Adventures in Kansas City

Waterfall at Crown Center

Recently my boyfriend and I went to Kansas City for a mini-vacation. We did our research before the trip and came up with more fun ideas than we could fit into one trip. Naturally, I have compiled a list of fun-to-try highlights from our trip. Feel free to offer your opinion if you have tried any of these or make other suggestions.

Worlds of Fun – Rollercoasters and spinning rides, what’s not to like? His take: The two best rides were Mamba and Patriot. Also, it is lots of fun that we both like rollercoasters.

Crown Center – A shopping area that includes the Hallmark Visitors Center. We had fun wandering through the quasi-time capsule exhibits of memorabilia that chronicled the growth of both the company and the nation. The bow machine was also fun, I pressed a button and watched it make a small bow to take as a souvenir. Admission (and the bow machine) are free. We also had fun taking photos of the fountains right outside.  His take: The displays were interesting. Our visit also convinced him even more that I run into people I know wherever I go. (Someone I knew in college now works at the visitors center.)

Another fountain with the Crown Center in the background

City Market – A shopping area near downtown that hosts a farmer’s market on Saturday & Sunday. For newcomers, it was hard to figure out where to park, so we ended up walking further than necessary but did not mind. It was also a little confusing to figure out which stands were from local farms and which were retail stores that set up produce on the broad sidewalks. We came away with sweet corn, bell peppers, and peaches!

Pryde’s Old Westport – A gourmet kitchen and home store. They carry a large selection of Fiestaware and many, many other kitchen utensils. When you first arrive, be sure to stop by the main register (upstairs) for a sample of their tea or freshly-roasted coffee to sip while you browse. The only thing I bought was a pound of the whole bean, Italian-roast coffee. His take: It is like the hoarder version of a kitchen store because everything is crammed and piled into very narrow rows. Also, there was a bench near the front where the few men in the store were dropped off by their wives. (The other men may or may not have looked pityingly at him as he happily followed me all over the store.)

Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue – A restaurant serving yummy Kansas City BBQ at several locations around the city. (I actually didn’t eat barbecue the night we went because I was not feeling well, but have had it before.) His take: The food was tasted pretty good but the wait for a table was long when we went on a Thursday night.

The Phoenix Jazz Club – A less-publicized jazz club that is popular with locals. They serve a full menu and appetizers are half-price during happy hour. Try to go when Lonnie McFadden is playing, we enjoyed his gregarious, laid-back style, classic jazz songs, and stories about “the old days.” His take: The only thing that could make it better was if they had a dance floor.

If you are looking for other suggestions of KC activities, check out this guide at Apartment Therapy: A Design Lover’s Guide to Kansas City.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these businesses and am not paid to recommend anything, I just like them. Now, if someone from one of these places offers me free stuff, discounts, etc. for saying nice things about them, I will be sure to let you know.

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