Kansas City Things to Do Tips by basstbn Top 5 Page for this destination
Kansas City Things to Do: 254 reviews and 548 photos
The Charlie Parker Memorial pays tribute to Kansas City, Kansas native, Charlie "Yardbird" Parker, undeniably one of the most influential saxophonists in the history of jazz, and one of the originators of the be-pop style.
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Address: Behind the American Jazz Museum and The Blue Room
Directions: In the historic 18th and Vine District at the intersection of The Paseo and Buck O'Neill Way
Now a Missouri State Historic Site, this two-and-a-half story Victorian house constructed of limestone from the caves underneath the area was home to Thomas Hart Benton from 1939 until his death in 1977. Benton, one of the 20th century's most renowned artists, converted the adjacent carriage house into a studio. That studio and the home have remained untouched, containing all of his belongings.
Address: 3616 Belleview
Directions: In the Valentine neighborhood, best approached from the north on Southwest Trafficway. Go west on Valentine to Belleview, turn right
KC Visitors & Conv Assoc Img - Perform Arts Ctr
Downtown KC has undergone numerous changes in recent years, including the openings of the Sprint Center (sports and concert arena), H&R Block World Headquarters, Power & Light Entertainment District, and new printing plant for the Kansas City Star. The next new opening will surpass all the others in splendor.
Having endured many a symphony concert or opera production in cramped, out-dated quarters, I am excited about the opening of the Kauffman Performing Arts Center in 2011. This spectacular edifice, designed by Moshe Safdie, with accoustics by Yasuhisa Toyota, will contain a hall for the symphony, a second hall for the opera and ballet, as well as a smaller multi-purpose hall. The cost: $326 million, almost totally funded from private sources. The Muriel Kauffman Foundantion has led the fund drive, itself contributing well more than $100 million.For more about the PAC, visit www.kcperformingartscenter.org.
One of the city's more popular festivals. Held each summer at Crown Center, this festival features Irish beer, music, food, gifts and crafts, and some more beer. Even at that, it's still a family friendly event (at least during the day when I was there).
Directions: At the Crown Center complex
Local produce - tomatoes, green beans, more
Kansas City began as a river town, though we seldom think of it as such today. Along the banks of the Missouri where the Town of Kansas sprang up now sits The City Market, sometimes known as the River Market, and during one "exciting era," as The River Quay. Produce wholesalers call this area home, but on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the farming season, it becomes a great place to hang out, people watch, and mostly, purchase fresh produce. Several restaurants are located here, and a number of young people are returning to the urban core, snatching up the loft spaces that were one-time warehouse and office spaces.
Directions: The area of downtown Kansas City between Interstate 35 and the Missouri River;
The grand lobby of the Union Station
"Meet me under the clock." For several generations of Kansas Citians, that meant only one thing - let's get together under the clock at Union Station. At a time when rail travel was at its peak in the US, and particularly during World War II, this grandiose train station was a whirlwind of activity. The north waiting room alone would hold up to 10,000 people.
Union Station dates back to 1914. In 1933 it was the site of the Union Station Massacre in which Pretty Boy Floyd and his accomplices attempted to free convicted murderer and gangster Frank Nash who, a bloody shootout in which Nash and three lawmen were killed. As a result of this affair, J. Edgar Hoover's fledgling FBI was given increased powers and funding. Ask somebody familiar with the building to show you the bullet holes. Some say these aren't really bullet holes from the shootout, but there are always nay-sayers about.
In the 1980s, the grand old lady was boarded up, home to pigeons. Millions of dollars were spent to completely restore the station, and it is now home to restaurants and shops, Science City, a new train museum, theatre, and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, often bringing exciting temporary exhibits to the city.
Address: 30 West Pershing
Directions: Mid-town Kansas City across from Crown Center complex. Faces Pershing Memorial and is between Broadway and Main Streets.
Ewing Kauffman came to Kansas City with not much more than a dream. When he died, he was one of KC's richest, yet most beloved citizens. Few have done more for this city than Ewing and Muriel Kauffman. They used the millions earned from Marion Laboratories to bring the Kansas City Royals to the city, were major benefactors to the arts, and most important of all, perhaps, invested in the lives of countless inner-city school children. I doubt if anybody knows exactly how many young people were given the opportunity to get advance schooling because of their caring.
One of the Kauffman gifts to the city was this charming two acre garden near the Country Club Plaza and the Nelson-Atkins Gallery. Ewing and Muriel's remains are interred in a small alcove just off of the main garden area.
I plan to add several photos of these gardens to a travelogue.
Address: 4800 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO
Directions: Two blocks south of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art where Rockhill Road meets Brush Creek
The Roman god of the sea and his three attributes, the trident, dolphin and sea-horse, is one of the more popular fountains on the plaza. The fountain was transported from its original site at Bromsgrove Guild, Worcestershire, England, 1911. During the cold of winter, greenery replaces the water fountains, as seen in this photo.
Directions: On the north side of 47th Street
Penguin's Court, Country Club Plaza
One of many courtyards on the Country Club Plaza, this is often a place to hear some of KC's fine musicians perform. The stylized penguin sculptures have a special appeal for children and have provided many a parent with an excellent photo opp.
Directions: On the Plaza
Washington Park is a pleasant pocket of green snuggled up next to Crown Center with its two major hotels, shops, and Hallmark Cards, as well as the Union Station and the Liberty Memorial. Nice place to stretch out in the shade for a few moments to catch your breath. The statue? George Washington, of course - every city must have one somewhere.
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