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Is Kansas City Fun? Everything You Need to Know to Have a Blast

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 5, 2023

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Yes, Kansas City is a fun place to visit! As the largest city in Missouri, Kansas City is a bustling metropolis with a lot to offer. The city is home to a vibrant arts scene, with world-renowned museums and performing arts venues.

There's also plenty of nightlife, with a wide range of bars and clubs to suit every taste. And of course, there's the food. Kansas City is famous for its barbecue, but there's also a great selection of restaurants serving everything from Italian to Mexican cuisine.

But, of course, that's just a taste of what Kansas City has to offer – so if you're looking for a fun-filled city break, this is the place to be.

Top 10 Attractions & Things to Do in Kansas City

Knowing where to start in a city as large and diverse as Kansas City can be difficult. That's why we've put together a list of the top 10 things to see and do in this vibrant metropolis:

1. Visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

South Side of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City Missouri

This Museum has some of the most impressive collections from North American, European, Asian, and African cultures. The Antiquities collection consists of Greek, Roman, and Near Eastern pieces that date back to the 2nd millennium BC. The newest addition to this collection is the inner coffin of Meret-it-es from Egypt. This piece is ornate and will surely be a hit with everyone visiting the museum.

It is not necessary to be an art lover to appreciate the beautiful surroundings and the sculpture park where you can take a walk, play sports, have a picnic, or take a guided audio tour. You can also enjoy the museum's collection of African art representing 2,500 years of craftsmanship with more than 400 works in various media and Native American artifacts, including basketwork, pottery, and quillwork.

The European art collection ranges from medieval times to the 1800s, focusing on 19th-century Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings and 17th-century Italian Baroque art. There are also galleries for Chinese, Japanese, American, contemporary, and modern art.

2. Explore the Kansas City Zoo

Tiger at the Kansas City Zoo

In recent years, the Kansas City Zoo has undergone major renovations and improvements, becoming one of the top family attractions in the area. With over 200 species of wildlife worldwide, the zoo is filled with animals that have been carefully placed in habitats that mirror their natural homes.

The zoo puts a great deal of emphasis on providing a high quality of life for all its residents, including African elephants, rhinos, leopards, giraffes, wallabies, and various species of primates like Bornean orangutans, blue monkeys, chimpanzees, and more.

At the Kansas City Zoo, visitors can watch penguins sliding and swimming in the Helzberg Penguin Plaza, see orangutans playing and learning at "Orangutan University," and touch stingrays at Stingray Bay and feed giraffes, camels, penguins, and rhinos. The zoo also has a 1,300-gallon jellyfish tank and a 20,000-gallon stingray touch tank.

3. Take a walk through the Kauffman Memorial Gardens

Kauffman Memorial Garden in Kansas City Missouri

The Kauffman Memorial Garden provides a beautiful and peaceful oasis for the residents of Kansas City, with two acres of gardens featuring both perennials and annual beds, as well as a variety of decorative and shade trees. The park, built in 2000, also features several bronze sculptures by artist Tom Corbin and fountains and stone landscaping.

Parking and garden admission is free, and tours are arranged in advance by contacting the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Family Foundation. The entire park is wheelchair accessible, making it enjoyable for everyone. You can also find the lovely Jacob L. Loose Park, a 75-acre public park with a 1.5-acre rose garden with 130 varieties.

4. Check out Legoland

Legoland is not only a place where you can find Lego replicas of some of Kansas City's most iconic landmarks but is also home to interactive rides, shows, and workshops. Aspiring builders of all ages can talk to master builders, catch photo-ops with their favorite LEGO characters, and attend workshops.

The 4D cinema offers a full sensory experience with different shows throughout the day, and the rides are sure to please everyone in the family. The Ninjago training camp is perfect for kids who need to burn off some energy, and the laser maze is a fun challenge for all. So when you visit Legoland, you're sure to have a fun-filled day that the whole family will enjoy.

5. Explore Arabia Steamboat Museum

With the loss of Arabia, pioneers heading west lost more than just a steamboat. They also lost access to 400,000 pounds of supplies that were essential for daily life. The boat and its contents were preserved in a time capsule for more than 130 years, providing a unique glimpse into the past. Today, visitors to the museum can watch staff clean and restore artifacts from the boat.

Collections include a wide range of everyday items, from toys and tools to cookware and China sets. The museum also has exhibits showcasing the glory days of steamboats on Mighty Missouri, a river that claimed hundreds of steamboats beneath its waters.

6. Visit the National World War I Museum and Memorial

Kansas City WWI Liberty Museum and Memorial

The National World War I Museum in Kansas City is a must-see for history buffs. The museum is located at the Liberty Memorial, an impressive Egyptian Revival-style monument erected in 1928 to honor the men and women who served and died in the war. With more than 75,000 items, the collection is one of the world's largest. You can walk through a re-creation of a crater left behind after a French farmhouse was struck by a howitzer shell. With six reproduced scenes, you can also experience what it looked and sounded like inside the trenches.

7. Explore the Hallmark Visitors Center

Kansas City, Missouri is famous for the numerous fountains throughout the city. Here, Crowne Plaza, the world headquarters of Hallmark, is domniated by a multitude of fountains

In the Hallmark Visitors Center, located in the Crown Center complex, you can explore the history of the greeting card industry and learn about how Joyce Hall turned a small operation into a global phenomenon.

The center's exhibits include interactive stations and a film, and it is also home to Kaleidoscope, a children's creativity center. You can use various materials to create your own art in these 50-minute sessions, led by Hallmark's creative staff. These sessions are free of charge.

8. Admire Art at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is a great place to view a wide variety of contemporary artwork. The permanent collection contains works by renowned artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Robert Mapplethorpe, and William Wegman. In addition, visitors can enjoy free docent-led or drop-in tours on Saturdays. The museum also offers programs and workshops for youth, teens, adults, and families.

9. Learn at Science City

At Science City, families can explore the many interactive exhibits focused on science. This top attraction in Union Station is perfect for kids of all ages, with exhibits that focus on various aspects of science. For example, visitors can test the physics properties in the Force and Motion exhibit. The Every Last Drop exhibit explores the unique properties of water and the many ways we depend on it. You can also learn about paleontology in the Dino Lab or explore the properties of food in the Demo Area. The planetarium, nature center, and special events are also great features of Science City.

10. Visit Union Station Kansas City

Union Station is a beautiful, imposing building constructed in 1914 to accommodate thousands of passengers. It included a huge, 10,000-person-capacity waiting room. However, due to a decline in railway service, the station closed in the 1980s and underwent major renovations. It reopened in 1999 with new shops, restaurants, and services and now functions primarily as an Amtrak stop.

Despite its smaller railway role today, Union Station is still one of Kansas City's main tourist attractions. With its impressive architecture, Union Station has so many interesting things to do inside, such as visiting Science City, watching a movie at the Regnier Extreme Screen Theater, checking out the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, and seeing a play at City Stage Theater.

We've only begun to cover the attractions and activities that Kansas City has to offer. You could easily spend weeks here and still not see everything this great city offers.

Top 4 Day Trip Ideas from Kansas City

The city of Kansas City is centrally located and easy to get around, making it the perfect home base for exploring the surrounding area. If you're willing to make the drive, there are always fun things to do in Wichita too. Here are four great day trip ideas for visitors of all interests and ages:

1. Kansas City Crossroads Art District

Alleys in Kansas City. Crossroads Art District

You'll want to wear good walking or running shoes on this 5-mile morning hike through Kansas City's Crossroads Art District. The route takes you past Liberty Memorial and Union Station, stopping at a local Mexican shop for refreshing fruit juice. You'll learn about the area's history, see some street art, and get a workout in, all while experiencing some of the best Kansas City offers. On this tour, you'll get an up-close look at the city's diverse architecture and culture and maybe even discover some hidden gems.


2. Luxurious Food Tour

In Kansas City, food is more than just BBQ. It has become a luxurious food hub, and you can experience this first-hand with a luxurious food tour. You'll ride in style in a limo as you visit three top-rated luxury restaurants, each of which will provide you with a specially prepared meal. In addition, your professional culinary guide will teach you about food culture as you travel in elegance across Kansas City. This is an experience you cannot miss!

3. Adventurous Scavenger Hunt

Kansas City Skyline Lake View

Here is your chance to explore Kansas City like never before! With the Crazy Dash scavenger hunt, you can find items and perform tasks around the city to earn points. You have no specific order to find the items, so feel free to explore at your own pace. You can even check the rankings during the game to see how you're doing compared to other players around the country. And don't worry, all Crazy Dash scavenger hunts have a remote host who will chat with you and help you out if you need it.

4. Distillery Tour

The history of J. Rieger & Co. is full of ups and downs. Join us on a tour of the Kansas City distillery to learn about its founding during the city's rowdy years, its end at the start of Prohibition, and its eventual revival almost 100 years later. You'll get an inside look at the distillation process and taste four of our products at the end of the tour.

Top 3 Places To Stay in Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri skyline along the banks of the Missouri River

You'll find plenty of lodging options in and around Kansas City, whether you're looking for a luxurious hotel, a cozy bed, breakfast, or anything in between. Here are three of the best places to stay in Kansas City:

1. The Fontaine

At The Fontaine, you'll enjoy a refined hotel experience 8 miles from Arrowhead Stadium. This modern accommodation features bathrooms with marble vanities, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and coffeemakers. You can also upgrade to a suite for additional space and amenities like an iPod dock. Start your day with a breakfast buffet in the hotel's off-lobby lounge, or enjoy New American cuisine and cocktails in the upscale rooftop bar and restaurant. Other amenities at The Fontaine include a business center, meeting space, fitness center, and valet parking.

2. 21c Museum Hotel

This hotel is situated in a historic location and functions as a contemporary art museum. It is located close to Union Station Kansas City and Boulevard Brewing Company. The rooms are airy with original artwork present, and they come equipped with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and Nespresso coffee machines. Suites have additional living areas or rooms, and some even have terraces. Room service is available for guests' convenience. The hotel also has a chic restaurant, sophisticated bar, and guided tours of the museum. There is also a 24-hour gym on the premises for guests to use.

3. Fairfield Inn by Marriott

The Fairfield Inn by Marriott is a straightforward, no-frills hotel located one mile from SEA LIFE Kansas City and the National WWI Museum and Memorial. The rooms are furnished with dark wood and carpeted floors and come equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minifridges, microwaves, and tea and coffee-making facilities. Some rooms also have pull-out sofas. In addition, the hotel offers free breakfast and parking, a convenience store, a heated indoor pool, and a gym.

Final Thoughts

The Scout statue overlooking downtown Kansas City, MO

At the end of the day, regardless of where you stay, what you do, or how you spend your time, Kansas City is a fun place with something to offer everyone. So whether you're looking for an adventure, some history, or just a good time, be sure to add Kansas City to your list of places to visit.

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