Overlooking Kansas City and the Kansas River, Strawberry Hill gets its name from the flourishing wild strawberries that were said to grow here decades ago. Today, the museum and cultural center flourishes in the 1887 Cruise-Scroggs home. The home's history includes a lengthy stint as a Catholic orphanage, and the exhibits pay tribute to that and the cultural heritage of many local immigrant groups. It’s a varied collection, but the whole place feels like such a discovery that the mishmash aspect doesn’t matter. Plus, the home is beautiful, with rich oak woodwork and period furnishings. We especially enjoyed the view from the veranda as we stood beneath fluttering flags from different countries. It’s easy to imagine what it might have felt like to stand on the brink of a new and exciting century here in the Midwest long ago.
Refreshment at the on-site tearoom rounds out a visit (be sure to try the povitica, a tasty Eastern European nut bread). The gift shop sells an assortment of imaginative works of art and crafts representing many European countries.
The Strawberry Hill Museum and Cultural Center hosts a variety of traveling art exhibits and events throughout the year, including celebrations of Slovenian Heritage Month and Polish-American Heritage Month. The annual Olde World Christmas display of lavish decorations in every room lasts through December and most of January.