Union Station picture
Henryk Sadura/Getty Images

Key Info

30 W Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO 64108

Details

Monuments and Memorials, Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.3scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Kansas City’s Union Station was built in 1914 and primarily used as a train station at that time. During World War II, the 850,000-square-foot compound continued to welcome patrons with restaurants, a barber shop and a cigar store, as well as professional spaces like railroad offices and the country’s largest Railway Express Building (for shipping freight and mail). Union Station shut down in the 1980s and almost faced demolition on several occasions. It reopened in 1999 (following a three-year revitalization project) and has since drawn tourists from around the world with its stunning chandeliers and 95-foot ceilings.

In addition to hosting weddings and business meetings, Union Station also displays exhibits ranging from the newly redesigned KC Rail Experience to an interactive center known as Science City. There is also a planetarium and theaters featuring giant-screen movies and live shows. The station still shows its roots, though; just like a century ago, you can still hop on an Amtrak train and head to a new destination. Recent visitors said the historical, beautifully restored building is a must-see. They also said it’s especially great for families traveling with kids (thanks to a number of child-friendly exhibits) but noted there is something there for people of all ages.

Admission costs vary, depending on which part of the station you wish to visit. There is a flat rate of $7 per person to visit the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, while seeing a movie at the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre can cost anywhere from around $5 to $10 per person. Enjoying a live performance at the City Stage Theatre may cost between $10 and $20 (or more or less, depending on the show). Tickets can be purchased online or in person. Entering the station itself is free of charge; you can do so between 6 a.m. and midnight every day of the week. To learn more, check out Union Station’s website.

See all Hotels in Kansas City »

More Best Things To Do in Kansas City

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art1 of 15
Arabia Steamboat Museum2 of 15
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

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.

Read more
Courtesy of Visit KC
See full list of Best Things To Do in Kansas City »

Explore More of Kansas City

When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 7 Best San Francisco Boat Tours

Take in the city's major sights by water with one of these excursions.

Holly JohnsonJuly 22, 2019

How to Pack a Suitcase: 16 Tips and Expert Tricks for Perfectly Packed Luggage

Take the stress out of vacation prep with these handy recommendations.

Lyn MettlerJuly 22, 2019

The 12 Best Niagara Falls Tours

Explore one of North America's most impressive natural sights and the surrounding region on a tour.

Lyn MettlerJuly 19, 2019

The Cheapest Ways to Travel: 15 Tips to Save Money on Your Next Vacation

These cheap travel tips can help you save big on your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonJuly 18, 2019

The 9 Best San Francisco Wine Tours

Taste some of America's finest wines on one of these daytrips.

John RodwanJuly 18, 2019

The 6 Best Sedona Jeep Tours

Take a rollicking ride through Sedona's natural beauty in a rugged SUV.

Holly JohnsonJuly 16, 2019

The 12 Top Florida Keys Beaches

Relax on the sandy shorelines from Key West to Key Largo.

Gwen PratesiJuly 15, 2019

The 15 Best New Orleans Walking Tours

Take on the Big Easy with a stroll through its streets.

Lyn MettlerJuly 15, 2019

The 8 Best Charleston Ghost Tours

Experience the Holy City's history and haunts on one of these excursions.

Holly JohnsonJuly 12, 2019

The 5 Best Oahu Helicopter Tours

Tour this picturesque island from the air on one of these excursions.

John RodwanJuly 11, 2019