If there’s one thing I miss about being a kid, it’s how often I was able to eat outside. I still recall the taste of summer sausage and grapes by the lake and the quick bites of a turkey sandwich before a day at Worlds of Fun. 🥪

As an adult, I try to dine al fresco as much as possible, and Overland Park offers countless parks and gardens perfect for picnic season. Grab your wicker basket and follow along to discover a few of my favorite spots to enjoy a picnic in Overland Park!

Thompson Park 

8045 Santa Fe Dr, Overland Park, KS 66204

In the heart of Downtown OP you’ll find Thompson Park, a newly-renovated, 4.8-acre community park featuring a playground, splash pad, outdoor coworking space, and a performance stage. 

With so many trees around, finding a shaded spot for your picnic is a breeze. If eating on the ground isn’t your thing, the park’s large shelter has plenty of picnic tables and grills. 

My go-to spot is the shelter in the south corner, but there are so many different places to choose from. I spent the afternoon reading, soaking up the sun, and I was even able to get some work done thanks to the park’s free wi-fi and charging station! 

Four images of Thompson Park: The sign out front, a picnic basket sitting on a table, a coworking station with bright orange chairs in the foreground and a playground in the background, two silver grills available for public use.

Regency Lake Park 

14800 Lamar Ave, Overland Park, KS 66223

There’s literally nothing better than eating a sandwich by the water, am I right? For this next one, embrace your inner child and head to Regency Lake Park for a waterfront picnic! This smaller park in South OP has plenty of picnic tables, shelters, and room to explore. 

If you're lucky, you might be able to catch a flock of geese fly in and land in the lake. In addition to watching the wildlife, exploring the park's walking trails and fishing pier makes for a wonderful afternoon, just don't forget your fishing poles! If you have little ones, this park has a wonderful playground with a climbing structure, swings, and even a double slide. 

Collage of four images at Regency Lake Park: A scenic shot of the fishing pier, a young woman on a picnic blanket in front of the lake, a sign reading Regency Lake Park with a picnic basket on top, geese floating in the lake

Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens 

8909 W 179th St, Overland Park, KS 66013

No picnic is complete without a picturesque backdrop, and the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens delivers just that. With its sprawling landscapes of wildflowers, art installations, hiking trails, and diverse wildlife, it offers a truly enchanting setting.

Before heading to the arboretum, consider stopping at Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop to pick up an easy-to-pack lunch. Upon arrival, you can start your adventure by strolling through the International Sculpture Garden and checking out the Longhouse Visitor’s Center. After all that walking, I recommend setting up a picnic on the Stous Promenade overlooking Margaret’s Pond. 

During my time there, I watched birds soaring overhead, ducks and turtles navigating through the water, and chatted with several visitors passing by. I finished off the afternoon taking in the natural beauty of the Monet Garden. All around, this is a 10/10 picnic destination!

Collage of four images at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens: A waterfall cascading over stones, the green bridge across the Monet Garden, someone holding a picnic basket in front of the Monet Garden Entrance, and the Admissions office.

Kingston Lake Park 

15254 Lowell Ave, Overland Park, KS 66223

Kingston Lake Park is a 21.5-acre park with a huge lake, playground, and plenty of spots to set up a picnic. The park is easily accessible by U.S. 69 and has plenty of parking.

There are several bridges that cross over the lake, offering visitors a chance to get an up-close look at the wildlife that passes underneath. I was shocked by how many turtles I spotted as I was eating!

To top it all off, Kingston Lake Park has fitness equipment that is open to the public for a quick workout! With so much to do (and see), this is one of my favorite spots on the list!

Collage of four images of Kingston Lake Park: A woman walking down the fishing pier, a panoramic shot of the lake, geese in the lake near the bridge, a hand holding a picnic basket in front of a sign that reads Kingston Lake Park

Nall Hills Park 

5501 Indian Creek Dr, Overland Park, KS 66207

Sometimes, all you need for a great picnic is a sprawling field of grass and a shaded spot underneath a tree. Luckily, Nall Hills Park in Central OP has just that! 

This no-frills park provides visitors with a serene and shaded environment, ideal for picnicking at any time of day. Additionally, its accessible via the Indian Creek Bike and Hike Trail which makes it a convenient starting point for a day outside. Families with children will appreciate the playground, complete with slides, swings, and climbing structures tailored for little ones.

Collage of four photos from Nall Hills Park: A picnic basket sitting in the grass field, trees lined up across the park, the Nall Hills Park wooden sign, a playground structure tailored to little ones.

With 83 parks and open spaces, there's no shortage of picnic places in Overland Park. No matter which one you decide to go, you're sure to have the perfect picnic date! Just don't forget your basket and blanket... And maybe some sunscreen, too. 🧺☀️