Kansas City area families soak up the sun on unofficial last day of summer

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Labor Day’s arrival means sunshine will get a bit shorter, and summer’s unofficial close is here.

Fall arrives soon, and cooler conditions too, prompting many local businesses and attractions to adjust their schedules. The Farmer’s Almanac reports Sept. 22 as the first day of fall this year, but Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer.

Smiling faces came in droves to Worlds of Fun and its aquatic neighbor, Oceans of Fun, on Monday. The parks stayed open throughout summer 2021, something it was unable to do in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions.

“We have the kind of venue where people can go outside and enjoy themselves,” said Sean Cunniff, a spokesperson for the parks.

“We worked closely with the Kansas City Health Department and the Clay County Health Department. We listened to our city leaders. We followed the guidelines. We wanted to make sure there was a safe fun place for the people of Kansas City to come enjoy themselves.”

Cunniff said the attraction is looking ahead to Halloween Haunt in October, for which 600 teenagers will be hired to assist with the scary fun. Some of those positions will pay $20 per hour.

Public pools in Kansas City, as well as surrounding cities, will close for the year after Monday. Kansas City Parks and Recreation had two pools open on Labor Day: The Springs and The Bay.

Jackson County’s two lakes, Lake Jacomo and Longview Lake, both saw brisk traffic on Labor Day. Beaches at both of those parks will call it a year after Monday’s holiday. Brian Nowotny, a spokesperson for Jackson County Parks and Rec, said record numbers hit the lakes this weekend. He said demand for parks and lakes remains high; after COVID-19 struck, the need for outdoor activities hit a new peak.

“When our indoor activities were limited, people really discovered our parks, our trails, lakes. It’s been fantastic. It’s been busy since last year. It hasn’t let up,” Nowotny said.

Jackson County beaches close after Monday, but lakes and campgrounds have plenty of time remaining.

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