Experience a small town community without leaving the big city. Full of public parks and home to historic institutions and award-winning grub, this Northland neighborhood puts its own twist on Kansas City’s local flavor.
Things to Do
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Fresh air and green grass abound in North Kansas City, making it the perfect trek for those who love the outdoors. Corral your canines in the car and take them to Waggin’ Trail Off-Leash Dog Park, a pooch paradise complete with a walking trail, agility course, benches, three tunnel runs and two ADA water fountains. Or, get active in Macken Park, a 60-acre public park that caters to all types thanks to its tennis, basketball, soccer and baseball facilities, as well as playgrounds for the kiddos.
Speaking of sports, grab a paddle and challenge a friend in pickle. Pickleball, that is, the starring attraction at Chicken N Pickle, a hybrid, chef-driven fried chicken restaurant/entertainment venue. If you feel like Lady Luck is on your side, hit up Harrah’s North Kansas City, which features more than 1,400 slot and video poker machines, along with 47 table games and the only World Series of Poker room in Kansas City. Party on at Tapcade KC, an arcade-game-playing, craft-beer-drinking destination featuring more than 60 taps and dozens of classic titles.
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Catch a flick at the historic Screenland Armour Theatre, a local institution that serves beer and cocktails, gives screen time to both big-budget and indie movies, and where a marquee has been out front since 1928. Take a tour of Cinder Block Brewery or Restless Spirits Distilling Co. to get an insider look into Kansas City’s craft beer and spirits revolution. Afterward, hit up Calibration Brewery just around the corner before swinging by Big Rip Brewing Company for more local brews.
Where to shop
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Consider this section of the city the breadbasket of the Northland, thanks in part to two bakeries that churn out baked goods for every occasion. Judi’s Bakery, a family-owned café and coffee shop, offers breads, bakery items and wedding cakes, plus other items necessary for gatherings and get-togethers. Meanwhile, Le Monde Bakery specializes in authentic, French-inspired creations, such as French bread, croissants, pastries and more, while also serving dishes to patrons dining in. Homebrew hobbyists will love Grain to Glass, a supplies shop for people looking to create their own craft brew. Plus, the store hosts brewing classes for beginners as well as beer tastings for hops hounds.
What to eat
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No visit to North Kansas City is complete without a trip to Smokin’ Guns BBQ, a local legend thanks to its award-winning brisket and appearance on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Though a California transplant, health nuts go crazy for First Watch, an area breakfast, brunch and lunch joint that specializes in fresh ingredients and an in-house juice bar. With memorabilia lining every square inch of wall, Chappell’s Restaurant & Sports Museum has been described as one of the best places in the country to watch the Super Bowl. The classic KC establishment was also selected by USA Today as one of the best 10 sports bars in America.