We're Still in Kansas, Toto - My Family Travels
William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City

“Where are you from?”

“Kansas City.”

“Oh…so you live on a farm, right?”

I cannot even count the number of times I have received this response after informing someone of my place of residency. I usually figure that including the word “City” in my answer should suggest that I do, in fact, live in a city but I am almost always proven wrong. I learned, at a young age, that answering the question with a mere “Kansas” jolts people’s minds into picturing Dorothy and the Scarecrow frolicking around in wheat fields rather than my mid-sized suburban home with a “farm” absolutely nowhere in sight.

So now for the real Kansas City: the city that every tourist must visit for its undeniable charm, enriching history, and thriving culture. When family members from oFut of town come to Kansas City to visit, my parents and I dust off our “Top Places in KC” list and prioritize the different places depending on the person’s interests since Kansas City is so diverse in what it has to offer.

For the artsy family members, we like to take them to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and, most recently, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. These two exceptionally designed buildings boast extraordinary varieties of art from sculpture masterpieces to live concerts. For the sports-enthused, Kansas City offers Sporting Park, home to soccer team Sporting Kansas City, as well as Kauffman and Arrowhead Stadiums, home to the Royals and Chiefs. When the occasional history buff comes to town, we make sure to show off Liberty Memorial, which the United States Congress chose as the site for the National World War I Museum. The kids that visit enjoy the city’s theme and water parks, Worlds and Oceans of Fun, as well as the numerous pumpkin patches open to the public during the fall months. Lastly, for young adults looking for a good time, the Power and Light District offers vibrant nightlife with its variety of restaurants, entertainment, and shopping. The Crossroads District is yet another trendy area full of entertainment, art, and restaurants. On the first Friday of every month, people from all over Kansas City flock to the Crossroads for a night of gallery exploring accompanied by music and food tasting.

There are also seasonal events that Kansas Citians enjoy and recommend to tourists, including the Jazz Festival in June (as Kansas City is famous for its jazz), the Irish Festival in late August, and the Kansas City Ballet’s The Nutcracker performances during the holiday season. The area is also known as the City of Fountains, being that it has over two hundred fountains and is second in the world only to Rome for its number of these water-spouting art pieces.  As for food, Kansas City is renowned for its mouthwatering barbeque. Oklahoma Joe’s and Arthur Bryant’s are among the most popular restaurants for their tender ribs, flavorful brisket, and sensational pulled pork.

Kansas City is a marvelous place to visit and live due to its hospitable people, divine food, and thrilling entertainment. It’s the perfect spot for a weekend getaway and being in the middle of the country, it makes for easy access. The Kansas City International Airport is just twenty minutes from downtown for those wanting to fly. As for you drivers, know that traffic never gets too overwhelming. So, join us in Kansas City for a most spectacular time!

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