During the summer I check out, and by check out I mean I sleep in until 1:00 pm, I don’t know what’s going on anywhere and I never, ever know what there is to do. My friends and I will spend hours trying to figure this out, but we eventually just end up sitting in someone’s backyard, bored out of our minds. So, to prevent you from experiencing this boredom, and hopefully preventing myself from experiencing it again, I have compiled a list of the top 20 things to do in Kansas City this summer.
20. Visit the Kansas City Zoo: I know, I know the zoo may not sound completely appealing, but after adding some new attractions I heard the zoo is completely amazing. It’s open 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on weekdays and until 5:00 p.m. on weekends. You’ll have to pay $11.50, but after seeing Nikita, the polar bear, and traveling over the zoo on the African Sky Safari, you’ll be glad you spent that $11.50.
19. Visit the City Market: Saturdays and Sundays (weather permitting) the city market is open from 6:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. You can go out in the morning and grab some breakfast at Cascone’s Grill or the City Market Coffeehouse then head over and walk through the aisles of fresh produce and locally made arts and crafts.
18. Cheer on Sporting KC from the cauldron: Head down to Livestrong Sporting Park to see Sporting KC play from the cauldron. This section of seats is the loudest and most fun part of the stadium. Tickets are $32.70, but they could vary. You will know it was worth it as you walk out of the cauldron, ears ringing and voice hoarse from yelling your heart out.
17. Park it on your couch and watch the Olympics: I know you can do this anywhere in the world, but I had to include it because a sporting event this good only comes around every four years. They start July 27 in London, England and end August 12. Maybe you will like watching a girl preform her beam routine in gymnastics. Maybe you will watch Michael Phelps swim freestyle in the pool. Maybe you’ll be fascinated by an athlete from another country like the Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt. Whatever you like there is something for everyone, so escape the Kansas City heat, sit back and relax.
16. Ride the Mamba at Worlds of Fun: There is nothing like Worlds of Fun in the summer, sure it’s hot, and sometimes smelly (thanks to some of those out-of-towners who decided it was a good idea to mix their sweat with the water from the Monsoon), but man is it fun. If you have lived in Kansas City for a while, chances are you’ve visited Worlds of Fun before, but trust me, you’ll want to go again. To find rates and hours, you can visit their website: http://www.worldsoffun.com/plan-a-visit
15. Go next door and visit Oceans of Fun: Every time I bring up Oceans of Fun one of my friends crinkles her nose and says that it’s disgusting, even though she has never been there. Other people have this problem as well, but it’s only gross if you decide that for some reason you want to swim in the little kid pool, and hey, if that’s for you, then go for it. For those of you who don’t swim in the kiddie pool, you can find rides and slides that will make your experience more than enjoyable. You can find the rates and hours on the Worlds of Fun website as well.
14. Check out the new Kansas City Sea Life Aquarium: This aquarium opened in April in Crown Center. Even though you’re not a little kid anymore, you can still enjoy one of Kansas City’s newest attractions. With over 5,000 sea creatures ranging from sharks to jellyfish you will definitely enjoy your trip to the Sea Life Aquarium.
13. Go to Arrowhead for the Brothers of the Sun Tour: Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw team up for an unforgettable concert at Arrowhead Stadium on June 10. If you’re a country fan, then this is sure to be a party.
12. Go to a Royals game at Kauffman Stadium: The Kansas City Royals play all summer in Kauffman Stadium, and it’s always fun to head out and watch a game. The fans are loud, Kauffman Stadium creates the perfect environment for families or groups of friends to go watch a game, despite the rough start and this is supposed to be the year the Royals are actually good, right?
11. Catch a drive-in movie at the i-70 drive in: Located just off of Highway 40, just past Kauffman Stadium, you will find the i-70 drive in. With four screens, in gravel parking lots, you can drive your car in and park next to one of the speakers in the parking lot. Pull out a blanket if you don’t mind sitting on rocks (if you do, I suggest bringing a chair or a pillow to sit on), and sit back and relax for one of the drive-in’s double features that play almost every night of summer (weather permitting, of course).
10. Go to a music festival: If you’re looking for a music festival in Kansas City this summer you should check out either Dancefestopia or Buzz Beach Ball. Dancefestopia features Wiz Khalifa, Flo Rida and many more. Located at the Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park, this festival is happening June 1 and 2. Buzz Beach Ball is June 2 and starts at 3:30 p.m. at Livestrong Sporting Park. The Kooks, Foster the People, the Shins and others will perform. If you’re interested in either of these music festivals, get your tickets quickly before they sell out!
9. Fourth of July fireworks displays: Nothing is better on the Fourth of July than watching fireworks go off over your head, and Kansas City has a few different displays to offer. You can head downtown and catch the fireworks riverside, where you can sit pretty much anywhere (my usual spot is on the roof of some parking garage). But, if you don’t live anywhere near downtown you can head out south to Leawood, sit on a blanket in Leawood City Park and watch their impressive fireworks display.
8. Splash around in the Crown Center fountains: Whether you’re six or sixteen, you will love doing this. For those of us who have lived in Kansas City since birth we have loved running through the fountains in Crown Center since we were little kids. If you moved to Kansas City later on, then you might not have experienced this yet. So head down to Crown Center. For those of you who may be embarrassed to go with your friends since you’re a high schooler, grab a niece, nephew or little cousin and head over to Crown Center.
7. Go mini golfing: Whether you go to Mission Bowl or Cool Crest, you have to get out there somehow. Mission Bowl mini golf is $6.00 and has one course, but it doesn’t have very many obstacles. Cool Crest is a little farther away and costs $7.00, but it has more moving machines and obstacles in the way of the course. Both miniature golf courses are worth checking out, and if you’re interested you can find more information on their websites: http://www.missionbowl.com/bowling.asp?Page=Miniature+Golf+Course or http://www.coolcrest.com/home/
6. Catch a show at Starlight Theatre: Starlight Theatre is located in Swope Park and is home to various shows over the course of the summer. This summer they will be showing In the Heights, The Addams Family, Peter Pan and others. This outdoor theatre is a great place to go see these shows, so go check it out!
5. Play sand volleyball: Don’t know what to do? Grab a ball and a group of friends and head over to State Line by the HyVee or Leawood City Park and check out the sand volleyball courts! What’s one of the best parts of this? It’s free!
4. Go on a picnic: Grab your family or close friends and head to Loose Park with a picnic blanket under your arm. Bring some sandwiches, lemonade and tons of other snacks and it is sure to be a great time!
3. Go to the pool: Nothing is better in the summer than jumping into a refreshing pool. So, it’s a good thing that Kansas City has lots of public pools to offer. You can go to Prairie Village Pool, Fairway Pool or Leawood City Pool. Those are only a few of the many public pools in Kansas City.
2. Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium: This year the biggest hitters of the MLB will be gathering at Kauffman Stadium on July 8. If you’re a baseball fan, then you will love going out to the stadium to try to catch one of the many home run balls that will be hit.
1. All Star Game at Kauffman Stadium: The best players in baseball will be at Kauffman Stadium July 10 to join together to play baseball altogether in the same place. Before now, everyone would have watched this event at home sitting on their couches. Now, you can head out to Kauffman Stadium and actually be there. This is not something you want to miss.