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Hidden Gems

Top Rated Attractions in Kansas City

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Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

One of the more impressive buildings dedicated to the performing arts, the Kauffman Center is the highlight of the city's cultural scene. Located downtown, this multifaceted event center is dedicated to enhancing stage arts in the city by hosting nationally and internationally renowned artists, as well as providing a platform for local artists to share their expression with a bigger audience. Spread over approximately 285,000 square feet, the center is comprised of venues like the Muriel Kauffman Theatre and Helzberg Hall.

River Market

This impressive cluster of bars, restaurants, lofts and cafes known as River Market is located where the new city was first established in the 1850's. The district sits on the South side of the Missouri River and its location provides beautiful views while city dwellers shop in the wide variety of specialty stores, markets and boutiques. Every day of the week more than 40 local vendors haul in regional goods and crafts which attract hordes of shoppers to the massive City Market. The reasonable prices and unique choices are only part of the draw; many of the quaint in-house businesses can be found in some of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in Kansas City.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is one theater in a chain of theaters that began in Austin, Texas. It no longer belongs to the original owners (it was sold along with the name in 2004), however some of the old-school policies remain, for instance, no child under the age of six is allowed to see a film and you will be thrown out if you continually text or talk during the movie. The six screens here at this Alamo show contemporary films from Hollywood that are a bit quirky, independent and non-blockbuster. Check website for details and show times.

American Jazz Museum

This impressive museum pays tribute to the music and performers within the inimitable American art form jazz. The history of this music is told through interactive exhibits where you can listen to performances, watch videos and learn more about the greatest jazz musicians, from those perennial favourites Dizzy and Miles to those lesser-known cats like Horace Peterson and Tony Williams. Visitors will also learn about the history of African-American artists in local Kansas City lore and their many contributions to the community. The museum, which adjoins the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, rents its stage for special events and group tours are available.

Historic Liberty Jail

This historic jail located northwest of Kansas City is held in reverence by the Church of Latter-Day Saints because this is where the religion's founder Joseph Smith was once imprisoned. In the 1830's, many Mormons including Smith arrived from Ohio and tried to establish a settlement around Jackson County. Since they had been expelled from Ohio, the resulting establishments did not sit well with the locals, so in 1838 war broke out and Smith surrendered shortly thereafter. Today, the 'jail' is no longer, however the LDS church still runs the center for religious activities held here and it also has a replica inside of what the old jail looked like.

Folly Theater

Folly Theater was constructed at the turn of the 20th Century and was originally intended to be a variety show and parody house. Over the next century it developed into a vibrant and popular entertainment venue for jazz. In fact, the theater is a vital asset to the jazz community and legends such as Dave Brubeck, George Shearing and Ravi Coltrane have all played here. David Sanchez, Jane Monheit, and Rene Marie are locals that continue to maintain the city's tradition of live jazz performances also. It also presents the Folly Children's Series which brings national-level children's theater troupes to Missouri.

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