Best of June in Kansas City
June! School's Out! Summer is here! Kick off summer fun at Kansas City's attractions... with fabulous gardens, live concerts, great shows, living history, and more - there is something for everyone!
Garfield: The Musical with Cattitude
Details: June 13-Aug. 6 at The Coterie. Read 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.”
Johnson County Museum Grand Re-Opening
Details: The Johnson County Museum has a new home (8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS, www.jocogov.org/dept/museum) and it opens to the public on June 10!
Why We LOVE It: Our kids have sorely missed KidScape and we can't wait to see the BRAND NEW exhibits at the BRAND NEW museum! The exhibits at the museum tell the story of how Johnson County became one of the nation's leading suburban counties. The interactive exploration area for young children, KidScape, is bigger and better than ever, with all new hands-on fun in store. In addition, the museum continues to tell the story of Johnson County’s history and heritage through exhibits and programs. The facility also hosts black box theater productions for Johnson County Theatre in the Park, dance classes, art classes and much more!
T-Bones Baseball Celebrating their 15th Anniversary
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: June 9: Superhero Night, June 23: Harry Potter Night, July 7: Pirates and Princesses night, July 21: Midget Wrestling Championship, July 28: Christmas in July, Aug. 11: Back-to- School Night, and Sept. 1: Pink in the Park Night.
FREE Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails at Crown Center
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!
Train Station Adventure now open at Legoland discovery center
Why We Love It: Climb, slide, jump and roll around train obstacles inside this all-new play zone! Families can use their imaginations to build their own LEGO® trains together and then test it on the tracks through the city to the countryside- all on a 15 foot long build table! Hop into the Conductor’s chair and take a ride through the virtual world of Kansas City – see how many famous landmarks you can spot! With over 10 play interactives, discover something brand new inside Train Station Adventure!
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!
The Wizard of Oz by Mesner Puppet Theater
Why We LOVE It: Mesner Puppet Theater dazzles KC kids for generations with their one of a kind puppetry and storytelling. This summer's show asks what would a librarian do if storytime at the library was interrupted by an oncoming tornado? Move everyone to the safety of the library basement and tell the most famous tornado story of all...The Wizard of Oz! Journey down the yellow brick road in this new adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s beloved tale of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, and Cowardly Lion. The librarian and her friends use their wits, hearts, and a bit of courage to tell the famous Oz story with puppets as colorful as the Land of Oz itself!
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:
- Moo-vies at the Farmstead June 22, 7:30-10:30pm at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead 13800 Switzer Rd. Overland Park, KS. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and join us for our first ever Moo-vie Night at the Farmstead. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Moo-vie begins at dusk. The movie is Charlotte's Web, E.B. White's charming tale of a spider that befriends a piglet. Rated G. Run time 96 minutes
- Weekender at Crown Center Festivities begin at 5 p.m., music at 6 p.m., movie at approximately 9 p.m. Cap off your work week with top local bands and favorite food trucks. Shop the wares of KC artisans and finish the evening with a famous flick under the stars. This summer's features include July 7: The Parent Trap (1998). July 14: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. July 21: Remember the Titans. July 28: Jurassic World. August 4: Back to the Future. 816.274.8444 http://www.crowncenter.com/
- Film Series: Disney Classics Join film critic and enthusiast Robert Butler for this four-week series exploring four of Walt Disney's most iconic and groundbreaking animated features. See the films and then get the background on these timeless classics.Registration Required. This summer's features include Mid- Continent Public Library Raytown Branch, 6131 Raytown Rd, Raytown, MO. June 7: Snow White. June 14: Pinocchio. June 21: Bambi. June 28: Fantasia. Mid-Continent Public Library Lee's Summit Branch, 150 NW Oldham Pkwy, Lee's Summit, MO. July 1: Snow White. July 8: Pinocchio. July 15: Bambi. July 22: Fantasia. Mid-Continent Public Library North Oak, 8700 N Oak Trafficway, Kansas City, MO. July 10: Snow White. July 17: Pinocchio. July 24: Bambi. July 31: Fantasia.
Gardens of Myth
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.
Worlds of Fun is open for the Season with TWO NEW Family Rides!
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.
Details: Tuesdays & Thursdays 10am-3pm, Wed. 6:30-8:30pm at Shawnee Town 1929. Museum Admission Fees $3.00 per adult, $1.00 per child (ages 5 - 17) FREE - children under 5 Phone for school program information & fees.
Why We LOVE It: This summer Shawnee Town 1929 is offering some old favorites such as feeding the chickens and doing laundry. In addition, you can play catch with vintage gloves, make kites and crepe paper flowers, do leather-working, sing some 1920s melodies, play marbles and try your hand at balsa wood airplanes in honor of Charles Lindbergh. Who knows, there just might be a Model A Ford car ride in your future! Click here for a complete schedule.
Sizzlin' Summer Sale: Johnson County Library
Details: Sizzlin' Summer Sale benefitting the Johnson County Library. Thursday, June 8: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Friday, June 9: 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday, June 10: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Johnson County Community College Gym 12345 College Blvd. Overland Park, KS. Directions: Enter from College Boulevard, take the first right to N. Campus Drive. The Gym is up ahead on the left, and you can park in the lots in front of the Gym. Cash, check and credit cards are all accepted. The funds raised support early literacy programs, staff professional development and special events. Your Friends membership earns you an invite to the Members-Only Preview on Wednesday. The success of the book sales relies on many volunteers. If you're interested in helping, contact Ron Zluticky at 913-826-4302.
Why We LOVE It: Find hot deals on movies, music, books and more at the Sizzlin' Summer Book Sale. Choose from thousands of books, most items 25¢ to $2. Best of all, the sale benefits early literacy programming in Johnson County.
Special Events at the Kansas City Zoo
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: June 2 Jazzoo (registration required, parents only) June 10 & 11 Zootastik Learning Fest— World Ocean’s Day June 11 Sporting KC Day June 18 Dad’s receive free admission on Father’s Day June 24 & 25 Species Spotlight— Giraffe & Ungulates June 24 & 25 Penguin March
And more on the Zoo Calendar!
Over the Rainbow: Toys from the Land of Oz
Details: thru Aug. 20 at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.
Why We LOVE It: Published in 1900, L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz is considered America’s first fairy tale and it holds a special place in the hearts of Kansans and Kansas Citians alike. The story of Dorothy’s fantastical journey through the land of Oz has enticed generations. The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures is one of our favorite whimsical attractions with toys bringing back memories for generations. The newest exhibit explores the original literary story of The Wizard of Oz and its many retellings, including the 1939 Technicolor film, Return to Oz, and The Wiz, through playthings, first edition books, and original costumes at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.
Mark your calendar for these fun Summer Events: LITTLE ADVENTURES on Wednesdays and Saturdays June 7 - Aug. 12 from 1-3:30PM. Explore the museum collection through gallery talks and guided tours, then visit the hands-on workshop to make your own toy or miniature. From robots to miniature rugs, each week features a new theme. 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.
June Little Adventures Schedule:
- MINIATURE MASTERPIECES JUNE 7 | JUNE 10: Fancy yourself a tiny Leonardo da Vinci? Be inspired by T/m’s fine-scale miniature painting collection with works created using brushes that only have one hair! Then, channel your inner Vincent van Gogh or Johannes Landman to paint your own miniature masterpiece on canvas and finish it with a frame of your choice.
- STUFFED ANIMALS JUNE 14 | JUNE 17 They’re soft and cuddly, and you can never have too many of them. But what does it take to design one from beginning to end? Explore toy designer Donna Moore’s innovative plush toys, and stitch your own small teddy bear to take home.
- MINIATURE ROOM SETTINGS JUNE 21 | JUNE 24 Journey across the world and through time from Tudor England to Colonial America on a tour of T/m’s magnificent miniature rooms. Back in the present, make your own miniature room setting in a tiny tin complete with furniture, wallpaper, and flooring.
- TOYS GO TO WAR JUNE 28 | JULY 1 When the world went to war, toys often followed suit. Discover the stories behind the museum’s toy soldiers, airplanes, and tanks. Then, make your own parachute trooper and launch it off the museum’s grand staircase.
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.
Mahaffie Family Fun Nights
Details: Mahaffie Family Fun Night 6-8 PM every Thursday Night in June & July, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm (1200 Kansas City Road, Olathe, KS). FREE admission. Enjoy a variety of historic-themed activities each week. Special activities like stagecoach rides are $3/person. 913.971.5111 www.mahaffie.org
Weekly Themes: June themes: June 1: Civil War June 8: Cowboys June 15: Farm to Table June 22: Science 1860s style June 29: Fireworks 1860s Style
Why We LOVE It: Mahaffie is hosting special programs on Thursday evenings from 6-8pm when the farm truly comes to life with hands-on history from the 1850s. Activities include free activities (for example: butter churning, planting seeds, tours of the home) and activities with a small fee (for example: Stagecoach rides, working in the Blacksmith Shop, Grinding Corn)and they vary with the theme each week. Our children were enthralled at the blacksmith shop where they made their own "S Hooks" last year and the stagecoach ride is a fun historic experience.
Bonus: Read our tips for the most fun at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop before you go.
Details: FREE SUMMER CONCERTS at Legends Outlets! Legends Live is back and better than ever at Kansas City’s signature outlet destination with nine free summer concerts, June 10 – Aug. 5! The summer concert series will feature local talent performing popular music from the ‘70s – today, every Saturday evening from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
June 10: Red Guitar, American rock band with folk/pop songwriting and rich vocal harmonies
June 17: Brandon Miller
June 24: Run With It, Pop-rock band with a foundation of funk and soul
July 1: The Zeroes, New wave tribute band featuring the top 40 songs from the ‘80s
July 8: Rusty Laffoon, Soulful country infused with rock ‘n’ roll
July 15: Perpetual Change
July 22: Country band performing crowd favorites from many artists
July 29: Rattle and Hum
Aug. 5: TBD (kids group)
Why We LOVE It: What better way to wrap up a day of summer shopping than with a free live outdoor concert! This is a favorite KC Summer Tradition.
Music in the Park: Lee's Summit
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.
Overland Park Arboretum: Enchanted Forest
Details: The 300-acre Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens (www.opkansas.org/things-to-see-and-do/arboretum-and-botanical-gardens) welcomes their Enchanted Forest exhibit thru Sept. 4, 2017.
Why We LOVE It: Discover the mystical domains of gnomes, fairies, trolls, elves, sprites and other garden creatures along a trail in the woodland gardens. Throughout the summer, the arboretum will host special events in conjunction with the exhibit, including fairy tale story times, build-a-gnome-home classes and a Faery Faire with live entertainment, costumed characters and more.
June's Best Festivals
June is overflowing with fabulous festivals this season in Kansas City. Read our KC Summer Festival Guide for the full scoop.
Click here for our complete Summer Festival Guide! These are our top picks for fairs and festivals in Kansas City this month.
Old Shawnee Days June 1-4, Old Shawnee, OldShawneeDays.org. Kick off your summer with everyone’s favorite Shawnee event, Old Shawnee Days! There’s something for everyone: music, carnival rides, contests, games, the parade, crafts, shopping, festival food and so much more.
Jazzoo June 2, Kansas City Zoo, JazzooKC.org. This event is the Kansas City Zoo’s largest fundraiser. Jazzoo helps raise support for the children’s educational programs and feeds the zoo’s more than 1,700 animals.
Lee's Summit Downtown Days June 2-4, Downtown Lee's Summit, LeesSummitDowntownDays.com. For more than 20 years, Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street has been hosting a family-friendly festival in the heart of the city. Live entertainment, food vendors, a carnival, craft vendors and much more are part of this year’s festivities.
Capital City Family & Food Truck Festival June 3, 11:00-7:00, Gage Park, SW Blaisdell Drive, Topeka, KS, VisitTopeka.com. Bring your appetite and enjoy the culinary delights of more than 40 food trucks and vendors. Bounce houses and more offer family fun on site, as well as live music and entertainment.
Vaile Mansion Strawberry Festival June 3, Vaile Mansion, VaileMansion.org. A hundred craft and antique dealers will be set up around the mansion. The Vaile Society will be selling strawberry treats!
Rose Show and Rose Day June 4, Loose Park, KCParks.org. Visit the garden center to view the hundreds of roses on display from our annual rose show! Bring your blankets, chairs and picnics and enjoy the day. Free ice cream, lemonade and bottled water, ribbon cutting ceremony and mayor’s proclamation.
Sunflower Music Festival June 9-17, White Concert Hall, Washburn University, Topeka, KS, SunflowerMusicFestival.org. Sunflower Music Festival of Topeka presents an annual series of orchestra concerts, chamber music evenings, educational projects and other artistic events of the highest caliber.
Juneteenth Celebration June 10, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St., Kansas City, MO, Nelson-Atkins.org. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. The history of freedom and equal rights after emancipation is a long and complex one; indeed, that history is still being written today. Juneteenth recognizes this ongoing struggle while celebrating the enduring contributions of African Americans.
Festival on the Trails June 9-10, Downtown Gardner, FestivalOnTheTrails.com. The festival begins Friday night and includes free entertainment and a variety of beverage and food booths. Saturday continues the fun with a full day’s activities for children, crafts and commercial booths, a car show, food and much more!
Dragon Boat Festival June 10, Brush Creek along the Country Club Plaza, KCParks.org. The day will include Chinese cultural games, performances, delicious food and dragon boats—plus fun activities for children of all ages. Dancers, drummers and musicians from all over town will entertain you on the stage.
Great Lenexa BBQ Battle June 23-24, Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park (87th & Lackman Road), Lenexa.com. The two-day event, which includes children's activities and live music, attracts cooks from all over the nation who compete for the coveted title of Grand Champion of the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle.
Future Stages Festival June 25, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, KauffmanCenter.org. Future Stages Festival is a FREE annual community event that turns a spotlight on youth performances and family-friendly programming. Each year the festival puts more than 600 talented young performers on stage before live audiences.
Maker Faire: Kansas City June 24-25, Union Station, KansasCity.MakerFaire.com. This family-friendly event demonstrates what and how people are inventing, making and creating. Come see what others are making and be inspired to tap into your own creativity!
Sign up for Summer Camp
Why We LOVE It: The best Summer Camps fill fast, so now is the time to enroll your child. We have you guide to the best camps in the area. Whatever the age, interest, or skill your child hopes to explore, the KC Parent Camp Guide has something for everyone!
Pick Berries and Fruit
Why We LOVE It: Picking blueberries at The Berry Patch, peaches at a local orchard, raspberries at u-pick farms and enjoying the "fruit of our labor" with yummy summer cobblers, smoothies, and treats is one of our favorite (and tastiest) summer traditions! There are many wonderful local farms, patches, and orchards where you can pick a variety of fruits, berries and other produce. The blueberry season typically begins mid-June with other fruits to follow! Click here for our Berry Picking in KC guide!
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!
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!