KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With cooler temperatures finally here, it’s now the perfect time to take the dog out for a nice evening stroll. Some dogs really hate the heat, and their owners don’t want to walk in it either. Fall is prime time to stretch your legs.
Kansas City has a wide range of parks, public spaces and hotels that cater to dogs’ needs. Whether you are new to the area or have lived here your whole life, this guide will help you find the best experiences for your loyal canine.
The specialty hangout spot for dogs is in the River Market area. Bar K Dog Bar gives dogs the chance to hang out and play with other pups; meanwhile, their owners get the chance to make new friends and grab some coffee or a beer. The popular park is located on the shore of the Missouri River in Berkley Riverfront Park, under the Heart of America Bridge.
Bar K is open 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner to both humans and dogs daily. The menu includes items like chicken tenders, deviled eggs, steak bowls, macaroni and cheese, salads, white bean chili, fresh baked cookies and Betty Rae’s ice cream. Dogs can also be treated to beef stew, chicken risotto, ice cream nuggets and turkey bacon jerky. Selections for dogs are on a different menu.
Anyone without a dog is welcome to visit Bar K for free. Pups need either a membership or guess pass to enter. Bar K also has private event spaces where you can hold dog friendly meetings, birthdays, fundraisers and more. There is the nearby River Market Dog Park, which is free. The River Market has a myriad of restaurants with outdoor seating where you can relax with your dog while eating some grub.
Ermine Case Junior Park is also near Bar K. Not as many people use the area. It’s a small park with a good view of the river. Case Park is south of Ninth Street to Tenth Street on Jefferson Street in the Quality Hill neighborhood. It is adjacent to West Terrace Park.
In the Westport neighborhood area, Mo Brew has open patio seating in its outside bar. Dog owners are welcome to bring their pup.
Mo Brew is located on 39th street. It features rare craft beers, and a cheap happy hour menu — $1.50 burgers and $1.50 fries from 3:00pm to 7:00pm Monday thru Friday.
Kaldi’s has two locations in the Country Club Plaza. Kaldi’s is a great stop for coffee and a place for your dog to rest. Both locations have outdoor seating.
West Bottoms is open to walkers and their dogs. Most of the antique shop owners are cool with pups. The area gets extra foot-traffic during First Fridays.
Marshalls actually lets you shop with your dog. The store has a wide selection of dog treats, clothing, and toys.
Shawnee Mission Park includes a large off-leash dog area. There is also a lake where your dog is free to swim. The park has a beach, boat and kayak rentals, and several trails. It’s an excellent place for relaxation and recreation.
The Pet Ranch Dog Park is located off 151st and Olathe. The park has 13 acres of free land for canines to roam. It is an exclusive dog park costing $35 a month. The park features a dog pond and an agility course.
Other great parks for dogs
For those looking for an urban dog park: head to Swope Park or Loose Park just south of the Country Club Plaza and Penn Valley Park. Jackson County’s Longview Lake Park is an ideal location for fishing, camping, and hiking. Penn Valley Park and Swope Park have off-leash sections.
Leafwood Dog Park has lots of grassy space, and a charming wood-fenced area. It is well maintained, has water-hosing stations, and nine whole yards. It’s a little bit of a walk to actually get to the park.
Crestview Park in the Northland has a new jungle gym and woods all along it. There is also a creek. It’s a kid friendly park.
The Trolley Trail through Brookside and Waldo is a winding track that brings in people from all walks of life along with their pets.
Tails and Trails is in Grandview. It has lots of open space and a water fountain.
Dogs are also welcome in some parts of the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Dogs must be on a leash; they are restricted to the mulch paths or the International Sculpture Trail around the Pavilion.
For the perfect picnic spot, head to the lawn of the The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The lawn has a walk-through maze and the iconic, larger-than-life Shuttlecocks.
Maple Woods Natural Area in Gladstone is a great place to get some exercise, hike, and walk the dog. It’s also a spot known for wildlife and bird watching. It’s secretly tucked between a neighborhood and a highway. There are several hiking paths, making each visit unique. This is also a great place to see the leaves change color this fall. The area gives people an idea of what the north Kansas City area looked like before people settled here and buildings took over the skyline.
If you’re willing to take a longer drive, Kill Creek Streamway has a lovely off-leash dog park. The view there is spectacular. The park isn’t well-known unless you live in De Soto. The park has a stream as well as bridges for dogs to explore. Those who love walking outside with their dog should definitely check out this nature spot.
Hotels and lodging for dogs
Traveling with a furry companion can be stressful. It’s not always easy to find a dog friendly hotel. Several of Kansas City’s hotels offer pet-friendly accommodations including: The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center; Hotel Indigo – Downtown; Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center; Ambassador Hotel Kansas City; Intercontinental Kansas City at the Plaza; and Residence Inn Kansas City Downtown/Convention Center, and 21c Museum Hotel.
Airbnb also has several different listings that are dog friendly. From condos, duplexes, houses, lofts, and even mansions — sometimes you can find a better deal than what a hotel offers. (Although, the mansion prices are in the thousands of dollars.)
Kansas City is also home to top dog day care centers: Camp Bow Wow, Dog’s World of Fun, Pooches Paradise Daycare Resort, Pete & Mac’s Pet Resorts, Doggie Style Bowtique, and Dog Pawz.