Things to Do in Kansas City Right Now
Updated May 14, 2021
With new safety measures in place at local institutions and many outdoor spaces within easy reach, there are plenty of ways to explore a new part of the city or make KC your next road trip destination. See what’s open and start planning a safe outing in the Heart of America.
Due to ongoing changes in hours, local guidelines and occupancy restrictions at many locations, we recommend contacting businesses directly to confirm availability in advance of your visit.
KEEPING YOU SAFE
The Kansas City area continues to implement measures designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The KC Clean Commitment is an initiative from Visit KC and community partners that invites local businesses to uphold a specific set of health and safety standards.
Learn more about the KC Clean Commitment and find committed businesses here.
Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, has removed its mask mandate as of May 14, 2021. Individual businesses may continue to require mask use by customers and staff.
Further health and safety guidelines vary by city. Detailed information from several municipalities in the region can be found using the below links.
Most museums in the Kansas City area have reopened, with many requiring advance reservations and the use of masks while visiting. Review guidelines at individual institutions before visiting.
Opening May 27 at the National WWI Museum and Memorial, War Remains is an immersive virtual reality experience that brings to life “the war to end all wars” from a soldier’s point of view on the Western Front. Tickets are on sale now. Other exhibitions currently on display highlight the important contributions of women during wartime, as well as the process that takes artifacts from initial donation to display in the museum’s collection.
There’s something new in store at each of the Museums at 18th & Vine. In commemoration of the 101st anniversary of the Negro National League’s founding, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum has kicked off Negro Leagues 101, a year-long celebration highlighting the star-studded history, unsung heroes and significant impact of the Negro Leagues on modern baseball and American life.
At the American Jazz Museum, Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic opened on May 8. An exhibition from the Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibition Services, the collection of more than 50 prints offers a closer look at the life and lasting work of the legendary jazz singer.
Explore the shifting role of science-minded toys at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures with Bridging the Gender Divide: Toys That Build STEM Skills. The exhibition examines the changing ways STEM-oriented toys have been marketed across the decades and introduces women who have made notable contributions in science, technology, engineering and mathematics over the last 200 years.
Admission remains free at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, with each opening a new exhibition in mid-February. The Nelson-Atkins’ famed Water Lilies is presented in a new light through Monet Water Lilies: From Dawn to Dusk, set in a dedicated gallery with a 10-minute lighting sequence that mirrors the arrival and departure of daylight. Plus, step outside for an art-inspired round of miniature golf on the museum's nine-hole Art Course.
At the Kemper Museum through May 16, Dyani White Hawk’s Speaking to Relatives blends abstract techniques originated in the 1950s with Lakota art forms through painting, sculpture, photography and video.
The Regnier Family Wonderscope Museum of Kansas City debuted an entirely new space in October 2020. Access 30,000 square feet of imaginative STEAM experiences inside the museum, plus a year-round outdoor area featuring a treehouse, hands-on agricultural experiences and more, all inspired by the region’s diverse terrains.
The shops at Crown Center are open daily, including several new arrivals and more on the way. Sample sweet and spicy sauces at Burnt End BBQ, browse high-end sneakers at Initial and take a drawing class at Deborah’s Art Studio—all under one roof.
Union Station continues to offer local history, family-friendly entertainment and fine dining in one of the city’s most scenic settings. Visit Harvey’s for brunch with stellar views of the train station’s sprawling interior or plan a night out at Pierpont’s, a historic KC steakhouse that continues to serve top-tier dishes.
A recent expansion at Science City means more hands-on fun than ever, with three new areas offering sensory experiences, art activities and train-themed exploration to younger visitors.
At the Kansas City Zoo, you’ll find plenty of ways to embrace your wild side—and plenty of space to safely enjoy your experience. Be sure to say hello to Chuckels and Thackory, a pair of koalas visiting the Zoo through November.
Prepare for a rush of adrenaline at Worlds of Fun, opening for the season on May 22. Right next door, Oceans of Fun is back for the summer on May 29, when the park will debut Riptide Raceway—the world's longest mat-racing waterslide.
Want to put your athletic skills to the test? Perfect your swing and compete for bragging rights at T-Shotz in the Northland, or head across the state line for Topgolf and Pinstripes in Overland Park.
A recent series of historical nods, roster developments and franchise expansions have brought a buzz to KC’s athletic atmosphere. Take a closer look at what’s new in Kansas City sports or preview a few highlights:
Across the state line, there's an extensive roster of athletic matchups to catch in Kansas City, KS. Sporting Kansas City has kicked off its regular season at Children's Mercy Park. Single-match tickets are available in limited quantities.
In partnership with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, KC’s minor league baseball team will take the field at the Kansas City Monarchs this spring. The revived team will play as an ongoing tribute to one of the most dominating Negro Leagues teams of all time at Legends Field.
And the Monarchs aren’t the only team making their home at Legends Field this season. The National Women's Soccer League has made its return to the City of Fountains, competing for the first time since 2017. KC NSWL's regular season schedule is available now.
RESTAURANTS, BARS AND SHOPS
Many restaurants have expanded their carryout and delivery menus in addition to continuing dine-in service. Use the below resources to find open businesses in individual districts or visit curbsidekc.com for carryout service options across the region.
BREWERIES AND DISTILLERIES
Taproom hours change frequently. Please consult individual businesses to confirm accurate hours of operation.
Kansas City’s breweries and distilleries continue pouring fine local drinks for any occasion, with many offering to-go six packs and cocktails to be safely enjoyed at home.
Get acquainted with KC’s craft beer scene and find a brewery near you here.
Prefer to fill your glass with local spirits? Pick up a bottled and ready-to-drink Horsefeather or Kansas City Ice Water at J. Rieger & Co., or stock your shelf with gin, vodka or whiskey from one of Kansas City’s many area distilleries.
PARKS AND OUTDOOR SPACES
All around KC, fresh air and open spaces are easily accessible in any season. Stroll the winding paths of Powell Gardens—hosting Bloom Fest through May 9—or the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, spend an afternoon at a local park or strike out on one of Kansas City's many hiking trails that continue to welcome guests on a daily basis.
For an entirely new outdoor experience, make a trip to Yaya's Alpaca Farm and enjoy an up-close encounter with the farm's 30 friendly, furry creatures.
The Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead in Overland Park reopened on May 4.
The Kansas City Symphony's Mobile Music Box has returned for a series of spring performances. Watch the Symphony's website and social media channels for announcements of pop-up concerts performed by small ensembles at outdoor locations all around the region.
The Kansas City Ballet will take the stage under the stars for two public performances at Starlight Theatre, May 21-22. Plus, keep an eye on Starlight's Starlight@Home series for a selection of live streaming shows and a content library to explore at your convenience.
For another dazzling in-person performance, Quixotic offers soaring acrobatics in front of the sparkling KC skyline at Soiree, a rooftop cabaret with performances on weekends in April and May atop the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center.
KC Streetcar service currently runs during the following hours:
Monday through Thursday: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
RideKC bus service is operating reduced schedules. Fares are suspended and most riders should enter through the rear door. RideKC Bike + Scooter is offering free rides to small businesses and healthcare workers.
To learn more about ways to support the local community, and for updates regarding COVID-19 in the Kansas City region, go to VisitKC.com/community.