Blake Walsh

17 Best Things to Do in North Kansas City, MO

  • Published 2022/08/07

Try the small-town life without leaving the comforts of a major metropolis by checking out North Kansas City.

Even though it shares its name with the bigger Kansas City, it is an autonomous territory within the greater Kansas City metropolitan region.

Established in 1891, North Kansas City is still going strong today.

The Northland area in Kansas City has a unique feel because of its abundance of public parks, historical institutions, and award-winning restaurants.

North Kansas City is a haven for nature lovers, with many vast open spaces and lush lawns to explore.

Additionally, its residents strongly feel pride in its community and sporting teams.

Read on to discover the best things to do in North Kansas City.

Play Pickleball at Chicken N Pickle

Exterior of Chicken N Pickle

Jon Kraft /

Chicken N Pickle is an indoor/outdoor entertainment complex.

It aims to create a place where people of all ages can have a good time, make friends, and feel a sense of belonging.

This entertainment complex features a casual restaurant, four indoor and four outdoor pickleball courts.

You can also go to the bar, and food trucks on the corner of 18th and Burlington.

Pickleball is a sport you can play indoors and out.

Besides delicious food, you can pick a new hobby at Chicken N Pickle.

Building sign of Chicken N Pickle

Jon Kraft /

Pickleball is a team sport for two, three, or four people, played with wooden or composite paddles and a perforated polymer ball.

There are many similarities between the sport and other racquet sports.

It uses badminton’s court dimensions, layout, and net and rules, with a few tweaks.

If you don’t feel like playing pickleball, you and your friends can catch the big game on TV.

Otherwise, play ping pong or Jenga in the living area with the fire pit.

Bring Your Dog to Waggin’ Trail Off Leash Dog Park

Are you taking a trip with your furry friends?

Waggin’ Trail Dog Park is the perfect place to bring them.

The NKC Parks & Recreation and the KC Parks & Recreation collaborated to build this 4.7-acre off-leash dog park.

Large and small dogs each have designated areas to run around, a paved walking trail, and various challenges.

Besides seats and drink stations (for people, too), there are double-gated entry/exit points, dog play equipment, biodegradable waste bags, deposit stations, and portable restrooms.

Stroll around William E. Macken Park

The city’s central park is William E. Macken Park or Macken Park.

It is a memorial to William E. Macken, the first mayor of North Kansas City, elected in 1924.

You can find many recreational activities at this 60-acre park, with facilities such as sports fields, a walking route, playgrounds, and reservable shelters.

William E. Macken Park is one of the most fantastic spots to visit in North Kansas City with friends, pets, family, or a significant other.

It hosts high school football games on Friday nights, drawing many families and friends around the city.

The park has well-maintained restrooms for your convenience.

Cool Off at Dagg Park

Dagg Park is for anyone looking to cool off on a hot summer day.

Dagg Park’s ADA-compliant sprayground features accessible “woods fountains” for youngsters under two.

There are two playgrounds, one for older children and the other for smaller ones.

Adjacent playgrounds include colorful equipment, rope-climbing structures, saucer-shaped swings, and lengthy slides.

Visitors can park in the lot and use the restroom.

Spend the day at Dagg Park!

Enjoy a Movie Date at Screenland Armour Theatre

Glass window of Screenland Armour Theatre

Dsf34dwqa2, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Keene & Simpson designed the Armour Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri, which opened in 1928 with 650 seats.

In 1963, it reopened as the Center Theater, which became the Paradise Theatre in 1984.

The Paradise Theatre operated as a live theater.

The independent Screenland chain restored and reopened the theater in February 2008, turning it into Screenland Armour Theatre.

Various red leather loungers are available in addition to the station’s 300 current seating arrangements.

Screenland Armour Theatre also sells food and drinks.

Teach Your Kids Basic Life Skills at North Kansas City YMCA

The North Kansas City YMCA strives to help children and families become their best by providing a wide range of high-impact activities.

Many programs for all ages help you improve your health and community bonds.

The YMCA offers sports programs for children as young as three years old.

Bring your kids to get active, gain self-confidence, acquire new skills, and meet new people.

It is a fun and engaging approach for children to learn essential life principles.

Let the North Kansas City YMCA teach your kids fair play, participation over winning, teamwork, self-esteem, and respect for others.

Sports facilities and swimming classes are available for children ages three to 12.

Learn Wall Climbing at RoKC North Kansas City

RoKC North Kansas City gyms are open to everyone who can manage a ladder.

Its licensed coaches can teach you the basics, get you started in yoga, or even get your child involved.

Climbers of all levels may trust that the instructors’ enthusiasm for the sport is as strong as theirs.

Hoping you would feel the same way, the center does what they do out of pleasure and enjoyment.

Beginners can ascend 40 feet with the help of 11 auto-belays.

You may practice in its training area with MoonBoard, systems board, and campus board.

Otherwise, take advantage of its wide bouldering, top rope, and lead climbing options.

Pick up a new hobby at RoKC North Kansas City!

Enter the Virtual World at Disciples of Gaming VR Entertainment Center

The Disciples of Gaming VR Entertainment Center will give you a VR experience like no other.

Immerse yourself in virtual reality with the help of the most advanced technologies and settings.

Its PCs and high-resolution headphones will blow you away.

The center also features room-tracking technology to let gamers walk about as much space as possible.

It provides competitive single-player or head-to-head multiplayer action.

The Disciples of Gaming VR Entertainment Center welcomes you to the future.

Taste the Signature Beers of Cinder Block Brewery

Signage of Cinder Block Brewery

Jon Kraft /

Cinder Block Brewery’s mission is to produce high-quality, artisanal beers in small batches.

With a fantastic assortment of beers and ciders on tap and indoor and outdoor seating areas, it’s a great place to unwind.

In addition, there is live music on the weekends and various other events held there weekly.

It’s a great location to relax with a few beers on the weekend.

The food is terrific, too.

Celebrate the weekend at the Cinder Block Brewery.

Place Your Bets at Harrah’s Kansas City Hotel & Casino

Harrah’s Kansas City Hotel and Casino offers sweeping views of the Missouri River.

Harrah’s has 392 opulent hotel rooms, including 69 suites.

This hotel and casino have 1,300 slot and video poker machines, 60 table games, and the area’s sole World Series of Poker room.

It also provides a high level of gaming and entertainment to its patrons.

Flat-screen TVs, pull-out couches, and soaking baths are standard amenities in these plain rooms.

A whirlpool tub is a common feature in specific suites, which offer additional living space and separate bedrooms.

Besides the casino, you can also enjoy live entertainment and valet parking.

In addition to luxury steakhouses, there is a casual buffet diner and a sports bar.

Harrah’s Kansas City Hotel and Casino also has a fitness facility and a swimming pool.

Buy Cigars from Outlaw Cigar & Brewery

One of Kansas City’s most infamous criminals founded the Outlaw Cigar & Brewery.

Today, the Outlaw serves cigar lovers from all walks of life.

From the finest puros in the world to specialty cigarettes, you’ll discover a wide range of options to suit every taste and budget.

If you’ve got an endless supply of humidors, lighters, cutters, pipes, magazines, and other cigar-related items, you’re one step into the outlaw lifestyle.

Modern conveniences include plush leather recliners and many flat-screen screens tuned to various sports channels.

Indulge yourself at the Outlaw Cigar & Brewery.

Try the Spirits of Restless Spirits Distilling Co.

Try the unusual Irish-American spirits such as poitin, gin, vodka, and whiskey from Restless Spirits Distilling Co.

Allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised by these great spirits produced right here in the area.

They provide a wide range of alcoholic offerings in their tasting area, including some that they make on-site and import.

You can enjoy live music in the well-designed tasting room on weekends.

It’s a pleasure to work with a team that’s both nice and helpful.

You can also try a reasonably priced sampling flight of their wares.

Bring your crew to Restless Spirits Distilling Co.

Enjoy a Gastronomic Delight at Smokin’ Guns BBQ

Building sign of Smokin' Guns BBQ

Jon Kraft /

North Kansas City residents Phil and Linda Hopkins run the Smokin’ Guns BBQ.

They would cheerfully cater your event at any location you like.

Their staff will ensure you enjoy an award-winning meal that you won’t soon forget for lunch or dinner.

Smokin’ Guns BBQ takes great pride in serving some of Kansas City’s most fantastic barbecue.

This establishment has many kinds of smoked meat and seafood.

Try its Triple D platter, turkey, brisket, pulled pork, burnt ends, ham, and sausage links!

Ribs are on the menu, too.

For those on the go, you may purchase half and complete slabs.

Enjoy a hearty meal at Smokin’ Guns BBQ.

Bring Home Souvenirs from Treasures of the Past

Treasures of the Past is inside a 12,000-square-foot warehouse.

It features a wide range of high-quality antiques and collectibles.

Today, it’s rare to find an antique mall where you can get high-quality items and bargains.

Treasures of the Past is an exception.

Find classic mid-century modern furniture and memorabilia, quality antique furniture, vintage paper products, advertising memorabilia (prints and frames), and much more!

Even if you’re only going to do some window shopping, you’ll find yourself filling a shopping basket at Treasures of the Past.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Grab a Quick Bite from Price Rite Market & Deli

Locals commonly refer to Price Rite Market & Deli as “The Little Store.”

This business is unique since it is neither a supermarket nor a delicatessen.

Instead, it’s a hybrid that sells everything from straw, animal feed, salt blocks, and more.

The store’s made-to-order and ready-made food assortment also sets it apart from other stores.

The store cooks all its house-made foods in-house, served in “family style” dinners.

You can try their spaghetti with meatballs, and cannoli, showcasing the store’s Italian background.

The Price Rite Market & Deli also offers daily specialties, from sandwiches to pizza.

This store is in Kansas City, Missouri, ten minutes from North Kansas City.

Explore Jazz History at American Jazz Museum

Interior of the blue room at American Jazz Museum

Jordano53, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Historic 18th and Vine Jazz District in Kansas City is only nine minutes from North Kansas City.

Experience the beauty of jazz music at the museum’s displays and videos, the Changing Gallery, and the Blue Room.

Check out the Horace M. Peterson III Visitors Center, and enter the Gem Theater.

Since September 1997, it has hosted over 200 events each year.

The museum attracts thousands of visitors from all walks of life.

Visit the American Jazz Museum for a chance to learn about iconic jazz musicians, pay homage to their work, or relax and listen to modern jazz.

Take Pictures by the Fountain in Mill Creek Park

View of the beautiful J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain

TommyBrison /

The Fountain in Mill Creek Park is the most well-known and photographed of all Kansas City fountains.

It’s 15 minutes from North Kansas City.

You can access the Country Club Plaza and Mill Creek Park’s southern terminus via its east entrance.

Henri-Léon Gréber created the statues in 1910.

Over time, vandals and thieves caused the fountain to fall into disrepair.

An anonymous donor, the city, and private donations helped pay for the fountain’s purchase and installation.

Notably, local schoolchildren made private donations.

Herman Frederick Simon restored the fountain and dedicated it to J.C. Nichols.

In 2020, the city government voted to remove the J.C. Nichols name from the fountain.

The fountain also features four horseback riders.

See the alligator-fighting Mississippi River horseman, the bear-fighting Volga river horseman, the Seine river horsemen, and the Rhine river horseman.

The Fountain in Mill Creek Park also had four smaller dolphins originally, but one got lost, requiring another figure.

Final Thoughts

North Kansas City is a great weekend escape because of its urban-suburban fusion vibe.

Compared to other large cities, this one has a more relaxed atmosphere because of its residential population.

Despite its small-town feel, it has many commercial spaces, restaurants, and other attractions for your convenience.

Book your trip today and discover the best things to do in North Kansas City.

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