A Teen's Guide to Kansas City


Article by Mindy Hargesheimer

Photography by Mindy Hargesheimer

Guys, gals, kids, parents, and TEENS; everyone needs a guide for what to do and where to go in their home town or the city they are traveling to, like Kansas City!

I've rounded out my compilation of ideas that are a match for teenagers to find entertainment in, whether with friends, family, a significant other or alone, to enjoy Kansas City's culture and entertainment.

RELATED: Hidden Gems in Kansas City + Girls Weekend in KC + Guys Weekend in KC

Selfie WRLD Kansas City | Town Center

"Welcome to the #1 trending selfie museum in the WRLD. Arguably one of the most instagrammable places in the center US, here you can immerse yourself into our fun, eye-catching, interactive art installations. Experience many unique themes knowing we had your best selfie in mind. Bring your friends, family, a date, or just yourself and your phone, and unleash your inner child!"

Fat Sully's and Frozen Gold | Westport

"Best Hand-Tossed NY Style Pizza. Single-source-farm mozzarella cheese, Tomatoes from Italy, Freshest prepared daily toppings. Fat Sully ♥'s You. You just got soft served. One-of-a kind experience, setting the “gold standard” for soft serve. This is Frozen Gold. A gold mine of discovery for good people like you. Welcome to the gold rush. Also home to Atomic Cowboy and Denver Biscuit Company."

FlipSwitch VR | Crossroads

"FlipSwitch VR is a whole-body, fully immersive free-roam VR (virtual reality) experience in Kansas City where you and your friends are taken inside the action. Featuring over 1200 square feet of playable space, our arenas are the most immersive and exciting way to experience virtual reality in the area."

I am Frozen Dessert Cafe | Overland Park

"Handcrafted delights that instantly brighten up your day. Whether its chocolate, vanilla or cinnamon, we use the finest ingredients to produce these mouth watering artifacts. Shaved cream is a new category in frozen desserts. It is a hybrid of ice cream and shaved ice. With this delicious combination, we are able to achieve the texture of a fluffy snow with taste and creaminess of ice cream."

The College Basketball Experience | Downtown

"The College Basketball Experience, a world class entertainment facility connected to T-Mobile Center by the Grand Lobby, is two floors and 41,500 square feet of basketball exuberance. It houses the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, where visitors can honor college basketball legends and learn about the history of the game. Virtually every skill of the game has an activity station – rebounding, passing, three-point shooting, free throw shooting and more. For a change of pace, visitors can sit down at the ESPNU desk and call the highlights of actual NCAA basketball action. There are also numerous kiosks with fascinating insight from coaches and players about college basketball."

Ya Ya's Alpaca Farm | Garden City

"Located 45 miles south of Kansas City Missouri in Cass County, alpacas are our passion. We have a farm store with all kinds of neat items made of alpaca. We raise these adorable alpacas for sale, show, and for the gorgeous fleece that they produce."

Louisburg Cider Mill | Louisburg

"A regional destination that offers customers a unique opportunity not only to taste great apple cider and apple cider donuts, but to see where and how the cider and donuts are made. The Louisburg Cider Mill has grown beyond just the manufacturer of apple cider and donuts. The Cider Mill continues traditions of hosting the Annual Easter Egg Hunt, the Cider Mill Century Bicycle Tour, Cider Mill Swap Meets, Ciderfest, corn maze and pumpkin patch, and many more events and activities that align with the mission of the business."

Ice Cream BAE | Leawood

"Before Anything Else: Ice Cream. Create your own swirl. Choose 1 Mix In. Signatures and Rotating Soft Serves."

Pinstripes | Overland Park

"We offer Kansas City’s premier bowling, bocce and bistro experience in the Overland Park neighborhood. Pinstripes offers sophisticated fun at our spacious events venue, featuring our chef’s made-from-scratch creations, daily events for the whole community and unique entertainment."

Graffiti Attic | Crossroads

"There are a lot of art galleries in Kansas City but none quite like Graffiti Attic in Union Station. It was an idea born in the middle of a pandemic that invited local artist to come paint whatever they wanted to paint on. Since then, the space has become an artist commune of street artist from all over the city sharing knowledge and techniques with one another. Graffiti Attic is only open to the public on the First Friday of each month from 2:00pm – 9:00pm and offers free admission."

Donutology | Westport

"Our equation for happiness is simple. Create your own donut in a way that expresses your unique personality, and boom… happiness happens, right before your eyes. At Donutology, we’re lucky enough to elevate happiness thousands of times each year."

West Bottoms First Fridays | Historic West Bottoms

"The West Bottoms Historic Entertainment District, located just off the 12th Street Bridge, has 22 warehouses in a thirteen-block area with approximately 600 vendors and more than 25 stores and restaurants."

RoKC Climbing Gym | North KC + Downtown + Olathe

"RoKC is a locally established, world class, community focused climbing gym in Kansas City. If you can climb a ladder, you can climb at our gyms. If you're looking to learn the ropes, delve into yoga, or get your child involved, we can make it happen. If you have years of experience, rest assured that our passion for climbing matches your own. We love what we do, and hope you will too." 

Blade & Timber Axe Throwing | Leawood + Downtown

"Axe Throwing is a perfect way to celebrate special occasions, organize team building events, have fun with your friends and family, or meet new people through our open play and leagues."

Paint Glaze & Fire Cermaics and Coffee House | Overland Park

"Paint Glaze & Fire is a one-of-a kind, colorful mug to give a friend or family member, a custom painting to hang above your couch, a fun and cute clay good luck charm – you can make them all, and more, right here with us! Paint Glaze & Fire is a friendly paint-your-own-pottery space where people of all ages can have fun, make art, and flex their creative muscles. At our heat-proof, boredom-proof studio, you’re the artist. There are no rules – let your imagination soar as you create a personalized, perfect piece or painting."

Worlds of Fun | Kansas City, MO

"Kansas City's amusement park with 235 acres of family rides, thrill rides & waterslides including 7 world-class rollercoasters and Oceans of Fun."

Parlor | Crossroads

"Parlor is a collection of chefs coming together to advance the concept of what a restaurant could be. Parlor is a comfortable place for people to relax and socialize while enjoying great drinks and phenomenal food from all walks of life. Our three level space holds several unique spots to soak up the atmosphere: a lounge, library, den, 2nd story garden patio, and an event space for any and all of your social needs."

Zip KC | Bonner Springs

"Zip KC is your ultimate Kansas City zip line adventure. Soar high above the bluffs of the Kansas River on nine zip lines stretching over 5,800 feet and reaching speeds up to 50 mph! Come experience a high flying adventure less than 30 min from Downtown KCMO & JoCo."

Unforked | Crown Center + Overland Park

"UNdo what you think you know about food. We live to serve you chef-inspired food made with fresh, local ingredients. We promise to buy and support seasonal, local ingredients first; if not local we source from smaller family GAP certified or organic farms, prime growing regions, artisan producers, and with fair trade partnerships. Fork or no fork, you can be sure you're getting the highest quality, socially responsible ingredients possible."

Kansas City Zoo | Swope Park

"Explore the Kansas City Zoo, with more than 1,700 animals on 202 acres, it's the most affordable family fun for kids of all ages. Now a 202-acre nature sanctuary, it is the most useful and accessible resource in the region for bringing urban and suburban families in touch with the diverse habitats, cultures and animals of the natural world. A visit to the Kansas City Zoo is a journey around the world -- an interactive experience that uses all the senses to entertain, educate and engage visitors of all ages."

Fairway Creamery | Fairway

"Chef-driven donuts, ice cream and coffee bearing the unmistakable signature of Christopher Elbow. They’re simple, they’re sweet and they don’t need to be fussed with. Fresh ingredients, a chef-driven approach and a daily desire to have a little fun are all it takes to serve up an experience that everyone can enjoy. It’s what we believe and it’s what we do every day -- morning, noon and night."

Urban Air | Overland Park + Lenexa

"We are the ultimate indoor adventure park. People may know us for our trampolines (because they’re awesome), but that’s just the tip of the Urban Air iceberg. Once you get inside, you’ll see what we mean. With attractions that cater to any level of adventurer, there’s something fun for everyone. Here your mini warriors can conquer obstacles, show gravity who’s boss, and have a blast seven days a week."

Voler Thieves of Silk | Kansas City, KS

"Kansas City’s Premier Aerial Academy and Aerial Performance Collective, is an edgy and experimental collaboration of aerial dance and acrobatics, comprised of performing artists from the Kansas City area. With over 12 years experience, we have set the bar high with our award winning teaching, notable performance style, innovative curriculum, and supportive community. We feature performances and training in aerial silks, straps, hammock, lyra (hoop), static trapeze, corde lisse (rope), hand balancing, Acroyoga, aerial yoga, flexibility, modern dance, contemporary dance, ambient characters, and theatrical development." 

Made in KC Marketplace | Plaza

"Made in KC is Kansas City's premiere destination for local goods, gifts, apparel, and more. Shop at seven locations, including the Made in KC Marketplace on the Country Club Plaza, and online."

Iron District | North KC

"Iron District is a space comprised of colorful shipping containers, arranged to create a unique outdoor dining and retail destination in North Kansas City. With restaurants, a tiki bar as well as boutique shops — and even a wellness container and a co-working space, you just might want to move in."

Pinot's Palette | Olathe + Leawood + Briarcliff + Blue Springs

"Paint. Drink. Have Fun. Date Nights and Girls' Night Out welcome! We love being your go-to spot to relax, unwind, and let loose! From date nights to birthdays and bachelorette parties, our paint parties are a unique way to celebrate all of life's special moments - even if the occasion is just called "Friday."

Bar K Dog Bar | North KC

"Bar K is a unique new destination featuring a modern bar, restaurant, event space and dog park. Constructed out of repurposed shipping containers, we are located in downtown Kansas City on the shore of the Missouri River in Berkley Riverfront Park. Bar K brings engaged, community-minded people and their dogs together to share connections with their pups and each other in a joyful and creative space. Anyone without a dog is welcome to visit Bar K for free."

Cider Hill Family Orchard | Kansas City, KS

"Our mission is to create a place where families can come spend time together either in the Orchard, in the Pumpkin Patch or at the Fishing Ponds; it is all about creating memories and making fun family traditions. Cider Hill Family Orchard is 38 acres covered with 1500 apple trees. There are 18 different kinds of apples that are grown in the Orchard."

Paradise Garden Club | Crossroads

"We're a plant lover's Paradise — an urban nursery and education center focused on building a thriving plant-based community where all are welcome. In addition to offering beautiful plants+ and cool merchandise in our retail space, you'll be assisted by an experienced team focused on you and your plant goals — we also feature curated events and hands-on workshops."

Shawnee Mission Park | Shawnee Mission

"Shawnee Mission Park Marina offers boat rentals including kayaks, paddle boards, pedal boats and canoes in the heart of the beautiful Shawnee Mission Park. Whether you are looking for a great workout, fun family activity or a peaceful float on the water, Shawnee Mission Park Marina has what you are looking for."

Strang Hall | Downtown Overland Park

"Strang Hall is a collective of six chef-driven restaurants under one roof. Our chefs have a passion for creating original, authentic food that you can't find anywhere else in town. All in a casual, modern space in the heart of historic Overland Park. We built Strang Hall to be more than just eating amazing food. Our goal is to create a gathering place for the community. Coming soon--book our private dining room for your next family party or hang out in the courtyard during an outdoor concert."

Freezing Moo | Olathe + Overland Park

"Freezing Moo features Thai fried ice cream rolls. Ice cream rolls are hand made ice cream desserts made with milk and poured over an iced cold plate. You can mix different fresh fruit and other toppings to make your treat that much better."

The Draftcade | Zona Rosa

"Play over 75 classic arcade games while you enjoy tasty food, over 75 beers and a full service bar!"

KC Clay Guild | Waldo

"KC Clay Guild is a not for profit community ceramics studio. KCCG offers adult and childrens classes in handbuilding and wheel-throwing for any ability level or age."

Chicken N Pickle | North KC + (COMING SOON) Overland Park

"Play pickleball, grab a healthy bite to eat or challenge your friends to lawn games like Connect Four or cornhole. Located on the corner of 18th and Burlington in North Kansas City, Chicken N Pickle is a brand new entertainment complex including a fast casual dining restaurant, 8 pickleball courts (4 indoor and 4 outdoor), a bar and entertainment space, food trucks, outdoor lawn games like ping pong and Jenga and a living room with fire pits and TV screens for you and your friends to catch your favorite game."

The Culinary Center of Kansas City | Downtown Overland Park

"The Culinary Center of Kansas City® is a premiere culinary arts center with a unique business model dedicated to the education, cultivation and appreciation of food, wine and culinary tradition through over 600 cooking classes each year, over 200 interactive cooking parties and private events each year and a unique Kitchen Shop™ curated with unique culinary tools and gifts."

Union Station | Crown Center

"Union Station draws tourists from all over the world who marvel at her Grand Hall's 95-foot ceiling, three 3,500-pound chandeliers and the six-foot-wide clock hanging in her central arch. Just as you could 100 years ago, you can still catch the train at Union Station's AMTRAK STOP and head out across the country. You'll also find a permanent rail exhibit called the KC RAIL EXPERIENCE, exhibit spaces for traveling exhibits produced by the Smithsonian, National Geographic and other international organizations, a PLANETARIUM, an interactive science center SCIENCE CITY and a vibrant Theater District featuring GIANT-SCREEN MOVIESLIVE THEATER, and so much more."

Smash House KC | Stockyards District

"Smash House KC is a business where people can vent their rage by destroying objects within a room."

Farmer's Market | City Market + Brookside + Downtown Overland Park

"All local. All year. City Market offers visitors a variety of import and specialty groceries, international restaurants, unique shops, and boutiques. With a rich history spanning more than 160 years, City Market is a place for people to gather, exchange, and share. Shop the Farmers Market every Saturday and Sunday. April-October Saturdays 8am-3pm, Sundays 9am-3pm / November-March Saturdays and Sundays 9am-3pm. During colder months, the market is enclosed and lightly heated for shopping comfort."

Kansas City Mural Tour | Crossroads + All Around KC Metro

Kansas City's murals are wildly impressive, edgy, vibrant, and seemingly endless, which can make it both the most exciting and yet difficult challenge to locate the collections all to #Insta yourself with them! Use this guide to find the street art that catches your attention and navigate your way to the respective addresses to capture for yourself!

Sky Zone KC | Shawnee + Lee's Summit

"Sky Zone Trampoline Park+ is the world's first all-walled trampoline playing court! Sky Zone features an array of fun, fit and low-impact activities ranging from Freestyle Jump, Ultimate Dodgeball and SkyFit fitness classes to birthday parties!"

Theatre in the Park | Shawnee

"Since 1970, Theatre In the Park has been producing great musical theatre and engaging the community in performances under the stars. Thousands of performers, directors, designers, musicians, and crew have graced our stage, and brought true live art to the citizens of the greater Kansas City area."

KC Central Branch Library | Downtown

"Start with the view. Pick a pretty day – sun out, slight breeze, temperatures mild – and there are few more pleasant places to while away an hour or two than the downtown Central Library’s Rooftop Terrace. Five stories up, you’re surrounded by skyline." Check calendar of events for movies, yoga, and more.

Powell Gardens | Kingsville

"As Kansas City’s Botanical Garden, Powell Gardens plays a vital role in the community as a space for release, rejuvenation, and the celebration of the fleeting nature of nature itself. Visitors enjoy eight themed display gardens, a three-mile nature trail, seasonal festivals, rotating exhibitions, exceptional architecture, and dining options featuring ingredients grown in our Heartland Harvest Garden, one of the nation’s largest edible landscapes."

Park Place | Leawood

"In the middle of it all sits the beautiful Barkley Square, a community green space featuring year-round activities. In the Summer, enjoy live concerts and outdoor games while sipping a refreshing drink at one of the surrounding restaurant patios or rooftop decks. In the Winter, the area magically transforms to “The Ice at Park Place”, Johnson County’s only outdoor ice-skating rink. Throughout the year, various events and activities add to the vibrant community, such as an outdoor market, a family-friendly summer concert series, movies in the lawn, and more."

Starlight Theatre | Swope Park

"Starlight is dedicated to producing, presenting and promoting an exceptional arts experience by delivering accessible live entertainment for all audiences, superior theatre arts education, impactful outreach programs and events that utilize this iconic city-owned venue."

Family Tree Nursery | Overland Park + Shawnee + Liberty

"Step inside our warm greenhouses to find the perfect plant for your space. Here at Family Tree Nursery, we carry a year-round selection of classic, trending and hard-to-find houseplants, plus pottery in a variety of sizes, that are sure to match your style." Check calendar of events for workshops and classes.

T-Mobile Center | Downtown

"T-Mobile Center is Kansas City’s home for sports, concerts, family shows, collegiate competitions, special events."

Heritage Park | Olathe

"Heritage Park consists of a wide range of features and amenities for all to enjoy. The 1,238-acre park includes 10 picnic shelters, 40-acre lake, 30-acre dog off-leash area, play areas, outdoor exercise equipment, 18-hole disc golf course, softball, football, and soccer fields, and the 18-hole championship Heritage Park Golf Course and driving range."

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts | Crossroads

"The Kauffman Center, home to resident organizations the Kansas City BalletLyric OperaKansas City Symphony, and other innovative programming, embraces a variety of audiences with different tastes, interests and passions. At the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, everyone can have an opportunity to experience excellence."

Jinkies! Coffee & Hangout | Overland Park

"Jinkies! Coffee and Hangout is a product of a mother-daughter duo who love all things 70’s and providing a unique environment that allows people to enjoy being in the moment. Lisa and Madi teamed up to create a space where you can sip your coffee in a place like you've never seen before. Serving locally roasted coffee, they serve traditional coffee drinks along with signature drinks & seasonal specials, that just like the decor, can't be found anywhere else. Lisa also bakes pastries fresh each day, including her gourmet sugar cookies and pop-tarts!"

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art | Rockhill

"Kansas City is defined by its enormous shuttlecocks that grace the grounds of this gorgeous art museum. With rotating exhibits, a modern and classical wing, and an expansive lawn perfect for picnics and perusing the surroundings, this free museum (aside from special exhibits) is beyond picture worthy."

Creative Culture | Westport + Leawood

"A hands-on creative experience in Kansas City featuring workshops from local artisans, drop-in projects, private parties and gifts."

Top Golf | Overland Park

"Your one-stop shop for hole-in-ones and a whole lotta hole-in-nones. We’ve got a ton of bays, a few bars, and plenty of fun to be had."

Game Show Battle Rooms | Overland Park

"You're IN the Game Show! Face-off against your friends, family and coworkers in our custom game show arenas - only one team will be crowned Game Show Battle Rooms Champions!"

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