The Best Time to Visit Kansas City, Missouri

Downtown Kansas City - Southwest view
mark shaiken - photography / Getty Images

With arts, culture, recreation, festivals, sports, and mouthwatering barbecue, Kansas City, Missouri, rolls out the welcome mat to guests all year long. The long days, warm weather, and outdoor attractions of summer invite visitors to get outside and explore, making this the best time of year to visit for many, but seasonal foliage, moderate temperatures, and the annual kick-off of Kansas City Chiefs football season make a strong case for fall sojourns as well. 

Weather in Kansas City

Kansas City runs the gamut, from cold snowy winters to steamy hot summers and everything in between. The hottest temperatures in July top out in the low 80s on average, with January being the coldest month of the year, hovering in the low 30-degree range. The spring and fall seasons boast moderate temperatures in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Occasional rain showers are to be expected through the spring and summer months, and visitors should pay close attention to the forecast and stay weather aware during tornado season from late spring into summer. 

Year-Round Attractions

There are a number of perennial attractions worth including on any Kansas City itinerary. Brimming with trendy eateries and chic shopping venues, popular areas like downtown’s Power & Light District, the buzzy Westport neighborhood and elegant Spanish-style Country Club Plaza beg for exploration any and all times of the year. Additionally, monthly First Friday events in the Crossroads Arts District extend a standing invitation to enjoy food truck cuisine and live music while wandering through some of the city’s most creative studios and galleries. 

Anchored by whimsical oversized badminton birdies on the front lawn, the encyclopedic Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a must-see for guests of all ages. The Hallmark Visitors Center encourages visitors to consider for a moment what life would be like without greeting cards (the company originated in Kansas City in 1910), and the moving National World War I Museum and Memorial inspires moments of quiet reflection to honor our nation’s heroes.   

January

It may be the chilliest month of the year, but that’s no reason to shy away from a Kansas City visit. Just bring a warm coat, a scarf, and some boots, and you’ll be perfectly prepared to head out and explore.  

Events to check out:

  • Bring your appetite—Kansas City’s annual Restaurant Week promotion is prime time to take advantage of dining deals and discounted meals at eateries all over town, from casual hangouts to high-end dining destinations. 
  • Ring in the Chinese New Year at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art with an array of authentic activities, cultural celebration, and tasty food. 

February

With lingering winter weather, February presents a great opportunity to experience Kansas City’s many museums, indoor attractions, and romantic Valentine’s dinner-worthy dining options. 

Events to check out:                                         

  • With street performers, cocktails and beads galore, Power & Light District is the preferred place to be during Mardi Gras Kansas City. Laissez les bon temps rouler!
  • Immerse yourself in America’s indigenous music genre, and learn about Kansas City’s role in it, at the American Jazz Museum in the 18th and Vine Historic Jazz District, followed up with some quality time at the Blue Room jazz club.

March

Keep an eye on the forecast ahead of your visit to pack appropriate clothing.

Events to check out: 

April

April showers arrive right on time in Kansas City; it’s always smart to bring an umbrella and maybe a raincoat along for your trip.

Events to check out:

  • Discover how KC earns its “City of Fountains” nickname as the local collection of water features fires up again after the long, cold winter on Fountain Day.
  • Satisfy your craving for roller coasters when the Worlds of Fun outdoor amusement park opens for the season. 
  • Grab a bag of popcorn and catch a flick or two during the juried Kansas City FilmFest; the event offers more than 100 selections to enjoy.

May

As spring transitions into summer, temperatures are comfortable, sunny days are here and flowers are blooming across Kansas City parks and green spaces. 

Events to check out:

  • Get your motor running; NASCAR rolls into Kansas Speedway for a thrilling few days of racing excitement.
  • Make sure your Memorial Day weekend plans include Celebration at the Station with music performed by the Kansas City Symphony, fireworks and guest appearances at Kansas City’s historic Union Station. 

June

Summer’s here, enticing visitors to play outside, and Kansas City offers plenty of ways to do just that. 

Events to check out:

  • Celebrate Hispanic culture at Fiesta Kansas City through food, drink, dance, art and other festivities.  
  • What’s summer without a song? The Zona Rosa Summer Concert series livens up the Northland with live musical performances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings all summer long.  

July

Sizzling temperatures and hot summer days lure visitors out to explore.

Events to check out:

  • KC RiverFest commemorates the Fourth of July with a patriotic day-long festival concluding with fireworks at Berkeley Riverfront Park.   
  • Take a deep dive into Kansas City’s creative side at Fringe Festival KC, an 11-day showcase of innovative live theater performances and visual art experiences.

August

The temperatures are hot, but perfect for baseball games at Kauffman Stadium.

Events to check out:

  • Head to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to peruse exhibits that preserve the history of the league and its many respected players from the 1800s through 1960.
  • Take yourself out to the ballpark and root, root, root for the Major League Baseball home team Kansas City Royals during a game at Kauffman Stadium, and don't forget the hot dogs and Cracker Jack.

September

Fall into autumn as summer days and nights start to segue into cooler weather.

Events to check out:

  • Ribs, pulled pork and burnt ends are required eating in Kansas City, and there’s no better time to sample some of the smoky-sweet wares than the American Royal World Series of Barbecue, the world’s largest ‘cue competition. 
  • Nearly 300,000 people attend Art on the Plaza each year, nine blocks worth of exhibits, displays, live music and food on Country Club Plaza. 

October

Fall foliage, hayrides, corn mazes, and Halloween fun hit Kansas City this month.

Events to check out:

  • Support inclusivity, diversity and the LGBTQIA+ community at the vibrant KC PrideFest on the streets surrounding City Hall and Ilus Davis Park. 
  • Set a course to Crown Center and raise a stein to German culture at KC Oktoberfest with two days of Bavarian food, beer, music, and celebration. 

November

There’s a chill in the air, but no need to give Kansas City the cold shoulder in November. Plan to dress warmly.

Events to check out:

  • An annual tradition for local families, Plaza Lights turns KC’s Country Club Plaza into a winter wonderland starting Thanksgiving weekend, staying up through the holidays into January. 
  • The Crown Center Ice Terrace opens for the winter skating season. While you’re there, admire the 100-foot Mayor’s Christmas Tree.

December

Bundle up and sip some hot chocolate as Kansas City rings in the holidays with festive outdoor events. 

Events to check out:

  • Take a stroll through downtown and get a gander at City Lights, an opportunity for skyscrapers to dress up and show off with colorful synchronized holiday light displays. 
  • Worlds of Fun transforms from summer roller coasters and thrill rides into a magical winter landscape during its annual WinterFest.
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