Summer Fun: Our annual guide to some of the best music, art, theater and events in Kansas City

What to do this summer? Our annual Summer Fun guide highlights some of the biggest shows and most popular events. Use it to help you plan.


▪ This summer’s music agenda is much like the several summers that have preceded it: Filled with big shows in big venues. Arrowhead features Guns N’Roses and Kenny Chesney. The newly-christened Providence Medical Center Amphitheatre hosts Keith Urban, Dave Matthews and Modest Mouse. And the Dixie Chicks, Paul Simon and the Cure all return to KC. The Star’s music writer, Timothy Finn, spotlights some big shows here.

Visual art

▪  A blockbuster show of provocative, sumptuous paintings by 20th-century American Indian painter Fritz Scholder at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and a trove of unearthed domestic luxury goods from the Roman Empire at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art are among the summer’s top visual art offerings. More from The Star’s Cindy Hoedel here.


▪ The summer theater season welcomes Tony Award-winning musicals with show-stopping, melody-rich numbers about murder, mental illness and moving on. But towering over them all, 400 years after his death, is the master of drama, William Shakespeare. A rundown of the best summer theater from The Star’s correspondent Libby Hanssen here.

Classical music

▪ Over the years, Kansas City has increased its summertime options for classical music lovers. The Kansas City Symphony has extended its season into June, and newer festivals are joining stalwarts Summerfest and Summer Music at the Cathedrals. The Star’s classical music correspondent Patrick Neas highlights the summer season here.

Events, etc.

▪ Festivals and other events abound this summer, from the annual Boulevardia fest to Union Station’s Maker Faire Kansas City. The Star’s Dan Kelly highlights some can’t miss events here.