24 things to do in Kansas City with visitors

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Picture of streetcar and Mainstreet Theater
Take the KC Streetcar downtown to B&B’s Mainstreet Theater for a movie. | Photo by @aiinneyy

The holidays are almost here, and if you’re hosting out of town guests in Kansas City but aren’t sure where to take them or what sights to see, we’ve got plenty of recommendations for you to build the perfect itinerary. 

Stay

If your visitors are not staying with you, but looking for a hotel recommendations, here are some KCtoday-approved places:

Loews Hotel, 1515 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, MO | Price

  • This beautiful, modern hotel is in the heart of the Crossroads art district. The hotel features a lobby bar, 3-meal restaurant, and indoor lap pool

The Raphael Hotel, 325 Ward Pkwy., Kansas City, MO | Price

  • This historic, elegant hotel is located steps away from the Country Club Plaza. The boutique hotel features live music, shine service, and turndown service

21c Museum Hotel, 219 W. 9th St., Kansas City, MO | Price

  • The unique hotel also serves as a contemporary art museum. Located in the heart of downtown KC, it’s close to all of the happenings.
Picture of The Raphael entrance
The Raphael offers luxury stays on the Plaza. | Photo by The Raphael

Sightseeing

Is it even a trip to Kansas City without seeing the giant shuttlecocks at the Nelson-Atkins? You can also pick your favorite mural for the perfect family photowe recommend the East Crossroads.

Head to Union Station for its holiday display, feed your history buff brain at The National WWI Museum and Memorial, and snag a shot of the skyline from the observation deck. 

Food + Bev 

If your guests need coffee to get going in the morning, but you’re not exactly a baristaMessenger, Crows Coffee, and The Roasterie are all offering a range of seasonal drinks.

Kansas City is home to 30+ breweries. City Barrell Brewery, Boulevard Brewing Company, KC Bier Co., Brew Lab, and East Forty Brewing are some local favorites that also serve lunch + dinner

Need plans after sunset? See the city from a rooftop bar: Canary, John’s Big Deck, and The Well.

As for food — our personal favorites include Mildred’s for breakfast, all three Freight House Restaurants, Q39, Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop, Nick & Jake’s, YaYas Euro Bistro, and brunch at The Farmhouseweekends AND weekdays. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Betty Rae’s — where you can make a vanilla latte float with Thou Mayest Coffee ice cream + cream soda.

We’ve also got plenty of articles to help you navigate the local food scene. Find restaurant reviews on Kansas City Magazine + popular picks on The Pitch’s Best of KC 2021.

And if you’ve got dietary restrictions, we have you covered there, too. Check out this list of 20+ local restaurants with dietary options — as well as KCtoday’s lists of plant-based meals and gluten-free beer.

Picture of burger, fries, and cocktail
The Farmhouse also has dinner options, like the Daily Grind burger. | Photo by KCtoday.

For the whole family

Let the kids — or grandkidsrun around + explore Wonderscope Children’s Museum, or plan your escape with the whole family at the Breakout KC

See a kid-friendly show at The Coterie — The SpongeBob Musical is playing from Nov. 5-Jan. 2. Another option: load up the car and spend the afternoon exploring the Kansas City Zoo, or take the family bowling at Ward Parkway Lanes

Outdoor activities

Celebrate the great outdoors, and as long as the weather cooperates, we have a variety of parks to explore. Grab some popcorn from Topsy’s + head to Loose Park for a picnic. Or, get some exercise by walking the Brush Creek Trail over to the 15 and the Mahomies Playground

One of the best things about the metro is our proximity to some amazing hiking spots. Here is our guide to six great hikes.

Indoor activities

Temps this time of year can get down into the mid-30s, so spend a day exploring one of these famous Kansas City museums to stay warm.

KC also boasts an excellent theater scene. Catch upcoming productions at Musical Theater Heritage, Quality Hill Playhouse, and The Arts Asylum — plus, December productions at The White Theatre at The J and Culture House. Or, take the KC Streetcar downtown to B&B’s Mainstreet Theater for a movie.

If you’ve got any sports fans in your group, here is the Chiefs winter home game schedule. Plus, here’s how to watch Sporting KC’s playoff run. The Mavericks also have a Black Friday home hockey game.

And if you’re looking for season-specific activities + unique ideas, you can send your visitors our November events calendar to get a feel for what they’ll want to see + do.

NOTE: Thanks for caw-ling us out. We previously listed Black Crow Coffee. The south KC company is actually called Crows Coffee. Unless you’re going down to Florida as the crow flies, you’ll want to make that distinction.