Kansas City Attractions
Kansas City offers a wealth of attractions. The striking landscape includes wide boulevards, beautiful parks, fantastic architecture and more than 200 fountains. The city's diversions includes world-class museums, a vibrant arts scene, superb shopping and great blues and jazz clubs.
The largest metropolitan area in America's heartland, Kansas City straddles the border between two states?Kansas and Missouri. From its farming beginnings, contemporary Kansas City combines culture (visit the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art) with pioneer history at places like the Kansas City Museum.
Country Club Plaza No trip to Kansas City is complete without a visit to the Plaza. This 14-square-block outdoor shopping and entertainment district boasts romantic Spanish architecture, European art and dazzling fountains. Designed in 1922, the Plaza features boutiques and fashionable national stores as well as distinctive restaurants, outdoor caf?s and nightlife hotspots. Two nationally renowned art museums are located nearby: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
Downtown Kansas City, Missouri
Families should start exploring on the Missouri side of the city. Although Amtrak still pulls into Union Station, the facility is now known more for its museums, restaurants, and shops. At the station's KC Rail Experience, walk through a vintage railroad dining car, see a model train chugging through over 1,000 square feet of miniature terrain, and hear the stories of railroad ghosts. Science City, another Union Station fixture, features 50 interactive exhibits. Kids can ride a bike 30 feet in the air, time their baseball pitches, and talk to a paleontologist at work in the Dino Lab.
Pasting glitter, cutting paper, or coloring with melted crayons are all in a day's play at Kaleidoscope, a free art experience sponsored by Hallmark Cards for kids and families in Crown Center. The Coterie Theatre, rated by Time magazine and Travel + Leisure as one of the nation's top children's theaters, is also located in Crown Center?best to book ahead.
At the American Jazz Museum, kids learn about music legends such as Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong and experiment with harmony, melody, and rhythm at a mock studio. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum traces the heroes and hardships of the baseball players of the Negro Leagues through film, memorabilia, and interactive computer stations. Both museums are in the Historic 18th & Vine District, the revitalized center of Kansas City's African-American culture. Find out what life was like for World War I soldiers and walk through trenches at the Liberty Memorial Museum.
Wilder children who crave amusement-park thrills should head to Worlds of Fun for its 50 rides, including a fast, inverted roller coaster. To cool yourself off, splash at the park's Oceans of Fun, billed as the largest water park in the Midwest, with slides, wave pools, waterfalls, and lazy rivers.
Fort Osage, overlooking the Missouri River in Sibley, is about 50 minutes away. Here, you can tour the blockhouses, officers' quarters, and soldiers' barracks on a site first surveyed by Lewis and Clark in 1804. Independence, Missouri, 15 minutes from Kansas City, was the starting point for thousands of later pioneers as they started their westward journeys. Ride in a covered wagon with Pioneer Trails Adventures and learn more about the westbound settlers' lives at the National Frontier Trails Museum. Independence also was the home of the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman. Along with his papers, the Truman Presidential Museum and Library has a replica of his office in the White House.
Seven for 2007: One Big Year in KC
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Science City at Union Station
Harley-Davidson Final Assembly Plant
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