Guide to the Best Parks in Kansas City

Guide to the Best Parks in Kansas City

With hundreds of parks to choose from in the Kansas City metro, it can be hard to know where to start! Here’s our guide to the best parks in Kansas City, with details to help you pick which ones will be the best fit for your kids. We broke it down by region and included information about age appropriateness of the equipment, the best features each park has to offer, and maybe the most important detail: is there a bathroom?

Disclaimer: This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the parks in Kansas City. However, these are the top parks that have been given the KCMB stamp of approval. If we left a park off the list that you think is one of the best, please share the details in the comments section!

Blue Springs/Independence, MO:

  • Rotary Park600 NW Vesper St, Blue Springs, MO
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: Great playground, free splash pad, beautiful nature trail and a small lake
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
  • McCoy Park: 800 N Bess Truman Pkwy, Independence, MO
    • Best for Ages: Toddler, preschool, and early elementary
    • Best Features: Phase I of their inclusive playground opened last year, great for kids ages 2-5. Playground for older kids is still in place but will be replaced by the second phase of the inclusive playground once funding has been raised. Free spray ground in the summer. Area to play horseshoes.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
  • Waterfall Park: 4501 S Bass Pro Dr, Independence, MO
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: Well-shaded modern playground, trails, lots of wildlife (geese, ducks, turtles), fishing
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms

Grandview, MO:

  • John Anderson Park: 4701 E 135th St, Grandview, MO
    • Best for Ages: Toddler, preschool, and early elementary
    • Best Features: Fun playground with features for kids of all ages and a free splash pad in the summer! Covered picnic tables.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
  • Mapleview Park: 12511 Winchester St, Grandview, MO
    • Best for Ages: Preschool and early elementary
    • Best Features: Light and sound game, well shaded, fun playground
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
  • Meadowmere Park: 13610 Byars Rd, Grandview, MO
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    Valley Park in Grandview, MO

    • Best for Ages: Toddler, preschool and early elementary
    • Best Features: Lots of fun climbing features, sand pit, tall grass maze, across the street from the skate park
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
  • Valley Park4000 E 123rd Terr, Grandview, MO
    • Best for Ages: All ages, but especially great for older elementary kids
    • Best Features: Massive climbing structures, 55 ft long tube slide, large disc swing, zip line, music play area
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms

Johnson County, KS:

  • Antioch Park: 6501 Antioch Rd, Merriam, KS
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: 3 separate playgrounds, including Dodge Town, a mini town for kids. There is also a pond with a nice walking path around it. You can fish and observe lots of wildlife.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
  • Blackhoof Park: 9053 Monticello Rd, Lenexa, KS
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: 3 separate playgrounds suited for different ages/stages and a sandbox (bring your own toys). A shaded nature playground including a small creek. Lots of paved trails good for walking/biking.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
  • Franklin Park: 8706 Roe Ave, Prairie Village, KS
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: SHADE! There is a nature playground with a stream (turned on in the summer), tire swing, multiple playground structures. This playground has a large sandbox that is full of toys to play with so you don’t need to bring your own!
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
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      Little Mill Creek Park in Lenexa, KS

  • Gezer Park: 13251 Mission Rd, Leawood, KS
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: A sandbox with diggers (bring your own toys), shaded play structure with tall slides, man-made stream to play in that is turned on year-round. They also have a teeter-totter (hard to find these days!) and plenty of swings.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
  • Little Mill Creek Park North: 79th and Cottonwood, Lenexa, KS
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: A zip line, tall slides, modern merry-go-round, swings, small play structure for toddlers, and a disc swing. The covered pavilion in the center of the playground gives you a great view of all parts of the park. Sidewalks winding through park are good for kids that want to bring a bike/scooter.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms

Kansas City, KS:

  • Wyandotte County Lake Park: 9100 Leavenworth Rd, Kansas City, KS
    • Best for Ages: Preschool and early elementary
    • Best Features: Huge park with lots of trails to explore, wildlife, and of course the lake. Playground is not the newest but it is the biggest in Wyandotte County. You’ll find old school playground equipment like metal slides and a merry-go-round as well as newer plastic equipment.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms

Lee’s Summit, MO:

  • Harris Memorial Park: 601 SW Jefferson, Lees Summit, MO
    • Best for Ages: Toddler, preschool, and early elementary
    • Best Features: Walking trail, well shaded, great play structure with climbing features and a castle play area. Next to Summit Waves.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
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      Lea McKeighan Park in Lees Summit, MO

  • Lea McKeighan Park: 125 NE Chipman Rd, Lees Summit, MO
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: Climbing structures great for big kids, zip line, sand area, walking trail, across street from skate park. Beautiful/clean park.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
  • Lowenstein Park: 1901 NW Lowenstein Dr, Lees Summit, MO
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: Well shaded, children’s butterfly garden, walking track, playground structures for small and big kids
    • Bathrooms: No bathrooms

Midtown/Plaza (KCMO):

  • Gillham Park: On Gillham Rd between 39th St and Brush Creek Blvd, KCMO
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: Nice walking trail. Large playground and a nearby wading pool and fountain.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
  • Loose Park: 5200 Wornall Rd, KCMO
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: Large playground with swings, climbing areas, and a large sand box. In the park you’ll also find a duck pond, rose garden, walking trails, tennis courts, and a free spray ground in the summer.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
  • Roanoke Park/Karnes Playground: 3601 Roanoke Rd, KCMO
    • Best for Ages: new playground best for elementary aged kids, phase II will bring features for smaller kids
    • Best Features: New Karnes playground features huge climbing structures, metal slides built into a hill, zip line. Lots of walking trails throughout the park.
    • Bathrooms: No bathrooms
  • Sheila Kemper Dietrich Park: 2601 Gillham Rd, KCMO
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: Pirate ship and dragon to play on. Park is ADA accessible.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms

Northland:

  • Dagg Park: 701 E 21st Ave, North Kansas City, MO
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: Brand new playground in 2016! Two splash pads, one for small children and another for bigger kids.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
  • English Landing Park: 8701 Clark Ave, Parkville, MO
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    Dagg Park in North Kansas City

    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: Scenic 3 mile walking trail along the Missouri River. Train tracks run along the north side of the park so it’s a great spot for kids that love trains! Two playgrounds, suitable for kids of different ages and abilities.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms
  • Fred and Shirley Pryor YMCA Challenger Sports Complex: 2100 NW 87th Terr, Kansas City, MO
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: Park has ramps and accessible equipment. Play pods specifically designed for children on the autism spectrum. Unique aero glider equipment. Smooth rubber ground covering.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms (fully accessible, of course!)
  • Penguin Park: Intersection of NE Vivion Rd and N Norton Ave, KCMO
    • Best for Ages: All ages
    • Best Features: Giant fiberglass animals, including a gigantic penguin (of course). You’ll also find a giraffe, kangaroo, and an elephant as well as other zoo animals. Young kids will love the fire truck and school truck that they can pretend to drive. There is an old school merry-go-round, lots of slides, swings, and other fun equipment for kids of various ages. Great article about the history of the park here.
    • Bathrooms: Indoor bathrooms

New:

  • Roe Park: 10400 Roe Ave, Overland Park, KS
    • Renovated park (opened June 2016) features new playground equipment, a nature play area, and Johnson County’s first splash pad!
  • Variety KC Playgrounds
    • Northland: 9400 N Congress Ave, KCMO. This is a unique playground that is inclusive for kids of all abilities. Features a huge pirate ship, swings, and other ocean-themed play equipment.
    • Leawood: This recently opened park includes a number of sensory rich features that provide stimulation for children of all abilities.
    • Olathe: College Blvd Activity Center. This inclusive playground will be built once fundraising is complete.
    • Independence: The first phase of the inclusive playground at McCoy Park has already been completed. Fundraising is ongoing for phase 2.

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4 Responses to Guide to the Best Parks in Kansas City

  1. Marlina June 9, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    This is a great guide – thanks!

  2. Krystal Kester June 13, 2016 at 5:55 pm #

    We are coming to Kansas City for vacation next week and are looking for parks to take our girls to. They are 2.5 and 1. Our hotel is on Liberty so we would like to stay within 30 minutes or so from our hotel. Do you have any recommendations? Thanks

    • Tonya
      Tonya June 13, 2016 at 10:07 pm #

      Krystal, there are several great options within 30 minutes of Liberty! Consider the Fred and Shirley Pryor YMCA Challenger Sports Complex (mentioned in this guide) or Stocksdale Park in Liberty. Penguin Park (also mentioned in this guide) has a nice toddler playground for kids your age! Enjoy your visit. 🙂

      • Krystal Kester June 14, 2016 at 4:13 pm #

        Thank you so much for tech recommendations.