Some call it the BBQ capital of the world, others refer to it as the jazz capital of our nation, and it’s officially known as the City of Fountains, but no matter its nickname, Kansas City is a place that offers fun for everyone. Technically, Kansas City is comprised of two different cities in two different states, however together they make up one of the largest metro areas in the nation. Although this municipality is made up of dozens and dozens of other cities, this article is going to concentrate on the Missouri side of the region.
Depending on which time of year you visit Kansas City will depend on your choice of indoor or outdoor activities. Worlds of Fun is a 235 acre amusement park located just north of the Missouri River. The amusement park has over 100 family thrill rides, water slides, shows and attractions, including seven world- class roller coasters. Oceans of Fun is a tropically themed water park (and was once the largest water park in the world), that has undergone extensive renovations within the last few years to become one of the best water parks in the States. You have the option to buy season passes or single day passes, but there are also plenty of discount codes to be found on various sites online.
If spending the day at an amusement park isn’t for you but you’d still like to be outdoors, the Country Club Plaza might be the right fit for you. This plaza is Kansas City’s legendary shopping, dining and entertaining district. With more than 150 shops and restaurants that include high fashion retailers such as Armani, Tiffany and Burberry (with lots of other great stores such as Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Free People, lululemon etc.), to gourmet eateries, delicious chocolatiers, stylish salons, and outdoor patios sprinkled with street singers and string quartets; Country Club Plaza has something for everyone. The 15- block district is kept lively year round with all sorts of different events; including the famous Plaza Lights and Plaza Art Fair. The best part is that the plaza is FREE to walk around, and you’ll still be able to listen to music, people watch and sample some goodies without spending a dime.
Although Kansas City was once home to all five of the major professional sports teams, only three major league teams remain today. For avid baseball fans, the Kansas City Royals play ball at the outdoor Kauffman Stadium. Fondly known as ‘The K,’ the stadium underwent a $250 million renovation prior to the 2009 season, and offers fans a signature look like no other stadium. From cheap seats, family fun packages, senior discount days and $6.10 Saturdays, there’s a ticket price and package available for all. If you’re more of a football fan, the Kansas City Chiefs play at Arrowhead Stadium; conveniently located in the Truman Sports complex, right by Kauffman Stadium. Arrowhead Stadium is the 28th largest stadium in North America, the 5th largest NFL stadium as far as seat capacity, and consistently holds a reputation for being one of the loudest stadiums due to the exuberance of Chief’s fans. Following a $375 million renovation in 2010, a ball game on a warm evening in the 4th best ranked NFL stadium isn’t a bad place to spend some time. Lastly, if baseball and football aren’t calling your name, maybe a game of soccer will do the trick. Sporting Kansas City is a major league soccer team that is one of the 10 charter clubs of MLS, having competed in the league since it began play in 1996. The team plays at Sporting Park, which is located near Kansas Speedway, and is also used as a concert venue during the off- season.
If going to a ball game isn’t your idea of fun, Kansas City is home to some fantastic museums. The Nelson- Atkins Museum of Art is known for its neoclassical architecture and extensive collection of European, Asian and American art work. In 2007, Time magazine ranked the Nelson- Atkins Museum of Art’s Bloch Building the #1 best (new and upcoming) architectural marvel from around the globe. Admission is FREE, and the museum is open every Wednesday- Sunday; excluding holidays. Union Station, the nation’s second largest train station, first opened in 1914, and President Woodrow Wilson called it the “great gate to the West.” Union Station received a major $253 million renovation in 1999, and boasts 850,000 square feet of beautiful, historical space. Admission to Union Station is FREE, but there are fees for other areas inside the facility. Within Union Station is Science City, which was named one of the country’s 25 best science centers by Parents Magazine. With a 5- story 3D theater, hands- on learning experiences, demo areas, a maze and one of the largest planetariums in the Midwest, this museum is perfect for anyone looking to learn more about science and technology, and great for children of all ages. Admission to Science City depends upon what you’d like included in your package. The National World War 1 Museum in KC works to show the relevance and importance of the war on current generations. Although admission to the museum ranges from $8- $14, the museum does offer military discounts, and $7 tickets every Wednesday.
Pack up your car, grab some snacks and make the trip to Kansas City today. With a little something for everyone, the City of Fountains is sure to be great time!
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