Downtown Kansas City is the central business district of Kansas City, Missouri and the Kansas City metropolitan area. The Downtown Loop, the most dense section of the city surrounded on all four sides by the downtown freeway loop, encompasses Quality Hill, the Central Business District, the Entertainment District, and the Government District. In March 2012, Downtown Kansas City was selected as one of America's Best downtowns by Forbes magazine for its rich culture in arts, numerous fountains, upscale shopping, and various local cuisine – most notably barbecue.
Power & Light District
The Power & Light District, also known as the "Entertainment District", is an nine-block entertainment hub chock-full of more than 50 bars, restaurants and shops. Originally named "Kansas City Live", the developer Cordish, Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland, decided to name the district after the historic art deco Power & Light Building. And in turn, a one-block area devoted to live music venues was named Kansas City Live!. The district’s covered outdoor courtyard hosts more than 130 free events each year.
The Sprint Center
Across the street is the fourth-busiest arena in the country, the glittering 18,500-seat Sprint Center welcoming some of the biggest names in music have performed at the Sprint Center, namely Bruno Mars, Garth Brooks, Ariana Grande, Elton John, Coldplay and Queen, cementing the arena as one of the world’s hottest entertainment venues. Sprint Center was named one of 2008’s top venues in the world by Pollstar magazine.
Kansas City Convention Center
An exhibition hall the size of eight football fields, The Kansas City Convention Center is often referred to as the Bartle Hall Convention Center or simply Bartle Hall. Bartle Hall, the Grand Ballroom, Conference Center, Meeting Rooms, and Barney Allis Plaza together encompass more than 800,000 square feet. The facilities also include Municipal Auditorium, an Art Deco venue built in 1934 that seats 10,700. Bartle Hall connects with major downtown hotels,1,000 underground parking spaces, the Municipal Auditorium and the Conference Center via skywalks and underground walkways.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, designed by architect Moshe Safdie, sits on the northern edge of the Crossroads Arts District, just south of the Bartle Hall ballroom. Home to the Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Ballet and Kansas City Lyric Opera, The 316,000 square foot performing arts center consists of the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Theater, Helzberg Hall, and the Brandmeyer Great Hall. A center for music, opera, theater, and dance, The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts presents a wide spectrum of entertainers and performances from around the world, including classical, pop, and jazz music, ballet and contemporary dance, and Broadway productions.
The Freight House
The historic railroad building in the Crossroads Arts District, home to Grunauer, Lidia's Kansas City, and Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue, was built in the 1880s and renovated in the late 1990s.
Crossroads Arts District
The Crossroads District, formerly a warehouse district, is now a vibrant hub of creativity and entrepreneurship and home to hundreds of art-focused entities, tech startups and a monthly event known as First Fridays which gathers the community together in celebration of local artists, art organizations, and local businesses. Best known for its arts and entertainment culture, within the Crossroads Arts District, visitors will find an array of artistic expression, upscale to extreme, within a few walkable blocks. Bikes and pedestrian paths are also well planned for in the arts district as well as a modern streetcar. Many buildings within the arts district are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
One of the nation’s first mixed-use developments, Crown Center was an experiment in post-World War II urban design developed by Hallmark which now brings in more than 5 million visitors each year. The 85-acre Crown Center is frequently referred to as a “city within a city.” Crown Center Square houses live music performances, the city’s only public outdoor ice skating rink and is home to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium and Kaleidoscope. There are several mid to upscale stores, and visitors can stay at the Sheraton Crown Center or the Westin Crown Center. The Coterie Theater, one of Crown Center’s three live entertainment venues, was recognized by Time as one of the top five children’s theatres in the country. Crown Center’s WeekEnder series features a live local music show followed by a crowd favorite film on a huge outdoor screen in Crown Center Square on Fridays in July. The district is a short walk from Liberty Memorial (which features a world-class World War One museum). Visitors can connect to Union Station and the rest of Crown Center via a skywalk called the Link.
The River Market
The River Market is a riverfront neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri that comprises the first and oldest incorporated district in Kansas City. The market name comes from its large open air farmers’ market, the southern section of which was the public square in the mid 1800s. The large riverfront warehouses have become increasingly developed into residential lofts, restaurants, bars, shops, cafes, and ethnic markets. The district contains one of the country's largest and longest lasting public farmers' markets bringing “Farm to Table” right to the heart of the city with fresh produce and goods on Saturday and Sunday. There are several unique shops and restaurants in the area. The Arabia Steamboat Museum displays thousands of artifacts from a steamboat and its cargo that sunk nearby in 1856 and was recovered in 1987-88. Residents and visitors traveling by foot or bike can take the Town of Kansas Bridge connection to get to the Riverfront Heritage Trail which leads to Berkley Riverfront Park.