A glass bridge is suspended above a field of 9,000 red poppies, each flower representing 1,000 soldiers who died in the Great War. This living symbol is one of the many powerful exhibits within the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, the only museum in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to World War I and dedicated by Congress as the nation's official World War I museum in 2004.
Designed by Ralph Appelbaum, who also lent his expertise to such landmarks as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National World War I Museum integrates first-person accounts into a narrative that flows through its permanent and visiting exhibitions. The museum's collection comprises World War I artifacts such as field artillery, a 1917 Harley Davidson motorcycle, and unopened cigarette packs from a 1914 Princess Mary Christmas Box. Beyond the exhibitions, the museum extends to Over There Caf? and a gift shop.
At nighttime, you can see Milano Italian Dining's dining room glowing through its glass walls long before you smell its steaks, sauteed shrimp, and grilled salmon. The restaurant has as much elegance in its architecture as it in its food, sporting a design from the award-winning Aumiller Youngquist firm that looks out on Crown Center's iconic 25-foot spouts of fine white wine. Entrees run the gamut of Italian classics, from brick-oven margarita pizza to shrimp scampi to cornmeal-dusted calamari with pepperoncini, cherry peppers, and spicy marinara.
Taste of KC treats visitors to a culinary tour of the city with samplings of beer, wine, cocktails, and food from local restaurants, chefs, and breweries. In the heart of the Power & Light District in Kansas City, guests enjoy tasty craft beers from Tallgrass Brewing and mixed drinks from Smirnoff. Explore the local food landscape with samplings from Blue Bird Bistro, Los Alamos, Couscous Gyro Kebab, Funnel Cake Truck, and Wood + Salt.
At Screenland, campy and classic are rarely mutually exclusive terms. The movie theater serves as a cinematic time machine, transporting spectators through the history of Hitchcock's mysteries and straight into the heyday of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Though it also shows current titles, its schedule is often beholden to audience whims—the Crossroads location hosts new independent films that are uniquely screened at this sole location. This dual devotion to cherished and modern flicks helped Screenland earn the 2012 Readers' Choice award for Best Movie Theater from the Pitch.
Even outside the projection room, nostalgia rules. More than 40 games, from Donkey Kong to Missile Command, test dexterity at the Crossroads location's retro arcade, where guests can purchase passes to play indefinitely or until Frogger finally flags down a cab. Photographs taken by former Kansas City mayor Dick Berkley accompany historical trivia in the adjacent gallery, and celebrity handprints mark the outdoor patio. Greeting cinephiles out front is a marquee salvaged from the Isis Theatre, just as it once greeted a young Walt Disney when he shared his early animations there.
Wedding receptions and corporate meetings alike have taken advantage of the theater's capacity for private functions. At both exclusive and public events, however, a full-service bar supplies guests with libations, cracking open bottles of Boulevard Pale Ale and Tallgrass Velvet Rooster.
Armed with passed-down family recipes, two tenacious sisters serve up fresh dinner rolls baked on-site alongside sandwiches, salads, and soups that eschew preservatives in favor of all-natural ingredients. Big Momma's famous cinnamon rolls come in a triumvirate of flavors and boast diameters of up to 9 inches, making them qualified Frisbee stunt doubles. An aromatic duo of breakfast sandwiches and coffee pries open eyes each morning, and lunchtime hails a parade of hearty sandwiches with turkey, roast beef, and veggie fillings, which patrons can order solo or flanked by a bowl of the daily rotating soup.
Founded and exclusively run by practicing theater artists, the Kansas City Actors Theatre brings peerless artistry to carefully curated seasons of theatrical classics. Eschewing such crutches as flashy effects, ornate costumes, and post-show hypnotists that tell the audience they enjoyed themselves, the Theatre relies foremost on the talent of its actors to bring plays to life.