1. Cheer on a team.You've most likely heard of the Kansas City Royals, and Kauffman is super nice, but there are also several other sports teams to cheer on in the area. Our NFL team is the Chiefs, and they share a parking lot with the Royals (and are located right next to them in the super loud Arrowhead Stadium). These stadiums are in the Independence Area, where you can also catch Mavericks hockey at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, or you can cross the state line and watch Sporting KC play soccer in Kansas City, Kansas. All tickets are pretty reasonable, and the environment is great at all of these venues.
2. Walk the Country Club Plaza.Even if you're not a huge shopper, the Plaza is definitely worth a visit. It boasts big name restaurants like The Melting Pot, The Cheesecake Factory, and family style Italian at Buca di Beppo. There is also a movie theatre, several coffee shops, reasonable to high end shopping, and several dessert spots. Great times to visit are when the lights are up from Thanksgiving to mid-January, or for the Plaza Art Fair in September.
I love this video from BostWiki. It really helps explain the city and highlight some of the neighborhoods I mention!
3. Check out the downtown neighborhoods by car or streetcar.KC has lots of fun neighborhoods with great food and things to do. Check out Westport for great dining and drinks (and the Doughnut Lounge!), Waldo for amazing pizza, and City Market for the Farmer's Market or to see Steamboat Arabia. Brookside is also super cute, and has lots of coffee shops and restaurants. The KC streetcar is free and new, and can connect you all the way from City Market to Union Station. See the route here.
4. See the animals or a show in Swope Park.Swope Park is home to both the Kansas City Zoo and Starlight Theater. Spend your day touring "Africa", and then watch a Broadway show under the stars at night!
5. Explore the nightlife in the Power and Light District.If you're big on nightlife, you'll want to be sure to visit the Power and Light District. Home to bars, restaurants, and the huge outdoor area known as "KC Live", Power and Light is always hopping. The Sprint Center is also located in this area, and hosts sporting events, concerts, and other events. Check out this video for more!
6. Bring the kids (big or little) to Crown Center and Union Station.For fun for the whole family, head on down Grand St to Crown Center. You'll be able to shop, eat, and check out fun places like Kaleidoscope, LEGOLAND, and SEA LIFE Aquarium. They even show free movies outside in the summer, and have an Ice Rink and huge Mayor's Christmas Tree in the winter. Union Station is located nearby, which houses Science City and a Planetarium.
7. Enjoy a performance.There are lots of places to enjoy great concerts and shows in KC. Some of the most popular places are Sprint Center, Starlight, Uptown Theater, the gorgeous Kauffman Center for Performing Arts, the Coterie (which is in Crown Center), and the Midland.
8. Eat good barbecue (or other food!).KC is known for barbecue, and there are SO many different kinds to try. Some of our favorites are the famous Joe's KC, Q39, and Arthur Bryant's. If you aren't feeling barbecue, you should definitely check out Grinders, or one of the Mexican restaurants along Southwest Boulevard like Ponak's. (The Boulevard is also home to Boulevard Brewing Company, which has free daily tours!)
9. Visit on First Friday.KC has this awesome once a month party called "First Fridays". On the first Friday of each month, there is a big art festival in the Crossroads, complete with music and food trucks. On the entire first weekend of the month, head to the West Bottoms areas for awesome warehouse weekends where you can find awesome, vintage and antique goodies and home decor. My favorites are Bella Patina and Hickory Dickory!
10. Learn more in a museum.You can visit the well-known Nelson Atkins Museum of Art for free, and the lawn is beautiful! I would also highly recommend the National World War One Museum, which is pretty incredible. The Liberty Memorial is located here, and offers the best view of the KC skyline and downtown. You can also check out the Jazz Museum or Negro Leagues Baseball Museum if you'd like some KC history!
11. Have worlds (or oceans) of fun at a theme park.Just north of the river, you'll find Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun, a theme park and water park respectively. One ticket gets you into both parks. Be sure to ride the Mamba and the Prowler! Schlitterbahn and Great Wolf Lodge are other water parks in the area, and are located near the Legends in Kansas City, KS.
12. Visit as many fountains as you can.With over 100 fountains within the city and its suburbs, Kansas City truly is the "city of fountains". Check out this link for a map of them all, and a list of their locations (with addresses). You can even go on guided tours or walking tours specific to fountains! (See more about walking tours below!)
Travel App and Walking Tours!One of my favorite ways to explore any city is by walking, especially when it doesn't cost me money! Although KC is pretty spread out, there are still several places (especially downtown) to go on some amazing walks. I recently got the chance to try out a few of the Kansas City walking tours from GPSmyCity, and they were a blast. They tell you where to go, what you're seeing, and the history behind it. The app also includes a city map, custom walks, and a list of attractions that are near you. Here are examples of what you'll see on the app.
|What the app shows as KC sightseeing walks. On the right, the "Downtown Nightlife" route info and sights.|
|Each "sight" provides you with more information. You can also see each of the stops for the walk on the map!|