Fun Things To Do In Kansas City, Missouri

Fun Things To Do In Kansas City, Missouri

There are so many fun things to do in Kansas City, Missouri! Read on to see which top Kansas City tourist attractions were our favorites!

 

Things To Do In Kansas City

We were slowly road tripping our way from Mississippi to Colorado. We had already stopped in Memphis, and Kansas City was to be our next stop. We had researched ahead of time some of the things that we wanted to see in the city, and were very happy to find that many of the attractions were free.

 

So we were excited for our visit, but it wasn’t until we arrived in the city that we really could appreciate it for all that it truly is: A big city, with a small town feel. There were skyscrapers, but also plenty of green spaces. Lots of places to visit, but hardly any traffic. And the people were super friendly and helpful!

 

We quickly fell in love and realized that a weekend in Kansas City just wasn’t enough. We had so much fun exploring this city and can’t wait to go back. Below are some of the fun places we visited during our trip. We hope they inspire you to plan a trip as well.

 

Pro Tip: For even more inspiration, check out these quotes about Kansas City!

 

The National Museum Of Toys And Miniatures

This was one of the highlights of our trip! That might sound like an exaggeration, but hear us out. First of all, who doesn’t like tiny things? Nobody. The miniatures section had us oohing and aahing and squealing, “Oh my God, it’s so cute!” There were even miniatures of miniatures. And if that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t think we can be friends.

 

And then the toys. We felt like we’d gone back in time when we saw some of the toys we had played with as kids. Barbies, Ninja Turtles, Polly Pockets. There were antique toys, model cars, gaming consoles. The museum has over 51,000 toys in their collection! And yes, kids might appreciate this, but we think it’s one of the most fun things to do in Kansas City for adults. Because who doesn’t like feeling like a kid again?

 

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures is one of the fun things to do in Kansas City MO

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

Visiting The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures is one of the unique things to do in Kansas City MO

There were so many cute miniature houses!

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures is one of the top Kansas City tourist attractions because of their large collection of toys and miniatures

We loved their collection of toys!

 

The National WW1 Museum And Memorial

We’ve been to a lot of museums and memorials, but we had never stopped to think that none of them were dedicated solely to the Great War. That’s because the official World War I Museum for the US is located in Kansas City. It is dedicated to remembering, interpreting, and understanding a war that dramatically changed the global community.

 

The Liberty Memorial Tower is an impressive sight. On it, there is an inscription that reads “In honor of those who served in the World War in defense of liberty and our country.” It is over 200 feet tall and built in an Egyptian style. On the south entrance there are also two Assyrian Sphinxes, both covering their faces with their wings. “Memory” faces east toward the battlefields of France, shielding its eyes from the horrors of war while “Future” faces west, shielding its eyes from an unknown future.

 

Unique things to do in Kansas City MO include visiting the National World War I Museum and Memorial

The Liberty Memorial Tower and two Assyrian Sphinxes

Impressive carvings on the World War I memorial

Impressive carvings on the memorial

 

Inside the museum, visitors will find an impressive collection with over 75,000 items. There are also rotating exhibits and events that take place at the museum. It’s a fascinating place, and if you can visit on a Thursday at 2:30pm, they offer complimentary guided tours with paid admission.

 

You could spend hours in the National World War I Museum!

You could spend hours in this museum!

 

Another really cool thing about this museum and memorial is the view you get of Kansas City. Union Station especially looks pretty grand. And if you can, definitely go back at night to get some great photos of the Kansas City skyline.

 

Views of Union Station and the Kansas City skyline

Views of Union Station and the Kansas City skyline

Union Station and the Kansas City skyline at night

Union Station and the Kansas City skyline at night

 

Union Station

This was another highlight of our trip and one of the top Kansas City tourist attractions! Not only is Union Station gorgeous on the inside, it also holds within its walls a ton of fun attractions as well. There’s a science center, planetarium, extreme screen theater, and traveling exhibits.

 

While we were there, the exhibit was “The Art of the Brick” which was full of incredible Lego art by Nathan Sawaya. We saw some really cool pieces, like recreations of famous art and even a working water fountain! To see what exhibit is currently going on at Union Station, we recommend visiting their website.

 

Kansas City Union Station

Kansas City Union Station

The gorgeous interior of the Kansas City Union Station

The gorgeous interior of the Kansas City Union Station

The Art of the Brick exhibit was there during our visit to Union Station

The Art of the Brick exhibit was there during our visit to Union Station

 

The Money Museum At The Federal Reserve Bank Of Kansas City

If you’re on a budget and looking for free things to do in Kansas City, we suggest visiting the Money Museum. Visitors can examine a collection of over 500 historic coins, try to lift a gold bar (it’s heavy!), and lay their eyes on $40,000,000. Kids (and adults) will also enjoy creating their own dollar bills with crayons and stencils and taking photos with their face in the center of a giant dollar bill.

 

Make sure you have your ID with you as it is inside a federal building. US residents must have a State issued ID or passport and International visitors must have a valid passport. Also, photos are allowed in most areas except for the back where money operations are taking place.

 

The Money Museum inside the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

The Money Museum inside the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

The Money Museum is one the the free things to do in Kansas City

Inside the Money Museum

Gold bar at the Museum of Money in Kansas City

Can you lift this gold bar?

$40,000,000 in cash at the Money Museum

We’ll take it! 😉

 

Hallmark Visitors Center

Another free Kansas City attraction, the Hallmark Visitor Center offers guests a glimpse into the history of this iconic company. I actually worked at a Hallmark store years ago, and have personally always loved giving and receiving cards so I was pretty excited to visit. Did you know Joyce C. Hall started the company in 1910 when he was only 18 years old and with a shoe box full of postcards?

 

Visitors can read all about the history of the company, and also see some of the most popular Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments, the famous J.C. Hall Christmas Trees, and if you time your visit right, even meet a Hallmark creator. On most weekdays from 1pm-2pm a writer, illustrator, designer, photographer, or sculptor is available to talk to visitors.

 

Hallmark Visitors Center in Kansas Cityis one of the top free things to do in Kansas City

Hallmark Visitors Center

Fun things to do in Kansas City MO

Get to know the company and some of the items it’s most known for

Meeting a Hallmark Master Artist

Meeting a Hallmark Master Artist

 

Kansas City Zoo

Traveling to Kansas City with kids? The Kansas City Zoo has won multiple awards for its exhibits and has been ranked one of the top zoos in the US. At over 200 acres, the zoo has hundreds of animals and visitors can learn about them during daily shows and Zookeeper Chats. One of our favorite things about the park was the African Sky Safari, a cable car that visitors can take that goes over the African Plains exhibit.

 

things to do in Kansas City with kids

Looking for things to do in Kansas City with kids? Take them to the zoo!

We had a fun time at the Kansas City zoo!

We had a fun time at the zoo!

 

The Nelson-Atkins Museum Of Art

One of the other free things to do in Kansas City is visit this spectacular art museum. With how huge it is and the caliber of art it has, we would have never thought it’d be free but the museum wanted everyone to have a chance to enjoy the artwork it has, both inside and on its grounds.

 

There are many pieces outside that you can wander by, including giant shuttlecocks. Inside, visitors will find modern art, photography, sculptures, and objects from Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

 

The Nelson-Atkins Museum Of Art is one of the free things to do in Kansas City

The Nelson-Atkins Museum Of Art

Artwork all around the grounds of the museum

Artwork all around the grounds of the museum

Artwork from all over the world

Artwork from all over the world

 

The Kansas City Public Library

This library is now in a building that was once a bank! It’s marble columns, bronze doors, and ornate moldings are beautiful. You could visit for the architecture alone, but there are also exhibits, a vault that has been turned into a movie theater, and a chess board on the roof. The parking garage also has a mural of giants books. It’s the coolest and most beautiful library we’ve been to!

 

Inside the Kansas City Public Library

Inside the Kansas City Public Library

free things to do in Kansas City MO

This is way more than an average library!

 

Historic City Market

This year round market has been around since 1857 and is one of the largest and most well known markets in the region. Open daily, there are over 40 full-time tenants that include shops, restaurants, and attractions. Saturdays and Sundays there is also a farmer’s market, which we made sure to stop into during our visit. They had everything from tomatoes to cookies!

 

Historic City Market in Kansas City MO

Historic City Market

Plenty of fresh items at the farmer's market at Historic City Market

Plenty of fresh items at the farmer’s market

 

Kansas City Street Art

If you’ve been following our blog for awhile, you’ll know that we love street art. From Miami to Iceland, we’ve taken photos of street art all over the world. We found some great murals in Kansas City, but one in particular stood out to us since it covered three walls and was so colorful.

 

Kansas City Street Art

Kansas City Street Art

 

Take Photos Of The Kansas City Skyline

We already mentioned one area for great skyline photos of Kansas City, but during our trip we went exploring for more than one place to get that great shot. We found an area near the intersection of West 16th Street and Jefferson Street. We loved the colors and how the lights changed on some of the buildings.

 

Kansas City skyline

Kansas City skyline

 

Walk Along The River At Country Club Plaza

If you’re looking for fun things to do in Kansas City at night, we recommend heading over to Country Club Plaza. All of the shops and restaurants are lit up brightly and there are ornate fountains and sculptures. It’s definitely a fun place to hang out.

 

It’s also right next to the river, where there are walking paths and bridges to go back and forth. And if you’re with your honey, walking along the river is one of the most romantic things to do in Kansas City. 😉

 

walking along the Kansas City river walk is both one of the fun things to do in Kansas City at night and also one of the most romantic things to do in Kansas City MO

Country Club Plaza river walk

 

Kansas City Food

We ate great when we were in Kansas City! We didn’t realize it was such a foodie city and that they have so much more than just BBQ (although their BBQ is delicious as well!). We certainly had a little bit of everything while we were there! You can learn more about what we ate and our favorite Kansas City restaurants here.

 

Certified Angus Beef brisket with burnt ends at Q39

Certified Angus Beef brisket with burnt ends

The Bubble Waffle at The Waffle Bar

The Bubble Waffle

 

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Final Thoughts On Kansas City

We really loved Kansas City! There are so many fun things to do and we feel like we only scratched the surface! Hopefully we’re able to go back soon and explore more of this awesome city.

 

Have you been to Kansas City? We’d love to read your comments below! 🙂

 

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There are so many fun things to do in Kansas City, Missouri! Click to see which top Kansas City tourist attractions were our favorites!

**A big thank you to Visit KC. Although they provided us with complimentary admission into some attractions, as always, all opinions are our own.**

 

14 Comments
  • Alicia Glassmeyer says:

    Yes! Kansas City was a surprisingly amazing travel destination. I can’t wait to go back!

  • We have family from here but never been. The toys and miniatures museum sounds so freaking cool! Would love to go there. We are also big fans of street art so would love to see some of the art around KC. Lovely ideas!

  • It’s been 15 years since I’ve been to Kansas City. I think we went to the Hallmark Center and watched Wallace and Gromit Chicken Run in the theater then ate at a cafe where the food was delivered by model trains. I also remember Kansas City had a lot of fountains. It looks like it’s time we visited again. The market looks pretty cool.

  • Linda says:

    As I read this post, I realize how much of the U.S. I still have to explore. I love big cities that have a small town feel. I am quite sure that a visit to the toy museum would bring back nostalgia moments. May make me wish I had kept my toys in pristine condition to sell! We love to visit train stations as we travel. We are adding libraries to our standard city visit. It is always amazing how artful they both are. I loved your skyline view at night. A spot that will be on the U.S. map to visit for sure!

  • Andi says:

    This is the 2nd or 3rd post I’ve seen on KC recently and it has really opened my eyes to what the town has to offer. I grew up in a “card” family and visiting Hallmark would be the ultimate!

  • Ann says:

    I have never been to Missouri! And — you have given me such an complete and enticing list of things to do in Kansas City, you have me wondering how the heck I’ve never made it there. The Kansas City barbecue looks amazing!

  • I’m a big fan of architecture so Union Station and the Library seem like cool places to explore. Of course, I’d make room for BBQ. What a fine city.

  • Me me me to the National museums of toys and miniatures! I’d love to see my childhood favorite toy, Barbie dolls! Who doesn’t like cute stuff, right? But what strikes me the most is the Hallmark visitors center! Been a big fan of hallmark, whether their cards or movie! I’d personally want to talk to one of their writers! This sounds really awesome if I’d get the chance!

  • We’ve never been to Kansas City, but would love to visit someday. It’s good to know that there are free things to do in this city. And that the Hallmark Visitor Center is there too! When we were young, we loved sending Hallmark Cards, so now that we know that they have a Visitor Center, we’ve put it on our bucket list!

  • Carrie says:

    Never thought of Kansas City as a travel destination, but I love that there is a huge free art museum! The lego art inside Union Station is awesome as well. Is it still actively being used as a train station?

    • Sarah Norris says:

      Hi Carrie. I live in KC and it’s truly a wonderful place to live. So much to do and see. I am absolutely in love with Union station. It’s my favorite building in KC, and it IS a current active running train station as well. The Southwest Chief runs from Chicago through KC down to LA, and the Missouri River Runner runs from KC to St. Louis.

  • Kansas is City is beautiful! I love museums and they have so much on this! BBQ? Why not!

  • Love the list.Thanks for posting this Vicky!

  • Stacy says:

    With family in the area, we visit KC multiple times each year. Thanks for some ideas for places that we have not visited for one of our next trips. Just retweeted and shared on Flipboard and will share to Pinterest and G+ as well.

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Hi! I'm Vicky, a South Florida-based blogger traveling around the world with my stuffed monkey Buddy. Tired of the 9-5, we recently sold all of our stuff and started traveling full time. Click on the photo to learn more!

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