KC Summer Guide: Favorite Annual Events

Favorite Annual Events, Kansas City Summer Guide

We might be biased, but we’re pretty sure Kansas City has some of the best festivals and family-friendly events, especially in the summer. Mark your calendar for these favorites you can look forward to every year/

Under the Sea Adventure at Crown Center (May 29-Sept. 26)

Under the Sea at the Crown CenterPlunge 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, explore in the submarine, and many more aquatic adventures. It’s fathoms of fun, and it’s totally free! Learn more.


Opening Day of the Miniature Railroad – Frank Vaydik Park (May 1)

Welcome back to the Kansas City Northern Miniature Railroad! The train is open Saturdays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays noon – 6 p.m. Rides are 75 cents. A few changes to expect: There will be two, socially distant lines – one for the riders and one to purchase tickets. Groups will be seated three seats apart. Volunteers will be masked, and riders are encouraged to mask.

Celebration at the Station 

This event has been cancelled for 2021.

Prairie Village Art Show

This event has been cancelled for 2021.


Old Shawnee Days 

This event is cancelled for 2021. Mark your calendar for June 2-5, 2022!

Dragon Boat Festival – Brush Creek

This event has been cancelled for 2021. Mark your calendar for the second Saturday in June for the 2022 festival!

Summer Solstice Party

A Summer Solstice Party will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. June 19 at Meadowbrook Park Clubhouse, Prairie Village. Residents of all ages are invited to celebrate with family you on the Great Lawn. Bring a picnic dinner (dessert available for purchase) and watch the sun go down! RSVP online at JCPRD.com/register.

Make Music Day KC (June 21)

Make Music is a free celebration of music around the world. Launched in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique, it is now held on the same day in more than 1,000 cities in 120 countries. In 2021, Make Music will be happening throughout Kansas City in a safe, city-wide celebration! Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music is open to anyone who wants to take part. Every kind of musician — young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion — pours onto streets, parks, plazas, and porches to share their music with friends, neighbors, and strangers. All of it is free and open to the public.


This event has been cancelled for 2021. Check back for a best party in 2022!

Junebug Ball at Deanna Rose Farmstead (June 24)

Dress up as your favorite bug and help celebrate the benefits of insects, spiders, and other garden friends. There will be assorted crafts, activities, and games to keep you buzzing while learning about the wonderful world of bugs. Don’t miss these Hidden Gems at Deanna Rose, secrets you might not know, even as a regular.

Stems: A Garden Soiree (June 26)

SIP wine. TASTE delicious food from top restaurants and caterers. ENJOY art, music, fireworks, beautiful surroundings, and more. MEET friends at the networking event of the summer – the place to see and be seen. SUPPORT a vision of recreational and cultural enrichment and inspiration for present and future generations at the Overland Park Arboretum.


Fourth of July in Kansas City

Don’t miss our annual guide to 4th of July celebrations across the metro area, with tips for planning ahead with your family in mind. Coming soon!

Grand Carnivale at Worlds of Fun (July 24 – August 8)

Experience how the world kicks up its heels at our day-to-night, larger-than-life cultural celebration. You’ll be transported to AMAZING locales far and wide with authentic entertainment, delicious tastes and sips, lively games, unique crafts and traditions from nations spanning the globe. Take in the extravagant sights and sounds of our nighttime Spectacle of Color Parade, a glittering sensory spectacular of lavish floats, interactive street performers and pulsing rhythms. As the parade concludes, thunderous music builds to a crescendo and the King of Carnivale kicks off a street party filled with entertainers, an interactive dance party, scrumptious eats and so much more. Grand Carnivale is a cultural event with AMAZING fun for everyone!

Georgia’s Chicken Run (July 24)

On your mark…get set…go. Lace-up those shoes for Georgia’s Annual Chicken Fun Run/Walk at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead! Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m., races start at 8 a.m. Girls and boys will run/walk separately in each division except the babies and adults. Each registered runner will receive a race t-shirt, a goodie bag, and a medal to show off the achievement. Trophies will be awarded to the top three in each category. This is a great family summer activity!

Festival of the Butterflies – Powell Gardens (July 22-August 8)

2021 marks the 24th annual Festival of Butterflies at Powell Gardens. Butterflies and moths will fill the conservatory. The Butterfly Meadow and Native Butterfly Habitat will come alive with our favorite native winged pollinators. With a summer vacation feel, the festival will follow our favorite pollinators. Head to the Gardens to see caterpillars, butterflies, and moths and learn about the plants that sustain them. 


Parkville Days  (August 20-22)

One of downtown Parkville’s biggest festivals, the annual Parkville Days offers great family entertainment and fun in historic downtown Parkville. Admission is free and you’ll spend the day enjoying a carnival, arts and crafts, family entertainment, food, live music, beer garden and a great parade! Bring lawn chairs to enjoy a relaxing day at English Landing Park!

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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!