Best of Kansas City 2016: Do
Voler Aerial Academy
Learn to dance in the air while gaining stamina, strength and balance at Voler’s aerial silks classes. Designed for men, women and children of all ages, classes range from introductory to advanced silks. You’ll fall in love with this graceful and beautiful practice, whether in a group or private setting.
556 Lowell Avenue, Kansas City, Kan., (816) 668-6292, thievesofflight.com
Jaegers, “the world’s first and only underground paintball arena,” is a thrilling, all-weather adventure. Housed in one of the city’s oldest limestone mines, Jaegers has five underground fields and a two-man speedball field open year-round. Or take the fun outdoors on one of four above-ground fields.
9300 NE Underground Drive, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 452-6600, jaegers.com
Photo Courtesy of JAegars
Grid Collaborative Workspace
Grid Collaborative Workspace is Johnson County’s new state-of-the-art co-working space, equipped with a photography studio, conference rooms, reserved desks, private offices, and meeting rooms. Amenities include a staffed coffee bar and commercial kitchen (with liquor service) and rentable event space that expands up to 2,000 square feet. A one-day access pass is just $25.
12022 Blue Valley Parkway, Overland Park, Kan., (913) 754-4743, connectatgrid.com
KC Pet Project
Volunteers at KC Pet Project are an essential part of the shelter’s mission to end the killing of healthy and treatable animals in Kansas City. As the largest open-admission shelter in the city, KCPP has an array of rewarding volunteer opportunities: dog walking, filling Kongs with peanut butter, socializing with cats, making toys, fostering animals and more. The dedicated and welcoming staff make volunteers feel a part of the team that serves nearly 10,000 homeless animals — from dogs and cats, to chickens and goats, and rabbits and reptiles.
Three area locations, kcpetproject.org
Photo Courtesy of KC Pet Project
OffKey is the perfect venue for bachelorette parties, birthday parties or even corporate teambuilding in the comfort of the full-service private suites, which are equipped with a karaoke machine and multiple microphones and TVs for parties up to 50. Or take a stab at your favorite song in the main bar, where wireless microphones allow you to sing from anywhere in the bar (no stage, no problem!). We recommend ordering a Royals cocktail first to calm those pre-performance jitters.
510 Westport Road, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 531-7464, offkeykc.com
Missouri River Runner
Take a leisurely journey through Missouri on Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner, which runs twice daily between Kansas City and St. Louis. Stops include Jefferson City, where you can explore the state capitol building; Hermann, home of the beautiful Hermann Wine Trail; Sedalia, host of the Missouri State Fair; and more. Through a partnership between Amtrak and the National Park Service, the Trails & Rails program provides educational opportunities for passengers with a National Park Service guide onboard. So sit back, relax and drink in the beauty of the Missouri River as you head to the Gateway to the West.
Ibex Climbing Gym
Ibex has been Kansas City’s premier climbing gym for 21 years. Adventurous climbers scale a 33-foot-tall roped wall and beginners start with the 13-foot-tall bouldering wall (no ropes or harnesses). The “Ropes and What Knot” course for new climbers prepare you in just 90 minutes. The staff is friendly, helpful and welcoming to climbers of all ages and abilities. Look for Ibex’s second location opening in Olathe soon./p>
801 NW South Outer Road, Blue Springs, Mo., (816) 398-8002, climbibex.com
Beyond the Dog
Beyond the Dog provides the most up-to-date dog training techniques from trainers who hold advanced degrees in behavioral science, are board certified behavior analysts and certified dog behavior consultants. Some members are certified through the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the largest training organization in the country. Services include behavior therapy and obedience training for everything from aggression and anxiety to housebreaking, for both puppies and adult dogs. The majority of the training takes place in your home, where the dog’s behavior occurs and can be properly corrected.
4741 Central St. #354, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 337-6030 or (913) 514-4930, beyondthedogtraining.com
Boulevard Drive-In has been a family tradition since the 1950s. This cash-only venue in KCK has all the nostalgic charm of the “good ole days,” complete with a snack bar, playground, 600 speakers, and a 75-by-100 screen with 4K projection. Swing by on the weekend for its claim to fame, the Swap ‘n’ Shop, where all sorts of treasures are found. And the best part? Coolers are welcome, so pack your favorite movie-time treats and head to the drive-in!
1051 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, Kan., (913) 262-0392, boulevarddrivein.com/wordpress
Photo Courtesy of Boulevard Drive-in
Plaza Tennis Center
The Plaza Tennis Center has been a landmark of the Kansas City tennis community for generations. They have 14 recently resurfaced outdoor hard courts decked out in the U.S. Open court colors and are well-lit for nighttime games. It is home to the UMKC Roos tennis program and the Kansas City United Tennis Junior Academy. PTC, which is equipped with a pro shop and concession stand, hosts leagues, tournaments, clinics and private lessons.
4747 J.C. Nichols Parkway, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 784-5100, plazatenniscenter.com
Unicorn Theatre in midtown has a rich history of bringing provocative and bold new plays to Kansas City. Now in its 42nd season, the nonprofit believes that theater can change our world and should be accessible regardless of economic barriers. Unicorn Theatre offers “Pay What U Can” ticket pricing on some weeknight performances, so be sure to check their calendar to score a great deal on cutting-edge performances.
3828 Main St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 531-7529, unicorntheatre.org
Photo Courtesy of Unicorn Theatre
Topgolf is a state-of-the-art attraction, bringing exciting and innovative games like its signature TopGolf, where players hit balls equipped with microchip technology into the targets to score points. Six other games, like TopDrive, TopShot and TopScore, fuel your competitive streak. The Overland Park location has more than 100 full-service bays; three floors; 200-plus HDTVs; free Wi-Fi; a rooftop terrace; event space; and a menu of cocktails, burgers, appetizers and more. Go for the modern driving ranges, but stay for the sleek indoor bars and lounges with pool tables, foosball and leather couches.
10611 Nall Ave., Overland Park, Kan., (913) 562-9713, topgolf.com/us/overland-park
Historic Kansas City Foundation
The Historic Kansas City Foundation is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the city’s heritage, neighborhoods and historic environment. The foundation offers a variety of walking tours that highlight Kansas City’s diverse architecture and history, including tours of Westport, Northeast/Kansas City Museum, River Market and Quality Hill. All tours are $10 for non-members and are guided by trained volunteers.
234 W. 10th St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 931-8448, historickansascity.org
Photo Courtesy of Historic Kansas City Foundation
Archery Excellence in Independence is a bowman’s dream, complete with 40 lanes at varying distances, plus camps, classes, birthday parties, leagues and tournaments. Coaches are certified by organizations such as the United States of America Archery and the National Archery in the Schools Program. Hone your archery skills year-round in the indoor range, and be sure to visit the pro shop for your equipment needs.
4420 S. Noland Road, Independence, Mo., (816) 886-6281, cbayou.org
photo courtesy of Archery Excellence
Starlight Theatre has been enchanting audiences since it opened in 1950. The nonprofit organization has brought top talent like Kristin Chenoweth, Carol Burnett and Donny Osmond to the beautiful outdoor stage at Swope Park. Catch Broadway musicals like Annie, The Wizard of Oz and The King and I, or enjoy live music from the likes of Goo Goo Dolls, Duran Duran and Josh Groban. During cooler months, Starlight offers interactive comedies and family shows at its indoor venue to keep the entertainment going all year long.
4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 363-7827, kcstarlight.com