Whether you have a long layover or just a quick weekend, you can totally squeeze in a bit of good old-fashioned barbecue and jazz in this accessible, family-friendly city.
First up, drop your bags at the Westin Kansas City. I stayed here for a TMS family travel conference and found it to be perfectly-situated by Crown Center and Union Station, with easy access from the airport. From there you can take a stroll to the National World War I Museum and Memorial, which is a good spot to spend an afternoon.
If you arrive late like I did, you should still head on over to the memorial so you can take in the breathtaking view from the lawn. For dinner? Walk over to Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue on 22nd for burnt ends and cheesy corn.
Hop on over to the other side of town by 9am to take a tour of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for some unique history lessons with engaging storytellers.
In the same complex, the American Jazz Museum honors the legacy of some of the country's greatest jazz musicians in an interactive layout that makes the music come alive. Both the baseball museum and jazz museum are closed on Mondays with adjusted hours on Sundays, so plan accordingly.
Now, it's perfect timing to grab some more barbecue at Arthur Bryant's on Brooklyn Avenue!
Next, head over to the vibrant Power and Light District for the College Basketball Experience, where you'll get to walk through an immersive video tunnel showcasing infamous players and coaches before moving onto hands-on basketball experiences. If you're feeling like desert, grab something tasty at Christopher Elbow Chocolates – it'll make a great gift or a snack on the ride home.
Over at Crown Center, hit up the free Hallmark Visitors Center and hands-on Kaleidoscope play space. This is a good one to save towards the end of the day, to perk the kids back up in the late afternoon.
You'll also want to check out the LEGOLAND Discovery Center and SEA LIFE Aquarium to view Star Wars figurines and cool city miniatures that will give the family a good recap of all that they've seen – and what else the city has to offer on a longer return trip (sports fans, there's a whole host of action available depending on the season).
Have you been to Kansas City? What was your favorite sight?