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37 Best Things to do in Kansas City in 2020

What city ranks second only to Rome with its number of fountains? Kansas City, of course! This Midwestern destination is also known for its barbecue restaurants, craft breweries and more!

Check out our guide for more information on the city of fountains. We're bringing you the best things to do in Kansas City.

PS. If you're looking for activities for the little ones, check out our guide on things to do in Kansas City with kids.

Quick View: Best Things to do in Kansas City:

  1. Great Wolf Lodge
  2. American Jazz Museum
  3. Science City
  4. Kansas City Zoo
  5. Boulevard Brewing Company
  6. Country Club Plaza
  7. City Market
  8. Jones BBQ
  9. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
  10. Ernie Miller Nature Center
  11. Worlds of Fun
  12. National World War I Museum
  13. Sprint Center
  14. Leila's Hair Museum
  15. Kauffman Stadium
  16. Sealife Aquarium
  17. The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
  18. The College Basketball Experience
  19. Zip KC
  20. Fritz Railroad Restaurant
  21. Kansas City Municipal Rose Garden
  22. Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead
  23. Kaleidoscope
  24. Arabia Steamboat Museum
  25. Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm
  26. Parasie Park
  27. Fun Farm Pumpkin Patch
  28. Truman Home
  29. Kansas Speedway
  30. Arrowhead Stadium
  31. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  32. Legoland Discover Center
  33. Kansas City Food Tours
  34. Kansas City Workhouse
  35. J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain
  36. Loose Park
  37. Money Museum

1. Great Wolf Lodge

Enjoy a weatherproof good time at our indoor water park! Our Kansas City resort features tons of amazing water slides, an outdoor activity pool, lazy river, hot springs and more!

We keep our facilities at a comfortable 84-degrees, all year long! Don't forget to explore our other attractions after you dry off.

We also have an arcade, miniature golf course and a ropes course. Come spend the day with us, or even the night!



2. American Jazz Museum

Kansas City has a rich musical history, so of course there's a museum dedicated to Jazz! The American Jazz Museum is located in the Historic 18th and Vine Jazz District in Kansas City, Missouri.

You'll have the opportunity to soak up the sights and sounds of jazz through interactive exhibits and films, the Changing Gallery exhibit space, Horace M. Peterson III Visitors Center, Blue Room jazz club, and the Gem Theater.

American performers playing traditional jazz insturments
Source: Twitter

3. Science City

Science City is located within the famous Union Station in Kansas City. It provides tons of hands-on experiences for kids! Watch your kids engage in early STEM skills like making observations, developing tool literacy and practicing fine motor skills.

You can also learn more about the night sky at the planetarium, check out some of the daily demonstrations and explore the individual exhibits!

Lizard on a branch at the Science Center
Source: Facebook

4. Kansas City Zoo

Welcome to the Kansas City Zoo, home to over 1,300 animals! The 202-acre property contains of all sorts of exotic animals, from orangutans, giraffes, elephants and more!

The zoo also features zookeeper chats, animal shows, feedings, Zoofari Adventure camps, and tons of other educational experiences for kids.

Penguin diving into water at Kansas City Zoo
Source: Twitter

5. Boulevard Brewing Company

Time to get a sitter! The Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing Company provides the perfect excuse for a parent's night out.

The brewery contains an amazing selection of beers, including vegan-friendly options, fine ales and seasonal releases.

Have a drink or take a tour of the property. There are also some shuffleboard courts located on the top floor!

Cracking open a beer on a rooftop at the boulevard brewing company
Source: Twitter

6. Country Club Plaza

Need to squeeze in a shopping trip? Head over to Country Club Plaza, Kansas City's premiere shopping and dining destination! The plaza is home to high-end boutiques, restaurants and entertainment venues.

The whole place spans a whopping 15 blocks! There are also tons of fountains located around the property, more than 30 statues, as well as murals and tile mosaics to take in.

Kansas City fountain in the sun at Country Club Plaza
Source: Twitter

7. City Markeet

City Market, aka the River Market, has long served Kansas City as a popular tourist destination. Take in one of the largest farmers markets in the region, stocked with the best local produce around.

There are also tons of activities too, including the local parks and local river for hiking, biking and boating!

Fresh greens at the Kansas City Market
Source: Twitter

8. Jones BBQ

We told you Kansas City was known for its barbecue! You may recognize the name Jones Bar-B-Q. Sisters Deborah "Shorty" and Mary "Little" run the restaurant together, working hard to maintain the legacy started by their father.

In fact, the family owned food stop was recently featured on the Netflix hit series Queer Eye. Today, both the shop and the sisters are doing well with their new makeovers, and sales are at an all-time high.

Stop in for a taste of what all the hype is about! You won't want to miss out on their smoked meats and secret family BBQ sauce!

Plate of ribs at Jones BBQ
Source: Facebook

9. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) helps celebrate the rich history of African-American baseball and its cultural impact on America.

The NLBM is the only museum of its kind, and has welcomed more than 2-million visitors since it originally opened back in 1990. Stop by and enjoy the self-guided tour!

The exhibition features text panels, hundreds of photographs, artifacts and several film exhibits.

Jackie Robinson poses with his mitt at the Negro League Baseball Museum
Source: Twitter

10. Ernie Miller Nature Center

Itching to get out of the city? Hop in the car and head over to the Ernie Miller Nature Center. The 116-acre nature park offers grass prairies, upland meadows, bottomland forests, and a beautiful stream to explore.

There's even a new exhibit gallery on the property featuring live animal displays and interactive exhibits!

Pink flower in bloom at Ernie Miller Nature Center
Source: Twitter

11. Worlds of Fun

Into theme parks? Then you won't want to skip on the opportunity to visit Worlds of Fun! The park spans 235 acres and contains tons of rides, slides, live shows, dance parties and more!

Head next door to Oceans of Fun to explore some of their water park activities. There's a 1,034,364-gallon wave pool, 720-foot lazy-river, 23 slides, and tons of other attractions to check out.

Performers singing and dancing at Worlds of Fun
Source: Twitter

12. Nation World War I Museum

If there's a history buff in the family, then do them a solid and pay a visit to the National World War I Museum.

Take in original objects collected from the era including documents, video, recreated trenches and interactive tables.

Statue of a soldier at the National WWI Museum
Source: Twittter

13. Sprint Center

Take in a live performance at the Spring Center! The 18,000-foot arena has hosted major names in the music industry including Justin Timberlake, Elton John, Ozzy Osborne and more.

Concertgoers at the Sprint Center
Source: Twitter

14. Leila's Hair Museum

Get ready to add something quirky to the agenda! Leila's Hair Museum serves as the largest - and maybe the only - national collection of wreathes and jewelry made entirely out of hair.

Former hairdresser, Leila Cohoon, started the museum back in 1989. Today, she has amassed an impressive collection of framed hair samples, some of which are a hundred years old!

Hair sample at hair museum
Source: Facebook

15. Kauffman Stadium

Kauffman Stadium is home to the Kansas City Royals. Originally opened as Royals Stadium back in 1973, the arena is recognized as one of the baseball's most beautiful ballparks.

There's even a pool tucked behind the left field corner! That's right, the 322-foot wide water spectacular opened as the largest privately funded fountain in the world.

Baseball field at Kauffman Stadium
Source: Twitter

16. SeaLife Aquarium

Who doesn't love a good aquarium? Check out over 250 species of marine creatures, including octopus, sharks, stingrays and more! There are also educational talks, animal encounters and interactive exhibits to explore.

Divers pretending to dine with sea turtle at SeaLife Aquarium
Source: Twitter

17. The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

Everything has a history - even toys! Visit the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, where you'll find the world's largest fine-scale miniature collection and of the nation's largest antique toy collections on public display.

Miniature toy on display
Source: Twitter

18. The College Basketball Experience

The College Basketball Experience offers visitors a place to pay homage to legendary coaches and players. It also offers them a place to play ball! The "activity station" offers up a place to sharpen your skills, from rebounding, passing, three-point shooting, to free throw shooting and more.

Young man dunking a basketball at the College Basketball Experience
Source: Twitter

19. Zip KC

Take in the city from above! Zip KC is located in Bonner Springs, a suburban region just outside of the of the city's downtown. Take in some amazing views of the surrounding area, go on a hiking excursion, or enjoy a ninja training activity.

Young man playing on obstical course at Zip KC
Source: Facebook

20. Fritz's Railway Restaurant

Welcome to another Kansas City Tradition! Fritz's Railroad Restaurant has been around since 1954. Head this way if you want to experience some of the best burgers in town, delivered to your table by an overhead train.

Frtiz's Railroad Restaurant Logo
Source: Facebook

21. Kansas City Rose Garden

1.5 acres of garden, 150 varieties of roses, and 3,000 plants. Need we say more? The Kansas City Municipal Garden was originally opened back in 1931 and has been growing ever since!

Roses and walkways at the botanical garden in Kansas City
Source: KC Parks

22. Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead

Do your kids love animals? Head over to Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead. There, you'll be able to visit more than 250 animals and birds, learn about growing flowers and vegetables, experience a Kanza Indian encampment, take a stroll through mainstream, and stop by the fishing pond!

Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead in Kansas City
Source: Twitter

23. Kaleidoscope

Provided by the Hallmark Visitors Center, Kaleidoscope provides a place for kids to explore their creative side. Using Crayola supplies and Hallmark materials, kids are able to create their very own works of art.

Children coloring at Kaleidoscope
Source: Kaleidoscope

24. American Steammboat Museum

In 1988, local residents discovered the location of a sunken vessel that had been missing for over 30 years. Today, the vessel and its uncovered objects appear on display at the Arabia Steamboat Museum.

Recently voted "Favorite Kansas Hidden Gem," by Visit KC, the museum helps give visitors a better understanding of what life was like for 19th century pioneers.

Group tour at the Arabia Steamboat Museum
Source: Twitter

25. Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm

Welcome to the only working stagecoach stop left on the Santa Fe Trail! The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm offers visitors of all ages opportunities to engage in different aspects of life on the Kansas frontier, 1860's farming and stagecoach travel.

Lamb on Mahaffie farm
Source: Twitter

26. Paradise Park

There are tons of things to do at Paradise Park, including go-karts, miniature gold, laser tag, rock wall climbing and more!

Children seven and under should head over to the discovery area, where they can explore more hands-on activities and experiences. There's also a full service cafe on-site for when the kids get hungry!

Kids playing at Paradise Park
Source: Facebook

27. Fun Farm Pumpkin Patch

It may have started as a traditional pumpkin farm, but these days, the Fun Farm Pumpkin Patch offers a whole lot more than that.

Head on over to enjoy some apple picking, corn maze exploring, cider sipping, animal feeding and more! You can top it all off with a sweet treat before you leave.

Little boy in a pumpkin patch
Source: Facebook

28. Truman House

The home on North Delaware St. belonged to former president Harry Truman and his first wife, Bess Wallace. The house was originally built in 1867 and was occupied by the family until 1972.

Truman used the house during his presidency as a summer getaway. Today, the site is a registered National Historic Site. Visitors can enjoy the simple life enjoyed by Harry and Bess before, during and after his presidency.

The center also hosts tons of in-person programs. Make sure to check out the events calendar listed on the website to see what's offered during your visit!

Statue in front of the Truman Home
Source: Twitter

29. Kansas Speedway

Kansas City is all about Nascar, so get in the spirit of the city with a trip to the track! The 1.5-mile track hosts two annual Nascar race weekends as well as a number of other high-speed thrills.

Car on display at the Kansas Speedway
Source: Twitter

30. Arrowhead Stadium

Any football fans around? Head over to Arrowhead Stadium and take in a Chiefs Game. You can also arrange a tailgating party or take a tour of the stadium.

The arena doubles as a music venue, so there's opportunity to enjoy the space even if you aren't into football!

view of empty baseball field at arrowhead stadium
Source: Twitter

31. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Time to take in a little culture! The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art houses more than 35,000 works of art and welcomes 500,000 visitors every year. In addition to all the exhibits offered are classes, tours, festivals and more.

Decorated ceiling at Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
Source: Twitter

32. LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Known as the ultimate indoor playground, LEGOLAND Discovery Center offers two rides, 12 Lego build & play zones, a 4D cinema and tons of other attractions for the kids to enjoy!

lego statue at Legoland in Kansas City
Source: Twitter

33. Kansas Center Food Tours

You can't get to know Kansas City without getting a taste for its food. Sign up for a Kansas City Food tour and discover the of the best cuisine in town.

The tour, which lasts three hours, will introduce you to some of the more off-the-beaten path areas, culture and tons of foodie fun!

Margarita and chips on Kansas City food tour
Source: Twitter

34. Kansas City Workhouse

Ever want to visit a castle? Now's your chance! The Kansas City Workhouse is situated in the historic portion of Kansas City, Missouri and is designed in medieval style. It's even got a stone fortress! Of course, the history behind the building is a little different than other castles you may find around the world. The Workhouse was a former jail, housing petty offenders such a drunks or beggars.



35. J.C. Nichols Memorial Foundation

Its not called the city of fountains for nothing. Kansas City boasts over 200 fountains, more than any other city in the world (excluding Rome)!

The most famous and most-photographed of these fountains is the J.C. Nichols Memorial, located at the east entrance to the Country Club Plaza district.

Henri Greber originally sculpted the figures in 1910 to adorn a mansion in Long Island, NY. It was eventually brought to Kansas City in 1951 and refurbished by Herman Frederick Simon.

The fountain contains four "heroic horsemen" who are said to represent the mighty four rivers of the world: the Mississippi, the Volga River, the Seine and the Rhine.

Famous J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain in Kansas City
Source: KC Parks

36. Loose Park

This 75-acre stretch is known for being the most beautiful, popular and historical park in all of Kansas City.

During the civil war, it served as a major site for the Battle of Westport, where Confederate forces were routed by Union forces in the area. Today, it features playground areas, gardens, picnic tables, fountains and more.

Kids on the playground at Loose Park in Kansas City
Source: KC Parks

37. Money Museum

It's never too early to learn the importance of cold, hard cash, right? The Money Museum in Kansas City offers both guided and self-guided tours.

Its hands-on exhibits are designed to teach visitors of all ages about the economy, especially when it comes to the federal reserve and dollar-and-coin currency.

Dollar bills on display at the Money Museum in Kansas City
Source: Twitter


So, there you have it! Did you enjoy our list of the best things to do in Kansas City? If you haven't yet figured out where to stay during your stay, think about making Great Wolf Lodge home base. Visit our official site for more information on our Kansas City lodge. We hope to see you soon!