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Spend a Summer Weekend in Kansas City

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With world-class museums, America’s best barbecue, professional sports teams and family-friendly attractions, Kansas City has emerged as an entertainment hub ideal for a long weekend getaway.

One Stop for Families
At the center of entertainment in Kansas City is the 85-acre Crown Center complex, complete with attractions and events that appeal to all ages. Families can spend the entire weekend in the complex, jumping from LEGOLAND Discovery Center to SEA LIFE Aquarium before retiring to Sheraton Kansas City or Westin Kansas City. Catch a show at Kansas City’s kid-centric theater, The Coterie, and refuel at Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant, which Food Network deemed Missouri’s most family-friendly restaurant, or one of the other 20 dining options located within Crown Center.

Summer visitors get a special treat at one of the many outdoor events throughout the city, from shopping at the annual Antique Festival and Hallmarket, to celebrations of music, culture and food, including the Kansas City Irish Fest, Kansas City Chalk & Walk and Middle of the Map music festival.

Adults have spots carved out in Crown Center, as well. Explore Halls, Kansas City’s favorite specialty department store since 1916, plan a date night at MTH Theater or catch a flick under the stars on Friday nights from July 6 through August 3 at Crown Center’s WeekEnder series.

Cultural Collections
Families are just one focus in Kansas City; culture junkies and history buffs can plan a packed weekend, too. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which is always free to visitors, has been nationally recognized for its neoclassical architecture and extensive collections of ancient, contemporary and Asian art. Round out the cultural tour with stops at the National Museum of Toys and Miniature, Science City at Union Station Kansas City and Arabia Steamboat Museum. For fun and interactive history lessons, Hallmark Visitors Center gives a look at how Hallmark Cards has become an icon in Kansas City over the last 100 years. Or check out the National World War I Museum and Memorial, which tells the story of WWI throughout its 32,000-square-foot exhibit space and surrounding gardens.

Beer & Barbecue
It’s hard to go wrong with BBQ in Kansas City, but the one spot that tops every barbecue lover’s list is Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que. The smokehouse serves up slow-smoked meats slathered in sauce and has received national attention, coming out as number one on Time Out’s list of the 28 best barbecue restaurants in America. Wash down the pulled pork or beef brisket with one of the many locally brewed craft beers in the area. There are breweries, beer festivals and tours to choose from with Kansas City Bier Company standing out as a top choice.

Written by: Anne Deuschle