Though it was once the sport of choice for the nation’s well-heeled gentry, croquet slowly found itself relegated to being a game played at family reunions with equipment found in your grandparent’s basement. Wanting to halt one of their favorite childhood pastimes slide into obscurity, the team at Kactus Creek Croquet Club decided to open up a six-wicket club specializing in these fun, less-formal games of American golf croquet. Greenery, a large waterfall—and the club’s namesake cacti—surround the USCA-certified club, creating a scenic spot for guests to learn the game under the helpful eye of an onsite instructor or hone their skills with an afternoon of match play. The club’s groundskeepers maintain the cushy hybrid bermuda grass to a fast golf-green quality with water supplied by caught rainwater, preserving the environment without having to buy pedal-operated golf carts.
Dr. John L. Bean and his wife Marsha couldn’t have named Belvoir Winery any more aptly. Belvoir is French for “beautiful view,” and, with 170 lush, vibrant acres to its name, Belvoir Winery certainly doesn’t disappoint. Once a hub for the historic Odd Fellows, the estate now blooms with the vineyards planted by Dr. Bean more than 15 years ago. Vines ripe with golden muscat, chambourcin, and vingnoles grapes anchor the winery’s six signature vinos, which include the floral semi-dry Plumeria and the Lucky Pierre, a sweet red dessert wine. The winery’s newly renovated interior unfolds across five luxurious event spaces, an ornate tasting bar, and a cozy ice-cream shop that overlook the property’s towering 100-year-old trees and stunning marble gazebo. No stranger to supernatural happenings, Belvoir also hosts monthly investigations of its grounds with the Paranormal Research Investigators, a local troupe of ghost hunters also trained in the art of summoning lost car keys.
Bodies turn and twirl in the air, suspended from the rafters with colorful silks. Whether during a performance or class, the staff and students of Voler–Thieves of Flight Aerial Academy inspire awe with aerial dance and acrobatics. The academy’s professional ensemble includes ballet and modern dancers, along with circus artists, all of whom add their skills to lofty choreography on swings, silks, and hoops. The Voler ensemble has also performed at more than 30 notable locations including the Kansas city and Chicago fringe festivals and the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.
The academy’s primary purpose is teaching, of course, and three levels of classes instruct participants on the finer points of contorting on silks and practicing spirals, suspension, and falls.
Each plate of Moxie's barbecue is two days in the making—cooks must first ornament meat with a spicy rub, marinate it overnight, and smoke it for 12–16 hours. Though the restaurant's homemade salsa and hand-formed half-pound burgers don't spend as much time in the studio as Moxie's ribs, they supply equally potent flavors, as do the four secret-recipe barbecue sauces hailed by Jessica Huska of nightlifekc.com as "nothing short of exceptional."
The restaurant's lively setting won The Pitch’s Best Place to Dance in Kansas City award in 2011, and even those without dancing shoes can don their drinking masks and sip cocktails at the full bar or goggle at 12 televisions, including a giant HDTV with a Nintendo Wii. Moxie's frequent special events include karaoke on Wednesday nights as well as pool tournaments played out on the bar and grill's high-quality Diamond billiard tables and played back in the stories second-place finishers tell their housekeeping robots in 2028.
Founded in 1957, Kansas City Ballet holds rank amongst the top ballet institutions in the U.S. At its two locations?including one at the newly renovated Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity?the company divides its services between two divisions. On the Academy side, more than 20 instructors utilize their varied performing backgrounds to school aspiring professionals in dance, beginning with children ages 3 and up.
But you don?t have to yearn for the spotlight to tap into Kansas City Ballet?s wisdom. For recreational steppers, or those simply hoping to make trips to the grocery store more interesting by pirouetting down the aisles, the company also features a Studio division aimed at dancers of all ages and abilities. There, fitness and fun get blended into a schedule of classes that includes Zumba, flamenco, and jazz, as well as Pilates, yoga, and boot camp-style offerings.
Sponsored by the ACF Kansas City Chef’s Association, the annual Best of Kansas City Chefs benefit lets guests meet and taste the signature dishes of the area's best culinary masterminds. This year’s food venues—which range from Jon Russell’s Barbeque to the Dark Horse Distillery—satisfy appetites with samples from some of Kansas City’s best restaurants, and pairs of celebrity chefs—including Kevin Gillespie from Bravo’s Top Chef and multiple James Beard nominee Colby Garrelts of bluestem Restaurant—throw down in epic duels between skillets. During the three-hour event, attendees may also participate in live and silent auctions for a chance to win a BeefEater two-burner grill from event sponsor Smoke 'n' Fire—a prize valued at $800.