Econo Lodge Inn & Suites I-35 at Shawnee Mission
7508 Shawnee Mission Pkwy
Overland Park, KS 66202
Phone: (913) 262-9600
Fax: (913) 262-8160
Arts & Museums
This is a must-see for children and the young-at-heart. Located near the Country Club Plaza on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, this museum features a collection of antique toys, built-to-scale miniatures, antique dolls, doll houses, farm toys and teaching kitchens. They recently added a new room to feature the worlds most complete marble collection, donated by Larry and Cathy Runyan-Svacina. The museum was founded in 1982 by two women who wanted to share their toy collections with the general public. Adults will especially enjoy the miniature displays, which fascinate and inspire. *One added note, the museum is closed for renovations until 2015, check website for details.
Home and studio of local artist, Thomas Hart Benton, this site is a must-visit for those interested in the 'Regionalist' art movement. The house is now a museum that contains artifacts and other objects from Benton's daily life. The chief exhibits are his famed mural " A Social History of the State of Missouri" as well as a stretched canvas that the artist never touched. If you enjoy the art of Grant Wood or John Steuart Curry, then you will enjoy one of their brethren at the Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio.
Since its opening in the Fall of 1994, over the last two decades the Kemper Museum has become one of the most respected galleries in the region. The permanent collection donated by Bebe and Crosby Kemper features contemporary artwork and some of the artists include the famous glassblower Dale Chihuly, Georgia O'Keefe, Andrew Wyeth and Robert Mapplethorpe, just to name a few. Some temporary exhibits have featured a complete retrospective by fashion photographer, Herb Ritts and a moving AIDS tribute by Robert Juarez. The building merits attention also, it has plenty of nooks and crannies that are interspersed alongside two elongated wings, which makes the structure appear like a bird in flight.
This artistic wonderland is housed in a splendid neoclassical structure that looks like it is a piece of work in itself. The collections of American and European art contain masterpieces from the most prominent schools and periods, from artists such as Homer, Caravaggio, Monet, Titian, Rodin, Renoir and hundreds of others. Popular displays at the museum include the Chinese Temple Room, a sealed Egyptian tomb and an outdoor sculpture garden. A cafe and gift shop are also on-site. Admission is free.
From its humble origin in the small Bohemian town of Joachimsthal to its omnipotent omnipresence in everyday life, the American dollar has certainly come a long way. In fact, the word 'dollar' derives from this original coin fashioned in the 16th Century, as it was called 'Tolar' in Czech and 'Thaler' in German. Nonetheless, this museum located in downtown K.C. tells the public everything they need to know about the Federal Reserve System of banking in the U.S. and the museum itself is located inside a federal branch. Some of the highlights include visits to the massive cash vault, the Truman coin collection, interactive displays and they even give you a free bag of shredded money to take home as a souvenir! Admission is free and it's open during normal working hours.
This interactive museum is great for children and adults. Geared toward the agriculture and livestock industries, this museum provides exhibits and displays that keep guests entertained for an hour or more. The museum, which opened in 1992, centers around the American Royal, a Kansas City fall tradition that celebrates agribusiness and the cowboy experience. It also features a general store, Big Barnyard and a history section on the Royal and stockyards.
Located inside the Liberty Memorial, this museum offers a grim remembrance of World War I, its beginning as well as its aftermath. After the memorial complex opened in 1926, it fell into some decay during the subsequent decades. Then in 2006, Kansas City dedicated this 80,000-sq. ft. underground facility which includes the Edward Jones Research Center. Some of the exhibits display field equipment, artillery, helmets, propaganda posters and a Renault French Tank. One of the most poignant parts of the museum is a walk over the Paul Sunderland Glass Bridge. Here, visitors tread somberly over a field of 9,000 red poppy flowers; each one represents 1,000 dead soldiers. The museum presents an earnest and candid look at the scope and realities of war, as well as its consequences.
This institution is one of 13 different archival centers that house Federal documents in-perpetuity for the United States. Here, visitors can come for free and peruse the exhibits, learn about how documents are archived, you can even come and find long-lost relatives in their genealogy record archive. However, this particular center holds the documents from the following states only: Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska. So if you live in any one of these states and are so inclined, take some time to learn a little about your particular state from the federal perspective.
There is a world of excitement and imagination that awaits everyone at this Crown Center family attraction. Here, children can create one-of-a-kind artwork, design their own unique puzzle, construct a skyscraper and more using scrap material provided by Hallmark Cards. Kaleidoscope also offers one-hour sessions that allow visitors to become acquainted about the process of making these popular cards. Most of the exhibits are specifically designed for children ages 5-12 and during the school year it is normally packed with elementary students.
Each year, more than 150,000 people come to this interactive museum and informational center. Here, you will learn about how the famous Hallmark brand began, meet some of the talented artists, writers and designers, view the massive collection of 'Keepsake' ornaments and make your own gift bow to take home. Located in downtown's Crown Center, the Hallmark Visitors Center is a must-see for anyone interested in learning about the greeting card industry and the people behind it.
This interactive museum provides educational entertainment for the entire family. Located in Union Station, the newly created Science City provides interactive displays where visitors learn about astronaut and sports training, weather, history and other scientific phenomena. Divided into five sections, each with a different theme, the museum provides hands-on interactivity for children of all ages, proving that learning about science can be fun, as well as educational. The new City Nights Theater and the overnight 'camp-ins' only add to the experience.
This art gallery-cum-community center is located in the eclectic Crossroads District of KC and is one of the premier galleries of abstract work in the city. Some of the rotating exhibits include sculptures, found art, performance art and other media too varied to compile here. The Belger Cartage Service building itself is a living monument, it is over 100 years old and in fact, this company still does business out of the offices on the 3rd floor. Check website for exhibition details and admission is free.