The Best Picnic Spots in Kansas City
Picnicking Kansas City-style means having your sunscreen, bug spray, and a picnic basket full of BBQ at the ready. The city has more than 200 fountains (more than any other city, except Rome), 3,500 acres of parks, including nearly 200 miles of trails and two world-class museums. Picnic goers will find no shortage of picturesque spots to explore in Kansas City.
Whether you’re looking for a place to people-watch or simply want to take in some stunning views, these are the best places to picnic in Kansas City.
Location: West 43rd St. & Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111
Once a stream that ran through Mill Creek Valley in the 1800s and gave power to one of the mills in Westport, this now 11.43-acre park is a very popular and well-used Kansas City attraction. Visitors to Mill Creek Park have plenty to keep them busy, as you’ll find walking and fitness trails, exercise areas, and the Plaza Tennis Center. For a more serene experience, there’s a beautiful eco-pond fountain, plenty of benches, and tons of open space, all surrounded by beautiful landscaping. Mill Creek Park regularly hosts special events throughout the year, including the Brush Creek Art Walk. Visitors are also welcome to host an event at the park.
Location: East Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway
Swope Park is Kansas City’s largest park, and ultimately one of the top picnic spots! This expansive, 1,805-acres of green space offers plenty of room to spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by nature. With several picnic tables and grills around the park, there’s room for everyone. There are even multiple pavilions you can reserve for your next event, or to just hang out in for the day. The park has a playground, amphitheater, hiking trails, soccer fields, golf courses, an off-leash dog park, and MORE! Also located in Swope Park are two renowned local attractions, the Kansas City Zoo and the Lakeside Nature Center. You won’t run out of things to do at Swope Park!
Location: 5200 Wornall, Kansas City, MO 64112
This 75-acre park is one of Kansas City’s most popular and historic picnic spots. This pretty park features a beautiful rose garden, walking trails and a quaint lake – perfect for a romantic picnic for two. Or, if you’re picnicking with friends or family, there’s plenty of space to set up on the grassy lawn. You can work up an appetite on the tennis or basketball courts, or let the kids loose in the playground. Cool off around the lake, where you can fish or take a scenic stroll. If you’re interested in hosting a large event at Loose Park, they offer a pavilion for rent that accommodates up to 150 guests.
Location: Swope Park
Nothing beats the fun of animal-watching while enjoying your picnic! Featured as one of the United States’ top 60 Zoos in the country, the Kansas City Zoo is fun for all ages. Home to more than 1,000 animals from all over the globe, this spacious 200-acre park has numerous picnic areas available so you can enjoy your lunch while keeping an eye out for your favorite animals. Just be sure to clean up after yourself – we don’t want to leave a mess for the animals.
Location: 1298 Riverfront Rd Kansas City, MO 64120
For a picnic with a view, head to Berkley Riverfront Park. Sitting right on the Missouri River, this park offers stunning views of the water as well as Downtown Kansas City. Featuring a playground and walking trails, this park is the perfect spot to spend a summer afternoon.
Location: 7900 Renner Road Shawnee, KS 66219
Shawnee Mission Park (SMP) is a great spot for a picnic and so much more. It has plenty of tables, grills and picnic shelters scattered throughout the park. There’s also a lake where you can go fishing, paddle boarding, sail boarding, boating or swimming, making it the perfect spot to cool off on a hot day. SMP is a great picnic spot for families too! The park has a playground and sand volleyball court, and even an off-leash dog area for your furry friends. There’s also a fishing pond and hiking trails. And if you’re looking for something to do after your picnic, it’s a great place to enjoy mountain biking and horseback riding. It’s also home to The Theatre in the Park, and Shawnee Mission Park Beach.
Location: 1201-1501 NE Legacy Park Dr Lee’s Summit, MO 64086
Legacy Park is another great option for picnicking in Kansas City. Known for hosting local sports tournaments and games, this park features a playground, walking trails and a beautiful lake – perfect for an afternoon picnic. There are also picnic shelters available if you want to escape the sun or the rain. Or if the weather’s just right, get out and play on their 18-hole disc golf course.
Location: 6501 Antioch Road Merriam, KS 66202
Antioch Park is a perfect picnic spot for families, with plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. There’s a swimming beach, a fishing dock, and walking trails- perfect for a day of picnic fun. The kids will especially love the basketball court, playground, and tennis court. Did we mention it’s the oldest park in Johnson County?
Location: Blue Springs, MO
If you’re looking for a picnic spot that offers stunning views, look no further than Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area. This park is located just outside of Kansas City and offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and scenic vistas. There are plenty of places to explore, making it the perfect spot for a picnic.
Location: Brookside Boulevard & E. 56th St.
Brookside Park is a great picnic spot for families. The park has a playground, sand volleyball courts, and even a baseball diamond. Take a walk on the Trolley Track Trail that runs through the park, and along the way stop at one of the numerous tables and benches to enjoy your picnic.
Location West 29th St. & Broadway Boulevard, Kansas City, MO 64108
Penn Valley Park is one of the best picnic spots in Kansas City. Located right in the heart of it all, it offers stunning views of the city skyline. This massive, 175-acre park has something in store for everyone. It’s home to its own lake,skate park, off-leash dog park, and Memorial Hill. Once everyone has worked up an appetite, you can lay your blanket and rest nearly anywhere in the park, or sit underneath the park pavilion.
Located on Memorial Hill within Penn Valley Park, the Liberty Memorial is one of Kansas City’s most profound and popular historic attractions. While the memorial itself is a part of the National WWI Museum, it lies in the heart of Penn Valley Park, and has a beacon-like view of the whole city. It’s situated right off several walking trails, and is surrounded by wide open space, making it a perfect place to picnic.
Enjoy your picnic and don’t forget to bring along your Q2GO!