spring in Nelson Atkins Sculpture Park
Nelson Atkins Sculpture Park

If you’re familiar with Kansas City, you know that winters can be pretty brutal. 

So, with the first full week of above freezing temperatures, you’ll find patios and green spaces filled with eager locals looking to leave winter behind. 

As Kansas City locals for over a decade, we spend the majority of January and February pining away for warmer weather.

Technically, the Spring Equinox begins on March 21st. Any midwesterner can tell you that there will be a “False Spring” in late February where a few days of warm weather will lead you to believe that winter is over. 

So, when does spring begin? We typically plan for mid-March to start seeing consistently warm temperatures.

What’s considered warm? After frigid winter winds, we are thrilled for temperatures in the mid-50’s and above. You’ll still want a light jacket – especially if you plan to be out in the evening. 

We love Kansas City in the spring – between the budding daffodils and re-opening of patios across town, it really feels like the city is emerging from the winter slumber.

Considering a visit to Kansas City in the spring? You’re going to love it. 

7+ Uniquely Spring Things To Do In Kansas City

In this guide, we share the best things to do in downtown and midtown Kansas City during the spring season. 

1. Farmer’s Market in City Market

Neighborhood: River Market

The arrival of spring means the beginning of the farmer’s market season, and Kansas City has great markets!

We recommend the historic City Market – farmers have been selling their goods here since 1857. 

At City Market, there are several pavilions with fresh produce as well as locally made artisan goods such as honey, spices, baked goods, and more. 

Along the perimeter, you’ll find year-round specialty vendors and small local restaurants that offer a variety of cuisines. 

The farm produce becomes available in April when you can visit on Saturdays and Sundays between 8:00am – 3:00pm. 

Note that City Market gets crowded on Saturdays and parking can be limited. We recommend you park at Union Station and take the streetcar. 

city market in river market
City Market

2. Sculpture Park Art Course at Nelson-Atkins Museum

Neighborhood: Midtown

The Nelson-Atkins Museum is a renowned, expansive art museum featuring various cultures and forms of art from 5,000 years ago to the present day.

While the interior of the museum is impressive, the outdoor spaces are as well. 

There is an expansive lawn, usually filled with locals on blankets. 

Additionally, the grounds feature the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park. 

In recent years, the museum installed an Art Course, located within the sculpture park, it’s an artist-designed, mini golf experience on a nine-hole course. Along the course, there is a stand with local beers, seltzers, and cocktails as well as snacks. 

Art Course is $18 for adults and $12 for children between ages 12 and 4.

The season starts April 5th with the course being open Friday – Sunday, and then expands to other days of the week beginning May 16th. 

Nelson Atkins Sculpture Park
Nelson Atkins Sculpture Park

3. Loose Park Rose Garden

Neighborhood: Midtown

When the days become warmer, we find ourselves heading to our local parks, and Loose Park is definitely a favorite!

There are many places to visit within Loose Park, including historical sites, a pond, walking paths, and the rose garden. 

The rose garden dates back to 1931 and contains 3,000 roses of 130 varieties within the 1.5 acre garden. It is truly lovely.

The roses begin to bloom in late May, and the Kansas City Rose Society hosts their annual Rose Day on the first Sunday of June from 1:00pm – 5:00pm. 

4. Fountain Day

You already know that Kansas City is the “City of Fountains,” but did you know that there is a Kansas City Fountain Day?

It’s the day when all the public-operated fountains get turned on. This year, that day is April 16th. 

There are over two-hundred fountains around the city, from opulent displays to modest spouts. 

On Fountain Day, you’ll find us at the Fountain at Mill Creek Park at Country Club Plaza – it’s beloved by locals. 

5. Bunnies on Country Club Plaza

Neighborhood: Midtown

Kansas Citians know that spring is nearly here when the bunnies show up on The Plaza. The bunnies have been a spring tradition since 1931. 

This year, you can see them from Friday, March 8th through Monday, April 8th. 

There are nine bunnies total and three additional “wonderland animals.”

Country Club Plaza bunnies for easter
Country Club Plaza Bunnies
Country Club Plaza Bunnies
Country Club Plaza Bunnies

6. Tivoli Under the Stars

Neighborhood: Midtown

We love visiting the Tivoli Theater in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and in late spring, they begin offering “Tivoli Under the Stars,” which is an outdoor cinema. 

This year, it begins on June 7th and takes place every other Friday night. 

There’s a wide range of films, from classics to indie films. 

The cost is $58 and includes an eight-foot space on the lawn for up to four people as well as garage parking. 

They have concessions available for movie-goers – outside food and drink is not allowed. 

7. Kansas City’s Best Patios

Spring is the official start of patio season!

Kansas City has some great patios around the downtown and midtown neighborhoods – these are our local recommendations:

  • Char Bar is known for their southern-style offerings and award-winning smoked meats. The sprawling patio features picnic tables, patio games (bocce, cornhole), and green space. 
  • Brewery Emperial is our choice when we’re wanting to sip on a locally brewed beer at a gastropub. Their spacious gravel outdoor beer garden is fenced and complete with picnic tables and firepits.
  • Chicken & Pickle in North Kansas City is a beloved spot with an expansive patio that features yard games and pickleball courts. The main feature of their menu is wood-fired chicken.
  • Gram and Dun is the best patio on Country Club Plaza and offers an elevated down-home menu.

Prefer to bring your pup with you? That’s what we love about patio season! Read our guide to dog-friendly restaurant patios around town to help you decide where to go. 

Char Bar Westport patio
Char Bar

8. Kansas City Royals Game, Stadium Tours

Baseball enthusiasts rejoice – the home opener of the Kansas City Royals is on March 28th.

Kansas Citians love tailgating at Kauffman Stadium, and you will too.

If you’re really into The Royals, consider a 90-minute walking tour of the stadium. You’ll get a behind the scenes view of the inner workings of the team and game day.

9. Kauffman Memorial Garden

Neighborhood: Midtown

After the dull, dormant landscape of winter, the arrival of spring brings the opportunity to see vibrant colors again.

There are few better places in the city to see blooming flowers than at the Kauffman Memorial Garden.

The space is incredibly peaceful and features fountains, sculptures, benches, and lovely flowers and shrubs.

We love the indoors orangery, which features tropicals and other plants needing a warm space during the winter season. Stop in and say hello to the resident cat!

The garden changes weekly as new flowers bloom with the changing season, so several visits are encouraged!

Kauffman Memorial Garden
Kauffman Memorial Garden
Kauffman Memorial Garden
Kauffman Memorial Garden
flowers Kauffman Memorial Garden
Kauffman Memorial Garden
Kauffman Memorial Garden cat
Kauffman Memorial Garden

Hop To It!

And there you have it – those are the best things to do in Kansas City, Missouri in spring!