Top Things to Do in Kansas City | Midwest Living

Top Things to Do in Kansas City

Kansas City's urban development highlights new attractions while the old favorites still shine.
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

    The acclaimed Bloch Building houses contemporary and African art and photography, while the original, stately Nelson-Atkins Building shows other popular exhibits, including the new Egyptian galleries.

    Outside, the 22-acre Kansas City Sculpture Park includes 12 Henry Moore sculptures. Make sure to pose for a photo with any of the four 18-foot shuttlecocks, designed by Claes Oldenburg, that dot the lawn. Free guided tours and audio guided tours offer visitors different ways to explore the museum. (816) 751-1278;


  • Country Club Plaza

    High-end stores, friendly restaurants and several of Kansas City's signature fountains (including one modeled after a 13th-century fountain in Seville) fill this Spanish-style 14-block shopping district, built in 1922 as a trailblazing suburban shopping center. (816) 753-0100;

    Don't-miss restaurants in Country Club Plaza include Classic Cup Cafe, with crowd-pleasers such as spicy Thai chicken pizza and bread pudding with caramel sauce (816) 753-1840; and Jack Stack Barbecue, one of a local chain that serves great BBQ in classier-than-usual digs. (816) 531-7427;


  • Photo Courtesy of the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association

    Power and Light District

    The city's Power and Light entertainment district serves out-of-towners, visitors from the suburbs and Kansas City's burgeoning downtown residential population with bars, clubs, restaurants, movie theaters, free concerts and a high-end supermarket. Linking the Convention Center to the Sprint Arena, the area is in the heart of downtown. (816) 697-5347;


  • Kansas City Zoo
    Photo Courtesy of Kansas City Convention and Visitors Bureau

    Kansas City Zoo

    See 1,100 animals, including a sea lion show and a lively gang of orangutans showing off their painting skills. Want to get your hands dirty? The Keeper for a Day program puts visitors to work alongside staff. (816) 595-1234;


  • Crossroads Arts District

    The Crossroads Arts District lives up to its name by showcasing more than 150 galleries and artists' studios, as well as 60 restaurants and 40 shops. The neighborhood atmosphere and plenty of dining options makes this a great place to spend a few hours.

  • National World War I Museum

    National World War I Museum

    The National World War 1 Museum offers a poignant counterpoint to Kansas City's livelier attractions. Buried below the 21-story Liberty Memorial, the museum engages and educates visitors while paying somber tribute to the victims of this war. A glass bridge connects the lobby to the galleries above a field of red poppies representing the war's 9 million casualties. (816) 888-8100;


  • Kauffmann Center for the Performing Arts

    Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts