Thriving Art Scene in Kansas City

posted in: Kansas, Midwest, Missouri, United States | 9

The Crossroads Arts District’s thriving community in Kansas City was an unexpected, but pleasant surprise. Its industrial landscape has been revitalized into a hip, sophisticated neighborhood filled with intriguing art galleries, microbreweries, restaurants and bars. The culturally rich area proves Kansas City is made up of more than just fountains and barbecue joints. You cannot visit the city without strolling through this eclectic hood!

Street art in KC

Crossroads Art District in Kansas City

Social media rocks!

When we were in Kansas City I posted a photo to our Instagram account and VisitKC reached out to us. They mentioned the Artist Alley was a sight to see around 1701 Locust Street. We had already had the Crossroads on our list of areas to check out, but did not have the alley as a point of interest. We were so glad they told us about it because it was unbelievable!

Artists turned this dingy, dark alley into a sanctuary of talent. Meandering down the alley was sensory overload; vibrant colors splashed across the brick buildings as characters catapulted off the red background.

Crossroads Art District in Kansas City

Crossroads Art District in Kansas City Street Art in KC
Street art in KC Street art in KC Street art in KC Street art in KC Street art in KC Street art in KC

First Fridays in the Crossroads

Visit on the first Friday of each month from 5-9 pm, rain or shine, and partake in one of the most beloved local events in Kansas City. Virtually a neighborhood party, locals and visitors line the sidewalks as street music is played and shops open their doors to welcome patrons.

Embrace the Kansas City art scene and stroll in and out of galleries to observe and discuss the exhibits on display. If art doesn’t spark an interest, walk around, sample culinary delights at one of the many food trucks, or jam to live street music.


Street Art in KC

Live Music Under the Stars in Kansas City

Dance under the stars at Crossroads KC, an outdoor music venue situated behind Grinders Pizza. The intimate venue is more like someone’s woodchip covered backyard with a stage, bleachers and beer stand. They host a diverse array of bands from rock to reggae to hip hop.

Street Art in KC Street Art in KC

Good Eats

Grinders Pizza has been highlighted on Food Paradise and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for their off-the-hook-chili, Bengal Tiger pizza and tater tot pizza. Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop has been deemed the best noodles in Kansas City. I ordered the Drunken Noodles and was not disappointed! Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue has a location in the area as well. We ate at the one in the Plaza. The ribs and chicken were spectacular, cheesy corn bake a disappointment, but the baked beans were the best we had all week.

Tip: On First Fridays, some restaurants offer feature food and/or drink specials.

Lulu's Thai Noodle Shop

We thoroughly enjoyed walking through the Crossroads Art District and highly recommend it if you’re ever in Kansas City. The area provides a stimulating experience with creative art, invigorating music and savory food options.

Going to Kansas City? Check out our other article Kansas City Highlights!

What’s your favorite city for street art?

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Street Art in KC


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Angela E. is a travel writer from the Chicagoland area who has visited all 50 states in the US and has traveled extensively around the world. She is passionate about exploring the great outdoors and hiking in particular. Her love for nature has taken her to some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. She has written extensively about her travels on her own website, Dang Travelers, and has been published in collaboration with other travel websites and multiple visitor bureaus around the country.

9 Responses

  1. Chris travels

    I just read this new post on KC and sent the link to a friend of mine who has lived there her whole life. She loves art, was just in the Crossroads area today and was surprised that she did not know about Artist Alley! She now plans to visit it soon. The old saying is often true, that visitors to an area often explore more than the locals.

    • Dang Travelers

      So true! Most people don’t think to explore their own town the way a tourist would. We should take some time soon to explore our own area more in depth.

    • Dang Travelers

      We enjoyed all of Kansas City (we plan to do a post on it), but the street art was an unexpected surprise.

    • Dang Travelers

      We definitely plan to visit KC again, had such a great time there. Thanks again for the tip!

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