Kansas City, Missouri offers visitors a choice of unique museums, gardens, breakfast spots, drive-in theaters, wedding venues, hotels, parks, shops, RV parks, restaurants, free attractions, and nightlife. Top things to do in Kansas City include
the The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, relaxing surrounded by nature in the Kauffman Memorial Garden, and eating great BBQ. On a sunny morning, families on their weekend getaway or day trip can stroll through the farmers market which is one of the best in the Midwest, offering a great variety of local produce and gifts.
1. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
© The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is famed for its award-winning neoclassical architecture and its impressive collection of Asian Art. The museum was designed by prominent Kansas City architects Wight and Wight in the classical Beaux-Arts architectural style and opened in 1933; the Bloch Building was added in 2007.
The museum’s collections include European and American paintings, Asian art, Native American art, photography, Kansas City sculpture, and works by such great artists as Caravaggio, Pissarro, and De Kooning.
Visitors to the museum will enjoy the museum store and the on-site restaurant, Rozelle Court. The Nelson-Atkins also hosts a number of educational programs, workshops and art classes for adults and children throughout the year. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is one of the top Kansas City points of interest.
4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64111, Phone: 816-751-1278
Next read: 20 Best Day Trips from Kansas City
2. Kauffman Memorial Garden
© Courtesy of YAROSHIK - Fotolia.com
The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden is a beautiful, tranquil garden in the heart of Kansas City. The garden serves as an oasis for urbanites seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Honoring the memory of Ewing and Muriel Kauffman and their commitment to sharing with others, the exquisite garden welcomes visitors throughout the year.
Inspired by the couple’s world travels, the garden features wide open spaces and intimate enclaves akin to those in European parks. Bronze sculptures by Tom Corbin are tucked away among rainbows of annuals and perennials, and brick pathways link foliage-laden stone walls and lovely fountains.
4800 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64110, Phone: 816-932-1200
3. Taste of Kansas City Food Tours
© Courtesy of Taratorki - Fotolia.com
Taste of Kansas City Food Tours takes guests on fantastic food and culture tours exploring the culinary side of Kansas City. The tours visit one-of-a-kind specialty food stores, famous local restaurants, and unique eateries in some of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Visitors get a chance to explore not only the food, but also the beautiful architecture, rich history, and diverse culture of the “Paris of the Plains.”
Kansas City Food Tours offers two enjoyable walking tours, Crossroads and Westport. Each tour takes visitors on a sweet and savory journey to the heart of a Kansas City neighborhood. The guide will introduce the city’s favorite dining spots as well as many local favorites off the beaten path. Visitors should wear comortable clothes and walking shoes and come hungry, as they will be tasting delicious Kansas City cuisine all along the route (Phone: 800-979-3370).
Weekend and day trip ideas: Best Relaxing Weekend Getaways in Missouri
4. SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium
© Courtesy of ASP Inc - Fotolia.com
SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium, home to more than 5,000 sea creatures in a variety of ocean habitats, is a fantastic introduction to the world’s oceans. The aquarium’s diverse habitats include the interactive TouchPool Experience, where visitors can touch a crab or hold a starfish, and a spectacular underwater tunnel gives a 360-degree view of life underwater.
Fun and informative talks, workshops, and educational presentations are held throughout the day, and a free kids’ quiz trail is a fun way to test creature knowledge. Sea animals are fed multiple times during open hours, to the delight of both animals and aquarium visitors. The aquarium also hosts a variety of conservation programs such as seahorse breeding, seal rescue and re-homing lost or abandoned sea animals. If you are wondering what to do in Kansas City with kids on a rainy day, this is a great place to visit.
2475 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, Missouri 64108, Phone: 816-471-4386
5.Things to Do in Kansas City: City Market
© City Market
The City Market has consistently been one of the largest and most popular farmers markets in the Midwest since its inception in 1857. Open daily year-round, the City Market is a mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment in an open-air setting. Market-goers can find fresh, locally sourced produce and meat products, specialty groceries, herbs, flowers, and handcrafted gifts from all over the world.
The market hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including Yoga in the Park, Farm-to-Table Kitchen Classes, the City Market Crawfish Festival, and the City Market Busker Festival.
20 E. 5th Street # 201, Kansas City, Missouri 64106, Phone: 816-842-1271
© Courtesy of Sport Moments - Fotolia.com
The Starlight Theater has been a Kansas City landmark since the 1950s. Today it is one of only three self-producing outdoor theaters left in the United States. The theater has presented a wealth of spectacular Broadway shows and outstanding concerts by stars known the world over, including Tony Bennett, Carol Burnett, and Ginger Rogers.
Starlight’s Applause Club, the theater’s elegant on-site restaurant, provides gorgeous views of the Shirley Bush Helzberg fountain and garden. If you are looking for unique date night ideas in Kansas City, watch a show at the Starlight Theater. The theater company has an active community outreach program with a variety of fun and educational workshops, camps, and classes for children of all ages.
4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64132, Phone: 816-363-7827
7.Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
© Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, offers all visitors an experience like no other. The Kauffman Center's aim is to provide diverse, world class, extraordinary performances of all kinds to the community. The non-profit organization has an exquisite facility that consists of two distinct venues under one roof, and it has been touted as the ultimate place for seeing and hearing performing arts due to its magnificent acoustics.
It is home to the Kansas City Symphony, the Lyrics Opera of Kansas City, and the Kansas City Ballet, which showcases high quality programs on both the national and international level through resident companies and community partnerships. The facility promotes the performing arts beyond its performances through its various art programs, tours, rentals, and events.
1601 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, Missouri 64108, Phone: 816-994-7200
8.Harley-Davidson Factory Tour
© Courtesy of kichigin 19 - Fotolia.com
The immense Harley-Davidson Vehicle and Powertrain Operations factory was built in Kansas City in 1998 and produces the world-renowned Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Visitors can take a Factory Tour and explore the operations of the facility, from welding and frame bending to polishing and assembly.
On the Steel Toe Tour, visitors delve into the history of Harley-Davidson and get a close-up look at the brand’s famous models.
The tour goes through the manufacturing process of the machine’s critical components (like fuel tanks, frames, and fenders). Visitors get the experience of seeing a Harley-Davidson powertrain and vehicle assembled and brought to life. A safety vest, safety glasses, and steel toe protection are provided for this tour, and visitors are required to wear them.
11401 North Congress Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64153
9. Kansas City Zoo
© Courtesy of eyetronic - Fotolia.com
The Kansas City Zoo lies within Swope Park and spans an impressive 202 acres. More than just a zoo, it also features an aquarium and has won many prestigious awards for its animal exhibitions that feature species from other continents such as Africa and Australia.
Visitors can enjoy polar bear exhibits with resident bears Nikita and Berlin and marvel at over 1,300 different species of animals, birds, and aquatic life from all over the world. The zoo also includes a range of fun and efficient transportation options for adults and children to further explore the area such as trams, trains, boats, and a sky safari. f you are looking for great things to do in Kansas City MO on a sunny afternoon, Kansas City Zoo is a great place to visit.
6800 Zoo Dr, Kansas City, Missouri 64132, Phone: 816-595-1234
10.Arabia Steamboat Museum
© Arabia Steamboat Museum
The Arabia Steamboat Museum is home to the largest collection of pre-Civil War artifacts in the world and is one of Kansas City’s most popular attractions. The museum takes visitors on a journey to the American frontier of the mid-nineteenth century and documents the 1988 salvage of the Arabia Steamboat.
The museum captivates visitors with its incredible collection of items and artifacts from the recovered steamboat Arabia, which sank in the Missouri River in 1856, and with displays and presentations on pioneer life in the 1800s. The objects found in the ship range from fine china to the world’s oldest pickles. A guided tour of the museum includes a short movie about the process of salvaging the sunken steamboat.
400 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, Missouri 64106, Phone: 816-471-1856
11.KC Fountains, Kansas City, MO
© Courtesy of Gino Santa Maria - Fotolia.com
At the City of Fountains, the emphasis is on preserving and lovingly restoring these beautiful architectural relics for all Kansas City residents and visitors to enjoy. Back in the day, the fountains were a water source for travelers and animals, and today the City of Fountains Foundation believe that the fountains comprise a key part of the city and provide decorative and spiritual engagement.
Visitors can wander the city to explore all the fountains. The fountains are one of the best things to do in KC. There is something for everyone, from simple structures to opulent and ornate sculptures. There is even an adoption program should you want to become further involved in the preservation effort. The fountains are located all over the city.
12.Things to Do in Kansas City: Loose Park
© Courtesy of dlhedberg - Fotolia.com
Besides park land, there is so much to enjoy on the 75 acres that make up Loose Park, including flower gardens, tennis courts, a lake, picnic areas, and even a water park! The site also holds historical significance, as it served as a strategic location during the Civil War, and visitors can also browse Civil War markers in the area such as antique cannons.
The park also hosts special events throughout the year in the form of plant and flower exhibitions and activities organized by the Loose Park Garden Centre. Some of these include jazz and poetry sessions in the park, wine tastings, and plant care education sessions.
5200 Wornall, Kansas City, Missouri 64119, Phone: 816-513-7710
13.The Money Museum
© The Money Museum
For an unusual and engaging day out, head to the Money Museum located in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Visitors can take self-guided tours of the facility that include an audio tour to help you uncover the history of the museum, where the emphasis is on education through interactive exhibitions.
There are gold bars, coin collections, and vaults on display as part of the tour, as well as art projects for budding artists looking to design the latest banknote. At the end of your day at the museum, you can take home a bag of shredded money made from old notes that are no longer in circulation.
1 Memorial Dr, Kansas City, Missouri 64198, Phone: 816-881-2683
14. Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
© Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Opened in 1994, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art houses a permanent collection of over 700 exhibits for visitors to peruse, sourced from personal works compiled by the founders of the museum. In addition to pieces that date back to the early twentieth century and more contemporary art works, the site also features non-permanent exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing rare or unusual pieces, including photography collections and sculpture exhibits.
The museum aims please the whole family, and visitors with children can book a guided tour will hopefully foster a dialogue between patrons of all ages regarding the significance of contemporary art.
4420 Warwick Blvd, Kansas City, Missouri 64111, Phone: 816-753-5784
15.Things to Do in Kansas City: Sprint Center
© Sprint Center
Head down to the Sprint Center and catch a concert by your favorite visiting artist or performer. With a capacity of 19,000 spectators, the Spirit Center offers unparalleled views and a lively ambiance in this arena where you can take advantage of dining options and a bar located on site.
The Sprint Center is also famous for hosting the College Basketball Experience for visitors interested in all things basketball related, and there is a hall of fame and a wealth of interactive attractions that even feature a Kid’s Court for budding basketball stars. If you are feeling brave you can try to beat the clock and practice your best throws and passes as you take in the history.
1407 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri 64106, Phone: 816-949-7100
Next read: Drive-in Theaters in Kansas City
16.The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
© The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
Embrace your childhood with a trip to the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures and check out over 300,000 different pieces on display. The museum had its beginnings as the collections of two avid toy enthusiasts before it became a portfolio of all things toy related including nostalgic historical pieces ranging from dolls to marbles, and everything else in between.
Visitors can stroll around at their leisure and admire the permanent collections. The museum also features travelling collections and exhibits throughout the year. After you have spent the day visiting the miniatures, take a moment to enjoy the museum building itself, which is actually an Italian style mansion.
5235 Oak Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64112, Phone: 816-235-8000
17. National World War I Museum and Memorial
© Courtesy of Gino Santa Maria - Fotolia.com
The National World War I Museum and Memorial opened on December 2nd, 2006 with the intention of honoring the memory of those who sacrificed their lives to preserve the independence of our country. With its extensive collection of historical artifacts and photographs, the museum provides an interactive narrative of the war through each of its exhibits, including how aviation and artillery affected the outcome of the war.
By chronicling of the war, the museum highlights how each generation has been affected by the conflict and the magnitude it has had on our history. Guests will see history come to life as they walk across the poppy field, listen to the music, and enjoy the beverages and delicious food. A souvenir gift shop sells postcards as well as vintage apparel. The museum operates on a rotating seasonal schedule.
100 W. 26th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64108, Phone: 816-888-8100
18.Kauffman Stadium Tours
© Courtesy of Michael Flippo - Fotolia.com
The Kauffman Stadium Tours offers enthusiastic fans a look into all things Kansas Baseball by providing fans with four different tour packages that access private sections of the stadium. These areas are not normally seen by the public eye, and tour-goers receive goodies like baseball caps. The most inexpensive tour, the early-bird, allow fans a pre-game experience where they will see the team's pre-game batting practice front and centre.
The legends tour is a one-hour tour that allows fans to see the following spaces: the Press Box, the Royals Interview Room, the Dugout, and the Hall of Fame. If you want to be treated like a VIP, opt for the all-star two-hour tour where you will see the Triple Crown, the Dugout Suites, and the 390 Bar and Grill, and you will receive a Kauffman Stadium baseball cap.
For those who have been avid fans for years or decades, may want to choose the Grand slam tour, which is a two-hour tour given from a Golf Cart Limo that includes the aforementioned unique areas as well as the Kia Diamond Club and the Level Overlook. This tour is the most expensive, but it covers a large portion of the private areas and provides fans with an autographed baseball.
One Royal Way, Kansas City, Missouri 64141, Phone: 800-676-9257
19.Union Station, Kansas City, MO
© Courtesy of bev - Fotolia.com
Union Station is so much more than an old train station that has serviced millions over the years. It provides patrons with multiple learning experiences as it hosts many exhibits throughout the year. The station has 95-foot ceilings, a six-foot wide clock that hangs in the central arch, and chandeliers mounted on the vaulted ceiling.
The aim of the station is to showcase artifacts that represent a broad scope of history, illustrate the importance of historical preservation, and inspire the exploration of science. The station attracts high quality travelling exhibits such as Da Vinci the Exhibition, and it has a permanent Kansas City rail experience. Union Station also has a planetarium, an extreme screen theatre, a model train display, and many restaurants and shops to enjoy while adventuring through the activities.
30 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, Missouri 64108, Phone: 816-460-2020
20.Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, MO
© Courtesy of Burke Jones - Fotolia.com
For those who want to take their shopping to the next level, the elegant Country Club Plaza offers a wide range of high end stores such as Michael Kors and Tiffany's, and mixed within these are a large number of restaurants and bars. The Country Club makes its shopping experience accessible to all by making it easy to park, walk to every store, and enjoy the scenery.
The Country Club Plaza sits on a 15-block district that hosts over 150 shops new and old. The Country Club Plaza features outdoor dining and private dining, as well as over eight different hotel and inns to stay at. If events are more your thing, the plaza has art fairs, light events, and even live concerts for those who want to do more than shop and enjoy fine dining.
4706 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64112
21.Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
© Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, founded in 1990, provides all patrons with a wonderful learning experience and uses a hands-on approach in delivering the history of the African American culture and cuisine. The museum celebrates a largely ignored era where African-American baseball players were forced to play in their own league rather than in the major leagues. Through exhibits that use interactive media, all visitors can learn about the talented African-American people through a positive perspective. The museum has hundreds of photographs as well as artifacts that display the heritage in an educational and respectful way. The museum offers more than just a baseball history, as it goes beyond and reminds visitors that issues of race and hatred can be transcended in the realm of sports.
1616 East 18th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64108, Phone: 816-221-1920
22.Kaleidoscope, Kansas City, Missouri
The Hallmark Kaleidoscope venue in Kansas City is a free admission community space that allows children to nourish their creative spirit through the use of their art supplies. The venue runs forty-minute sessions for children and their families based around area school schedules. There are multiple creative rooms for children, including an outer space area where children can create artwork that will glow in the dark as well as a room that provides strictly painting materials.
The bulk of creations that children can create are made out of Kaleidoscope's massive assortment of paper goods. Reservations are required if you have a group of fifteen or more, and the venue works on a first-come first-served basis. Every group of six children will require at least one adult for supervision purposes.
2500 Grand, Kansas City, Missouri 64108, Phone: 816-274-8300
© Blue Gallery
Blue Gallery is one of Kansas City's premiere art galleries, established in 2000 within the city's Crossroads Arts District. The gallery, which is helmed by director Kelly Kuhn, has been the recipient of numerous awards from publications such as KC Magazine, Ingram's, and 435 Magazine, including awards as Kansas City's best local art gallery. Exhibitions showcase inventive, beautiful works by emerging and mid-career regional and national artists, with more than 40 regular artists represented by the gallery. The gallery is open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays during the afternoon hours, with additional evening hours offered as part of citywide First Friday art events.
18 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108, Phone: 816-527-0823
24.Boulevard Brewing Company
© Boulevard Brewing Company
A powerhouse of a working brewery, Boulevard Brewing Company offers so much for visitors to enjoy, and they make for a unique sightseeing stop in the city. Founded in the 1980s, the brewery is now a top beer supplier across the United States and is famous for producing a variety of beverages including pale ale and unfiltered wheat beer to name just a few.
If you fancy sampling the local delights then head to the brewery for a guided tour and tasting session where the working history of the brewery will be explained to you as you enjoy a cold glass. Visitors can even book the space for an event should they want to celebrate at Boulevard Brewing Company.
2501 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri 64108, Phone: 816-474-7095
© Courtesy of digi dream grafix - Fotolia.com
Arrowhead Stadium is a world-class venue that serves as a superb venue for concerts and football games. The stadium features accessible seating with enhanced sight lines, made possible with the raised platforms. The stadium has assisted listening devices at all major events that are free of charge, plus closed captioning LED boards for those who need to be able to read all announcements. One of the main draws of the stadium is its world class tailgating experience and its stadium tours.
There are public, private, game-day, and art collection tours that take place throughout the stadium, and the public tours last for ninety minutes and visit the Press Box, Scout Investments Club, Locker Room, Field and Chiefs Hall of Honour. In addition to offering tours, concerts, and football games, the Arrowhead Stadium also has cheerleading, fantasy football leagues, a virtual tour, a kid's club, and a fantasy camp.
One Arrowhead Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64129, Phone: 816-920-9300
25 Best Things to Do in Kansas City, Missouri
- The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Photo: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
- Kauffman Memorial Garden, Photo: Courtesy of YAROSHIK - Fotolia.com
- Taste of Kansas City Food Tours, Photo: Courtesy of Taratorki - Fotolia.com
- SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium, Photo: Courtesy of ASP Inc - Fotolia.com
- Things to Do in Kansas City: City Market, Photo: City Market
- Starlight Theater, Photo: Courtesy of Sport Moments - Fotolia.com
- Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Photo: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
- Harley-Davidson Factory Tour, Photo: Courtesy of kichigin 19 - Fotolia.com
- Kansas City Zoo, Photo: Courtesy of eyetronic - Fotolia.com
- Arabia Steamboat Museum, Photo: Arabia Steamboat Museum
- KC Fountains, Kansas City, MO, Photo: Courtesy of Gino Santa Maria - Fotolia.com
- Things to Do in Kansas City: Loose Park, Photo: Courtesy of dlhedberg - Fotolia.com
- The Money Museum, Photo: The Money Museum
- Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Photo: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
- Things to Do in Kansas City: Sprint Center, Photo: Sprint Center
- The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, Photo: The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
- National World War I Museum and Memorial, Photo: Courtesy of Gino Santa Maria - Fotolia.com
- Kauffman Stadium Tours, Photo: Courtesy of Michael Flippo - Fotolia.com
- Union Station, Kansas City, MO, Photo: Courtesy of bev - Fotolia.com
- Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, MO, Photo: Courtesy of Burke Jones - Fotolia.com
- Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Photo: Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
- Kaleidoscope, Kansas City, Missouri, Photo: Kaleidoscope
- Blue Gallery, Photo: Blue Gallery
- Boulevard Brewing Company, Photo: Boulevard Brewing Company
- Arrowhead Stadium, Photo: Courtesy of digi dream grafix - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Tupungato - Fotolia.com