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Going to Kansas City – A KC Soccer & More Weekend

The KC soccer experience and some KC originals

Thad Bell

Let’s get this KC adventure series started…

So, welcome, travelers, wanderers, curiosity-seekers, and explorers! Remember, use #Go2KC to document your Kansas City adventure. To help guide you further, we will designate our top destinations with Top Shelf (TS) #KCTopShelf. When deciding between options, go #KCTopShelf. BTW – we are not sponsored or supported by any destination we promote. We are into experience, not business.

Since all series entries will center around attending a Sporting Kansas City game at World-class Children’s Mercy ParkTS, it is fitting to give the ins-and-outs of attending a match and boarding, food, and getting-around options. Just to, you know, make sure… We don’t want anyone being stranded or resorting to driving an ATV around town while naked

A KC Cauldron banner celebrating KC’s weird and wild.

Shelter: Here are the best Kansas City Airbnbs for a cheaper stay. However, each series entry will always give you unique, varied-price options for hotels or traditional Bed and Breakfasts. Family or friends in town? There you go.

Food: A major feature in Kansas City… indulge in the varieties we suggest. But bringing along food or just snacking along the way can work too.

Scooting around: Though we will do best to limit the road miles (Children’s Mercy Park is approximately 19 minutes from downtown Kansas City, MO.), a car rental may be the best bet. Of course, Uber, taxis, the KC Streetcar, and hotel shuttles (and cell phone map apps) are often appropriate options and best friends.

Lastly, we will base your KC (yes, KCMO and KCKS) adventure on arriving from out-of-town between Noon and 3pm Friday (It’s a weekend; don’t work Friday!) and departing after lunch on Sunday, unless you are attending a Sunday (5 left on the SKC docket) game.

Here we go… A KC & More Soccer Weekend

Tickets: First things first. Partying with The KC CauldronTS or The South Stand and the variety of supporter’s clubs is experience. And, hey, it’s cheaper! Go to kccauldron.com or southstandsc.org early to get tickets. You must pay a $20 membership fee to get tickets through these clubs, but membership comes with benefits too, including drink at the tailgate you will attend on game-day. Check it out.

Where to lay your head:

Hotel PhillipsTS: the “most beautiful hotel in Missouri” is a historic Art Deco wonder with elegant rooms, a 20-story mail chute, and more, all overlooked by the goddess Dawn located smack-dab in the middle of downtown KCMO.

816 Hotel: located in historic Old Westport, a TS location, the 816 is a mid-price option that includes themed rooms featuring KC originals and history, including a Sporting KC themed-room.

Friday

Lunch: Because who wants to be the fool who says they went to Kansas City and didn’t sample the BBQ? The Z-man. The ribs. The brisket. The location. Head directly to Joe’s Kansas CityTS in KCKS, the original gas-station location. Arriving after 1:30 will probably cut down on the wait. But soak in the atmosphere as you do. And don’t worry, there are paper towels on the tables.

Activity: Choices, choices ... as you plan your trip, book a tour of Children’s Mercy ParkTS or PinnacleTS (the new, amazing, SKC/US Soccer training facility) for $10 a person. CMP tours would only be available Friday if there is a Sunday match, and tours of Pinnacle are not done regularly, but check and see if possible. A second option is photo opps at the Sporting KC mural (and others) downtown. These are uniquely Kansas City and faux street art and street art at its finest.

Activity/Dinner: Love good music? Want to be wowed and just have a great time that will leave you feeling all fuzzy about life and people? You can’t miss with KC’s best all-around entertainer in trumpeter, singer, and tap-dancer Lonnie McFadden performing with his first-rate trio at The Phoenix Happy HourTS from 4:30-8:15 (every Friday night). The drink and food are good with HH specials and the atmosphere and the performance are simply a guaranteed great time. Limited seating fills up quickly; best to arrive early (only a $5 cover). Don’t leave until the second set is over… trust us. If you desire something more soccer-orientated, hop on the free KC Streetcar (if a station is nearby) and head to Power and Light for Sporting Club’s No Other Pub interactive gaming sports pub. The bar/restaurant includes a small bowling alley, table and floor shuffleboard, an indoor driving range, foosball, snookball, and more.

Saturday

Thad Bell

Activity: Hit the soccer links or take a beer tour. The Heart of America FootGolf Course is located within Swope Park in KCMO. Never played? You’ve got to try it! 18 very-affordable holes, including one on top of a cliff, are spread throughout a traditional golf course. Go solo or with others. A fun 1½-2 hours’ time. Like Beer? Tour The Boulevard Brewing Company, a KC original, and sample their varied offerings. Forty-five-minute walking tours are $5 with tickets going on sale beginning at 10am thru 4pm, Friday-Sunday. Get there early as tickets go on sale at 10am for the day and are first-come, first-served.

Lunch: The Crossroads District contains Boulevard and is heavily-dotted with interesting restaurants, especially Mexican restaurants. The best of the bunch is Ponak’sTS and their premium margaritas – Liquid Attitude. The Sonora-based cuisine is fine and fresh and the décor is classic.

Activity: You love soccer. You love to watch it, play it, and live it. Or maybe the same goes for life and the special people in yours. Take the plunge and get a tattoo (You know you want to!). Just make it something meaningful. Old Souls on Main Street reserves Saturdays from Noon-7pm for walk-ins, and they are aces. Respectful. Very skilled. Okay, so not into tattoos? Head to the lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art for a leisurely afternoon of laying in the sun and knocking the soccer ball around the luscious lawn. You may even find a pick-up soccer or frisbee-football game. Or take a tour of the art pieces on the lawn that also serves as a giant badminton court with the museum serving as the net.

Dinner: If it’s Saturday, it’s likely game night. For the complete KC soccer experience, it’s Cauldron or South Stand tailgate time before watching Sporting Kansas City! See their web pages for the details. But don’t miss out on the fun, the laughs, the food and drink, and meeting some great people. Of course, march into the stadium with your new friends and cheer in drumbeat rhythm the whole match through.

After the game: Spill into the Budweiser Brew House (the Member’s Club) and enjoy the post-game rally where you can dance more freely with the Cauldron, join the after-party, and maybe catch a visit by a player or two or Sporting Club ownership. Take it all in. And be ready to have those chants running through your mind for days.

Sunday

Breakfast: He was just 17 in 1933. But Ray Lamar had a donut dream. He opened his first Lamar’s DonutsTS in 1960, and it quickly became a KC tradition. Yeah, it has spread to other states, but it all began here. Head to the West 34th and Main location and taste glory.

Activity: Didn’t get to do something on the list from yesterday? Check it out today. But be wary that somethings are not open on Sunday. But we have a last joy for you. Jump on the KC Streetcar and head to the end of the line – The Kansas City River MarketTS. The fresh food vendors. The unique food outlets, bakeries, shops, and delis. The street performers. The fresh flowers. And more. It is an outdoor food market at its best. If still hungry come lunch time before you depart KC, check out the many restaurants that dot the area.

Thank you for joining us for Going to Kansas City: A KC Soccer & More Weekend. Share with your friends and stay tuned for next week’s installment. Better yet, make memories and plan a KC journey now (#Go2KC and #KCTopShelf).