Want to make your next trip to the Midwest extra trendy? Take a look around Crossroads, Kansas City! Located in the heart of Downtown KC, this upcycled area has a historic core with vibrant modern amenities.
The converted warehouses throughout Crossroads are now home to laid-back eateries and a strong creative spirit. Check out some of the top performance venues in Kansas City, including the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and The Bird Comedy Theater. You can experience Crossroads’ passion for quality and sustainability with a coffee break at PT’s Coffee Roasting Company before checking out the contemporary works at the Belger Arts Center.
Ready to jump into one of the KC’s coolest neighborhoods? Get started with this complete Crossroads Kansas City guide, including insider tips on what to see & do, places to eat and drink, and hotels to stay in.
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What to see & do in the Crossroads Arts District
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Make the most of Crossroads’ premier entertainment at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The 356,000-square-foot complex offers culture lovers two unique venues. Thanks to its flawless facilities, some of the top theatre and performance groups in the city call this complex home.
Stunning architecture sets the tone for an epic night at the theater. Steel waves rise from the ground, linked by an impressive glass atrium. The two venues inside the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts use two theatre styles and are acoustically isolated, allowing for diverse styles of performances. Designers shaped each venue to deliver the very finest aesthetics and acoustics; every show will immerse you in a new world.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts attracts some of the best talent in Kansas City. Watch the Kansas City Ballet, Lyric Opera, or the Kansas City Symphony. With blockbuster musicals, top musicians, and hard-hitting plays, you can prepare yourself for a captivating evening.
Bird Comedy Theater
Get a laugh a minute with an evening at the Bird Comedy Theater. This affordable venue attracts some of the funniest comedians in the area. Housed inside the historic Hemingway Building, the intimate setting makes every show interactive—and hilarious!
Grab some snacks and drinks from the bar and settle in for a wild night of laughs. Side-splitting comedy groups and performers have regular slots throughout the week. Watch rising stars at the open mics or be part of the show with open jam improv nights.
Reckon you have a good funny bone? The Bird Comedy Theater has classes and workshops where you can try out your jokes. Drop the kids off at theater camp, where they can build their confidence and develop new skills. For the adults, there are drop-in improv classes. You’ll get to play lots of games to bring out your silly side while you enjoy some happy-hour drinks.
Union Station Kansas City
You’ll have no problem keeping everyone happy at Union Station Kansas City. Over 100 years ago, this complex was a train station that welcomed thousands of visitors from all over the country. Part historical landmark, part buzzing entertainment complex, Union Station is full of architectural beauty and top-notch KC tourist attractions.
Beautiful period details, elaborate ceiling panels, and sparkling marble make Union Station Kansas City an architectural delight. These walls have stood through some of the city’s most important historical moments, including two world wars and the Union Station Massacre.
Despite its rich past, Union Station Kansas City now houses exciting modern attractions. Bring the entire family along and become a chemist at Science City, an engineer at the Model Train Exhibit, or an astronomist at The Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium.
Among the ornate architecture of this former transport hub, you can enjoy indulgent feasts in the fabulous selection of bars and restaurants. The shining floor-to-ceiling bar at Pierpoints Restaurant is a Union Station must-see!
Belger Arts Center
Art lovers can find inspiration on their Crossroads adventure at the Belger Arts Center. This contemporary art museum houses pieces from local, national, and international artists. The museum’s guiding principle is to help people to question and understand the world around them through art.
The huge open spaces of this former warehouse create a dramatic frame for the works on show at the Belger Arts Center. Learn more about the history of the building and the role it played in the development of the city.
In the industrial chic setting, unpick innovative and controversial works. Explore cutting-edge print techniques or question the concept of function as you delve into the world of colorful pottery.
Delve into classic mediums being used in new ways, whether that’s with found object sculptures or blurring the lines between sculpture and performance art. The artists on show at the Belger Arts Center will challenge your perceptions and help you to look at the world from a new perspective.
Kansas City Ballet
Learn about the magic of dance by catching a Kansas City Ballet performance. The professional ballet company was founded in 1957 and is now one of the top ballet companies in the United States.
The Kansas City Ballet has five shows throughout the year, including their much-loved Christmas performance of The Nutcracker. The ballet’s main base is the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a premier performance space that makes watching these elite performers an incredible experience.
Watching the Kansas City Ballet, you can expect eclectic performances, with everything from the classics to contemporary styles. Their calendar stretches from the fall to the spring, making it a great option if you’re not expecting ideal Kansas City weather on your trip.
Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Why not add to your Kansas City itinerary by enjoying a night at the opera? The Lyric Opera of Kansas City brings exquisite operatic performances to the KC area and has been delivering world-class opera since 1957.
Like the ballet, The Lyric Opera of Kansas City is based at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The exceptional acoustics of the building will take you to new heights. With expansive seating areas, you can take in the grandeur of the building, the production, and the talent. Throw yourself into stories full of excitement and drama set in faraway places.
This opera company has produced several award-winning performances. In 2015, they won the Pulitzer Prize for their production of Silent Night. As well as classic opera sang in its original language, The Lyric Opera of Kansas City performs fun contemporary pieces, too.
Casual Animal Brewing Company
Soak up the trendy Crossroads vibe at Casual Animal Brewing Company. The small brewpub offers a fresh and local approach, with a casual warehouse hangout that has tasty bar snacks and rotating craft beer on tap.
If you consider yourself a bit of a craft beer snob, the Casual Animal Brewing Company should measure up to your impeccable standards. Their small-batch production is focused on high-quality and interesting flavors. Sit down with a glass fresh from the taps, or grab a six-pack to take home.
The brewery’s converted warehouse space is full of life and color, with artwork and murals designed by the head brewer designed himself. Settle in with some drinks and play the great selection of board games. Order snacks like guac and chips from the bar. If you want to make more of a night of it, you’re also welcome to stick around and order takeout!
PT’s Coffee Roasting Company
Get your caffeine fix in Crossroads at PT’s Coffee Roasting Company. This Kansas coffee company has an unfailing commitment to quality. Their hip Crossroads retail location serves up breakfast and lunch to compliment their great espresso and tea menu.
PT’s Coffee Roasting Company gets all its products from responsible and sustainable sources. The coffee shop roasts their single-origin coffees and signature blends to order, so you know you’re always getting the tastiest cuppa joe possible.
The cafe’s Crossroads location captures the neighborhood’s cozy industrial style. It’s furnished with reclaimed wood from 100 palettes that brought green coffee to the roasting facilities. Chow down on bagels and burritos alongside the freshest espresso. A curated art selection and peaceful music create a relaxed ambiance for you to recharge.
Fallen in love with PT’s Coffee Roasting Company? There’s plenty of merch to take home, including beans, books, and funky t-shirts.
Where to eat & drink
You’ll have no shortage of pre-show dinner and drinks options in Crossroads. The neighborhood’s vibrant creative scene and elite theatre offerings have made it a hotspot for innovative dining and upscale restaurants. Laid-back bars allow you to keep things low-key without sacrificing quality. Everything is housed in converted warehouses and historic buildings, keeping with the district’s über-cool attitude.
Escape to the Mediterranean at Extra Virgin. Graze tasty tapas on the terrace, or head inside for cocktails and colorful decor.
Or have a fiesta at Mission Taco East Crossroads. Order a fun combo of authentic Mexican food and cocktails in this colorful and casual setting.
Novel Restaurant is a fine dining treat. The chefs here take local, seasonal ingredients and use modern techniques to create works of art for your tastebuds. Their Scandi-style decor features an open kitchen, a 50-foot mosaic, and a granite bar.
Try German cuisine with an upscale twist at Affäre. Delicate plates with local, seasonal produce will show you Germany’s elegant side.
Head to The Brick for a relaxed and homey experience. This laid-back joint has hearty meals, drinks, and live music. Or check out the cozy Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen, an intimate spot with stylish decor and a great wine menu.
Embrace prohibition vibes at Tom’s Town Distilling Co. Take a tour of the distillery or sit in the art deco lounge and sip cocktails made from their small-batch spirits.
Or check out the classic Kansas City jazz scene at Green Lady Lounge. Plush furnishings will immerse you in mid-century glamour as you unwind to the beat of talented live musicians.
Where to stay
As it’s located in the heart of the city, Crossroads is one of the most popular areas to stay in Kansas City. This Downtown Kansas City neighborhood hosts some of the city’s finest hotels, from budget-friendly chains to more luxurious boutique hotels.
This modern hotel is just steps away from the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Relax in the light and airy lobby or in your large bedroom. There’s a fitness center to keep up your workout routine and a free hot breakfast to kickstart your day.
This colorful hotel has everything you need for a relaxing stay in KC. Its prime location between Downtown and Crossroads gives you top attractions and restaurants at your fingertips. Enjoy the privacy of your large suite with cooking facilities. An indoor pool and gym with a Peleton bike fulfill all your workout needs.
Creativity is in the bones of this sleek boutique hotel. Once home to the KC Costume Company, its period features got a modern update with custom fabrics and commissioned artwork. The hotel’s trendy restaurant has Midwestern dishes, craft cocktails, and lots of art deco flair. Relax in your stylish room with thoughtful touches, or let off some steam at the gym.
Get the ultimate Kansas City experience at this iconic hotel. The historic building features an on-site gallery and stunning social spaces. Their Italian steakhouse has beautiful old-world decor, while their rooftop beer garden is one of the most popular drinking spots in the city. Regular events include everything from yoga to live DJ sets.
This sleek hotel is just one-minute walking distance from the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Modern rooms offer floor-to-ceiling views of Kansas City. Escape to the luxury spa and saltwater pool, or dive into the fantastic dining options. Try the artisanal bakery or opulent lobby bar for an afternoon treat. Or get cozy around the fire pit and take in the city skyline.