It’s a big year in Kansas City tourism, with the coming of the NFL draft and the return of other marquee events like the NCAA basketball tournament. Kansas City is ready to impress visitors—and locals—with a huge new aquarium, the return of a beloved roller coaster and serious upgrades to several museums. Here are six spots to check out.
A new Aquarium at the Kansas City Zoo
The Kansas City Zoo is set to open a massive new aquarium later this year. The new Aquarium is broken up into six different zones and features thirty-four exhibits taking visitors through the different coastal currents. The aquarium is located near the Helzberg Penguin Plaza and is accessible year round. The aquarium is included in the price of a general admission ticket to the Zoo, so stop in and an up-close and personal experience learning about fascinating ocean life. Make learning fun! It is an educational experience you will never forget.
The New Zambezi Zinger returns to Worlds of Fun
If you’re a longtime Worlds of Fun fanatic, you might remember a thrilling ride called the Zambezi Zinger, which was decommissioned and sent to South America. Well, after nearly twenty-five years that coaster is making a miraculous return to Worlds of Fun in 2023. The coaster is 2,428 ft long and reaches a top speed of 45 mph. Rising seventy-four feet above the park, the coaster has a spiral ride up and fast drops and turns taking you on an unforgettable adventure through the African Serengetti. Whether you’re a fan of the original ride or are a first-timer, this coaster is a must-see attraction that will take your breath away.
The full rebirth of the Kansas City Museum
Recently renovated and restored, the Kansas City Museum is so much more than a historical archive. The museum features an extensive collection of Kansas City history, having over a hundred thousand artifacts on display throughout Corinthian Hall, and numerous interactive and media exhibits. While you’re there, travel through time and stop into Elixir, their classic 1920’s soda fountain, for a cold drink, or shoot some pool in the Billiard Room. The Museum also has its own boutique, Wisteria, and Cafe at 3218 where you can take cooking classes, watch demonstrations, and participate in tastings. The Kansas City Museum is so much more than a museum, offering something for everyone to enjoy. The establishment is set to reopen April 1, so mark your calendars because it’s an experience any Kansas Citian will not want to miss.
Independence’s emerging Englewood Arts District
Take a stroll through the charming downtown strip of the newly transformed Englewood Arts District in Independence, for a unique shopping experience. Englewood, a neighborhood centered around a historic theater has a wide selection of shops and eateries from coffee shops, diners, and upscale eateries, to art galleries and museums with each business having an art aspect. Grab a sweet treat at Frannie Franks Coffee Cakes and even create some of your own art at Potter Art, the local pottery painting studio. You can visit anytime during the week or attend monthly Third Friday Art Walks to see all that Englewood has to offer.
A full renovation of the Truman Library
Explore the newly renovated Truman Presidential Library in Independence. Step into the life and story of the American president with numerous exhibits and never-before-seen-artifacts. The sound-and-light immersive theater will take you back in time to teach you about WWI, WWII, the Cold War and the Korean War. Check out the vehicle collection parked in the lower level of the museum featuring a vintage 1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan limousine or stand in the center of an exact replica of the Oval Office. The Truman Library Institute provides a new experience and insight into the life of Kansas City’s very own.
Get cookin’ at the Green Hills Public Library Culinary Center
The newly renovated Mid-Continent Public Libraries just keep getting better and better, and the Green Hills Branch in far north KCMO is one you will definitely want to check out. The branch is home to the first culinary center in the region featuring a teaching and demonstration kitchen and two commercial kitchens. With classes for all ages you can learn everything about food from practical kitchen skills, to nutrition, to international cuisine. And if you are the entrepreneurial type, the commercial kitchens are available to rent for startup food businesses. So, go check out a book and get cookin’!