The Best Summer Spots in KC

It’s my second summer in KC, and I’m ready to hit all of the favorites I found last summer once again. Here are my favorite spots for sunny summer fun, broken down into how I choose based on a budget-friendly scale. 


Nelson Atkins Museum

Free admission to an entire collection of artwork, right here in KC? It doesn’t get much better than that. This is budget friendly and summer friendly. Plus it adds a dash of adventure and culture to your summer if (like me) you’re not jetting off on a vacation.

See it here.

The Public Library

Nothing is so great as the public library! Free reading material, a quiet, air-conditioned place, and tons of free events for all ages.

See it here.


The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is hands down my favorite place in the greater KC area. Admission is inexpensive, and you could spend an entire day getting lost in the woven paths lined with interesting trees and beautiful flowers.

See it here.

Hallmark Visitors Center

I love the Hallmark Visitors Center because it’s adjacent to so many other cool things, like Crown Center, Kaleidoscope and Union Station. On its own, it’s a unique way to experience the world of Hallmark. It’s got just the right blend of history and whimsy to be interesting enough for mostly any age.

See it here.

Overland Park Farmers Market

Fresh produce at a reasonable price lights up an entire Saturday. It begins with sunny, local shopping and ends with fresh veggies on the grill. That’s what summer in KC is all about.

See it here.


KC Wine Co.

I’m actually not a wine drinker, but this winery-cidery combo has a perfect summer atmosphere. The giant chairs, the beautiful scenery, the yard games and events all make this a great place to spend a sunny weekend afternoon.

See it here.

Ceramic Café KC

There’s nothing like taking in the wonder of the walls lined with possibilities, hand selecting your very own palette of colors, and coming back with anticipation a week later to see your finished product. For unique creative outlets or get-togethers with any age that aren’t a pool or restaurant, this is the type of place you should check out.

See it here.

Splash Cove

This is a great option for kids. This Shawnee miniature water park has a lot of really fun features to interact with the water in ways beyond just splashing. Pour, wade, dump, aim, dance—it’s literally a playground in the pool!

See it here.



Despite not being born in the era of these games, I still grew up on them thanks to a set of collector parents. Enjoy the classic cabinet arcade games, plus a few modern favorites, all on the same grounds of the Zona Rosa plaza.

See it here.


In my family, nothing is so classic as bowling in the summertime. I like the ambiance of Pinstripes and its proximity to other exciting places in Prairefire.

See it here.

What are your favorite local spots? Drop them in the comments to inspire someone else to explore this summer!


Cara at CommunityAmerica

Thank you for sharing your favorite summer spots with our readers, Linda! We're lucky to have you as a CommunityAmerican!


This recommendation is for the National Toy and Miniatures Museum; 51st & Oak(?), KCMO. The museum collection includes all the toys we/our parents grew up with! The doll houses, many huge, and miniature furniture within, are amazing! On some days, they have a crafts room to make small projects.

This recommendation is for the Evel Knievel Museum in the Harley Davidson Shop, Topeka, KS. They have restored his travel vehicle, Big Red! The museum contains his various jump suits, videos of jumps, results of his many jumps, a huge case of Evel Knievel advertisements and toys, and, best of all, a virtual reality motorcycle you sit on to take one of his jumps!!!
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