Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art#1 in Best Things To Do in Kansas City
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art appeals to many kinds of visitors, such as little kids who appreciate the giant badminton birdie installations (four 18-foot shuttlecocks, to be exact) on the 22-acre lawn, or adults who enjoy the play of light in Caravaggio's "Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness." The art museum's permanent collection spans thousands of years, includes more than 35,000 pieces and features art from Europe, Asia and America. The museum also displays interesting architectural pieces like centuries-old furniture and stained glass windows, in addition to more modern paintings, prints and drawings, sculptures and photography. What's more, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art showcases different exhibitions every year across a variety of mediums; check the site for upcoming exhibits during your visit.
Visitors are consistently impressed with this museum, saying they could spend hours perusing the interesting art. Recent travelers called out the massive sculpture park for its host of unique installations and said the grounds were delightful to stroll on a nice day. Many said they also appreciated that there was no fee to browse this museum's extensive collection of works.
You'll find the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art less than a mile northeast of the Country Club Plaza. Admission is free, and you can visit from Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays and Fridays until 9 p.m. Garage parking is available on-site for a fee; there is also a B-cycle bike-share station on Oak Street near the attraction. For additional information, check out the museum's website.
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#2 Arabia Steamboat Museum
The side-wheel steamer Arabia was constructed in 1853 for powering through the muddy Missouri River waters with up to 200 tons of supplies in tow. But later, it snagged a felled tree trunk and quickly disappeared under the sea. More than a century later, David Hawley discovered the sunken steamer a half-mile from the river bank beneath 45 feet of earth; it then became the focus of the Arabia Steamboat Museum.
Today you can take a tour of the steamer's deck and hull, but there's also a great deal more to see. The museum features a general store, a cargo gallery and several other galleries with odds and ends recovered from the excavation of the great Steamboat Arabia. In addition to seeing many of the well-preserved cargo pieces that were excavated from the wreck, the tour includes a video summarizing the history of the Arabia and how they were able to retrieve the supplies.
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