Best of August in Kansas City
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!
The Wizard of Oz at Providence Amphitheatre
Dorothy and Toto are back in Kansas for the biggest stage production ever of THE WIZARD OF OZ. A cast of 50 recreates the classic movie, with all of the great songs, fantastic costumes and unforgettable characters-- just like the MGM movie, but live! onstage in suburban Kansas City.
For the first time ever, actual scenes from the famous MGM motion picture will be incorporated into a live production of the famous musical. Munchkinland, the Emerald City, Poppy fields and the Witch's castle will all come alive at Providence Amphitheater (formerly Sandstone) this summer in this state-of-the-art production. Kcp.WizardOfOzKC.com
Tax Free Back to School Shopping Weekend
August 3 - 5: 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. Stock up on school supplies and clothes saving 6-8% during Tax Free Shopping. Summit Fair at 840 NW Blue Pkwy in Lee's Summit, is one of our favorite Back to School shopping sites with 50+ stores and restaurants.
Teacher Appreciation Days at Legoland Discovery Center & Sea Life
Aug. 1-31: Teachers will receive FREE admission to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City and Sea Life Kansas City through Teacher Appreciation Days as a last summer "hoorah!" Please be sure to bring your valid teacher ID to be eligible to receive free admission. Each participating teacher is welcome to bring up to 4 additional guests during their visit for a discount of just $10.00+tax per individual.
Dinosaurs Revealed: Journey Across America, a world premiere exhibition opening at Union Station June 30! Come face-to-face with 26 life-size dinosaurs. See them move, hear them roar. Examine two massive full body skeletons and dozens of real fossils. Get hands-on digging for new evidence. Walk through the most prolific North American dinosaur dig sites. Visit the Paleontologist Hangout and meet real dinosaur hunters. Interact with a 3D augmented reality volcano, dinosaur tracks, puzzles and more. It's an adventure that promises to educate, fascinate and excite imaginations of every age.
Goosebumps: The Musical
Goosebumps: The Musical is showing thru August 5 at The Coterie. Brooke and Zeke have been cast as the leads in the school's new production of an old play about a phantom. Mysterious things start interrupting rehearsals and they have to wonder: is this someone's idea of a joke, or is the Phantom real? An adventure ensues that will bring out your inner sleuth and keep everyone in suspense until the final curtain. Read our review here.
Worlds of Fun
Worlds of Fun is open with NEW attractions! This year, enjoy the new Nordic Chaser where guests of all ages will board mini ships that rotate speedily around a circuit. The ride captures the imagination as guests experience the sensation of rising and falling along ocean waves. The ride will be placed in the park’s Scandinavia themed area. Guests will also enjoy the newly renovated Timber Wolf. Since its debut in 1989, Timber Wolf has cast an imposing shadow on the surrounding woods as Worlds of Fun's first wooden roller coaster. Timber Wolf opened as the top wooden coaster in the world and then received accolades as a top wooden coaster for over 8 consecutive years.Now, fan favorite and the park's original wooden coaster gets a new finale! Worlds of Fun is replacing the helix with a high-speed over banked 70 degree turn. This thrilling final corner turns riders nearly sideways!
KCYA Open House
On August 25, from 10am-Noon your are invited to KCYA's Open House. The event will feature student and teaching artist performances, interactive workshops and mini-classes, and family fun. Learn more about Fall Classes at the Community School of the Arts.
Peach, Apple, and Veggie Picking
Peaches, apples, blueberries, cherries, sweet corn, and other delicious fruits & veggies are ready to pick in June. 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. Read our guide to Kansas City U-Pick Farms for info.
Trivial Pursuit®: A 50-State Adventure
Crown Center brings a brand new FREE exhibit to its Level I Showplace this summer. Trivial Pursuit®: A 50-State Adventure will be on display thru Sept. 3. This pretend trek across the U.S.A. features an activity for every state and the District of Columbia. Ride a mule in the Grand Canyon, celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square, hit a home run at Fenway Park, guide your sled dog team on the Iditarod Trail and more! Answer hundreds of U.S. trivia questions at interactive game stations that encourage a little friendly competition and enjoy photomurals that feature of some America’s most beautiful and iconic destinations and lots of fun facts.
Kansas City Zoo: Stingray Bay
This summer the zoo celebrates the opening of the brand new Stingray Bay, and Bam Bam, a new polar bear to join Berlin at the Kansas City Zoo. At stingray bay, visitors may touch cownose and southern stingrays and white-spotted bamboo sharks in this shallow touch pool. This indoor/outdoor facility is ideal for year-round guests, but most importantly, the state-of-the-art exhibit features a water filtration system providing a healthy habitat for the animals. Entrance to Stingray Bay is included with regular zoo admission. For an additional fee, you may participate in one of a limited number of feeding opportunities. The Kansas City Zoo is open year-round (except Jan. 1). (6800 Zoo Dr., KCMO. 816.513.5800). Pack a picnic and bring it to the zoo!
August's Special Events at the Kansas City Zoo:
- August 4 & 5: Dog Days of Summer
- August 11 & 12: Zootastik Learning Fest— World Elephant Day
- August 11 & 12: Elephant Baths
- August 18 & 19: Melon Summer Smash
- August 25 & 26: Species Spotlight— Marsupials
- August 25 & 26: Penguin March
Ride the Rails
Ride the rails with the family aboard a real train with Belton, Grandview and Kansas City Railroad. Enjoy excursions running south from Belton on a 5-mile, 45-minute round trip. Season: May-December. Regular Train Rides $10/ea Sat & Sun 2pm (May-Oct) Closed Sunday in July & August Saturday at 11am (June-August only) Ice Cream Train $12/ea Every Friday June-August at 7pm Kids Under Three FREE!
Little Fun / Big Adventures at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures & FREE Day
Explore the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (5235 Oak Street, KC, MO. 816.235.8000) 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! During Little Adventures on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:30am - 3:30pm, visitors enjoy the opportunity to create their own toy or work of art.
August Special Programs at the Museum:
- LITTLE ADVENTURES: MARBLE MAZE MANIA: August 1 & 4: Give our cool, kinetic marble mazes a run, and then roll into a workshop where you can make a marble maze of your own using recycled materials.
- LITTLE ADVENTURES: SURPRISE PROGRAM: August 8 & 11: We’ve been planning a surprise for you all summer! Visit this special program for a never-before-seen craft focused on one of the museum’s miniatures.
- FAREWELL TO SUMMER FREE DAY: August 18: Say goodbye to summer with free admission to T/m. Explore the galleries with a scavenger hunt adventure and visit a craft workshop to make a take-home treasure.
Johnson County Museum
The Johnson County Museum (8788 Metcalf Ave Overland Park, KS) is one of our favorite local attractions with fabulous local history exhibits and the beloved KidScape. At KidScape, kids learn through play about the past. An 1870s farmstead introduces kids to life on the farm-- tending animals, collecting eggs, gardening and house chores inside the farmhouse. Time travel to the 1900 the city where kids sell fruits and vegetables at the City Market, perform for an audience at the theatre, and teach at the school. Suburban life springs up in the 1950s! Care for sick patients at the hospital, cook up burgers and fries at the diner, and build a house for a new suburban family. Even explore a park with a secret cave! Kidscape offers hours of fun for kids to explore and play.
- Retro Story and Art Fun! (Ages 3-5 with Adult): August 1 from 10-10:45am: Remember “The Poky Little Puppy?” You and your preschoolers will love the stories and illustrations from long ago, read by a special guest from the 1950s All-Electric House! After the story ends, enjoy an art activity for little hands. Stories change monthly, connecting to KidScape community environments, and Kansas Early Learning Standards. An adult must attend program with child. Can be booked as a field trip for groups - call for details!
- Jo Ho Storyteller: August 15 from 10-11am: In this series of storytelling programs for children, local storyteller Jo Ho dramatically engages with entertaining and educational stories involving nature, history, culture, and art. Preregistration is recommended. Tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of event if space is available. Earns JCPRD U Mindfulness Credit.
- Behind-the-Scenes Johnson County Museum Tour (Ages 16 & Older): August 15 from 10:30-11:30am: Our collection features over 17,000 3D objects, over one million images, as well as a two-dimensional collection with manuscripts, maps, photographs, and quilts. Interact with museum staff as you learn why we collect, how we collect, and the importance to our local community. Our collection features over 17,000 3D objects and over one million images. The Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center holds the museum’s two-dimensional collection, including manuscripts, maps, photographs, and quilts. To schedule a separate time for your group of six to 12 people, or a tour for youth or scout groups, please call (913) 826-ARTS. 1 hr. tour - $10 adults / $9 seniors (60+) / $8 children Includes museum and KidScape admission. Museum members receive a 20% discount - call (913) 831-3359 to register and claim discount.
Big Backyard at Powell Gardens & Festival of Butterflies
Explore the newest exhibit at Powell Gardens - the Big Backyard thru Oct. 21. Explore an oversized world of everyday objects in this larger-than-life exhibition featuring backyard items such as Gigantic Adirondack chairs and an enormous birdhouse. Enjoy the Festival of Butterflies thru August 12: Join us for this family favorite and immerse yourself in the world of butterflies native and exotic! Special programming, family-friendly activities, free expert advice each weekend (Friday-Sunday) of the festival.
Family Events at the National World War I Museum and Memorial
The National WWI Museum and Memorial (2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO). Within the museum walls below, however, lies one of the best historic sites in the Midwest, the National World War I Museum. With tremendous state-of-the-art exhibits telling the story of World War I and, more importantly, the soldiers and civilians of the era—their sacrifices, their journeys—this is one of Kansas City’s most important attractions. History is brought to life in this family‑friendly program in which kids of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts, every Saturday at 11 a.m. NOTE: On May 28, Summer Hours Begin! The Museum is open 7 days a week beginning on Memorial Day. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Sunday - Friday) 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Saturday).
Explore their newest exhibition For Liberty: American Jewish Experience in WWI. For Liberty: American Jewish Experience in WWI provides an in-depth look of what life was like for Jewish Americans on the homefront and for the nearly 250,000 people who served in the American Expeditionary Forces through remarkable stories and artifacts. Featured items include Irving Berlin’s draft registration card and the handwritten draft of Leon Simon’s 1917 Balfour Declaration, a public statement from the British government that helped lay the foundation for the establishment of a Jewish state. The exhibition is open through the centennial of Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 2018.
Also, attend THE HELLO GIRLS: DOCUMENTARY SCREENING Tuesday, Aug. 7, 6:30 p.m. - FREE with RSVP. Hundreds of women, fluent in multiple languages, served within the U.S. Army Signal Corps, playing a pivotal role in wartime communication. Join us for the screening of the documentary The Hello Girls with film creator Jim Theres, who hosts a Q&A after the screening.
Pool & Spray Park Season
Summer is the season for watersports. Fortunately, Kansas City has something for everyone! From free spraygrounds for young children, to daring water rides for teens and adults, to classes and programs, pools and waterparks and everything in between. Our water fun season is Memorial Day Weekend - Labor Day Weekend! Read our KC Water Fun Guide for details.
FREE (and Cheap) Summer Movies
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!
Farmers Market Season
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. 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!
Enjoy fabulous festivals and fairs all month long! Read our complete KC Summer Festival Guide for more!
Our Favorite August Festivals:
Festival of Butterflies July 27 - August 12 at Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. U.SHighway 50, Kingsville, MO. Enjoy the annual festival dedicated these winged pollinators. 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
Blues Fest August 3 at Legacy Park, 897 Bluestem Pkwy, Lee's Summit, MO. Enjoy a night with some of Kansas City's best Blues bands. Blues Fest is a free event for the whole family to enjoy. Gates open at 4:15PM.
KC Taste Friday, August 3rd (4pm – 10pm) and Saturday, August 4th (10am – 10pm) at Union Station’s outdoor space including both the South Plaza and Triangle Parking, as well as the new Haverty Family Yards. KC Taste will be a two day music, food, distillery, wine and beer festival, promoting brick and mortar establishments and showcasing all of the wonderful food and beverage talent Kansas City has to offer. Two days of live music featuring local and national acts Family friendly areas with bounce houses and arts/crafts for the kids.
Missouri State Fair August 9 - 19 at Missouri State Fairgrounds, Sedalia, MO. The 407-acre fairgrounds will present premier livestock shows and competitive exhibits, and first-class professional entertainment. Mark your calendar for summer’s best family vacation experience!
Kansas Taco Festival August 11 at Lake Shawnee (Tinman Circle), Topeka, KS. This 1-day festival will feature over a dozen Mexican eats, while they battle it out for title of "Best Taco". Featuring live music & entertainment, this taco inspired event will include fun inflatables, games & activities, contests and so much more!
Ethnic Enrichment Festival August 16-19 at Swope Park, Meyer Blvd. and Swope Parkway, Kansas City, MO. Adults: $5; 12 & Under: Free Parking: Free. Feel the world beat in the heart of America. This event is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the country and features more than 63 different cultures selling their native foods, crafts and performing ethnic music and dances.
Mission Sunflower Festival August 25 at Johnson Drive Mission Farmers Market, Johnson Drive & Maple, Mission, KS. The Festival includes a Friday evening kickoff with live music and food trucks, Saturday morning parade, all-day fun, “old time fair and carnival” games, contests, food trucks and more.
India Fest August 26 at Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS. The festival offers an opportunity for guests of all ages to explore the art and customs of India and features authentic cuisine, traditional clothing, henna and numerous vendors.
KC Irish Fest August 31 - Sept. 2 at Crown Center, Kansas City, MO. With more than 300 musicians, dancers, and comedians from Ireland, America and across the Celtic world.
Read our complete KC Summer Festival Guide for more!