Water Fun in Kansas City

By Lysa Allman-Baldwin

Although outstanding jazz and mouth-watering barbecue are Kansas City’s major calling cards, when it comes to water fun you’ll find a great deal to “float your boat.”

Pier Pressure

Smithville Lake near Kansas City

Approximately 20 miles from downtown, Smithville Lake offers a wide array of recreational water activities. Encompassing 175 picturesque miles of shoreline, this 7,200–acre lake features two swimming beaches, full-service marinas, multi-lane boat ramps, a sailboat launch area, a dockside restaurant and some of the best catfish, walleye, crappie, tiger musky and largemouth bass fishing in the region. Other activities include equestrian, biking and walking trails and two 18-hole golf courses.

Lake of the Woods

Situated right in the middle of the metro area, Lake of the Woods in Swope Park—one of the largest urban parks in the country—attracts anglers from all around the metro area to hook delicious crappie, sun perch, catfish and bass that go from “lake to table.” Visitors can also swim, camp and rent cabins here.

Surf’s Up!

KC Watersports in Paola KS

Well, almost, with KC Watersports, billed as the best wakeboarding destination in the Midwest. Located just south of the city in Paola, KC Watersports features a 2.0 cable lake where beginners can learn the basics and get their “sea legs,” while the larger, 7.5-acre cable lake uses an overhead cable system with more features for honing advanced skills. The fun here also includes stand-up paddle boarding, a pro shop and a beach to just sit and watch the action.

Splashin’ Around

Looking for something in the water but not on the water? Kansas City’s got several waterparks that fit the bill.


Coco Key Water Resort

CoCo Key Water Resort

Situated inside of the Adam’s Mark Hotel and Resort just east of downtown is the Coco Key Water Resort. Barracuda Blast, Shark Slam, and Pelican Plunge are among the special slides, while Coral Cove's Slam Dunk, Parrot's Perch, the Palm Grotto indoor/outdoor spa and Coconut Grove Adventure River are some of the popular aquatic activities.


Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City KS

Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, Kansas, is highlighted by a four-story interactive treehouse water fort, family and adults-only jumbo whirlpools, a winding lazy river, water basketball and kiddie slides.


Oceans of Fun

Oceans of Fun in Kansas City

The Monsoon, Coconut Cove, Predators Plunge, Hurricane Falls and Crocodile Isle are a few of the aquatic thrill rides at Oceans of Fun. In addition to a handful of island-themed diversions like the Surf City Wave Pool, Diamond Head and the adults-only Castaway Cove, two new attractions were added in 2015: Splash Island with an interactive splash pad, and at Buccaneer Bay, a five-acre lake with swan paddleboats.

In “The Dot”

Wyandotte County, referred to by the locals as “The Dot,” is home to Wyandotte County Lake. Here, fishermen of all ages catch everything from catfish to rainbow trout, walleye, northern pike, bluegill and carp in this 400-acre area favorite. Other recreational options include sailing and swimming from privately owned or onsite rental boats, a boathouse, playgrounds, picnic shelters and horseback riding trails.

Shawnee Mission Lake

Shawnee Mission Park in Kansas City

Canoeing, sailing, sail boarding, paddle boating and fishing are just a few of the exciting activities at Shawnee Mission Lake. Situated inside Shawnee Mission Park, the lake extends 120 acres and includes a marina and swimming beach, while the overall 1,250-acre park has a visitor center, campground, remote-control flying area, picnic shelters, off-leash dog area, archery range, traditional and disc golf courses, and an observation tower offering spectacular views of the surrounding area.

Whether in a lake or on a dock, jumping into the water or letting water rain down on you, Kansas City offers wet and wild fun for all!


Fun Things to Do With Kids in Kansas City

From al fresco adventures to indoor entertainment, good eats and more, everyone can be a kid in the City of Fountains.

9 Family-Friendly Indoor Attractions in KC

Weather is one of Kansas City’s most entertaining features and Mother Nature brings it all. Fortunately, Kansas City responds with some creative and family-friendly indoor activities when the skies turn cloudy. Here are some ideas

Fun Things for Teens to Do in Kansas City

While the teens and tweens under your roof may be happy to spend their summer days—and nights—gaming in the basement, you know there’s a bigger world out there for them to see. Luckily, Kansas City is a city for the ages, and for all ages. 

More theme & water parks in KC

Adventure Oasis Water Park

Water fun for the whole family. Park open May 24-Sept. 1, season passes also available; call 816-235-7843 for information. Additional Independence Parks to enjoy : -Water Playground - McCoy Park Location: 24 Highway & North Delaware This is a summer delight, with water play/spray features that are appropriate for children of all ages and give kids the opportunity to cool off in the summer heat. -Water Playground - Rotary Park Location: 24th & Hardy This summer fun spot is a concrete pad with spray features that shoot, spray or mist water for kids to enjoy.

Carolyn's Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch

Carolyn's Country Cousins is a working farm only 2 miles south of Liberty, Missouri, with easy access from all parts of Greater Kansas City. Every weekend, during the fall, they offer different and exciting activities for the whole family! They are open 10:00am-7:00pm, September 21st - October 31st. Families love taking an old-fashioned hayride to the 50 acre U-pick pumpkin patch to pick their own pumpkins and visiting our animals at the petting barn!

Cedar Cove Feline Sanctuary & Education Center

Cedar Cove is a non-profit organization devoted to the care and preservation of endangered large cats while educating the public on their behavior, physiology, habitats and the threats & dangers of extinction. We're making great progress in many areas of the park . Please bear with us during the changes and come visit the park to see what's new! Aside from our public hours on the weekends, Cedar Cove arranges hosted tours for schools, special interest groups, families or any group interested in visiting the park during the week if your schedule prevents a weekend visit.

CoCo Key Water Resort

Escape to CoCo Key Water Resort, Kansas City's largest indoor water park. CoCo Key Water Resort is 55,000 square feet of fun for the entire family. Thrilling water slides, dip-in theatre, adventure river, interactive play island, lounge, private pool-side cabanas, arcade and family restaurants. Inspired by Key West, CoCo Key combines the relaxation and enchantment of a tropical paradise. Located at the Adam's Mark Hotel & Conference Center at I-70 across from the stadiums.

Great Wolf Lodge

Every aspect of Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park Resort is built for families. Your Great Wolf Lodge family getaway will have everyone howling for more. The adventure begins in the 38,000 square-foot, 84-degree indoor waterpark that is exclusive to our guests. From spray features in the toddler area, to white-knuckle extreme tube rides, the waterpark is designed with everyone in mind. Waterpark admission is included with your stay. Continue the fun outside the waterpark. Grab a wand in the live-action adventure game, MagiQuest, visit Scooops Kid Spa, gather together for Story Time.

Kansas City Parks & Recreation

Enjoy Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation’s 213 parks, 132 miles of boulevards and parkways, 49 fountains, 87 ornamental structures, 27 lakes, 38 miles of trails and bikeways, 105 tennis courts, five golf courses, four museums and more than 400 recreational programs and special events. Rose Garden: http://kcparks.org/attraction/laura-conyers-smith-municipal-rose-garden/ Love Locks: http://kcparks.org/attraction/old-red-bridge-love-locks/ The Springs: http://kcparks.org/recreation/the-springs-water-park/ KCNRR:  http://kcparks.org/attraction/kansas-city-northern-railroad

Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Huzzah and Cheers for 40 years! The Kansas City Renaissance Festival, a Kansas City Fall tradition, opens August 31st and runs weekends through October 14th 2019, PLUS Labor Day and Columbus Day, 10am - 7pm, rain or shine in beautiful Bonner Springs, Kansas. The Kansas City Renaissance Festival is like walking through the gates of time to another age where guests from around the metro, the Midwest, the country and sometimes the world get a taste of 16th century life. Travel back in time and partake in this one-of-a-kind experience.

Louisburg Aquatic Center

The pool is open to the public. Open swim on Monday through Friday lasts from noon-l 8pm and from noon-7:30pm Saturday and Sunday. The lap and adult swim lasts for one hour after closing Monday through Friday, except when reserved for private parties. The daily admission is $3.75 for individuals ages 4 to 64. Children ages 3 and younger and adults 65 and older are admitted free of charge.

Roeland Park Aquatic Center

The RPAC offers programs and activities such as Learn to Swim for ages six months through adult, lifeguard training, water exercise programs, Stingrays summer youth league swim team, Kansas City Water Polo Team, and is the Kansas City Blazers training site.

Splash Cove Aquatic Center

Perfect for the little ones, Splash Cove is a family friendly pool located in downtown Shawnee! With a cheap rate, come for a day of splashing, swimming and soaking up the sun! Whether you are in the mood to relax in the sun or get soaked under our 350 gallon conch shell, Splash Cove offers excitement to those seeking adventure.