Attractions in Lee's Summit, Missouri

by Ann Goss

Lee's Summit, Missouri, is a Kansas City suburb with a population of more than 90,000 residents. The city offers small-town charm while providing tourists with attractions suitable to all ages. There's a historic district and the modern shopping areas with plenty of stores and restaurants. The former farming community also provides opportunities to spend time outdoors in parks or other area attractions.

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Bass Pro Shops

Independence is 15 miles from Lee City. It's worth driving to the 180,000-square-foot Bass Pro Shops (basspro.com). There's more to this store than most tourists expect. There's a huge fish tank where visitors watch the fish being fed twice a week and on Saturdays one child wins the chance to help with the feeding. There is an indoor firing range, paintball cage and Islamorada Fish Company restaurant.

Lee's Summit Historical Museum

Visitors discover the foundations of Lee's Summit at the historical museum. Lee's Summit Historical Museum (leessummithistory.net/) exhibits include historic artifacts, old postcards, photographs and more. Museum hours in 2011 are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is part of the train depot, so there is plenty of activity when trains are at the station.

Missouri Town 1855 Living History Museum

Missouri Town 1855 (www.jacksongov.org) is a museum dedicated to the life of a Missouri farmer in the 1800s. The living history museum features 25 buildings and original furnishings. Actors recreate the day in the life of those living in a farm community during this era. Visitors stroll through the 30-acre museum learning about farm work, animals raised in this period and the villagers' lifestyles.

Music in the Park

Lee's Summit Music in the Park concerts run from Memorial Day to Labor Day in Howard Station Park on the corner of Third and SE Main St. The free concerts start at 6:30 p.m. every Friday night. Howard Station Park has a children's playground, roller rink, skateboard areas and a mile-long paved trail.

Powell Gardens

Powell Gardens (www.powellgardens.org) is home to a large botanical garden, gift shop and nature center. Set on 915 acres, visitors spend time at the fountain garden where children play in the spraying water. Heartland Harvest Garden covers 12 acres filled with herbs, vegetables and fruit trees. Heartland Harvest Garden has a Fun Foods Farm where children enjoy gardening activities. The two-acre Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden includes a water garden, "secret garden" and Parterre garden. The Byron Schutz Nature Trail spans 3 1/4 miles, bordering frog ponds, meadows and woods. Ticket prices depend on the season, but in 2011 they range from $3 for children to $9.50 for adults. The botanical gardens off senior discounts and free admission to children under five and Friends of Powell Gardens members.

Unity Village Retreats and Gardens

Unity Village (unityvillage.org) offers nondenominational spiritual health retreats. The retreat packages include accommodations, nutritious meals, retreat activities and access to Unity Village facilities. The village sits on 1,400 landscaped acres with a golf course, bookstore/coffee shop, walking paths and pool. There are indoor and outdoor chapels available for all guests. The Gardens at Unity Village sells fresh fruits and vegetables on Saturdays from May to September.

About the Author

Ann Goss began her freelance writing career in 1999 reviewing books, with work appearing in "Romantic Times." She has also been published in "Earnshaws" and "New Directions in Nursing," as well as Debra White Smith's "101 Ways to Romance Your Marriage."

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