Kansas City, MO
The city's Parks & Recreation headquarters is at 4600 E. 63rd St. Call (816) 513-7500 or visit the Web site, www.kcmo.org/parks for information.
Blue River Athletic Field, I-435 (103rd Street exit) and Blue River Road, 80 acres with eight baseball diamonds and many picnic areas.
Blue Valley Park, 23rd and Topping Avenue, 238 acres with baseball diamonds, Heritage Fountain and small lake.
Sheila Kemper Dietrich Park, 27th and Gillham; only 2.57 acres but a national model for barrier-free kids' play.
George E. Kessler Park, Paseo to Belmont Avenue off North Bluff, 303 acres with Missouri River overlooks and lighted tennis courts.
Loose Park, 51st and Wornall, south of the Country Club Plaza, 74 acres with lake, shelter house, Rose Garden (available for reservations at 816-784-5300), Civil War markers (it was a battlefield), tennis courts, walking/jogging path, wading pool, duck pond, band shell, picnic areas and great kite flying.
Minor Park, Holmes and Red Bridge roads, 235 acres of golf, tennis courts and picnic shelters with restrooms.
Penguin Park, N. North Avenue and N. Vivion Road, 3.42 acres of giant animals for climbing, trail and lake; Winter Wonderland every December.
Penn Valley Park, 28th and Wyandotte, includes the recently renovated World War I Liberty Memorial, an excellent view of downtown skyline, small lake, four tennis courts, ball diamond, picnic tables and restrooms.
Swope Park, Swope Parkway and Meyer Boulevard, at 1,769 acres the city's largest and one of its first parks. Home to the Kansas City Zoo, Sprint IMAX Theatre in the Deramus Education Pavilion at the Zoo, Starlight Theatre, Swope Memorial Golf Course, the Blue River Golf Academy, fishing lake, Lakeside Nature Center (816-513-8960) with good hands-on exhibits and the state's largest wildlife rehab center, swimming pool, 10 shelter houses, bicycle routes, many picnic areas, basketball courts and soccer and rugby fields.