Want to explore northern Kansas City? Start with this beginner’s guide to the city | KCUR 89.3
North Kansas City has become a colorful community of businesses and attractions.
Several vibrant public murals add panache to the area, such as Andrei Krautsou’s “Power of the Titans” and Alex Eickhoff’s “The Wave.” The murals serve as a visual cue that there’s a lot more to North Kansas City than meets the eye, if you know where to look.
Whether you’re looking for a creative date idea or looking for your next neighborhood to explore, there’s plenty of adventure to discover in North Kansas City.
fun and games
Tavern Reroll is a paradise for those who love to play games. The tavern has an extensive game library with classic board games, role-playing games and more. Visitors can opt for a paid option or pay for a subscription. On the menu, pizzas, hot dogs, cocktails and beers to savor while embarking on an intrepid adventure.
North Kansas City is also home to the original Chicken and pickle, bringing together pickleball, garden games, a fast food restaurant and a bar under one roof. This indoor/outdoor entertainment concept has expanded to five other locations in the United States, including Overland Park, Kansas. Novice and experienced pickleball players have access to lessons, open games and leagues.
In Screenland Armor’s neon-lit basement, you’ll find Rewind video, a 1990s-inspired analog video store meets a dive bar. You can rent DVDs and VHS movies (a throwback to Blockbuster) or play video games on old game systems. Themed cocktails such as Adult Capri Sun add to the vintage experience. The bartender is rumored to be spinning vintage vinyl and playing cassette tapes at his discretion.
Fitness and integration
Want to get back into shape and change of pace? Head toward RoKC, an inclusive climbing gym designed for people of all ages and backgrounds. Equipment is available to rent, and a day pass (or membership) includes unlimited rock climbing, access to the fitness center, and a yoga class.
Speaking of yoga, founder Annie Walsh opened Songbird Yoga Studios on Swift Street in the heart of downtown North Kansas City. Walsh is the only instructor in the area trained to offer YogaHour, an alignment-based style hailing from Tuscon, Arizona.
Held on the first Saturday of each month, BRIGHT Yoga is a donation-based, family-friendly option for gentle yoga. Proceeds are donated to locally based Girls Leading Our World or a featured nonprofit.
The city is also home to a YMCAs offering a range of programs including adaptive/challenge sports where children of all abilities can play. Challenger Flag Football (which takes place Tuesdays from 6-7 p.m., August 30-September 20) allows athletes with special needs to participate.
In addition to an indoor pool, indoor basketball courts and a children’s area, the YMCA community facility is home to the New Americans Welcome Center, a community food pantry, the North Kansas Wellness Corner City Hospital and the Best Buy Teen Tech Center.
Arts, crafts and entertainment
Being crafty and creative in your free time is easy in North Kansas City. Driftwood ceramic offers an assortment of courses from beginner to intermediate level. It offers two classes for kids – ages 4-9 and 10-15 – or you can leave the kids at home for a Pints and Pots night, which takes place every Friday and Saturday night.
Check expressive studio, a visual and performing arts studio, for Mosaic Mondays, art classes for children and adults and music classes too. You can also book the studio for art-themed birthday parties for all ages.
If live entertainment and movies are more your pace, Screenland Armor Theater evokes this warm experience of old-fashioned cinema. Nearby, The Rinos schedule packs in live music, Song Lab open mic and Laugh Lab comedy open mic.
And don’t overlook the North Kansas City events calendar for Friday lunchtime musical performances in the park and other park events.
Eat, drink, be merry
Restaurants, breweries, bars, and other local food and drink businesses have been a driving force behind North Kansas City’s revival.
Wolcano Teppanyaki offers a teppanyaki hibachi grill, sushi, sashimi and Chinese food, a welcome extension to the local food offering. You can opt for a buffet or a la carte dinner.
iron district is full of options to quench your thirst and fill your belly. The outdoor dining area houses Vegan Cravea vegan burger stand, Thaiger’s Far East comfort food and taco tank.
Tiki Huna waits to serve imaginative cocktails from its hideaway tiki-themed bar, complete with a palm-thatched roof. Keep an eye out for monthly Retro Cocktail Hour get-togethers, where local tiki historians discuss historic cocktails.
Based on the aforementioned RINO, themed in punk/emo pop music sweet emotion serves vegan oat milk ice cream, shakes and other sweet treats.
Scimeca operates an Italian gourmet market and delicatessen. Come and taste the famous sausages, sandwiches, cheese lasagna, eggplant parmesan and other gastronomic delights.
Established in 1948, Paul and Jack’s Tavern is truly an old-school treasure trove adorned with NKC high school memorabilia, hosting live music and serving a variety of pub fare.
Keep your eyes open for Snow and Roast, blue color mobile cafe and shaved ice cafe. It serves a rotating menu of adventurous and tempting shaved ice flavors including horchata, mangonada, wedding cake and arctic tiger blood. Residents of northern Kansas City call Snow & Roast “a staple of walk-to-school days, Little League baseball, community outreach events, and the city-wide Halloween block party.” town”.
Go your own way
Another experiential way to discover the treasures of North Kansas City is the 7th Annual pint patha pub crawl with over 20 participating businesses on Saturday 24 September. The event showcases the opportunity to walk and cycle in the downtown district.
These highlights scratch the surface of what North Kansas City has to offer. RiverNorth District also lists events and a directory of dozens of local businesses, where visitors can eat, drink, shop and play throughout downtown North Kansas City.
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