Updated: Jun 11, 2022
Barbecue, beers, and history all in the heart of the country? Count me in! So much good food and interesting culture in this small, charming city! Here are some fun things to do in Kansas City.
The barbecue and jazz are not the only reasons to visit this fun midwest spot (just like Cleveland!). 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 for anyone visiting Kansas City! If you often travel with your significant other, a romantic getaway in Kansas might be perfect for you, too.
1. Eat Good Food
$12 – $15
Jack 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 KC 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 lunchtime. It was much easier to find a spot there!
1526 Walnut St, Kansas City, MO 64108
The staff at the Westin recommended this restaurant, 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 the dishes we wanted, and we ended up having a great meal. Service and food were on point, and the atmosphere was very romantic. This spot is especially good for a girl’s night or date!
2. Drink Good 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 the atmosphere.
310 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108
This spot is a really nice shop 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, so I sat and enjoyed my Chai latte in the quiet cafe (also very instagrammable!).
Free, Special Exhibits $20
This was an impressive museum and way bigger than expected! When I looked it up online, everyone was talking about the sculpture garden outside (which is very cool), but I was also impressed by all the art in the museum. 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 that portion of the museum.
The building itself is also stunning 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 seating area in a large atrium, which is a perfect spot to stop for a bite!
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 inside 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 as of right now are showing a Lego exhibit, which sounds like too much fun! The exhibits are always changing, so check the Union Station website for more info. The building connects you with the Crown Center, the Science Museum, and the aquarium—Sea Life Kansas City. There is so much to do right around here! This is definitely a spot that kids and adults can have a bunch of fun in.
$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 craft beers and free tours. Get there early if you want a brewery tour because they sell out fast! Even if you don’t have time for the tour, the brewery is enormous; it has games, an outdoor area, and three rooms with great seating and tables.
$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… as I was walking up to the museum, the loudspeakers announced 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 experience because I don’t know very much about World War I compared to World War II, and it would be a great place to learn more. Still, walking around the memorial and museum is a good 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 heard that announcement after climbing up all those steps in the snow!
6. Explore History and Science Museums
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