Kansas City's Best Parks



    One of the best things about Kansas City is its wealth of wonderful parks and playgrounds for families! This is a list of just some of our favorite parks in Kansas City and why we love them! These parks were all chosen for their exceptional playgrounds.

Penguin Park

Penguin Park

  • Where to find Penguin Park: N Vivion Rd & N Norton Ave. Kansas City, MO. 
  • Amenities at Penguin Park: One shelter house with picnic tables, restrooms, and playgrounds for all ages (swings, slides, climbing equipment, merry-go-round, spring animals, and more). The 1.88-mile Lakewood Greenway Trail runs through the park.
  • Why it's one of the COOLEST Parks in Kansas City: Penguin Park is the definitive "Cool Park." It is no coincidence that every time we ask our readers about the BEST parks in Kansas City, Penguin Park always makes the list! If we asked children to create a playground of their dreams, they'd create Penguin Park. Gigantic friendly animals are the centerpiece of the park where you can climb up through a kangaroo's pocket, slide down a penguin, explore an elephant playground, and bounce and slide on frogs, ducks, and more. If you live within five to ten minutes of Penguin Park, you probably play there often. If you have a bit of a drive, as we do, you'll soon find this is one park worth a trip!

Loose Park

Loose Park

  • Where to find Loose Park: 51st and Wornall, Kansas City, MO
  • Amenities: The 75 acre park features a playground with a sand pit and small rock wall, a beautiful pond, fields perfect for kite flying, frisbee, or ball games, spraygrounds, tennis courts, paved trails, and an exquisite rose garden.
  • Why it's one of the COOLEST Parks in Kansas City: Loose Park is the quintessential gorgeous park! With a beautiful pond graced with fountains, gardens, an amazing rose garden, and a wide open field for play, it is one of the most picturesque parks in the city. Loose Park is also home to a playground, picnic areas, and spraygrounds where kids can cool off on a summer's day.

Antioch Park

Antioch Park

  • Where to find Antioch Park: 6501 Antioch Road, Merriam, KS
  • Amenities at Antioch Park: The 44 acre park features two fishing lakes, walking path, tennis courts, picnic shelters, basketball courts, restrooms, playground equipment, a rose garden, paved parking and cook out grills. 
  • Why it's one of the COOLEST Parks in Kansas City: The highlight of Antioch Park for children is the Wild West village featuring nearly a dozen small buildings from a general store to a sheriff's office perfect for imaginative play or hide and seek. The park also features traditional playground equipment, and the trails leading over a small lake are fun for fishing or feeding ducks.

The Pirate Parks: Frontier Park, Listowel Park, and Williams-Gates Park

Frontier Park

  • Why the "Pirate Parks" are some of Kansas City's Best Parks: The "Pirate Parks" are not your ordinary every day playgrounds... the playgrounds are built to resemble a pirate ship making these some of the most popular and well-loved parks in the Kansas City metro!
  • Where to find Frontier Park and Amenities: 15501 W Indian Creek Parkway Olathe, KS. Enjoy playgrounds, walking the Indian Creek trail, picnic shelters, softball fields and soccer fields.
  • Where to find Listowel Park and Amenities: 71st and Quivira Shawnee, KS. Playground, picnic area and benches.
  • Where to find Williams-Gates Park and Amenities: 401 Howard Lee's Summit, MO. Playground, sand pit, .5 mile walking trail, space for kite flying or frisbee and benches. No picnic tables, but lots of green space if you bring a blanket.

The Castle Parks: Harris Park, Meadowmere Park, and Black Bob Park

Olathe Castle Park: Black Bob Park

  • Why the "Castle Parks" are some of Kansas City's Best Parks: For your little princesses, princes, knights, and Robin Hood's merry men, the castle playgrounds are the perfect place to play. The playground is a gigantic castle with slides, fire poles, and climbing equipment. This is a fairytale land come true!
  • Where to find Harris Park and Amenities: 110 SW Blue Pkwy Lee's Summit, MO. The 17.9 acre park has one picnic shelter with tables, Summit Waves waterpark, Harris Park Community Center, .5 mile trail, small rock wall, and a large playground area depicting a castle.
  • Where to find Meadowmere Park and Amenities: 13610 Byars Road Grandview, MO. The park is home to Grandview’s The View Community Center. Currently the park contains a playground, several shelters, a skate park, an outdoor pool, multipurpose fields, a practice backstop, and several areas of open turf. The park also has a multipurpose trail which connects to a larger country trail system that ends at Longview Lake. The “enchanted forest” theme play land is popular with children.
  • Where to find Black Bob Park and Amenities: 14000 W. 151st St (Mullen & 151st St) Olathe, KS. The 80 acre park offers a Castle Playground, swings, picnic shelters, a 1.4 mile walking trail w/fitness course, miniature golf course, basketball court, batting cages, soccer, baseball and softball fields, and Black Bob Bay waterpark.

Waterfall ParkWaterfall Park

  • Where to find Waterfall Park: 4501 South Bass Pro Drive Independence, MO
  • Amenities at Waterfall Park: The 18-acre park features a fantastic playground, small rock wall, small lake, walking trails, picnic tables, restrooms, and the scenic backdrop of a waterfall.
  • Why it's one of the COOLEST Parks in Kansas City: Waterfall Park is nestled in a wooded area overlooking a lake and waterfalls. The large shaded playground includes slides, jungle gyms, a small rock wall, and picnic space. Playing at Waterfall Park is an escape to the woods right in the midst of the city.

Lowenstein Park Lowenstein Park

  • Where to find Lowenstein Park: 1901 NW Lowenstein Dr Lee's Summit, MO
  • Amenities at Lowenstein Park: The 18 acre park features three picnic shelters with picnic tables, one basketball goal, open space for frisbee, kites, or ball, a playground, a one mile paved trail and the Children's Memorial Butterfly Garden.
  • Why it's one of the COOLEST Parks in Kansas City: Lowenstein park is a beautiful park with green space for running and playing, nice playgrounds, and a beautiful walking trail, the highlight of which is the Butterfly Garden.

Sculpture Park, Theis Park, and SouthmorelandNelson Atkins Museum of Art

  • Where to find Sculpture Park: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 4525 Oak Kansas City, MO
  • Where to find Theis Park: 47th and Oak Kansas City, MO
  • Where to find Southmoreland Park: Brush Creek Blvd. and Oka, Kansas City, MO
  • Amenities: Sculpture Park is the 22 acre park surrounding the Nelson-Atkins Museum of art with beautiful trails, wide green space, dozens of sculptures gracing the lawn including the famous shuttlecocks, and beautiful gardens. Across the street you'll find Theis Park, with beautiful jogging trails and the Volker Fountain. To the south, you'll find Southmoreland Park home to Shakespeare in the Park every summer, with a nice playground for the children and picnic tables. 
  • Why it's one of the COOLEST Parks in Kansas City: Sculpture Park is one of the city's most recognized landmarks with the giant shuttlecocks decorating the lawn of the Nelson, while they may be the best known, these are just a few of the masterpieces you'll find at the park. Enjoy a leisurely walk through the Nelson's gardens or play a game of catch. Don't forget to bring a camera and pop into the galleries that are always FREE and great for a day of exploration!

Bryan C Pottberg Park Bryan C Pottberg Fire Truck Park Lee's Summit

  • Where to find Pottberg Park: 5200 Campground Road Lee's Summit, MO
  • Amenities: This 25 acre park offers a shelter, playground equipment for toddlers and older children, and a walking trail.
  • Why it's one of the COOLEST Parks in Kansas City: The firefighter themed playground features a firetruck with a slide and monkey bars as the "cool factor" at this park. The park also offers swings, a mini rockwall, and a gazebo.

Leawood City Park

Leawood City Park

  • Where to find Leawood Park: 10601 Lee Blvd., Leawood, KS
  • Amenities: Large playground, trails, pond, shelter with picnic tables, restrooms, and grills, soccer fields, tennis courts, and lots of wide open green space.
  • Why it's one of the COOLEST Parks in Kansas City: Leawood City Park is home to one of the largest playgrounds for toddlers and young children, with a few dinosaurs kids love to climb. The wide open spaces are wonderful to play frisbee, fly kites, play catch or tag football, or host a picnic. The park is very well maintained and fun for the whole family.

Sar-Ko-Par Park

  • Where to find Sar-Ko-Par Park: 87th and Lackman, Lenexa, KS
  • Amenities: Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park has one swimming pool, one 2 - acre lake, one gazebo/bandstand, five picnic areas, six reservable shelters, four jogging/walking trails, three soccer 1/2 fields, five playground areas, six open play areas, two sand volleyball courts, 4 lighted tennis courts, one basketball court, one baseball field, three restroom facilities, two park maintenance barns, one Park Supervisor's house, community garden, Legler Barn Historical Museum, railroad caboose, restored railroad museum and a restored strang line waiting station. 
  • Why it's one of the COOLEST Parks in Kansas City: This beautiful park is a great place to play, take pictures, have a picnic, or learn a little local history.

Ironwoods Park Ironwoods Park

  • Where to find Ironwoods Park: 14700 Mission Rd., Overland Park, KS
  • Amenities: Large playground with climbing equipment and swings for infants and children, picnic tables under a shelter house, restrooms, walking trail leading to Prairie Oak Nature Center and Oxford School House, and an outdoor amphitheater used to host concerts and shows.
  • Why it's one of the COOLEST Parks in Kansas City: Ironwoods Park is well maintained and beautiful, offering families in Southern Johnson County a great place to play and explore nature.

Did we forget your favorite Kansas City area park on our list? Email kristina@kcparent.com for consideration.

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