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City Market – 7/100

City Market Kansas City

KC Activity #7 – City Market
20 E. 5th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105

Cost: Free
Atmosphere: Energetic, busy
Good for: Families, locals, tourists
Pro Tip: Don’t forget your reusable bags!

City Market produce

The City Market began in 1857 as a location for commerce, horse trading, political rallies, shows and circuses. In the late 1980s and 1990s, it was restored, becoming the open square market it is today. The square is surrounded by buildings that house restaurants, shops and produce stands, including Dutch Flowers, City Market Coffee House and Beignet. The Arabia Steamboat Museum (another thing on my list of 100 things to do) is also a tenet in the City Market.

City Market Coffee House

Though the City Market is open daily, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the best times to visit for the Farmer’s Market. The Farmer’s Market is a year round event, but it really booms during the spring and summer, while produce is in season. There are rows and rows of vendors throughout the square of the City Market selling fresh produce, cut flowers, baked goods, crafts and more. There are also usually musicians playing around the square and a kid zone with crafts, bounce houses and face painting.

City Market cacti

I love to start my trip to the Farmer’s Market with a coffee (and maybe a breakfast burrito or egg sandwich) from City Market Coffee House. There’s typically a line, but it goes quick. Plus, coffee is a necessity when it’s morning and there are crowds. If you’re a sweet breakfast person, stop next door at Beignet. They have regular powdered sugar-covered beignets or specialty ones that can be filled with chocolate, nutella, brie, etc.

City Market vendors

As you traverse the vendor stands, keep your eye out for samples. A lot of vendors will cut up their peaches, tomatoes and breads so you can try them before you buy them. Everyone is super friendly and quick to answer questions about unfamiliar produce. When I visited, a lot of vendors had squash blossoms. I had never seen that before, and a vendor told me that you can deep fry them and eat them. Who knew?

City Market flowers

And if you get a little overzealous in your produce and flower-buying, the City Market volunteers and their bright yellow wagons will help pull your haul to your car. xx, Libbie.

City Market art

 

Boulevard Beer Hall – 6/100

Boulevard Beer Hall Sign

KC Activity #6 – Boulevard Beer Hall
2534 Madison Ave, Kansas City, MO 64108

Cost: $
Atmosphere: Spacious, friendly, relaxed
Good for: Beer snobs, parties, happy hour
Features: Patio, photo booth, gift shop, foosball table.
Pro Tip: With a patio, board games, snacks and tasty beer, the Beer Hall is perfect for a Sunday Funday.

Boulevard Beer Hall Beer

Boulevard Brewing Company began in 1984, after owner, John McDonald, returned from a trip in Europe. He had been inspired by the complexity and variety of Belgian beers, and wanted to reintroduce great, diverse beer to the U.S. In 1989, Boulevard brewed the first batch of Pale Ale, and the company hasn’t stopped growing since.

Boulevard Beer Hall Signs

Last year, the new, 20,000 square foot Boulevard Beer Hall and Tours and Rec Center opened. The bottom floor houses the tour center and extensive gift shop, while the top floor is a spacious beer hall. Filled with rows of picnic tables, it draws from traditional German biergartens. It’s an awesome place to grab a flight of beer (they have 24 on tap!) and a pretzel dog while you hang out with friends.

Boulevard Beer Hall Building

Boulevard Beer Hall

Saturdays are probably the busiest and it can be hard to find a spot to sit, but late Sunday afternoons are perfect. My boyfriend, Q, and I shared a flight of their summer beers – American Kolsch, Ginger Lemon Radler, Noble Prize and Tropical Pale Ale. All four were great and the perfect refreshment on a warm summer day.

Boulevard Beer Hall Patio

Boulevard Beer

The people who work at Boulevard are very knowledgable about the different beers, and friendly, too. The bartender asked how our days were going, and seemed to genuinely care about our answers. He was also quick to recommend a few new options they had on the menu, which were great.

Boulevard Beer Hall Bar

The hours at the Beer Hall are my only complaint. It closes at 9pm on Thursday through Saturday (8pm the rest of the week), so get there earlier in the night for your Boulevard fix. xx, Libbie.

Boulevard Beer Hall Gift Shop

 

 

Miami Ice – 5/100

 

Miami Ice

KC Activity #5 – Miami Ice
1624 W 39th St, Kansas City, MO 64111

Cost: $
Atmosphere: Small town ice cream shoppe
Good for: Ice cream lovers, aka everyone
Pro Tip: Get custard at the bottom of your shaved ice

Miami Ice

Kansas City has a crazy amount of little districts, earning the nickname, “the city of cities”. Miami Ice is in one of my favorite areas – 39th Street. The few blocks of local shops, bars and restaurants have just about everything you could want. A kinda-sketchy, but awesome dive bar? Hi Dive Lounge. Shelves and shelves of secondhand books? Prospero’s. Surprisingly fresh Midwest sushi? Bob’s Wasabi. Tasty frozen treats year round? Miami Ice.

Miami IceI’m definitely biased because locally-owned ice cream shops are my favorite. Growing up in small town Iowa, almost every little town boasts their own shop. So to me, there’s something about Miami Ice that reminds me of home.

They have everything: shaved ice, soft serve, mixers, smoothies and more. I love to grab a sweet treat and hang out on their patio. If the patio is full (it’s pretty small, so it fills up fast), 39th street is a great place to explore on foot with a cone in hand.

Favorite treats:

  • Double Chocolate Turtle Miami Mixer (vanilla ice cream, pecans, caramel, chocolate chips and hot fudge 😍😍😍)
  • Scoop(s) of peanut butter ice cream
  • Tiger’s Blood and Cotton Candy shaved ice

There’s usually only 1-2 people working behind the counter, so it can get busy. Be patient, it’s worth the wait! xx, Libbie. Miami Ice

 

Tom’s Town – 4/100

Tom's Town

KC Activity #4 – Tom’s Town
1701 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64108

Cost: $$
Atmosphere: Gatsby-esque, Intimate
Cuisine:  New American
Good for: Date night, history buffs, booze lovers
Pro Tip: Belly up to the bar to watch the bartenders work their magic.

Tom's TownTom’s Town Distilling Co. is the first legal distillery in Kansas City since the prohibition.  We took the $10 tour, which is the perfect mix of distillery information and Kansas City history. You also get to sample each of the three spirits Tom’s Town distills – vodka, bourbon and gin. Their gin has 14 herbs and flavors, and was my favorite of the three.

Tom's Town

 

The namesake of Tom’s Town comes from Kansas City political boss of the 1930’s, Tom Pendergast. He ruled Kansas City’s political sphere, using his large network to help elect politicians –  sometimes earning 95% of the votes. He even launched the political career of former President, Harry S. Truman.

Despite the fact that Pendergast didn’t drink, his sway with local police allowed booze to flow throughout the Prohibition, and Kansas City became known as Paris of the Plans. Apparently when asked how he justified ignoring Prohibition, Pendergast said,  “The people are thirsty.” – now the motto behind Tom’s Town.

Tom's TownWe stopped in for a drink before our tour, and their specialty cocktails are incredible. We had the The Gambling Goat (Royal Gold Bourbon, Orgeat syrup, orange juice, black walnut bitters) and The Pinky Blitz (Eli’s StrongArm Vodka, orange & ginger liqueur, ginger beer and KCCCo. Blood Orange Ginger Shrub).

Other tasty-looking drinks:

Tom’s Town is just a few blocks from Power and Light, so be sure and stop in for a night cap. xx, Libbie. Tom's Town

Loose Park – 3/100

Loose ParkKC Activity #3 – Loose Park
5200 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64112

Cost: Free
Features: Tennis courts, running path, playground, rose garden
Good for: Families, runners, history buffs, dog lovers
Pro Tip: Bring a hammock. Loose has tons of trees, perfect for a relaxing day.

By the numbers:

  • 75 acres
  • 2.5 mile running/walking path
  • 4 tennis courts
  • 4,000 roses

Loose ParkFun fact – Loose Park is the site of a major Civil War battle – the Battle of Westport. Union soldiers forced the Confederates to where the park is now located. Today, there are plaques and even a Civil War-era cannon to commemorate the fight.

Loose Park Dog WalkingRight off the Country Club Plaza, Loose is good place to walk off that piece of salted caramel cheesecake you couldn’t resist at the Cheesecake Factory. It’s Kansas City’s third largest park, and always filled with runners, dog walkers, slack liners, sunbathers and frisbee players. I frequent Loose to run or hang out with friends while they’re walking their dogs (Hiiii Karlee and Cora). 

Loose Park RosesOne of my favorite parts of the park is the rose garden. In 1931, a group established the Kansas City Rose Society, and created their first garden with 120 rose plants. Today, the Loose Park Rose Garden has about 4,000 roses in the 1.5 acre garden. The garden is always gorgeous, even when it’s not in bloom.

I am always so surprised by how many people bring their hammocks to Loose. There’s always clusters of hammocks in the trees, and I get so jealous every time. Need a hammock asap. xx, Libbie.Loose Park