Are you looking for fun new things to fill your summer days without wasting too much gas? Today we are exploring the Kansas City Metro with kids — no hotels or long road trips required! We challenge you to explore an area of the Kansas City metro you’ve never been to before.
Explore Overland Park
Start with the Overland Park Farmers Market, open Saturdays and Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Downtown OP. Great food trucks and a way to support local farmers. Other favorites in Downtown OP include Penzey’s Spices, Thompson Park, Buffalo State Pizza and Strang Hall. Don’t miss Upper Crust for great pie! Open Wednesday-Saturday. For a fun date night, check out the Third Fridays pie flights. Available by preorder only, and pick up between 4 and 5:30 p.m. on Friday.
Craft Putt is a new, locally owned mini-golf taphouse. The 9,000 sq ft space features a custom design 10-hole indoor mini golf course, 24 local beers on tap, handcrafted cocktails, deluxe handheld food bites, and one-of-a-kind mini golf themed games. If you love it, check out more ideas for mini golf venues in Kansas City.
This is a great place for the whole family featuring a restaurant and bar with pickleball courts, live music and yard games. Check out happy hour, Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and $5 burger Mondays and $2 Taco Tuesdays!
Check out our guide to a day in Parkville!
Downtown Parkville has so much to offer! This quaint area is filled with yummy places to eat, including Stone Canyon Pizza, Incahoots Donut Shop, Parkville Coffee, and PopCulture (don’t forget to pop in and try some samples!) Downtown also has a variety of great local shops to check out.
Play 18 holes at Parkville Mini-Golf! This place has everything you could want from a putt-putt experience: classic trick holes, clubs of every color, and ice cream at the end of the game. There are lots of stairs so best to leave any strollers in the car.
The Parkville Nature Sanctuary is a wildlife preserve and educational site developed and maintained by the city with the help of a group of volunteers. It is a 115 acre natural outdoor area made accessible by nearly three miles of hiking trails- don’t forget to find the waterfall!
This is a beautiful park right across from the riverwalk. Walk the historic Waddell “A’ Truss Bridge to see the Missouri River. The park’s trails follow the side of the river, making it the perfect spot to walk and see the scenery.
Downtown Lee’s Summit has enough food options to cover all three meals of the day and then some! Start with breakfast at Third Street Social (amazing breakfast cocktails) or Neighborhood Cafe for a cinnamon roll, then make your way to Main Slice for some delicious pizza for lunch. Poppy’s Ice Cream is a local favorite for dessert!
This is a great park right by the train station that is also conveniently close to Whistle Stop Coffee and Mercantile, Megan’s personal favorite. Grab a drink and pastry to enjoy while your kids play and watch trains go by.
Explore Downtown Kansas City
Check out our guide to a historic KC staycation!
Mildred’s is a tasty spot for breakfast and lunch, as well as coffee and cocktails- Sarah highly recommends! Enjoy learning at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum or the American Jazz Museum. Stop by the Satchel Paige Stadium and see the beautiful handpainted murals throughout this area of KC.
City Market is a busy place! There is a wide variety of restaurants and vendors, as well as an amazing farmer’s market. Click here to see the farmer’s market schedule for the year, as it changes by season.
In addition to the popular Science City, don’t forget to check out the train display at the very back of Union Station. Lunch at Harvey’s is great, especially their brunch! The planetarium is a nice break to sit back and relax, too. Check out this guide to all Union Station has to offer.
The streetcar allows you to travel from the River Market area down to Union Station and back for free! The streetcar is such a fun way to explore the city.
This fantastic museum is a time capsule of life on the American frontier in the mid-19th century. Visitors have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience everyday objects that made life possible for pioneers in the 1800s.
Check out our guide to a day in Weston!
Head to the Green Dirt Farm featuring cheeses and ice cream made on site! You’ll also find an amazing selection of sandwiches, cheese and cured meat boards, beer, wine, and other wonderful foods and crafts from local small-batch makers. Go see the farm life at Weston Red Barn Farm, hike Weston Bend State Park, or check out the nostalgic sweets from the Candy Jar shop. Finish your day at O’Malleys for dinner, the oldest bar in Missouri hidden within a limestone brewery cellar more than 50 feet underground!
Bring your family and enjoy a trip back to 1929 with interactive day at Old Shawnee Town every Tuesday and Thursday in the summer. Enjoy fan favorite activities like farmstead laundry and grocery shopping along with new bonus activities and special guests featured each week. Each week features a new theme with different highlights, and kids can also pick up a scavenger hunt for added fun. Learn more.
Open since 1945, this bakery chain serves breakfast and light lunch, plus signature cookies & cakes. McClain’s offers outdoor seating and is super family friendly.
Delicious pizza awaits at this favorite local Shawnee restaurant! They offer a great kids’ menu and Oxbow Park is right across the street.
Erfurt Park and Wilder Bluff Park are perfect for those hot days or a twist on your run of the mill park. Check out our splash pad guide for more!
Explore Bonner Springs
The Moon Marble Company is the place to find your marbles from a selection of multitudes of colors and sizes! Check the website to ensure the current demonstration/tour protocols. They also carry traditional toys, games, and retro items.
This could easily be a full day adventure between the awesome indoor pool, variety of food options at the Public Market, library, and popping into the Made in KC store (and playing some shuffleboard!)
Black Hoof Park is a sprawling park with several playgrounds and a path that goes around Lake Lenexa. Sar Ko Par Park is beautiful and also has a path around a pond. It is right next to the Foundry church, which offers indoor play and a coffee shop- very convenient! Shawnee Mission Park has great walking trails, playgrounds, and an awesome off-leash dog park if your family has a furry child. Check out our favorite parks in the metro here.
This place is such a gem. The splash area is free and open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. The marina and beach are open Memorial through Labor Day where you can rent pedal boats, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, and canoes at the marina for $5 per half hour. The aqua park is another unique feature for families to enjoy. It’s basically a huge floating obstacle course with slides, swings, a blob, and other fun activities. The aqua park is only open on Fridays-Sundays and it costs an extra $10/hour. Read our full guide here.
Thank you to our episode sponsor, the Johnson County Library
This summer your child can dive into the Ocean of Possibilities with both virtual and in-person programs! Johnson County Library’s Summer Reading program will also partner with Movies in the Park (Electric Park in Lenexa) in July to offer viewings of Free Willy, and Finding Nemo. The KC Civic Orchestra will perform prior to the Free Willy showing!
Additional Summer Reading programs that will be hosted on-site at select branches include: Read to A Dog with Pets for Life, stories with storyteller Priscilla Howe, Dive into Science with Mad Science and Circus Variety Shows with Martika Daniels!
What We’re Loving In Kansas City
Located in Corinth Square in Prairie Village and a new location in Ranchmart in Overland Park. Yummy ice cream with a wide variety of options! Learn more.
Catch an upcoming play or show! Plan for a late night if you are bringing kids and know there is no “bad” seat in the house. The big screens on either side of the stage help you be able to see, no matter where your seats are.