How to: Experience the Kansas side of Kansas City

Kristen McMillen

Kansas City is a tale of two cities: One in Missouri, the other in Kansas.

While the Plaza, downtown and Westport may be great nearby places in Missouri, there are also some great places to visit in Kansas.

The state is only a few minutes away from the UMKC campus. Missouri residents should venture outside of the Show-Me state. Here is some of what Kansas has to offer.

The Legends

This outdoor shopping district is near the Kansas speedway. There are shops for just about everyone. Stores include Banana Republic Outlet, Forever 21 and Converse, to name a few. Guests can stop for a bite to eat at one of the fast food chains or restaurants. Don’t be frightened by the large dinosaur outside the T-Rex restaurant, which offers a selection of finger foods and unique underwater scenery. Even the paths of the Legends display an inviting atmosphere with tasteful fountains. It’s a great place to shop with friends or bring a date. For more information visit


For the kid in all of us, PowerPlay offers arcade games, go-kart racing, bumper cars, cosmic mini golf, laser tag, a tilt-a-whirl and pizza. You can collect the tickets from the arcade games to win prizes. PowerPlay is located in Shawnee, Kan. After an exam, it is fun to come here with the excuse to relive childhood days. Occasionally there are special events listed on the website. Check it out at


German for “slippery road,” this water park offers some of the most interesting water rides. The park, which originated in Texas, has made its way to the midwest. Schlitterbahn is a great place to enjoy the hot summer weather in Kansas City, Kan. Schlitterbahn has yet to complete all phases of construction, but some parts of the park are open. Torrent River, Storm Blaster, Kristal River, Wolf Pack Tube Slide and more await park visitors. When all phases are completed, it is expected to be a year-round water park. Keep this water park in mind for next summer.

Johnson Drive

This street has a row of restaurants, fast food joints and small businesses. It’s a fun place to go for lunch. Many of the small diners offer reasonable prices. Whether you are craving a hamburger or a Chinese buffet, you can find it on Johnson Drive. Take a spin back to the past with Town Topic. Town Topic serves up hamburgers, ice cream and French fries for the diner food craver.

Strawberry Hill Museum

For the artistic and creative students, the Strawberry Hill Museum displays a range of silk tapestries. It also contains a couple of permanent exhibits. There are even exhibits for specific countries, including Croatia, Ukraine, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia and Russia. For more information on the Strawberry Hill Museum, visit

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