Summer events | KC staples, from Worlds of Fun to City Market

Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun What:

The Cosmic Coaster is new this year at Worlds of Fun, and the water park next door, Oceans of Fun, offers attractions ranging from water slides to a wave pool.


Hours vary by date and month. Go to


for details.


4545 Worlds of Fun Ave.



City Market What:

People flood the City Market on weekend mornings, when vendors hawk all kinds of fresh produce in a lively farmers market environment.




6 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday


Fifth and Walnut streets



Kansas City Zoo What:

The zoo, open year-round, features attractions ranging from an African Sky Safari to the recently opened KidZone. Resident celebrity Nikita, a polar bear, is always a favorite, and new animals include a pair of spotted giraffe calves and a black rhino calf.




9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends


6800 Zoo Drive inside Swope Park


$11.50-$8.50 ($5-$4 for residents of Jackson and Clay counties)

Powell Gardens What:

Among the lavish attractions of the 915-acre gardens are the 12-acre Heartland Harvest Garden and the Island Garden. Group tours are available, and the popular Festival of Butterflies is slated for Aug. 3-5 and Aug. 10-12.

powellgardens.org When:

9 a.m.-6 p.m.


1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville, Mo.



Schlitterbahn Vacation Village What:

Kansas’ answer to Oceans of Fun, the new-ish water park features numerous water slides, pools and water coasters.

schlitterbahn.com When:

Hours vary by day and month. Opens Saturday.


9400 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.



The Jones pool What:

A 20,000-square-foot rooftop space is devoted to an ultra-pool atmosphere with drinks at a swim-up bar and music from a host of national DJs. The venue is also available for private parties during the week.

thejoneskc.com When:

Noon-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-8 p.m. Sunday. Opens for the season Saturday.


10 E. 13th St., sixth floor



Crown Center Friday Night Flicks What:

It’s cinema under the stars at this annual Crown Center outdoor movie series. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and snacks and take in a film on a massive screen. This summer’s movie lineup includes “Moneyball” (July 6), “New Moon” (July 13), “Hitch” (July 20) and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (July 27).

crowncenter.com When:

Movies start around 9 p.m.


Crown Center Square



First Fridays What:

The Crossroads Arts District transforms into a haven for art enthusiasts on the first Friday of every month, and summertime is an especially good chance stroll through the area. The Leedy-Voulkus Art Center is a popular destination, and a month-by-month breakdown of shows and exhibits is available in Preview and in Ink magazine.


The first Friday of every month


Crossroads Arts District



Kansas City T-Bones What:

Kansas City’s other professional baseball squad kicked off its season earlier this month.

tbonesbaseball.com When:

Games run through September.


CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.



Boulevard Drive In Theatre What:

The drive-in theater has been around since 1950 and offers new movies on a 50-by-100-foot screen.


Movie times vary.


1051 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, Kan.



Events and festivals June 1:

Jazzoo at the Kansas City Zoo. It’s “Cocktails, Coattails and Cat Tails for a Cause” at the zoo’s annual summer fundraiser. Twelve full and specialty bars will be set up throughout the zoo, and food from more than 60 area restaurants — such as Fogo de Chao and Urban Table — will be available, as well. Live music will be featured on three stages. Individual tickets are $175 (VIP tickets, which provide early admittance, are $375), and group ticket packages are available at



June 1-3:

Prairie Village Art Fair.

June 22-23:

Big Slick Poker Tournament.

Kansas City’s Kings of Comedy — Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis — return to their hometown once again to host the Big Slick Celebrity Poker Tournament and Party. And if last year is any indication, there will be no lack of star power on hand. Jon Hamm of “Mad Men” made an appearance in 2011, and Will Ferrell has been a guest, too. The weekend begins with a celebrity Wiffle Ball tournament at Kauffman Stadium on June 22, and the following day is the poker tournament (10:30 a.m. at Harrah’s North Kansas City) and the celebrity party and auction (8:15 p.m. at the Midland). The event benefits Children’s Mercy Hospitals Clinics.



June 22-28:

Kansas City Gay Lesbian Film Festival at Tivoli Cinemas.

July 4:

KC Riverfest at Richard L. Berkley Park. Celebrate America’s birth along the Missouri River. The annual event runs from 1 to 11 p.m. and features live music, food and games and a 10:05 p.m. fireworks show. Country music’s Dustin Lynch will perform at 6:15 p.m., and the USAF Band of Mid-America takes the stage at 8:15. There’s plenty of state fair-esque food on site (hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue), as well as beer and soda. Parking is $10, but there’s also a shuttle from downtown. Tickets are $4-$5.



July 14:

Back in the Swing Cookbook Party featuring Sheryl Crow at Johnson County Community College’s Carlsen Center.

July 19-29:

KC Fringe Festival.

Kansas City’s arts scene will be in full bloom during the 11-day festival at a number of area venues.

Books May 30:

Author Dorothy Wickenden discusses “Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West” at Unity Temple on the Plaza

May 31:

Frank Deford discusses “Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter” at Unity Temple on the Plaza. Few sportswriters can claim the kind of career longevity Deford has had. The decorated veteran began working for Sports Illustrated in the 1960s and in addition to currently contributing to the magazine, serves as a commentator for NPR and a correspondent on the HBO show “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.” He recently completed a memoir that includes a behind-the-scenes view of the NBA’s earliest years. He’ll speak at 7 p.m. Admission packages are $25 and include a copy of the book and two tickets.



June 10:

A Conversation with Food Network’s Rachael Ray at Unity Temple on the Plaza.

Just in time for grilling season, the Food Network megastar rolls into town to discuss her new book, “The Book of Burger.” The best-selling author and 2011 People’s Choice Award winner for favorite TV chef stocks her newest book with more than 200 burger-related recipes. She’ll discuss the book — and the pleasures of food — at a 4:30 p.m. talk The $24.99 admission package includes a copy of the book and one event ticket. Go to


for more information.

Sports May 27:

Sporting KC vs. San Jose Earthquake at Livestrong Sporting Park.

With the Royals ranking again among Major League Baseball’s worst teams, Sporting KC has picked up the slack to provide the city its best hope for a 2012 championship. This matchup with Western Conference power San Jose could be a preview of this year’s MLS championship match. The game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., and tickets range from $20 to $67 at



June 1-3:

Kansas City Wide Open Professional Disc Golf Tournament at multiple venues.

June 2:

Hospital Hill Run.

Veterans of the race are quick to assure you that the race’s up-and-down course is no joke. The event marks its 39th year in Kansas City. Runner’s World magazine tabbed it one of America’s top races, and a number of former Olympians (including Frank Shorter, Billy Mills and Jim Ryun) are among its alumni. There are half-marathon, 10K and 5K options, with all races beginning and ending at Crown Center. Registration is $35-$60 through May 29 before jumping during race weekend. Go to


for more information.

June 10:

Heartland Heat Triathlon.

June 16:

Kevin Gray Father’s Day Run 5K at CommunityAmerica Ballpark, Kansas Speedway, Livestrong Sporting Park.

June 22-24:

KC Royals vs. St. Louis Cardinals at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals might be well on their way to another forgetable season, but that doesn’t make the teams’ rivalry any less notable. The Albert Pujols-less Cardinals have followed last season’s World Series title with an equally impressive start this spring, and they boast one of baseball’s top lineups, led by former Royal Carlos Beltran. Single-game tickets start at $15 at



June 23:

KC Command vs. Chicago Rush at Sprint Center.

June 25-27:

KC Royals vs. Tampa Bay Rays at Kauffman Stadium.

June 29:

Sporting KC vs. Chicago at Livestrong Sporting Park.

July 1:

Mass Street Mile at downtown Lawrence.

July 6-10:

MLB All-Star Weekend at Kauffman Stadium. A weekend that includes a number of festivities throughout the Kansas City area. Autograph opportunities abound at MLB All-Star Fan Fest, which runs July 6-10 at Bartle Hall. The All-Star Game Charity 5K Fun Run begins at 7:30 a.m. July 8, followed later in the day by the All-Star Futures Game and the All-Star Legends Celebrity Softball Game. The Homerun Derby is slated for July 9, and the All-Star Game is July 10 at Kauffman Stadium. Go to


for a schedule of events.

Compiled by Dugan Arnett, The Kansas City Star
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