100+ Fun Things to Do This Summer in Kansas City
Your complete entertainment guide for the next three months.
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Fulfill your need for speed with the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Kansas City Speedway. Hop in the NASCAR race car and slam your foot down on the gas pedal, reaching speeds up to 155 mph. Experience the 1.5-mile tri-oval speedway with either a 3-lap ride-along or get in the driver seat yourself. Driving experiences come in three laps, eight laps, 18 laps or 30 laps. $109 to $1,299. 400 Speedway Blvd., Kansas City, Kan., 1-800-237-3889, drivepetty.com/race-tracks/kansas-speedway
Feel the wind stream through your hair and scream at the top of your lungs as you’re dropping 14,000 feet from an airplane. Skydive KC is an exceptional skydiving establishment that features tandem skydiving and skydiving lessons for you to learn how to fly solo. If you’re not ready to jump out of a plan, try iFly’s indoor skydiving, which uses a vertical wind tunnel. With a more consistent air flow, flyers are able to hone their skills and practice the art of skydiving. $18 to $210. 1413 N. Orange St., Butler, Mo., (816) 524-5867, skydivekc.com; $69.95 to $659.95. 10975 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, Kan., (913) 305-4359, iflyworld.com
Be a co-pilot for an hour with a flight lesson from Alpha Pilot Academy. The First Flight package allows you to take a test drive in flight training. The package will start with an hour pre-flight orientation and afterward, you’ll slide into a Cessna aircraft with a Certified Flight Instructor for an hour-long, hands-on flight lesson to experience the thrill of flying. $199. 12901 W. 151 St., Suite B, Olathe, Kan., (913) 764-4800, alphapilotacademy.com
Swing through the treetops of Swope Park with Go Ape, an adrenaline-pumping, heights-conquering obstacle course weaved throughout the trees. The adventure course is a two-hour physical journey that features rope ladders, zip-lining, a log swing, Tarzan swing, a rail-track obstacle and a flying-carpet obstacle. Admire the gorgeous views of Swope Park with the zip line, and test your courage with the obstacles getting increasingly higher and ranging from easy to difficult. $38 to $58. 7331 Oakwood Drive, Kansas City, Mo., 1-800-971-8271, goape.com
the Dive Shop, photo Steve Brumit
You don’t need to go to all the way to the Great Barrier Reef to get a good look at what lies underneath the waves or swim with the fish. Learn to scuba dive right here in Kansas City with The Dive Shop and get certified to be a PADI Open Water Diver. This three-part certification consists of learning the basic principles with knowledge development, testing out the waters with confined water dives and flaunting your skills and confidence with open-water dives. Not ready to take the plunge? Go to Frogman Dive Center and take an introductory class where you can experience a little taste of the scuba life. $252.50 to $293. 7300 E. Frontage Road, Merriam, Kan., (913) 677-3483, kcdiveshop.com; $69.95. 3855 N. Oak Trafficway, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 200-2881, kansascityscubadiving.com
Explore the deep, dark crevices of Kansas City with members of the Kansas City Area Grotto, a nonprofit chapter of the National Speleological Society. Before your caving debut, make sure to get approved by the trip leader because showing up unannounced is a major no-no. After your approval, it’s smooth caving as the seasoned members lead you through the serene and cool caves. If you’re up to the three-hour drive or happen to be in the area, the Ozark Caverns in Lake of the Ozarks State Park gives a more traditional tour with more walkable surfaces and lighting as well as a tour guide to tell you all about the cavern. Various locations, kcgrotto.org; Free to $10, Ozark Caverns, 403 Highway 134, Kaiser, Mo., (573) 346-2500, mostateparks.com
Get swept up in another world for 60 minutes and figure out how to break free with a group of your closest buddies at one of Kansas City’s adrenaline pumping escape rooms. With the rapidly growing trend, Kansas City has no shortage of five-star escape rooms for you and your friends to test your teamwork skills. Breakout KC in the River Market has been rated in the top five escape rooms by both Trip Advisor and USA Today. With two to eight players, choose from one of six escape rooms with themes from escaping a creepy 1970s hotel room to curing the world of an infectious disease. Pick four to 10 of your closest friends and become secret agents at Escape KC. Choose from two missions to collect the hidden asset and escape before the 60 minutes is up. Sneak into international businessman Mr. Dupree’s office and search the room for evidence of illegal activity and escape before he comes back and catches you in the act. Escape the grasp of Count David of Liverpool by freeing yourself from his shackles, locating and deactivating the bomb before the room is blown to bits. With other escape rooms in Kansas City like Clue Pursuit, Escape Room and Novus Escape Room, the escaping possibilities are endless. $28. 114 W. Third St., No 102, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 945-2633, breakoutkc.com; $26.95. 7223 W. 95th St., Suite 300, Overland Park, Kan., (816) 987-8100, escape-kc.com; $24 to $28. 3953 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo., (913) 982-1076, cluepursuitlive.com; $28 to $56. 511 W. Fourth St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 656-5158, escaperoomkc.com; $27 to $29. 4142 Main St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 982-9775, kansas.novusescaperoom.com.
For a more serene scene, perhaps a glide-by view of the city from several thousand feet is your cup of tea. The Old World Balloonery has been gliding folks above the city since 1975. Flights typically occur in the mornings from sunrise until two hours after, and in the evening until two hours before official sunset until sundown, when winds are the calmest. $200 to $650. 12600 W. 142nd St., Overland Park, Kan., (913) 338-2628, oldworldballoonery.com
Kansas City’s Father’s Day tradition, Boulevardia, is back this year, June 16 to June 17 in the Stockyards District. Drink beer from our hometown brewery and try brews from other cities while sampling savory bites from the best in KC’s culinary scene. Listen to music from acts like Local Natives and Guster from one of three stages, pick up handcrafted goodies from local artisans, and see the city from a different view from the top of the Ferris wheel. $20 to $900. Kansas City, Mo., boulevardia.com
Are you a fan of food competitions like Food Network’s Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen? Then you won’t want to miss Culinary Fight Club, a live, high-energy food competition that’s coming to Kansas City June 27 in search of a barbecue master to crown as the first-ever Culinary Fight Club Kansas City Pitmaster Throwdown champion. Watch teams of home cooks to executive chefs compete to make the juiciest, sauciest barbecue with only 60 minutes on the clock and just 45 seconds to raid the pantry. Come hungry because a ticket also includes a taste of the gourmet dishes and a vote for Taster’s Choice. Can’t come for the barbecue? Make sure to mark the calendar for Culinary Fight Club’s Steak Competition in Kansas City on July 20. $30 to $40. culinaryfightclub.com
Ditch the suit and tie and break out the bibs and napkins because Give Hope Back is hosting its ever-popular Lobsterfest Aug. 19. Starting off as a simple backyard lobster boil for friends and family, Lobsterfest has raised more than $120,000 for Children’s Mercy Hospital & Clinics. Bid on items from the live and silent auction and enjoy live music from The Shanks. Grab some tickets while they’re hot because who doesn’t want to eat delicious steak, lobster and as many cheddar biscuits as you can stuff in your face for a good cause? $115 to $150. Downtown Airport, Northwest Richards Road, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 519-7613, givehopeback.org