Summer Fun in Kansas City

Hurricane Falls at World's of Fun

June through August — Let’s just call it what it is — The best three months of the year!

 

435 has hit the pools, fished lakes and streams, paddled and splashed the water parks, dived and jumped through hoops (literally) to bring you a mega list of activities to take your summer to the next level.

ADVENTURE

Hang 10

Bayrider Surf Simulator

 

Learn how to surf the waves at the “Bayrider Surf Simulator” at The Bay Water Park. Instructors will teach you how to “Flow Ride," which is an actual water sport that combines surfing, snowboarding, skating and wakeboarding. Private lessons are $25 per 30-minute session. kcparks.org


Get Your Tarzan On

Go Ape — The Treetop Adventure at Swope Park

 

Swing through trees. Zip line through nature and hold on tight as you “Go Ape” at the Treetop Adventure in Swope Park. This two-and-a-half-hour journey through the forest canopy might just have you doing the classic Tarzan yodel. Tickets are $58 for adults and $38 for children 10 to 15 years of age. goape.com


Set Sail

Sailing Club

 

Be the captain of your own ship, or at least learn what keel and jibe mean by taking sailing lessons. The Jacomo Sailing Club Offers classes for adults all summer. Cost is $200. jacomosailingclub.org


Peter Pan It

Zip KC Zipliners 

 

Why just have one zip line when you can have nine? At Zip KC, nine zip lines stretching more than 5,800 feet and (gulp) reaching speeds up to 50 mph will have you flying high. The finale is the zero-gravity line which is a 12-foot free fall. Fans say it's part zip line, part roller coaster. Tickets start at $79.99 per person. zipkc.com


Girls, Get Down and Dirty 

Wild Women Timber Challenge

 

The Wild Woman Timber Challenge on June 3rd is a 5K obstacle course relay just for women. Be prepared for foam, mud pits, bluff and rope climbs, inverted monkey bars, cargo nets and more. Entry fee on race day is $65. kctimberchallenge.com


Conquer a Challenge Course

40 Foot Climbing Tower at the TimberRidge Adventure Center

 

Anything with the term “Dangle Duo” must be a blast – right? At the TimberRidge Adventure Center, a rope course, zip line and “Eagle’s Nest” 40-foot climbing tower (with Dangle Duo) and vertical playpen along with rappelling, is all you’ll need to test your outdoor prowess. jcprd.com


Reach New Heights

Rock Climbing Wall at Emerald City Gym

 

If you’re into scaling cliffs and know what a belay loop is, become a member of the Kansas City climbing community and get all the deets about the best places for outdoor climbing. climbkc.com. If you want to learn to climb, embrace the “monster” — the metro’s largest indoor rock climbing wall, the venue boasts 5,000 square feet of vertical and horizontal climbing space and is available for beginners as young as seven. Prices for classes vary depending on age and experience. emeraldcitygym.com


Train to be a Ninja

Urban Air Trampoline Park

 

If you’ve ever watched NBC's “American Ninja Warriors” and thought, “Hey, I want to do that!” You can get a taste of what it takes at the warrior obstacle course at Urban Air Adventure Park. If you discover you’re not (ahem) a warrior, there’s always the trampoline park. $20 for a two-hour pass.
urbanairtrampolinepark.com


Hold on Tight

Ride the Renovated Timber Wolf at Wolds of Fun

 

The Timber Wolf, the beloved wooden roller coaster at Worlds of Fun, has gotten a makeover. Now you’ll finish the ride hauling it at high speed while you hit a banked 70-degree turn and get rotated almost sideways. We recommend not getting on this ride with a full stomach. Admission is $39.99 if you buy your tickets online. worldsoffun.com


Be a Race Car Driver

Richard Petty Driving Experience

 

If you feel the need for speed, try out the “Rookie” package at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. You’ll get to drive a real NASCAR car by yourself for an eight-minute timed session on a regulation track. If that sounds too scary, you can ride shotgun for three laps at top speed in a race car with a professional driver. The “Rookie” package begins at $319 and the “Ride Along” begins at $149. drivepetty.com

 

ARTS

Be a Ballerina

April Berry Teaching Kanas City Ballet Summer Intensive – photo by Elizabeth Stehling

It’s never too late to make that childhood dream come true. The Kansas City Ballet is offering adult ballet classes all summer long. Not only will you get to learn ballet, but you get to take your classes where the professional ballerinas train, at the Todd Bolender Center. Class prices vary. kcballet.org


Experience Broadway Outdoors

Cinderella at Starlight Theatre

Dirty Dancing,” “The King and I,” “Cinderella”— they’re all coming to Starlight Theatre where you can see the Best of Broadway in a beautiful outdoor setting. kcstarlight.com


Get Animated

2D Animation Class at Kansas City Art Institute

 

If you’ve ever been intrigued about how movies like the “Fantastic Mr. Fox” or “Wallace and Gromit” were made, spend a week this July taking a 2d stop-motion animation class at the Kansas City Art Institute. From clay figures to people, you’ll learn the scoop on how to tell a story one picture at a time. The class fee is $219. kcai.edu


Encourage Your Young Artist

Art Class at Nelson-Atkins Museum

 

Every single weekend from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Nelson-Atkins Museum has free activities for families that range from creating art based on a current exhibit to “Draw What You Wish.” Admission is free. nelson-atkins.org


 Be a Boss at Ballroom Dancing

Dance Lessons at Allegro Ballroom

 

On Friday evening this summer you can take swing dance lessons at the Allegro Ballroom. Beginners are welcome and after class, there’s “open swing dancing” till midnight. The cost is $10 for drop-ins. allegroballroomkc.com


See Your Neighbors Dance and Sing

West Side Story Produced by the Leawood Stage Company

 

The Leawood Stage Company will be showcasing local talent with their production of “Westside Story” at Ironwoods Park beginning July 13. Bring a lawn chair and settle in for a cool evening of theater under the stars. Admission is free. leawoodstagecompany.com


Let Your Summer Go to the Dogs

Go, Dog. Go! by the Mesner Puppeteers at MTH Crown Center

 

Big dogs, little dogs, yellow dogs, blue dogs. P.D. Eastman’s beloved book, Go, Dog. Go!  comes to life with puppets at the Music Theater Heritage at the Crown Center. Performances are June 26 – July 15. tickets can be purchased online at mesnerpuppets.org


Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

 

It’s half art education and half detective work as you hone your deductive reasoning skills tracking down clues to different works of art at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. The scavenger hunts take place on the third Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and each participant gets a take-home, art-making activity kit. Admission is free, but we encourage you to enjoy the yummy offerings of Café Sebastian located inside the museum. kemperart.org


Get Nostalgic

Happy Together Tour

 

Longing for music from the good old days (and of course, we mean the '60s and '70s)? Hit up the “Happy Together” tour August 19th at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts. The Turtles, Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night), Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Association, Mark Lindsay (former lead singer of Paul Revere & The Raiders), and the Cowsills will all be belting out the classics. Tickets are $49 – $89. kauffmancenter.org


Unleash Your Creative Juices

Kaleidoscope Art Session

 

On a mission to inspire self-expression, Hallmark invites all kids to come to a creative art session at Kaleidoscope in the Crown Center Complex. The sessions last 50 minutes and involve children designing works of art from leftover material at Hallmark. Admission is free. hallmarkkaleidoscope.com


Watch a Broadway Hit Under the Stars

Shawnee Mission Theatre in the Park

 

Theatre in the Park (tucked into the Shawnee Mission Park system) is the largest outdoor community Theater in the country. Auditions bring hundreds of aspiring dancers, singers and actors seeking a part and the result is outstanding musicals that you get to enjoy while perched in your favorite lawn chair. On the schedule for this summer: “The Little Mermaid,” “South Pacific”and “High School Musical.” Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 4 to 10. Children under 4 are free. theatreinthepark.org


See Legos as Works of Art 

Lego Sculpture of a Swimmer

 

One hundred works of art made from millions of Legos — can you say yes, please? The Art of the Brick exhibit will blow your mind. tickets are $11.95 for children 12 and under and $15.95 for adults. unionstation.org

 

BRAIN BUILDERS

Become a Minecraft Master Engineer

Lego Camp

 

Legos aren’t just for stepping on! Have your child put all those bricks to good use as they learn how to build a motorized walking Creeper and Minecart while gaining core engineering skills at the Lee’s Summit Parks and Rec Day Camp at the Gamber Community Center. Class fee is $165. cityofls.net


Get Lost in a Book

Summer Reading Program

 

All the public libraries have summer reading programs for kids and adults. The Kansas City Public Library is hosting “Rock and Read.” The North Kansas City Public Library is celebrating summer reading with “Libraries Rock.” And, the Johnson County Public Libraries are also rocking reading this summer. You can register online for the summer reading programs and most libraries are giving away free books and prizes. jocolibrary.org, nkcpl.org, kclibrary.org


Become Closer to the Celestial Byways

Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium

 

As one of the largest and highest resolution planetariums in the Midwest, the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium is the place to gaze up at the heavens. You can choose from a variety of experiences from the Magic Tree House Space Mission to Sky Station Live and Phantom of the Universe. Tickets are $7. unionstation.org


Embrace Your Inner Child 

Legoland Discovery Center

 

The Legoland Discovery Center has adult only nights this summer. Yes, you can ditch your kids and enjoy Legos all on your own. Bonus — the nights are themed. This means you can also dress up in costume while you play with Legos. Tickets are $10. kansascitylegolanddiscoverycenter.com


Play Trivial Pursuit 

Interactive Trivial Pursuit at Crown Center

 

Go on a 50-state adventure without leaving the metro. The Crown Center’s Interactive Trivial Pursuit is a pretend trek across America featuring an activity for every state. Ride a mule in the Grand Canyon. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square and guide your sled dog team on the Iditarod Trail. Admission is free. crowncenter.com  


Go to the Ultimate Show & Tell

Maker Faire at Union Station

 

Maker Faire at Union Station is a next generation Show & Tell. On June 23 & 24 a gathering of some of the city’s most fascinating and curious people will display their creations and inventions. Come to learn, be inspired and shop. (what a combo.) Single day tickets start at $17 for adults and $14 for children. kansascity.makerfaire.com


Keep Your Young Genius Engaged

Science City

 

Science City is the destination to ensure that young minds don’t turn to mush over the summer break. from the Dinolab to a Test Kitchen to one of the newest exhibits — the outdoor “Simple Machines at Play” — this is the perfect place to boost brain power. It’s not for nothing that Parents Magazine named Science City one of the best science centers in the country. admission is $13.25. unionstation.org


Learn About the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

 

Snakes, danger, beauty and again snakes — It’s all in the story an award-winning writer and photographer from National Geographic will share about their journey transecting the length of the Canyon on foot. Tickets to National Geographic Live: Between River and Rim — Hiking the Grand Canyon on June 5 are $24 to $60. tickets.kauffmancenter.org

 

FAMILY

Ride the Streetcar

RideKC Streetcar

 

If you need an excuse to ride the streetcar (it’s free), then head downtown for the Sprint Family Fun series. on the second Saturday of each month, Sprint provides family activities in the Power and Light District. June’s theme is Carnival Circus. July’s theme is Capes and Crowns and you can finish out the summer with a Pirate Party in August. Admission is free. powerandlightdistrict.com/familyfun. kcstreetcar.org


Take a Great Family Portrait

Take a Family Portrait at Your Local Park

 

Local photographers say these are their favorite spots for the best summer family pics. Powell Gardens (Kingsville), grounds of the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Unity Village (Lee’s Summit), Rotary Park (Blue Springs), Loose Park (Kansas City), Country Club Plaza, South Lake Park (Overland Park), Prairefire Museum (Overland Park) and English Landing Park (Parkville).


Get Your Big Screen Bragging Rights On

Bigger is better when you can enjoy a movie on the largest movie screen in the metro at the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre. blockbusters will play here all summer along with two more educational flicks — “national parks adventure in 3d” and “extreme weather.” ticket prices vary. unionstation.org


Go to a June Bug Ball

June Bug Ball at Deanna Rose Farmstead

 

Who says balls are just for grown-ups? The Deanna Rose Farmstead in overland park will be holding a June Bug Ball on June 5 from 4 to 7 p.m.Kids are encouraged to come in “cute-as-a-bug” costumes while they learn about bugs of the world in the dairy barn, play buggy games and eat buggy snacks. There will also be a bug petting zoo and dancing with the princess bugs. admission is free. artsandrec-op.org


Try a Water Game

Hot Summer Days at the Overland Park Arboretum

 

At the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, you can get all wet at their “Hot Summer Days” water game extravaganza on June 8, July 13 and August 10 from 10 a.m. to noon. From sponge relays to ice art, it’s all about the H2O. Cost is $3. opkansas.org


Hit the Beach

Longview Lake Beach

 

The Longview Lake Beach and Blue Springs Lake Beach both have sand that’s nice enough to convince you that you’re oceanfront adjacent. So, go ahead and build a sand castle. makeyourdayhere.com 


Enjoy a Free Children’s Concert

Children's Concert at Deanna Rose Farmstead

 

The Deanna Rose Farmstead will be having three free children’s concerts this summer on June 7, July 5 and August 2. You and your kids can sing and dance to lively music from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. then celebrate your musical artistry by going out for ice cream. artsandrec-op.org


Go on a Pool Date With Your Fur Baby

K-9s at the Cove at the Shawnee Pool

 

 “K-9’s at the Cove” on August 18 is where you can take your pet to the pool. The “Splash Cove” at the Jim Allen Aquatic Center will be turned into a Water Dogtopia as man’s best friend gets wet and wild. admission is $6 per dog. cityofshawnee.org


Learn How to Throw a Cream Pie

Komedy Kidstitute at Martin City Melodrama and Vaudeville Company

 

Just what your kids need to learn: how to throw a perfect cream pie in someone’s face and do a triple spit take, right? But if you’ve got a budding comedian in your house, check out the Komedy Kidstitute at the Martin City Melodrama and Vaudeville Companymartincitymelodrama.org

 

FESTIVALS AND OTHER OUTDOOR EXPERIENCES

Picnic With 1,000 of Your Closest Friends

Kansas City's Big Picnic

 

There are picnics and then there are picnics. On July 22 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Kansas City’s Big Picnic takes place on the grounds of the Nelson-Atkins Museum and celebrates the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park, and National Parks and Recreation Month. Art activities, live music, food trucks, and games are all on the menu. nelson-atkins.org


Say Ciao All Day Long

Festa Italiana at Zona Rosa

 

Festa Italiana is the place to experience authentic Italian food and celebrate the metro’s rich Italian heritage. From pasta to desserts, live entertainment (you don’t want to miss the national award-winning teenage Cascone sisters Sofia & Isabella dancing #amazing). And historical information booths, this festival is one of the most beloved in Kansas City. June 1, 2 and 3 at Zona Rosa. Admission is free. unicokc.org


Get Cooking With Veggies

Powell Garden’s CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Subscription Box Cooking Challenge

 

It’s a food fight at Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Gardens Parking Lot on June 7 (4:30 to 6:30 p.m.) when Bryan Sparks, Executive Chef of the Jacobson and Executive Chef Bryant Wigger of Tavernonna in the Hotel Phillips face off in a down-and-dirty vegetable challenge using produce from Powell Gardens Community Supported (CSA) subscription box. This “parking lot pop-up” event also features cooking demos and tastings and an on-site tour of the orchards and community garden. Admission is free. powellgardens.org


See Future Superstars

Future Artists Take the Stage at Kauffman Future Festival

 

The Future Festival showcases young, local talent and provides a diverse range of performances and interactive arts activities. Sunday, June 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. kauffmancenter.org


Go Full Fringe

Clowns Perform at the KC Fringe Festival

 

If you haven’t been to the Fringe Festival (July 19-29), you’re missing out on some of the most classic and cutting-edge entertainment in the metro. Often referred to as one of the biggest celebrations of arts and culture in Kansas City, this 10-day event is a smorgasbord of visual and performing arts. kcfringe.com


Take a Hike

Hike the Fox Hollow Trail in Swope Park

 

Take advantage of Swope Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, and hike the Fox Hollow Trail located near the Lakeside Nature Center. You’ll be able to enjoy a wide variety of wetland life and native foliage and fauna. kcparks.org


Hear Taps at the Tower

Taps at the Tower – WWI Museum

 

The National World War I Museum and Memorial will have their annual taps at the tower each evening at sunset from June 17 to June 23. Bring a picnic, enjoy the outdoors and experience Taps being played during a brief, moving ceremony. theworldwar.org/taps


Time Travel

Travel Back in Time at Old Shawnee Days

 

“Old Shawnee Days” is where past meets present. This four-day event (May 31 – June 3) celebrates the history of Shawnee, Kansas with attractions including rides, music, games, historical reenactments and crafts. Don’t miss the pie and baking contest or Bloody Mary Party. oldshawneedays.org

 


Get Your Pride On

Pride Festival

 

The KC Pridefest is one of the top 10 LGTBQ Festivals in the nation. Throughout the weekend event (June 1 – 3) at Berkley Riverfront Park, you can celebrate inclusion, diversity and pride with live music and performances from local and national headliners. gaypridekc.org


Brew It Up

Boulevardia

Boulevardia is the place to be father’s day weekend (June 15 – 16). From a Dad’s day “Beer and BBQ Brunch,” to live music, a “Makers Market,” a cycling event and a fair-like atmosphere, the KC Stockyards is ground zero for the best in beer and boisterous fun. General admission is $25. boulevardia.com


Venture to the River

KC Riverfest at Berkley Riverfront Park

 

Riverfest at the Berkley Riverfront is the “it” location to celebrate Independence Day in Kansas City. With one of the best and largest fireworks displays in the Midwest, musical entertainment and activities for kids, your whole family will have a blast. Bonus, there are lots of food and beverage vendors, so you can stuff your face  while you wait for the fireworks to begin. kcriverfest.com


Watch a Movie on a Pool Float 

Dive-in Movie Night

 

Nothing sounds more summer-licious than watching a movie on a giant screen while you’re floating in a pool. Dive-in movie night is July 14 at the Thomas A. Soetaert Aquatic Center. The movie begins at dusk and you can BYOF (bring your own float) or use of the pool’s inner tubes. cityofshawnee.org 


Discover World Cultures

Ethnic Enrichment Festival

 

Experience the world without leaving the metro by attending the Ethnic Enrichment Festival. This event is one of the largest of its kind in the entire country and will feature more than 60 different cultures selling their native foods, crafts and performing ethnic dances and music. The event runs August 17 – 19 at Swope Park. eeckc.net


Experience Shakespeare

Heart of America Shakespeare Festival

 

Let me be that I am and seek not to alter me.” Hear that deep thought and much more when you attend the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s performance of “Much Ado About Nothing.”the play will be performed in the Outdoor Theatre of Southmoreland Park June 12 – July 1. Admission is free. British accent is optional. kcshakes.org


Cool Down at Snowzoo

Polar Bear at the Kansas City Zoo

 

On July 14 and 15, you can watch the Kansas City Zoo’s polar bear, Berlin, enjoy 2 tons of ice that will be dumped into the polar bear passage. The river otters will also enjoy carved ice sculptures. the humans can chill out at the Helzberg Penguin Plaza exhibit and go behind the scenes with the penguins and what the zoo calls an “up close and personal encounter.” Zoo admission is $16 for 12 and older, $13 for children 3 to 11 and free for 2 and under. The penguin encounter is an additional $40 per person. kansascityzoo.org


Go to the County Fair(s)

County Fair

 


  • To see super cute kids “Mutton Bustin,” be at the Cass County Fair, July 10 – 15. casscountyfairmo.com
  • Check out the best 4-H displays at the Wyandotte County Fair, July 10 – 14 wycofair.com
  • Demolition derby action takes over at the Platte County Fair, July 18 – 21, plattecountyfair.com
  • Best fair royalty reigns supreme at the Miami County Fair, July 21 – 28, miamicountykansasfair.com
  • Funnel cake heaven can be found at the Douglas County Fair, July 30 – August 4. dgcountyfair.com
  • The most carnival rides are at the Johnson County Fair, July 29 – August 4, jocokansasfair.com
 

MAKE A SPLASH

Get “Aqua Launched”

Predator's Plunge at Oceans of Fun

 

Nothing says summer like being dropped from a 65-foot platform and body surfing through a series of loops and s-curves at Oceans of Fun’s Predator’s Plunge. Admission is $39.99 if you buy your tickets online. worldsoffun.com


Upgrade Your Kiddie Pool Experience

The Jim Allen Aquatic Center Splash Cove is the next level when it comes to kiddie pools. Its 7,600-square foot pool has a large zero-depth entry leisure pool with five water geysers, a 125-foot body slide, interactive playground, a pool just for swimming lessons and a wave pool scaled and themed for 5-year-olds.  Splash cove is so amazing your kids won’t ever want to grow up. cityofshawnee.org


Pet Stingrays 

Stingrays at the Kansas City Zoo

 

The Kansas City Zoo's new exhibit, Stingray Bay, lets you get interactive with marine life. Dip your hands into a shallow pool and discover the unique texture and movement of cow nose and southern stingrays. Small bamboo sharks will also be part of the new exhibit. Zoo admission is $16 for 12 and older, $13 for children 3 to 11 and free for 2 and under. kansascityzoo.org


Slide in Glow-in-the-Dark Water

Blacklight Slide

 

If you’ve ever wanted to launch yourself down a slide in an inner tube into water that glows in the dark, then the blacklight slide is the event for you. On August 25, the Providence Medical Center Amphitheatre will be turned into a glow in the dark water world as neon water sprays down inflatable slides turning you into a human glow stick — #getglowed. Tickets are $50. blacklightslide.com


Go Hardcore With the Inflatables

Rowdy Ribbits at the Beach of Longview Lake

 

Rowdy Ribbits Park takes pool inflatables to infinity and beyond. This brand-new inflatable water park on Longview Lake in Kansas City features floating obstacle courses, slides, diving mountains, mini-trampolines, monkey bars, flip zones and lily pads. Admission is $20. rowdyribbits.com

 

DIVE IN

10 Great Pools

Surf Simulator at the Bay Water Park

 

It’s fins up at the Bay Water Park in Kansas City. The star attraction is the surf simulator where you can learn to “carve” and “duck dive” just like the pros do. After you hang-10, the leisure pool features a lazy river with “rockin” waves and two gargantuan tube slides for the thrill seekers in your family. There’s also a separate family play area for the littlest swimmers. thebaykc.com


Leawood Aquatic Center

 

The Leawood Aquatics Center in Leawood, Kansas, has a resort atmosphere as it sprawls over an area with plenty of leafy shade trees and lots of grass. This pool boasts many different areas to enjoy from the separate fenced-in baby pool with a triple miniature slide, to the zero-entry pool for the pre-school set with a whale slide and jumbo padded animals to climb on including alligators and snakes. This pool also has an impressive waterfall. The larger pool has a high dive along with two other diving boards and lap swimming lanes. there’s also a separate water slide area and a spray park. leawood.org


Lenexa Rec Center – Indoor Pool Complex

 

Tired of applying sunscreen every hour? If the answer is yes, grab your pool noodles and head to the 14,000-square foot indoor swim facility at the Lenexa Rec Center in Lenexa, Kansas. Thrill seekers will love the two 40-foot water slides and climbing wall and slower paced swimmers can mellow out in the lazy river. There’s also a “warm water wellness pool” for those looking for relaxation. lenexa.com


Mission Family Aquatic Center

 

The Mission Family Aquatic Center in Mission, Kansas, has something for everyone; from slides and toddler areas to an impressive lap pool. It also has an adult only pool where romance has been known to blossom. According to lifeguard lore, three couples that met in the adult pool have gotten married in the past year. missionks.org


Night Swim at the Prairie Village Pool Complex

 

Swim under the stars at the Prairie Village Pool Complex in Prairie Village, Kansas. For four days during the summer (June 8, June 22, July 6 & July 20), the pool stays open until 10 p.m. so you can splash under the stars. pvkansas.org


Indoor Pool at the Olathe Community Center 

 

If you want to escape the beating sun, swim indoors at the Olathe Community Center Pool. This massive pool has a lazy river, hot tub, rock climbing walls with four waterfalls and diving platforms plus two water slides. olatheks.org


The Spring Aquatic Center

 

The Spring Aquatic Center in the Northland holds close to a million gallons of water and every drop is used for wet and wild fun. The pool has a zero-depth entry area, a lazy river, two water slides that dump you off into a plunge pool and a vortex that kids like to call the toilet bowl for its nonstop swirling action. There’s also a spray park for younger kids. thespringskc.com


Summit Waves in Lee's Summit

 

Summit Waves in Lee’s Summit is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this summer and the pool is still a total splash. The 904-foot-long action river is theme park worthy and the water playground area with dump buckets and mini-slides is great for the toddler set. It also has a body and tube slide that are some of the longest in the metro. a dedicated six-lane lap pool is great for those who want to get in a workout and the lifeguards are diligent about keeping non-lap swimmers out of the area. cityofls.net


Thomas A. Soetaert Aquatic Center

 

Thomas A. Soetaert Aquatic Center in Shawnee, Kansas is a mini water park. From having the fastest body slide in the metro (yes, we timed the body slides) to a climbing wall, tube slide, floating lily pads, a lazy river, a diving zone and a vortex, it’s a summer paradise. cityofshawnee.org


Tomahawk Ridge Aquatic Center

 

At Tomahawk Ridge Aquatic Center in Overland Park, come for the 60-foot long curly slide and stay for the family slide where you can go in tubes side-by-side and race your friends. This pool is the largest in the op. opkansas.org

 

MUSEUMS (because air conditioning is a very good thing)

 

Learn About World War I

Exterior of National World War I Museum

 

Ranked as one the best museums in the country, the National World War I Museum and Memorial rivals the Smithsonian in engagement and experience. The museum has more than a 100,000 objects and documents from World War I. Admission is $16 for adults and $10 for children 6 –18. Children under 6 are free. theworldwar.org


Be Presidential

Replica of the Oval Office During Truman Presidency

 

If you’ve never been to a Presidential library, Harry Truman’s is a great place to start. It’s not overwhelming in size and gives you a palatable feeling of what it must feel like to be President. bonus: getting a picture of a replica of the oval office during Truman’s Presidency. Admission is $8 for adults and $3 for children 6 to 15. Children 5 and under are free. trumanlibrary.org


Become a “Junior Wildlife Rescue Ranger”

Sealife Aquarium

 

Learn about sea turtles and their perilous journey to the ocean in Sealife’s new race to the ocean exhibit. You can also take in the other aquarium attractions like meeting a Humphead Wrasse. Admission starts at $15 for adults (13+) and $12 for children if purchased online. visitsealife.com


Indulge Your Lego Mania 

Union Station Lego Replica

 

At the Legoland Discovery Center, come for the amazing exhibits (you haven’t lived until you’ve seen downtown KC in Lego form.) And stay for the 4-D Lego movie experience with wind, rain and snow effects. Ticket prices begin at $15. kansascitylegolanddiscoverycenter.com


Discover Buried Treasure

Arabia Steamboat Museum

 

A sunken steamboat full of 200 tons of “mystery” cargo that lay buried in the Missouri muck for more than a century — why it’s enough to bring out your inner treasure hunter. No need to bring a shovel because the Arabia Steamboat Museum has already done all the heavy lifting for you. This museum is part treasure hunters dream and part time-travel to life in 1856 Kansas City. Admission is $14.50 for adults and $5.50 for children 4 to 14. Children under four are free. 1856.com


Get Up Close and Personal With $3.7 Million 

The Money Museum at The Federal Reserve Bank

 

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City processes almost $4 million a day in cold hard cash and coin. The Money Museum gives you an up-close look at the process. This summer there’s even a “pop up tour” which will allow you to journey to the cash processing and vault viewing area. Also, don’t miss out on the opportunity to bench press a real gold bar. Admission is free. kansascityfed.org/moneymuseum


Become an Amateur Paleontologist

Museum at Prairiefire

if you’re all about getting the 411 on dinosaurs, the Museum at Prairiefire is the place for you. Their summer exhibit called “Modern Dinosaur?” will have you exploring full-size dinosaur skeletons, scientific instruments and other items that will leave you feeling like you could be in the next “jurassic park” sequel. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. museumatpf.org


Sink a Three Pointer 

College Basketball Experience

 

Rebound, beat the clock, make a game-winning point while the c-r-o-w-d-g-o-e-s-w-i-l-d — It’s all part of the college basketball experience’s “Slam Dunk Summer.” This interactive sports extravaganza also houses the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and is a great way to make you feel like you’re a big shot on the court. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for children 4 to 17 and free to children under 3. collegebasketballexperience.com


Time Travel to What a Play Date Looked Like More Than a Century Ago

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

 

From doll houses so intricate they’re more works of art than child’s play — to toy trains and airplanes that your Great, Great-Grandfather might have loved, The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures is a cornucopia of delight. The Museum features one of the largest antique toy collections in the country. Admission is $5 for ages 5 and up and free for children 4 and under. toyandminiaturemuseum.org


Deep Dive Into Baseball Greatness

Negro League Baseball Museum

 

Discover the pioneers of the Negro Baseball Leagues. Stroll through the field of legends while exploring the history of African-American baseball. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is an immersive experience that takes you through the 1860's to 1960's while intertwining American history with the story of segregated baseball. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for children ages 5 to 12 and free to children 4 and under. nlbm.com

 

SPORTS

 

Learn Golf and Yoga

If you want to learn golf or just improve your game, spend a day doing “Beyond Golf.” lPGA professionals will take you through a yoga movement class, and then you’ll work your way up to course instruction. Prices vary depending on golf course location. beyondgolfexperience.com


Stand Up and Paddle

Paddleboarding at Shawnee Mission Park

 

It takes a bit of balance, but paddle boarding can be a solo Zen-workout or a family group activity. At Shawnee Mission Park, you can rent paddle boards starting at $9 an hour. jcprd.com


Hit the Ice

Ice Sports Arena in Shawnee

 

Dig out the mittens and ski coat and head to the Ice Sports Arena in Shawnee, Kansas, for some chill time. You can even take summer ice skating and hockey lessons. kcicecenter.com


Hop on a Bike

Cider Mill Century Bike Tour

 

Enjoy the gorgeous countryside and take part in the Cider Mill Century Bike Tour that begins and ends at the Louisburg Cider Mill.

The July 8 event has 25 to 104-mile options to fit different skill and endurance levels. cyclingkc.org


Grab a Paddle

Kansas City Bridge Tour

 

Take a five-mile paddle down the “Mighty Mo” from Kaw Point to Riverfront Park with KC Kayak and Canoe. This “Bridge Tour” is $30 an hour and summer tours are happening every weekend. kcriverrun.com


Go Bass Fishing in the Burbs

Fishing for Bass at Shawnee Mission Lake

 

Shawnee Mission Lake is the secret spot for local bass fisherman to catch the big one. The 120-acre lake according to fishing “experts” is home to “more big bass” than anywhere else in the Metro. jcprd.com


Do an Air Conditioned 5K

Dreadmill Warrior 5K

 

You're indoors, the AC is blasting and you’re giving the treadmill a beat down at the “Dreadmill Warrior 5K.” The View Community Center in Grandview is the location for this June 20 event that organizers say is for walkers, joggers and runners “looking to avoid elbows and rolling hills.” The cost is $20. grandview.org


Be the Ultimate Sporting KC Soccer Fan

KC Cauldron (Sporting KC Super Fans)

 

Be loud, be proud, be a member of the KC Cauldron or at least sit cauldron-adjacent for a game and experience hardcore soccer devotion. Sporting KC has plenty of home games this summer at Children’s Mercy Park. You can find the cauldron in sections m1 – m9. For tickets to the game go to sportingkc.com. learn about the Cauldron at kccauldron.com


Get in a Pickleball League

Pickleball Tournament

 

Love tennis? Pretty good with a ping-pong paddle? If you answered yes to both, chances are you would kill it in Pickleball. Pickleball could be described as tennis played on a badminton court with a ping-pong paddle and a whiffle ball. Locally, Chicken 'n Pickle combines the action of Pickleball with some super yummy food and a bar. So, I guess we can say, “winner, winner, chicken dinner.” chickennpickle.com


Perfect Your Asana

Heartland Yoga Festival

 

Grab your yoga mat and your OM and head to the heartland yoga festival on June 22 – 24 at Unity Plaza in Lee’s Summit. With more than 50 yoga workshops, vendors and “small bites,” your yoga will never be better. heartlandyogafest.com

 

Go Out to the Ballpark

Royals Baseball 

 

Enjoying some Royals Baseball action is a summer tradition; to make sure it doesn’t matter if the Boys in Blue win or lose, pick a game that has a theme you like. from “Summer Fireworks Night” to “Family Fun Day Sunday” and “Bark in the Park,” you can’t go wrong. kcroyals.com


Play Sand Volleyball

Sand Volleyball

 

Sure, we’re landlocked, but that doesn’t mean KC doesn’t have beaches. We have sand volleyball beaches and although there’s no ocean, it’s still a blast. Feel the sand between your toes as you spike the ball and pretend your next stop is the Summer Olympics. volleyballbeach.com


Bust a Move at Aerobic Tennis 

Aerobic Tennis at the Jewish Community Center

 

If you want to increase your exercise repertoire, try aerobic tennis every weekend this summer at the Jewish Community Center. This activity is less about a tennis match and more about the cardio blast. Fast-paced drills are designed to give players of all abilities a high-energy workout. thejkc.org

 

Run For the Red, White & Blue

Stars and Stripes 5K

 

The inaugural Stars and Stripes 5K and Lil Firecracker run on July 1 is a patriotic way to kick off your fourth of July festivities. The race begins at Prairiefire and winds through Overland Park. Running fees start at $12 for children and $36 for individuals and include a t-shirt. starsandstripes5k.com


Try Footgolf

Footgolf

If you like soccer and golf, this could be your new sport. Footgolf is played with a soccer ball at a golf course on shortened holes with 21-inch diameter cups. You follow golf rules and kick away. The current Par 3 (the rock) golf course at the Heart of America Course in Swope Park is where the Footgolf action takes place. kcparks.org


Join in the World's Largest Swimming Lesson

Every year the Mission Family Aquatic Center takes part in the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson June 21 to promote the importance of water safety and knowing how to swim. Preregistration is required to participate. missionks.org 

 

But wait there’s more… That’s right we just can’t stop writing about summer fun. The list goes on from bike rides to outdoor movies.

 

Categories: Best of KC, Best of KC Articles

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