Whether you’ve recently moved to Kansas City or you grew up in the surrounding suburbs and have spent your whole life here, there is always more to discover, and there are always new places popping up around town.
You probably have some go-to places that you take family and friends when they come in town, but we have taken everything into consideration from activity levels to weather, the ages of everyone in your party, the theme of the occasion, and budget.
With this guide, you’ll never be stuck without a plan or even a backup plan. Maybe you’re just looking for some fun things to do with your partner and ways to surprise them with a romantic evening that’s different than anything you’ve done before.
We can make that happen!
Scroll through to find things to do based on day of the week, time, season, cost and more.
Fun Things to Do Around KC: Our Top Picks
There is so much fun to be had in Kansas City! But what you choose to do depends on your idea of fun. Here are some suggestions based on your personality.
Sports Fan: Dynamite Options for Entertainment
Some of Kansas Citians’ top favorite ways to have fun involve sports. Catch a Royals baseball game at Kauffman Stadium, a Chiefs football game at Arrowhead Stadium, or a Sporting KC soccer game at Children’s Mercy Park. You can also explore the Negro League Baseball Museum or check out the College Basketball Experience.
Want to get in the game yourself? Book a session at Top Golf and work on your swing while enjoying snacks and drinks with your friends. Don’t forget to include a shopping trip to Charlie Hustle, Rally House, and the Made in KC Marketplace at the Country Club Plaza to load up on unique merchandise that will help you represent your team in style.
Art Fan: 20+ Museums + Galleries for Every Age
If your idea of fun is taking in art and culture, you’re in luck.
Kansas City has some of the best things to do in this category including all of the museums, galleries, and theaters that you can find. If you want a small venue, look for shows and events at the Midland, the Uptown Theater, the Riot Room, or the Madrid Theatre.
For historical and cultural education, visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and if modern art is your favorite, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is just a couple of streets away. At the Johnson County Community College, you can also visit the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.
To discover the local art scene, head to the Crossroads Art District and tour some of the small galleries.
If you want to make some art yourself, you could take a painting class at Pinot’s Palette and enjoy some wine while you do so. For ceramics, you can take a pottery class at the KC Clay Guild or sign up to paint at the Ceramic Cafe Kansas City.
Things to Do in Kansas City on Weekdays
If your schedule allows you to have free time for things to do on weekdays, there are tons of unique daytime opportunities for you.
Here are some ideas that you can do with friends or alone in KC.
Treat Yourself to a Spa Day
Treat yourself to a variety of services from facials to body wraps, exfoliating treatments, massages, hair care, nail care, waxing, tanning, eyelash extensions, and more. Check out some of these Kansas City spas.
Ultimate Escape Day Spa: Located in the Quivira Crossing strip mall in Overland Park, this day spa is a hidden gem that is so much bigger than it appears from the outside.
You’ll be given the opportunity to change into a comfy robe and slippers and drink a soothing hot tea while you relax in the lounge by the fireplace before you are called back for your appointment.
If you sign up for multiple services, you’ll be brought back to the lounge in-between appointments, and you can also order lunch or sign up for snacks or champagne as a part of your package.
It truly is an escape that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed no matter what services you choose.
Spa on Penn: Located downtown in Westport, Spa on Penn has every beauty and wellness service you could possibly ask for including energy therapies and laser hair removal. The prime location makes it easy to plan a fun day out in Westport alongside your spa services.
Grab lunch with friends at Port Fonda, Char Bar or Sweet Siam Thai and Sushi Restaurant. All three are located on Pennsylvania Avenue just down from the spa. You can also up your relaxation and pampering by getting some drinks at Ça Va, Kansas City’s favorite champagne bar, on the same street!
Solera Salon + Spa: Another gem in Overland Park, Solera Salon + Spa is absolutely massive. It’s a great place to find independent estheticians, massage therapists, stylists and more.
You can search the online directory for the kinds of services you are looking for and then browse the profiles of each individual to choose who you want to book with. This is a fantastic resource to keep in mind for professional hair and makeup if you have any big events coming up too!
Shop for Plants
Can you ever have too many houseplants? Nope.
Turn your house into a jungle—it’ll be fun! Even if you don’t come home with every single plant in the store, it’s relaxing to walk through greenhouses and take in a little bit of beauty and nature.
Soil Service: Soil Service is so big it has two buildings right across from each other! It’s located on Troost Avenue, and there are so many different kinds of trees, flowers and plants that are in great health and ready to go.
You can also get any type of potting or landscaping material you could possibly think of here. Let your imagination run wild and pick out the plants that speak to you the most.
Family Tree Nursery: You can find the original Family Tree Nursery in Overland Park, but no matter which location you choose to visit, you should probably plan to spend an entire afternoon there!
You’ll want to walk through every single aisle of beautifully flourishing plants and take it all in. Plus, if you go to the Shawnee location, you can hang out at the coffee shop, Café Equinox, that’s inside, surrounded by the botany.
Paradise Garden Club: For another fantastic coffee shop/plant store duo, head to Downtown KC and visit Paradise Garden Club. Find some of the most popular and trendy succulents, houseplants and air plants along with expertly crafted terracotta pots. Plus, here you can take classes and enjoy fun events! Learn about plants, take yoga or enjoy a brunch—or keep coming back and do all three!
What to Do for an Educational Experience? Visit a Museum
There aren’t just art museums in Kansas City! Choose from a bunch of different topics to learn about and sign up for a walking tour or explore on your own. Some places even have interactive events for you to enjoy.
Things to Do in Kansas City on Weekends: Downtown Hubs + Foodie Favorites
Saturday or Sunday Brunch
So much brunch—so little time! You could do brunch with friends every single weekend and never get tired of the choices in Kansas City. But that’s not a bad thing. It just means you’ll have to try a new place every time you go out to experience it all. Everyone judges their brunch by different criteria. Are you looking for the best eggs Benedict? The most elaborate French toast? The most satisfying bloody Mary? Maybe bottomless mimosas are an absolute must for you. Here are just some of Kansas City’s things to do and places to go for a mid-morning meal.
Explore the Diverse City Market
The brick and mortar vendors at the Historic River Market are open daily so you can go today, but on Saturdays and Sundays, you can also visit the exclusive Farmers Market with fresh, local produce available until 3 p.m.
Along with the fruits and vegetables, you can find dairy products, flowers, baked goods, nuts and seeds, spices, honey, syrup, candles, soap, artwork, and other handcrafted items.
See a Movie at the Drive-In
Did you feel like you hopped in a time machine reading that heading? Yep, Kansas City has its own Boulevard Drive-In where you can go in the comfort of your own car to watch a movie with your family and friends.
Showtimes are every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with a different film playing each day. If you have children 11 and younger, they get to see the movie for free! For everyone else, it’s only $10 each.
Things to Do with Kids: Interactive, Educational + Straight Up Fun
Whether you are babysitting, hanging out with your own kids, or trying to find something to do with a whole Girl Scout troop or birthday party, Kansas City has plenty of activities to keep the little ones entertained.
Plus, there’s tons of fun for your teenagers and adult family members too!
Many of these places host special events that you won’t want to miss, so be sure to look at the events calendars when planning your family time.
Great for the Whole Family
Kansas City Zoo:There’s never been a shortage of things to do at the Kansas City Zoo including stingray feedings, zookeeper chats, animal shows, and zoo rides.
All rides cost less than $5 per person, and you can also purchase a wristband for the day to have unlimited rides. Kids absolutely love the endangered species carousel, so you might want to get your little ones wristbands to be able to ride it over and over again!
The KC Zoo also has tons of different experiences for Scouts, homeschoolers, preschoolers and more.
Check out all of the educational programs to plan something your group will never forget.
Sea Life Kansas City: A fan favorite among kids at Kansas City’s popular aquarium is the Turtle Rescue Center where you can learn about sea turtles and meet the current rescued residents who are being taken care of by Sea Life.
There is also a Doodle Reef where kids can draw whatever kind of sea creature they want on a tablet and see their drawing projected into the digital aquarium around them.
Other exhibits include:
- Interactive Rockpool
- Stingray Bay
- Tropical Ocean
- Coral Reef
Legoland Discovery Center Kansas City: At Legoland, kids can experience a bunch of different attractions.
Some fun options include:
- Great Lego Race VR Experience
- Train Station Adventure
- Lego 4D Cinema
- Kingdom Quest
- Merlin’s Apprentice Ride
- Meet Your Favorite Lego Characters
- Creative Workshop
- Lego Art Gallery
- Lego Racers: Build + Test
- Earthquake Tables
- Ultimate Lego Ninjago Experience
Science City: Science City at Union Station is a great way for kids to combine learning with fun. They can learn about exciting scientific concepts and experiments while getting to try things out for themselves in just-their-size hands-on approach.
Some attractions include:
- Creative Corner
- Demo Area
- Dinolab + Digsite
- Every Last Drop
- Genetics: Unlock the Code
- Giant Lever
- Let’s Play, Maker Studio
- Maze Park
- Mr. E Hotel
- Nature Works
- Science on a Sphere
- Simple Machines at Play
- Sky Bike
- The Amazing Brain
- The Science of Energy
- All Aboard
Definitely don’t miss the opportunity to see a show at the 4K Planetarium. It’s included with your Science City entry ticket!
Union Station Exhibits: Union Station always has new, exciting exhibits popping up for kids of all ages to enjoy.
Through Jan. 6, 2021, you can experience the Dinosaur Road Trip with animatronic dinosaurs and other gigantic objects like oversized cowboy boots, teapots, donuts and more. This exhibit is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Coterie Theater: Located inside Crown Center, the Coterie is a small, unique live theater venue that gives kids the opportunity to sit up close and see everything happening on the stage. Kids can also sign up for drama classes through the Coterie including acting, playwriting and more.
Classes are offered at multiple locations across the KC Metro area as well as virtually.
Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant: While you are visiting some of these fun museums and attractions at Crown Center, you’ll probably need to stop for food at some point. Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant is a great kid-friendly place with an old-fashioned diner feel and fantastic burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches and milkshakes to go with the atmosphere.
Kids get their own paper train conductor’s hats, and they can order their food themselves by using the telephone attached to your table. When the food is ready, it’s delivered by one of the trains that are constantly running a loop on the tracks overhead.
his is the one time that it’s OK to briefly “play with your food” before you start eating!
We Rock the Spectrum Kansas City: Lots of activities are overwhelming for kids, so you may be trying to find fun activities for your kiddos that are also sensory friendly.
Maybe you are planning a birthday party and know you will have a wide variety of needs and personalities in your group. We Rock the Spectrum is the perfect place for kids to be kids and play in a safe environment.
If you aren’t doing a party and just want to go with your own children, you can get them Open Play passes or sign them up for Kids Yoga, Story Time Creations, Play Group or Movin’ with Music.
Worlds of Fun + Oceans of Fun: While there are tons of fun rides, games and attractions that kids will love all over the Worlds of Fun park, there is also the special Planet Snoopy made just for them.
There are 21 different kids rides in Planet Snoopy, plus other things to do including a petting farm with adorable, cuddly animals that are safe for kids to interact with.
On the water park side, Oceans of Fun has kid-sized water slides and play areas including Crocodile Isle, Splash Island, Captain Kidd’s and Paradise Falls.
Just for the Teens + Adults
Things to Do in Kansas City at Night: Spots for Every Occasion
KC nightlife is great because there are so many different kinds of experiences that you can have. Restaurants with patios and string lights or fire pits invite you to sit back and relax and enjoy the outdoor scenery to unwind from your day.
For an elevated evening, you can get all dolled up to see a show and have dinner at one of Kansas City’s most eloquent dining venues. Or for a wild time full of fun and laughter, you can go out dancing with friends.
Tonight, choose your own adventure.
Casual Night Out
Dressed Up Evening
Wild + Fun with Friends
Free + Cheap Things to Do in KC: Creative, Economical Options
Sometimes you want to get out and have a good time, but you don’t want to spend a ton of money.
While Kansas City has an incredible downtown atmosphere that may make you think you are in New York or Chicago at times, it is still in the Midwest. That means there are plenty of inexpensive ways to enjoy yourself!
These low-cost options are great for entertaining large groups of people or for just saving a little money for your family.
Unique Things to Do in Kansas City (That Even Some Residents Don’t Know About)
If you’ve lived in Kansas City for a while and have visited all of the top sites, or if you just like to do interesting things and skip the main tourist attractions when you visit places, you’re probably looking for some ideas of stuff to do that’s a little more on the fringe.
Some might call it odd, but you know life is more fun when you get a little creative!
Okay, so escape rooms have gone pretty mainstream.
But they are still a unique opportunity to test your problem-solving skills with a group of people.
It’s perfect for bonding and building teamwork, and you will always have those special memories and inside jokes with the people you escaped with. Plus, you don’t have to do just one!
There are a bunch of different themes across Kansas City, so you can challenge yourself to beat them all.
Hold a Snake
This one is not something you can do at an official establishment, but many Kansas Citians will tell you tales of the “snake guy” who goes around popular KC hangout areas with his pet snake.
You can often find him at First Fridays in the Crossroads Art District or at Loose Park. It’s free to talk to him and hold the snake. He seems to just enjoy sharing his passion with others!
Of course, please be respectful of him and his snake and do not do anything that would cause either of them harm. And keep in mind that while it’s a very tame, well-trained snake, you are still taking on a risk by interacting with it!
Listen to Jazz Music
Kansas City has a unique involvement in the history of jazz music in the United States. In the 1920s and 1930s, KC became recognized as having its own specific jazz music style.
According to Britannica, “Prominent characteristics of Kansas City style were the loose and relaxed rhythmic feeling (less stiff than Chicago and New York City counterparts) and a simplicity of arrangement that often took the form of syncopated, repeating phrases, called riffs, that were played by one section of the band antiphonally against another (saxes versus brass, for example). Saxophonists preferred a tone that was drier and had slower vibrato than was common on the East Coast.”
So where can you hear Kansas City jazz for yourself?
You can get a taste of history and celebrate some Kansas City pride by visiting the 18th + Vine District and touring the American Jazz Museum. Plus, here are some places to drink, dine and listen to live jazz.
Hot Take: Romantic Things to Do in Kansas City
“Kansas City, I’m so in love!”
While KC is a hot spot city for art and culture, it’s also a great place for lovers. From flower gardens to romantic dinners, luxury hotels and couples’ spa services, Kansas City invites couples to experience it all. Treat your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your partner or your spouse to a date perfectly suited for what they love to do.
Get a couples massage, get pedicures together or try a couples facial package. Top it off with some champagne and chocolate covered strawberries after your appointments!
Head to the Country Club Plaza, Town Center Plaza, Legends Outlets or Zona Rosa Town Center and make it a romantic date by picking out an outfit for each other to wear that night from your favorite stores.
Or you can pick out matching Kansas City shirts, jackets, sweaters, hats and more at the Made in KC Marketplace so you can be the cutest couple that people roll their eyes at.
Don’t forget about matching Kansas City masks from Charlie Hustle!
Spend just one night or a whole weekend in a luxury hotel room together. Go all out and order room service and visit the hotel’s lounge, bar, spa, pool and other amenities.
Romantic Walk + Picnic
Outside Things to Do in Kansas City for the Adventurous
Going outdoors in Kansas City doesn’t mean you have to be roughing it!
Sure, if that’s what you want to do, there are places to go camping and hiking, and KC has some excellent biking trails as well.
But there are also tons of outdoor activities that you can do leisurely while appreciating the good weather and good company. You’ll find all kinds of outdoor venues with stuff to do around the metro.
Stuff to Do + Buy: Outdoor Shopping + Dining Areas
Hiking + Biking: Trails to Explore
Come Rain or Shine: Indoor Things to Do in Kansas City
Ways to Be Active Indoors
The Midwest weather can be pretty moody, and Kansas City is no exception. Whether you’re staying inside for a blizzard or a heatwave, you don’t have to skip your workout. Here are some fun things to do to stay active while inside.
Rock Climbing: At RoKC Climbing Gym, you can take a class to learn all about how to rock climb and how to be someone’s belay partner, and once you’ve completed the introductory course, you are good to go! Find a friend who is interested in building muscle and bonding with you over the adrenaline rush of completing goals and reaching new heights and get your climb on!
Spin Classes: Kansas City has a pretty big biking community, but when outside conditions prevent you from taking a ride, you can hop on a stationary bike in a fun group environment with great music.
Check out MOJO Cycling Studio, CYCLEBAR or other general gyms near your house that also offer spin classes.
Barre Classes: The barre hype has traveled from the coasts and found its way into Kansas City! Relive your childhood dreams of becoming a ballerina while getting super toned and sweaty!
It’s such a fun thing to be able to build strength and flexibility in a way that makes you feel graceful and confident. Check out Pure Barre, Barre3 or The Bar Method to get started.
Sometimes a high intensity workout isn’t quite what you need. Maybe your mind wants to unwind and relax in a local bookstore. You could even attend a poetry reading, a book signing or another type of literary event.
Check out some of these indie bookstores in Kansas City.
Pursue Your Hobbies
Looking for general stuff to do that matches your passions?
If you are interested in cooking, learning how to play an instrument, learning another language, sewing, ceramics, painting or other kinds of hobbies, you can find a class to take in Kansas City.
Here are some popular options!
Things to Do in Kansas City in the Summer
Kansas City may not have Coachella, but it has some pretty fantastic annual summer events.
Check out the live music scene plus other festivals and events happening around the KC area.
- Buzz Beach Ball
- First Fridays
- Celebration at the Station
- Festa Italiana
- Kansas City Air Show
- Zona Rosa Summer Concert Series
- Crown Center Antique Festival
- Fiesta Kansas City
- Heart of America Shakespeare Festival
- Maker Faire
- KC Riverfest
Things to Do in Kansas City in the Winter to Celebrate the Holidays
It’s the holiday season, and Kansas City gets lit!
With holiday lights, that is.
Of course, there is the annual lighting of the Country Club Plaza Christmas lights in December with live performances from Kansas City dancers and singers. But individuals take their lights pretty seriously too!
Pack up the kids with to-go cups of hot chocolate and drive through some of beautiful neighborhoods to take in their lights displays. You absolutely can’t miss driving through the streets off of Ward Park and all around Mission Hills. And don’t forget about the adorable homes in Brookside that get festive too.
Here is some other can’t-miss fun to have in the winter in Kansas City.
No Excuse for Boredom Here
In the midst of the Midwest, Kansas City stands out with things to do as an incredible hub of art and culture.
KC fought for a spot in the history of jazz and barbecue and continues to hold its own by being recognized across the country for its unique style. Kansas City football fans are proud to have Arrowhead be known as the loudest stadium in the NFL, and Sporting KC fans are proud to have had many players represent the national US team in the FIFA World Cup.
Kansas City has recently celebrated wins in the World Series as well as the Super Bowl, and outside of sports, Kansas Citians are pretty proud of their city overall.
It’s an impressively cool place without losing any Midwest charm.
You might have had a wonderful plan to go to Loose Park to walk and catch up with your girlfriends, but you just looked outside, and it’s raining!
What do you do? Don’t worry.
There are plenty of alternative plans to be made around Kansas City. Here are the answers to your frequently asked questions.
Thing to Do in Kansas City When It’s Raining
Instead of letting yourself get down on a rainy day, try creating some sunshine for other people (and rescued animals!) in the Kansas City community.
There are tons of places to volunteer while staying nice and dry from the rain, and you can feel good about the difference you are making in other people’s lives.
See a Movie
A trip to the movie theater is a perfect rainy day activity! You can either visit your local theater, or you can seek out a theater with a specific experience that you are looking for such as alcoholic beverages available, dinner served at your seat or special indie movies and foreign films. Check out some of these popular KC movie theaters.
Thing to Do in Kansas City When It’s Hot
When the heat kicks up in Kansas City, it’s no joke! You probably don’t want to be outside unless you have plenty of ways to hydrate and stay cool.
Make sure you wear your sunscreen, bring a hat and sunglasses and drink plenty of water. Here are some great places to go to cool off around the KC area.
Ice Cream in Kansas City
Thing to Do in Kansas City When It’s Cold
When it’s really cold, you probably don’t feel like going out and doing much.
But, if you have the right layers on, you can still have some fun around Kansas City even when the temperatures drop. Just make sure you are near a coffee shop to run in and warm up when you need to!
Coffee, Hot Tea + Hot Chocolate in KC