“Real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space.” – Orhan Pamuk
Can I just say, I love museums they’re almost always a wonderful experience and are often an underutilized activity to do. Since I’ve lived in Kansas City for a while now, I’ve been around the block a few times when it comes to museums here. Here is a list of the best museums to go to in Kansas City.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Right next to the Plaza this museum of Kansas City, it is recognized as one of America’s finest art museums. With 40,000 works of art, their collection covers everything from contemporary, African, Chinese, Modern, European, American, Native American, Regional, and more. Plus there is a cafe and restaurant inside.
Not only is the inside of the museum stunning but the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park is a sight to see as well. It is the perfect area for a picnic, walk, photoshoot, or anything else you may need.
Even if you aren’t particularly a fan of art there is so much to see and do here that it is unmatched. I’m not sure if they still have them but pre-covid they used to have free art classes or activities you could participate in.
On top of that, it is all free! Excluding the $12 parking, but if you park on the Plaza and walk over it is free.
National WWI Museum & Memorial
This museum is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering and understanding the war. They also place emphasis on how it impacted the world and all communities. It holds the most comprehensive collection of WWI memorabilia and it the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects.
This is another museum that also has a fantastic outdoor space that can be hiked, walked, picnicked in, and more for free.
This place was my favorite as a kid and I haven’t been back since then but honestly, I wouldn’t be opposed to going. It is such a fun area that makes learning extremely fun and engaging. Kids and adults can be entertained for hours on end throughout the different rooms, hallways, and exhibits.
They do a great job at showing how science is not just for school or the super smart people. Science is for everyone and it is in our day-to-day lives.
This museum is located at Union Station which means after you’re done with the museum there is plenty of other things you can do. It is also a short trip to Crown Center.
This is another one of the museums that brings me back to my childhood but I wouldn’t mind revisiting it. It is a place you can go to be free and creative without judgment. Something about the environment makes you feel good about your ideas and creates a welcoming feeling.
It is also free so everyone can enjoy it.
American Jazz Museum
This museum highlights the sights and sounds of jazz through its interactive exhibits and films. They have stations where you can actually listen to the music. It fully immerses you into the jazz experience so even if you don’t like it you can at least learn about it and appreciate it.
Since its creation in 1997, the museum has hosted thousands of people of the arts for over 200 performances, education programs, special exhibitions, and more.
Although this is far from the full list of museums in Kansas City they are a few of the greats. If you have another museum you’d recommend, in KC or not. I’d love to hear about it.!