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Coordinates: 39°00′28″N 94°32′05″W / 39.007813°N 94.5348°W / 39.007813; -94.5348

Starlight Theatre

Swope Park is an 1,805-acre city park in Kansas City, Missouri. It is the 51st-largest municipal park in the United States, and the largest park in Kansas City.[1] It is named in honor of Colonel Thomas H. Swope, a philanthropist who donated the land to the city in 1896.

In the 1,769 acres (7.16 km2), it hosts Starlight Theatre, an 8,000+ seat outdoor theater; the Swope Soccer Village sports complex; the Kansas City Zoological Park; ten shelter houses and a host of athletic venues including baseball diamonds, soccer fields, a swimming pool, and Swope Memorial Golf Course, a public golf course that hosted the 1949 Kansas City Open Invitational, a PGA Tour event. In 1953 Swope hosted the United Golf Association (UGA) National Championship, in which Ann Gregory and Charlie Sifford won the women's and men's divisions, respectively.[2]

Only a small part of the park is developed, the rest is heavily wooded. The main shelter house is located at 66th Street and Swope Parkway.

Also located in the park is the Lakeside Nature Center, one of Missouri's largest native species rehabilitation facilities, which serves as an environmental educational center.[3]

Open seasonally, the Battle of Westport Museum & Visitor Center details the Battle of Westport in 1864, the largest Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi.[4]

The park is featured prominently in the fictional works of Robert A. Heinlein, who grew up in and around Kansas City.


  1. ^ "Largest Parks" (PDF). The Trust for Public Land. Retrieved February 24, 2013.
  2. ^ Demas, Lane (2017). Game of Privilege: An African American History of Golf. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-1-4696-3422-7.
  3. ^ Cole, Suzanne P.; Engle, Tim; Winkler, Eric (April 23, 2012). "50 things every Kansas Citian should know". Kansas City Star. Retrieved April 23, 2012.
  4. ^ "Battle of Westport Museum & Visitor Cente". Battle of Westport. Retrieved 18 October 2017.

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