Kansas City- the underrated, often forgotten gem of the midwest. Home to jazz, civil war history, underground bars from prohibition times, the WW1 museum, and more, it has a lot to offer year-round! For my third trip to Kansas City, I went during COVID-19 and the winter, yet still managed to have a blast! Here are my suggestions on how to make the best out of a pandemic-friendly trip. Especially while the museums are all half-empty.
1. WWI museum
The WW1 museum is a must-see. It encompasses a huge exhibit of military uniforms, a timeline of the war, two video documentaries about life in the U.S. during this time, helicopters, makeshift trenches you can walk into, and more. Their special exhibits also change every so often. When I was there during the summer, the spotlight was on the Vietnam War. Honestly, I've been here three times and I learn so much with every visit. Cannot recommend it enough!
2. Christmas in the park
Located in Longview Lake, the entire area is decked out to be a Christmas wonderland. It is a depiction of Christmas day at the North Pole: elves holding presents, Santa barbecuing, (because this is Kansas City), reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh, snowmen singing Deck The Halls, plus life-sized Christmas trees. This is a drive-through park only open for about 2 months, so hop in your car and get cozy for a display that will blow you away!
3. Union Station
During the winter, Union Halls gets DECKED OUT for Christmas! The entire building is decorated from top to bottom, and even has a Christmas wonderland exhibit you can tour. This consists of giant life-size ornaments hanging from the ceiling, big Christmas trees forming an entrance, mini lego towns set up in display cases with toy trains riding on the mini tracks, and so much more! Be sure to ride the elevator up to the top floor to get an aerial view of the place, it'll take your breath away!
4. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins has a huge selection of art, costumes, sculptures, and exhibits from every part of the world; so take your pick if you want to visit Egypt to check out the mummies and hieroglyphics, Asia for Buddhist and Hindu sculptures, or Europe for Christian iconography. I'm not someone who is interested in art, but this place changed my mind! It teaches you a lot of history about the various continents and cultures, so I highly recommend it!
5. The Sandbar
For those 21+, head over to Sandbar in Lawrence, about 45 minutes outside of downtown Kansas City for some tropical drinks, good music, and a wild time. They have a spin-the-wheel of $1 shots and even put beach animal toys like sharks in your drinks! It's a super fun place, so definitely go if you're looking for some Florida vibes and a crazy night!
6. The City Market
Located in downtown Kansas City, the city market is a great place to go and try various types of food and drinks from all over the world! When I went there with my best friend, we walked out with five different types of tea. They've got a bunch of cool shops, great cuisine and a perfect location in downtown! There is so much to see in this area.
7. The country club plaza lights
The Plaza is your go-to place for entertainment, food, and drinks. They've got great views, awesome restaurants and during the winter, their Christmas lights go up! Bundle up for an evening walk and you won't be disappointed. Street artists play on the sidewalks, setting the mood for a mellow and cheery night to get you in the mood for Christmas. There really is so much to see, it's beautiful! Definitely go!
8. The Johnson County History Museum
Located in Overland Park, about 45 minutes outside of Kansas City, this local museum provides a timeline of an important county in Kansas during the Civil War. It talks about the meaning behind KU's mascot, the Jayhawk, along with how Kansas and Missouri differed in their positions on slavery. Definitely a hidden gem!
9. Pinstripes Bowling Alley
Need a break from being a tourist? Look no further than Pinstripes Bowling Alley in Overland Park. It's far enough away from downtown for you to get a break from the city, but also still in a suburban area that has a lot to. So lace up, grab a ball and start bowling! They even have interactive score screens for you to customize, so that Angry Birds, Jingle Bells or a haunted house will display the leadership board! Super funny. Plus, they have a bar, so if you're 21+ you can have cocktail or two while playing or sit down for drinks later.
Need a place to get your souvenir, black Friday, or Christmas shopping done? Look no further than Scheels in Overland Park. The pillars at the entrance are literally a mini aquarium, with fish swimming around and an occasional employee scuba diving in there to clean the glass. It is honestly hilarious. Plus, they have random animal statue exhibits like the one pictured above, and a Ferris wheel in the center of the store! It's like a park in there.
While there are an endless amount of things to do in this epic city, I think this best summarizes ways one can make out the best out of a COVID-friendly trip! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to come! (Lord knows we need 2021 to be better than 2020.)
- 11 Things I Love About Kansas City ›
- 11 Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Kansas City ›
- Things I Miss About Kansas City ›
- Five Things You Need To Do In Kansas City Before The End Of The ... ›
- Kansas City: A Place For Millennials ›
- Things To Do On Spring Break That Do Not Require A Beach ›
- My 5 Favorite Things To Do In Kansas City ›
- 10 Ways To Make The Most Of Summer 2020 In Kansas City ›