All Around KC: Spring into summer at local Kansas City attractions

The ‘Sun Pavilion’ installation at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art coincides with the museum’s World’s Fair exhibit. The inside of the pavilion features recycled materials.

Thanks to an unusually clement winter, Kansas City hasn’t caught cabin fever quite as bad as it normally does this time of year.

If a pleasant winter is any foreshadowing of a blistering summer, now is a good time to take advantage of the outdoors. Temperatures haven’t gotten extreme yet, and the spring semester is finally drawing to a close.

Those tired of the Kansas City grind will find it refreshing to get out of the house and visit a new local attraction.

The Kansas City Zoo

The zoo isn’t just for kids. Jackson and Clay County residents receive discounted $5 adult admission. The African Sky Safari, which takes visitors on a $4, seven minute trip 35 feet above cheetahs, lions, giraffes, rhinos and other animals, ends near one of the best chimpanzee exhibits in the world.

The popular polar bear exhibit boasts a 140,000 gallon pool, and educates visitors about shrinking polar habitats.

UMKC visitors can pay homage to the school mascot at the zoo’s Australian zone.

Hours are 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays, and 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekends. The Zoo is located in Swope Park at 6800 Zoo Drive.

The ‘Sun Pavilion’ installation at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art coincides with the museum’s World’s Fair exhibit. The inside of the pavilion features recycled materials.

The ‘Sun Pavilion’ installation at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art coincides with the museum’s World’s Fair exhibit. The inside of the pavilion features recycled materials.

The visual arts

The internationally-acclaimed Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is on a roll with its summer exhibits. Motorists and pedestrians who pass the museum on Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard will notice a series of solar panels and refurbished shipping containers, part of the recent “Sun Pavilion” installation. The installation is in conjunction with the new exhibit “Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851-1939.”

Whereas in the past, World’s Fairs were vehicles for spreading new technology and innovation and often housed in ornate structures, the pavilion looks to the future with its incorporation of green materials and contemporary aesthetic and functional design.

Inside, the World’s Fair exhibit takes visitors through a century of art and innovation from the World’s Fair.

Student tickets to the special exhibit are $5. Admission to the museum’s other exhibits is free.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is located at Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard and Oak Street.

Kauffman Stadium

Baseball season is kicking into high gear for the Royals.

Kauffman Stadium, a Kansas City tradition since 1973, is once again hopeful that its homegrown team may see some success.

“The K” is a fun place for baseball fanatics and casual game-goers to enjoy the American pastime.

If the Royals disappoint, Kauffman Stadium probably won’t. The recent remodel has brought the stadium out the nostalgic years when it hosted the 1985 World Series that witnessed the Royals defeat the St. Louis Cardinals. Too bad the fireworks, yummy, overpriced food and bottleneck traffic are no guarantee of success.

The great outdoors

Loose Park, at 51 Street and Wornall Road, is one of Kansas City’s most beautiful parks and is only a short walking distance from campus. Featuring a rose garden, pond, tennis courts and acres of scenic pastoral beauty and walking trails, is a fun weekend retreat. Enjoy a picnic by the pond and stroll through the park and the stately neighborhoods that surround it.

Joggers can take advantage of the numerous trails Kansas City has to offer. The Brush Creek river walk passes the Country Club Plaza and Theis Park across the Nelson. Also close to campus is the Brookside Trolley Track Trail, which runs through campus along Brookside Boulevard.

Whether it’s a romantic date, exercise routine or break from the stresses of life, spring is one of the best seasons to enjoy Kansas City’s natural beauty.

nzoschke@unews.com

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