Stay and Play in Kansas City!

Author: ZAPP Team
Date: August 24, 2015

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With an ever-expanding and deeply-rooted commitment to the arts, there is no limit to the activities you can partake in while in Kansas City for the 2015 Arts Festival Conference. Sure we’ll be keeping you busy with a breadth of helpful workshops and professional development sessions, but you will have some time to explore the city, too!

To help you make the most out of your trip to the “Paris of the Plains,” we’ve compiled a few can’t-miss activities (in no particular order).

Photo credit: Visit KC
Photo credit: Visit KC (

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Location, location, location! Not only is this museum free, it’s right around the corner from the Conference hotel. The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is an acclaimed contemporary art museum home to a growing collection of works from artists all over the world. The museum draws more than 100,000 visitors each year, and will have on display the following exhibitions in late September: Autumn Twilight, Dwelling Among Mountains How Do You Want Me; Marco Maggi: Drawing Attention; and Earth and Sky Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection.

Location: 4420 Warwick Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64111
Phone: 816.753.5784

Photo credit: Visit KC (
Photo credit: Visit KC (

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
Another free Kansas City museum, the Nelson Atkins has incredible artwork to see both inside and out! Explore the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park, with interactive exhibits and online audio guides. Or, you can check out exhibitions from artist and teacher Emmet Gowin, textiles from Persia and Europe, a view of World War I and the Rise of Modernism, and larger-than-life sculptures from contemporary artist and filmmaker Phillip Haas.

Location: 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO 64111
Phone:  816.751.1278

Photo credit: Visit KC (
Photo credit: Visit KC (

Loose Park Rose Garden
Nestled within 75-acre Jacob. L. Loose Park, the Rose Garden underwent a major, $2 million restoration spanning 14 years. Visitors to the garden can enjoy more than 168 varieties of roses in a garden that has survived 84 years.

Location: 5200 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO 64112

Crossroads Arts District
The Crossroads Arts District is a vibrant, bustling home to artists, local businesses, food, and creatives of all types. With more than 400 local artists and 100 independent studios calling the Crossroads home, the area represents one of the most concentrated gallery districts in the nation. Whether you’re looking for art, food, or fun on a Friday night (see First Fridays in the Crossroads), this arts district is a must visit while you’re in Kansas City!

Location: The Crossroads is located south of downtown Kansas City, north of the historic Union Station, east of I-35 and west of Troost Avenue. Find out more about getting to the Crossroads.

Kansas City Fountains
Another Kansas City moniker is “City of the Fountains.” Beginning in the 1800s, fountains were put up around Kansas City to provide drinking water for horses, birds, and dogs. These early fountains were more practical than decorative in nature. In 1899, the city built its first fountain, a $12,000 undertaking. Now, with 200 fountains in its metropolitan area alone, Kansas City has more fountains than any other city in the world except Rome.

Photo credit: Vist KC (
Photo credit: Vist KC (

Location: See the list of all fountains in the Kansas City area.

The National WWI Museum and Memorial
A visit to Kansas City wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the World War I Museum and Memorial, home to one of the largest collections of WWI artifacts in the world. Rated as one of the top 25 museums in America, the WWI Museum and Memorial presents World War I through interactive displays, films, and eyewitness testimonies. The Liberty Memorial situated outside of the museum, was dedicated in 1921, and was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2006. Visit on Wednesday, Sept. 23, and explore this unique museum for only $7 as part of their special World War Wednesdays promotion.

Location: 100 W. 26th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: 816.888.8100

Photo credit: Visit KC (
Photo credit: Visit KC (

18th and Vine Historic District
The intersection of 18th and Vine in Kansas City is a historic center of African American culture. Home to famous jazz musicians “Count” Basie and Charlie Parker, the area is a modern and historical hub for jazz music. In addition to its music roots, the 18th and Vine Historic District also houses the American Jazz Museum, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and numerous Jazz and Blues music venues.

Location: 18th and Vine streets, Kansas City, MO, 64108

Photo credit: Visit KC (
Photo credit: Visit KC (