As a kid, Labor Day weekend was a cherished respite during the back-to-school season. Back then, it didn’t matter to me that Labor Day signaled the end of Summer – I loved having that extra day off to spend with my family. Now, as a full-grown adult with a full-time job, I still look forward to spending Labor Day weekend with family and friends.
Here in Kansas City, it’s hard to find a weekend with no music festivals, art fairs, or cultural celebrations to keep young families active and entertained. But this Labor Day weekend is so jam-packed with family-friendly activities, you might have trouble deciding which ones to go out and enjoy!
The American Royal World Series of BBQ
8/31 – 9/02
This longstanding Kansas City tradition is back for another round of BBQ! The American Royal World Series of BBQ will celebrate its 38th year at the Kansas Speedway this weekend.
Much more than a competition, this barbeque festival has something for everyone. For the adults, enjoy live local music, delicious foods, beer and cocktails, a car show, and a BBQ Marketplace. Bring the kids to Cowtown Family Fun Fest to enjoy carnival rides, a mechanical bull, and entertainers including a performance by Mr. Stinky Feet!
Tickets for the 2017 American Royal World Series of Barbecue are available on their website.
First Friday in the Crossroads
On the first Friday of each month, thousands of KC residents come out to the Crossroads to enjoy the city’s liveliest and most popular recurring event. Featuring local galleries, artists, studios, and live performances from local musicians, the aptly named “First Friday” is the only place you’ll want to be as you begin your Labor Day weekend celebrations.
See what’s happening this First Friday, 5:00-9:00pm in the Crossroads.
Kansas City Irish Fest
9/01 – 9/03
This weekend, Crown Center will be taken over by the annual Kansas City Irish Fest. Celebrate your Celtic pride with live music, heritage workshops, comedy, genealogy, a huge children’s area, and whiskey tasting – because honestly, what kind of Irish festival would it be without whiskey?
The Kansas City Irish Fest is 3 days long, with 30 bands playing on 7 stages and plenty of fun for the whole family. Kids up to 12 can compete in a costume contest, and those 10 and under can partake in the Wee Ones Scavenger Hunt!
See their full list of activities and get your tickets now at KCIrishFest.com.
Kansas City Renaissance Festival
9/02 – 10/15
Talk about fun for the whole family! Who doesn’t love jousting knights, medieval delights, and delicious food and drinks? The Kansas City Renaissance Festival, held every Fall in Bonner Springs, KS, is a local tradition you don’t want to miss. Each weekend features a different theme, like “Ales and Tails” (bring your pup!) and “Buccaneer Beer Fest” (best beards win prizes!). It’s a little kooky with lots of characters to keep your clan laughing all day long.
Kick off the 2017 season with Family Fun Weekend. Purchase two regular priced Adult Admission tickets and receive two FREE Children Tickets! Visit kcrenfest.com for more details.
Season Closing Weekend at Schlitterbahn and Oceans of Fun
9/01 – 9/04
Nothing signals the end of Summer like the season closing of public pools and water parks. This weekend will be your last chance to cruise the lazy rivers and take a dip at Oceans of Fun and Schlitterbahn. With a clear forecast ahead, it’s the perfect way to end a hot and sunny Kansas City summer!
Grinter’s Sunflower Farm
8/31 – 9/10
With 40 acres and one million sunflowers in bloom, the Grinter’s Sunflower Farm has become a travel destination and photo op for thousands of people each year. The sunflowers bloom and peak in the Fall, typically around Labor Day, and look their best for about two weeks.
While Grinter’s farm is open every day from dawn to dusk during bloom season, they suggest visiting during off-hours for the best experience (and better photos). They also recommend going before or after Labor Day to avoid traffic jams and large crowds. Make sure you check Grinter Farm’s Facebook page for “Rules of Engagement” before you go.
Admission is free, but remember to bring a couple dollars for a donation. The Grinter family works hard to harvest beautiful sunflowers for our community’s enjoyment, so be sure to grab a t-shirt or leave a donation if you can.
No matter how you choose to spend your Labor Day weekend, we hope you have a wonderful time spent with friends and family. And if you break a sweat over the holiday and need a deodorizing machine, you know who to call. From the whole team at StinkBOSS, happy Labor Day!