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.


National Train Day – Frank Vaydik Park (May 18)

Celebrate National Train Day on Saturday, May 18 with the KC Northern Railroad. The event includes free train rides from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., music, crafts, face painting, Imagination Playground and other train-loving kid fun.

Troost Festival (May 18)

The Troost Festival, held this year on May 19, is dedicated to celebrating the diversity of the Troost community and celebrating unity in diversity. This year’s celebration includes children’s activities, music, dance and vendors.

Celebration at the Station (May 26)

The Kansas City Symphony’s 17th annual patriotic concert event is the largest FREE Memorial Day weekend festival in the Midwest! Bring your blankets and lawn chairs (grounds open at 3 p.m.) and enjoy a patriotic Symphony concert, food trucks, activities inside Union Station, the family zone and more all culminating in a grand fireworks display.

Prairie Village Art Show (May 31-June 2)

We like this art fair because it feels more manageable than other options for families with young children. Held at the Village Shops, activities for kids are plentiful. Plan to attend the Pancake Breakfast with the Artists from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 2. Chris Cakes will be serving up all you can eat pancakes for $5 at the Clock Tower.


Enchanted Faire at Overland Park Arboretum (June 1)

Gnomes, Fairies, Goblins, and Sprites will be frolicking in the grove. Join them in your best-enchanted costume. Enjoy treats, entertainment, photo ops and merriment for the whole family at the Enchanted Fair. Entertainment included with admission, fees for treats and extras, cash only.

Junebug Ball at Deanna Rose Farmstead (June 4)

Create a cute as a bug outfit or wear your favorite princess costume and help us celebrate the benefits of bugs and other garden friends. Enjoy these assorted craft activities and games which will keep you buzzing while learning about the wonderful world of insects. Don’t miss these Hidden Gems at Deanna Rose, secrets you might not know even as a regular.

Old Shawnee Days (June 6-9)

Each year Old Shawnee Days marks the start of summer for thousands of families who enjoy this amazing weekend-long Midwest celebration. With yearly attendance of nearly 100,000 people, there’s something everyone in the family can enjoy, and with free admission to all concerts and events this is one weekend you don’t want to miss!

Dragon Boat Festival – Brush Creek (June 8)

The annual International Dragon Boat Festival held on Saturday, June 8 form 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. includes races, both amateur and professional along the Plaza’s Brush Creek.

Lost Arts Day (June 8)

Explore the trades and arts that have been lost to time at Missouri Town 1855 in Lee’s Summit. Observe blacksmithing, wood carving, tinsmithing, crocheting, knitting, hand sewing and much more from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Regular admission required: $7 adults; $4 Youth & Seniors; Under 5 Free.

Boulevardia (June 14-15) 

Beer, food, music… and..well, beer. BUT! It’s a family friendly festival in the West Bottoms complete with kid’s activities. We’ve taken the kids including babies and toddlers, and even had fun.

Maker Faire (June 22-23)

Maker Faire Kansas City celebrates things people create themselves — from new technology and electronic gizmos to urban farming and “slow-made” foods to homemade clothes, quilts and sculptures. This family-friendly event demonstrates what and how people are inventing, making and creating. It brings together Makers, Crafters, Inventors, Hackers, Scientists and Artists for a faire full of fun and inspiration. Come see what others are making and be inspired to tap into your own creativity!

Maker Faire Kansas City is hosted by Union Station Kansas City.

Meet Daniel Tiger and Katerina Kittycat (June 29)Daniel Tiger at Paradise Park

Daniel Tiger AND Katerina Kittykat are coming to the Paradise Park neighborhood from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.! Don’t miss this chance to meet TWO of our favorite characters from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Enjoy a day of fun at Paradise Park after you meet Daniel and Katerina. For an extra level of fun, get tickets to the VIP Breakfast (seating limited), which includes mini-adventure time, a kid friendly breakfast buffet, first in line to meet Daniel and Katerina and all-day admission to Discovery Play and the Foam Factory!


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!

The Teddy Bear Picnic (July 12)

Celebrate National Teddy Bear Picnic Day at a party with KC Parks at the Westport-Roanoke Community Center! Pack a picnic, bring a blanket, and grab your favorite teddy bear (s) for an afternoon of fun in the park with music, games, crafts and more beginning at 11 a.m. Highlights include best dressed teddy bear contest, cotton candy, imagination playground, face painting, balloon arts and commemorative photo. Free admission.

Grand Carnivale at Worlds of Fun – New! (July 13 – August 4)

Experience Worlds of Fun like you never have before when myth and magic join together to create the all-new Grand Carnivale. Join us every day of the festival at 5 p.m. to celebrate the sights, sounds, smells and tastes from cultures around the world including India, China, Italy, France and Germany. Indeed, the Grand Carnivale has something for everyone – from crafts and games, to delectable food and drink, to live music and astounding entertainment. Take part in our Spectacle of Color interactive light parade, complete with dazzling floats, authentic music and mesmerizing street performers. And finally, top off the night at the Carnivale Street Party, a magnificent party filled with international music and merrymaking until the park closes.

Kansas City’s Big Picnic (July 21)

It’s time for KC’s biggest picnic at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art! Enjoy art activities, live music, food trucks, and games throughout the Big Picnic from 4 – 8 p.m.. Discover more than 30 sculptures and celebrate #WhereKCPlays during National Parks and Recreation month.Rain or shine; no grills, no stakes, no tenting.

Truck and Car Show – Ag Hall of Fame (July 27)

For the vehicle enthusiasts, check out all the Ag Hall of Fame has to offer on July 27. Living history demonstrations and train rides, too. 

Festival of the Butterflies – Powell Gardens (July 27-August 11)

Another one of the best! See hundreds of colorful butterflies in the indoor conservatory July 27 – August 11. Children’s activities include a caterpillar hunt, catch-and-release, costume parade, crafts, storytelling and a petting zoo.


Ethnic Enrichment Festival – Swope Park (August 16-18)

One of the best local festivals of the year! This event features more than 60 different cultures along with native food, crafts and performances. Held August 16-18 in Swope Park.

Parkville Days  (August 23-25)

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 is mama to 9-year-old, Henry, 6-year-old Clark and 4-year-old Lucy. After growing 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 before migrating to Johnson County. Sarah has her master’s in urban administration and is currently in the Kansas City Centurions program. In between the crazy, she likes to drink coffee, run, travel (but never to the same place twice), and experience all things Kansas City!