16 Best Things to do in Kansas City, MO

Famous for its signature barbecue sauce, you’ll quickly find that Kansas City is more than what meets the eye. While its exceptional restaurant scene remains a foodie’s delight, Kansas City’s eye-catching architecture, street art, museum, and culture continue to delight travelers.

On any given day, you can mix plenty of live sport with in-depth museums and breathtaking galleries. Before learning of the city’s jazz culture, its Spanish buildings and its surprising collection of 200+ fountains. Between them all are several charming neighborhoods, each with their own story to tell.

All these things to do in Kansas City make the largest city in Missouri a memorable experience for families, couples, and solo travelers.

16. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts© dreamstime

From the moment you lay eyes on the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, its striking design will draw you in. Perhaps the most beguiling piece of architecture in Kansas City, it draws similarity to the iconic Sydney Opera House and was thought up on a napkin.

However, the real show is within the spectacular building. Here you can indulge in an evening of high culture thanks to the Kansas City Ballet and the city’s symphony orchestra. They offer one-off concerts from touring artists along with kid-friendly shows and theater productions throughout the busy calendar.

15. City Market

City Market© dreamstime

Traveling to any city inevitably brings you to a market. It’s the perfect way to experience local life and to indulge in an exciting atmosphere with no upfront cost. The City Market is another such example. However, its location in downtown Kansas City makes this market livelier than most.

The City Market first ran in 1857 and every year since the best produce and wares from local farmers and artisans have been sold right here. The consistently sizeable crowd is a testament to not only the community spirit by the quality of the goods on offer.

Load up the picnic basket or the charcuterie board, or sample mouthwatering bakery treats.

14. American Jazz Museum

American Jazz Museum© dreamstime

A good deal of renowned jazz musicians have called Kansas City home from Charlie Parker to Count Basie. Now, in the Historic Jazz District, you can learn all about the genre and its many iconic musicians at the American Jazz Museum.

The museum doesn’t miss a beat, pun intended. It is both an exploration of the genre, telling you the full story from beginning to end but also a celebration and pseudo Hall of Fame. Visitors will find some amazing memorabilia from a saxophone owned by Charlie Parker to a gown worn by the one-and-only Ella Fitzgerald.

Complement the experience with a visit to the museum’s Blue Room, where live jazz is played multiple nights a week.

13. Worlds Of Fun

Worlds Of Funflickr/Dave Thomas

Turn back the clock and unleash your inner kid at Wolds of Fun. The massive theme park is packed with hair-raising thrills, water parks, and arcades to let your hair down and have some friendly competition.

The selection of roller coasters is worth the price of admission on its own. These include the Time Wolf, Prowler, and Patriot. However, none match up to the Mamba. The Mamba is a legendary roller coaster that lives up to its name, being one of the most fear-inducing and fastest rides on earth.

To let your heartbeat return to normal, venture down the lazy river, before plummeting down water slides, and wandering through Dinosaurs Alive.

12. Arrowhead Stadium

Arrowhead Stadium© dreamstime

The biggest arena in Missouri, Arrowhead Stadium, is the place to go to watch football or experience a live concert while in town. Arrowhead Stadium is the home of the Kansas City Chiefs. The stadium can host 76,416 screaming fans. In fact, they get so earsplitting that Arrowhead Stadium has the record for the loudest stadium on earth.

Whether you want to watch the Chiefs, or maybe your hometown team play at Arrowhead, you can get along to a game between September and January. If you are going to the game, combine that with a game day tour, which includes time on the turf during warm-ups. If the schedule doesn’t line up, you can join a guided tour of the stadium that runs on Friday and Saturday.

11. Sea Life Kansas City

Sea Life Kansas City© dreamstime

With discount group rates and birthday events, Sea Life Kansas City is a great option for a family day out. In the aquarium, visitors can wander between a diverse range of underwater habitats where all your favorite marine creatures roam. These include the lakes of the Midwest and the vast Atlantic Ocean. All up, there are 10 aquatic zones.

With both salt and freshwater locations, you will stumble upon stingrays soaring through the water, seahorses bobbing up and down and intimidating sharks commanding your attention. Continue on to capture octopus in their element and the always-majestic turtles swimming along.

Sea Life Kansas City puts on a variety of events and experiences. One of the most popular being the aquarium’s Meet a Mermaid.

10. Hallmark Visitors Center

Hallmark Visitors Centerflickr/SPTDVhttps://8f70f8fcbb3ba9370aa6c1095985e613.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Even if you aren’t much of a card person, Hallmark has been a part of all our lives. The iconic brand began right here in Kansas City, founded by Joyce Hall way back in 1910. Hallmark began by producing picture postcards, when five years later its decision to create greeting cards led to an international revolution.

Today, Hallmark remains in the family and is run by the descendants of Hall. While in town, you can learn all about the company and the history of greeting cards at the Hallmark Visitors Center. Explore on a whim or join the 14:00 guided tour. The center features short films, interactive exhibits, and even a scavenger hunt for the little ones.

9. Boulevard Brewing Company

Boulevard Brewing Companyflickr/Travis Swicegoodhttps://8f70f8fcbb3ba9370aa6c1095985e613.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

If you like your beer or want to embark on an adults-only tour, then get along to Boulevard Brewing Company. It will quickly become apparent on your free brewery tour the level of passion and patience that goes into creating Boulevard’s amazing brews.

Using the best ingredients from the regions around Kansas City, each beer has a distinct flavor profile that separates it from the last. Everyone may have a different flavor palate, however, it’s easy to appreciate the clear differences in each beer. Which also means there’s a beer for everyone.

Local favorites include the Jam Band and 80-Acre, while their selection of seasonal beers means there is always something different to try.

8. Kansas City Zoo

Kansas City Zoo© dreamstime

From humble beginnings, with just a handful of lions, monkeys and birds, the Kansas City Zoo has developed into one of the leading zoos in Missouri. Praised for its conservation work, exceptional animal habitats and naturalist experiences, the zoo experience is as educational as it is exciting.

Before arriving, chuck on a comfy pair of shoes as the expansive zoo will require a lot of walking in order to see it all. You may even have to come back for a second day to tick off each experience. Highlights of the Kansas City Zoo include the interactive Stingray Bay, an outstanding chimpanzee enclosure, and interactions with the zookeepers. However, nothing tops the boat rides through the African Plains.

7. Arabia Steamboat Museum

Arabia Steamboat Museum© dreamstime

In the fall of 1856, Arabia, a side wheeler steamboat embarked on a routine trip down the Missouri River when a sycamore tree snag ripped its hull apart. In the months and years that followed, the boat was never found.

The 13-decade mystery of the steamboat was at last solved by an amateur archaeologist in 1988. It had sunk so rapidly into the mud below that it was eventually covered in a cornfield. The upside is that the mud preserved the cargo so well that the steamboat’s extensive artifacts are now on display at the Arabia Steamboat Museum.

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