This article was written by Rachael Baihn of LawnStarter blog.
You can enjoy being outdoors in Kansas City without springing a leak in your budget. You don’t have to dig deep to enjoy the outdoors here. Affordability is one reason so many people are moving to K.C. The City of Fountains also happens to be the city of beautiful gardens. Here are the essential gardens to visit in Kansas City while the weather is nice.
Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Gardens
4800 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO
Let’s start with one of the most well-known names in Kansas City. The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Gardens feature plants and trees adding a burst of color to the downtown landscape. Open every day from 8 a.m. until the sun sets, the Kauffman’s legacy of beauty and learning opened in 2000. The gardens are an easy walk — just two acres set inside the larger Kauffman Legacy Park. Admission is FREE, but if you’d like a guided tour and info about the different flowers, plants, and trees, it’s best to call ahead.
Be sure to leave Fido at home as only service dogs allowed. There’s also no smoking allowed in the Gardens.
Loose Park and Laura Conyers Smith Rose Garden
51st Street and Wornall Road
Kansas City, MO 64112
This 75-acre park features something for amateur gardeners and fans of roses. Head inside the park just off Wornall Road to the Loose Park Garden Center to check out the seasonal garden exhibits and horticultural library. You can tour the garden for free; a $50 fee applies if you rent out the meeting rooms for small events.
Just a few steps away from the garden center is the Laura Conyers Smith Rose Garden featuring 150 different types of roses. Created in 1931, it has gone through several renovations, including a $1.3 million overhaul that finished in 2014. It won’t cost you anything to visit, but you’re free to make a donation.
18Broadway Urban Rain Garden
18th & Broadway
Kansas City, MO
For an unforgettable experience and lesson in sustainability, visit the 18Broadway Urban Rain Garden in the Crossroads Art District. It’s the first of its kind in the nation. You’ll see how volunteers store and use rainwater to cultivate five levels of container and raised-bed gardens that grow fresh produce for area food banks. The volunteers and organizers aren’t stingy. They donate the fresh produce to local food banks and will gladly share their knowledge with all home gardeners.
Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
8909 W 179th Street
If you like seeing greenery without spending a lot of green, head over to the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Admission is FREE every Tuesday. Parking is also free at 8909 W. 179th St., but make sure to wear your walking shoes. You’ll need them to explore 300 acres of flowers, plants, and trees. The arboretum is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and beginning April 10 from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
5109 Cherry Street,
Kansas City, MO
Once the property of Midwest grain magnates Herbert and Linda Hall, the Urban Arboretum surrounds a huge Library. The 14 acres feature 130 different species of trees, including trees not normally found in the Midwest. You can walk the grounds for free between 51st and 52nd streets and Cherry and Holmes streets. Be sure to connect with your smartphone to access the map. The Westport Garden Club provides this service for free to help you navigate your way through the forest.
Kansas City and the surrounding area have much to offer for outdoor enthusiasts who are thirsty for beautiful colors. And you don’t have to pay for a chance to stop and smell the roses.