When the sun beats down and walking to the car requires a shower you know you’ve made it. It’s summer in Kansas City. Every year around this time, I start longing for the cool mornings of fall but this year I’ve decided to fully embrace it.
It’s hot as heck, and I’m going to dance in it.
However, after all that dancing in the proverbial oven that is our city, we need to grab the kids, hop in the car and run somewhere for a cool treat. I’ve searched high and low and found some of Kansas City’s gems for kid and adult-friendly ways to throw some ice on the heat!
From the first time we walked into this gem my daughter fell in love. This hand crafted soda fountain and espresso bar is located in the Westside and boasts some of the loveliest housemade creations in the city. The decor is a bit modern and a bit throwback. Small local offerings line the shelves on the wall and there is seating inside as well as out on the sidewalk. For the kids, snow cones topped with all-natural syrups that are made right in the store are their claim to fame. With flavors like root beer and raspberry rose, they are sure to love the cool, sweet treat. Parents can enjoy an iced toddy or choose to have one of the syrups made into a soda (the old-fashioned way!). No matter what you choose, I promise you will leave feeling a bit of nostalgia and fully satisfied. (2016 update: Sadly, Little Freshie closed on July 1. Keep your eye out for a retail line of Little Freshie syrups in the future!)
Living in the River Market, I’m obviously a little more familiar with the offerings directly around me. However, being the coffee
addict lover that I am, I have had my share of coffees from the Northland to Johnson County and everywhere in between. Never have I had an iced coffee such as the one I was served at Quay. Quay is a darling little coffee shop right off Delaware. Pronounced “KEY”, the modern-eclectic surroundings combined with the exposed brick and distressed wood made the little hipster in my heart sing. (Come on, I know we all have one.) The Kyoto iced coffee is served in a glass with a huge block of ice in the center. Reminiscent of a cocktail at an upscale bar, clearly this is no ordinary coffee. There are teas, flavored waters and sodas for the kids if they need a cool-off but, really, this one’s for mom and dad.
Foo’s Frozen Custard
In the battle between ice cream and frozen custard, frozen custard wins my heart every time. Foo’s is a longstanding tradition for many Kansas City natives. With offerings like “Sassmaster” (strawberry, raspberry and peach) and “Java the Nut” (coffee, pecan and chocolate chip) you know you’re in for a delicious experience. Having one store in Brookside and one in Leawood, it’s easy for hot, tired Kansas Citians to take a break and get themselves (and their kids) a sweet treat. The storefront in the heart of Brookside comes complete with a chalkboard menu, case full of cookies dotted with brightly colored sprinkles and seating both inside or out front. Really, though, it’s the custard that shines here.
Taste of Brazil Market
I told you, I’m REALLY familiar with the River Market. But, really, where else in Kansas City will you get fresh coconut water served in the actual coconut? Taste of Brazil Market has a stand in front of their store front which serves young, green coconuts that are chopped right before your eyes into a serving vessel for the most refreshing, lovely coconut water ever. This is nothing like the bottled stuff. One of my favorite things to do on a hot Saturday is walk the market with my kids and finish off our trip with a cool drink. If you’re feeling a little adventurous (or just a little thirsty), head down and grab yourself a coconut!
From custard to coconut water, Kansas City has got a little something for everyone. Next time the heat wave hits you, head to one of these spots for a local (and delicious) way to cool your family down!