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How to Spend the Summer in Shawnee


Who doesn't love the Summer? The warm breeze, the sunshine, and then the time off from school or even work? It's all smiles during the Summer and, luckily with all that free time, Shawnee offers lots to do too!

Whether you are visiting Shawnee during the Summer, coming back from college, or looking for an activity for the family, here are NINE ideas to help you make the most of the Summer through Fall months.


1. Explore Downtown Shawnee

When was the last time you found yourself at the corners of Johnson Drive and Nieman Road?

This wonderful intersection marks the heart of our city: Downtown Shawnee. In fact, Downtown Shawnee has seen an exciting slew of new businesses and developments prop up within the last few years.

We suggest heading down there to grab food at local classics like Big Bam’s Burgers or Betty C’s Bar and Grill or a new spot like McLain’s Market + Bakery or Sancho’s Streetside. Or, for those of age, try a new brew at Servaes Brewing Co. or Transport Brewery and a new cocktail concoction at Drastic Measures.


Insider Tip: Hit up all of these and more at an upcoming Moonlight Market! This fun, third Thursday festival happens in the City Hall parking lot and hosts over a dozen craft and food vendors!

Click here to find out more about Moonlight Market.

2. Be Adventurous at Shawnee Mission Park

Explore this wonderful park between the hours of 5am - 11pm!

Take a guess at how big Shawnee Mission Park is! Would you believe it’s 1,655 acres? With so many things to do all packed into this wonderful public parkland, you can easily make a whole day or weekend of exploring all of the possible activities. Some of our favorite suggestions are:

   > The popular Shawnee Mission Dog Park that even features a beach for your pup to splash around in

   > Fishing, boating, sailing, or paddleboarding on the Lake (licenses required)

   > Swimming, picnic, volleyball and relaxing at the Shawnee Mission Beach

   > Archery at the range or disc golf at their 18-hole course

   > Jogging, hiking, or even horseback riding on the trails

   > Catch a show at Theatre in the Park

3. Relax in the Sun

Haven’t gotten your sunshine fill at Shawnee Mission park? Catch more rays by exploring Shawnee’s other parks and pools! 

Consider setting up a picnic with friends or family at any of the City of Shawnee Parks & Rec’s popular parks. We recommend a shelter or picking a grassy spot at Erfurt, West Flanders, Wilder Bluff, or Garrett Parks.

Want to play catch, fly a kite, or any other open space activity? Stump Park is a great spot with its many open, flat fields!

Don’t forget you can also fill up on your natural Vitamin D by visiting Shawnee’s two aquatic facilities? Splash Cove, near Downtown Shawnee, is perfect for the little ones. The Thomas A Soetaert Aquatic Center offers lanes and diving boards in addition to a lazy river, making it great for families with all ages! Plus....they typically hold a K-9 Day at Splash Cove each late August!

4. Count Your Steps on a Trail

One last suggestion for the outdoorsy folk! 

Explore the popular Mill Creek Streamway Trail and Park! This linear park begins in Shawnee and runs all the way to Olathe. Offering over 17 miles it’s great for the training runner or the casual bicycle ride, and even offers 3 miles of horseback riding trails too.


5. Sing Your Heart Out

Nothing soothes the soul like singing along to your favorite song.

Fortunately, Shawnee offers a few great options to either be your own star or watch the professional talent. 

Gather your friends and family for a Karaoke night at Tanner’s or The Social Bar & Grill (formerly Garrett’s). Both are known for the tasty food, great drink specials, and fun atmosphere on their Karaoke Night. Tanner’s offers theirs on Saturday nights and The Social offers theirs on Thursday Night.

OR if you’d prefer not to have all of the attention of your own performance, consider catching some live music at any number of places around town. You can certainly find headlining artists nearly every weekend at the recently renovated Aztec Theatre. Plus, Barley's Midland and Harley’s Hideaway also tend to have artists planing on their intimate patios routinely!

6. Make it a Family Night

From game night to an evening out, gather your loved ones for lots of fun!

For many families, game night is a big tradition and as we come out of the pandemic it might be safest to have even more.

Whether you enjoying board games or a movie night, there's one thing that always makes it better: Pizza. Grab takeout or delivery from local favorites like Old Shawnee Pizza or Pizza West! OSP is known for its expansive menu of specialty pizzas and unique, green salad dressing while Pizza West has a full list of Italian family-style meal options.

Looking to get out of the house? How about bowling, the arcade, or a movie night....or even all three! Park Lanes and Incredible Pizza Company make for a great way to burn some energy with their full entertainment centers and of course, nothing beats the movie theater popcorn at B&B Theaters.


7. Enjoy the Breeze on a Patio

In every part of Shawnee, you can find a patio for the perfect weather brunch, happy hour, or late-night get together!

While Summer can get pretty toasty out, sometimes the forecast lines up perfectly for what we call "Patio Weather." Luckily, Shawnee offers lots of patios that make for a great meet-up spot. There are so many to name in Shawnee and we're actually working on a full list, to be featured here at All in Shawnee soon. Stay tuned for that link added here and on our Facebook and Instagram soon!

However, in the meantime, we suggest checking out these while you wait for our full breakdown:

   > McLain's Market + Bakery's fun patio with a gigantic scrabble board, right in the heart of downtown Shawnee

   > Wandering Vine's patio nestled in the trees and their garden on Johnson Drive

   > Nick and Jake's patio overlooking the hills of West Shawnee

   > Paulo and Bill's large patio, which we specifically suggest checking out during their famous brunch

   > Pathlight Brewing's patio which often has a food truck serving tasty eats right to the patrons

8. Shop Till You Drop

Hunt for any of the great bargains and finds at many local boutiques and fun spots.

Shop til’ you drop and make the most of all of the retail offerings Shawnee has. Local boutiques like I Heart Local, Embellish Boutique, Pink Charming, ShananiGanns Boutique, and By B! Boutique all offer a variety of interesting and routinely changing clothes, accessories, and gifts! Make sure to check their hours and locations and get out there for a full day of retail therapy. 

Looking to thrift? That's quite the trend these days and Shawnee also offers hot spots for those looking for the eclectic wardrobe or decor finds at Goodwill, City Thrift, and Savers all located along Shawnee Mission Parkway.

9. Pick Up a New Hobby

Looking to beat Summer boredom with a new hobby?

Luckily Shawnee offers lots of ways to do just that! Here are just a few fun additional options we suggest:

   >  Learn how to ice skate at KC Ice Center

> Join a volleyball team at Shawnee Mission Beach Volleyball 

> Learn an instrument by purchasing one at Ernie Williamson Music or Blues to Bach

> Get hands-on with history at Shawnee Town 1929

> Volunteer at great organizations like Imagine Furever Ranch or Shawnee Community Services

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