What to do and see in Kansas City, United States: The Best Places and Tips

December 27, 2017 Hana Mouser

The home of swing and bebop for some, "The City of Fountains" to others, Kansas City is different things to different people. Music enthusiasts are drawn to the jazz clubs and old haunts of famous musicians such as Charlie Parker and Count Basie. With more fountains than Rome, there is ample opportunity for scenic strolling from fountain to fountain. Stop along the way to discover interesting neighborhoods and browse through eclectic shops. Families are particularly attracted to the city because of its child-friendly events and venues. Science City features hands-on exhibits including a mock television studio where kids can deliver a weather forecast, while the Zoo houses impressive African and Australian exhibits plus an IMAX Theater. The city's museums cover everything from the history of jazz music to a celebration of African American baseball players. Once a trading post for pioneers heading to the Western United States, today Kansas City is a burgeoning metropolis with activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests.
Restaurants in Kansas City

1. National World War I Museum and Memorial

2 Memorial Dr, Kansas City, MO 64108-4616 +1 816-888-8100
Excellent
85%
Good
12%
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1%
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5 based on 4 reviews

National World War I Museum and Memorial

The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America's leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum holds the most comprehensive collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America's official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National World War I Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations.

Reviewed By Windsurferguy01 - Churchville, Maryland

This is a great museum and very well curated. It really is two parts. The inside museum which is excellent and the actual outside memorial which is impressive and if you have not been to Kansas City before, the view of the city is great. This is a must see if you visit Kansas City. parking can be a little tough on the loop road in front of the museum, but it is a nice walk if you can't find a spot. Don't miss the café, great food, wonderful personal service

2. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

4525 Oak St, Kansas City, MO 64111-1818 +1 816-751-1278
Excellent
84%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
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5 based on 2 reviews

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Drop in for an hour, come for lunch, or spend the entire day wandering through world-class galleries. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is the cultural jewel of Kansas City and just three blocks from the Country Club Plaza, and admission is free. The Nelson-Atkins, recognized as one of America’s finest art museums, strives to be the place where the power of art engages the spirit of community. With 40,000 works of art, the Nelson-Atkins is best known for its new Bloch Galleries, featuring Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, plus its Asian art, photography, American paintings, American Indian and Egyptian galleries. The Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park, a beautiful setting for a walk or picnic, is an oasis in the city and home to notable sculptures.

Reviewed By DMartin216 - Chicago, Illinois

We chose to visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum because they were hosting an exhibit entitled “Through the Eyes of Picasso.” The exhibit examined Picasso’s influence by and use of African and other aboriginal images, especially tribal masks. In some cases, a specific mask was shown alongside a Picasso painting, making it undeniable that this was the source. We began to think about some of Picasso’s works that were already familiar to us and suddenly began to see the aboriginal influence. It was a terrific exhibit that will forever inform our appreciation of the works of one of our favorite artists.

The museum also had a Chinese exhibit called “Dreams of the Kings,” a collection of art and other items from the Han Dynasty, including an entire full-body suit of jade. It took about 90 minutes to see both exhibits and take the requisite photos outside by the giant shuttlecocks.

3. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

1601 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108-1229 +1 816-994-7222
Excellent
84%
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5 based on 520 reviews

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Reviewed By Vetskidog - Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Went here to see The Color Purple-The musical. The facility is very nice. The acoustics are good. However, it was a bit tricky to get from the parking garage to our seats but they had guides all along the way directing you. Very nice.

4. Arabia Steamboat Museum

400 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64106-1111 +1 816-471-1856
Excellent
78%
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4.5 based on 1 reviews

Arabia Steamboat Museum

The Arabia Steamboat Museum is a favorite Kansas City attraction, a history museum housing 200 tons of cargo from life on the American frontier in 1856.

Reviewed By Les R - Kansas City, MO

I sometimes find museums a little boring, but I found this museum extremely interesting! Its the cargo from an 1850s steam boat that went down just north of Kansas City in the Missouri river. I was surprised by all the goods from the boat that are so well preserved. It feels like a step back in time. There is also some pieces of the boat itself. The tour guides are very knowledgeable! There is a short film near the beginning. We were amazed that two of the men from the original excavation were on site and made a point of coming by and speaking with us and answering questions. Its obvious they love the project and the museum. We spent just short of two hours here but easily could have stay longer.

5. The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden

4800 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110-2045 +1 816-932-1200
Excellent
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5 based on 225 reviews

The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden

This 2-acre garden is part of the Kauffman Legacy Park in the heart of Kansas City. Powell Gardens, in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, manages and maintains the garden.

Reviewed By Les R - Kansas City, MO

This beautiful garden is FREE and very convenient to many popular KC locations...(its by the Plaza and UMKC, minutes from Loose Park, Brookside, Westport, and even downtown)...if you love the outdoors and especially plants and flowers this garden is a must see. Its not that large, you feel like you are in the private garden of royal estate. Its always immaculately maintained. Of course the plants change dramatically with the 4 seasons in KC. In additional to all the wonderful plants and flowers there are several stunning fountains, quaint seating areas, a solarium with restrooms, brick sidewalks that are artwork in themselves, and a large beautiful brick wall surround with iron gates. There is a wonderful blend of plants, flowers, stone, brick, stucco, iron, and wood. If you are in a rush you can see the garden in minutes...but it would also be easy to spend all afternoon at the garden!

6. Kauffman Stadium

1 Royal Way, One Royal Way, 64141-6969, Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City, MO 64129-1695 +1 816-921-8000
Excellent
72%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 2 reviews

Kauffman Stadium

Reviewed By Rodger R

Not a real big baseball fan but I love visiting Kauffman Stadium whenever the Royals are playing. Love the fans and the great atmosphere during the game. Very entertaining!

7. The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

5235 Oak St, Across from Univ of Kansas City, Kansas City, MO 64112-2877 +1 816-235-8000
Excellent
71%
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4.5 based on 219 reviews

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, formerly the Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City, reopened on August 1, 2015 after an $8 million renovation. The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures features one of the nation's largest collection of antique toys and the world's largest collection of contemporary, fine-scale miniatures.

Reviewed By Kevin K

We spent about two hours browsing this unusual and educational museum. The miniatures were the highlight for us, seeing how intricately-made and incredibly precise each piece of art really is. One can learn some the history of miniature-making and explore the worlds of miniature doll houses, furniture, musical instruments, and household items to name just a few. A docent was explaining to another guest about the miniature harpsichord to your right as you enter the first room. Not only an exact replica, but it makes actual music when played! One would need miniature fingers, of course!
The toy museum brought back many childhood memories as toys from grandpa’s generation were displayed as antiques! I haven’t seen Cooties in 55 years. Yikes! Be sure to watch the video on how wooden horses are made on a lathe, cu out, carved, stained, and painted. Fascinating!
If you have a couple hours be sure to visit this fascinating museum on the UMKC campus. Ample parking.

8. Kansas City Public Library

14 W 10th St, Kansas City, MO 64105-1702 +1 816-701-3400
Excellent
75%
Good
20%
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4.5 based on 169 reviews

Kansas City Public Library

Reviewed By lindaavogel - Kansas City, Missouri

The central public library is a former bank. The interior is beautiful architecturally, with beautiful marble columns. The original bank vault is downstairs and houses an important film collection. The great think about this library is what happens there -- films screened on the roof, the Library Director Crosby Kemper interviewing luminaries, and more.

9. Tom's Town Distilling Co.

1701 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64108-1368 +1 816-541-2400
Excellent
80%
Good
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4.5 based on 140 reviews

Tom's Town Distilling Co.

Drawing inspiration from the country's most corrupt political boss, Tom Pendergast, Tom's Town Distilling Co. is downtown Kansas City's first legal distillery since Prohibition. Enjoy a craft cocktail in our gorgeous art deco tasting room or take our 30-minute tour for an in-depth look at the distillation process and a brief overview of Kansas City during Boss Tom's rule. Cheers!

Reviewed By tms329 - Kansas City, Missouri

The tour is interesting and the building is a gem. Not only do you learn about the distilling process, but you will also hear a good history of Kansas City’s legendary Tom Pendergast. We enjoyed staying afterwards to enjoy a drink from their great menu.

10. Kaleidoscope

2500 Grand Blvd, Crown Center, Kansas City, MO 64108-2616 +1 816-274-8300
Excellent
73%
Good
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4.5 based on 394 reviews

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope nourishes the creative spirit. It is a place where all children and their families are invited to be creative, have fun, and feel good about their own special ideas. Provided by Hallmark Cards, Kaleidoscope is FREE! At Kaleidoscope, children use their imaginations to make art with materials from Hallmark’s manufacturing processes. Some are cut into shapes, while others are left just as Hallmark sends them. And Hallmark provides different materials so the projects are ever-changing!

Reviewed By jcr6fd - Kansas City, Missouri

I love Kaleidoscope. I went here as a kid and now in my 30's, I volunteer here in the summers. The people at Kaleidescope truly want a magnificent experience for every child that walks through their doors. The decor is bright, engaging and kid-approved. This is a place where kids can design and decorate, letting their creative juices flow. In a world where there is so much structure and regimen, this is a great place to help them find their creative side.

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