Kansas City’s Hidden Gems

Bored this weekend? Nothing to do over Spring Break? Check out a few of KC’s underrated attractions!

Sophia Meyer, Reporter

Have you ever really explored Kansas City? There is so much more to this vibrant city than meets the eye. Whether you visit a new local bakery or take a trip downtown, devote a weekend (or a few) to explore the many offerings of our wonderful city.


Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

While many people are familiar with the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, not many realize that the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art resides just across the street. Not only does the museum offer free admission to its galleries, but they also offer artist workshops, talks, performances, and more. The museum’s mission is “To be a leading presenter of groundbreaking exhibitions that support contemporary communities, artists, and ideas, as well as an inclusive center for creative expression and meaningful engagement with the art of our time,” and they truly do that by incorporating a variety of artwork, history, and beliefs into their exhibits.

Art can be outside too! The Kemper’s grounds are adorned with giant metal sculptures. (Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art)

This museum is a wonderful place to admire the beauty of contemporary art while simultaneously enjoying downtown Kansas City. The Kemper is open Wednesday through Saturday at varying hours. Turn your visit into an excursion by also enjoying the onsite cafe and gift shop.


Kansas City River Market

If you haven’t visited the River Market, you are missing out. Being the oldest district in Kansas City, this vibrant village is packed with energy, culture, and history. Over the years it has developed into an exciting place to live, dine, work, and explore. The area is well-known for the City Market Farmers Market – the largest farmer’s market in the region open year-round. It truly embodies the phrase “farm-to-table,” and many of the vendors and merchants are local business owners. Not to mention the famous bouquets of flowers that also hail from this area!

The quaint village also holds many restaurants and shops including the famous Betty Rae’s Ice Cream, Opera House Café, Al Habashi House, Minsky’s Pizza, and much more. But after you have taken a moment to gorge yourself with the diverse food offerings, remember to explore the local shops in the area. There are many unique finds in the River Market, so you may find yourself spending the entire day in this neat part of town! 


Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Monet’s Garden at the Overland Park Arboretum. (Sophia Meyer)

There’s nothing as charming as spending a sunny spring day admiring the wonders of nature. One of the best places to do this is at the Overland Park Arboretum. The 300-acre landscape houses over 1,700 species of plants, six miles of trails, open prairies, wildlife, ponds, and more. The Arboretum also offers educational programs, child discovery programs, and seasonal events such as the famous Luminary Walk in the winter and the Enchanted Faire gallery in the summer. However, guests are more than welcome to visit anytime and explore the many wonders of the gardens. Its offerings are endless, and multiple trips are recommended to get the best experience possible.

The Arboretum is open all year round, with extended hours in the spring and summer. Admission to the garden is three dollars for those aged thirteen and older. 





Local Bakeries

Kansas City is home to many iconic and highly-rated bakeries. One such is McLain’s Bakery. McLain’s has been in business since 1945, living out their statement of “Making Life’s Moments Sweeter.” Not only are they a bakery, but also a cakery, coffee shop, and eatery. They currently have locations in Waldo, Overland Park, Shawnee, and Lawrence. McLain’s serves gourmet sweets, varying from intricately decorated cookies to neatly frosted cakes to beautiful chocolate-covered strawberries. However, they also serve breakfast, sandwiches, salads, coffee, and more. This friendly neighborhood bakery is sure to steal your heart – and your taste buds!

Selection of pastries from Tous les Jours Bakery and Café. (Sophia Meyer)

A bakery located in Overland Park, Tous les Jours is a chain of French-Asian bakeries committed to serving traditional French-Asian inspired pastries, breads, cakes, and beverages. Each item is made fresh every morning and promises to bring a high level of quality to their customers. If you visit Tous Les Jours (meaning “every day” in French), you are bound to experience a true taste of France through their top-tier bakes. 

Intricately decorated Chiefs cookies from Best Regards Bakery. (Sophia Meyer)

Best Regards Bakery and Cafe is another Kansas City “must-try.” Started in 1993, Best Regards has grown into a booming bakery business since then. They specialize in gourmet cookies, and have even appeared on the Food Network Christmas Cookie Challenge. However, they bake much more than cookies. They also specialize in cinnamon rolls, bread, ice cream, soups, sandwiches, and more. Currently in very high demand are their KC Chiefs themed celebration cookies! If your mouth is watering for a sweet or savory treat, definitely take a trip to visit Best Regards Bakery and Cafe!


“Home: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.” Home | Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, https://www.kemperart.org/. 

“Homepage.” Kansas City River Market, https://kcrivermarket.com/. 

“Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.” City of Overland Park, Kansas, https://www.opkansas.org/recreation-fun/arboretum-botanical-gardens/.

“Local Bakery, Cakery, Eatery & Coffee Shop.” McLain’s, https://www.mclainskc.com/

“Home.” Tous Les Jours, 6 Dec. 2022, https://www.tljus.com/. 

“Best Regards Bakery & Café.” Best Regards, 913-912-7238, Home Page, https://makethemsmile.com/index.html.