Last Updated on January 15, 2023
Kansas City is an area steeped in rich history teeming with historic neighborhoods, interesting museums, and plenty of tourist attractions. If you’re planning a trip to this fascinating city, located on the border of Missouri and Kansas, here are the best attractions and things to do in Kansas City:
Kansas City Attractions You should visit
Popular Museums In Kansas City
The World War I Museum
The World War I Museum located in the heart of the city is a testament to the legacy left behind by war. It chronicles the strife and the battles of our history while using key objects such as torpedoes, grenades, and artifacts from worldwide battles. While visiting the museum, don’t forget to ride to the top of the 1926 Liberty Memorial in the 217-foot elevator!
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Established more than 80 years ago, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a free yet immersive experience. You can enhance your knowledge of worldwide culture and art through the different exhibits showing artwork by known American and European painters, Chinese artisans, and Native Americans. Many modern American photographers also showcase their art there!
Opening times: Thursday – Monday, 10am – 5pm. On Fridays, the museum is open until 9pm.
Note: Even though admission to the museum is FREE, you need to reserve your tickets online.
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is a Must-Visit for any baseball fan. The museum is dedicated to telling and preserving the history of Negro league baseball in America. It was founded in 1990 by a group of former Negro league baseball players, including Kansas City Monarchs outfielder Alfred Surratt,Larry, Lester, Phil S. Dixon, Buck O’Neil, and Horace Peterson. You can see game-worn uniforms, gloves, cleats, and other artifacts from stars like Josh Gibson (the “Black Babe Ruth”). There are also changing exhibits and the remarkable “Field of Legends”: You can walk onto a field adorned by nearly life-sized bronze statues of 12 prominent players from Negro league history. Tickets are only $10 ($6 per child).
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday. 10am – 5pm, except for Sundays: 12pm – 5pm.
The museum is in the same building as the American Jazz Museum.
The American Jazz Museum
Located in the 18th & Vine District, which was the center of African-American cultural activity in Kansas City during the first half of the 20th century, the American Jazz Museum shares a building with the above mentioned Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. It depicts the history of American jazz music and famous jazz musicians like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, and more. Well worth the $10 admission, even if you’re not a huge jazz fan.
There is a jazz club right in the building, the Blue Room, which looks and feels like a 1930s jazz club. You can see live jazz music there on these days:
REE Monday Night Jam Sessions (7-10pm) – Free Admission
Jazz @ Noon (first and second Thursdays of the month) – Free admission
Indigo Hour (every Friday at 5pm) – Free admission
Friday Night Sets at 8:30pm and 10pm ($10 for one set, $15 for both. Show prices can vary)
Saturday Night Sets at 8:30pm and 10pm ($10 for one set, $15 for both. Show prices can vary)
Museum Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday. 10am – 5pm, except for Sundays: 12pm – 5pm.
The Toy and Miniature Museum
Home to an immense collection of miniature toys with a nostalgic vibe, the Toy and Miniature Museum offers a quirky tourist stop. With over 72,000 objects on display, the museum boasts a unique quality experience.
The National Airline History Museum
For aviation buffs and history lovers, the National Airline History Museum is a must-see! With an authentic 1941 Douglas DC-3 on display, the history of commercial aviation is brought to light with life-sized artifacts.In 1856, a steamboat named Arabia sank in the Missouri River. In 1988, its remains and artifacts were brought to light for the first time and preserved for posterity. The Steamboat Arabia Museum helps glimpse life in a bygone era while offering a great way to spend a lazy afternoon.
Outdoor Attractions in Kansas City
The Kauffman Stadium
Home of the Kansas City Royals, the 2015 World Series champions, the Kauffman Stadium offers sports fans a worthwhile visit. If you’re ever in the city during summertime or game season, all the more reason to stop by!
The Best Things to do in Kansas City with kids
The Kansas City Zoo
The Kansas City Zoo spreads out over 200 acres and is home to more than 1,700 animals! Tickets are a couple of dollars cheaper when bought online and in advance (at least three days before your visit), and kids under two visit for free. Tip: I recommend adding the $7 Unlimited Rides Voucher that includes the unlimited rides on African Tram, KCZoo Railroad, and the Endangered Species Carousel. Buy tickets for the Kansas City Zoo here. Tickets for the zoo are $20 ($18 when bought in advance).
Kansas City SEA LIFE
The SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium has 11 different interactive zones where your kids can meet a wave of sea animals from around the globe. There are more than 5,000 fish, rays, and a plethora of marine life, and you can admire the underwater world from inside a 180-degree Ocean Tunnel – an epic experience not just for kids! Tickets start at $28.
Tip: You can buy combo tickets for SEA Life and LegoLand, which are right next to each other. See details below.
LegoLand Discovery Center
Your kids will love the incredible indoor LEGO playground, while you can marvel at MINILAND, a Kansas City cityscape made entirely of LEGO Bricks. There’s also a VR Experience, a cinema, the Merlin’s Apprentice Ride, the Kingdom Quest game, and more! Depending on what time of year you’re visiting, there are also regular seasonal events. Tickets for the LegoLand Discovery Center start at $28.
Combo Tickets: You can buy a combo ticket that includes admission for both LegoLand and SEA Life. These combo tickets are only $32.99, and the great thing is that you don’t have to use them both in the same day. The combo ticket is valid for 30 days.
Opening Times: 10am – 4pm
Kansas City Neighborhoods Worth Visiting
If you would like to see what nightlife has to offer in the city, Westport has many movie theaters, piano clubs, bars, and restaurants you can enjoy.
The Volker neighborhood
The Volker neighborhood has a hipster modern vibe that younger travelers enjoy.
18th and Vine District
Home of 1930’s jazz music, a culturally relevant yet historic neighborhood is the 18th and Vine District.
A Kansas City Craft Beer Crawl
Kansas City has a fantastic craft brew scene, and if you are a fan of micro-brews, you’ll have to visit some of the micro-breweries here.
Tip: There is a City Brewery Discount Card for 24 breweries for only $5, so if you’re planning on hitting up a number of breweries, it’s worth getting it. This digital passport will give you discounts at breweries such as Boulevard Brewing Company. Kansas City Bier Company, Crane Brewing, and many more – you can buy the pass and see the full lists of discounts offered here.
Restaurants And Accommodation in Kansas City
Are you planning to stay in the city overnight? If so, take advantage of the great rates offered by national and local boutique hotel chains. There are many options in the Crown Center, which is also in close proximity to the World War I Museum.
The city has many casual and fine dining options on offer. Of course, no visit to the city is complete without at least one indulgent treat! Make sure to give the Kansas City barbecue a try which consists of slowly cooked meat liberally slathered in the tangiest sauce available on the market! Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que and John Brown BBQ are two fantastic options. A great recommendation for a modern organic feast is the Blue Bird Bistro and the Farmhouse.