Remember what it was like to be a kid in the summer? Riding bikes down to the corner store for a cold drink, or running the block with your friends until the sun went down. The hot summer sun and the smell of fresh cut grass can still take you back to that moment. The good times are alive and well in Pittsburg, where things still feel like they did in the good old days — only having to worry about how soon your friends would be ready to hang. Here are five things for kids to do this summer in the ‘burg.
Go for a Ride at Kiddieland
There’s no clearer indicator that summer has begun in Pitt than Kiddieland opening. Located inside Lincoln Park, Kiddieland is an amusement park that first opened in 1953 with a train ride. Today, it also features a roller coaster, planes, a ferris wheel, cards, tubs, and a vintage carousel that was recently donated by Riggs Chiropractic.
Kiddieland is often surrounded by summertime events as well, such as the Little Balkans Days festival, or concerts at the the Lincoln Park Band Dome, so there are things for the adults to do while the kiddos enjoy the rides.
Cool off at the Aquatic Center
Sometimes you just need to cool off when the Kansas heat really gets going. There’s no better spot to do that than the Pittsburg Aquatic Center. Like Kiddieland, the Aquatic Center is located in Lincoln park, which makes it convenient to include as part a full day of activities.
More than just a swimming pool, the aquatic center includes a variety of features for both kids and adults. There’s a 0-depth entry large pool, with several diving boards and tube slides. There’s also a toddler pool that includes fountains, a frog slide, and a playground. Want to get really relaxed? Take a ride on the Bicknell Island lazy river. If you want to heat back up, sand volleyball courts available as well. And when the kids get hungry there are snacks at the concession stand (plus a snow cone truck is often right out front).
Jump in to Festival Fun
Pittsburg is jam-packed with family friendly events and festivals throughout the summer. Mainstays like Little Balkans Days are always a great time, but if you don’t want to wait until late August, there are plenty of other options. Started in 2019, 620 day on June 20th (named after the city’s area code) is all about celebrating and taking pride in Pittsburg. This yearly event features live music, food trucks, vendors, and discounts at downtown establishments.
But wait…there’s more! From downtown block parties, to neighborhood celebrations, to events at the weekly farmers market, something is almost always going on. If you want to stay in the know on what events are coming up, the Crawford County and City of Pittsburg event calendars are always up-to-date with the latest happenings.
Take Your Pick of Parks
Few things say summertime fun like playing at the park. Pittsburg is home to over a dozen of them, with a variety of options depending on your location and what you want to do. If you’re looking for a large playground Schlanger Park is a great option. It also has a recently built splash pad, opening in summer of 2022, and a dog park if you want to bring them along too. If you want to do some fishing while the kids are playing, Lakeside Park offers an accessible fishing dock right next to the playground.
You can also make your trip to the park educational. Locations like Immigrant Park and Miners Memorial offer areas for kids to play, along with statues, murals, and placards commemorating the city’s history.
Indulge in Some Tropical Sno
Tropical Sno, or “Trop Sno” as it’s affectionately referred to by locals, is a small shack located across the street from Pittsburg State University campus. Don’t let its modest appearance fool you though — Trop Sno is legendary for its enormous selection of shaved ice flavors. Opening seasonally each year starting in early spring, you can always count on a long line of both kids and adults waiting to get their sno cone fix.
Whether you are a fan of the classics like lemon-lime, or something a little more unique like the “White Wizard” or “Wedding Cake”, there’s something for everyone. You can even make up your own flavor and name it yourself. All in all, it’s a great place to take the kids after a long hot day of summer fun.