nelson atkins museum of art in kansas city at nighttime on a cloudy night
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Does it feel like you always go to the same places for dates, and you’re wanting to try something different? Or maybe you’re making plans for a first date and are aiming to impress? Perhaps you’ve gone through all the effort to book a sitter, and you want to make sure it was worth it.

Whatever your situation, our list of Kansas City date ideas covers it all: romantic, unique, interactive, cozy, outdoorsy, memorable, artsy, intimate – we have all the vibes you could want. 

As Kansas City midtown locals for over a decade, we’ve taken advantage of all the neat day date and date night options that our hometown has to offer. Whether we are looking to be swanky or are opting for low-key, we’ve made it a point to stay in the know on the best date ideas in the city.

And we’re ready to share the love – in this list, we’re including Kansas City’s best date ideas. 

The Best Date Ideas in Kansas City

1. Hammerspace Community Workshop Classes

Neighborhood: Midtown
Pricing: Varies

For those who enjoy working with their hands and creating objects, consider a class at Hammerspace. This community space contains machines and tools that allow members to do their own screen printing, metal working, black smithing, and more.

If you’re not a member, you can take one of their hands-on classes led by experienced instructors. Classes include topics like knife making, bladesmithing, welding, and jewelry making, among others.

2. The KC Improv Company At The Kick Comedy Theater

Neighborhood: Westport
Pricing: $15/ticket

We personally love The Kick Comedy Theater, a house comedy troupe specializing in improv. Be prepared to suggest mid-show improv topics! They offer shows most Fridays and Saturdays – their calendar of events is available on their website.

It should be noted that because it is improv, some shows will be funnier than others. In our experience of attending several shows, we always enjoy the experience. 

3. Tour a Local Distillery

Kansas Citians like their liquor, and they like it local. There are several craft distilleries in Kansas City that distill a variety of spirits, from rye whiskey to absinthe. The more established distilleries offer tours of their facility where you can learn about the distilling process, craftsmanship, and sample their products.

For excellent spirits served in a historic, yet trendy, ambiance, we recommend Tom’s Town and J. Rieger Co. for tours and tastings. 

kansas city distilleries
Lifted Spirits Distillery

4. KC Wineworks Wine & Chocolate Pairing

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Pricing: $20

Should a date night involve both drinks and dessert? Yes, please! You can get both at KC Wineworks, a local tasting room for a family-run winery with vineyards located in Missouri.

The tasting room is trendy and the knowledgeable staff are always willing to walk you through the various regional varietals and their natural wine making process.

They partner with local Christopher Elbow chocolates to provide a tasting of three wines paired with three chocolates. 

5. Art Classes At The Nelson-Atkins Museum Of Art

Neighborhood: Midtown
Pricing: $50 – $100, depending on the class

The historic and internationally-acclaimed Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art offers art classes for all skill levels. They offer an array of adult studio classes that invite participants to learn new skills, refine their talents, and find their place among other creatives.

While they have one session classes, several are two to four sessions. From the drama-infused “Watercolor: Shadow and Light” class that teaches glazing techniques, to the exploration of landscapes in “Exploring Nature’s Canvas”, there’s a rich variety of classes to suit any artistic interest.

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Nelson-Atkins Museum

5. Ceramic Classes at Belger Arts Studio

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Pricing: $100/couple

The couple’s pottery classes at Belger Arts Studio – a personal favorite of ours – are scheduled on select Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, providing a two-hour session of artistic collaboration.

Attendees can expect to engage in a hands-on experience, crafting pottery pieces in a lively and relaxed environment. It’s a perfect blend of learning a new skill and enjoying a shared experience, led by expert (and very patient!) artists.

Afterwards, the pottery is finished (clear glazed & fired) by staff and can be picked up five weeks after your class.

6. Classes At Local Pig Butcher Shop

Neighborhood: River Market
Pricing: $95 – $255

Meat enthusiasts will love a class at Local Pig, hosted on Sunday afternoons. The class is small in size, making it an intimate, hands-on experience.

Classes are open to all skill levels and will provide an informative, engaging experience. Class participants will enjoy beer and food while you learn about meat, cooking, and butchery. 

Local Pic butcher shop with wooden floors, a meat counter, and shelves of local Kansas City goods.
Local Pig

7. Charcuterie Workshop At Salumi Rose

Neighborhood: Waldo
Pricing: $75

Who doesn’t love a good charcuterie spread? Learn how to make your own at Salumi Rose’s charcuterie workshops!

You’ll learn what goes into making the best charcuterie spreads and take their customized charcuterie box home. You will also burn yout own design into a bamboo hardwood board, so you’ll have all you need to be able to host their own charcuterie night at home!

8. Visit Art Galleries on First Fridays

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District

Kansas City’s First Fridays is a monthly event that takes place in the downtown Crossroads Arts District. On the first Friday of every month, the streets come alive with a vibrant blend of locals and visitors looking to experience the best of Kansas City’s art scene.

Art galleries and studios open their doors to the public, displaying a wide array of artworks and creative pieces, while performers and musicians fill the air with vibrant tunes. In addition to the art scene, many of Crossroad’s local boutiques and shops extend their hours on First Fridays. 

kansas city art gallery
Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art

9. Visit West Bottoms on First Fridays

Neighborhood: West Bottoms

The First Friday weekend in West Bottoms is a cherished tradition that attracts both locals and visitors to Kansas City’s historic warehouse district. This vibrant area is known for its antique and home decor shops, offering a wide range of unique and eclectic pieces.

With many businesses only open on First Friday weekends, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore and discover rare collectibles, clothing, furniture, and more. The district’s rugged, industrial architecture provides a distinctive backdrop for a memorable morning or afternoon visit.

10. Climbing Course At RoKC

Neighborhood: North Kansas City
Pricing: $35/class

At RoKC, individuals looking to engage in climbing can expect a comprehensive experience tailored to all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned climbers.

They also offer classes, which are designed to help participants elevate their climbing abilities, with offerings such as Intro to Climbing, Top Rope Course, Lead Course, and Anchor Cleaning Via Lower.

The gym operates on the principle of “build it to give it away,” ensuring that every person who walks in the door has the best possible experience, whether they’re climbing a ladder for the first time or looking to take their skills to new heights. 

11. Stroll Around Loose Park

Neighborhood: Country Club Plaza

Locals adore Loose Park, and for good reason! There are several parts of the park to visit – stroll around the perimeter path, visit the rose garden, rest on a blanket on the expansive green space, read the historical markers, watch the ducks skim across the pond – truly, you could easily spend an entire afternoon in Loose Park!

loose park in kansas city missouri
Loose Park

12. Boulevard’s Rec Deck

Neighborhood: Westside

Rec Deck offers a variety of interactive activities like deck shuffleboard, tabletop shuffleboard, and foosball. The venue is known for its wide selection of Boulevard beers and beverages, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.

With an option for walk-in court rentals and advance reservations available on Fridays and Saturdays, it’s a great spot for casual competition and relaxation. The Rec Deck also features a menu of snacks and pizzas to enjoy alongside the games and drinks.

13. Picnic at a Local Park

Pricing: Starting at $199

Be outdoorsy – but not too outdoorsy – with a signature picnic provided by Pop Up Picnics KC. You can expect a luxury outdoor experience that’s both stylish and meticulously organized.

Each picnic is a magical event where every detail is taken care of for you, from finding the perfect spot to setting up a beautiful picnic area, complete with fresh flowers and chef-inspired food that’s sure to impress​. There are several parks to choose from – we recommend Loose Park or Gillham Park. 

14. Kansas City’s Jazz Clubs

Kansas City is the birthplace of jazz music, so it’s fitting that a date night could revolve around visiting a jazz club – or three! There are several in and around the city, each offering a different ambiance.

We love Green Lady Lounge for an intimate, swanky vibe, or The Majestic, a historic venue downtown with a speakeasy feel. The Phoenix features a jazz brunch in addition to their nightly live music. For an upscale experience, Lonnie’s Reno Club serves a pre-fixe menu in an intimate supper club ambiance. 

15. Chicken & Pickle

Neighborhood: North Kansas City

Kansas City has been named as one of the nation’s top pickleball destinations. So, why not include America’s newest pastime trend in your date plans?

At its core, Chicken & Pickle is known for its pickleball courts, providing you with the opportunity to engage in this fast-growing sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to the game, playing pickleball here is laid-back and enjoyable.

Apart from pickleball, Chicken & Pickle also features a variety of other games and activities. From cornhole and shuffleboard to boardgames, there’s no shortage of ways to engage in interactive activities.

The culinary experience at Chicken & Pickle is another highlight. They offer a menu focused on rotisserie chicken dishes, ranging from hearty sandwiches to healthy salads.

16. Shows at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is a beacon of artistic excellence. With its sweeping, rounded lines and glass façade, the building seems to dance gracefully with the city’s winds. Opened to the public in 2011, the Center houses two unique performance venues – the Muriel Kauffman Theatre and the Helzberg Hall.

Both are masterpieces in their own right, designed not just for visual impact but with acoustical excellence in mind. The Center is home to the Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the Kansas City Ballet. We personally loved seeing the Kansas City Symphony perform scores while they screened a Harry Potter film. 

kauffman center for the performing arts kansas city
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

17. Tour a Local Brewery

Kansas City is one of the nation’s fastest growing craft beer destinations – there are over thirty local breweries in and around Kansas City. Several offer brewery tours where you can learn about the methods behind their brews.

Alternatively, you can opt for a guided tour where a local expert will take you to several Kansas City breweries. 

brewery emperial in crossroads arts district is ecelxtic with blue walls and artsy decor
Brewery Emperial

18. Cooking Class At Billie’s Grocery

Neighborhood: Midtown
Pricing: Typically $125/person

We love the hands-on cooking classes at Billie’s Grocery. Led by skilled chefs, you will learn a variety of kitchen techniques that can elevate your cooking skills. What’s a great meal without good wine? Billie’s supplies the wine and cocktails are available to purchase.

Bright, airy, and modern describe the cooking kitchen at Billie’s, creating a welcoming environment for learning and creativity. With a diverse range of classes, from mastering fresh pasta to exploring the bold flavors of Korea, there truly is a class for every taste and interest.

billie's grocery cooking class kitchen
Billie’s Grocery

19. Folly Theatre

Neighborhood: Downtown

The Folly Theater, the oldest theater in Kansas City, has a rich history – it was once a burlesque house! At this historic venue, the Marx Brothers performed their antics, Gypsy Rose Lee and Fanny Brice received cheers, and Pinky Lee garnered applause.

The theater is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Its exterior is a marvel, while the interior offers comfort and elegance. The acoustics are comparable to Carnegie Hall.

As the “Grand Lady of 12th Street,” the historic Folly Theater continues to present quality events for the community. From live theater to jazz series, there is something for everyone.

20. Dine at Kansas City’s Hidden Gems

You already know the most sought-after restaurants in Kansas City – in fact, it seems like everyone knows about them. How about trying something different?

As Kansas City locals who appreciate every opportunity to experience the city’s culinary scene, we’ve noticed that a selection of restaurants seem to get all the hype. So, we’ve come up with a list of hidden gem restaurants in our hometown

21. Up Down Arcade Bar

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District

Step into a world of nostalgia at Up Down Arcade Bar, where you can enjoy a variety of classic arcade games underneath televisions playing 90’s movies and music videos. It’s a great casual option, ideal for an interactive date.

They have a full bar and an upstairs patio with great views of the city. 

22. Shuffleboard at Ludo’s

Neighborhood: Midtown
Pricing: $10 – 12/hour

Ludo’s is a 3-lane shuffleboard bar with retro vibes, cocktails, and comfy booths. It would make for a great interactive date night – even better if you bring another couple to share the lane with. 

23. Movie at Tivoli Cinemas in Nelson-Atkins Art Museum

Neighborhood: Midtown
Pricing: $13/ticket

Shortly after The Tivoli theater closed its doors in Westport, former theater owner Jerry Harrington approached the Nelson-Atkins with an innovative idea.

With a little work, the museum’s beautiful and historic Atkins Auditorium could transform into an arthouse theater and become the new home for Tivoli Cinemas – and that it did. Discover exceptional storytelling, new releases, documentaries, restored classics, foreign and art films at Tivoli, set in the beautiful Nelson-Atkins Art Museum.

tivoli cinema at nelson-atkins art museum
Tivoli Cinema

24. Visit City Market

Neighborhood: River Market

City Market is not just a market; it’s a vibrant hub of culture, food, and local charm. It’s best to visit on Saturday and Sunday mornings when the farmer’s market is underway. Meander through the stalls, picking up fresh fruits, vegetables, and artisanal goods. It’s a great way to support local farmers and makers! Oftentimes, there is live music. 

The City Market is known for its diverse food options – along the perimeter of the historic market are several small counter service eateries. Many of these are family-owned, and options include Middle Eastern, Filipino, Vietnamese, and Indian, among several others. Additionally, there are excellent restaurant options in the area.  

city market in river market
City Market

25. Corvino 10-Course Dinner

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District
Pricing: $150/person

The list of accolades for Corvino is lengthy, and includes a James Beard Semifinalist award for Chef Michael Corvino. The upscale, elegant New American fare is paired with live jazz music and dimmed lights to create an intimate ambiance. Their main space, the Supper Club, offers a wide variety of shareable plates based on seasonality. 

For a more unique date night, consider their Tasting Room, which offers 10 courses for $150, a small, intimate dining experience complete with an open kitchen, and access to Chef Michael Corvino.

Over roughly two and a half hours, you’ll embark on a culinary journey that masterfully displays Chef Michael’s relentless pursuit of innovation and simplicity, all grounded in a deep respect for ingredients and techniques. The sommelier will provide thoughtfully selected wine pairings that seamlessly complement the menu.

You’ll experience not only top-notch hospitality but also the region’s premier showcase of contemporary American fare.

26. Indulge in a Romantic Dinner

It wouldn’t be a list of date ideas without suggesting that you visit one of Kansas City’s more intimate, romantic restaurants for dinner. There are several date night restaurants to choose from, and we’ve listed them all for you!

romantic kansas city restaurant cozy in crossroads arts district
Rockhill Grille

27. Hop Around Brewer’s Alley

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District

Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District, located right in the heart of it all, is a locally beloved blend of urban art and culture – and it has increasingly become a sanctuary for craft beer aficionados.

In fact, a portion of the neighborhood has been dubbed Brewers Alleydue to the high concentration of breweries all within walking distance of one another. Consider trying different beer flights at several of them! 

kansas city craft breweries by neighborhood
Casual Animal Brewery

28. Explore Union Station

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District

Union Station isn’t just a train station; it’s a grand piece of history, brimming with charm and exhibits. The beaux-arts architecture alone is worthy of a visit – the ceiling in the Grand Hall is 95 feet high and features three chandeliers. There are several historical exhibits around the building to peruse. 

For a romantic nightcap, visit historic Pierpont’s for a cocktail or dessert – perhaps both! 

old mail carrier at union station
Union Station
train exhibit at kc union station
Union Station

29. Art Garden KC

Neighborhood: River Market

Art Garden KC is a grassroots, artist-led collective that hosts festivals and pop-up markets around the city. Their mission centers on creating an inclusive space for local creatives, nurturing a supportive community for entrepreneurs and encouraging consumers to actively impact their local economy.

They feature a diverse spectrum of artistic specialties—from ceramics, clothing, and printing to photography, woodworking, and beyond. Their events typically include food trucks, live music, and a vibrant atmosphere. Their website lists upcoming events. 

30. Boulevard Drive-In Movie Theatre

For a nostalgic date night, visit the Boulevard Drive-In Movie Theatre. This classic drive-in theater offers a unique blend of retro charm and modern cinematic experience.

The theater boasts a large screen with clear visuals, and the sound is transmitted directly through your car’s radio. The Boulevard Drive-In is a beloved Kansas City institution, offering a unique way to enjoy the latest films. 

31. Kauffman Memorial Garden

Neighborhood: Midtown

Kauffman Memorial Garden is a hidden gem. As you step onto the grounds, you’ll find a stunning array of seasonal flowers, lush greenery, and beautifully designed walkways. The garden is divided into several sections. The tranquil water features, including ornate fountains and reflective pools, add to the garden’s serene setting.

One of the highlights of Kauffman Memorial Garden is its diversity of plant life. It features a mix of native plants and exotic species, meticulously cared for, providing a vibrant display of colors and textures throughout the year.

The garden’s design also incorporates various sculptures and architectural elements that blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, adding an element of artistic beauty.

32. Kansas City Public Library’s Central Branch

Neighborhood: Downtown

As Kansas City locals, we are somewhat ashamed to admit that it was several years before we realized how neat the downtown Central Branch of the public library is. The Central Branch is housed in a striking historic building, which was once a bank.

Its grandeur is immediately apparent upon entering, with its tall ceilings, elegant decor, and an ambiance that harkens back to a bygone era of stately public spaces. The building’s blend of classic and modern design elements makes it a visually stunning locale.

The library features several small art exhibits, historical rooms, a rooftop architectural exhibit, and a small theater in the basement bank vault. 

kansas city public library central branch
Kansas City Public Library

33. Kemper Museum Of Contemporary Art

Neighborhood: Midtown
Pricing: Free

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is a leading presenter of contemporary art. Since 1994, it has connected Midwest communities with modern artists. With nearly 1,500 artworks in its permanent collection, the museum showcases a rotating selection in its Gunnar Birkerts designed building, alongside special exhibitions.

It focuses on emerging and mid-career artists, as well as historically excluded groups.

Consider visiting the on-site Café Sebastienne, which serves lunch and weekend brunch in two unique spaces: one an intimate dining room with a floor-to-ceiling installation of more than 100 paintings by Frederick James Brown, and the other a natural light-filled enclosed courtyard.

34. Nelson-Atkins Museum Of Art

Neighborhood: Midtown
Pricing: Free, advanced tickets required

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City was founded in 1933. The museum itself is a work of art, seamlessly blending modern architecture with classical elements.

Over the years, the museum has grown and now houses over 42,000 works of art. With an annual visitor count of 500,000, the Nelson-Atkins Museum continues to be a cultural hub for art enthusiasts.

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Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The collection at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art includes works from all corners of the globe, spanning over 5,000 years of human history. Visitors can explore ancient Egyptian art, European paintings and sculptures, Asian art, photography, and contemporary pieces. 

While the museum interiors are impressive, the grounds are worth exploring as well. Named one of America’s ‘Top Ten Lawns with a View,’ the 22-acre Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park is home to the nation’s largest collection of monumental bronzes by Henry Moore. The Sculpture Park also features Kansas City’s iconic installation Shuttlecocks.

shuttlecock statue on the front lawn of nelson atkins museum of art in kansas city
Kansas City Shuttlecocks
egyptian exhibit at the nelson-atkins museum of art
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

35. Kansas City Museum

Neighborhood: Historic Northeast
Pricing: Free General Admission

The Kansas City Museum is housed in the majestic Corinthian Hall, built in 1910 as the estate of a local lumber baron. The Beaux-Arts style building itself is a sight to behold with its grandeur and historical significance.

Walking through the halls takes you on a stroll through time. The museum showcases the rich history of Kansas City, from its early days to the vibrant city it is today. You’ll find exhibits that transport you to different eras, capturing the essence of Kansas City’s evolution.

exhibit of aviation at the kansas city history museum
Kansas History Museum

The main feature, Corinthian Hall, is a former mansion that has been restored and renovated. General admission grants you access to the self-guided exhibits in this space, including the Billiard Room, which features board games, cards, and, of course, billiards. 

Tickets can be purchased for guided tours. Additionally, they host several events throughout the year. The grounds and gardens are lovely – ideal for a stroll on a warm day. 

interior of kansas city history museum
Kansas History Museum

36. Arabia Steamboat Museum

Neighborhood: River Market
Pricing: Adults $16.50, Seniors (60 and older) $15.50

The Arabia Steamboat Museum tells the story of the Arabia, once a bustling vessel that navigated the challenging waters of the Missouri River. It met its fate in 1856 after hitting a snag just north of Kansas City.

Buried beneath a Kansas cornfield for over a century, the boat’s cargo hold, loaded with 200 tons of supplies for frontier life, was rediscovered in 1988. Dubbed the “King Tut’s Tomb of the Missouri River,” the artifacts found inside are a time capsule of frontier existence.

Your visit to the Arabia Steamboat Museum is a self-guided tour through the artifacts, complemented by short videos narrating the excavation’s legendary tale. Additionally, the museum’s location within City Market means there’s plenty to see before and after visiting the museum. 

37. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Neighborhood: 18th & Vine
Pricing: Adults $10, Seniors (65+) $9

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM), an integral part of the cultural museums in Kansas City. The NLBM stands as a testament to the resilience, talent, and impact of African-American baseball players who, against the backdrop of segregation, created a legacy that echoes through American history.

Negro League Baseball Museum
Negro League Baseball Museum

The museum, established in 1990, meticulously recreates the feel of the game’s storied past. The expansive multimedia exhibit takes visitors on a chronological journey from the origin of the Negro Leagues after the Civil War to their end in the 1960s.

The NLBM is laid out as a timeline intertwining the history of the Negro Leagues with the broader context of American history.

Negro League Baseball Museum
Negro League Baseball Museum

Exhibits feature hundreds of photographs, historical artifacts, and interactive stations that bring to life the stories of Negro Leagues legends, and a documentary film narrated by James Earl Jones delves into the leagues’ history with vintage footage. 

Negro League Baseball Museum
Negro League Baseball Museum

38. National WWI Museum

Neighborhood: Midtown
Pricing: Adults $18, Seniors (65+) $14

Initially opened in 1926 as the Liberty Memorial, the WWI Museum was later designated by the United States Congress in 2004 as the official war memorial and museum dedicated to World War I.

Today, the museum, designated as a National Historic Landmark, features a captivating narrative that unfolds within the expansive facility. 

The museum’s aboveground design showcases classical Egyptian Revival architecture. The Liberty Tower, standing at 217 feet, is crowned with four sculptures, the Guardian Spirits, representing virtues like Honor and Sacrifice. Visitors can spend time walking around the grounds and developing an appreciation for the historical architecture and features. 

Inside, the museum unfolds as a comprehensive journey through World War I, holding the most diverse collection of objects and documents related to the war. Two main galleries cover the Great War’s global events and the United States’ role, offering a deeply personal exploration of courage, honor, patriotism, and sacrifice.

39. TWA Museum

Neighborhood: Downtown
Pricing: Adults $12.00, Seniors (age 60+) $8.00

You’ve likely heard of pioneering Trans World Airlines (TWA), but did you know that the Kansas City downtown airport once housed the TWA headquarters? You can learn all about the rise and fall of TWA at this museum where the exhibits weave a compelling narrative, spanning from the early days of airmail to TWA’s global route expansion post-WWII. 

The museum’s mission is to preserve and celebrate TWA’s pioneering spirit and contributions to aviation history, all while educating and inspiring future generations. What makes this museum truly special is its roots – it’s housed in the very building that was TWA’s original corporate headquarters. 

During your visit, you can marvel at meticulously curated artifacts that tell the story of TWA, a reminder of TWA’s once-dominant presence in the city. Beyond aviation, discover the profound impact TWA had on Kansas City’s economic landscape and witness the technical prowess of TWA’s mechanics.