The 9 Best Museums in Kansas City

Kaylee Giacomini

Kansas City is famously recognized for beer, BBQ, and history, but did you know that they have an extensive and nationally recognized museum scene? Kansas City and surrounding suburbs have museums that celebrate everything from Jazz to pioneers to miniature toys. The city also houses the national WWI museum and memorial; an interesting place to check out and remember the Great War. Visit some of the best museums in Kansas City during your stay in the list below.

  • National WWI Museum and Memorial in Missouri, United States

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    • kaylee

      Kansas City is home to the National WWI Museum, the United States’ official museum chronicling the history of the Great War. Kansas City received the honor due to their Liberty Memorial Association founded after the end of the war which raised money to build the memorial which still stands outside the facility today. Not only is the museum home to countless artifacts and memorabilia, but they have life size exhibits on a shell crater and even the trenches.

  • Kansas City Museum in Missouri, United States

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    • kaylee

      The Kansas City Museum was the first of its time opened in the city and today pays homage to everything the city has to offer. Not only does it depict the rich history of the region, but it is also a celebration of all things Kansas City. Some of the exhibits available right now include historic furniture pieces from the Victorian age, a living portrait of the city landscape, and a walk through the city’s history. Check out all of these and more in this unique museum.

  • Shoal Creek Living History Museum in Missouri, United States

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    • kaylee

      One of the most unique aspects of Kansas City and the surrounding areas is the amount of operational living history museums. Many pay homage to the way life was in the 19th century with wooden carriages and all. Visit Shoal Creek for one of the biggest portrayals of pioneer life. Shoal Creek sits on 80 acres of the 1,000 acre Hodge Park and includes exhibits such as historic log cabin homes, a church, and even actors in full colonial costume showing what life was like before the industrial revolution.

  • National Airline History Museum in Missouri, United States

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    • kaylee

      The Airline History museum is housed in a hangar at a fully functioning airport and has interesting exhibits for all aviation buffs. The museum pays homage to the “golden age of aviation,” and showcases historic aircrafts starting all the way back in the early 1900’s when the Wright Brothers took flight.

  • Arabia Steamboat Museum in Missouri, United States

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    • kaylee

      The Arabia Steamboat Museum showcases the city from the perspective of the pioneers that settled the land over 200 years ago. In 1856, the Arabia Steamboat sank off the coast of Kansas City in the Missouri River. The ship was dredged up and today, artifacts preserved in the freshwater of the river can are on display. The shipwreck included over 200 tons of sunken treasure so it is a unique experience to see the opulence of American trade in the 19th century.

  • National Frontier Trails Museum in Missouri, United States

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    • kaylee

      The National Frontier Trails Museum is the only place in the country dedicated to depicting life as it was on the Western trails. The museum hosts both exhibits and a research institute, so scholars from across the United States are often here to study documentation of colonial travel. Check out the museum and follow the path of the pioneer’s voyages across America by way of wooden wagons and mules.

  • The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Missouri, United States

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    • kaylee

      Perhaps one of the most eclectic museums in the state, the National Museum of Toys and miniatures is a whimsical collection of American playtime. The museum established in 1982 is home to the world’s largest collection of toys and miniatures. Toys shape history. Check out some of the world’s most iconic play items from slinkies to gameboys. It is a step back in time and a step back into childhood. The museum packs pure nostalgia; come ready for some old fashioned fun!

  • American Jazz Museum in Missouri, United States

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    • kaylee

      Jazz is one of the most quintessential styles of American music. Kansas City was once home to some of the greats, and their American Jazz museum is located among clubs that once gave residency to the likes of Ella Fitzgerlad and Charlie Parker. The American Jazz Music Museum showcases the talented artists of Kansas City and beyond with a handful of unique exhibits.

  • American Royal Museum in Missouri, United States

    • kaylee

      The American Royal Museum is a showcase of the agricultural history of the United States. Visitors can tour the museum, but the American Royal society has much more to offer. Check out events that the society puts on such as rodeos, horse and cattle shows, and even BBQ competitions. The American Royal Museum is home to all things that make the midwest home and celebrates the farmland that built this country.

  • National WWI Museum and Memorial

    Kansas City is home to the National WWI Museum, the United States’ official museum chronicling the history of the Great War. Kansas City received the honor due to their Liberty Memorial Association founded after the end of the war which raised money to build the memorial which still stands outside the facility today. Not only is the museum home to countless artifacts and memorabilia, but they have life size exhibits on a shell crater and even the trenches.

    May 6, 2022
  • Kansas City Museum

    The Kansas City Museum was the first of its time opened in the city and today pays homage to everything the city has to offer. Not only does it depict the rich history of the region, but it is also a celebration of all things Kansas City. Some of the exhibits available right now include historic furniture pieces from the Victorian age, a living portrait of the city landscape, and a walk through the city’s history. Check out all of these and more in this unique museum.

    May 6, 2022
  • Shoal Creek Living History Museum

    One of the most unique aspects of Kansas City and the surrounding areas is the amount of operational living history museums. Many pay homage to the way life was in the 19th century with wooden carriages and all. Visit Shoal Creek for one of the biggest portrayals of pioneer life. Shoal Creek sits on 80 acres of the 1,000 acre Hodge Park and includes exhibits such as historic log cabin homes, a church, and even actors in full colonial costume showing what life was like before the industrial revolution.

    May 6, 2022
  • National Airline History Museum

    The Airline History museum is housed in a hangar at a fully functioning airport and has interesting exhibits for all aviation buffs. The museum pays homage to the “golden age of aviation,” and showcases historic aircrafts starting all the way back in the early 1900’s when the Wright Brothers took flight.

    May 6, 2022
  • Arabia Steamboat Museum

    The Arabia Steamboat Museum showcases the city from the perspective of the pioneers that settled the land over 200 years ago. In 1856, the Arabia Steamboat sank off the coast of Kansas City in the Missouri River. The ship was dredged up and today, artifacts preserved in the freshwater of the river can are on display. The shipwreck included over 200 tons of sunken treasure so it is a unique experience to see the opulence of American trade in the 19th century.

    May 6, 2022
  • National Frontier Trails Museum

    The National Frontier Trails Museum is the only place in the country dedicated to depicting life as it was on the Western trails. The museum hosts both exhibits and a research institute, so scholars from across the United States are often here to study documentation of colonial travel. Check out the museum and follow the path of the pioneer’s voyages across America by way of wooden wagons and mules.

    May 6, 2022
  • The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

    Perhaps one of the most eclectic museums in the state, the National Museum of Toys and miniatures is a whimsical collection of American playtime. The museum established in 1982 is home to the world’s largest collection of toys and miniatures. Toys shape history. Check out some of the world’s most iconic play items from slinkies to gameboys. It is a step back in time and a step back into childhood. The museum packs pure nostalgia; come ready for some old fashioned fun!

    May 6, 2022
  • American Jazz Museum

    Jazz is one of the most quintessential styles of American music. Kansas City was once home to some of the greats, and their American Jazz museum is located among clubs that once gave residency to the likes of Ella Fitzgerlad and Charlie Parker. The American Jazz Music Museum showcases the talented artists of Kansas City and beyond with a handful of unique exhibits.

    May 6, 2022
  • American Royal Museum

    The American Royal Museum is a showcase of the agricultural history of the United States. Visitors can tour the museum, but the American Royal society has much more to offer. Check out events that the society puts on such as rodeos, horse and cattle shows, and even BBQ competitions. The American Royal Museum is home to all things that make the midwest home and celebrates the farmland that built this country.

    May 6, 2022