Gladstone is a small, perfectly-located community with wonderful neighborhoods, schools, restaurants and parks. It’s only 10 minutes north of downtown Kansas City and 10 minutes southeast of the Kansas City airport — a short drive to all your necessities while still possessing the quiet, relaxed vibe of a suburb.
It’s no wonder so many families choose to make Gladstone their home. Whether you are one of those families or a visitor still curious about this undiscovered gem, there are several events in Gladstone you should know about. And while you’re there for Gladstone festivals and events, there are a couple restaurants you don’t want to miss.
This guide to Gladstone events will give you all the information you need to have a good time in this neat city.
Events in Gladstone
Events in Gladstone are always fun for the whole family. There are smaller events throughout the year put on by schools, businesses, the library and other local institutions. While any of these events could be a great time, we’re going to focus on a couple of the largest events in the city.
These annual Gladstone events bring the whole community together. They’re an opportunity to get to know your neighbors and celebrate the culture of Gladstone.
Gladstone Summertime Bluesfest: A crown jewel of Gladstone festivals and events, the summertime Bluesfest is the perfect way to get your summer going. This annual festival, which has been running for more than 20 years, is held in early June at a local park. Along with games and food, the obvious highlight of this festival is blues music. Enjoy two days of blues performed by many artists, and bring a lawn chair for the most comfortable seat in front of the outdoor stage. Admission to the Summertime Bluesfest is a suggested $5 donation.
Gladfest Fall Festival: When the leaves start to turn and the flannels come out of the closet, it’s time for Gladfest, one of the best fall festivals for families anywhere in Kansas City. More than 10,000 people join in the celebration each year, according to the Gladstone Chamber of Commerce. This event includes things like:
- Musical performances
- Dance performances
- A full carnival
- A model train exhibit
- Street booths for food, art and retail
- And more
When people think of Gladstone events, Gladfest is likely the first to come to mind. Whether you are a resident of a visitor, this is a fall fest you should go check out.
Galdstone’s Annual Super Hero Party: For kids ages 3-9, the Gladstone Community Center hosts an annual Super Hero Party. There are snacks, games, photos and a “super hero training” class. Make sure to come in your best costume and be ready to save the day!
Restaurants to Try During Gladstone Events
While you’re visiting Gladfest or the Summertime Bluesfest, you’ll be close to some great restaurants that you probably don’t know about. Take advantage of your time in this Northland community to dine at these hidden gems. You can look at our complete guide to restaurants in Gladstone for the in-depth details, but here are a few recommendations to get you started:
- Mi Ranchito: You can find great Mexican food in Gladstone, and Mi Ranchito is the perfect place to start. If you’re in the area for Gladstone events, you shouldn’t miss it. Mi Ranchito was founded in 2004 by a family who immigrated to Kansas City from a small town in central Mexico. The dishes offer authentic flavor and are prepared with the care of a family-run business.
- Margarita’s North: This northern outpost of one of Kansas City’s most beloved Mexican restaurants is another great spot to grab a delicious meal during events in Gladstone. While you’re there, pick up a jar of Margarita’s beloved salsa to take home.
- Leo’s Pizza: We love a good restaurant slogan, and Leo’s has an all-timer in, “Pizza to fill your soul.” If you feel like your soul (or stomach) is a little empty, fill it with a pie from Leo’s. These thin-crust, St. Louis-style pizzas are a perfect lunch meal during Gladstone events.
- Kate’s Kitchen: Kate’s Kitchen is the place to be in Gladstone for home-cooked meals. A local couple, Dave and Kelly Hendrix, own Kate’s, which is named after their daughter. Some days, Kate herself is there working as a hostess. Dave and Kelly hope that everyone who visits Kate’s Kitchen “leaves with a full heart and a smile on your face.”
- Smokehouse Barbecue: Kansas City makes the best barbecue in the country. We all know this is an undisputable fact of life, as certain and true as gravity. What you may not know about is Smokehouse Barbecue, a family-owned joint on the north side that stacks up to KC greats like Joe’s Kansas City and Arthur Bryant’s. When you’re planning out your day at Gladstone’s upcoming events, try to pencil in time for a meal at Smokehouse.
- Ikey’s Pizzeria: A brick-oven pizzeria on North Oak Trafficway in Gladstone. Ikey’s, named after the founder’s grandpa, makes pizza with a signature sauce and specialty cheese blend. You can sit down for a meal or grab a pizza to go. Either way, it’ll be delicious.
Whether you are looking for Mexican food, pizza or a home-cooked classic, you can find a good meal to go along with your fun day at one of these events in Gladstone.