Dine, shop or play, Brookside is quintessential Kansas City. Don’t be fooled by its low-key vibe: Exuberant parades and one-of-a-kind festivals color this charming, historic neighborhood built in the 1920s.
Things to Do
From annual parades to family fairs, the calendar is always full in Brookside. Be sure to wear your green the Saturday before St. Pat’s at the St. Patrick’s Warm-up Parade, where leprechauns and high school bands march side by side, and there’s never a shortage of candy to catch. Plan your next trip around the Brookside Art Annual, a festive art show that attracts more than 70,000 visitors each year. While you’re in an artsy mood, pay a visit to Leopold Gallery, where you’ll find exhibitions and inspirational pieces fit for any collection.
Step back in time with a trip to the John Wornall House Museum, a unique KC landmark most famous for its use as a field hospital during the Civil War’s Battle of Westport. The truly brave may want to test their courage with a private ghost tour of the site.
Where to shop
Check out Brookside Toy & Science, a mom-and-pop toy store lined with games, microscopes and the like. From stationery to supplies, crafts to candles, seasonal goods to Slinkys, the New Dime Store is a neighborhood “everything store” in the vein of five-and-dime shops from yesteryear.
For gifts, jewelry and collectables, head to STUFF, a sister-run store filled to the brim with artsy and eclectic finds. Find flowers for that special someone at The Fiddly Fig, a well-beloved boutique that features custom arrangements and bouquets for all occasions. Brookside Barkery & Bath has everything you need to treat your canine companion, including healthy snacks and luxury spa services.
What to eat
Head to Aixois Bistro for creative French cuisine that never disappoints. Afterwards, grab a signature cocktail and catch a game at Charlie Hooper’s Bar & Grille, a classic KC institution that features more than 140 beers of both local and international origin. Lauded by Zagat for offering “something for everyone,” the globetrotting menu at Avenues Bistro is complemented by a reasonable and well-conceived wine list.
Heirloom Bakery & Hearth bolsters the Brookside food scene with fresh, made-from-scratch-daily baked goods, plus inventive takes on old favorites such as Pop-Tarts. Chow down on food from the other side of the world by pulling up a seat at Chai Shai, a local favorite that serves specialty foods and teas native to India and Pakistan.
Souvenir Stop: Locally owned and operated, 5B & Co. Candlemakers uses premium ingredients to craft candles with hilarious names (and delightful scents), such as Clean Undies or I’m the Boss Applesauce. 8-oz. tin: $16.50