September 27, 2018 is World Tourism Day. You may be thinking to yourself, “World what day?” Yes, this oddly specific faux holiday exists, and you should thank your lucky stars that it does; tourism generates over $5 billion each year for Kansas City businesses, provides over 45,000 jobs to local residents, and brings in nearly $400 million in state and local taxes. A thriving Kansas City economy is the result.
Of course, that wouldn’t be possible without tourists! Let’s celebrate WTD in true Midwestern fashion. Here are the 5 best tourist-friendly destinations to check out on your next vacation to Kansas City.
Young kids in the back seat getting antsy? Kaleidoscope will let them blow off some steam and nourish their artistic spirit.
Free for all ages, this interactive children’s museum and play area features a free-for-all art studio, craft stations, and puppet-making workshops. Children can do everything from painting in watercolor to crafting their own puzzles to creating a Hallmark-inspired card. In fact, Kaleidoscope is sponsored by Hallmark and attached to a large gift shop, so grab a souvenir before you leave.
Favorite activities: Ideal for kids under the age of 10, Kaleidoscope is a great 60-minute pitstop. Most children enjoy the glow-in-the-dark room, jigsaw puzzle machine, and painting areas.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
As one of the top things to do in Kansas City, the NAM Art museum is simply stunning. A trip here will treat your eyes and soul to masterpieces created by Van Gogh and Monet, Egyptian sculptures, Chinese silk-weaved artwork, contemporary French paintings, and so much more.
Best of all, the Nelson-Atkins Museum offers 100% free admission and is often open late.
Favorite activities: You’ll lose track of time at the NAM. Its sculpture garden alone could hold your attention for an afternoon, making the other levels just cherries on top.
Football season is just starting, which also means the Kansas City Chiefs will be shutting out teams on their home turf. If you’re taking a trip to KC this fall or winter, don’t forget to grab Sunday tickets to check out Arrowhead Stadium, one of the loudest football arenas in the country. You don’t even have to be Chiefs fans to enjoy the sights, sounds, and atmosphere at Arrowhead.
Favorite activities: Families are more than welcome to leave their seats and visit the numerous fun areas within Arrowhead, including the Chiefs’ interactive Sports Lab, health center, Fan Experience field, and art collection.
To residents of Kansas City, the City Market may be deemed a “tourist trap,” but there’s a reason why tourists always converge in River Market during the summer and fall: it’s an experience to behold!
Grab a beignet to eat in the morning while walking through the many outdoor shops and markets. A free-to-ride streetcar comes through the Country Club Plaza area regularly, allowing you to sightsee and snap photos of the numerous fountains and building architecture. Beware: The streets will be bustling with shoppers and tourists, so keep the family close.
Favorite activities: A trip to the robust Saturday Farmer’s Market is essential if you’re here for a weekend, though you can visit the Treasure of Steamboat Arabia museum during the week. An Art of the Machine Car exhibit is also on display through September 23, so hurry in to check out those sweet, sweet rides from days past.
National WWI Museum
Voted as the best destination in Kansas City, the National WWI Museum will be the hands-down highlight of your trip.
A tremendous tribute to both America and World War I, the museum is packed with history. Take a guided tour of the exhibits and curated artwork, walk the Paul Sunderland Glass Bridge overlooking an elegant poppy field, and watch war films at the Horizon Theater. If you don’t spend more than two hours here, you aren’t museum-ing right.
Located downtown, the museum is also very easy to find, which is certainly a plus for traveling families.
Favorite activities: The observation tower is the primetime tourist spot, without a doubt. You’ll get a breathtaking view of downtown Kansas City from the top.
About McCarthy Chevrolet Olathe
Our Olathe Chevy dealership offers amazing deals on new and used cars, certified auto service, and genuine GM car parts. Having served the community for decades, McCarthy has been the name to trust for all things automotive. If you need a new Chevy or quality pre-owned vehicle near Kansas City, swing in to take a test drive and speak with a member of our sales staff. Contact us at 913-324-7200 or visit our dealership at 675 N Rawhide Rd in Olathe, KS.