This duo of history-rich houses showcase antebellum architectural styles, while providing insight into the mores of the era. With four tour tickets total, the historically inclined can visit each house twice or bring a friend along for each visit, while family memberships net unlimited entries for the nuclear unit, along with advance invites to special society-only events. A Greek revival-style home from 1858, the John Wornall House beckons history lovers in to watch costumed reenactors living in the past, where they play period-specific video games while drinking period-specific Mountain Dew. Regular special events at the house include paranormal investigations by local ghost hunters and recreations of the house’s past as a Civil War hospital. Dogs can sprint across the lush grounds while their two-legged companions waft in luscious scents from the herb garden, which contains a variety of delicate plants used in medicines and recipes.
Though most pitchers clear their mounds at the slight rumor of a thunderstorm, the ones inside Kansas City Sports Club always stay dry and padded with footprints. In addition to pitching tunnels, hitting tunnels, and a turf infield that stays safe from outdoor weather conditions, the facility features a full fitness center that protects guests from the hazards of working out on treadmills in the wilderness. The fitness center features free weights and cardio machines with flat-screen televisions and free WiFi to keep guests informed and entertained during workouts.
Sprawled across Black Bob Park’s 80 acres, Blackbob Batting Cages and Miniature Golf enlivens friendly competition with classic outdoor pastimes. In the batting cages, sluggers-in-training swing at pitches thrown at 35–70 miles per hour, while pintsize to professional putters head to the 18-hole mini-golf course to take on its Lilliputian fairways and holes that act as portals to hobbit kingdoms. Black Bob Park also sports a playground, picnic areas, a public swimming pool, and a lighted basketball court.
Associate conductor Steven Jarvi channels the combined melodious might of the Kansas City Symphony and Symphony Chorus, KC Brass, Allegro Children’s Choir, and Rezound Handbell Ensemble through an all-new holiday celebration of sound. Mobs of merry musicians, rumored to include 12 drummers drumming and a possible 11 pipers piping, will feed hungry ossicles symphonic arrangements of Christmas traditions. Families coasting on waves of Yuletide joy will yearn to sing along with timeless carols perfected by years of door-to-door focus testing. To complete each holly-jolly evening, Santa Claus himself will make an appearance to play a 30-minute free jazz solo on his signature fur-fringed soprano saxophone.
Fine Arts Theatres’ four venues surround moviegoers with classic silver-screen ambiance as they present the latest independent and mainstream film offerings. Lovingly refurbished neighborhood movie palaces such as the early-20th-century Rio Theatre now boast surround-sound digital audio, high-backed rocker seats with arm-mounted cup holders, and movie trailers acted out by gregarious ticket takers. In addition to flicks opening each week, Fine Arts Theatres hosts the Gathr Preview Series each Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The group also holds screenings for the annual Kansas International Film Festival, voted the Best Local Film Festival by readers of The Pitch in 2011, as well as a Latin American Film Festival every September.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.