100+ Fun Things to Do This Summer in Kansas City

Your complete entertainment guide for the next three months



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   It's the most wonderful time of the year! The days are longer, baseball season is in full swing, and the possibilities are endless. This summer, there is no excuse for boredom — from can't-miss concerts and outdoor theater, to wild water parks, fascinating exhibits, garden soirees and thrilling outdoor attractions, consider these pages your passport to unlimited entertainment. 

Bashes and Fests | Sports | Beat the Heat | Drive-Worthy Fun & Alfresco Fun | Thrill Seekers & Foodie Fun | Family Fun & Free Fun

 

 BASHES AND FESTS

 

International Dragon Boat Festival Kansas City 435 Magazine

International Dragon Boat Festival

 

   Ethnic Fests

   Find amoré June 2-4 with Zona Rosa’s celebration of Italian culture, Festa Italiana, which features food, a beer garden, an Italian motorsports show and more. The Society of Friendship with China honors Chinese culture with its annual International Dragon Boat Festival. Visit the Country Club Plaza June 10 for a daylong fest featuring dance performances, Chinese chess tournaments, dragon boat races on Brush Creek and more. Sample favorite Filipino cuisine, delight in performances by the Sinag-Tala dance troupe and Sampaguita choir and indulge in arts and crafts all while commemorating Philippine Independence Day June 17 and 18 at Fiesta Filipina. Then, grab your passport and head to Swope Park Aug. 18-20 to celebrate Kansas City’s diversity through the art, cuisine, dance and music of more than 60 different cultures at the Ethnic Enrichment Festival. unicokc.org, chinagardensociety-kc.org, filipino-association.org, eeckc.org

   On July 27, get lost in the musical mayhem that is Vans Warped Tour. Billed as America’s longest running touring music fest, the daylong set is sure to unite rockers of all ages with its roster of more than 60 bands, including names like The Ataris, War on Women, Blessthefall and Dance Gavin Dance. $41.50. providenceamp.com

   Savor art in its many forms with the Fringe Festival, Kansas City’s showcase of talent on tap. For 11 days (July 20-30) the city transforms into a grand stage, hosting all things artsy, from cabaret and film, to spoken word to music and everything in between. kcfringe.org

   This summer, Kansas City becomes Slick City when the boys, Jason Sudeikis, Paul Rudd, Rob Riggle, David Koechner and Eric Stonestreet, with friends in tow, return for their annual Big Slick celebrity weekend June 23 and 24. In tandem with this year’s theme of “Love, Kansas City,” the fundraiser event adds a free pre-bowling tournament block party and celebrity red carpet arrival to its usual event itinerary. Free to $2,500. bigslickkc.org

 

Big Slick 2017 Kansas City Fundraiser 435 Magazine

Big Slick

 

   Calling all makers, creators, thinkers and doers: Kansas City’s celebration of innovation and creativity is back at Union Station, June 24 and 25. Billed as the greatest show (and tell) on Earth, the Maker Faire promises to excite with rockets, robots, DIY science projects, “slow made” foods, fine arts, live music and more. Free to $85. makerfairekc.com

   Community Days

   Kick off summer fair season with Shawnee’s four-day community festival, Old Shawnee Days, June 1-4. Highlights include live music, a carnival, a parade and of course your favorite carnival fare. You can find six blocks of fun at Lee’s Summit Downtown Days. From June 2-4, enjoy live entertainment from The Elders, craft and food vendors, plus robotics demonstrations and a kids’ street featuring a white tigers exhibit. Parkville hosts one of its largest festivals, Parkville Days, Aug. 18-20. This end-of-summer event packs loads of fun like country and jazz music nights, a pancake breakfast, the Evans Midland Empire carnival and much more.

   oldshawneedays.org, leessummitdowntowndays.com, parkvillemo.org

   County Fairs

   Cass County Fair, July 11-16, casscountyfairmo.com

   Wyandotte County Fair, July 11-15, wycofair.com

   Platte County Fair, July 19-22, plattecountyfair.com

   Miami County Fair, July 22-29, miamicountykansasfair.com

   Douglas County Fair, July 24-30, dgcountyfair.com

   Johnson County Fair, July 31-Aug. 5, jocokansasfair.com

   Colorado brewery New Belgium invites KC to experience the unexpected with its circus-themed touring fest, Tour de Fat. Benefiting Bike Walk KC, the event sets up camp at Crossroads KC on Aug. 12, and brings with it an ensemble of circus and Vaudevillian acts, magicians, comedians, choice beers and music by Atlas Genius. $12 to $20. newbelgium.com

   The Tumbleweed Country Music Festival is back in the saddle with its “true country” experience at LaBenite Riverfront Park July 28-29. Reconnect with your roots through two days and three nights of festivities like music, camping, hiking, fishing, canoeing and Kansas City barbecue. Free to $200. tumbleweedcountry.com

 

Tumbleweed Country Music Festival

Tumbleweed Country Music Festival

 

   Rockaholics, get ready for 12 hours of non-stop rock at Rock Fest, hosted at the Kansas Speedway on June 3. For its 25th year, the festival features 15 bands, including Godsmack, Halestorm, Buckcherry and Sammy Hagar, as well as fireworks, ziplines and autograph sessions. $69.50 to $189. rockfestkc.com

   Bask in the natural beauty of Corporate Woods as arts and culture combine for Jazz in the Woods. Hailed as one of Kansas City’s largest free music fests, this jam session features the grooves of Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, The Elders, Steve Cole and more on two magical nights (June 9 and 10) under the stars. Free to $5. jazzinthewoods.com

   Red-Hot Concerts

After releasing back-to-back No. 1 albums in under a year, Atlanta “Low Life” and “Stick Talk” rapper Future shows he has no plans of stopping with his Nobody Safe tour. Kick off summer with him and fellow rappers Migos (“Bad and Boujee”), Tony Lanez and A$AP Ferg on June 4. $29.50 to $99.50. sprintcenter.com

   Local Flavor

   Headlining concerts are one of the main ingredients to an unforgettable summer, so why not add a pinch of local flavor to the mix? Expect a high-energy night of fun when fast-rhyming, KC reppin’ rapper Tech N9ne returns home — with labelmates in tow — to wrap up his Strictly Strange 2017 tour June 4 at the Midland. And before playing Boulevardia, local ladies of blues/roots/rock Katy Guillen & the Girls take over Knuckleheads Saloon on June 10, bringing tracks from their latest effort, Heavy Days. $33 to $38. midlandkc.com; $15. knuckleheadskc.com

 

The Elders Jazz in the Woods

The Elders, Jazz in the Woods

   Soulful Sessions

   After debuting the companion documentary to his album 4 Your Eyez Only on HBO, rapper J. Cole revisits the themes of love, family ties and the turbulent black experience in an intimate June 11 performance. In addition to sunscreen and water, be sure to pack tissues when catching John Legend on June 13. Mixing Starlight Theatre’s beauty with Legend’s “Love Me Now” is sure to bring on serious feels. And July 6, songstress Jill Scott, aka Jilly from Philly, enraptures with her soul-soothing catalog of hits, from “A Long Walk” to “Golden” and “Fool’s Gold.” Sold out. midlandkc.com; $29.95 to $129.95. kcstarlight.com; $35 to $129.50. midlandkc.com

   British rock trio Muse ventures across the pond to bring a night of “Madness” in support of their newest album, Drones. On June 12, experience a show of spectacular proportions, complete with LED pillars, laser lights, and hovering drones. Special guests 30 Seconds to Mars and PVRIS join Muse on stage. $273 to $564. kcstarlight.com

   Tattooed “Shape of You” troubadour Ed Sheeran trades out intimate venues for stadium sets on his world tour in support of ÷ . Armed with his guitar and an arsenal of hits including, “The A Team,” “Thinking Out Loud,” “Don’t” and “Castle on the Hill,” he kicks off the North American leg of his tour June 29 at the Sprint Center. Sold out. sprintcenter.com

   Kansas City Power & Light provides the soundtrack of summer with two earworm-producing acts. You’ve heard their blissful blend of blues vocals, catchy synths and hip-hop drums on Apple’s AirPods commercial, now see if you’re “Down” enough to catch duo Marian Hill on the Live! stage June 2. And on June 30 Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff, as Bleachers, channels the teenage desperation and uncertainty of yesteryear with the help of thick ‘80s pop vibes from his newest effort, Gone Now. $15 to $20. powerandlightdistrict.com

   Train knows there’s nothing better than the feeling of hearing your favorite song, and July 3 the band aims to recreate it. Joined by “Unwritten” chanteuse Natasha Beddingfield, the Grammy Award-winning rockers delight with classics including “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me),” “Calling All Angels,” “Hey Soul Sister” and “Play That Song.” $29.50 to $79.50. kcstarlight.com

   Country Acts

   Country lovers will want to mark their summer concert calendars for roots rock band Turnpike Troubadours, who take over midtown July 7. Though they hail from Oklahoma, they hold a special place in their hearts for KC, as found in the ode to love on the railways, “Kansas City Southern.” $30. uptowntheater.com

   After wrapping his Kill the Lights tour, “Crash My Party” crooner Luke Bryan invites fans to join him for a night of Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day on his new tour of the same name, July 21. Expect a must-see show of hits from “We Rode in Trucks” to “Fast.” Tickets not on sale at press time. sprintcenter.com

   Every Thursday summer night from June 1 to Aug. 10, get your boots tapping with Kansas City Power & Light’s free Hot Country Nights concert series. Beat the summer heat with talents like Eli Young Band, Gretchen Wilson and Corey Smith. Free. powerandlightdistrict.com

   Hot Shows

 

Sprint Center musicians Green Day and Coldplay 435 Magazine

coldplay (Left) and Green Day (right)

 

   This summer, prepare for a new-age British invasion. Find “Fitzpleasure” on Aug. 3 with the cryptic lyrics and enthralling sounds of Alt-J. And seven-time Grammy Award-winning act Coldplay brings a vibrant, three-stage “Adventure of a Lifetime” to KC for the first time in nine years on Aug. 15. $35 to $59.50. kcstarlight.com; $29.50 to $225. sprintcenter.com

   Hit after hit played all night, the Sprint Center glittering with lights, lucky for Bruno Mars that’s what we like, that’s what we like. Don’t miss the chance to catch one of the most anticipated shows of the summer and experience Mars’ revered showmanship live Aug. 9. Sold out. sprintcenter.com

   Bay Area pop-punk trio Green Day expands its Revolution Radio tour to include KC in its high-octane jaunt down musical memory lane. Tune in Aug. 11 for a raucous rendition of faves from “Basket Case” to “Still Breathing” plus a medley tribute to songs that changed the airwaves. $29.50 to $89.50. sprintcenter.com

   Hello? Is this the collaboration you’re looking for? On Aug. 27, multi-platinum-selling, Grammy Award-winning icons Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey take the stage together for the first time in music history. The can’t-miss performance promises all the hits, from “All Night Long (All Night)” to “Three Times A Lady” and “Honey” to “We Belong Together,” so prepare to croon until you lose your voice. $29.95 to $500. sprintcenter.com

 

Sprint Center Summer Fun 435 Magazine

Sprint Center

 

   Nostalgia Nirvana

   Dust off your neon windbreakers and bucket hats. I Love the ‘90s tour is back for a second installment. The party continues Aug. 11 and evokes nostalgia with iconic hip-hop and R&B names acts TLC, Naughty By Nature, All 4 One, Tone Loc and C+C Music Factory with Freedom Williams and Snap. $35 to $152. providenceamp.com

   The legacy of Freddie Mercury is kept alive July 9 when original Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor join forces with former American Idol contestant Adam Lambert. Expect a high-energy, Sprint Center-filling show featuring hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You” and “Another One Bites the Dust.” Rage and rapture will flood the Kauffman Center on July 18 when “Call Me” outfit Blondie and “Cherry Lips” quartet Garbage perform songs from their respective new albums, Pollinator and Strange Little Birds. Starlight Theatre brings a memorable night of rock ‘n’ roll, Aug. 15, featuring Foreigner, “I Want You to Want Me” Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick and special guest Jason Bonham of Led Zeppelin.

   $49.50 to $175. sprintcenter.com; $85.50 to $155.50. kauffmancenter.org; $29.95 to $149.95. kcstarlight.com


Bashes and Fests | Sports | Beat the Heat | Drive-Worthy Fun & Alfresco Fun | Thrill Seekers & Foodie Fun | Family Fun & Free Fun