KC Parks and Rec

Rob Bertholf / Flickr -- CC

It's one of the best times of the year to be outside. It's officially fall on the calendar, and after a hot September, it has finally cooled down.

In that spirit, KCUR’s Food Critics searched out the best outdoor dining spots on Friday's Central Standard. From a see-and-be-seen sidewalk café to something that's more secluded and romantic, they found a plethora of spots in and around KC to enjoy the outdoors with food and drink in hand.

Here are their recommendations:

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

In an effort to address crime in public parks, the Kansas City Council is proposing implementing park hours and developing a plan to make them safer. 

Recent murders near several Kansas City trails and parks have brought park safety to the forefront of conversations within the council and in neighborhood groups across the city. 

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

Winding 10 miles north and south through the heart of Kansas City, Paseo Boulevard, or "The Paseo," is the longest and one of the oldest boulevards in the city. But before we had The Paseo, and all the other parkways and boulevards that have come to define the city, Kansas City was basically a congested metropolis that was hard to get around. 

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

This story was rebroadcast as part of our best-of 2015 series. Since it was first reported in September, Sean Owens and his group of volunteers have uncovered the entire staircase. 

West Terrace Park sits on the edge of a bluff on the west end of Kansas City's Quality Hill neighborhood.

It offers a scenic overlook of the West Bottoms, the Kaw and Missouri rivers, and downtown Kansas City, Kansas. 

In the 1960s, parts of the park — including a road, a grotto, and a staircase, were demolished for the Interstate 35 extension. Over time, the history and grandeur of what was left of the park was covered by mud, graffiti, trash and invasive bush honeysuckle. 

But Kansas Citian Sean Owens, who has admired the park since he was a kid, wants to uncover, cleanup and restore this park to its original beauty.

Charvex / Wikimedia -- CC

Every Kansas Citian has a list of out-of-towner attractions — barbecue, the Nelson-Atkins, a stroll through the Plaza. But we have been wondering: what should Kansas Citians be putting on our own to-do list? What hidden gems are right next to us that we need to see (or do) at least once?

We asked you to give us your suggestions, and we got a ton of them!

Here we present the incomplete "Kansas Citian bucket list" — a list of things every person in Kansas City should do at least once. Feel free to add additional items in the comments.

Between 1890 and 1915,  Kansas City's parks and boulevards rescued the city from the title of "filthiest city in America."  On this Up To Date, we talk about the city's transformation.

Guests:

  • Dona Boley, co-author, Kansas City’s Parks and Boulevards.
  • Mark McHenry, Director of Parks and Recreation for Kansas City, Mo.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Driving around Kansas City’s Northland on Vivion Road, it’s kind of hard to miss Penguin Park. It has a way of sticking out – there’s a giant penguin standing in the center of it. But why is the penguin there? And where did it come from? 

Listener42 / https://flic.kr/p/662EaZ

The memories of our childhood playgrounds remain with many of us as adults. A recent study of Kansas City's parkland revealed that low-income areas have fewer playgrounds in their parks than high-income areas.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Recently, Kansas State University researchers visited every park in Kansas City, Mo., to analyze the distribution of parks and park amenities throughout the city.

They found low-income neighborhoods, including Kansas City's east side, have fewer playgrounds than high-income neighborhoods. That’s in spite of having a higher concentration of parkland in those same neighborhoods. Researchers studied 219 parks and about 12,000 acres of parkland.

Green space in low-income areas

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

When Kansas City Parks and Recreation built Penn Valley's Skate Park in 2006, the $380,000 cost didn't cover everything on the plans.  

Kansas City Losing Thousands Of Trees A Year

May 1, 2012
Carrie Coogan / KCUR

If you spent some time outside in the Brookside or Waldo area of town this weekend, chances are you saw people planting trees.  They are trying to replace thousands of trees that are disappearing from our neighborhoods.