© 2022 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

6 Hot Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend


The “dog days” are here, right? Hot. Sticky. Hotter than sticky.

If you can’t beat the August sauna, join it this weekend – heck, it can’t hurt to try – by doing things dedicated to hot snacks, hot music, hot comedy and other sizzling stuff.

Sweaty already? Good!

1. Heart of America Hot Dog Festival

Give a big hooray to baseball’s favorite food and get down to old-school funk and R&B at this annual appreciation of the red-hot hot dog. Boogying music acts include headliners Cameo (“Word Up”) and the S.O.S. Band (“Take Your Time (Do It Right)”) along with vocalist Avery Sunshine, trumpeter Lin Rountree and saxophonist Marcus Anderson. Hot bonus: Tickets to the festival – held for the second year on Paseo Boulevard between 18th Street and Truman Road – are also good for free admission to the nearby Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the 18th and Vine District.

Saturday, 3-11 p.m.; sponsored by Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 1616 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $10, $20.

2. Kansas City Grilled Cheese Festival

It might seem counterintuitive to grill anything in the heat, but even hot people have to eat. And so the ever-popular grilled cheese sandwich will take its place in the sun (all the better to get gooey with) at the first-ever Kansas City Grilled Cheese Festival. The oh-so-cheesy goodness will be prepared by local restaurants and food trucks, and there will be live music, games, bounce houses, face painting and a (gulp) grilled cheese eating contest. Hey, if you’re hot anyway, you might as well burn up your colon.

Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Berkley Riverfront Park, 1298 E. Riverfront Dr., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $15, ages 10 and younger free.

3. ‘Disney’s High School Musical 1 & 2’

High school is hot! At least when feverishly reflected upon in the song-and-dance inferno known as “Disney’s High School Musical 1 & 2,” which streamlines two hit stage musicals into a single show. Even if your own personal hotness has cooled off some with age (uh, it happens), it’s worthwhile to witness the young and the strong among us singing and hoofing in such stoked-up “High School Musical” numbers as “Get’cha Head in the Game” and “All For One.” The highs and lows of teen-focused love, friendship, sports and summer vacation beckon. Feel the years melt away!

Friday-Sunday, 8:30 p.m.; Theatre in the Park at Shawnee Mission Park, 7710 Renner Road, Shawnee, Kan.; tickets: $6, $8.

4. Kansas City Paranormal Conference 2018

If your brain blazes about all things uncanny, from ghosts and UFOs to Bigfoot, then this weekend’s seventh annual Kansas City Paranormal Conference (or Paracon to devoted attendees) is definitely the hot spot. Speakers and vendors steeped in the supernatural will trek here from across the United States to intrigue and entice with their words and wonderments. As TV’s mystery-laden “The X-Files” ardently stated: “I want to believe”…but in what? Well, what’ve you got? See how this works.

Friday, 4 p.m.-Sunday, 3 p.m.; Ivanhoe Masonic Lodge, 8640 Holmes Road, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $15.

5. Bob Saget

Is comedian Bob Saget’s stand-up act too hot to handle? Not for Saget, who can’t get enough of blowing away the squeaky clean image he created for himself in the 1980s and ’90s as a cast member of the ridiculously family friendly TV sitcom “Full House” and the always happy host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Saget’s act is self-rated “R-ish,” due to rough language and how he specializes in creative bad taste – or what was once upon a time semi-affectionately known as “sick humor.” Because he also sings and plays guitar onstage, some of his best “worst” stuff also has a catchy melody. Saget is still slyly good-natured, but his material isn’t for everyone. So if you’re easily offended and wear a collar to this show, you might get hot under it.

Friday, 7:30 and 10 p.m.; Saturday, 6 and 8:30 p.m.; Kansas City Improv Comedy Club at Zona Rosa, 7620 N.W. 87th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $35.

6. Hot Wheels at The National Museum of Toys / Miniatures

It’s the 50th anniversary of Hot Wheels, those tiny toy metal cars that kids still collect and spend days playing with on driveways, sidewalks and other zoom-worthy summer surfaces. And when a Hot Wheels-playing kid grows up? If you’re Mitchell Lane Eggers – who spent his childhood obsessing over Hot Wheels in Manhattan, Kansas – you lend some of your favorite models to the National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, whose Hallway of Collections now has a case with 165 parked Hot Wheels from Eggers’ collection (circa 1968 to 1977). That includes such common types as the Paddy Wagon and the Red Baron, but also more elusive Hot Wheels models, like the 1970 “Rainbow of Sand Crabs.” I don’t know what that means, but it’s hot!

Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; the National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, 5235 Oak St.; tickets: $5, ages 4 and younger free.

Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at brianmctavish@gmail.com. 

Brian McTavish follows popular culture in the belief that the search for significance can lead anywhere. Brian explains, "I've written articles and reviews ... reviewed hundreds of concerts, films and plays. And the thing is, these high arts all sprang from the pop culture of their day. Don't forget: Shakespeare was once Spielberg."
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make non-profit journalism available for everyone.