Fun Things to Do in Kansas City

I recently got the chance to visit Kansas City for a day on my way to Nashville for New Years Eve. I was shocked at how much good food and interesting culture there is in this small, charming city! The barbecue and jazz are definitely not the only reasons to visit this fun  midwest spot. Here are a few things I did while there that are definitely worth doing.

If you’re looking for a great place to stay, check out my post about the Westin Kansas City Crown Center! It’s a great and affordable hotel while visiting Kansas City!

1. Eat Good Food $12 – $15

Jacks Stack Barbecue

4747 Wyandotte St, Kansas City, MO 64112

This is perfect if you want classic Kansas City barbecue. They have a few different locations so you can check them out no matter where you are in the city, but since I was pretty much stuck in downtown without a car, the address listed was the best location for me. As a heads up, they are one place that is always packed no matter what day of the week. Want to go without a line? Try sitting at the bar at lunch time. It was much easier to find a spot there!


1526 Walnut St, Kansas City, MO 64108

This restaurant was recommended by the staff at the Westin and I am so glad I took the recommendation! Tannin has a delicious menu that pairs well with some great wines. We especially loved the make your own cheese plate options that not only came with delicious cheese but lots of charcuterie which was an unexpected but welcomed surprise. Our server was knowledgeable about what wine paired well with dishes we wanted and we ended up with a great meal. Service and food were on point and the atmosphere was very romantic. This spot is especially good for a girls night or date.

2. Drink Good Coffee $4

Monarch Coffee

3550 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64111

Talk about Instagrammable and delicious! I got a latte while there and it was perfect. This is another spot that can have a long line so come early and enjoy some awesome coffee.

PT’s Coffee

310 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108

This spot is a really nice spot where lots of people go to do work during the day. While I was there, there were a lot of people working on different projects downtown and I sat and enjoyed my Chai latte in the quiet cafe (also very instagrammable!).

2. Nelson Atkins Museum Free, Special Exhibits $20

This was an awesome museum and way bigger than expected! When I looked it up online everyone was talking about the sculture garden outside (which is very cool), but I was impressed with all the art in the museum too. It was also very cold while I was there so I didn’t do much exploring outside even though the sculptures were pretty neat. They recently renovated their modern art wing and I spent most of my time in this portion of the museum. The building itself is also very beautiful and was a lot of fun to walk around. If you’re looking for a pretty spot to eat, check out the cafe located right in the museum. There’s a beautiful fountain in the center of the cafe in a large atrium which is a perfect spot to stop for a bite!

3. Union Station Free, Special Exhibits $20 – $25

I loved Union Station! It is located right in the heart of Kansas City and there is a ton going on here. First, there are museums located inside Union Station. They are always running a special exhibit downstairs and in the train station. The station itself has some cafes and coffee shops and since I was there right after Christmas, it was decorated and so pretty! While I was there, they had a mummy exhibit going on downstairs, but are now onto a Lego exhibit which sounds like too much fun! The exhibits are always changing so check the Union Station website for more info. It is also connected with Crown Center, the Science Museum, and the aquarium Sea Life Kansas City. There is a ton to do right around here! This is definitely a spot that kids and adults can have a bunch of fun in.

4. Boulevard Brewing $5 – $10

2501 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108

Boulevard Brewery is a huge brewery located close to downtown that offers a lot of different beers and free brewery tours. Get there early if you want a brewery tour because they sell out fast! Even if you don’t have time for a brewery tour, the brewery is huge with games, an outdoor area, and three rooms to drink in.

5. National World War I Memorial and Museum $10, $8 on Wednesdays

This museum is the highest rated museum in Kansas City and has a great view from the memorial tower. I was really excited to visit but…. when I was walking up to the museum, the loud speaker came on and said they were closing at 2 pm for the day so I didn’t get to go in! It’s something I wish I had been able to do because I don’t know very much about World War I compared to World War II and it would be great to learn more. Still, walking around the memorial and museum was a great way to learn about some history and see a great view of Union Station. Also, it was snowing and freezing… I was not happy by the time I climbed up all those steps in the snow!

6. Explore History and Science

There are a lot of museums and activities right near Union Station, definitely check some of them out!

  • Exhibit in Union Station $20
  • Science City $13.25 + $7 for planetarium
  • American Jazz Museum $10
  • Sea Life Kansas City $15 online