Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesdays Travels: Kansas City!

I am really excited because today's Tuesdays Travels will focus on a place I might actually get to go next week, Kansas City! I have been to Kansas City twice when Wes was in medical school. Once we went specifically to go to Worlds of Fun and a KC Royals game only to discover that Worlds of Fun was already closed for the season when we got there (bad research on my part back then-I am much more focused on the details now). We did go to the Royals game and it was GREAT! The other time we went was with some great friends and we did a whole bunch of fun little activities. But since I am trying to see if we can spend my son's birthday there next week, I did some extra research on this one!! Also, I want to note that a lot of the info in this one comes from the official 2010 visitors guide that I requested and from the Visit KC website.

As always, I will use the following categories for this Kansas City post as part of my Tuesdays Travels series:

  • General Information
  • Getting there
  • Accommodations
  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Attractions and activities
  • Shopping
General Information

According to Kansas City wiki page:
Kansas City refers to two cities and a metropolitan area situated at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. Kansas City, Missouri, the largest city in Missouri, anchors the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, which has a population of over two million. Kansas City, Kansas sits across the river from downtown Kansas City, Missouri and is the third largest city in Kansas.
So, when I list the activities, I will denote whether it is on the Kansas side (KS) or the Missouri side (MO).

Getting There

Kansas City is fairly centrally located in the US, so driving to Kansas City is certainly an option to consider. If you live in Omaha, it is a really quick drive for a vacation-only about 3 hours!!

You may also look into flying. I recommend reading my Tuesdays Travels: Overview post for info on how I search for best flight prices and options.


I have been looking up hotel deals on the following websites: Expedia, Hotwire, Travelocity, and Cheap Tickets. You could also try to make an offer at Priceline, but I only try one offer there, then if I do not get it, I go somewhere else that works with me better than they do. It looks like there are great hotel options in Kansas City!

Right now you can get 1 star hotels as low as $32, 2 star hotels as low as $42, 2 1/2 star as low as $62. Keep in mind, these are the LISTED prices, which means you can likely name your own price for much less! You could end up getting some great hotel deals in Kansas City!!


In my experience in Kansas City, I would want to have a car to drive. I always drive there as it is a mere 3 hour drive, so I have the car with me anyway, but I would look into a car rental if you are flying in.  They do have a metro system though that you can look up here.

Well now, we all know you cannot go to Kansas City without trying the famous BBQ!  There are a ton of BBQ places around and we have typically just picked one that looked good as we drove by, and we have NEVER been disappointed! However, you probably want some picks from people that have tried them all, so please check out this article on about.com with their top picks.

My Favorite Food Network Show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri did a Kansas City BBQ show and it featured the following places: Johnny's BBQ, RJ's Bob-Be-Que Shack both in Mission, Woodyard Bar-B-Que in Kansas City, Kan., and Smokin' Guns in the Northland. I trust Guy's recommendations...

For a family fun meal, I also highly recommend checking out the Crayola Cafe.  We went there with friends and ALL our kids LOVED it!
As far as being frugal in Kansas City, I would try to get a hotel with a kitchen area and stop by your local Walmart and get some food to eat in your hotel!

Also, when you are planning to go to Kansas City, start checking out Groupon's Kansas City site daily to see what deals you can snag there. (As a total side note, if you do join and buy a Groupon, I would really appreciate if you do so under my referral link here.) FYI-TODAY's Groupon (July 20) is a GREAT Hotel deal-check it out here.

Attractions and Activities

Here are a few lists of things to do from me (there is way more to do that I am listing!):

Choose from these "Must see/do" for first timers
How to get discounts on some on the attractions that cost:
  • Oceans of Fun/Worlds of Fun discounts: 1-The Smart Source insert on Sunday July 11 here in Omaha had a $5 off Worlds of Fun, $2 off Oceans of Fun, $4 off Ride & Slide coupon. 2-It appears AAA has a discount for members (I am not a member so I cannot see what it is) 3-Both active and retired military personnel can save on admission. Save $3.50 w/valid ID at Oceans of Fun. Greater savings may be available when you purchase your tickets at a local ITR office 4-There is a coupon here for a Royals & Worlds of fun combo discount. 5-If you purchase tickets online at the Worlds of Fun website you get a $5 discount per ticket so it ends up as $35.99 instead of $40.99 (But even better is the deal on the website right now through July 31 where you can buy 2 or more tickets for $29.99).
  • Schlitterbahn has an online deal for a limited time where you can get 4 tickets for ages 3 and up for $99 on their website here.
  • When you are planning to go to Kansas City, start checking out Groupon's Kansas City site daily to see what deals you can snag there. (As a total side note, if you do join and buy a Groupon, I would really appreciate if you do so under my referral link here.)
  • Look for discounts online
  • Look in the travel books
  • Ask at the hotel for discounted deals-they often have discounts available if you ask.
  • Ask locals when you get there!
Free Attractions (My FAVORITE!!)
There are literally thousands to choose from. Since I have no clue what you will be interested in, can I recommend that you check out a travel guide (you can often find these at local libraries), go through it and pick the things you really want to do.

And Remember, you cannot so it all! Pick your favorites, then start looking for discounts.


Check out some of the following fun and interesting shopping destinations:


These are just the things I have learned in my Kansas City travel and research and my opinions on traveling to Kansas City. I am not the definitive Kansas City expert by any means. Please feel free to add your own tips and tricks to this and feel free to ask me any questions you might have.