Everything You Need to Know About the Fourth of July in Kansas City
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Crowds swell as night draws near, heralding the jaw-dropping light shows to come. Grills spark to life amidst neighborhood barbecues and get-togethers, all while the first pitch is tossed before a game at The K. These nostalgic sights, sounds and scents help define Independence Day as the perfect midsummer holiday. Fireworks to 5Ks, festivals to flight shows, celebrating the Fourth of July in Kansas City is a full weekend affair—and then some.
Here’s everything you need to know about July Fourth in Kansas City:
Festivals and Festivities
Celebrate Independence Day along the riverfront with Riverfest, a full evening of family-friendly entertainment, including live music, great food, and, of course, an exhilarating fireworks show.
Head just 20 minutes south of Downtown KC to be wowed at the Overland Park Star Spangled Spectacular, an annual tradition that attracts thousands thanks to its incredible fireworks show, live music, food trucks, activities for kids and more.
Have a blast at Worlds of Fun during the park’s Fourth of July Celebration, featuring delicious barbecue from the newly opened Cotton Blossom BBQ restaurant and a fireworks show rivaling anywhere else in town, plus thrilling rides, splashy slides and other fantastic family fun.
Free admission for active and retired military members—and $3 off for their families—is just the beginning of Red, White & Zoo at the Kansas City Zoo, which includes a full day of enrichment activities for animals at this favorite attraction.
Nothing says Independence Day quite like baseball. Thankfully, visitors and locals are in luck, because the Kansas City Royals will host a three-game series with divisional rival the Cleveland Indians, July 2-4. Perfect for families and friends, a day or night at The K is one of the best values in the city.
Country music and the Fourth of July go together like apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Sing the night away during Miller Lite Hot Country Nights at KC Live! in the Power & Light District—then hit the bars afterwards for even more revelry.
Once July Fourth revelries have come to an end, spend the weekend at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport to enjoy the KC Air Show (July 6-7), a two-day spectacle featuring the legendary U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Army Golden Knights, as well as countless other aerobatic performances.
In addition, the KC Air Show features restored war planes and immersive exhibits about the Tuskegee Airmen and a virtual reality experience depicting a high-speed water extraction mission.
Prime Fireworks Watch Spots
Aside from the many festivals and events that attract thousands throughout the metro to watch fireworks displays together, a collection of must-visit locations offer stellar views during nighttime celebrations:
- The City Market: Nestled in the River Market neighborhood, The City Market is a cozy-yet-bustling hub that’s perfect for watch parties on patios between bites of international and locally sourced fare.
- National WWI Museum and Memorial: While the museum won’t technically be open once the fireworks start, there’s hardly a better place to watch than the lawn of Liberty Memorial, which offers a spectacular view of the entire city.
- Crossroads Arts District: Whether enjoying a craft beer at one of KC’s many local breweries, playing giant-Jenga at Up-Down or out and about exploring funky murals, the Crossroads offers countless lively spaces to enjoy the evening.