All the basics about Kansas City

Call them the little tidbits that make Kansas City life just a bit more interesting. Here are a few fun facts on Kansas City as you plan your visit to our great city:


2 states: the KC MSA includes both Missouri and Kansas

Downtown KC has experienced more than $9 billion in commercial, residential and hotel development in the last 10 years.

The Kansas City area boasts more than 100 barbecue restaurants, all feeding guests and locals alike with dishes such as smoked ribs, pulled pork and burnt ends.

Located in the heart of the country, Kansas City is only a 3-hour flight from either coast.

142.2 decibels at Arrowhead Stadium set the Guinness World Record for the loudest stadium on the planet

The City of Kansas City, Missouri, touts 220 parks, 134 miles of trails and bikeways, 29 lakes, 103 playgrounds and 119 monuments.

Hometown History

The Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails originated in the KC metro, a tradition celebrated annually at the Santa-Cali-Gon Days festival.

Walt Disney opened his first animation studio in Kansas City, Laugh-O-Gram studios, where he fed a small rodent that became the inspiration for Mickey Mouse.

Hallmark, the largest greeting card maker in the world, began in KC in 1910 when Joyce C. Hall began selling postcards out of two shoeboxes at the local YMCA.

KC “ignored” Prohibition during the 1920s, leading to an abundance of jazz clubs, brothels and gambling halls. KC even earned the moniker “The Paris of the Plains” after one journalist wrote, “If you want to see some sin, forget Paris and head to Kansas City.”

Offbeat Trivia

Each March, KC hosts more college basketball games than anywhere in the country.

In the late 1940s, 86 factories were manufacturing garments in KC. It was said that one in seven American women wore clothing made here.

Modeled after Seville, Spain, the Country Club Plaza opened in 1922 as the nation’s first outdoor shopping district.

Local advertising agency Bernstein-Rein conceived the Happy Meal for McDonald’s after the owner noticed his son staring at the cereal box during breakfast.

Other KC inventions include the fire pole, the Bomb Pop, the bumper sticker, Rival crockpot and Wishbone salad dressing.

The National WWI Museum and Memorial houses the most comprehensive collection of WWI artifacts in the world.

KC is known as the Haunted House Capital of the World, thanks to its pioneering of the “open format,” where brave visitors are asked to roam without following a predestined path.

At least four different U.S. presidents have dined at the original Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque. Harry S. Truman was considered a regular because frequented so often.

M&M's candy coating process was perfected by MRIGlobal, an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Kansas City. Other KC inventions include the fire pole, the Bomb Pop, the bumper sticker, Rival crockpot and Wishbone salad dressing.