If you are lucky enough to have visited any of the fabulous parks in Lee’s Summit you’ll understand why they are an award winning Parks and Rec Department. A dedicated group that provides such great spaces for all ages of kids and adults in this area. In a booming, family friendly community as welcoming as Lee’s Summit it is crucial that open space be protected and maintained to make sure we have the opportunity to experience outdoor PLAY! The groups and nonprofits that work hard to raise money, raise awareness, and raise the level of quality of our parks for our community are doing such great work.
From beautiful open spaces, to new play equipment, to amphitheaters, and work out trails Lee’s Summit offers so many options of play for your family. You could float in a lazy river and then bike home. Play in a pirate ship or visit a castle. Talk a walk or sit on a bench. There really is a park or service for every level and every age.
This isn’t an ordinary park guide, but will introduce you or better acquaint you with some of my favorites, based on my high standard of critique.
The Top 5 things I look for in a park are:
- An area where I can sit/lay in the shade with my non-mobile baby, zone out on my phone/book/coffee, while easily seeing my bigs exploring on their own.
- Easy equipment. I have a 2 and 5 year old. So smaller climbing structures are a must at this stage.
- Quiet. We prefer parks a bit less busy and off the beaten trail.
- Somewhere to pee. An outhouse or a tree off to the side. Whatever.
- Some nature.
My Top 4 Parks are:
4. Williams Grant Park
ARRRGH Matey!! This pirate ship park is a hidden little gem near downtown Lee’s Summit. After eating in one of the fabulous places we love to drive through DQ and take our treats to the park. The ice cream is usually melting by the time the kiddos have dashed off to play. A quick run about the pirate ship structure then it’s off to climb the big slide. I am comfortable with the height of this and let them explore without hovering. The 2 structures are separate and the slide is in a big sand area. This is a great area for sand play. The play area sits in a big open field surrounded by a trail. You could easily take turns doing laps if you come with a friend. Lined with trees you would never guess you were located in the middle of such busy areas. The parking lot is small and no public restrooms, but is a great option to get some play in after exploring Downtown Lee’s Summit.
3. WB Howard Station Park
This park is playground free, but always a top choice. This park is located in between some of our favorite downtown spots. Stopping at Whistle Stop for a coffee and treat or grabbing some pizza at Main Slice, then heading over to the park is a great morning or afternoon adventure. Even though there are no playgrounds there is plenty to do here! Waving at the (safely fenced-off) train conductors speeding down the tracks, making wishes in the fountain, chalking up the sidewalks, searching for decorated rocks, and visiting the Christmas tree are our favorite activities in this park. It’s also an amazing Pokestop if that’s your thing! Restrooms available in the mentioned businesses that you have visited. Although this isn’t as outdoorsy as I prefer, being in the heart of historic Downtown Lee’s Summit makes up for it with its charm and beauty.
2. Harris Park (by the community center)
This park has a much more popular choice. Don’t get me wrong we LOVE the “castle park” but sticking to our above criteria the playground by the building is pretty amazing too. It is partially fenced in so some containment occurs. There are some trees and benches to set up camp at, as well as a cemented area under the building’s awning if you need shade. The playground offers enough sense of adventure for your daring kids, but easy enough for your littles. I’d like to think of this as Lea McKeighan’s little sibling! Not quite zip lines, but lots to explore. Since this park is right by one of the more busy playgrounds, a community center and Summit Waves, it typically isn’t very busy either! Again the nature and restroom situation is a bit on the lower scoring side but this is a fun place to let them (safely) climb.
1. The best park in Lee’s Summit is Pleasant Lea.
This park is magical. The quiet, little playground is perfect. I love laying out a blanket and letting the kids just play. The tennis court is a fun place to run and play ball. There is also the “echos” attraction (racquetball court) that is great for exploring loud sounds! But what makes this the best park in Lee’s Summit is what is tucked away behind the playground. The amazing walking trail circles around one of my favorite places! The Meadow! This hidden field is the best place to escape it all without having to leave town. The trail has been home to photo shoots, fairy tracking, gorilla sightings, and firefly chasing. It’s the perfect place to stroll. The paved trail is thickly lined with gorgeous trees and foliage. Sneak into the center to discover the meadow. Its best in the late morning, with a mug of coffee, a blanket, a group of friends. It turns into a dreamland at dusk when it’s fireflies come out to play. This open area has become a very special place to many citizens! You cannot go wrong with a visit to Pleasant Lea!
Come to Lee’s Summit and visit the amazing parks. Find your favorite. Tour them all. They are all amazing, and there is a park for everyone