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Established as a trading post in 1821, Kansas City served as the starting point for wagon trains heading over the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon trails, and later emerged as the nation's center for cattle stockyards and slaughterhouses. Today greater Kansas City is a sprawling metropolis of 1.9 million straddling the Kansas-Missouri state line. Downtown Kansas City, a blend of Art Deco buildings, brick warehouses dating from the 1880s, and modern skyscrapers, is also home to the new Power & Light District, an 8-block development of dining-and-entertainment venues. Yet the metropolitan area retains something of a small-town atmosphere, with tree-lined boulevards, bubbling fountains, and a large number of parks spread over gently rolling hills. Need further incentive to visit? Kansas City is famous for its steaks, barbecue, jazz, rich frontier history, and unique attractions found nowhere else.
With American Airlines flights to Kansas City, planning a fun trip is convenient and simple. From touring famous factories (including Hallmark Cards and Harley-Davidson) to experiencing the city's arts, there are many things to do in Kansas City that will entertain everyone in the family. And that's even before you sample the legendary barbecue!
One of the most popular free activities in Kansas City is touring its factories. Start at Hallmark Cards, located in the Crown Center complex. Here you'll be able to see over a dozen exhibits that trace the company's heritage to its 1910 beginning and you can even visit with Hallmark craftspeople and press operators as they demonstrate card-making techniques. Then head to the Harley- Davidson Vehicle and Powertrain Operations, a 358,000-square-foot space where you can see welding, laser-cutting, frame-bending and more on the factory floor. You'll even have the chance to sit on a current production motorcycle. Please note that kids have to be at least 12 years old and accompanied by an adult for this factory tour. Wrap up your day at Boulevard Brewing Co., the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest, where you can walk through the brewery, learn how beer is made and taste samples. Advance reservations are required, however.
Experiencing the city's vibrant arts and culture scene is another of the most interesting things to do in Kansas City. Check out what's scheduled at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a beautiful venue where you can catch performances of music, opera, theater and dance throughout the year. You'll also want to visit The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, an outstanding general art museum whose collections include over 33,000 works. Highlights include Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness by Caravaggio, Boulevard de Capucines by Claude Monet and the four oversize Shuttlecocks sculptures by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen that are perched on the museum's lawn. And don't miss the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, where the collection includes works by Damien Hirst, David Hockney, Willem de Kooning, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg, among many others.
Don't leave town without sampling the famous barbecue, easily one of the most delectable activities in Kansas City. They take it quite seriously here (there's even a Kansas City Barbecue Society), and there are nearly 100 barbecue restaurants. Slow-smoking is the traditional Kansas City barbecue calling card, but you'll find a variety of cooking styles so you can find your own new favorite. We tend to prefer barbecue joints where the food is accompanied by live blues performances, and luckily for us, there are plenty of places where the combination can be found.
If there are more things to do here than you imagined, why not come experience it all firsthand? We've made it easy to fly to Kansas City for a fun-filled visit. Browse our flights and book your trip today!
|Dog-n-Jog||Jun 2013 (annual)||Mill Creek Park|
|Free Friday Night Flicks||Jul 2013; Fri only (annual)||Crown Center|
|Summerfest||Jul 2013; Weekends only (annual)||White Recital Hall|
|Kansas City Irish Festival||30 Aug - 1 Sep 2013 (annual)||Crown Center|
|Kansas City Royals - Major League Baseball||8 Apr - 22 Sep 2013 (annual)||Kauffman Stadium|
|American Royal Barbecue||Oct 2013 (annual)||American Royal Center|
|Kansas City Renaissance Festival||Sep - Oct 2013 (annual)||Bonner Springs|
|Livestock Show||Oct - Nov 2013 (annual)||American Royal Center|
|NFL: Kansas City Chiefs||Sep - Dec 2013 (annual)||Arrowhead Stadium|
|Kansas City Royals - Major League Baseball||Apr - Sep 2014 (annual)||Kauffman Stadium|
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