POWELL GARDENS

Powell Gardens Exterior

DESCRIPTION: Set on 915 acres of lush, rolling hills and windswept meadows, Powell Gardens—Kansas City's botanical garden—offers breathtaking displays of intricate gardens, interesting architecture, a nature trail and a year-round calendar of special events, exhibits and classes for the entire family.

ADDRESS: 1609 NW US Hwy 50, Kingsville, MO 64061

LOCATION: 30 miles east of Kansas City.

PHONE: 816-697-2600

WEB SITE: www.powellgardens.org

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook-Powell Gardens, Twitter-@PowellGardens, Instagram-powellgardens

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The 18,000-square-foot Visitor Education Center houses a gift shop, a café and classroom space, plus a glass-topped conservatory.
  • The 3.25-mile Byron Shutz Nature Trail leads visitors past frog-filled ponds, through woods of Osage orange and honey locust trees and into a field of meadow flowers.
  • Along Powell Gardens’ 12-acre lake, the colorful 3.5-acre Perennial Garden features more than 1,200 varieties of plants displayed in a series of “rooms” separated by trees and shrubs.
  • Discover the Island Garden—This oasis includes more than 200 varieties of water plants in exquisite reflecting pools and water containers,  a secret, sunken garden and a 600-foot “living” rock wall, the largest of its kind in North America. The Rock & Waterfall Garden is a stream and woodland garden that features a dramatic collection of ornamental trees, shrubs and perennials that thrive in shady areas. Its most popular display includes masses of hardy azaleas and rhododendrons.
  • Set on 12 acres, the Heartland Harvest Garden is the nation’s largest edible landscape—a delicious place meant to be enjoyed with all five senses. Visitors can sample the garden’s produce at the Tasting Station and watch cooking demonstrations offered most weekends. A visit to the Missouri Barn’s silo observation deck is a must, where guests can overlook the entire garden and see the Quilt Garden’s patterns.
  • See four creations by world-renowned architect E. Fay Jones, including an inspirational nondenominational chapel.

GARDEN HOURS: May-Sep., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily; Oct.-April, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Visit www.powellgardens.org for chapel, café and gift shop hours.

GENERAL ADMISSION: Nov.-March: adults $7, children (5-12) $3 and seniors $6. April-Oct.: adults $10, children (5-12) $4 and seniors $9. Children under 5 are always free. Festival admission applies for certain events.

ANNUAL ATTENDANCE: Approximately 120,000.

HISTORY: In 1948, George E. Powell, Sr., a prominent Kansas City businessman, acquired the beautiful tract of land that is now Powell Gardens. In 1969, he donated the 640-acre farm to the Kansas City Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, who used it as a regional camp until 1984. Partnering with the University of Missouri’s School of Agriculture, the Powell Family Foundation then began developing a horticultural and natural resource facility. As a part of this project, the Powell Center retained Pittsburgh-based Environmental Planning and Design, the leading U.S. consultants for botanical gardens. The firm recognized that the site would be ideal for development as a botanical garden. In 1988, official ties with the University of Missouri ended and Powell Gardens Inc., a not-for-profit organization, was established. Friends of Powell Gardens, a separate organization, is made up of nearly 5,000 members. The attraction is supported through private donations and admission, gift shop and rental revenues.

WHERE TO GET LUNCH: Open seven days a week from May through Oct., Powell Gardens’ Café Thyme offers a variety of lunch options from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (The café is closed in January and February, and open weekends only in November and December.)  

HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES: Powell Gardens offers a year-round schedule of classes on gardening, botanical arts and related topics. Hands-on discovery stations for children are frequently available on a drop-in basis.

ANNUAL SPECIAL EVENTS:

  • Booms and Blooms Festival (July)—One of Powell Gardens’ most popular traditions, this event fuses the bloom of hundreds of daylilies with children’s activities, picnics, symphony performances and fireworks.
  • Festival of Butterflies (August)—See hundreds of free-flying butterflies in an indoor exhibit and two outdoor displays. Children’s crafts, a costume parade and a butterfly art exhibit round out the festival.
  • Harvest Celebration and Antique Tractor Show (October)—The first weekend of October brings a return to Powell Gardens’ agricultural roots with a celebration of the best of the harvest season. The festival includes an exhibit of antique tractors, engines, farm machinery and trucks; a parade of power; tractor-driving skills games; children’s activities and more.
  • Glow: Jack-O-Lantern Festival (October) —During this spellbinding Halloween event, guests stroll along a path lined with more than 700 hand-carved jack-o-lanterns. 

WHAT’S NEW: Several events in the Heartland Harvest Garden allow guests to taste, smell or learn something new. Sample what’s fresh at a tasting session, discover unique recipes at the Garden Chef Series cooking demonstrations or enjoy an evening of food and drink at a Missouri Barn Dinner.

DID YOU KNOW: Powell Gardens celebrates the official flower of Kansas City, the iris, each May with two weekends devoted to the gardens’ extensive collection on Iris Hill, which was established by Dr. Norlan Henderson.

DON’T FORGET: The gardens’ winding paths, wooded trails and large gardens, make comfortable walking shoes a necessity for those wanting to explore.

GROUP TOURS: Powell Gardens offers a variety of group tours to help navigate the Garden’s collection. Call for more information.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS:

From the north: From I-35 S, take Exit 12A to I-435 S. Take MO-350 E (Exit 66) to 63rd Street/Raytown/Lee's Summit. Continue on MO-350 E and then merge onto US-50 E. The entrance to Powell Gardens is on the left (north) side of Highway 50.

From the south: Take I-435 E to I-470 E. Then take the Hwy 50 E exit in Lee’s Summit. The entrance is on the left (north) side of Highway 50.

From the west: Take I-70 E toward St. Louis. Exit at Bates City. Take Highway Z south 13 miles to Hwy 50. Turn left on Highway 50. Travel one mile; the Gardens’ entrance is on the left (north) side of Highway 50.

From the east: Take Highway 50 west toward Kansas City. Powell Gardens is 20 miles west of Warrensburg. The entrance is on the right (north) side of Highway 50.

PARKING: Parking at Powell Gardens is free.

PUBLIC RELATIONS CONTACT: Callen Fairchild Zind, director of marketing and events, 816-697-2600 ext. 236 or czind@powellgardens.org.

Media Contacts

Derek Klaus
National & Convention Media:
Derek Klaus
Director of Communications
816-691-3849
dklaus@visitkc.com | Twitter | LinkedIn
Toni Alexander
Regional & KC Media:
Toni Alexander
Communications Manager
816-691-3848
talexander@visitkc.com | LinkedIn
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