The Junior League of Kansas City has donated more than $14 million and 2.2 million hours of time since its founding in 1914. Spearheading these efforts are the nonprofit organization’s now 1,400 female members, all of whom are committed to their volunteer work and to encouraging others to donate their time as well. Their sheer numbers allow the ladies to form 700-on-700 pickup basketball games and to spread out across the community to get a pulse on current issues in need of attention—currently, children’s nutrition and fitness. To help support their efforts, these stalwart altruists host fundraisers throughout the year. Since it began in 1988, Holiday Mart has helped to raise more than $8 million for Kansas City community projects.
Roller skates, rainbows, and glitter erupt in flamboyant fashion in Starlight Theatre’s production of Xanadu, a mythology-inspired camp-rock romp that raises eyebrows and elicits laughs from the audience as winged horses and Greek gods skate across the stage. Inspired by the 1980s cult-classic, Tony Award–nominated film of the same name, Xanadu tells the timeless love story of a man, his muse, and his roller disco. Sincere yet intrinsically campy, this parody unleashes a glitzy onstage discotheque populated by a roster of tuneful trolley-shoes, each sporting sparkling costumes while belting out memorable hits from the likes of Olivia Newton John and Electric Light Orchestra.
The Main Street Mile is a fun event in which pavement-traversing mettle can be tested without pulling a semi-truck with one’s teeth. As the most significant street in the City of Fountains, Main Street sees its share of trampling flip-flops and skipping running shoes; the Main Street Mile race focuses on raising awareness of the street’s changing face and helps not-for-profit organizations work toward improving the renowned corridor. There is a family run and walk at 9 a.m. as well as a competitive heat at 9:30 a.m. Additionally, prizes (you'll receive a free T-shirt), food and drinks, and children’s activities will be available at race's end to ensure the whole family and lost Vikings are entertained. Build community awareness with a brisk run thanks to today’s side deal.
Howl at the Moon’s trademark dueling pianos serve as the epicenter of nightly celebrations, as patrons submit their favorite songs on slips of paper for the pianists and backing musicians to recreate. If the website’s playlist is any indication, the bands can handle popular songs from all genres and eras, from Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” to Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.” The performances are spirited: colorful lights splash upon a stage where servers, guests, and chairs that have somehow developed mobility all dance along to the music.
Fueling the celebration is the bar’s indulgent selection of drinks. Servers stand over patrons to plunge jello injectors into their mouths, and revelers grab colorful straws to help drain 86-ounce booze buckets filled with sangria or other fruity libations. Pomegranate liqueur and honey-infused whiskey sweeten specialty cocktails, and local beers add depth to coolers stocked with Sam Adams and Harpoon IPA.
When Joe Zwillenberg bought Westport Flea Market Bar & Grill, he preserved "an irreplaceable piece of the city's character," according to the Pitch, which dubbed him Kansas City's Best Local Hero in 2006. Thanks to Joe, the close to 30-year-old establishment—which had been marked for takeover by a national chain—is still churning out its famous 10-ounce burgers today. Made with ground Prime cuts of Kansas City strip steak and fillet from McGonigle's Market, the hearty handhelds earned CityVoter's Best Burger awards in 2008 and 2009 and were featured on Food Network's Meat & Potatoes in 2010. Diners can customize each time-honored patty with onions, pickles, or shredded historical documents from the condiments table.
The eatery—which is nestled within a bustling flea market—also offers 44 beers on tap, live music, and a game room with pool tables, foosball, and an arcade. It is also the home of the Tiger Club of Kansas City's weekly luncheons, which boast high-profile speakers from the world of sports.
Summer relishers can splash their way to sybaritic fun at The Jones, an adults-only rooftop watery haven with a swim-up bar and gorgeous vistas of Kansas City. The Jones encompasses 20,000 square feet of rooftop pool deck and features 12 private cabanas (additional fees apply, reservation required) and a communal outdoor shower. Guests can play Where’s Magellan? in the water or repose around the pool’s perimeter in an assortment of single lounge chairs all summer long. Everyday, the aqueous revelry is set to the flowing music of DJs hailing from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Kansas City. Parched patrons can quaff a cocktail at the 150-foot bar space or stay submerged at the swim-up bar, where the friendly staff mixes specialty drinks.