From the Arts to History, Kansas City Museums Cover All The Bases



There's something for everyone among Kansas City's treasure trove of museums. Nationally designated outposts include the National World War I Museum and Memorial and the National Museum of Toys/Miniatures (TM). Explore local heritage and at Strawberry Hill Museum & Cultural Center as well as the brand new Johnson County Museum, which features an entire 1950's ranch house with all of the latest technology for that time period. Music fans love Kansas City's American Jazz Museum while history buffs will become blissfully lost amid displays of 1850s ship cargo, at the privately-owned Arabia Steamboat Museum. For an up-close look at a president's legacy, check out the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum. And, for an afternoon filled with incredibly creative arts pieces amid beautiful surroundings, best loved local art museums will definitely fit the bill. If you need help making a selection, our 10Best list highlights top museums to visit in the Kansas City area.


Strawberry Hill Museum & Cultural Center
Photo courtesy of Strawberry Hill Museum & Cultural Center


The gorgeous,1887 Victorian home that houses Strawberry Hill Museum & Cultural Center, was once considered among the most outstanding examples, of Queen Anne-style architecture in the city. It served as an orphanage for decades, beginning...  Read More


Johnson County Museum at Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center
Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Johnson County Museum


Opened June 10, 2017, Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center is the new location of the Johnson County Museum, known for its 1950s All Electric Home. Created by Kansas City Power & Light to demonstrate state-of-the-art technology, the...  Read More


The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
Photo courtesy of The National Museum of Toys / Miniatures (TM)


Antique toys and miniatures crowd the rooms of this 33,000-square-foot, recently renovated and refreshed museum, which operates on the campus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Inside an addition to this restored, circa-1911 mansion...  Read More


Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Photo courtesy of Photo by E.G. Schempf


The work of modern and contemporary artists from across the globe, fill this bright and airy museum. Since its inception, this extraordinary art collection has more than tripled in size too. Early pieces reflect the influence of the 1913 Armory...  Read More


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18th & Vine Historic District
American Jazz Museum
Photo courtesy of American Jazz Museum


Jazz enthusiasts will love this highly interactive museum, which chronicles the history of American jazz and its most legendary participants, from Duke Ellington, to Charlie "Bird" Parker. Sure, you'll see jazz photos, sheet music and posters...  Read More


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18th & Vine Historic District
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Photo courtesy of Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Inc.


Twelve life-sized bronze sculptures of players – 11 of whom were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame – populate an indoor baseball diamond at this unusual museum. A must-see for serious baseball fans, the museum tracks a...  Read More


Arabia Steamboat Museum
Photo courtesy of David Hawley


Kitchen spices and farm implements, fine porcelain and French perfume are several artifacts that provide an intriguing glimpse of frontier life during 1856, from the Arabia Steamboat. Inside this privately-owned museum, beautiful exhibits...  Read More


Harry S. Truman Library and Museum


One of 14 U.S. presidential libraries and museums, this impressive memorial features vast holdings that include historical documents related to the Korean War and NATO, as well as the Berlin Airlift, and the Manhattan Project. In addition,...  Read More


Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Photo courtesy of Roland Halbe


Considered one of America's premier art institutions, visitors have also named the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art among the nation's best museums. Displaying art pieces that date from antiquity to the present, its collection features items from...  Read More


National World War I Museum and Memorial
Photo courtesy of National World War I Museum and Memorial


The only US museum dedicated solely to World War I, the beautiful National World War I Museum and Memorial recently commemorated the centennial of the Great War. Inside the unique facility, history buffs and curious visitors can learn about this...  Read More


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Meet Lisa Waterman Gray

Lisa Waterman Gray moved to the Kansas City area 35 years ago and has written professionally for 20+ years. A member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association, she's excited about the...  More About Lisa

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