Kansas City is chock full of museums celebrating everything from local history to contemporary art. The historic 18th & Vine district is home to the Kansas City Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, two important symbols of Kansas City culture from the early 1900s. The Jazz Museum houses a rather swanky nightclub, The Blue Room, which features local jazz artists. It also has in-depth exhibits on the history of jazz and famous musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald and Charlie Parker. The Negro League Baseball Museum covers the history of the league from Reconstruction through the 1960s, with a photo gallery, video talks and re-creations. Also in the 18th & Vine district is the Gem Theatre, a 500-seat performing arts center that specializes in jazz nights and children’s shows.

Other museums worth mentioning in the Kansas City area are the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which currently holds more than 34,000 works of art from African, American Indian, Chinese and European cultures. There is also a modern and contemporary art section that features artwork from 1900 to the present, though a better place to see such works is probably the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, which has more than tripled its collection since its opening in 1994. There are also the Liberty Memorial Museum, dedicated to World War One, and the Airline History Museum, featuring various memorabilia from aviation history.

Finally, there is Science City, located in Union Station, where children can learn about dinosaurs through interactive exhibits or watch a planetarium show.