What to do This Summer in Independence

You don’t have to go far to have fun in the sun at Eastland Trails! Check out these summertime events in and around Independence!

Independence, Missouri is a great place to live, with tons to do all year long. Summer especially is a fantastic time of the year, and because Eastland Trails is just minutes away from Lee’s Summit and a short drive from Kansas City, even if you don’t feel like staying here for the day there’s plenty else to choose from!


Every Labor Day Historic Independence Square is transformed for SantaCaliGon, the best (free!) festival in the area. The first SantaCaliGon Days was in 1940, celebrating the heritage of the City of Independence and its being the starting point of the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails. The next festival wasn’t held until 1947, then it became an annual event starting in 1974. In the past 47 years, the festival has grown and now draws more than 300,000 people. Check out this year’s entertainment and vendor list, and keep track of the countdown to the event on their website. You can also keep up with the excitement by following them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and watch videos from previous SantaCaliGon Festivals, including rare footage from the 1947 festival on their YouTube channel.

Independence Square

Even before and after SantaCaliGon, Independence Square is the perfect summertime spot. Filled with shopping, dining, and entertainment, Independence Square has something for everyone. See history in action on a horse-drawn carriage and stop by Clinton’s Soda Fountain where President Harry S. Truman had his first job as a kid. Whether or not you’re into history, Independence Square will have something for you. Besides the shops and other entertainment, there are regular events all season long. Check out their website for more information and a full calendar of events, and while you’re there follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Other Nearby Festivals

If you don’t want to stay in Independence all summer there are tons of other nearby options as well. For example, Eastland Trails is just a few minutes’ drive to Lee’s Summit, who bookend summer with two of the area’s best festivals. Mark your calendars for early June to welcome the summer with Lee’s Summit Downtown Days, a free, family festival with live music and other entertainment, vendors, and carnival rides. Learn more on their website, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram as well. Lee’s Summit also knows how to wrap up the summer, by transforming downtown into Germany in their late-September Oktoberfest. Enjoy all the traditional German food, drink, and entertainment you want, including both a Biergarten and a Rootbiergarten! Learn more and watch the countdown on their website!

What are your favorite summertime activities in the Independence area? Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to let us know!

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