to. Multi-platinum-selling music artists and Camp Rock co-stars Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas make the “Future Now” with a joint concert Aug. 6 in support of their respective albums Confident and Last Year Was Complicated$35.75 to $128.25 and $29.95 f to $89.95. sprintcenter.com

Gwen Stefani Sprint Center Kansas City

Gwen Stefani - photo courtesy of Sprint Center

 

   This summer minds will be blown when former No Doubt front woman Gwen Stefani takes the stage with rapper Eve in support of Stefani’s new album, This is What the Truth Feels Like. Catch them, and hopefully performances of “Rich Girl” and “Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” Aug. 12 at Sprint Center$27.95 to $147.95. sprintcenter.com

 

You know when that “Hotline Bling,” it can only mean one thing: the takeover of the Sprint Center on July 23. After collaborating on What a Time to Be Alive and songs like “Jumpman,” Grammy Award-winning rapper Drake and “Where Ya At” rapper Future join forces to bring a tour that’s sure to make your “Summer Sixteen.” $49.50 to $129.50. sprintcenter.com

 

   “Mr. Tambourine Man” himself, Bob Dylan, returns to the KC stage for the second year in a row, this time at the Starlight Theatre on June 21. With his band in tow, the influential stream-of-consciousness wailer tours in support of his newest album, Fallen Angels, which features a collection of classic American tunes covered by Dylan. Expect an entrancing set of hits including “Times They Are A-Changin’,” “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Stay With Me.” Mavis Staples of the famed Staples singers will open. $49.50 to $124.50. kcstarlight.com

 

   Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa, music’s favorite herbal enthusiasts, set Providence Medical Center Amphitheater ablaze on Aug. 18 with their “Young, Wild & Free” High Road summer tour. With friends Kevin Gates, Jhené Aiko, Casey Veggies and DJ Drama in tow, expect a night of head-bobbing hits like “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” “Gin and Juice,” “Black and Yellow” and “We Dem Boyz.” $29.50 to $99.95. providenceamp.com

 

Boston Starlight Theatre Kansas City

Boston

 

Battle of the Bands

 

   Starlight Theatre relives the sensational sounds of the ‘70s and ‘80s with a rocking roster of bands that are sure to have you feeling a bit nostalgic. There’ll be “More Than a Feeling” of happiness when classic rock icons Boston take the stage June 5. Revel in 37 years of The Cure with hits, rarities, favorites and unreleased tracks in a display that promises to be the must-see show of summer, June 8. Catch British new wave icons Duran Duran — complete with the band’s four original members — under the stars on July 24. And Aug. 15 get ready for a “rock hall three for all” with a triple-bill performance featuring “Crazy on You” rock sister duo Heart, “I Want You to Want Me” rockers Cheap Trick and the incredible Joan Jett & the BlackheartsPrices vary. kcstarlight.com

 

   Night of the Proms makes its return to the United States in just two cities, including Kansas City. Michael Bolton, Wynonna Judd, Wang Chung and Steve Walsh come together for one night (June 24) performing their No. 1 hits on one stage backed by Il Novecento, Belgium’s world-renowned classical orchestra; Fine Fleur, a 24-voice choir; and a 5-piece electric band headed by British pop star John “Music” Miles. $41 to $81. sprintcenter.com

 

   Revisit the trendsetting decade that brought chokers, jelly sandals and Kid ‘n’ Play in the inaugural I Love the ‘90s tour. Sing and rap along to chart-topping hits by iconic names in hip-hop and R&B, including Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepa with Spinderella, Coolio, Rob Base and more on June 3$35 to $150. providenceamp.com

 

   Get ready to rock with two of heavy metal’s most notable bands. “Rock and Roll All Nite” with KISS at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena July 20 for their Freedom to Rock tour, which visits smaller cities that are typically overlooked. Experience or revisit one of Def Leppard’s bucket list-worthy, high-octane shows at the Sprint Center on Aug. 26, as they perform favorites like “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Rock of Ages.” $39 to $125, silversteineyecentersarena.com; $29.50 to $125, sprintcenter.com

 

Kenny Chesney Arrowhead Stadium Kansas City

Kenny Chesney and Miranda Lambert - photo courtesy of Arrowhead Stadium

 

Country Acts

   The newly dubbed Providence Medical Center Amphitheater (previously Cricket Wireless) continues its Country Megaticket series with Keith Urban on June 2, Brantley Gilbert on June 12 and Rascal Flatts on July 29. Country Music Award-winning crooner Luke Bryan rounds out the series at the amphitheater on Aug. 25. And Dixie Chicks perform reworked classics plus a few covers at the Sprint Center on Aug. 30$129 to $419. providenceamp.com; $54 to $124, sprintcenter.com

 

   After five KC appearances in six years and setting a new attendance record at Arrowhead Stadium in 2015, it’s safe to say that country music superstar Kenny Chesney is a summer-fun staple. Join him and friends Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt and Old Dominion on July 16$25 to $225. goarrowhead.com

Hot Country Nights Kansas City Power & Light District

Hot Country Nights - photo courtesy of Power & Light

 

   Beat the summer blues with the help of Kansas City Power & Light’s free Hot Country Nights music series set for June 9-Aug. 18. Every Thursday night, get your boots tapping with talents like Randy Houser, Dwight Yoakam and local name Travis Marvin. Free. powerandlightdistrict.com

 

Boulevardia Kansas City

Foodie Fun

 

   Break out your best anti-black-tie attire and get ready for the Maine event: Give Hope Back’s delicious signature fundraiser event set for Aug. 27. Benefiting the Children’s Mercy Hospital & Care Clinics Cancer Center, Lobsterfest features steak, lobster, all-you-can-eat cheddar biscuits, and music by The Shanks with KC’s beautiful skyline as the backdrop. $115. givehopeback.org

Chipotle Cultivate Festival Kansas City

   Chipotle’s free food, ideas and music festival, Cultivate, returns July 23 to Penn Valley Park. Learn your way to a burrito with five interactive experiences and then take in other culinary offerings: cooking demos from local chefs like Colby Garrelts of Bluestem and Rye and national chefs like Carla Hall of ABC’s The Chew, samplings of Cultivate’s Mexican Lager brewed exclusively by festival city breweries, and groove to local and national bands. Free. chipotlecultivate.com

 

   The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum pays tribute to America’s favorite pairing, hot dogs and baseball, with the community-uniting Heart of America Hot Dog Festival on Aug. 13. Taste your way around the big leagues with signature dogs from MLB stadiums across the nation, including the museum’s signature dog, The Monarch; take in live performances; meet hometown mascots and more. $5 to $100. facebook.com/HOAHotDogFestival

Bacon-Fest Kansas City

   Get your summer sizzling at Bacon-Fest, the annual festival dedicated to the satisfying slice of swine. On Aug. 27 find yourself in hog heaven in benefit of the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City with music by Shotgun and Lace, beer, bacon-inspired creations as far as the eye can see, a bacon-eating contest, plus a few souvenirs to commemorate your afternoon. Tickets on sale July 1. baconfestkc.com

 

   This Father’s Day weekend, travel to Boulevardia, a nation rich with beer, food and music — no passport needed! A gathering like no other, Boulevard Brewing Company’s annual summer street party brings a bevy of local food, tasty Boulevard beers including one brewed just for the occasion, special experiences like Taps & Tastes, live music provided by Soul Asylum and much more packed into three days (June 17-19)$15 to $1,000. boulevardia.com

Chez Elle Kansas City

CHez Elle, a tasty stop on the Brunch, bites & Historical Sites bus tour

 

   If brunch is still on your brain after our tasty May issue, check out Taste of Kansas City’s Brunch, Bites & Historical Sites bus tour. Munch your way through the Crossroads and Westside at six KC favorite eateries, then marvel at our city’s architecture and rich history. It’s the perfect way to feed your body and your mind. $57. tasteofkansascityfoodtours.com

Shatto Milk Kansas City

photo by Anna Petrow

 

   Take a trip to KC’s favorite dairy farm, where kids and adults alike can milk a cow, learn the milk process from udder to table and even sample many Shatto Milk Company products like cheese curds and their crown-worthy milk. On June 25 and 26, explore 30 metro-area farms and gardens in Cultivate KC’s Urban Grown Tour, which supports the city’s booming agricultural movement. Free to $5. shattomilk.com; $8 to $20. cultivatekc.com

 

   For a mini Napa Valley wine adventure without the hassle and cost of booking a flight, try Miami County Trolley. Hop aboard and unwind with wine samplings from award-winning wineries such as Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery, take advantage of local shopping and restaurants, and when you’re through, the trolley will guarantee a safe arrival home. $20. miamicountytrolley.com

 

The Bay Water Park Kansas City

The Bay Water Park 

 

Cool Off

   Ever wonder whether you have what it takes to hang 10? The newest attraction at the Bay Water Park in south Kansas City is the surf simulator, which allows you to find your balance atop a surfboard as you attempt to master the waves like a boss. You can also kneel boogie board-style while hovering over a sheet of thin water that simulates the action of ocean waves. The only one of its kind in the Kansas City area, The Bayrider is the newest addition to the city-owned park, which also features a family activity pool with several slides, fountains and sprays. There’s also a lap pool and a lazy river for a more relaxing day at the park. thebaykc.com

 

   Six new slides are housed on a 65-foot-tall complex overlooking Surf City Wave Pool at one of the nation’s largest water parks, Oceans of Fun. At the peak stands Predator’s Plunge, where riders climb into the Aqua-Launch, a chamber with a floor that suddenly drops out, sending riders on a high-speed, near-vertical drop and a series of loops and S-curves in a translucent flume. The Constrictor slide features double tubes spiraling down an enclosed slide with four 360-degree turns. Sharks’ Revenge, two other enclosed tube slides, feature high-speed drops and banks. Hurricane Falls is a 72-foot-tall slide that sends rafts of up to five sliders twisting down a flume of river rapids. Challenge your friends at the dual race slides of Typhoon, float your way down the vertical drop of Aruba Tuba, or choose from one of three 300-foot-long body slides at Diamond Head$35 to $72. worldsoffun.com

 

Indian Creek Trails Kansas City

Indian Creek Trails

 

Bike Trails

   Kansas City is a cyclist’s paradise with miles of smooth pavement bikeways winding through the city and its outskirts. Indian Creek Trail is the most popular with a 17-mile, multi-use trail that winds through Johnson County. The terrain is generally level and flat with asphalt pavement about 10 feet wide. It is patrolled during the summer by the Overland Park Police Department, making it one of the safest in the metro. Kill Creek Park is an 880-acre park located in western Johnson County between De Soto and Olathe. It also offers more than 12 miles of trails through remnant prairie and lowlands and is also an asphalt multi-use trail. There are approximately 4 miles of mountain bike trails suitable for beginners and intermediates. There are fast and flowing challenges with rocky sections and an advanced loop with trail obstacles such as skinnies, rock gaps, stair steps, log hops and rock gardens. Most of the obstacles are difficult but low-risk.

Cliff Drive Kansas City

Cliff Drive

 

   For an easy but scenic ride, Cliff Drive offers a 4-mile venture that meanders through a forest filled with resident wildlife. Cyclists coast along gentle rolling hills dotted with occasional stopping points that offer stunning views overlooking the river and East Bottoms.

 

   The Gary L. Haller Trail in Mill Creek Streamway Park is a paved path that parallels an active rail line for about 6 miles of its length at its southern end. It is the first trail in Johnson County to be honored with a National Recreation Trail designation. It connects Shawnee, Lenexa and Olathe with a trail that runs 17 miles total, from the Kansas River at Nelson Island south to Olathe. When you need a break, several shelters, picnic areas, drinking fountains, playgrounds and restrooms are along the way. You’ll likely see some horses too because about 4 miles of the trail are designated for equestrians. Indian Creek Trail, opkansas.org; Kill Creek Park, jcprd.com; Cliff Drive, cliffdrivekc.org; Gary L. Haller National Recreation Trail, jcprd.com