Public Beaches in Kansas City

family enjoying beach

Kansas City is a long day’s drive away from an ocean beach but that doesn’t mean you can’t have your fun in the sand and water close to home. Check out these beaches in Kansas City on both the Kansas and Missouri sides!

Kansas Beaches

Shawnee Mission Park Beach

Shawnee Mission Park Beach was named the best beach in Kansas by Money Magazine! The beach features a swim area, beach house, lifeguards, sand volleyball court, concession area and restrooms. Daily fees apply and range from $4-$8. The beach is open though early August. Hours are noon – 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, noon – 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and noon – 6 p.m. on weekends. Guests may bring beach chairs and umbrellas. Learn more. 

Bloomington Beach – Clinton Lake

This Lawrence beach managed by the U.S Army Core of Engineers is open May 1 through Sept. 30. It features a change house with restrooms, outdoor shower, playground, picnic shelters, and vollyball courts. There is a $5/vehicle fee or a $2 walk-in fee for those 16 and older and are paid at the park entrance or a self-pay station by the beach. No alcohol or pets are allowed. Learn more.

Kill Creek Beach

Kill Creek Park Beach is surrounded by a 897-acre park in Western Johnson County. The beach is open June 2 – August 7, Thursdays and Fridays noon – 3 p.m. Daily rates apply. Concessions are available but you may bring in your own food. Lifeguards will be on site. No alcohol or pets allowed. Learn more.

Lake Olathe BeachLake Olathe entrance

This area is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day and has lots of fun family activities available other than just swimming. After you pay admission for the swim beach (see rates here) you can rent pedal boats, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, and canoes at the marina for $5 per half hour. The aqua park is another unique feature for families to enjoy. It’s basically a huge floating obstacle course with slides, swings, a blob, and other fun activities. Lifeguards are situated on the aqua park to make sure everyone plays safely. The aqua park is only open on Fridays-Sundays and it costs an extra $10/hour. Kids do need to be 48 inches or taller to participate. At the beach, you’ll find changing rooms, lockers (bring your own lock), showers to rinse off sand, and a fun sandy beach and swim area for your family to enjoy. Check out a full guide to the Lake Olathe Park features.

Missouri Beaches

Blue Springs Beach

The beach offers certified lifeguards, sand volleyball, showers and restrooms. You may bring your own chairs and umbrellas. Daily admission fee applies. Directions: Take 291 Highway to Bowlin Road (Lakewood Drive), go east 1 mile, turn left. Learn more.

Fugitive Beach (Rolla)

Fugitive Beach features towering bluffs, multiple slides, a volleyball court, bar, cliff jumps and bright, bright blue water — all in Rolla, Missouri. The venue includes three club jumps (10, 15 and 20 feet), a 60-inch water slide, small kids slide, designated calm kids are with shallow water. Out of the water, play game of sand volleyball, corn hole, ginormous Connect 4, and other free family games.

Lifejackets are required for kids 10 and younger when in the water at all times. Everyone is required to wear a lifejacket to do the cliff jumps and water slides. Lifejackets can be brought in or rented for $6/day. No alcohol may be brought in but food and drinks are available at the Fugitive Beach Bar and Grill.

The season begins late May and is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. thru August 14. Open August 20/21, August 27/28, and September 3-5, 10 am. – 6 p.m. Admission is purchased at the gate, $15 for 11 years and old, $12 for kids 10 and younger and free for kids 2 and under. Learn more.

Longview Lake Beach

Longview Lake Beach is host to many special events including the popular “Sand Cinema” family movie series. The beach offers certified lifeguards, a covered picnic shelter, sand volleyball, showers and restrooms. Daily admission rate applies. Directions: Take I-470 to Raytown Road and turn south, go approximately 2 miles, turn left. Learn more.

Smithville Lake Beach

Just 20 miles north of Downtown KC, Smithville Lake has two public swim beaches to relax on this summer, open May 1 thru September 15. The beach facilities at Smithville Lake have showers, changing rooms and restrooms. No pets or alcohol are allowed.

Camp Branch Beach: located in Camp Branch Park on the east side of the lake. You’ll find it across the parking lot from the Camp Branch Marina and Boat Launch.

Little Platte Beach: located in Little Platte Park on the west side of the lake. Access from 180th street or the Little Platte Trail.

The beaches are open 8:30 a.m. to sunset. Learn more.

Sarah grew up in Manhattan, Kansas (Go Cats!), she moved to Minnesota where she met her husband, Shea. Realizing how much she hated snow in May, she convinced him to move to Kansas City in 2010. Together they have lived in Midtown, Waldo, the Plaza, and now Overland Park. Sarah is mom to 10-year-old, Henry, 7-year-old Clark and 5-year-old Lucy. She has her master’s in urban administration and is passionate about making Kansas City a more equitable and supportive community. In between the crazy, she likes to drink coffee, run, hike, travel as much as possible, and experience all things Kansas City!

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