Kansas City, Missouri is home to numerous different park for friends and family to spend a day out in the sun. Ponds and lakes, open grassy fields, and lush gardens make several of these park some of the most beautiful in the country. There are also many hiking trails and paths throughout the city just waiting to be explored.
1.Anita B. Gorman Park
The Anita B. Gorman Park is named by the Missouri Department of Conservation after philanthropist Anita B. Gorman in commemoration of her support with the state’s conservation programs. The historic park in Kansas City features a number of artistic exhibitions, such as the grand display of the Clay County Veterans Memorial and the Bridge of Friendship Statue. The bronze eagle sculpture in the park and the surrounding stone stadium have become an iconic landmark of the city. Anita B. Gorman Park is a sprawling green meadow measuring approximately forty-five acres with fields and stately trees.
N Holmes St at NE Vivion Rd, Kansas City, MO 64116, Phone: 816-513-7500
Antioch Park is the most popular and oldest park in the Johnson County Park and Recreation District. The park consists of forty-four acres and boasts an array of amenities for visitors, including charcoal grills, paved parking, a playground, restrooms, a basketball court, picnic shelters, tennis courts, walking paths, and two ponds for catch-and-release fishing. The South Pond has walking stones and water fountains, while the North Pond is a more wetlands environment. Dodge Town is a play area for children that includes a schoolhouse, general store, faux cows and horses, a train station, shaded seating, and more.
6501 Antioch Rd, Merriam, KS 66202, Phone: 913-831-3355
© Christopher Boswell/stock.adobe.com
The Berkley Riverfront in Kansas City is located along the Missouri River, continuing the historic relationship between the city and the vital natural resource. The riverfront area provides a scenic oasis with the urban city landscape, a spot for relaxation, entertainment, activity, and community. The park at the Berkley Riverfront includes period lighting, a walking trail two miles in length, scenic landscapes, picnic tables, bike racks and lockers, and parking. The Riverfront Heritage Trail, a fifteen-mile pedestrian and bicycle path that traverses the city’s urban core, can be found here as well, with art installations along the way.
1298 E Riverfront Dr, Kansas City, MO 64105, Phone: 816-559-3750
4.Bloch Cancer Survivors Park
© Bloch Cancer Survivors Park
The Bloch Cancer Survivors Park in Kansas City is one of the twenty-four Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Survivor Parks located throughout the country, as well as in Canada. Each park has a similar theme but a different design. The park includes a positive mental attitude walk featuring fourteen bronze plaques with ten instructional messages and four inspirational messages. There are also eight bronze life-size figures that are shown passing through a maze, which represents cancer treatment, and then the “Road to Recovery,” which is made up of seven plaques about cancer and actions to overcome it.
W 48th St & Roanoke KCMO, Kansas City, MO 64112, Phone: 816-513-7500
5.Blue Valley Park
The Blue Valley Park originally began in 1943 as the city’s Bales Lake Park project and became the Blue Valley Park in the year 1945. The city park now includes a public frisbee golf course, a ballfield, a playground, and picnic areas. There is also a concession stand that provides snacks and is named in honor of Donna and Larry Van Dyke, who founded the Optimist Athletic Association promoting youth baseball at the park. Children particularly love the water playground in the Blue Valley Park, offering splashground for kids to play in during warm weather.
East 23rd St & Topping Ave, Kansas City, MO
Case Park, located adjacent to the city’s West Terrace Park, is a somewhat small city park named after Ermine Case. The land for the park was donated to the City of Kansas City by George B. Case in 1944 with the condition that the park be named after his father. The main highlight of Case Park is the Lewis and Clark Lookout, which features a statue and a marker that commemorate the night the Voyage of Discovery spend in Kansas City on September 15th of 1806. This sculpture depicts Clark, Lewis Sacagawea, York, and Lewis’ dog, Seaman
803 Jefferson St, Kansas City, MO 64105, Phone: 816-513-7500
7.Happy Rock Park
© Kirill Gorlov/stock.adobe.com
Happy Rock is a large, rather unassuming public park encompassing nearly eighty acres and is considered to be the pride of Missouri’s Gladstone Parks System. Surrounded by neighborhoods, the Happy Rock Park is a diverse park with plenty to offer, including a 1.3 trail circling the park, walking trails drinking fountains, restrooms, picnic areas, parking with chargers for electric cars, three playgrounds for children, a basketball court, four tennis courts with lights, four soccer fields, and five lighted ball fields. The park contains two running trails, one of which doubles as a bike trail as well.
7600 NE Antioch Rd, Gladstone, MO 64119, Phone: 816-436-2200
8.Harry S. Truman National Historic Site
© NPS Photo
The Harry S. Truman National Historic Site offers visitors with a chance to experience the place that President Harry Truman called home. Along with a guided tour of the Truman Home or a quiet walk through the grounds, guests can also explore the family farm just a little ways away or Truman’s hometown, just outside of Kansas City in Independence, Missouri. There are several activities for visitors to enjoy at the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site. Guided tours are available for a small fee and are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is also a film in the visitor center.
223 North Main St, Independence, MO 64050, Phone: 816-254-2720
9.Hidden Valley Park
The land for the Hidden Valley Park in Kansas City was donated during the 1950’s, Supposedly, the “Hidden Valley” name was selected for the park due to the lands deep, but hidden ravines within the “Natural Area between Russell Road and the M-210 Highway. The park spans across close to two hundred acres, one-third of which is the mowed “North Area” and the rest being the “Natural Area.” Hidden Valley Park now includes lighted and paved walking trails, rain gardens, a state-of-the-art playground, and a nine-hole disc golf course. A shelter house can be reserved with grills and picnic tables.
4029 Bellaire Ave, Kansas City, MO 64117, Phone: 530-547-2060
10.Ilus W. Davis Park
The Ilus W. Davis Park features a shallow, yet large reflecting pool and a fountain that flows into the reflecting pool, shrubs, flower beds, and over three hundred and fifty trees, including ginkgoes, large red oaks, and flowering crab. Four granite pillars in the park act as memorials to employees of Kansas City who have given their lives while on duty, primarily police officers and firefighters. The “First Amendment Podium” provides a speaker’s corner and there is a Bill of Rights monument in the Ilus W. Davis Park’s northeast corner. The park is named after the city’s mayor during the 1960’s.
1000 Locust St, Kansas City, MO 64106
© Kessler Park
Situated within Kansas City’s Northeast Neighborhood, Kessler Park encompasses approximately three hundred acres and offers outdoor activities and lush vegetation. There is are four memorials in the park, along with a disc golf course, sculptures, and a colonnade. Next to the park is a concrete reservoir that has been abandoned ever since the year 1931. While the reservoir is weedy, the Kessler Park itself is home to more stately plant life, including the state of Missouri’s largest living tree, an eastern cottonwood tree located near Lookout Point. The Kessler Park Trail provides opportunities for mountain biking in the area.
Chestnut Trafficway, Kansas City, MO 64123, Phone: 816-777-6430
© Tommy Brison/stock.adobe.com
Longview Lake is a freshwater reservoir about 930 acres in size and covers parts of Grandview, Lee’s Summit, and Kansas City in Jackson County. The lake is part of the Little Blue River Project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for wildlife conservation, recreation, and flood control. An array of water recreation activities is possible in Longview Lake, such as boating, fishing, and swimming. There is a full-service marina offering slip rentals, fishing supplies, fuel, and concessions. Longview Lake Park offers a variety of activities on land, including biking, hiking, picnicking, equestrian activities, softball, golf, and camping.
10698 E 109th St, Kansas City, MO 64134, Phone: 816-761-6194
Loose Park is Kansas City’s third largest park. This park features a Rose Garden, picnic areas, a water park for children, Civil War markers, a shelter house, and a lake. The 75-acre Loose Park offers a wide variety of outdoor activities for visitors, including paved trails, tennis courts, spraygrounds, a playground with a small rock wall and a sand pit, and fields ideal for ball games, frisbee, and kite fishing. The Rose Garden is often a venue for special events, such as weddings and theater performances. There is also a Japanese Tea Room and Garden.
5200 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64112, Phone: 816-784-5300
14.Oppenstein Brothers Memorial Park
The Oppenstein Brothers Memorial Park is located in the heart of the city in the central business district of Kansas City. The urban park is rather popular with business people on coffee breaks or lunch breaks who work in one of the several surrounding breaks. Some of the notable buildings situated around the Oppenstein Brothers Memorial Park include the 1010 Grand Building, the Town Pavilion, and One Kansas City Place. The park provides a relaxing haven from the bustling activity of the city’s downtown business district and is named after the Oppenstein Brothers, who were owned a Kansas City jewelry business.
12th and Walnut St, Kansas City, MO 64106
15.Penn Valley Park
The Penn Valley Park overlooks the downtown area of Kansas City and is an urban park encompassing a little more than 175 acres. The park was created back in the year 1904 on ground the Santa Fe Trail once passed through. Penn Valley Park consists of a large lake, ball fields, tennis courts, and a fitness trail, along with being a popular venue for several festivals and concerts throughout the summer season. The park also is home to a number of landmarks, such as the official World War I museum of the United States and the Liberty Memorial.
West 28th St & Wyandotte St, Kansas City, MO 64108, Phone: 816-513-7500
Roanoke Park in Kansas City, Missouri is one of the city’s more beautiful parks with limestone outcroppings and wooded hills. The park is on the smaller side compared to some others in the city, running from Valentine Road at the southern border to 35th Street to the north, and from Wyoming Street in the west to the Southwest Trafficway/Summit Street to the east. The name of “Roanoke” for the park comes from the Roanoke Investment Company, the company that purchased land in the area in 1888 for residential development. The park was created to protect property values.
3699 East Roanoke Dr, Kansas City, MO 64111
© Stephan Dinges/stock.adobe.com
Sunnyside Park now sits on land that was once owned by Napoleon Boone, the great-grandson of Daniel Boone. After his and his wife’s deaths, this land was used to create the Sunnyside Riding Academy. The land was used for a few other purposes as well before becoming a park. The Park Department of Kansas City received the land for the park in 1949 and officially named the new city park “Sunnyside Park” in the year 1954. In 1949, eight more acres were added to the park. Sunnyside Park now features a sprayground for children, tennis courts, ball diamonds, and a playground.
8255 Summit St, Kansas City, MO 64114, Phone: 816-513-7500
Swope Park is a gem of the Kansas City Parks system and is a little over 1,800 acres in size. As the city’s largest park, as well as one of the country’s largest municipal parks, Swope is home to some of the best attractions in Kansas City. Hiking trails meander through grassy meadows and woodlands, encompassing a treetop adventure park, fountains, community gardens, golf courses, and soccer fields. In addition to all of this, Swope Park also contains the Kansas City Zoo with over one thousand animals, the Lakeside Nature Center, and the outdoor Starlight Theatre.
6600 Swope Park, Kansas City, MO 64132
19.Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park in Kansas City is situated near the Crown Center and a quaint five-acre spot of land, featuring open grassy spaces, pathways, trees, and a statue depicting George Washington on a horse. The Patriots and Pioneers Memorial Foundation was formed in 1922 to raise fund for a statue of George Washington in the city. Hare and Hare, a landscaping firm, was responsible for the original design of plantings of flowers and trees, as well as the pathway locations. Throughout the year, a number of changes have been made to Washington Square Park, including moving the statue’s location.
100 E Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108
The Waterworks Park project started in 1931 when employees of the city’s water treatment plant used leftover supplies and funds to carve out the park in the Briarcliff area beneath the bluffs. Once completed in 1936, Waterworks Park provided recreational areas, a spring-fed small park for ice skating in the winter months and swimming in the summer months, picnic tables, and benches. This park became popular very quickly with outdoor enthusiasts, picnickers, and spectators watching air races during the summer. Waterworks Park today features a rigorous disc golf course, along with the city’s Remembered Angels Memorial.
2 N Oak Trafficway & Northeast 32nd St, Kansas City, MO 64116, Phone: 816-513-7500
20 Best Kansas City Parks
- Anita B. Gorman Park, Photo: savelov/stock.adobe.com
- Antioch Park, Photo: Scottiebumich/stock.adobe.com
- Berkley Riverfront, Photo: Christopher Boswell/stock.adobe.com
- Bloch Cancer Survivors Park, Photo: Bloch Cancer Survivors Park
- Blue Valley Park, Photo: suwatwongkham/stock.adobe.com
- Case Park, Photo: naka/stock.adobe.com
- Happy Rock Park, Photo: Kirill Gorlov/stock.adobe.com
- Harry S. Truman National Historic Site, Photo: NPS Photo
- Hidden Valley Park, Photo: GCapture/stock.adobe.com
- Ilus W. Davis Park, Photo: alex/stock.adobe.com
- Kessler Park, Photo: Kessler Park
- Longview Lake, Photo: Tommy Brison/stock.adobe.com
- Loose Park, Photo: dlhedberg/stock.adobe.com
- Oppenstein Brothers Memorial Park, Photo: guruXOX/stock.adobe.com
- Penn Valley Park, Photo: CHR1/stock.adobe.com
- Roanoke Park, Photo: F.C.G./stock.adobe.com
- Sunnyside Park, Photo: Stephan Dinges/stock.adobe.com
- Swope Park, Photo: svetlanais/stock.adobe.com
- Washington Square Park, Photo: lalalululala/stock.adobe.com
- Waterworks Park, Photo: ritakam/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com