Five Things We Love About Spring in Merriam!

While it has been a pretty mild winter this year (so far), there is nothing like ushering in a fresh, new season. As we look forward to moving our clocks forward on Sunday, March 12, we also welcome the longer days ahead with warmer temps and lots of fun things to see and do! Here’s our take on things we love about spring in Merriam.

  1. The Heartland Artist Exhibition — this nationally juried art show features 56 artists from eight states and the opening reception provides live music, complimentary food and drinks, a chance to meet and mingle with the artists and the opportunity to buy your favorite piece! The show opens on Sat. March 4 (5-7 p.m. opening reception) and runs through April 1. The best part is this annual show (and all the monthly exhibits at the gallery) are FREE and open to the public. Learn more at Tim Murphy Art Gallery

  2. The most popular workshop of the year, the hanging flower basket workshop, is already sold out with a growing waiting list, but there are plenty of other options if you’re seeking a fun and interactive class environment to DIY, take a trip, or sharpen a skill. We’re loving the planting party and wine class on Friday, Mar. 24—what could be better than crafting and wine? Check out this fun event or many others at workshops and classes.

  3. Longer days means more time outdoors and Merriam is chock full of fresh-air options for you and your family! Let’s start with another round of park-hopping. You can choose from nine parks in Merriam. Maybe you can grab a book and head to Antioch Park for some reading in the sunshine while the kiddos play nearby at the wild-west themed play area known as Dodge Town. Or, explore the history behind Brown Park. Let’s not forget about the four miles of paved trail along the Turkey Creek Streamway Trail. You can explore wildlife, toss stones in the creek, bike, walk, jog or rollerblade–there’s always something to see along the way! Take along this handy park map so you can visit all the Merriam parks this spring!

  4. Patio time! While some days may still be a bit chilly for drinks on the patio, there will be random 72-degree perfect afternoons on occasion, so plan ahead for those warm weather days and grab a spot on the patio at Hurricane Allie’s. The food is delicious, the drinks are cold, and the vibe is nice and chill. You could play poker on Thursdays, sing along to karaoke Thursday-Saturday evenings, enjoy Taco Tuesday each week, or just stop by for a burger and fries.

  5. Last but not least, our favorite festival of the year takes place this spring in Antioch Park! Come out for a full day of family fun at Turkey Creek Festival on Sat., May 20. This annual event features free kids’ activities, live music, arts and crafts, a 5k walk/run, food trucks and so much more! Start with the pancake feed by Boy Scout Troop 0247, then make your way through the many things to do throughout the day! Turkey Creek Festival is always a great way to spend a Saturday with family and friends and it offers free admission!

2023: New and newsworthy in Merriam!

Welcome to 2023! The new year brings a fresh perspective and motivation to try new things, make resolutions (or goals) and strive to be a tiny bit better than the year before. Whether that’s in health and fitness, kindness to others, finishing stalled projects, reigniting a hobby, or just slowing down the pace to appreciate what already is. Whatever your plan for 2023 is, we say, “go get it, this is the year!”

Here in Merriam, we’ve got our top new and newsworthy things to share for the coming year (and beyond)–take a look!

  1. Antioch Library – After a 60-year history in its current location at the corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch Road, plans are now in the works to relocate Antioch Library to the new Merriam Community Center campus. Dirt is moving and construction will begin soon on the new Merriam Plaza Library, anticipated to be complete in 2024. You can learn more about the project here!
  2. Chipotle – Did someone say burrito bowl? The newest addition to Merriam’s restaurant scene is the Chipotle Mexican Grill located at 8800 Shawnee Mission Parkway. Whether you prefer a bowl or a salad, quesadilla or burrito, just don’t forget the queso. You can also order ahead and pick up in the Chipotlane without even leaving your car!
  3. Merriam Grand Station – If you’ve driven along Shawnee Mission Parkway just east of I-35 lately, you’ve certainly noticed the buzz of construction taking place on Drake Development’s newest project, Merriam Grand Station. This $136 million redevelopment will feature 10,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, 10,000 square feet of civic space and two apartment buildings with at least 350 units total. There will also be a parking structure on the south end of the property. Dirt is moving and we expect to see a completed project by the end of 2026. Learn more about Merriam Grand Station.
  4. Improvements to Downtown Merriam – Downtown Merriam can expect to see quite a bit of movement in the coming years. From a design agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reduce the flood risk along the Upper Turkey Creek, to downtown improvements including changing the road from the current two, three, and four lanes to two and three lanes throughout; diagonal parking spaces in front of the Merriam Farmers’ Market; a shared-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists; raised crosswalks with removable bollards for special events held downtown; a new Merriam Marketplace entrance; a gateway monument into downtown Merriam; and new LED streetlights. Follow along as we move Merriam’s downtown forward–Downtown Merriam Project.
  5. The Merriam Hotel Improvement Grant – The hotels along the east and west Frontage Roads in Merriam can apply for grant funding to spruce up their properties. Approved by City Council in late 2022, the Merriam Hotel Improvement Grant will offer a 50% match of up to $250,000 per hotel for interior or exterior improvements. The grant application will go live in January and is available for the four hotel properties located in Merriam.

While there’s no doubt more good things to come in Merriam throughout the year, we’ll be glad to share them with you as they pop up, so be sure to follow @exploremerriam on Facebook or Instagram!

MERRIAM…fall by the letter!

Fall has officially arrived in Merriam and she is really showing out! Bursting with changing colors and crisp autumn air, this popular Midwest season will stir your senses with delectable flavors and plenty of fun across the city. So grab your pumpkin spice latte and a cozy sweater, and Explore Merriam! Below, you’ll find our take on Merriam’s top fall to-do’s, by the letter!

M: MAKE IT LOCAL — visit all the local shops, attractions, restaurants and more in Merriam! From the delicious pumpkin spice Povitica at Strawberry Hill Bakery to the cutest boutique finds at the Sunflower Market, no visit to Merriam is complete without a snack and souvenir!

E: EVENTSHalloween Happenings is a not-so scary event with plenty of tricks and treats for the little ones. Join us Saturday, Oct. 22 at 2:00 p.m. — costume up, because we’ll have lots of spooky fun including games, mini-golf, an InstaFunKC photo booth, and more! Ages 10 and under are welcome to participate in this free community event.

R: RUN, hike, bike or walk along the Turkey Creek Streamway Trail. Fall is the most beautiful season along the creek, and you’ll savor the changing colors of the leaves, the fresh air, and the wildlife sightings along your trail trek. Capturing a sunset across the creek is also a sight to see!

R: REST up with an overnight stay in Merriam! Our hotels and RV park offer affordability, guest preferred amenities, and access to all of Kansas City right off I-35. Check out our lodging options and book your stay in Merriam!

I: INSTAGRAMMABLE moments can be had at Merriam’s parks, public art installations, or along the trail. Capture your favorites and share with us @ExploreMerriam, #ExploreMerriam.

A: ART is aplenty in Merriam. From the super shiny Planting the Seeds pods at the Merriam Marketplace, to the beautiful BASK sculpture and Tim Murphy Art Gallery at the Merriam Community Center, we have dozens of places to peep public art across the city. Check out our impressive collection online and then art hop across Merriam to appreciate the pieces in person!

M: MINGLE AT THE MCC – The Merriam Community Center is the place to be! You can meet friends for coffee, become a member, grab a day pass, take a class, or check out the monthly exhibit at the art gallery. There’s so much to do, you’ll find yourself enjoying every season at the MCC.

Merriam’s Summer Top 10!

Summer is officially here and it’s the perfect season to savor longer days, warmer temps and boundless opportunities for fun! Here’s our take on 10 ways to have an unforgettable summer in Merriam! Before your visit, check out our special offers at local hotels and businesses for a great weekend getaway!

  1. View a special screening of The Sandlot at the Dive-In Movie Night, June 24 at the MCC Outdoor Pool (free for MCC members / $7 non-members).
  2. Explore a new Merriam park each week with the #10parks10weeks promotion.
  3. Salute the red, white and blue during the 16th annual Flags 4 Freedom display, July 2-9 in downtown Merriam.
  4. Take the KC Sweet Treats trip—Merriam’s very own Strawberry Hill Povitica is on the route and you’ll love all the flavors you’ll encounter while visiting. 
  5. Celebrate the 2nd birthday of the Merriam Community Center at a birthday pool party on July 29.
  6. Grab some ice-cream at Merriam’s Russell Stover or Sonic for a cool treat on a hot, summer day–make sure to pay attention to the stunning flower baskets adorning Merriam Drive!
  7. Get your motor runnin’ for the annual Merriam Cruise Night along Merriam Drive on Aug. 13
  8. Dance the night away at the Concert in the Courtyard on Aug. 19 at the Merriam Community Center Courtyard.
  9. Pick-up farm fresh veggies, fruits, flowers and baked goods every Saturday morning at the Merriam Farmers’ market (through Sept. 24).
  10. Beat the heat and view the monthly exhibit at the Tim Murphy Art Gallery located inside the Merriam Community Center, or brave the temps and explore all of Merriam’s art collections across the city.

Learn more about Merriam’s places to shop, dine, eat and stay this summer at!

10 parks, 10 weeks!

Summer is nearing and there is plenty of exploration to be had in Merriam during this most favorite season of the year. From pool days with sun rays, outdoor patio lunches, shopping the Farmers’ Market or checking out public art, summer is the perfect time to welcome the warm weather and fill up the calendar with fun things to do!

New this year, the 10 parks, 10 weeks campaign will feature one of Merriam’s 10 parks and trails each week from June 1 – August 3. Discover favorite park amenities, host a birthday party in a park shelter, fish at the lake, enjoy a friendly game of pickleball, or pitch a blanket for an afternoon picnic. Explore all of Merriam’s parks and soak in the natural beauty of the outdoors all summer long!

Download our 10 parks, 10 weeks tracker below so you can check off each week’s visit to the corresponding park. We’ll post the weekly park on Facebook and Instagram (@ExploreMerriam) on Wednesdays. Then it’s time for you to go, see and explore! While you’re there, snap a few pics and post them socially using #10parks10weeks, and tag @ExploreMerriam to be entered to win a cool parks prize package after our 10-week campaign closes.

Merriam parks are open sunrise to sunset daily and are a great way to sprinkle in summer fun that’s affordable, educational and inclusive for all! Learn more about all of Merriam’s parks and trails at

#10parks10weeks // @ExploreMerriam on Facebook and Instagram

Celebrate Mom in Merriam!

Show how much your mama means to you with thoughtful gifts and activities this Mother’s Day. From delightful dining to gifts galore, Merriam has curated a lovely list of memorable ideas to spoil the caretaker in your family!

Meals for mom – Treat her to a no-cooking day (or at least one meal). From brunch to dinner or coffee in the afternoon, there are plenty of spots to consider. Check out Merriam’s dining options!

Gifts – Looking for a thoughtful gift? Merriam has everything from clothing to home décor to personal services. Visit Gemini or Sunflower Market in downtown Merriam, head over to Hobby Lobby or IKEA off of Johnson Drive and IKEA Way, or schedule a mani/pedi at Merriam Town Center.

Flowers – brighten mom’s day with fresh flowers! The Merriam Farmer’s Market offers two vendors who can delight with a fresh arrangement just in time for Mother’s Day. Visit Flourishing Time and Backyard Blossoms at the Merriam Marketplace on Saturday mornings starting May 7.

Wellness – Give your mom the gift of pampering. Whether she likes sweating it out at a fitness class at the MCC, or prefers the zen of a massage from Advent Health, the options for mom-care are endless.

Wine – For those who want to imbibe with the matriarch, check out the wine selection at one of Merriam’s newest businesses, Mr. and Mrs. O Liquors at 5911 Merriam Drive. Cheers to a beautiful and memorable Mother’s Day.

QT – not QuickTrip, even though yes, we have one of those too, but quality time. Spend a few hours together, take pictures, walk the Streamway Trail, visit a local park or just plant flowers together at her house. Oftentimes, the most affordable memories are the best ones!

It’s Meetings and Events Season…

Meetings and events season is upon us, and if you’re looking for a venue to host a conference, birthday party, wedding reception, or family/class reunion, Merriam is just right! We offer small to mid-size venues nearby all of Kansas City, giving your guests great access to the entire metro region.

Whether you’re a couple planning a small wedding for family and friends, or an event planner coordinating a conference for hundreds of attendees, the Merriam Visitors Bureau should be your first point of contact. We’re skilled in matching your needs with the perfect venue in Merriam!

We’re highlighting five great options that are accessible, convenient and won’t break the bank. Take a look at our top spots to host your next meeting or event in Merriam, Kansas…next door neighbor to Kansas City!

Merriam Community Center
Merriam’s newest venue is the Merriam Community Center, a 60,000+ square-foot facility across the street from IKEA that boasts meeting and event space in multiple rooms for two to 250 people. Guests can enjoy a formal reception in the Founders space, while others may consider the MCC for a child’s birthday party in one of the pool party areas. Additionally, smaller meeting spaces can easily accommodate business functions. With a fun outdoor courtyard for business breaks or Vitamin D seeking, the MCC is the place to gather! Check out the meeting spaces at MCC or call 913-322-5550 for more information!

Merriam Historic Plaza
The meeting space at Merriam Historic Plaza is ideal for small business functions like a sales training, staff retreat or marketing presentation. Housed among the historic collection of Merriam’s past, the room features seating for up to 30 people and includes access to audio/visual components, allows open catering, and is open M-F during office hours from 8am-4:30pm. With rates starting at $40/hour, Merriam Historic Plaza is an affordable option for businesses on a budget.

Community Training Room
The Community Training Room is located inside Merriam City Hall on the upper level. The Community Training room can host up to 112 people and features a nearby kitchen for food/beverage preparation, plenty of parking, an elevator to the meeting room, and a convenient location in the metro region between Johnson Drive and Shawnee Mission Parkway along I-35.

Hampton Inn & Suites
If you’ve got guests who also need overnight accommodations, consider meeting at Merriam’s Hampton Inn & Suites. Located off the 75th Street Exit & West Frontage Road along I-35, Hampton’s meeting space is ideally situated for small to medium-sized functions. With 800 sqare feet, guests can space out and get down to business! After a long-day of brain-work, relax by the indoor pool with a cold drink, or retire to your room for an early bedtime!

Rosedale Masonic Lodge
The Rosedale Lodge in Merriam features event space for up to 100 guests! Best used for wedding receptions, bar/bat mitzvahs, quinceaneras, dinner parties, and church related events, the Lodge offers a full-service kitchen featuring separate entry doors making catered functions easy to host. The Lodge’s website also makes booking a breeze—click here to request a date!

If outdoor venues are your vibe, check out Merriam’s vast array of parks and facility rentals, including the beautiful Merriam Marketplace in downtown Merriam!

As always, the Merriam Visitors Bureau is here to make your meetings and events a success! Give us a call or click and we’ll be glad to assist! | 913-322-5533

Wintertime Hygee…

Hygee: pronounced hue-gah, this Danish word describes a level of coziness which enables a sense of well-being and contentment.

Let’s face it. Winter can drag on for quite a while, and in Kansas, it can be sunny and 75 in November or below zero with blizzard conditions in February. In the beginning of winter, we’re all looking forward to sipping hot cocoa by the fire, and curling up with a good book. As the weeks fade into months, we start getting twitchy for sun and spring again, and we desperately need to get out and explore.

But we don’t have to wait for 75 and sunny to bring about feelings of happiness. Channel your inner hygee and check out Merriam’s winter warm fuzzies below!

  1. Snuggle up with a new BFF. Adopt, don’t shop, and find your furever friend at Merriam’s Great Plains SPCA.
  2. Hit the trail for some Vitamin D, fresh air and your daily step count. Merriam’s Turkey Creek Streamway Trail is a paved path of nearly five miles running from the access point at 75th & West Frontage Road all the way to Antioch.
  3. Pick a park and explore away. Winter is a great time of year to peep the wildlife, winter foliage and quiet outdoor spaces. Merriam has ten parks—pick a new one each week to explore or see pages 24-25 in the Merriam Visitor Guide for a take-along park guide.
  4. Coffee + Art. Grab a warm coffee from Caribou and then trek around town to see Merriam’s impressive art collection. Click here for a full list!
  5. Take a class, start a new fitness routine or sign up for a fun, new workshop at the Merriam Community Center. Staff pick: Succulent Time–Planting Party + Wine. Learn more here.

If all else fails and you’re still longing for those climbing temps, go ahead and sip more hot cocoa by the fire with a good book. Spring will be here before you know it.

>>> Check out pages 16-17 in the 2022 Merriam Visitor Guide for a four-season glimpse of Merriam!

2022 visitor guide