Blake Walsh

55 Best Things to Do in Kansas City, MO

  • Published 2022/12/06

Kansas City lies in western Missouri, just on the state line with Kansas.

In terms of population and land area, it dominates the state of Missouri.

It became an incorporated town on June 1, 1850, and then a city on March 28, 1853.

Kansas City has been called the “City of Fountains” since it is home to over 200 water features.

Interested to know more about this stunning city?

Here are the 55 best things to do in Kansas City, Missouri:

Go on a Shopping Spree at City Market

City Market

Scruggelgreen /

The City Market has been a landmark in the area for 150 years.

It is the ultimate place to enjoy a variety of experiences, including fresh produce from nearby farms, gift items, flowers, baked goods, and exquisite cuts of meats.

The market occurs in open-air settings, cultivating a comfortable and inviting space for visitors.

people browsing good for sale at kansas city market

Rachael Martin /

It is also home to many authentic restaurants, eateries, and shops selling local items.

Situated in the beautiful river market neighborhood, City Market hosts the largest farmer’s market in Kansas City.

farmers selling produce at Kansas City City Market

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Indeed, this place is one of the best things you can do in Kansas City!

Treat Yourself to the Country Club Plaza

Country Club Plaza

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The country club plaza was built in 1923 and is an auto-centric neighborhood with an influence of Spanish architecture, such as murals, statues, and mosaics.

Enjoy a new level of luxury at these great shops and restaurants.

Here, you’ll see the ‘season of lights’ during thanksgiving week, brightening up the area with colorful lights.

Country Club Plaza in Kansas City at night with Christmas lights

PhotoTrippingAmerica /

At the plaza, you can also shop at many high street brands such as Michael Kors, Kendra Scott, and Kate Spade.

You may also dine at one of the many restaurants, including Rye, the Classic Cup, and Gram & Dun, which serve mouth-watering and comforting Midwestern food.

Magnificent activities, such as live music and art exhibitions, are also available for your enjoyment.

Experience the Fun at Crossroads Arts District

alley in Crossroads Arts District

peeterv /

If you happen to be in Kansas City on the first Friday of a month, then you must visit the peculiar and enjoyable Crossroads Arts District, which has everything from live music to restaurants.

Thousands of locals and tourists attend the city’s most exciting and well-attended event every year.

Some of the most exciting art galleries are Jones gallery, Weinberger Fine Art, and the Green Lady Lounge, which are perfect for live music.

You can also shop at some local establishments, such as Hammerpress and Raygun.

Or you may grab a bite at one of the many restaurants, including Christopher Elbow Chocolates, Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop, and Grinder’s Pizza.

Arriving early at the Crossroads on First Friday increases your chances of obtaining on-street parking, despite the abundance of parking alternatives in the area.

Pay Your Respects at the National WWI Museum and Memorial

National World War I Museum

TommyBrison /

The National WWI Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution to honor the memories of those who fought and died during the Great War.

The museum is the world’s second oldest public museum dedicated to the First World War and was given the official designation of a national memorial by former President Barrack Obama in 2014.

poppies on display at the National WWI Museum and Memorial

EQRoy /

The museum takes the visitor on a journey by showcasing some of the most personal and heartbreaking stories of courage, heroism, patriotism, and war fatalities.

The Liberty Memorial i at National WWI Museum and Memorial

TommyBrison /

You may also see a real Renault FT-17 tank and a replica of the trenches that the men would have dug themselves.

Visit the Kansas City Zoo

Kansas City Zoo

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If you’re looking for a place with genuine southern hospitality, go no farther than Kansas City, where people treat animals with kindness.

Kansas City Zoo first welcomed visitors on December 13, 1909.

 Kansas City Zoo entrance

Wirestock Creators /

The Kansas City Zoo is considered one of the best in the country, and this is justified by its 200 acres of land, which houses around 1,700 animals.

The fun never stops at this zoo, where you can meet the Humboldt and Gentoo penguins at the Helzberg Penguin Plaza and cruise on the African sky safari while seeing zebras, rhinos, and giraffes.

Koala eating at Kansas City Zoo

Wirestock Creators /

Expect to do a lot of walking and set up a day to explore everything.

Have Fun at Worlds of Fun

boomerang rollercoaster at Worlds of Fun

Robert Herschede from Kansas City, MO, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If an amusement park is inspired by the book Around the World in Eighty Days, then you know for sure it will be mind-blowing.

Worlds of Fun contains more than a hundred rides and a water park called the “Oceans of Fun.”

The park is divided into five thrilling areas: Scandinavia, Africa, Europe, the Orient, and the Americana, all inspired by Jules Verne’s classic.

Some of the most famous rides you should experience are Patriot, a children’s themed park called “Planet Snoopy,” and a swing ride called the “Wind Seeker.”

Be Inspired at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

EQRoy /

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is the result of the dreams of two people who probably never met in real life, had radically different paths, yet shared a vision of creating a world-class public art museum in Kansas City and the surrounding area.

Neither lived to see the museum open (they both passed away over a century ago).

The William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art occupied the western half of the structure.

Meanwhile, the Atkins Museum of Fine Arts lies in the eastern half.

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

EQRoy /

To witness some of the best art made by 20th-century artists, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will not bore you.

Here, you get to survey approximately 40,000 artworks from Africa, America, Europe, China, and many more!

Here, you’ll also see the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Garden, where you will find 35 exquisite sculptures, including giant shuttlecocks.

Educate Yourself at the Kansas City Public Library

Kansas City Public Library

EQRoy /

All you readers and writers, listen up!

The Kansas City Public Library is marvelous–and even more so is its parking garage, with books lining up on a shelf, including Fahrenheit 451 and The Lord of the Rings.

This legendary library was founded in 1873 and includes books, original and published materials, pamphlets, journals, photographs, postcards, news articles, and a collection of the city’s local history.

bookshelf on wall at Kansas City Public Library

Nancy Anderson /

Tour the library to find out more about its past.

Discover the fascinating history of the building’s transformation from the First National Bank into one of the finest libraries in the United States.

Guests may relax with a cup of coffee on the spacious terrace and take photos in front of the building’s eye-catching facade, designed to resemble a pair of enormous bookends.

Have a Drink or Two at the Boulevard Brewing Company

Boulevard Brewing Company

Ken Lamb /

The largest independent brewery in Kansas City has been producing tasty and reasonably priced Pale Ale for over 30 years.

It sits on the Missouri River’s picturesque banks just south of Kansas City.

The Boulevard brewing company started in 1989 when its owner tried the smooth Belgian beers on a trip to Europe and had an epiphany.

The company only uses the finest ingredients to make its beers and employs sustainable business practices to avoid harming the environment.

Some beers include the unfiltered wheat beer, the American Kolsch golden ale, the beer withtangerine peel and sea salt, and the jam band beer ale, among others.

Enjoy a Sensory Experience at the Loose Park Sprayground

 Loose Park

Jon Kraft /

Loose Park Sprayground, Kansas City’s premier amusement destination, spans 75 acres and is a prime example of the city’s vibrant recreational culture.

This park has a rich historical value dating back to the 19th century, when it is supposed to have been a site for the Battle of Westport, which included 29,000 soldiers.

The park includes a garden center with small meeting rooms and kitchens, as well as a Japanese tea Garden!

There is also a rose garden with more than 1,200 roses of 168 varieties, making for a one-of-a-kind sensory experience and a picturesque location.

Have a picnic, play tennis, or let the kids loosen up on the playground.

If you’re searching for a refreshing way to cool off on a hot day, go no further than the Loose Park Sprayground.

Shop and Eat at the Westport Flea Market

Westport Flea Market is rich with unique, quirky, and nostalgic items of accessories and other products.

In it, you’ll also see a bar and grill restaurant, which is famous for its several dishes, including the famous Zwillenberg’s grilled chicken Panini with a side of curly fries.

You can also quench your thirst with a pint of beer from the variety of draft beers they have on tap.

Indeed, Westport Flea Market is the go-to place after a tiring day!

See the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain

J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain

Wallace Weeks /

The metropolitan area has more than 200 unique fountains and other water features, therefore earning the moniker “The City of Fountains.”

One of the most prominent fountains here is the J.C Nichols Memorial Fountain, which was sculpted in 1910 in New York but was heavily vandalized over the years.

Finally, it was restored and installed in Kansas City in 1960 by donations from the J.C. Nichols family, and since then, it has become a highly photographed and loved fountain of this city.

The fountain has sculptures of four heroic horsemen representing the rivers Volga, Seine, Rhine, and the Mississippi, as well as sculptures of little children playing atop Dolphins.

Relive Your Childhood at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

EQRoy /

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures opened in 1982 and initially only contained the collections of Mary Harris Francis and Barbara Marshall.

The collection has greatly increased since then!

Star wars figures at National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

EQRoy /

Now, it has vintage dollhouses, tin toys, simple wooden boats, and other lifelike miniatures, ranging from animals to framed portraits.

You will also notice how much care and attention to detail goes into the miniatures.

Pay a Visit to Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Paul Brady Photography /

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas Community, which opened in 2011, is a superb example of how a city can show its appreciation for the arts and become even more remarkable.

It is an architectural marvel and technologically advanced to cater to several artistic performances such as opera, music, dance, and theatre.

lights shining through the interior of Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

LanaG /

The building’s architecture, featuring platinum transcending curves, is the brainchild of the famous architect Moshe Safdie.

Many famous Broadway plays have been showcased here, including the lyric opera of Kansas City and the Kansas City ballet.

If you get the chance to watch a live performance at this stunning center, then you must wear your fanciest clothes and get ready to be mesmerized.

Throw Your First Pitch at the Kauffman Stadium

Kauffman Stadium

sean badock /

Kauffman Stadium, which opened in 1973, is a baseball park, which is home to the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball.

Even though this large stadium, with a seating capacity of almost 48,000, is meant for baseball games, iconic concerts have also occurred here!

view of baseball field inside Kauffman Stadium

Frank Romeo /

If you’re lucky enough to catch a game or a concert, buy a ticket and have one of the most enthralling days of your life.

There is also a hall of fame with photos and memorabilia of baseball legends, as well as restaurants that serve authentic Kansas food, such as barbeque meat and pints of refreshing beer.

Visit the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

exterior of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Thad Zajdowicz, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can’t miss this museum because of its distinctive pyramid design and towering four-story spider statue.

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art opened in 1994 and has been one of the country’s best museums for 21st-century artists.

This museum is a place for interactive educational programs, special events, and temporary exhibitions of local and national mid-career emerging artists who present a new voice in the artistic world.

The museum also features a gift store where you can purchase books, t-shirts, decorations for your house, art materials, toys, and much more!

If you get hungry roaming around, you should definitely visit Café Sebastienne, which is open throughout the day!

Board a Train at the Union Station

Scenic view of Union Station

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Built in 1914, Union Station has a waiting room inside it, which could hold up to 10,000 people all at one time.

The station was closed in the 1980s, renovated, and reopened in 1999 for a completely new purpose.

Building sign of Union Station

Janis Schwartz /

Now, it has an array of restaurants and shops for visitors to spend their time in and only provides a shorter railway service.

The new station houses many other places, such as the Science City, the Regnier extreme screen theatre, the planetarium, and the city stage theatre.

Interior of the Union Station

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Travel Back to the 19th Century at the John Wornall House Museum

Signage of Wornall House Museum

Jon Kraft /

The John Wornall House Museum was built in 1858 by a prosperous and prominent businessman on a 500-acre yard.

In the 1864 Battle of Westport, the Union and Confederate soldiers used the house as a hospital to treat injured soldiers.

This house was later converted into a museum where you can learn about the troubled past of the Wornall family, the slavery which took place here, and the history of the Battle of Westport through many special exhibits, children’s programming, and lectures.

Exterior of the John Wornall House Museum

User:Iknowthegoods, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The average visitor spends between 30 minutes and 1 hour perusing the exhibits at the museum.

Additionally, a 20-minute audio tour is accessible through streaming on your mobile device.

Experience the Fun at Missy B’s

Missy B’s is a premier gay bar in this city, with drag performances that will make your night!

This live performance arena was set up in 1994 and had a DJ/Dance floor at least five days a week.

You can also spend your time at the bar, which serves the most affordably priced drinks in the entire Kansas City area.

Some of their live shows include ‘The dirty Dorothy show’ and ‘The Dick and Dyke Show.’

Dine at Town Topic Hamburgers Broadway

Exterior of the Town Topic Hamburgers

Logan Bush /

Town Topic Hamburgers Broadway started in 1937 and initially only sold hamburgers at five cents.

Still, as time progressed, this diner became known as the authentic place to eat some of the tastiest classic American dishes.

The restaurant has a welcoming environment and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Some mouthwatering dishes you can try here include cinnamon roll, hot cakes, and their famous hamburgers.

Town Topic Hamburgers Broadway isn’t the most trendy restaurant in town, but its 1950s-inspired design makes it stand out.

Many regulars have been coming here for decades; they can provide a wealth of fascinating anecdotes about the city’s history.

Visit Science City

Interior of Science City Kansas City

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The Science City of Kansas City is a beautiful science center at Union Station!

It spans over 92,000 square feet and is filled with interactive exhibitions and displays showcased in a fun way!

Some attractions are the simple machines standing in the outdoor area, water informational display under ‘Every Last Drop,’ and Maker Studio.

Exhibit in Science City

Jacob Boomsma /

Children can also visit the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium and the City Extreme Screen theatre.

Internationally honored for ‘Visitor Experience,’ this is definitely the first place you should head to.

Activities in Science City

Jacob Boomsma /

Explore LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Interior of LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Jacob Boomsma /

For all the people who love Lego and has spent most of their childhood playing with it, this place is just for them.

Legoland Discovery Center, located in the Downtown area, is heaven made straight out of Lego bricks.

The count of the Lego bricks used here is over two million.

Children can enjoy the numerous play areas, laser rides, 4D cinema, and masterclasses on the Lego building.

This place also has a Miniland, a large exhibit where a Lego version of the Kansas City is displayed.

There is a small coffee shop and a few rooms for celebrating special occasions.

Play at Swope Park

View of the sunset Swope Park Kansas City

David Peterlin /

Swope Park is a beautiful city park situated in Kansas City.

The land where the park stands presently was owned by Colonel Thomas H. Swope, who donated it to the city in 1896; the act also lent the park its name.

Created by KC Parks System, it spreads up to 1805 acres and welcomes more than 2 million visitors annually.

People at Swope Park

Matt Fowler KC /

The lush greenery of the place and the plethora of facilities lure the people in.

There are soccer fields, golf courses, mesmerizing fountains, a treetop adventure park, and a number of community gardens.

Starlight Theatre, Kansas City Zoo, and the Lakeside Nature Centre are some of the many attractions of this park.

Kansas City Zoo at Swope Park

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See the Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City

Welcome sign of Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City

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Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City is one of the much-visited attractions, located east of the Downtown Area.

It boasts having one of the largest casino floors in the whole of Missouri, along with nine dining areas, 18 movie screens, and a hotel, to name just a few.

The place’s parking is pretty convenient, spanning up to five levels, with the total space adding up to the 2,66-square-meter structure, connecting directly to the hotel’s casino and entertainment center.

One of the most-visited entertainment hubs in the area, visiting it is a perfect way to wind down the day in Kansas City.

Experience the Seat at Sea Life

Sea Life is a beautiful aquarium in the downtown area.

It is highly immersive, where a thick wall of glass separates you from the beautiful world of underwater.

Visitors can see 5,000-plus sea creatures, including sharks, gliding stingrays, and octopuses.

The aquarium provides a Touchpool Experience, where one can touch the creatures – you can definitely hold a crab in your finger or stroke a starfish.

The Sea Life also has a Sea Turtle Rescue Center, where you can interact with the rescued turtles and learn more about these beautiful creatures.

Pay a Visit to the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden

Daytime view of the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden

Jon Kraft /

This Memorial Garden is a prestigious part of the Kauffman Legacy Park in Kansas City.

It was built as a tribute to Ewing and Muriel Kauffman, who believed true joy is hidden in the opportunities one can share with others.

Welcome sign of Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden

Jon Kraft /

It is a botanic garden spread over two acres of land, surrounded by limestone walls, interspersed with brick paths, six mesmerizing fountains, and a comfortable seating arrangement.

Pathway at Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden

Jon Kraft /

There are more than 350 varieties of perennial plants and trees, as well as annual beds that hold different species seasonally.

The garden organizes tours for groups of ten or more; you will have to arrange it beforehand, though.

White tulips at the Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden

Jon Kraft /

Wander around Berkley Riverfront

Lamp posts along Berkley Riverfront

Michael Rosebrock /

Located on the southern banks of the Missouri River is Berkley Riverfront, a seemingly extending green space of the city with many exciting cultural and relaxing facilities.

Opened to the people in 1999, it spreads over 17 acres and is situated between the Kit Bong Bridge and the Heart of America Bridge.

Formerly, it was a landfill for construction trash and also the site of a company specializing in sand and gravel.

The Riverfront is known to host several events, including RiverFest, the annual Independence Day Celebration.

Explore Penguin Park

The waters of Penguin Park

Silvlandia /

Kansas City has a list of beautiful children-friendly places and parks, including the amazing Penguin Park.

The Parks Department of Kansas City built Penguin Park as a part of Lakewood Greenway in the year 1957.

Vernon Jones, the Kansas City North Parks District Supervisor, got a life-sized penguin made and placed in the northern area of Lakewood Greenway.

The visitors loved it so much that other animals were created to accompany this penguin, such as the elephant, giraffe, and kangaroo.

The area then officially became Penguin Park in 1998.

The park is now the first choice for children’s birthday parties or any other similar events.

See the Magnificence of Penn Valley Park

Landscape of Penn Valley Park

Jon Kraft /

The Penn Valley Park stands tall on the Penn Street Ravine, an area through which the Santa Fe Trail passed in the 19th century.

In the early 20th century, this area was transformed into a 130-acre park equipped with different facilities and promising good times.

The scout memorial at Penn Valley Park

Jon Kraft /

People crowd over here to admire the commemorative statues, such as the Hiker, the Scout, and The Pioneer Mother Memorial.

Additionally, the park has a three-acre lake, a dam, a large playground, numerous tennis courts, a swimming pool, an off-leash dog park, a skate park, and an exercise trail, among many others.

Pioneer mother memorial at Penn Valley Park

Jon Kraft /

See the Stunning Architecture of Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Kansas City

Darlene Stanley /

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was established in 1833 by a French missionary, Father Benedict Roux.

It has a rich history, which shaped the cathedral into what it is today.

The cathedral has a gold-leafed dome and unusual but beautiful interiors decorated with religious artworks.

The stage of this cathedral is located in the middle of the hall, which is an adequately lighted place, filtering in from the beautiful and tall stained windows.

It is a sprawling structure with vibrant colors and beautiful architecture that brings peace to visitors as soon as they step inside.

Experience Nightlife in Kansas City

Nightlife in Kansas City

Suzanne C. Grim /

While Kansas City might not be primarily known for its nightlife, there are many clubs, bars, and places that can easily give you the best, fun nightlife experience.

One of the best includes Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club, a family-owned club that has been entertaining people since the 1920s.

It is known for its amazing night concerts, featuring many local talents frequently.

Another recommended place is O’Dowd’s Little Dublin Irish Pub, a dark, vintage, and primarily Irish bar.

This bar offers traditional Irish items and drinks, which you can enjoy with local Irish music or local DJ tunes.

See Arrowhead Stadium

Exterior of the Arrowhead Stadium

Logan Bush /

Arrowhead Stadium is one of the most amazing stadiums in the NFL.

Since 1972, so many have changed in this stadium, including replacing the Astroturf playing field and the seats.

Bleachers of the Arrowhead Stadium

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Also known as the loudest stadium in the NFL, it is built to give the audience the best view of the game possible.

It is a proud home of the Kansas City Chiefs and has also been seen hosting collegiate matches.

Aerial view of the Arrowhead Stadium

Kj1595, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn Basketball at the College Basketball Experience

Exterior of the College Basketball Experience

Cl3314, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The College Basketball Experience (CBE) is a beautiful entertainment place in Kansas City, spreading over 41,500 square feet, standing at two stories.

CBE also has the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, which is the ultimate place to learn about college basketball legends and basketball history.

There are many fun activities you can do here, including broadcasting from ESPN-U, having fun at a full-court press, and slam dunking.

The atmosphere is inviting and exciting – you won’t even notice how the time passes at CBE.

Sway Away at the American Jazz Museum

Interior of a bar at American Jazz Museum

Jordano53, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The American jazz museum is a historic landmark in Kansas City that showcases the city’s rich cultural and musical past.

This museum, housed in Charlie Parker’s former neighborhood, is a must-see for jazz experts and newcomers.

The blue room is a working jazz club inside the museum, where you can hear some of the locals’ best music.

The museum has displayed memorabilia, personal items, and album covers of Jazz legends, such as Charlie Parker, Big Joe Turner, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Ella Fitzgerald.

See the Animals at Lakeside Nature Center

Lakeside Nature Centre is a beautiful addition to Swope Park, sworn to protect the wildlife and environment.

One of the largest wildlife rehabilitation centers in the whole of Missouri, the center currently houses around 75 animals, including turkey vultures, raccoons, hawks, barred owls, raptors, and Kestrel falcons, to name a few.

One of the sweetest and most unique additions to this list of animals is the box turtle, Wilma, who is around 80 years old.

The center, along with the hiking trails and picnic pavilion, also provides a dedicated wooded area for rent for business and corporate events and receptions.

The center provides a way to enjoy some quiet moments amidst the wildlife.

Wander around Paradise Park

Paradise Park is one of the exclusive family destinations, where all of the activities available can entertain the whole of the family at the same time.

The building spans a space of a whopping 35,000 square feet.

It is jam-packed with fun games and activities, including Bowling, Batting areas, miniature golf, Laser Tag, Escape Rooms, Foam Factory, Museums – Children’s and General – Discovery Play, an interactive experience combining education with exploration and fun.

The park also has a little café for the visitors, where you can enjoy delicious food.

Support Local Artists at the Knuckleheads Saloon

Exterior of Knuckleheads Saloon

Joe Smith, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Knuckleheads Saloon is primarily a music venue in Kansas City housed in a former railroad boarding house built in 1887.

There are four main stages in the saloon, including a large outdoor stage, a large indoor stage, and a stage known as the ‘gospel lounge’ for a blues-inspired church service.

The venue is synonymous with the booming music scene of the city, and many well-known artists have played here, such as John Doe, David Lindley, Samantha Fish, Ian Moore, Edgar Winter, Nick Lowe, Leon Russell, and Sam Bush, among many others.

Knuckleheads offers live music from a wide variety of artists, including several Elvis impersonators, as well as traditional American cuisine.

Dine at Woodyard Bar-B-Que

Woodyard Bar-b-que is so famous in Kansas City!

It is one of the few places in the city that cook their meat on outdoor brick smokers, which lends a white oak flavor with burnt edges and a hint of hickory.

The sumptuous dishes include juicy ribs, mouth-watering hot wings, the local smothered sausage, and the delicious burnt-end buster.

Remember to try their famous three bean chili topped with burnt ends and the cheesy corn as a side dish.

Uncover the Treasures of the Arabia Steamboat Museum

Exterior of the Arabia Steamboat Museum

Ian Peter Morton /

If you’re a fan of adventure and the excitement of unearthing hidden treasures, then the Arabia Steamboat Museum will awaken the Christopher Columbus hidden inside you.

The mighty Arabia steamboat sank in the Missouri River in 1856, and after 132 years, it was finally recovered.

Display at Arabia Steamboat Museum

Johnmaxmena2, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These materials are now displayed in the museum, such as clothing, fine china, and the world’s oldest pickles.

A visitor can also watch a short movie about the history of the steamboat and learn all about the excavation process.

Interior of the Arabia Steamboat Museum

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Discover the Advocacy of Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center

Exterior of Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center

Judge Dred Scott, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The center bears his name to recognize the contributions of social and political activist Bruce R. Watkins.

The desire to document the many ways African-Americans shaped the city’s growth inspired Watkins.

The center honors the legacy of formerly enslaved people in America.

Exhibits, lectures, films, stage performances, workshops, and ceremonies are a few culturally enriching activities available to visitors to the center.

Interior of Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center

Judge Dred Scott, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

All ages are welcome at the facility.

Permanent displays, a kids’ section, a library, an auditorium, a mini gallery, and a showcase for delicate items and miniatures are all a part of the museum’s facilities.

Several events and programs may have a nominal cost in addition to the price of admission.

Bruce R. Watkins bust in Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center

Kclibrarian, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Leave a Collectible Coin at Money Museum

Exterior of the Money Museum

Josh Forden /

The Money Museum is a must-see!

You may get an excellent education on the function of money in society at the city’s Federal Reserve Bank.

There’s a lot more to it than simply being a pocket item.

Learn about the history of cash, from gold bars to the development of paper currency, at the Money Museum.

Recognize the artistic value of money.

Admire the beauty of currency in all its forms.

Admission does not require a prior appointment during the museum’s open hours.

Plus, there’s no charge to enter.

Participate in the audio tours to take your learning to the next level.

Leaving behind a coin or out-of-circulation bill will leave you with a sense of the past.

Discover How Pioneer Settlements Look Like at Shoal Creek Living History Museum

Shoal Creek occupies 80 of Hodge Park’s 1,000 total acres.

The collection of twenty-one buildings at the museum includes thirteen original constructions from the years 1807-1885.

The old log cabins and houses that make up the community come from the surrounding counties.

Shoal Creek Living History Museum is the perfect place to escape to the country for a relaxing picnic, with its tranquil woodland walking trails and re-created pioneer settlement, as well as its unique structures and architecture from the Civil War period.

Self-guided walking tours are welcome from dawn to nightfall and do not cost anything.

You may find maps at the ticket desk, the flag pole kiosk, and the front porch of the mercantile.

Visit the Historic 21c Museum Hotel Kansas City

If you’re looking for a hotel that offers you more than relaxation, choose the 21c Museum Hotel Kansas City.

The hotel lies in a building formerly home to a historic hotel and its famous restaurant.

This landmark building opened its doors in 1888 as the Savoy Hotel and Grill.

It served as the city’s preeminent lodging and dining destination for almost a century.

As a result of hosting several U.S. presidents throughout the years, The Savoy Grill has amassed a prestigious clientele.

The new owners converted this National Register-listed structure into a five-star hotel and a museum of modern art.

Tour and Sample the Spirits at Tom’s Town Distilling Co.

Tom’s Town is excellent for a weekend afternoon get-together.

Tom Pendergast, the country’s most controversial corrupt political boss, inspired the name of the distillery, Tom’s Town Distilling Co.

At first, Pendergast ran a tavern and then established a wholesale alcohol business.

Guests may enjoy the beer garden and event venue that can accommodate up to 200 persons.

One of the best places to go in Kansas City to imbibe in gin, vodka, or bourbon, you may find this bar in the city’s Crossroads section.

It also has a full-service restaurant with substantial dishes to soak up the spirits and offers daily distillery tours.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Take Some Pictures Outside Vaile Mansion

Exterior of the Vaile Mansion

Jon Kraft /

The Vaile Mansion is a stunning structure dating back to the 19th century.

It was built in 1881 for Colonel Harvey Vaile and his wife, Sophia.

The original construction spread over 630 acres and had a vineyard, an apple orchard, a wine processing plant, and a vast wine cellar.

History marker of Vaile Mansion

Joseph Sohm /

It was built by the city’s famed architect, Asa Beebe Cross, the design being inspired by a building located in Normandy, France.

It is constructed mainly in red brick, with limestone moldings, slate shingles on the mansard roofs, and bracketed cornices. s

The property now sits on 5.6 acres and is a popular attraction in the area, filled with many state-of-the-art facilities and vintage charm.

Front view of Vaile Mansion

PhotoTrippingAmerica /

Eat Your Heart Out at Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que in the state of Kansas is an unpretentious and quintessential place for visitors and locals to enjoy some of the best-smoked meat they will ever have.

The late celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain, listed Joe’s among the 13 places to eat before you die.

It is tucked inside a well-lit gas station, and you’re more likely to encounter a line, but the wait will be worth it.

Some of the most popular dishes here are the full slab of ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, a Z-man sandwich, and the lavish cowboy dinner.

Go Sightseeing at Kaw Point Park

The waters of Kaw Point Park

TommyBrison /

Kaw Point Park nestles on the Kaw Point, the point of confluence of Kansas River – or Kaw River – and Missouri River.

The park is characterized by wooded trails and wildlife, with wildflowers dispersed everywhere.

Stone steps and gazebo at Kaw Point Park

Mike Seberger /

There is a boardwalk, a pavilion, and an outdoor Amphitheatre!

The park is also known to host several events, including the annual paddle-craft race.

The grounds of Kaw Point Park

Mike Seberger /

Admire Independence Temple’s Architecture

Exterior of the Independence Temple

James Kirkikis /

Even if you’re a stern atheist or of non-Christian faith, you can still visit the Independence temple just to admire its unusual yet stunning architecture.

The temple has a long spire at the top, which rises to the sky, and is made of stainless steel.

Additionally, it is the headquarters of the community of Christ Church and is rampant with biblical symbolism.

There is also a striking meditation chapel and a vibrant children’s peace pavilion.

The best part of the temple is that it welcomes people of all faiths inside.

Experience the Fun at Kansas City Speedway

Race cars at Kansas City Speedway

Grindstone Media Group /

The Kansas City Speedway in the state of Kansas was inaugurated in 1922, with professional drivers racing for a $30,000 prize.

To date, it has hosted two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, A NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race, and the finale of the ARCA Racing Series.

Daytime view of Kansas City Speedway

Balaji, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Along with the races, the Speedway also conducts a number of events, including RockFest, Richard Petty Driving Experience, and the University of Kansas Treads and Threads Fundraiser.

This attracts top drivers from across the world all year round, in turn attracting a global crowd to visit Kansas City.

Explore the Hiking Trails at Parkville Nature Sanctuary

Pathway at Parkville Nature Sanctuary

Kevin Kiem /

The Parkville Nature Sanctuary is a wildlife preservation and education site founded by Parkville and its group of volunteers.

It is a beautiful natural place, spreading over 115 acres of area, dispersed with hiking trails all over.

A structure at Parkville Nature Sanctuary

Kevin Kiem /

Open from sunrise until sunset, the Parkville Nature Sanctuary ensures that the rules and regulations are followed properly to preserve the site’s natural state and the wildlife living there.

The sanctuary also provides a shelter, known as the ‘Girl Scout Cabin,’ which can be reserved by the people visiting the place.

The waters of Parkville Nature Sanctuary

Kevin Kiem /

Take a Hike at Ernie Miller Nature Center

Earnie Miller Nature Center’s name pays tribute to a late journalist and former president of Olathe Chamber of Commerce.

The Ernie Miller Nature Center, located in Olathe, Kansas, is a piece of paradise in a rather fast-moving city, and if you want to experience a tranquil Kansas City environment, then you must visit this center.

It opened its doors to residents and visitors in 1985.

There is also a nature center where children and parents can enjoy interactive exhibits and attend educational programs.

It has a gift store for nature lovers and interpretive activities for visitors of all ages throughout the year.

Experiences provided by these programs promote greater understanding and appreciation for wildlife and its natural environments.

Final Thoughts

Choosing an activity in Kansas City is challenging, not due to a lack of options but an abundance of possibilities.

Kansas City is home to many attractions and experiences, from thrilling amusement parks and honky-tonk pubs to prestigious museums and mouthwatering barbecue restaurants.

Keep this guide to the best things to do in Kansas City, MO, handy if you’re at a loss for what to do next.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s interesting about Kansas City?

Kansas City offers a plethora of interesting facts and attractions. But perhaps its hometown history is one you should look into while within the city. Household names like Walt Disney, who established his first studio within the city, and the annual celebration of the origins of the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon trails at the Santa-Cali-Gon Days festival are among the fascinating historical facts Kansas City holds.

Is Kansas City, Missouri, worth visiting?

Yes! From world-class barbecues to intense historical and sports adventures, you have so much to do in Kansas City. If you’re an avid fan of live music, you’ll find your place in this enchanting city, too.

Is there anything cool in Kansas City?

There’s not just one cool thing in this city!

One of its specialties includes expansive museums of every purpose. The National WWI Museum and Memorial, the Arabia Steamboat Museum, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art are some prime examples of this. Don’t forget Negro Leagues Baseball Museum!

On top of that, Kansas City shines with a variety of recreational opportunities. An avid player of baseball? It might be ideal for you to drop by Kauffman Stadium. Traveling with the whole family? Then, free your schedule for a tour around Kansas City Zoo or a quick relaxing break at the Country Club Plaza.

Is Kansas City a walkable city?

While Kansas City scored an average of 35 for overall walkability, the city is mostly car-dependent. Some neighborhoods within the city can be decent places to stroll around and go sightseeing. Who knows? You might even stumble upon one of the best cafes in Kansas City along your walk.

How many days should I spend in Kansas City?

If you want an immersive Kansas City experience that’s filled with historical excursions, family get-togethers in rated spots, and fine dining, you can do all these within approximately three days!

Why is Kansas City popular?

Aside from being the homeplace of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Kansas City offers the classic American escapade anyone could ever ask for. Complete with high-scale restaurants, a vast set of historical spots, and a thriving downtown area, this city offers a lot more for you to explore.

What part of Kansas City is the nicest?

Downtown Kansas is your best bet for nice accommodations that fit your budget. It’s also a popular hangout spot for locals and tourists because of its varied attractions. To get acquainted with some of its attractions, read the list of the best things to do in Kansas City, MO.

Is Kansas City, Missouri, cheap?

Though Kansas City boasts world-class entertainment, it’s one of the most affordable cities in the whole world. Its friendly communities and array of museums and landmarks don’t usually come with large admission fees.

What is Kansas City, Missouri, best known for?

Kansas City may be best known for its jazz roots. Since the 20th century up until the present, the city has brought this genre to life with its jazz-playing dining venues and regular events within indoor and outdoor spaces.

What food is famous in Kansas City?

Within Kansas City’s well-known delectable cuisines, four foods stand out among the rest: chicken spiedini, signature steaks, burnt ends, and cheesy corn. If you’re dying to try out some of these dishes, be on the lookout for some of the best restaurants in Kansas City that may be serving these.

What part of Kansas City should I stay in?

Without a doubt, the best area to stay in Kansas City is its downtown district. Here, you get a front view of the city’s magnificent skyscrapers. At the same time, it’s within walking distance from the city’s entertainment center, Power and Light, where shops, theaters, restaurants, and other establishments abound. You can find our Kansas City hotel guide here and our neighborhood guide here.

What are three things Missouri is famous for?

Missouri is popular for a lot of things, but no doubt, its most celebrated assets are its strong agriculture, barbecue legacy, and camera-worthy sites. If you are an outdoor adventurer, you’ll find that Missouri is also notorious for its state parks and nature preserves, where many come to hike and camp.

Is Kansas City a fun town?

Yes! Its cultural heritage makes it an entertaining place to explore and have fun in. Alongside barbecue and jazz, it’s also home to opera houses, art galleries, and other cultural offerings that will make you want to stay for a long time.

What’s so special about Kansas City?

Kansas City’s cultural scene is what makes this city a unique one among all of Missouri. Kansas City jazz, the Chiefs and Royals sports franchises, and its staple Vaudevillian Orpheum theater circuit. There’s more to experience with its cuisine as well, including strip steaks, craft breweries, and the classic Kansas-unique barbecue.

What is downtown Kansas City known for?

The downtown district of Kansas City is where all the hustle and bustle come to life. This shopping district is not only home to boutiques and service establishments; it also houses nationally-acclaimed tourist sites like Hallmark Visitors Center and the SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium. The Ice Terrace is also a local favorite!

What are the top attractions to visit in Kansas City?

City Market

Country Club Plaza

Crossroads Arts District

National WWI Museum and Memorial

Kansas City Zoo

Worlds of Fun

Best Hotels in Kansas City

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