Best of May in Kansas City

2017 Edition



May in Kansas City! Strawberries are begging to be picked. Roller coasters are ready to ride! Shows are setting the stage for a summer of fun! And Festival season is in full swing. Our Top Picks for May are here: 

Strawberry Picking

Kansas City Strawberry Picking

When, Where, What: There are several strawberry patches in the Kansas City area that offer strawberry picking. Read our guide to local Strawberry Patches for info.

Why We LOVE It: This is one of our favorite family traditions in May! Strawberries are a great way to kick off summer in Kansas City. Keep this in mind - strawberry picking season typically begins in May in the Kansas City region. With our famously unpredictable weather, the definite start date varies from year to year, but you’re sure to enjoy a trip to one of these local patches. Call ahead or watch Facebook for picking announcements to enjoy the best berries of the season.

 

 

Elephant and Piggie's "We Are in a Play!"

Details: thru May 21 at The Coterie.

Why We LOVE It:  When “bestus” friends Elephant and Piggie get together, anything is possible! They might get invited to a fancy costume party, learn a crazy new dance, or decide to spend the day playing ping-pong in silly hats. Adapted by Mo Willems from his wildly popular book series, this lively musical features Elephant Gerald and Piggie and their delightfully nutty back-up singers, the Squirrelles, discovering the fun of being in a play – all the while encouraging the audience to join in for some interactive fun.  Bring your bestie and share in the laughter and how good it feels to put friends first.

Train Station Adventure coming to Legoland discovery center

Why We Love It: LEGOLAND Discovery Center is opening a NEW Train Station Adventure on May 12!

Details: 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!

 

 

 

JCCC Performing Arts Center April Performances

Why We Love It: JCCC Performing Arts Series brings a variety of shows to the stage year-round. This month, take in one of these great productions: 

May's Shows: AN EVENING WITH LONESTAR on May 6, NEIL BERG'S '100 YEARS OF BROADWAY' on May 13, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST WITH FIREBIRD on May 13, and JOEY ALEXANDER TRIO JAZZ PIANO on May 20.

 

CYT presents Annie Warbucks, Snoopy!, West Side Story

Details: Annie Warbucks May 11-14, Snoopy! May 18-21, West Side Story May 25-28 at the Bell Center in Olathe.

Why We LOVE It:  CYT introduces children to live theater in a fun and engaging way! This month, enjoy three terrific CYT shows - all with affordable tickets for family-friendly entertainment.

About Annie Warbucks: All the ingredients that made Annie so successful are here once again, with an old-fashioned romance thrown in for good measure in Annie Warbucks! Tony Award-winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin return with all new laughs, romance, and unforgettable songs. The Action picks up right where Annie leaves off, when Child Welfare Commissioner Harriet Doyle arrives on the scene to inform Daddy Warbucks he must marry in sixty days so the newly adopted Annie can have a proper mother.  In the end, Daddy Warbucks' whirlwind search for a fitting bride uncovers not only a plot by Doyle and her daughter to strip him of his fortune, but also his true feelings for Grace Farrell.

About Snoopy!: It's remarkable! Fantastic! Entertaining! Yes, Charles M. Schulz has done it again. SNOOPY!!! the musical sequel to YOU'RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN deserves each of its three exclamation points. Based on the world renowned "Peanuts" comic strip, it delights every audience with quiet knowledge and wit of its characters. Musical numbers include The Big Bow-Wow, Don't Be Anthing Less (Than Everything You Can Be), Where Did that Little Dog Go and Daisy Hill.

About West Side Story: From the first notes to the final breath, West Side Story is one of the most memorable musicals and greatest love stories of all time. Arthur Laurents' book remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever. The score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim is widely regarded as one of the best ever written.  The world's greatest love story takes to the streets in this landmark Broadway musical that is one of the theatre's finest accomplishment. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is transported to modern-day New York City, as two young idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the "American" Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.

 

KC Ballet presents Director's Choice

When, Where, What: KC Ballet's final show of the season, May 12-21 at Kauffman Performing Arts Center.

Why We LOVE It: Kansas City Ballet’s spring production is a showcase of Kansas City Premieres for both new and venerable choreographic masters. Jerome Robbins’ exuberant, jazz-infused Interplay, Val Caniparoli’s suspenseful The Lottery, based on Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” about a small town’s shocking annual ritual, and George Balanchine’s epitome of classical ballet Theme and Variations all combine to make for a memorable evening in the theatre.

 

 

 

T-Bones Home Opener

T-Bones

When, Where, What: May 19 is the T-Bones Home Opener 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:  May 19: t-shirt giveaway,  June 9: Superhero Night, June 23: 80s Night, July 7: Pirates and Princesses night, July 21: Midget Wrestling Championship, July 28: Christmas in July, Aug. 11: Back-to-  School Night, Aug. 18: Harry Potter Night and Sept. 1: Pink in the Park Night. 

Gardens of Myth

When, Where, What: Gardens of Myth is open May 27 through 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.

 

Worlds of Fun open for the Season with TWO NEW Family Rides!

Worlds of Fun

When, Where, What: Worlds of Fun is open for the Season

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.

Music in the Park: Lee's Summit

When, Where, What: Fridays in Downtown Lee's Summit from 6:30-10pm starting May 26

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.

 

 

 

 

Special Events at the Kansas City Zoo

Kansas City Zoo Penguin

When, Where, What: 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: May 6 & 7 Family Fun Fiesta, May 13 & 14 Zootastik Learning Fest-Endangered Species Day, May 14 Mother’s Day, May 20 & 21 Dusty’s Birthday Party, May 23 Volunteer Open House, May 27 & 28 Species Spotlight-Apes, Penguin March, and Masika’s Birthday Party. And more on the Zoo Calendar!

 

Claws at Sea Life Kansas City

Details: NEW Exhibit at Sea Life Kansas City. Tip: Kids Go Free with paid adult if you use the promo code: PARENT.

Why We LOVE It:  Meet the armored division of the marine world at this all new exhibit. Learn about the amazing anatomy of crabs and find out what makes them one of the most powerful predators of the sea bed! The Claws exhibit showcases incredible crustaceans from around the world, featuring the giant Japanese spider crab (Macrocheira kaempferi) with legs reaching up to 12 feet in length when fully grown! Other species will include the Florida spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), spider crab (Mithrax spinosissimus), the unique fiddler crab and even lobsters!

 

 

AdvertisementFREE Under the Sea Adventure at Crown Center 

Details: Under the Sea Adventure thru May 7, Crown Center. Open during Crown Center shopping hours. FREE. 816.274.8444

Why We Love It: This FREE hands-on exhibit is great fun for little ones! Plunge into a fun, creative environment in this free exhibit that will delight kids who love to explore the deep blue sea. Discover buried treasure in a sunken pirate ship, ride a dolphin and seahorses, paddle your way to the mermaid's house, climb inside the mouth of a whale, explore in the submarine, and many more aquatic adventures. It's fathoms of fun, and it's totally free!

 

 

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

Details: May 27 - 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!

 

 

Pompeii:The Exhibition at Union Station

Pompeii at Union Station

When, Where, What: thru May 29 Pompeii: The Exhibition at Union Station

Why We LOVE It: We can't wait for this educational, interactive, and inspiring exhibit at Union Station. Featuring nearly 200 artifacts — some never before seen in the United States—including vibrant frescoes, detailed mosaics, lifelike statues and precious personal objects,Pompeii: The Exhibition tells the story of a city hidden from view and forgotten for centuries until its rediscovery over 250 years ago.

 

Over the Rainbow: Toys from the Land of Oz

When, Where, What: 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.

 

 

May Festivals

When, Where, What: May really kicks off Festival Season in Kansas City, with many great festivals and fairs to choose from! Read our KC Spring Festival Guide for the full scoop.

Our Favorite May Festivals

Read our KC Spring Festival Guide for MORE May Festivals!

Barbecue & Brew Festival at Worlds of Fun Fri-Sat, Apr. 28 - May 14 at Worlds of Fun, 4545 Worlds of Fun Dr, Kansas City, MO. Enjoy the 3rd annual Barbeque and Brew Festival, featuring craft beers from around the region and tasty barbeque prepared by our own Executive Chef, Kevin Williams.

Plein Air KC Festival May 5-13 at Penn Valley Park, Kansas City, KS. Artists from across the country will gather for an extended Paint-Off to capture the natural beauty of Penn Valley Park and -new this year-Union Cemetery, en plein air, while competing for cash prizes. Quick Paint competitions take place on May 9 from 6-8 p.m. at the Firefighters Fountain and Memorial, May 11 from 6-8 p.m. in Union Cemetery, and May 13 from 6:30 -8:30 am. at Penn Valley Park Lake. The event concludes with a gala reception and auction to showcase the art with proceeds benefiting the Penn Valley Park Conservancy.

Lansing DAZE/Brew, Blues & Bar-B-Q May 5 & 6 at Kenneth W. Bernard Park, 15650 Gilman Rd., lLansing, KS. FREE. This year’s event will feature live music and a spectacular fireworks display (Fri. at approximately 9:30 p.m.) and food and beverage vendors are available both days. A People’s Choice event (open to the public) is scheduled for Saturday. Eliminator KC (the World's Best ZZ Top Tribute Band) are the headliners! Rides will open until 10 pm this year! Beer, beverages and food will be sold until 11 pm this year! The event will also feature a variety of family-friendly activities. The Festival includes a craft show, car and cycle show, and children’s inflatable rides. There will also be a Quilt Show at the Lansing Activity Center, 108 S. 2nd St. The children’s inflatable rides are available both Friday evening and Saturday. Admission to both events is free.

Brookside Art Annual May 5- 7 at Brookside District, 63rd & Wornall, Kansas City, MO. Dominated by quaint neighborhoods, the Brookside neighborhood becomes the center of the Midwest art community each May. The Brookside Art Annual is known for its festive atmosphere, hospitality, convenience, and has become a must-attend event for artists and art seekers alike. The location for the show is at 63rd and Brookside between Main St. and Wornall. The show has children’s activities on Saturday and Sunday and light music in the evenings. Food booths are operated by local restaurants.

Strawberry Swing May 6-7 at Alexander Majors Barn, 8201 State Line, Kansas City, MO. FREE Admission. Come see why we were voted one of the top indie craft fairs in the world! See 100+ handmade & vintage vendors, food trucks {coffee cake kc, pita for good, werners on wheels, kc pinoy}, live music {kasey rausch’s country duo, the grand marquis, ruddy swain}, kids crafts {award-winning author courtney watkins}, photobooth {one word: gnome}, so much F-U-N! Kansas City’s #1 celebration of the handmade movement: The Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair, est. 2011.

Fungi and Fermentation Festival at Powell Gardens May 6 & 7 at Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville, MO. $12 festival admission, members get in free. This all-day festival celebrates mushrooms and beer through opportunities to learn about and enjoy these tasty items in a variety of ways. Join author and Missouri Mycological Society expert Maxine Stone for a mushroom identification workshop followed by a short excursion on the Byron Shutz Nature Trail to test your identification skills. Taste chanterelles prepared by Barb the Gardener and sign up for a cooking with mushrooms or a beer brewing class. Enjoy music from local bands while savoring food from our vendors, and register for a special beer tasting opportunity. Food is available for purchase onsite from vendors and Cafe Thyme. Special space-limited educational opportunities are listed below. Please register in advance for festival classes and workshops. Festival admission and parking fee applies. Members get in free of charge with no parking fee. 

Family Fun Fiesta May 6 & 7 at Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Dr., Kansas City, MO. Enjoy cultural crafts provided by the Mattie Rhodes Center. A Latin princess is sure to put you in the fiesta spirit and our animals are joining in with fiesta themed enrichment items. All Family Fun Fiesta activities will be from 10 am - 3 pm.

Kansas Food Truck Festival May 6 from 4-10pm at Warehouse Arts District , 810 Pennsylvania Lawrence, KS. $10 Adults, Kids under 10 free. 7858562389. The family-friendly event will benefit Just Food, the Douglas County Food Bank. The event is returning with 30 food trucks, expanded lineup of live entertainment and beer garden. The entertainment is comprised of family friendly activities include face painting, a bouncy house as well as live street performers from the Lawrence Busker Festival and live musical performances by local musicians.

Sprint Family Fun Days: Carnival Circus May 13 from 11 AM - 3 PM Kansas City Power & Light District Between Baltimore and Grand Blvd. and 12th Street and Truman Road, Kansas City, MO. Come one, come all... to the greatest carnival circus of them all! Sprint Family Fun Days kicks off with a Carnival Circus on Saturday, May 13th from 11am-3pm. Enjoy old-fashioned carnival games, an exotic animal petting zoo, bounce houses, arts & crafts, live entertainment by Mr. Stinky Feet, face painting and more! (Additional details coming soon!) Admission to the event is FREE. Fees apply for premium activities ($5 all-access wristband per child). Family four packs also available to purchase online in advance for $25 at Ticketfly.com. The Sprint Family Fun series events are held every second Saturday of the months May - October on 14th Street between Main Street & Walnut Street in the Kansas City Power & Light District from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Kansas City's Train Day 2017 May 13  at Kansas City Northern Miniature Railroad, 5940 N.W. Waukomis Drive, Kansas City, MO. Activities and Entertainment from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.: Free Train Rides from 2-4 p.m.: 2-for-1 Ice Skating at Line Creek Ice Arena. ​FREE train rides and entertainment by Rockin Rob, face painting, inflatables, Imagination Playground, crafts and more!

SLP Kick-Off Early Literacy Fair May 19 from 11am-1pm at Mid-Continent Public Library - North Independence, 317 W. 24 Hwy., Independence, MO. Free. Parents and caregivers, along with their children ages birth through six, are invited to an Early Literacy Fair to promote pre-reading skills. Join us as we explore many of the Library's early literacy resources and participate in a wide variety of activities including games, crafts, music, movements, and more! All ages are welcome. 

Turkey Creek Festival & Artisan’s Expo May 20 from 10am-4pm at Antioch Park, 650, Merriam, KS. Free to attend. Activities include a petting zoo, delicious food and unique craft vendors, music, giant inflatables and more. Calling all crafters of hand-made goods!

Lawrence Busker Festival May 25-27 at Downtown Lawrence , Lawrence, KS. Free.  Enjoy three days of family fun with some of the most talented freaks, geeks, artists and musicians around.There will be 5 different street stages with over 25 different acts playing for tips and applause.And while our festival may be large, planning your visit is easy.Check out our performance schedule to make sure you don't miss your favorite acts.And for an even more up close and personal experience, come check out Busker Ball on the Thursday before our big weekend.

Fourth Fridays 4th Friday of Each Month, Downtown Olathe, Olathe, KS. Open to the public, no entry fee. Food trucks, live music, and entertainment for all ages! Free activities including Sister Act Face Painting, balloon artists, caricature artists, live music, art stations, and games. Mad Science of Greater KC will also be joining us! Kids can make slime for $1. We will also have a variety of food trucks, including KC Food Truck Mafia and Smish Smash Sandwiche Co. Bring your picnic blankets or lawn chairs, as seating will be limited. 

Illuminated Waters May 26-27 at Theis Park, Oak Street and West 47th St., Kansas City, MO. Building on the success of the past eleven seasons-this year visitors and puppet-makers will encounter a brand new innovation-a festival, called Illuminated Waters. Puppets-both on and off the actual waters of Brush Creek-will perform with the audience, as they’re illuminated from within. Mark your calendar for this innovative artistic experience on MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND! This unique, free, two-day water festival will combine everything we have all learned to love-a giant puppet play, food trucks from around Kansas City, interactive art, games and music. Everything will be at Theis Park right next to Brush Creek. You’ll have the same fun you’ve always had-only this year our puppets will GLOW, illuminating the park with art and even float some on the waters of Brush Creek themselves.

Kansas City Symphony’s Bank of America Celebration at the Station May 28 at Union Station Kansas City, 30 W. Pershing, Kansas City, MO. The Kansas City Symphony’s 15th annual patriotic concert event is the largest FREE Memorial Day weekend festival in the Midwest. From a moving Symphony concert to the city’s grandest fireworks display, nothing celebrates our military and veterans quite like Bank of America Celebration at the Station. Make it an all-day family affair with pre-concert musical acts, food trucks, the Lee Jeans Family Zone plus activities inside Union Station and the National World War I Museum and Memorial. At dusk, swell with pride as your Symphony builds to a grand finale featuring Tchaikovsky’s "1812 Overture: with live cannons and "The Stars and Stripes Forever." Blankets and lawn chairs welcome. The event site opens at 3 p.m.

 

Sign up for Summer Camp

When, Where, What: It is time to sign up for Summer Camp! The KC Parent Camp Guide is your resource for camps.

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!

 

 

 

 

Shop at Kansas City's Farmers' Markets!

Kansas City Farmers Market

When, Where, What: 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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