Making the Most of your Free Time in Kansas City


Attending an event in Kansas City means you’re getting more than just state-of-the-art facilities and excellent lodgings. Think bigger. The booming metropolis is home to an incredible culinary scene that perfectly complements the city’s cultural roots and renaissance. This, combined with KC’s signature Midwestern hospitality, leaves a lasting impact long after you’ve returned home. And the best part is, this feeling permeates throughout the city, no matter where your event is located.

Here are some of the best ways to make the most of your free time in KC:


Downtown Adventures

You’ll find iconic KC experiences and other musts while you’re in town right near the Kansas City Convention Center. Ride along the KC Streetcar to visit some of these spots, including The City Market at the north end of the line, which hosts a farmers market every weekend, rain or shine. Check out the Power & Light District for high-powered concerts at KC Live! and delicious food and drink at one of the many lounges nearby.

No trip to any of the Downtown neighborhoods is complete without a bite to satisfy your appetite. Take clients to fine dining hubs like Bristol Seafood Grill (fresh fish), The Majestic (KC steaks), Lidia’s (renowned Italian), The Rieger (inventive menus) or The Rockhill Grille (sophisticated classics).

Try out fast casual options in between meetings at places such as The Mixx, a creative salad and sandwich shop, and Protein House, a clean-eating restaurant and shake stop. In the mood for barbecue? Head to Plowboys for award-winning flavors. 

Work, Stay and Play

Crown Center may just be the most all-inclusive district in the city. The lodging is well-known, with the Sheraton and Westin both ideal options for overnight stays. But consider that Crown Center also boasts the Hallmark Visitors Center as well as top-notch shopping, such as Halls Kansas City (the city’s local, high-end department store), Shang Tea (a brew-lover’s paradise) and Function Junction (a cookware supply store with excellent selection).

Shopping isn’t all the Crown Center district has to offer. Grab quick bites at Sheridan’s Unforked and Spin! Neapolitan Pizza, or head across the street for a sit-down experience at Pierpont’s at Union Station. While you’re there (or on your way to morning meetings), grab a pick-me-up at Parisi Coffee, a local coffeemaker. 

Spanish Inspiration, Inspired

The Country Club Plaza’s Seville-influenced architecture and idyllic fountains may be best-known in this district, but The Plaza’s beauty is far from surface level. Set aside some time before or after your event to explore the halls of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, a treasured attraction totally free and filled with artwork both ancient and modern. Not far is The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, complete with one of the nation’s largest collections of its kind. Then there’s always the shopping: local wares and luxury designers anchor more than 150 retailers.

Dining options are nearly unbeatable here as well. Sample Kansas City ‘cue at Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, comfort food at Rye, vegetarian options at Cafe Gratitude and Chinese cuisine at Bo Ling’s. Take guests and clients to dinner at The Capital Grille or Eddie V’s to impress. On the go? Refuel at t.Loft, a clean-eating spot, or Kaldi’s for coffee.

Northland Stops

Neighborhood gems and relaxation await north of the river and near the airport, perfect for event-goers fresh off the plane or looking to catch a flight. Grab a tee time at Tiffany Greens Golf Club or take some time for yourself at The Spa at Briarcliff, a stress-relieving sanctuary thanks to massages, scrubs, manicures and more. Switch up the pace with some craft brewery hopping in North Kansas City or shopping at Zona Rosa.

KC classics like Stroud’s fried chicken is a place you'll brag about to friends, family and coworkers when you return home, while Piropos and Trezo Mare make for memorable dining experiences.

History Abounds

Independence may be host to some of the bigger events in Kansas City, but it will always be known as the hometown of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd president of the United States. Visit his library and museum during off-time and swing by the Vaile Mansion as well, a Victorian home and architectural wonder. Shop in Independence Square for local goods and, depending on the season, catch a Royals, Chiefs or Mavericks game to see the KC sports spirit shine.

All Good in the Neighborhood

Athletic competition or big showcase, event visitors often find themselves in Overland Park, a wide-ranging entertainment destination less than 30 minutes south of Downtown KC. If the weather calls for it, head to the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens to marvel at beautiful floral landscapes. The Museum at Prairiefire is a designer’s dream in more ways than one (and absolutely demands to be photographed) while other attractions such as Topgolf, iFly and the New Theatre Restaurant round out any OP experience. 

Dining, "Event Planning, Venues and Meeting Facilities"

Also Sprach Zarathustra

Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Michael Stern, conductor
Joyce Yang, piano
 
MAHLER “Adagio” from Symphony No. 10
JONATHAN LESHNOFF Piano Concerto (Kansas City Symphony commission, world premiere, underwritten by the Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation)
R. STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra
 

The Chainsmokers

Grammy Award-winning artist/producer duo The Chainsmokers have announced their massive “WORLD WAR JOY” North American headline arena tour for fall. Multi-platinum band 5 Seconds of Summer, who is featured on The Chainsmokers’ latest single “Who Do You Love,” will be joining all dates along with rising pop star Lennon Stella. The 41-city tour will stop at Sprint Center on Friday, Nov. 15.

Also Sprach Zarathustra

Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Michael Stern, conductor
Joyce Yang, piano
 
MAHLER “Adagio” from Symphony No. 10
JONATHAN LESHNOFF Piano Concerto (Kansas City Symphony commission, world premiere, underwritten by the Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation)
R. STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra
 

Handel’s Messiah

Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Julian Wachner, guest conductor
Kansas City Symphony Chorus, Charles Bruffy, chorus director
Lauren Snouffer, soprano
Melissa Attebury, mezzo-soprano
Oliver Mercer, tenor
Alexander Dobson, bass-baritone
 

Handel’s Messiah

Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Julian Wachner, guest conductor
Kansas City Symphony Chorus, Charles Bruffy, chorus director
Lauren Snouffer, soprano
Melissa Attebury, mezzo-soprano
Oliver Mercer, tenor
Alexander Dobsonbass-baritone
 

Also Sprach Zarathustra

Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Michael Stern, conductor
Joyce Yang, piano
 
MAHLER “Adagio” from Symphony No. 10
JONATHAN LESHNOFF Piano Concerto (Kansas City Symphony commission, world premiere, underwritten by the Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation)
R. STRAUSS Also sprach Zarathustra
 

All Star Holidays

Silent Night? Swinging Night! In an evening that’s sure to fire up a cold December night, come join us at the Kauffman for a star-studded event unlike anything else you’ll hear! We’re bringing you Kansas City’s biggest jazz stars to play your seasonal favorites. One night only - a lifetime of memories!

TubaChristmas 2019

Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
 
Make a joyful noise! All area tuba and euphonium players are invited to join the festivities, and all are welcome to enjoy this FREE lunch-hour concert. Advance registration and a fee are required to perform. Janet M. Stallmeyer and Donald L. Flora generously underwrite TubaChristmas. For tickets, visit kcsymphony.org starting Tuesday, October 1.