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Explore the Barbeque Capital of the World with a Kansas City Scavenger Hunt

How to Experience Kansas City like Queer Eye's Fab Five

Whether you call it the BBQ Capital of the World, the City of Fountains, or Paris of the Plains, see the sights with a Kansas City scavenger hunt.

Dating back to the 1930s, scavenger hunts started as party games. Playing by the original rules, individuals or small groups search for and collect a specific list of items.

In the past few decades, scavengering teams might snap photographs as part of the hunt. When I was a kid, that would have been done with a Polaroid camera or a disposable camera. Today, scavenger hunt photos are snapped and shared instantly on mobile phones. And interactive scavenger hunts can inject tidbits about a location’s history and culture into the experience.

While scavenger hunts are often conducted outdoors, there are also digital scavenger hunts. And in Kansas City, art museums and historical sites use scavenger hunts to engage visiting children.

If you’re looking for a fun way to explore in the heart of America, check out one of these fun Kansas City scavenger hunts.

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Explore Kansas City's art district with this scavenger hunt.
This Kansas City scavenger hunt starts at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center at 16th and Broadway.

1. Explore the Creative Side of the City of Fountains

Cost:  Starts at $12.99 via the Let’s Roam scavenger hunt app

See why Missouri’s largest city is known as the City of Fountains with this Kansas City scavenger hunt that focuses on famous fountains, amazing sculptures, and historic buildings. Start your adventure at the clamshell-shaped Kauffman Center for Performing Arts. 

Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts was added to the Kansas City skyline at the end of 2011. The dramatic concrete and glass building was literally sketched on a napkin by the architect over dinner. This Kansas City scavenger hunt will also take you to the historic Webster House and on to several other fabulous finds in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District.

Related Article:  7 Amazing Reasons to Do an Interactive Scavenger Hunt

The World War I Museum in Kansas City is the only museum in America dedicated to the Great War.

2. Hunt through History at the National World War I Museum

Cost:  Free with Paid Admission

When you visit the World War I Museum at the base of the Liberty Memorial, your admission includes several scavenger hunts that help teach visitors about The Great War. Discover what red poppies represent, what’s inside a Princess Mary box, and how Scottish Highlanders protect their kilts from mud.


3. Scout from Your Seat with Ride KC’s Scavenger Hunts

Cost:  No Fee to Ride the KC Streetcar, Small Fee to Ride the Main Street MAX

What about a free Kansas City scavenger hunt that lets you explore from the streetcar? Jump on the KC Streetcar and Main Street MAX to complete these scavenger hunts starring Kansas City landmarks including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Country Club Plaza, and Union Station.

First Ride KC Scavenger Hunt | Answers

Second Ride KC Scavenger Hunt | Answers

JC Nichols Fountain at the Country Club Plaza

4. Explore Kansas City's Country Club Plaza

Cost:  Starts at $12.99 via the Let’s Roam scavenger hunt app

Inspired by the architecture of Seville, Spain the Country Club Plaza was the nation’s first shopping center designed for patrons arriving by car. With shops ranging from Barnes & Noble to Tiffany’s and sprinkled with Kansas City’s amazing sculptures and fountains, it’s no wonder Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza is so popular.

Start your Country Club Plaza scavenger hunt at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Set on acres of green manicured lawns, you can’t miss its four, over-sized badminton shuttlecocks. This epic scavenger hunt also explores the nearby Country Club Plaza set along Brush Creek and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

Shuttlecock at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City
One of four, enormous shuttlecocks on the lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

5. Nose Around the Nelson-Atkins

Cost:  Free

Inspired by the annual scavenger hunt at Kansas City’s largest art museum, Richard Pund created this free Kansas City scavenger hunt through the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Explore the works of art that caught his eye during a visit to the Kansas City institution via his online scavenger hunt.

Fun Fact:  Did you know that each of the Nelson-Atkins Museum’s iconic shuttlecocks weighs over 5,000 pounds?

Related Article: Delicious Barbeque Quotes That Will Make Your Mouth Water

Maman Spider Statue at Kemper Museum in Kansas City

6. Scavenger Saturday at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Cost:  Free

If you love art, you definitely won’t want to miss this family friendly scavenger hunt! On the third Saturday of each month, the Kemper Museum offers a free self-guided scavenger hunt from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm to help you explore Kansas City’s contemporary art museum.

Because the museum’s permanent collection is small and its current exhibits change regularly, the experience is unique each month. And once visitors finish the scavenger hunt, they can pick up a take-home activity kit.

Sage Advice: Enjoy a virtual scavenger hunt or two courtesy of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

Related Article:  How to Experience Kansas City Like the Fab Five from Queer Eye

7. Investigate the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Cost:  Free

Visit the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City to explore the free exhibits, view the cash processing and vault area, and complete an interactive iPad scavenger hunt.

Fun Fact:  With 2,079 participants, the town of Provo, Utah currently holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest scavenger hunt.

Buck O'Neil Mural in Kansas City

8. Kansas City Art Walk: From Pop Culture to Charlie Parker

Cost:  Starts at $12.99 via the Let’s Roam scavenger hunt app

Take in some of Kansas City’s most impressive murals with this Kansas City Art Walk. Centered around the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District, you’ll see the multi-story Buck O’Neil Mural, a Simpsons mural, the city’s jazz heritage, and so much more with this interactive scavenger hunt.

9. Kansas City Bar Crawl Scavenger Hunt

Cost:  Starts at $12.99 via the Let’s Roam scavenger hunt app

Add an extra shot of fun to your girl’s night out or bachelorette party with a Kansas City bar crawl. With stops at the Westport Ale House, Harry’s Bar, Harpo’s, and other hot spots, this is the perfect scavenger hunt for a fun night on the town in Kansas City.

Have You Explored the City of Fountains via a KC Scavenger Hunt?

Which Kansas City scavenger hunt did you enjoy most? Are there any missing from this list? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Kansas City straddles the states of Missouri and Kansas


NOTE:  Kansas City straddles the states of Kansas and Missouri, and the majority of popular things to do in Kansas City are located in Missouri.

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17 thoughts on “Explore the Barbeque Capital of the World with a Kansas City Scavenger Hunt”

  1. Scavenger hunts are so much fun! I’d love to explore Kansas City in a streetcar scavenger hunt. My kids would love it.

  2. Go Learn Thins

    I love scavenger hunts. This is a great list of options. I worked with Urban Adventure Quest on a couple of their hunts in Phoenix and Minneapolis. They don’t currently have one for Kansas City, but they are worth looking up when you are visiting other cities.

  3. Miranda Knudtson

    I really love #3! I’m not big on museums, so I think a scavenger hunt is a really awesome idea! I learn about art/history/ANYthing better when it’s more hands on and active; what a unique idea!

  4. We haven’t yet tried a city scavenger hunt, but these look fun! Plus, we love Kansas City. When we get back, we’ll definitely try one of these!

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