8 Best Things to Do in Kansas City

Originally called Possum Trot and Rabbitville, Kansas City spans two different states with most of it being in Missouri, and part of it being in Kansas. Happy Meals were invented here. Indulge your sweet tooth in Kansas City as this city has served as Russell Stover since 1932. The city is widely known for its unique style of burnt ends barbecue. Plan your trips according to the weather, as this city has received up to 20.6 inches of snow in a single day. There are many fun things to do in Kansas City, so make your choices from these top activities for couples, families, and children.

1. Bring Home the Cash at the Money Museum

Learning about the economy by strolling through the exhibits at The Money Museum is one of the most educational things to do in Kansas City. Plan your own currency. Learn what must be on each piece of money. See over 500 historic coins on display. Learn how coins in the United States have changed through the decades. Explore how the Federal Bank helps to stabilize the economy. Learn how banks and the Federal Reserve store large amounts of money. Learn the top signs of counterfeit money. Make the most of your experience by using the iPad or audio tours. Bring home a bag of shredded money. The museum is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is one of the best free things to do in Kansas City Missouri.

  • Best for: Couples and families.
  • Available: Year round Closed on weekends and bank holidays.
  • Address: 1 Memorial Drive Kansas City, Missouri 64198.

2. Explore Science at Union Station

Since 1914, people have been coming to Union Station. The Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium allows people to view the most detailed and clear 360-degree views of the cosmos normally only visible with high-powered telescopes, making it one of the fun things to do in Kansas City. Explore hands-on activities at the Science Museum. Take in a show at the H&R Block City Stage. Hop aboard a train for a ride to another city, as the station still functions as a train depot. Dine on a great steak at Pierpoints or enjoy an outstanding cup of coffee at Parisi Coffee. This historic building once contained more than 900 rooms. It is a unique blending of Second Empire style and Gothic Revival architecture. The building is open for visitors Monday to Sunday from 6 am to midnight, so it might be one of the best things to do in Kansas City at night.

  • Best for: Couples, families, children and groups.
  • Available: Year round.
  • Address: 30 West Pershing Road Kansas City, Missouri 64108.

3. Take a Selfie with an Emmy at the Hallmark Visitors Center

Visit with a creator or designer for Hallmark at the Hallmark Visitors Center. Learn how the company’s bow machines make perfect bows with just the push of a button. Taking a selfie with a real Emmy, as this company has won more than 81. This is one of the most popular things to do in Kansas City. View numerous other awards won by the company including Golden Globes, Peabody and Christopher Awards. Stroll through the poster exhibit to see how they have changed over the last 125 years. Hallmark created the first Disney greeting card in 1931. Wander down the memory lane to see many of the products created by the company using favorite Disney characters. Watch the “Four Decades of Magic: Hallmark Keepsake Ornament” to learn about some of the Christmas items the company has created since 1931.

  • Best for: Couples and families, children and teenagers.
  • Available: Year round.
  • Address: 2450 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri 64108.

4. Take a Cooking Class at Powell Gardens

See over 6,000 varieties of plants at Powell Gardens. Many are garden varieties you may be able to grow at home. Eat a Missouri Barn dinner with a local celebrity chef using ingredients grown at the gardens. Check their event calendar as something special is always happening. Many of these special activities are planned for the whole family to enjoy, making it one of the best things to do in Kansas City. Stroll through the specialty gardens including the Island Garden where over 200 water plants are grown. Take a run on the 3.5 mile Byron Shutz Nature Trail. Make sure to visit the conservatory often so that you can watch the caterpillars transform to beautiful butterflies.

  • Best for: Couples and families.
  • Available: Year round.
  • Address: 1609 Northwest US Highway 50, Kingsville, MO 64061.

5. Hear the Lions Roar at the Kansas City Zoo

See the birds take flight at the Wings of Wonder Bird Show, or get a little damp at the Sea Lion Show as something exciting is always happening at the Kansas City Zoo. Hear the caretakers tell stories about the hippopotamus and the painted dogs along Safari Landing. Ride in the gondola high above the African plains. Visitors can also arrange to be a caretaker for a day helping the keepers take care of the animals. Sleeping overnight at the zoo while exploring the nocturnal habits of some popular animals is one of the fun things to do in Kansas City, especially with kids. Participate in the evening hands-on exhibits at the Helzberg Penguin Plaza. Take a boat ride on the river running through the African Plains exhibit. No trip to the zoo would be complete without a ride on the Endangered Species Carousel or riding the Zebra Tram.

  • Best for: Couples and families with children.
  • Available: Year round.
  • Address: 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64132.

6. Chow Down on Barbecue

There are over 100 places to eat barbecue in Kansas City. The spicy sweet sauce makes any meat more delightful. The city is home to KC Masterpiece that is the most popular barbecue sauce in the world. Try the pork spare ribs smoked on hickory wood for lunch at Danny Edwards Boulevard BBQ. The fatty ends of the brisket, called burnt ends, are outstanding at LC’s Bar-B-Q. President Harry Truman, Steven Spielberg, Wilt Chamberlain and President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalind Carter have all enjoyed the barbecue at Arthur Bryant’s. Make the most of your time by taking a barbecue tour.

  • Best for: Couples and families.
  • Available: Year round.
  • Address: Various locations throughout the city.

Bonus read: Five Restaurants with the Best BBQ in Kansas City

7. Tailgate at Arrowhead Stadium

Arrowhead Stadium opened on August 12th, 1972. This stadium has one of the largest tailgating crowds in the National Football League. The experience starts about three hours before each home game of the Kansas City Chiefs. Try to score an invitation to a party in the Tee Pee area where fans prepare many different styles of barbecue. Alternatively, try the many varieties of chili at some of the parties. Listen to the music or try to do the Tomahawk Chop. The largest parties usually happen when the Chiefs are playing the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos. Another great time to tailgate is when the Chiefs play on Monday night. Check out the Arrowhead schedule of events and concerts, as they are some of the best family things to do in Kansas City.

  • Best for: Couples and families.
  • Available: When the Chiefs are playing in Kansas City.
  • Address: 1 Arrowhead Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64129.

8. Root for the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium

The Kansas City Royals have struck out their opponents since 1967 at Kauffman Stadium. Consider entering the stadium over the legacy bricks where each of the bluestone bricks contains a moment of Royal history. Fans can try striking out hitters at Sluggerrr’s Pitching Mound or try hitting a ball thrown by a major league pitcher at Sluggerrr’s Batting Challenge. Challenge your friends to the five-hole miniature golf experience where each obstacle is baseball themed. Run against the clock to see who can run from one base to another the fastest at Sluggerrr’s Base Run. Make sure to leave time to ride the Royals Carousel. Taking a Kauffman Stadium tour can be one of the best things to do in Kansas City with kids.

  • Best for: Couples and families.
  • Available: April – October Make sure to check schedule.
  • Address: 1 Royal Way, Kansas City, Missouri 64129.


There are so many great things to do in Kansas City that you will never get bored. Learn about money at the Money Museum. Explore science or hop aboard a train at Union Station. Take a cooking class at Powell Gardens or eat great barbecue at various locations around Kansas City. Try to get invited to a tailgate party at Arrowhead Stadium or create your own. Experience the thrill of watching the Royals play at Kauffman Stadium. With so many possibilities of fun things to do in Kansas City, you will need to stay in Kansas City Missouri for a while or plan to come back often.

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