Summer Fun in the Winter in KC

2016 Edition

You can beat the winter blues with a bit of “summer fun.” If you long for swimming, baseball, ice cream, playing outside.... have no fear! The fun of summer can be here all winter long. All it takes is a touch of creativity and a sense of adventure.

Go Swimming!

Kansas City boasts dozens of terrific indoor pools and you can find them all with our Going Places Guide! From lap pools to full indoor water parks complete with slides, lazy rivers and more, there is something for swimmers of every age!

  • Best Bang for Your Buck: Many local community centers offer terrific indoor pools with additional amenities. Our three favorites for inexpensive but fun-filled options are: Matt Ross Community Center  in Overland Park (913.895.6350) has a lap pool, zero-depth entry pool, spray toys, an 18-foot tall water slide for swimmers, water bucket drop and a lazy river. Legacy Park Community Center in Lee’s Summit (816.969.1550) features a 141-foot-long figure-eight water slide, spray features, large play area and a zero-depth beach entrance. The View Community Center in Grandview (816.316.4888) features a lap pool, zero-depth recreation pool, lazy river, coconut tree, umbrella, and spray features, plus a 22-foot-high slide.
  • Super Splurge: Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, KS is one of our favorite staycations! The indoor water resort features  a four-story interactive treehouse water fort, winding lazy river, numerous slides including the Triple Twist, a high speed, five-story drop into a huge funnel followed by twists and turns, all housed in a luxurious hotel! 
  • Polar Plunge! For the truly daring, there is nothing like the Polar Plunge...a dive into one of Kansas City’s lakes on a freezing cold winter day! Missouri and Kansas both host Polar Plunge events  throughout the winter benefiting the Special Olympics. All proceeds support local Special Olympics athletes. Register for Polar Plunge online.

Pack a Picnic

Picnics are even better in the winter! You don’t have to worry about bugs, heat, or crowds, and your family will make fabulous memories with a picnic at one of our favorite outdoor winter venues.

  • Picnic with a Polar Bear! The Kansas City Zoo is a favorite summer outing for many families. Did you know it is open year-round? In fact, winter is one of the best times to visit, as the animals are especially playful and crowds are small. The indoor exhibits at the Tropics, Discovery Barn, and Snake House are great on chilly days, and the highlight of your trip will be a visit to the Polar Bear Passage, where your children will delight in watching Berlin swim and play right before their eyes! Pack a picnic and eat inside while watching Berlin play. Bonus: Weather permitting, enjoy a ride on the carousel or train for more fun.  
  • Play at the Park. Kansas City’s weather can be fickle. One year, we enjoyed snow on the first day of spring. Conversely, it’s not unusual for a few “warm days” to surprise us mid-winter. When the opportunity strikes, surprise the family with a day of play and picnic.

Treat the Family to Ice Cream

Winter is not an excuse to give up on enjoying your favorite summertime treat! Whether you favor an old-fashioned ice cream parlor that scoops up classic homemade flavors or a newer, trendy shop with gourmet concoctions, Kansas City has your ice cream cravings covered!

  • Betty Rae’s Ice Cream: 7140 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, MO, 816.237.1168, One of the newest ice cream shops in Kansas City is already making a big impression. Serving delicious homemade waffle cones and ice cream sandwiches filled with homemade gourmet flavors, this is a favorite neighborhood hangout. With bright trendy colors and a friendly staff, the sweet spot is loved by Waldoians! Betty Rae’s offers delicious classic flavors and a variety of unique concoctions for the truly daring.
  • Murray’s Homemade Ice Cream: 4120 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO, 816.931.5646. The old ice cream parlor style and homemade ice cream have made this spot a Kansas City favorite since 1984. The flavors change often, and the shop updates fans on their Facebook page with the latest menus so you can be sure to sample the most tempting flavors they offer, from strawberry fromage to maple walnut to grasshopper and licorice.
  • Glacé: Two locations: 4960 Main St., Kansas City, MO, and 4535 W. 119th St., Overland Park, KS, At Glacé you’ll find one-of-a-kind decadence showcased in a dozen flavors you've never imagined. But upon reading their names, you’ll find yourself thinking, "They read my mind—what a fabulous concoction!" Glacé uses only pure, fresh foods and natural ingredients to create their delicious flavors—no artificial flavorings. Locally owned and operated, this Christopher Elbow ice cream shop frequently invents new flavors just begging to be tried.
  • Sylas and Maddy’s: Two locations: 11925 S. Strang Line Rd., Olathe, KS, 913.393.3500 and 1014 Massachusetts, Lawrence, KS, 785.832.8323, Sylas and Maddy’s makes fresh homemade ice cream and waffle cones daily, so you’re guaranteed to enjoy the best product they have to serve. Their delicious flavors have been super popular with local customers since 1997.
  • Poppy’s Ice Cream Shop and Coffee House: 307 SE Douglas St., Lee’s Summit, MO, 816.246.4141, Poppy’s has that old-fashioned feel with a classic atmosphere and all the warmth and hospitality of the locally owned business that it is. Our favorite thing about Poppy’s is that all the ice cream is made in-house, and the homemade flavors are truly delish!
  • Shatto Ice Cream: Available at local grocery stores in the frozen food aisle. Made with milk from the cows at the local family-owned Shatto farm, Shatto ice cream is sold at local grocery stores. While the ice cream is delicious, the Shatto Ice Cream Sammich is our favorite.  With four flavors—brownie with vanilla ice cream, sugar cookie with strawberry ice cream, chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream, and oatmeal raisin cookie with caramel sea salt ice cream—it’s hard to choose a favorite!

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Celebrate America’s favorite summer! Whether you love to play, or you’re an avid fan rooting for the home team, your passion for the sport can continue all winter long!

  • Take a Swing! Does your child dream of being the next all-star baseball player? Beat cabin fever with a day at an indoor batting cage. Check out all the batting cages in our Sports Complex listings.
  • Learn about the Monarchs. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the heart of the Jazz District is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history of the Negro Leagues Baseball, including the KC Monarchs. Interactive exhibits appeal to fans of all ages. For information, call 816.221.1920.

Retro Roller Skating

Remember the last time you laced up the skates and took a spin on the rink? Local rinks host special family sessions throughout the summer. We’ve highlighted our favorite sessions for a parent date night, moms night out, family night for all ages—and even pixie skates so little ones can learn to skate too!

  • B & D South Skate Center: (13903 E. Noland Ct., Independence, MO, 816.252.1084, For Parents: ’50s Skate Night, Sun., 7:00-9:00. Admission and skate rental $.50 each.
  • Landmark Skate Center: (701 SW Oldham Pkwy., Lee’s Summit, MO, 816.524.2000, For the Family: Wednesdays are Family Fun Night when a family of four skates for just $12 (skates included). Admission is just $3.75 for individuals.
  • Northland Rolladium: (1020 Kent St., Liberty, MO, 816.792.0590, Wednesdays are Cheap Sk8, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Enjoy Buck Night admission that evening for $.93 + $.07 tax = $1.00 and skate rental for $.93 + $.07 tax = $1.00. They also rent Skate Mates for $2 for toddlers learning to skate.
  • River Roll Skate Center: (4720 NW Gateway Ave., Kansas City, MO, 816.587.0131, For the Family: Matinee sessions on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Skate City South: (10440 Mastin St., Overland Park, KS, 913.888.6668, For Little Ones: Wednesday Pixie Class, 9:30-11:00, for $5/skater. This session is especially for toddlers and preschoolers. They also rent Skate Mates during any session for $3.50.
  • Winnwood Skate Center: (4426 NE Winn Rd., Kansas City, MO, 816.452.1171, Sessions vary.
  • Skate City Shawnee: (9800 W. 62nd Ter., Shawnee, KS, 913.262.0711, For Parents: The first and third Thursday of each month, 8:00-10:00, is Adult Night with music from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. They also rent Skate Mates during any kids session for $3.50.

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