53 Fun Things to Do This Summer in KC
Whether you’re a kid or an adult, the mention of summer brings thoughts of freedom and endless possibilities. And in a city that spans two states, that only means one thing — double the fun, which means double the memories. We’ve tried to make figuring out what to do simpler, but how memorable your summer is depends on you.
SteelHawk at Worlds of Fun
Worlds of Fun’s newest addition to the Americana section of the park will send you flying high. Just how high? Try 301 feet high. Dubbed SteelHawk, the two-person swing set rotates at eight revolutions a minute and tilts at a 45-degree angle, giving those who dare to ride a hawk’s eye view. Opening April 12.
4545 Worlds of Fun Ave., Kansas City, Mo.
Verrückt at Schlitterbahn
If you’re looking to take summer adventure to new heights, then Schlitterbahn’s Verrückt (“insane” in German) is for you. Just looking at the 17-story tall fiberglass wonder will have you questioning yourself and searching for the nearest exit. Taller than Niagara Falls or the Statue of Liberty, it’s the world’s tallest water slide. If you’re verrückt enough, strap in with three other friends starting May 23 and take on the 601-foot-long ride at 65 mph.
9400 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.
Unravel a Treasure
The Discovery of King Tut
Since his discovery in 1923 by Howard Carter, King Tut has become the rock star of pharaohs. Union Station’s exhibit, The Discovery of King Tut, gives you the chance to envision the tomb of the boy king and marvel at 1,000 expertly recreated artifacts and treasures portrayed at the moment of their discovery. It’s a treasure so vast it puts the homes from Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous to shame. (And you thought history was boring.) King Tut’s reign in Kansas City runs through Sept. 7. General admission tickets are $14.95 for children and $19.95 for adults.
30 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, Mo.
Set Your Imagination on Fire
Museum at Prairiefire
It’s not a mirage; the Museum at Prairiefire is now a reality. Opening its doors May 1, the interactive museum collaborates with the American Museum of Natural History to create a Midwest museum like no other. Surround yourself with the beauty and magnificence that is water at the Water: H20 = Life exhibit, where you can learn about the struggle to sustain and manage the world’s finite resource. Museum at Prairiefire also offers a children’s discovery room and a great hall, which will have ever-changing exhibits that highlight the Midwest’s natural history. Tickets are $10 for kids and $20 for adults.
5801 W. 135th St., Overland Park, Kan.
Be Bad to the Bone
Everybody knows about Kansas City’s relationship with barbecue, jazz and fountains. But what about gangsters? The grittier past is just a bus ride away. See mob homes and hangouts, turf war sites and scenes from infamous crimes such as the Union Station massacre, which some claim led to the legislation allowing FBI agents to carry firearms. The 90-minute romp through history is for adults and only runs on Saturdays.
Call it hide ‘n’ go seek or a treasure hunt, but one thing is for sure; if you haven’t jumped on the geocaching bandwagon, you’re missing out on countless mini-adventures this summer. Geocaching is an anytime, any day hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Players use the coordinates given after registering and picking a cache, to find items “cached” by other players. Caches come in all different sizes, shapes and difficulties; you can play alone or join a club. It’s a great way to discover the hidden KC that’s been lying right under your nose. Once you’ve uncovered the cache, sign the logbook and trade prizes if you’d like, then return the cache to its original location. Got all of that? Let the games begin!
geocaching.com or search for various geocaching clubs in the Kansas City area.
Dinner and a Show
Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet
While you’re cooling off from the heat, reinvent your movie-going experience at Alamo Drafthouse. Sure, a movie isn’t a movie without those classic concession stand snacks, but imagine dinner, a cold beer or fine wine, movies and events, all under one roof. No more strings of previews so lengthy you forget what you came to see; they’re replaced with custom preshow entertainment. Alamo Drafthouse shows the latest blockbusters and indie picks and has events that incorporate notable classics. There’s zero-tolerance for talking or cellphone use of any kind, and no babies or unattended children are allowed. (No worries, they’ve got designated “baby days” for the cherubs).
1400 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.
Kansas City Wine Trail
For a trip that’s not too far from home and won’t break the bank, try a day trip exploring the Kansas City Wine Trail. Spanning from Kansas City to Waverly (about 70 miles east), the nine award-winning wineries along the trail are great way to quash the rumors that all Missouri wines are sweet. Baltimore Bend Vineyard’s Arrowhead Red is perfect for game day, and Stonehaus Farms Winery’s Vignoles is rich with citrus and tropical flavors, perfect for patio sipping in the summer.
Kansas City Irish Fest
If you didn’t get your Irish fill on St. Patrick’s Day, the Kansas City Irish Fest takes over Crown Center Square August 29-31 with a sea of green and the roar of a good time. Celebrate our city’s Irish heritage at the three-day fest with the top Irish entertainment, contests, comedy, heritage exhibits and more. You’ll feel more than lucky shopping at the many vendors available. Don’t worry about whether or not you’re Irish enough to attend — we’re all Irish here. Admission for the fest is $15 per day.
2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.
Dive Right In
If you’re looking to kick back, relax and enjoy live music this summer, The Brick is a venue to add to your list. The dive bar nestled in the Crossroads District is a great after-work hangout, because who says you have to go home just yet? They’ve got creative eats, cheap drinks, and a fun atmosphere. Entertain yourself and a couple of friends with board games and bingo, or if you think you’ve got some untapped talent, try karaoke on Mondays.
1727 McGee St., Kansas City, Mo.
Boulevardia Craft Beer Festival
Boulevardia, Boulevard Brewing Company’s new craft beer fest, celebrates Kansas City, and of course beer. With more than 30 local, national and international breweries joining the three-day event, it’s more like "beervana" for beer lovers. The event includes food, family activities, entertainment, art, shopping and eco-education, making it an event everyone can enjoy. Three ticket options are available for the event, which runs June 13-15.
12th Street viaduct in the West Bottoms Kansas City, Mo.
See the City
Clark’s Point in Case Park
One of the dozens of parks that speckle the Kansas City area, Clark’s Point in Ermine Case, Jr. Park rests on the edge of a bluff at what feels like the end of the world. The 1.67-acre park overlooks the West Bottoms, Downtown Airport and even the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers. A plaque noting Clark’s journal entry about the area sits near the entrance, and a bronze statue of Lewis & Clark and Sacagawea scanning the horizon adorns the center of the park.
W. 10th Street and Jefferson Street, Kansas City, Mo.
Alvin Ailey’s AileyCamp
Every summer since 1989, 100 sixth- and seventh-grade boys and girls from the Kansas City area take part in AileyCamp — American choreographer Alvin Ailey’s six-week day camp where kids learn dance, creative communication and personal development. Campers are taught jazz, tap, modern and ballet by a professional dance faculty. No prior dance training required. AileyCamp is not limited to dance; students do creative writing, perform community service, explore expression through sound and art, go on field trips and attend guest lectures. Camp is free and held at two sites, one in Missouri and one in Kansas from June 2 to July 10. At the end of the six weeks, students put on a final performance to showcase to friends, family and the public what they’ve learned.
Two Starlight Camps
- Act Like an Animal Camp
At Starlight Theatre’s Act Like an Animal Camp, kids between 5 and 10 years old spend half the day exploring the Kansas City Zoo, interacting with animals, playing games, making crafts and hearing stories. The other half of their day is spent at Starlight, where they participate in theatre arts exploration and learn theatre skills such as storytelling, movement and music. At the end of their two-week exploration, parents and friends can view their camper’s artwork displayed in an art exhibit and see their final performance. Camp is $400 and offers two sessions — June 16-27 and July 28-August 8.
- Camp Take-a-Bow
Starlight’s second camp is Camp Take-a-Bow, a seven-day dive into musical theater performance. Theater enthusiasts age 11 to 14 go behind the scenes and learn how to create and stage a musical theatre performance. Campers have sessions in singing, dancing and acting, as well as learning about what goes into set design, costumes and creating props. The camp also builds the campers’ confidence in their talent, a trait they can use for future auditions, rehearsals and performances. Camp-Take-a-Bow graces the stage July 2, 3 and 7-11, and is $245.
Theatre in the Park
“Honk!,” the 2000 Oliver Award-winning musical based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling, is swooping into the theater bowl this July. “Honk!” tells the story of Ugly, an odd-looking duckling whose differences lead him on a journey to find his mother. Along the way, he makes new friends, encounters new foes, and even falls in love with a swan named Penny. A timeless tale that people of all ages can relate to, “Honk!” proves that some eggs can’t be beaten. Shows run July 4-6 and 10-12. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for children.
7710 Renner Rd., Shawnee, Kan.
Get A Little Strange
Kansas City Fringe Festival
Kansas City’s premier arts festival with a twist runs July 17-27 and just might be the Midwest’s art version of Austin's famed SXSW. Held at multiple venues and showcasing talent of different skill levels, Fringe Fest incorporates live theater, dance performance art, visual art, burlesque, spoken word, puppetry, storytelling, film and fashion — you know, all things artsy. The festival celebrates non-traditional local, regional and national artists. With so many fringe-worthy features, it’s a miracle they can fit it into a 10-day fest.
Eat Your Heart Out
Great Lenexa Barbecue Battle
What’s a KC summer without barbecue? Unimaginable. Since 1982, Lenexa has held the Great Lenexa Barbecue Battle, a two-day event of barbecue bliss including food vendors, children’s activities and live music. Cookers from all over the country battle it out in this two-day BBQ-off to show who really knows their ‘cue. This year, 185 teams will compete in Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park for the chance to take home the coveted title of Grand Champion in one of seven succulent categories. The entry fee is $5 on Friday, free on Saturday.
14915 W 87th St., Lenexa, Kan.
Make A Day (Trip) of It
There’s just something about summer that makes one yearn for an escape, and what a sweet getaway Louisburg is. Its rustic charm and proximity to the KC metro aren’t the only things the city has got going for it. Situated just 20 minutes south of Overland Park, it’s the perfect location for a day trip. Fishing at the state fishing lake, swimming at the aquatic center and visiting the iconic cider mill are only a few of the many things to do in the town.
Buck Night at the K
Even if you’ve already experienced Buck Night at the K, it’s still one of the KC faves along with watching our boys in blue win. A ballgame isn’t complete without hot dogs, peanuts and drinks, and you can get each for $1. The 2014-2015 season offers eight chances to get in on Buck Night, starting May 2. And if you can’t catch a Buck Night game, catch the fireworks show after every Friday home game.
1 Royal Way, Kansas City, Mo.
Soak In Some Culture
Ethnic Enrichment Festival (August 15-17)
Every August, Swope Park is transformed into a global festival. The annual Ethnic Enrichment Festival celebrates Kansas City’s diversity through dance, art, cuisine and music from more than 60 cultures. The festival also offers a majestic parade of flags, stage entertainment every 30 minutes, and a Kid’s World activity area. Admission for the three-day cultural field day is $3 for adults and free for children 12 years old and younger.
Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway in Kansas City, Mo.
Explore the Block
Kansas City Live! Block
The city block that makes up Kansas City Power and Light’s KC Live! Block is the epicenter of entertainment, especially in the summer. Last year the outdoor venue exploded with performances from artists such as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and events such as KC Beer Fest, and this summer is sure to be no different. Located across the street from the Sprint Center, KC Live! Block’s live music, restaurants, bars, events and concerts are a great remedy for any late night lull.
1330 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.
Make Memorial Day Memorable
Celebration at the Station
Pack your coolers, blankets and lawn chairs for the Bank of America’s Celebration at the Station. Grab a spot early for performances by country-meets-classical group The Texas Tenors and the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America. Swell with pride as the Kansas City Symphony, led by Michael Stern, performs patriotic classics in front of Union Station. The free Memorial Day celebration concludes with an epic fireworks display. If Celebration at the Station isn’t your favorite tradition, it will be by the end of the night.
30 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, Mo.
An Evening with the Bard
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival
Winter is coming this summer at Southmoreland Park from June 17 to July 6. In its 22nd season, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival is premiering its production of one of Shakespeare’s final plays, "The Winter’s Tale." Cozy up under the stars Tuesday through Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and lend your ear to the literary exhilaration that is Shakespeare, accompanied by live music. Follow King Leontes of Sicilia and his misguided beliefs of love and honesty, and the toll it takes on those he holds dear. Have a picnic before the show or choose from food, drinks and treats available. Admission is free.
Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard and Oak Street, Kansas City, Mo.
Get Blown Away
U.S. Bank Great Midwest Balloon Fest
Watch balloons of all shapes, sizes and themes ignite the sky at Kansas Speedway August 8-10 for the U.S. Bank Great Midwest Balloon Fest. This year’s fest welcomes a five-mile race and a barbecue competition, plus fest faves such as balloon rides, the kids zone, balloon competitions and the flying of giant kites — seriously, they’re as big as school buses. Proceeds from the weekend-long event will benefit Harvesters and The Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund. Come early but stay late for the mesmerizing flicker of the balloons, known as the twinkle glow. It can only be described as magical.
400 Speedway Blvd., Kansas City, Kan.
Commemorative Air Force Heart of America Wing
Located in the New Century Air Center, the Heart of America Wing of the Commemorative Air Force collects, restores and flies vintage historical aircrafts. Connect with your inner history buff and aviation enthusiast at their hangar and museum, which houses memorabilia from WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. If you’re feeling a bit flighty, ride in one of two open cockpit planes — a Fairchild PT-19 or a PT-13 Stearman — and experience an earlier era in aviation. Dedicated to honoring American military aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance, the Heart of America Wing hosts events and activities throughout the year.
6 Aero Pl., New Century, Kan.
Fly a Kite
Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Home to a wide variety of hybrid trees, shrubs and flowers native to the area, Overland Park’s Arboretum and Botanical Garden is enchanting. In addition to offering classes, events and hiking trails, the arboretum is a beautiful backdrop for enjoying the peaceful flight of a kite as it dips and dances in the wind. With 300 acres of wide-open space and gardens, there’s plenty of room to be one with nature without tangling your twine with your neighbor. Or challenge a friend — loser buys pastries at the café.
8909 W. 179th St., Overland Park, Kan.
Paint the Town
Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio State Historic Site
Celebrate renowned Missouri painter, sculptor, lecturer and writer Thomas Hart Benton by going on a guided tour of his historic quarried limestone home. Let the original paintings and sculptures that decorate the two-and-a-half story house be your muse as you recall the man whose art reflected his unique vision of society. On the 40-minute tour, visitors can see Benton’s studio just as he left it, along with furnishings and personal effects. The Benton home is one of several institutions hosting activities honoring the 20th century artist’s 125th birthday. Tours are available Monday and Thursday through Sunday. Tickets are $4 for adults, $2.50 for children.
3616 Belleview Ave., Kansas City, Mo.
Saturday Science Lab at Science City
Being guided by your curiosity is a great way to spend your Saturdays. Science City’s Saturday Science Lab is a hands-on learning lab where your scientists-in-the-making can participate in live dissections assisted by science center educators. In 20-minute sessions, kids can dissect animals and organic matter such as perch and owl pellets and learn about the body, nature and how they work. The sessions are free with admission to Science City.
30 W. Pershing Rd., Kansas City, Mo.
Have a Jam Session
Jazz in the Woods
Hot days can lead to hot nights with a two-day jam fest in Corporate Woods. Close your eyes and groove to the jam at Overland Park South Rotary Club’s Jazz in the Woods, held June 20 and 21. An annual music festival showcasing genres from traditional jazz to zydeco, Jazz in the Woods is funky, family-oriented and free. The sounds of Norman Brown, Mindi Abair and friends, enhanced by eye-crossing good food (what would a fest be without it?), will have your toes tapping. Jazz in the Woods raises money for local children’s charities.
8717 W. 110th St., Overland Park, Kan.
Prairie Village Art Fair
Located in the heart of the Prairie Village Shopping Center, the Prairie Village Art Fair is all about the love of art, music, food and fun. This year’s fair will feature more than 100 local and national artists displaying their creations. The annual fair has enough vendors to fill your home with art and your tummy with treats. The Michael Beers Band and Blue Orleans Band will rock the shops for the evening.
6920 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, Kan.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
Overland Park Farmers Market
See vibrant colors and enjoy delectable aromas every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at Overland Park’s Farmers Market. Not just limited to the traditional hauls of produce, you can find a wide variety of items under the bustling green awning including wine, pies, gluten-free treats, garden decor and even live music. Buying local not only supports local farmers, it also creates connections within the community. Plus, nothing tastes like homegrown goodness.
7950 Marty St., Overland Park, Kan.
Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
See if you can beat your personal best at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead fishing tournament June 21. Fish with an old-fashioned cane pole and a bucket of worms provided by the Farmstead, and see how many big ones you can hook. Kids, team up with a parent, grandparent or favorite sibling and cast your best line. Teams will receive two gift bags and a child-size tackle box. Sure the early bird catches the worm, but if you’re not an early birdie, there’s two fishing sessions. Trophies for first through third place will be awarded in three categories. Teams pay $25 before June 7 to participate.
13800 Switzer Rd., Overland Park, Kan.
Find the Perfect Pairing
Stems: A Garden Soiree
Sip wine from hand-painted glasses under glowing strings of lantern lights, and treat your taste buds to bites from more than 20 local restaurants at Stems: A Garden Soiree. In the open beauty of the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, one can mingle, look at plein air art, hear live music and take in the view. It’s a magical evening that will conclude with a fireworks display that illuminates the garden. Stems: A Garden Soiree benefits Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, and arts and culture in the community. Tickets are $95.
8909 W. 179th St., Overland Park, Kan.
Have a Meal to Die For
If you’re looking for a date night with a bang, The Mystery Train’s murder mystery dinner theatre will have you feeling like you’ve dropped right in the middle of an Agatha Christie novel. An interactive live mystery game, the Mystery Train incorporates Kansas City’s past and present, all set in a train car. No one is to be trusted, not even the person you came to dinner with. The June 27- August 16 show is “Legally Dead,” a whodunit riddle that interrupts a trial and has even government agents stumped. Will you solve the case? Or better yet, will you get away with murder?
Find Time to Unwind
Music in the Park
Take the time to unwind with good music and good company at Music in the Park. Groups such as Anna Lee and the So & So’s, The Anchovy Fishermen and more will provide the soundtrack of summer lounging. Overland Park’s own Civic Band kicks off the summer concert series, which takes place every Sunday night, starting June 2. These concerts are free —even your pet can participate in the family fun.
8045 Santa Fe Dr., Overland Park, Kan.
Enjoy the Good Ole Days
Old Shawnee Days
Everyone’s got a favorite ride at the Old Shawnee Days carnival. What’s yours? Shawnee’s 48th annual event has attractions, kids games, historical re-enactors, a pie-baking contest and a parade. The theme for Kansas’ largest parade is “building Shawnee one block at a time.” The weekend-long Midwest celebration will have the talents of Jim Cosgrove, Access Dance, Kaopectones, and Rattle and Hum, a tribute to U2, to name a few. Get your wristbands early; you won’t want to miss the fun. Wristbands for the carnival are $15 for children 6 and younger, $25 for all other attendees.
11600 Johnson Dr., Shawnee, Kan.
Get the Scoop
Sylas and Maddy’s Homemade Ice Cream
No summer list would be complete without ice cream, and Sylas and Maddy’s Homemade Ice Cream is the place for it. Add a new flavor to your life with one of their 150 innovative homemade flavors, 40 of which are available daily. Super creamy and addictive, you’ll struggle to pick from flavors such as Kansas Twister, Gold Dust and Strawberry Lemon Sherbet. Visit their Lawrence or Olathe location and savor the warm crunch of their made-fresh daily waffle cones. Some flavors are available at other Kansas City area ice cream vendors. If you’re feeling inspired, submit your own flavor.
See an Art Show
Art of the Cars Concours
On June 22, 15 acres of The Kansas City Art Institute’s campus will be the show room for the eighth annual Art of the Cars Concours, an exhibition featuring more than 200 vintage, classic and special interest vehicles belonging to collectors from all over the United States. The awe-inducing display includes cars, trucks, race cars, motorcycles, pedal cars, and new to the roster — hot rods. Pick your favorites, guess who will win one of 42 awards, and meet the legends that raced some of the cars on display. The event benefits the KCAI scholarship fund. Tickets start $18.
4415 Warwick Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.
Serve Up a Few Rounds
Volleyball Beach is an oasis of soft sands, social and competitive volleyball, and a laid-back beach atmosphere. Meet up for warm-ups (their take on appetizers) and drink specials at the bar and grill. Take lessons to score that professional-level serve, or join one of five leagues available. The beach isn’t short on ways to have good time. Each week gets better and soon you’ll have so much fun diving for a save that you won’t mind looking like a human snickerdoodle.
13105 Holmes Rd., Kansas City, Mo.
Make the Water Your Playground
Piddle Paddle, LLC.
Being landlocked is just a state of mind, as you’ll see when you discover stand-up paddle boarding at Piddle-Paddle, LLC. Stand-up paddle boarding, or SUP, is a fun way to turn practically any body of water into a playground, using a paddleboard, a paddle and your sense of adventure. Piddle Paddle offers beginners classes for those just learning how to navigate the waters, or those looking to perfect their technique. For anyone looking to challenge their balance, flexibility and focus, SUP yoga classes are available. Guided trips and paddleboard rental are available. When’s the last time a full-body workout sounded like so much fun?
Skydive Kansas City
For another heart-racing adventure, head 50 miles outside of KC to Butler, Mo., headquarters of Skydive Kansas City. Home of the proclaimed highest jumps in the Midwest, daredevils 18 years and older can tandem skydive —a dual parachute jump with your instructor from between 10,000 and 14,000 feet. From there, you’ll go into a 40- to 70-second free fall at 120 to 150 miles per hour. The total experience is 5 to 7 minutes long. But don’t rush yourself; before you can feel weightless, you’ll have to go through 60-90 minutes of training.
1413 North Orange St., Butler, Mo.
Sing the Blues
The Blue Room
Back in the 1930s and ‘40s, The Blue Room was one of the swankiest and most popular spots on 18th and Vine. Now, the historic jazz district’s museum by day and working jazz club by night continues the steady beat of jazz in Kansas City. Designed to resemble the original Blue Room, the club has live music, events and the Indigo Hour. Held every Friday from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Indigo Hour is The Blue Room’s happy hour, filled with music, Blue Room martinis, drink specials, and an appetizer buffet. Journey to the mecca of jazz and be prepared to stay late.
1616 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.
Catch a Wave
Catch a wave this summer with wakeboarding at KC Watersports’ cable lake, a 7.5-acre lake of glistening blue waters with an overhead cable system. The system can tow up to six wakeboarders, skiers or kneeboarders at a time — no boat needed. Whether you’re a beginner or "boardering" on expert, you’ll have fun catching air as you conquer various features placed out in the water. And if you’re still feeling a bit anxious, the facility has day camps and classes to help you with your technique.
25825 Edgemore Rd., Paola, Kan.
Trivia Night in KC
Round one: Shawnee’s Tanner’s Bar & Grill
Quick, how many fountains does Kansas City have? You’ve got to be fast on your feet to answer questions like these at Xtreme League Trivia hosted by Shawnee’s Tanner’s Bar and Grill. It’s not just a traditional game of Trivial Pursuit and ‘90s music; it’s eight rounds of grueling pop culture trivia. Form a team and meet up every Friday at 8 p.m., and make sure your cellphones, tablets and laptops are fully charged; cheating is always encouraged. Sure you’re only playing for bragging rights, but a win is a win.
22374 W. 66th St., Shawnee, Kan.
Round two: Westport Flea Market
So you’ve played a couple of rounds with friends. Think you’re ready to put some money on it? Visit Westport Flea Market on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and try your luck at trivia night. Register your team (up to eight people) and put those random bits of knowledge to use with topics such as beer, movie quotes, sports, famous deaths and theme songs. The entry fee is $5 per person. The first place team takes home 75 percent of the entry fee pot, and second place team gets the rest.
817 Westport Rd., Kansas City, Mo.
Make a Splash
Shawnee Mission Park Beach
What better way to welcome summer than with a day at the beach? Shawnee Mission Park Beach is a quiet environment for swimming, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. Even your pet can get in on the action at their dog beach. It’s a great way to pretend you’re not in Kansas anymore. Just don’t forget the sunscreen. Daily passes are $3-$5 for Johnson County residents and $3.50-$5.50 for non-residents.
7900 Renner Rd., Shawnee, Kan.
Mix it Up
Kids a Cookin’
The public library is an endless source of information, and now it’s also a source for kid-friendly cooking classes. Kids a Cookin’, held at the main Minnesota Avenue library every Wednesday, introduces pint-sized chefs to nutritious, delicious and fun recipes that will get them excited about getting into the kitchen. Apple smiles, no-bake cookies, and purple power smoothies are only a few of the many recipes that your kids can make as after-school snacks. Recipes range from easy to medium skill levels, and you even get to taste test them when you’re done.
625 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kan.
Giggle and Wiggle
Head for Crown Center May 24 and 25 for Jiggle Jam, KC’s independent family music fest. You’ll find yourself jiggling and jamming right along side your kids at one of the more than 25 music and entertainment acts lined up for the occasion. The party that only breaks for nap times also has tents for arts, crafts, games, plus interactive workshops, a bouncy land and much more. Jiggle Jam brings out the kid in everyone, so don’t be surprised if your kids catch you eyeing the bouncy land.
2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.
Take a Wild Ride
Johnson County Fair
It’s time for Johnson County’s annual celebration of rural American culture and it’s sure to be a wild ride. Mark your calendars for July 29 through August 2, a week earlier than years before. The fair features the usual wide variety of fun and entertainment, including a dog show, parade, rodeo, carnival, contests, and of course, music. This year’s theme is “Fur and
Feathers,” which incorporates a fur-and-feathers coloring contest for kids, and rabbit and chicken silhouette decorating contests for adults.
136 E. Washington St., Gardner, Kan.
Become a Member
Join likeminded foodies in Kansas City’s branch of Slow Food, a global grassroots movement that focuses on the slower, more thoughtful preparation of food and food preparation practices within different cultures. The Convivium hosts workshops, events and dinners in local eateries and is a great opportunity to learn from award-winning chefs. The membership fee is $60 for an individual, $100 for a family.
River Market Antiques
If you’re familiar with the West Bottoms, then you’ve probably walked past River Market Antiques and gazed at their ever-changing window displays. What you don’t see lies within — a smorgasbord of antiques and vintage items from yesteryear. The antique mall is home to more than 175 dealers and has items spread out over four floors. Open seven days a week, River Market offers monthly specials, free coffee and cookies, and events such as a back alley sale. You’re bound to find something unexpected, just don’t be surprised if you start feeling a bit nostalgic.
115 W. 5th St., Kansas City, Mo.
Mission Road Antique Mall
Antiquing isn’t just a fun thing to do; it’s a way of life. Spend the day at Mission Road Antique Mall and delve into thousands of quality antiques, including books, jewelry, pottery, linens and art. At the mall, you can unearth bargains from more than 300 resale vendors, sell your antiques and furnishings, and sign up for consignment services. While you’re catching your breath, refuel at Bloomsbury Bistro located inside of the mall, and enjoy lunch, appetizers and desserts.
4101 W. 83rd St., Prairie Village, Kan.
Be a Showstopper
Grammy Museum Experience
Channel your inner rock star at the Sprint Center’s Grammy Museum Experience. An exhibit to celebrate the Sprint Center’s fifth anniversary, the attraction will make all who love music and going to concerts giddy. The hands-on exhibit features a mixing board, light-up dance floor, and a full band set around a performance stage. Be one-on-one with authentic outfits and read about your Grammy favorites. An education resource for students and teachers to learn different ways to use music in the classroom will be available. Tickets are $6-$8.
1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.
A Different Spin on Things
IMSA Road Racing at Kansas Speedway
The Kansas Speedway’s road course gets a workout June 7 when the International Motor Sports Association returns to the circuit’s road course. Three divisions will feature sports cars, prototypes and Porsches negotiating the six turns on the 2.37-mile track. Infield tickets are $30 for adults, $15 for youths.
400 Speedway Blvd., Kansas City, Kan.
Work on Your Back Swing
The Midwest Classic at Nicklaus Golf Club LionsGate
Future stars of the PGA Tour will be sweating every hole of the Overland Park course for this KC area stop of the web.com tour, where future PGA stars learn their trade. Three days of preliminary events (July 21-23) are followed by four rounds of the tournament (July 24-27). An individual pass for the week is $25, and group and corporate packs are also available.
14225 Dearborn St., Overland Park, Kan.
Boning Up on Baseball
Kansas City T-Bones
If your baseball tastes run to a less polished and less expensive version of the game, the Kansas City T-Bones are at your service. The independent team plays at cozy CommunityAmerica Ballpark in western Wyandotte County. Single-game tickets range from $9 to $16, or there a charming $48 picnic table for six.
1800 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan.