Best of August in Kansas City

2017 Edition



It's time to bid a fond farewell to Summer, make plans for Back To School, and enjoy many wonderful family outings in KC! Don't miss these our Top Picks for August in Kansas City!

Total Solar Eclipse

When, Where, What: August 21, 2017 The Great American Total Solar Eclipse. Use KC Parent's Virtual Guide to make memories during this once-in-a-lifetime moment.

Why We LOVE It: This year, on Aug. 21, Kansas Citians get to experience a truly once-in-a-lifetime event. We are in the path of a total solar eclipse, a dazzling celestial event when the shadow of the moon falls on the surface of the earth and is large enough to cover the sun. For a few minutes, we will be able to look directly at the eclipsed sun and watch a truly extraordinary and unforgettable event. Use KC Parent's Virtual Guide to make memories during this once-in-a-lifetime moment.

 

 

Back-to-School Clothing Drive at Legends Outlets

When, Where, What: July 31-Aug 5 at Legends Outlets (1843 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, KS).

Why We LOVE It: Legends Outlets Kansas City is partnering with the United Way of Wyandotte County to collect donations for its second annual Back-to-School Clothing Drive the week leading up to its Back-to-School Bash. Beginning Monday, July 31, at 10 a.m., shoppers can visit Legends Outlets’ participating retailers to purchase needed items for the clothing drive. Participating retailers will collect donations through Saturday, Aug. 5, at 6 p.m., the day of Legends Outlets’ Back-to-School Bash. From Monday – Friday, donations can also be dropped off in the Legends Outlets management office, located below Dave & Buster’s and next to KC Soda Co. Office hours are Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Shoppers ages 16 and up who purchase and donate at least one item to a participating retailer or the management office during the drive will receive one entry into the grand prize drawing for a $500 Legends Outlets gift card. The winner will be announced during Legends Outlets’ Back-to-School Bash on Saturday, Aug. 12, at 7 p.m. Shopper does not have to be present to win.

 

Tax Free Back to School Shopping Weekend

Back 2 School

When, Where, What: August 4 - 6: Missouri's Tax Free Weekend for back-to-school supplies and clothing. By state law, the sales tax holiday begins on the first Friday in August and continues through the following Sunday. In 2017, the three-day holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, August 4, and runs through Sunday, August 6. Certain back-to-school purchases, such as clothing, school supplies, computers, and other items as defined by the statute, are exempt from sales tax for this time period only.

Why We LOVE It: Stock up on school supplies and clothes saving 6-8% during Tax Free Shopping.

Bonus EVENT at Independence Center, Aug. 4-6: Independence Center is your tax free shopping destination. Shop tax free for a limited time only, August 4–6, and enjoy extra special savings from your favorite brands. Update your fall wardrobe or stock up on back to school essentials. On Saturday from 1 - 3 PM enjoy special events including a Backpack Personalization Shop, sampling, Shopping Passports & giveaways, Selfie Station and Balloon Artist.

 

Just Between Friends

When, Where, What: Just Between Friends Sale Shawnee Aug 4 - 6. JCCC Gym (12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS). Just Between Friends Sale Lee's Summit Aug. 25-27. The Pavilion at John Knox Village (522 N Murray Road, Lee's Summit, MO). FREE Admission with our coupon
Why We LOVE It: KC's best consignment sale! Huge Savings + Amazing Selection on kids clothing and shoes, newborn to teen, toys, books and games, baby gear and essengtials, and so much more! FREE Admission with our coupon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Events at National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

When, Where, What: National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (5235 Oak Street, KC, MO.  816.235.8000)

August Events: 

Thaumatropes and Zoetropes and Magic Lanterns, oh my! Discover these wonderful whirling toy inventions from the Victorian age and create your own 3D optical toy featuring a Wizard of Oz scene. Tours at 1PM and 2PM and hands-on workshop from 1-3:30PM. Included with museum admission. Become a member today to enjoy all ten weeks for free! Recommended for ages 6 and up. Little Adventures is generously supported by the National Miniatures Trust.

Little Adventures: WOVEN WONDERS Aug. 2 & 5 from 1-3:30pm. Stitches smaller than the eye can see? Find out how artist’s quilt, weave, and needlepoint in miniature. Then, use a loom to weave your own miniature rug. Tours at 1PM and 2PM and hands-on workshop from 1-3:30PM. Included with museum admission. Become a member today to enjoy all ten weeks for free! Recommended for ages 6 and up. Little Adventures is generously supported by the National Miniatures Trust.

Little Adventures: SURPRISE PROGRAM Aug. 9 & 12 from 1-3:30pm. We wish we could tell you what this one is about, but the museum’s education interns are keeping the topic on lockdown. But we do know that it will be a brand new, fun program, so come enjoy it with us! Tours at 1PM and 2PM and hands-on workshop from 1-3:30PM. Included with museum admission. Become a member today to enjoy all ten weeks for free! Recommended for ages 6 and up. Little Adventures is generously supported by the National Miniatures Trust.

FAREWELL TO SUMMER FREE DAY Aug. 19, 10am-4pm. FREE ADMISSION. Check one last thing off your “summer fun” list with free admission to The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.

Why We LOVE It: Explore the museum collection through gallery talks and guided tours, then visit the hands-on workshop to make your own toy or miniature. This museum offers a educational, interactive, and whimsical exhibits where the story of play comes to life!

Gardens of Myth & Festival of Butterflies

Details: Gardens of Myth thru October 22, 2017 at Powell Gardens.

Why We LOVE It: Goblins and fairies and trolls, oh my!  See these and other mythical creatures this summer as part of Gardens of Myth, which is making its garden debut at Powell Gardens! The exhibition is a collection of incredibly realistic sculptures depicting creatures of myth from around the world. They range in size from tiny fairies to an incredible 25-foot dragon! Each sculpture is hand made and painted by artist Kendall R. Hart and his team.  Sponsored by J.B. Reynolds Foundation.

Festival of Butterflies Aug. 4-20, Powell Gardens, 1609 NW US Hwy. 50, Kingsville, MO. Walk among locally raised, native butterflies in our flower-filled “Butterfly Breezeway” or journey to the tropics in our lush conservatory where a close encounter with the blue morpho, golden birdwing or emerald swallowtail is almost guaranteed. Touch live caterpillars, learn about the life cycle of monarchs and participate in the Pollinator Parade. New this year: Join fantastic flying beasts in our Dragonfly Den, featuring native Missouri dragonflies carefully captured during Dragonfly Day.         

Enchanted Forest

When, Where, What: thru Aug. 15 at Overland Park Arboretum (8909 W. 179 St. OP, KS, 913.685.3604). Free with admission. Open Daily 8:15 a.m. - 7:15 p.m.

Why We Love It: Discover the mystical domains of gnomes, fairies, elves, sprites, trolls, and other garden creatures along a woodland trail. There’s a new world at the Arboretum! Bring the whole family for this delightful walk in the woods. And follow the special event calendar for special crafts, writing projects, and classes in conjunction with the exhibit.

Every Thursday: The Enchanted Forest isn't just for the gnomes. Fairies, nymphs, trolls, goblins and elves also play in the forest. You can become one for the day by making a costume with us. Recommended for ages 6-10. Adult presence required. Register in advance.

August 11, from 10am-noon: Summer is hot! So keep your temperature down by splashing around at this cool down activity. Bring the whole family and enjoy water games and more. Get wet and maybe a little messy too having fun at the Arboretum. No pre-registration necessary.

Mummies of the World: The Exhibition at Union Station

When, Where, What: Mummies of the World: The Exhibition at Union Station

Why We Love It: The latest exhibit at Union Station allows visitors a unique opportunity to come face to face with the largest exhibition of real mummies and related artifacts ever assembled. The exhibit provides a window into the lives of ancient people from every region of the world including Europe, South America and Ancient Egypt, offering unprecedented insights into past cultures and civilizations. With over 1.6 million nationwide visitors experiencing Mummies of the World to date, the display at Union Station Kansas City is the regional premiere!

 

 

 

Garfield: The Musical with Cattitude

Details: thru Aug. 6 at The CoterieRead our review of Garfield: The Musical with Cattitude.

Why We LOVE It: In this brand new musical adaptation of everyone’s favorite sarcastic tubby tabby, Garfield awakens to find his birthday – the most important day of the year – has fallen on a Monday. The horror! To make matters worse, all his friends – Jon, Odie, Arlene, and even his nemesis, Nermal – have completely forgotten it’s his big day. Only his beloved teddy bear, Pookie, understands his disappointment. Feeling rejected, Garfield leaves the comforts of home and strikes out to find adventure. Making it as far as the alley, Garfield soon realizes in the outside there’s no T.V., the food is garbage (literally), and animal control is always just around the corner.  In the end, Garfield learns little things like, you know, the value of friendship and also that “home is where the heart - and the food - is.”  

T-Bones Baseball Celebrating their 15th Anniversary

T-Bones

Details: This summer is the 15th Anniversary of the T-Bones at Community America Ballpark. Tip: Kids Eat Free every Monday Night at the game!

Why We LOVE It: The T-Bones (TBonesBaseball.com) are  celebrating their 15th  Anniversary as Kansas  City’s Independent  Professional Baseball team playing at Community America Ballpark. T-Bones games are fun for the entire family with fantastic theme nights and specials all season long. On Mondays, kids eat free at the stadium. Saturday night games end with fireworks. 15th Anniversary Fridays will feature the Falcon Skydiving Team and theme nights throughout the season. Friday fun includes:  Aug. 11: Back-to-School Night, and Sept. 1: Pink in the Park Night. 

KCYA Fall Open House

When, Where, What: CSA Fall Open House at KCYA Community School of the Arts August 26th from 10am - 12pm.

Why We Love It: Ever wonder what we do in the big gray building on Main Street? Come check out our Open House!  Mini-workshops and performances. Meet the teaching artist. Learn more about Spring Classes. Door Prizes! Register to win a free class!

 

 

American Royal BBQ

When, Where, What: American Royal BBQ Aug. 31- Sept. 3 at Kansas Speedway (400 Speedway Blvd Kansas City, KS).

Why We Love It: The American Royal World Series of Barbecue® is a longstanding tradition in Kansas City. 2017 will mark the 38th year of fire and smoke! Competitors from around the world join in the world’s largest barbecue competition to be crowned the grand champion in the Invitational Competition, Open Competition, Sides Competition and Kids Que! Labor Day weekend will host the largest and most pristine barbecue competition in the world. The American Royal is excited to bring the biggest and best party in Kansas City back to the Kansas Speedway. This year’s event will not only feature the largest barbecue competition in the world, but also offer new public programming including: opportunity to taste great BBQ from Kansas City restaurants, buy BBQ merchandise, enjoy a family-friendly carnival, and relax in a beer/cocktail garden while listening to local bands perform on Friday and Saturday. The Barbecue is the place to be Labor Day weekend. Mark your calendars and we'll see you at the speedway for a smoky finish to summer! Get ready for a smoky finish to the summer - The 2017 American Royal World Series of Barbecue® will be held Labor Day weekend at the Kansas Speedway. Close out your summer the best way Kansas City knows how: with friends, family, great food and drink, and a cloud of smoke rising over the party.

FREE Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails at Crown Center 

When, Where, What:  thru Sept. 10, Crown Center. Open during Crown Center shopping hours. FREE. 816.274.8444

Why We Love It: This FREE hands-on exhibit is a great place for indoor play! All abroad for fun learning adventures with Thomas The Tank Engine as you help him be a "Really Useful Engine." Explore the sights and sounds of the Island of Sodor: visit Knapford Station and the Sodor Steamworks, climb inside Thomas' cab, fix Percy's wobble wheels, pull levers for train noises, and race trains along a giant track. This free exhibit is an imaginative adventure for the whole family!

 

 

Belton Train Rides

Details: Ice Cream Trains Friday at 7pm. And regular rides Sat & Sun at 2pm May-Oct, and Sat at 11am (June - Aug) aboard the Belton, Grandview & KC Railroad Co. (502 Walnut, Belton, MO). The Belton, Grandview and Kansas City Railroad Co. is a short line passenger railroad and demonstration museum in Belton, Missouri, just south on US Hwy. 71 from the Kansas City Metro Area. The BG&KC offers excursions on our line running south from Belton on a 5 mile, 45 minute round trip. This is an all volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving rail travel and railroading. Tickets $10/regular train ride, $12/ice cream train. 2 and under ride free.

Why We LOVE It: All Aboard! The young, and the young-at-heart, LOVE trains... the charm, the fun memories and nostalgia. This summer, ride the rails with the Belton, Grandview & Kansas City Railroad. The organization is a non-profit volunteer organization run by volunteers like John, who happily tells every visitor his pay is the smile on the kids' faces... and do they ever smile!

Free (and Cheap) Summer Movies in KC

Details: This summer, enjoy a Free (or Cheap) Movie at one of several area locations! We have your Guide to Free (and Cheap) Summer Movies in Kansas City!​

Why We Love It: Summer movies are a family tradition. You'll find many great movies to choose from... our favorites include:

 

 

 

Worlds of Fun/ Oceans of Fun

Worlds of Fun

Details: Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun are open for the Season and you an enjoy BOTH parks for the price of one.

Why We LOVE It: Worlds of Fun is a roller coaster enthusiast’s dream park! Worlds of Fun (WorldsOfFun.com) is introducing two new unique and thrilling rides in 2017, as well as a completely redesigned front gate and new events. The rides are Mustang Runner, featuring three arms with seven gondolas per arm turning one way while the base of the ride spins the other way, and Falcon’s Flight, “a hair-raising thrill at nearly 100 feet above the ground.” This ride spins and rises simultaneously while carrying 50 riders at once. This year, the park will add a new family tradition of WinterFest, a holiday festival with light displays and entertainment, transforming the park into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. It’s the perfect time to buy a season pass and enjoy the fun all year long. And, it’s home to seven world-class roller coasters, including one of the tallest, longest and fastest roller coasters in the world, the Mamba, with a first drop of 205 feet! The Patriot is a giant inverted coaster that carries the daring through four inversions at a top speed of 65 mph. The extremely daring can pay an extra fee to experience the Ripcord, a Sky Coaster attraction that sends riders in a free-fall pendulum motion from 180 feet in the air at speeds of up to 80 mph.

Special Events at the Kansas City Zoo

Kansas City Zoo Penguin

Details: The Kansas City Zoo is open year-round. (6800 Zoo Dr., KCMO. 816.513.5800 www.KansasCityZoo.org).

Why We LOVE It: The Kansas City Zoo (KansasCityZoo.org) has introduced amazing improvements every year for the past several years, including Polar Bear Passage, Tiger Trail, Orangutan Canopy, the Tropics, the Helzberg Penguin Plaza, the African Sky Safari and more. The latest addition is one of the most playful and interactive. This spring, the zoo opened the brand new Billy Goats Gruff Yard. More than 20 goats inhabit this interactive, goat-friendly playground.

Mark your calendar for these fun events at the Zoo: August 5 & 6 - Elephant Baths. August 12 & 13 - Zootastik Learning Fest— Bird Migration. August 19 & 20 - Watermelon Summer Smash. August 19  - Meet Daniel Tiger at the Zoo. August 25 - FOTZ Family Evening. August 26 & 27 - Species Spotlight—Lions. August 26 & 27 - Humboldt Penguin March. And more on the Zoo Calendar!

Kansas City Kansas Selfie Scavenger Hunt

Details: Explore Kansas City, KS with a family-friendly Selfie Scavenger Hunt and learn about all the fun things to do and see in our city.  Challenge yourself to see how many selfie's you can capture!  Win cool prizes by sharing your selfies with us on social media using #KCKselfie.  Pick up your free Selfie Scavenger Hunt Kit at the Kansas City Kansas Convention & Visitors Bureau office located at 755 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66101 between the hours of 8:30am - 5pm Mon-Thur and 8:30am - 4pm on Fridays.

Why We LOVE It: Summer is the season to be a tourist in your own town! The Selfie Scavenger Hunt is the perfect way to explore Kansas City, KS, and inspire your friends and family to join in the fun.

 

 

Music in the Park: Lee's Summit

Details: Fridays in Downtown Lee's Summit from 6:30-10pm

Why We LOVE It:  Enjoy free Friday night concerts featuring a variety of musical genres in Howard Station Park in Downtown Lee’s Summit. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and/or blankets for seating. This event starts Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day weekend.

 

 

 

August Festivals

It's Here! Summer Festival Season is here. There are dozens of festivals to enjoy for every interest. These are our top picks for fairs and festivals in Kansas City in August. Read our complete KCSummer Festival Guide here.

Festival of Butterflies Aug. 4-20, Powell Gardens, 1609 NW US Hwy. 50, Kingsville, MO. Walk among locally raised, native butterflies in our flower-filled “Butterfly Breezeway” or journey to the tropics in our lush conservatory where a close encounter with the blue morpho, golden birdwing or emerald swallowtail is almost guaranteed. Touch live caterpillars, learn about the life cycle of monarchs and participate in the Pollinator Parade. New this year: Join fantastic flying beasts in our Dragonfly Den, featuring native Missouri dragonflies carefully captured during Dragonfly Day.             

7th Annual Summer Strawberry Swing Aug.6, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St., Kansas City, MO. Come celebrate the handmade movement with the Midwest’s number one indie craft fair. Enjoy 100+ handmade and vintage vendors, live music, kids crafts, a photo booth and so much more.

Missouri State Fair Aug. 10-20, Missouri State Fairgrounds, Sedalia. The 400-acre fairgrounds will present premier livestock shows and competitive exhibits, as well as first-class professional entertainment. Mark your calendar for summer’s best family vacation experience!

Heart of America Hot Dog Festival Aug. 12, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 1616 E. 18th St., Kansas City, MO. Live music, hot dogs and a love of baseball’s history are shared at this event.

Ethnic Enrichment Festival Aug. 18-20, Swope Park & Pavilion, Meyer Boulevard & Swope Parkway, Kansas City, MO. More than 60 countries participate in food, craft, singing, dancing, and other cultural events. Folks come from all around to take part in this amazing cultural experience.

India Fest of KC Aug. 20, Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS. Celebrate with artifacts, jewelry, clothes, dances, sales, food and fashion parade.

Raytown Arts & Music Festival Aug. 26, Kenagy Park, 9609 E. 79th St., Raytown, MO.  Local artists sell their works, enjoy children’s activities, food trucks and live music.

Kansas State Fiddling & Picking Championships Aug. 27, South Park, 1130 Massachusetts, Lawrence, KS. Traditional music grows in a community and this year the community is growing to include something for every musician and fan of traditional acoustic music

 

 

 

 

 

Swimming Season

Details: Read our KC Water Fun guide for the best pools, waterparks, and beaches near you!

Why We LOVE It: Summer with kids = swim season! With waterparks (including Oceans of Fun where admission to Worlds of Fun is included in the same ticket, and Schlitterbahn with the world's tallest waterslide), neighborhood pools (ranging from basic pools with a classic diving board to full on attractions and lazy rivers), FREE spraygrounds (outdoor sprinkler playgrounds), and swim beaches at local lakes - there are many great ways to enjoy swimming, splashing, and playing in the water all summer long! Read our KC Water Fun guide for the best pools, waterparks, and beaches near you!

 

 

Shop at Kansas City's Farmers' Markets!

Kansas City Farmers Market

Details: Kansas City's Farmers' Markets start opening ALL Month long! With over 30 markets to choose from, ranging from small to large all across the metro, there is something for the locavore in all of us. Check out our Guide to Kansas City Farmers' Markets and read great tips for buying local farm fresh produce and discover a Farmers' Market near you.

Why We LOVE It: We're fortunate to have so many terrific Farmers' Markets in Kansas City to choose from. If you want to eat organic, fresh, locally grown produce, or you are looking for plants for your own garden, or local honey, Amish baked goods, or even live animals... Kansas City's Farmers' Markets have it all! Several even boast live music and entertainment. This is an excellent family outing on a Spring Saturday... you have fun and finish a chore all at once!

Brought to you by KCParent.com! Follow KC Parent Magazine on Facebook for more family fun inspiration all month long! 

Still looking for more great family fun ideas in Kansas City? Check out our Kansas City Calendar of Events and Going Places in Kansas City on KCParent.com.

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