Mindy Hargesheimer is the lifestyle and travel digital content creator behind Kansas City Bucket List, a blog documenting her travels locally and beyond the Midwest. “Every day is on my bucket list” is her motto as she takes every opportunity to experience her surroundings to the fullest, seeking out hidden gems to share with her readers to inspire others to keep life fun.
“When my husband, Dan, our daughter, Liv, and I moved from Chicago to South Overland Park in 2015, we quickly assimilated our love for exploring the city we called home,” Mindy says.“We immediately began finding all the restaurants, breweries and concert venues to experience. Many people kept asking, ‘How do you keep finding these places? I’ve been here all my life, and I have never heard of these destinations.’ I thought everyone found new places to eat and explore and burst out of the two mile home radius bubble.
“I previously lived in Kansas City from 2001-2003 after graduating from KU before moving to Chicago. There was no Crossroads Arts District, River Market, West Bottoms, or Power & Light District, amongst many more. The Plaza, Brookside and Overland Park were where it was at. Flash forward to 2016, I was surprised at every turn how many amazing places had opened—restaurants, breweries, distilleries, international cuisines, theaters, cocktail bars, festivals, you name it. I already had a personal love for Instagram and documenting my family and our travels. When I was on maternity leave with our second daughter, Elin, I had a burning desire to tap into my creative side. I was burnt out from 13 years in corporate sales, and the idea came to me to start sharing our local exploration of KC through a separate Instagram account. It organically took off as people began finding my account as a local resource to find new things to do.”
Local and cultural experiences inspire the creation of her work.
“Give me all the experiential opportunities, and I will work to tell others why they should experience them, too. I created a motto for the life I wanted: “Every day is on my bucket list.” This means experience firsthand, learn about, try something, taste it all, go somewhere new…every single day. In KC, we can live an extremely fulfilling life with all the amazing things available to us. I am inspired by others and spend a lot of time keeping up with local makers constantly creating new experiences and accessories. I take pride in taking beautiful photos, telling a story and curating it in my feed.”
She has published more than 20 local guides recommending hidden gems around the city and although it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite, she has an extensive list of must-dos.
“I think everyone living or visiting MUST experience the skyline on top of Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum, Grinter’s Sunflower Farm in Lawrence for the best whimsical natural Kansas landscape, The Ship in the West Bottoms for live music and industrial bar scene vibes, The Antler Room, Gram and Dun, Corvino Supper Club and Fox & Pearl for incredible cuisine, Best Regards Bakery & Cafe for the most amazing grilled cheese and tomato soup, Weston for charming small town culture, J. Rieger & Co. and Knuckleheads Saloon in Electric Park for off the beaten path drinks and live music, Somerset Ridge Winery in Paola, the Nelson-Atkins Museum annual cultural festivals, KC’s street art scene, any performance by Quixotic, West Bottoms First Fridays, Green Lady Lounge for live jazz, and a wealth of wildly talented cocktail lounges like The Mercury Room, Drastic Measures, Prime Social and Percheron at the Crossroads Hotel. For a local staycation, visit Hotel Kansas City, Inn at Meadowbrook and Crossroads Hotel.”
Her blog has become much more than a place to share her experiences—it has opened many doors full of opportunities.
“Kansas City Bucket List has not only introduced me to incredible local business owners, chefs, PR contacts, artists and more, it also brought me to my current full time professional position as Director of Social Media and National Content at City Lifestyle. My passion for content creation, hyper-local lifestyle and social media has culminated into me putting everything I love learning about into a strategy for growing a national organization’s digital content and Instagram presence.
“I am so genuinely driven by sharing the best experiences this area has to offer and plan to continue as new businesses keep opening and expanding throughout our market. Not only do I plan on being at the forefront of what the KC metro experiences offer, but I want to continue to build on my regional travel guides for easy and fun trips from Kansas City—it’s important to me as a wanderlust addict and advocate for getting outside your boundaries with destinations within reach.”
If you are looking for new things to experience this summer, here are Here are some of Mindy's summer bucket list ideas for enjoying Kansas City.
Bar K: Grab the pooch and head to KC’s best dog park adjacent to beautiful Berkley Riverfront. Grab food and drink for the whole family, including the pup and check for rotating events.
Powell Gardens: Take the kids to this expansive botanical garden destination for rotating exhibits and festivals, including Fortopia through October 3rd and the Festival of Butterflies July 21 - August 7.
Cider Hill Family Orchard: Come to this U-pick orchard where guests can meander and hand pick the season’s fruit. Have the kids ride the train, snack on kettle corn, and shop the local treats and gifts.
YaYa’s Alpaca Farm: Visit this charming farm while learning about and playing amongst these adorable animals.
Chicken N Pickle: Book a Sunday Brunch & Bingo reservation then take it outside for pickleball, shuffleboard, bocce ball and yard games. Court reservations recommended.
Jazzoo: Get tickets to one of KC’s most fun and philanthropic “creative black tie” events at the Kansas City Zoo on August 26th.
Aubrey Vineyards: Visit this secluded winery in South Overland Park and enjoy Napa-like wines with gourmet charcuterie menus al fresco or inside The Tasting Room.
Electric Park Garden Bar: Eat and drink J. Rieger & Co. distillery creations at this outdoor beer garden, including their playful theme park inspired snacks and boozy drinks.
KC Slingshot: Rent one of these open air two-seater Polaris vehicles and zip around town for 24 hours.
Green Dirt Farm: Book a Farm Table Dinner or Cheese Tasting Event at Green Dirt Farm’s picturesque barn located in Weston.
Zip KC: This adventure park offers a Ninja Training Obstacle course alongside hiking and ziplining in Bonner Springs.
Shawnee Mission Park Marina: Kayak, Paddle Boards, pedal boats and canoes are all available to rent in addition to taking a dip at Shawnee Mission Park Beach.
Starlight Theatre: KCMO’s beautiful outdoor theater has a summer lineup of concerts and musicals.
West Bottoms First Fridays: Shop vintage finds in Kansas City’s historic West Bottoms District while snacking on food truck fare every First Friday weekend of each month.
Farmers Markets: Take your pick between Downtown Overland Park, Lenexa, Brookside or City Market’s Saturday and Sunday Farmers Markets.