Maybe it’s that I love history. Learning about where things got started has always interested me. Lucky for me, where I live, there is plenty to learn and explore. Here are 10 amazing companies that created unique sightseeing tours in Kansas City.
1. American Jazz Museum Tour
Located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District, the American Jazz Museum showcases the sights and sounds of jazz through visual arts, interactive exhibitions, films, and performing arts. Public programming for all ages enliven the history and music at the center of the American Jazz Museum. The engaging Museum tours bring Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington to life. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for 65+, $6 for children 5-12. Discounts are available for groups of 25 or more. Tours are perfect for family reunions, corporate outings, networking events, and more. Call 816-474-8463 for scheduling.
2. Boulevard Brewing Company Tour
Founded in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to become the largest specialty craft beer brewer in the Midwest. The brewery offers two options for tours of its factory. Enjoy free public one hour walking tours of the brewery, which close with samples in their Tasting Room. The entire day’s tickets become available at 10 am each day, and are on a first-come, first-served basis from the Tours & Rec Center Welcome Desk. Public tours are open to ages 6 and older and offered at regular intervals from 10 am to 4 pm. Thirsty for more? Then the Smokestack Tour & Tasting is for you. Join Boulevard for a two-hour experience including the tour plus guided food and beer pairings. Smokestack tours are available Sunday through Friday for guests 21 and older. Tickets are $25 per person and released online the first Monday of each month for the following month’s tours.
3. Chocology Tour
Chips Chocolate Factory, in Crown Center, makes more than 200 chocolate confections by hand including over 40 flavors of Kansas City fudge. Their Chocology tours are a unique experience where you learn the history of chocolate, where is it grown, how is it harvested, and how is it made. You’ll also watch the resident candy makers transform fresh ingredients into a loaf of smooth, creamy fudge. Scheduled group visits are between 10:30 am and 5 pm, excluding Tuesday and Sunday. The cost for the visit is $5.00 per person and includes a bag filled with yummy Chips Chocolate Factory goodies. Tours need a minimum of 10 people. Each visit lasts about 45 minutes. To schedule your group visit, call 816-421-0012.
4. The Gangster Tour
Kansas City was a favorite spot of the “old timers.” The Gangster Tour puts you hot on the trail of this city’s most notorious Goodfellas. But don’t make the guides twist your arm. Grab your chopper, hop on the bus, and you’ll spend 90 minutes immersed in a melodramatic look at mob homes and hangouts, turf wars and infamous crimes like the Union Station massacre. Tours are held every Saturday year round for $29 per person. Sorry kiddos, adults only. Dinner and a tour is also available for groups of 15 + at $69 per person. For reservations or ticket information call 816-471-1234.
5. Harley-Davidson Assembly Tour
Harley-Davidson has built a legacy of fulfilling dreams of personal freedom. Step into the process of that legacy with tours of the Vehicle and Powertrain Operations Factory. Two tour options feature a series of displays that guide you through the various manufacturing and assembly processes. Classic Factory Tour are free and offer people and small groups an intimate view of Harley-Davidson’s assembly line and fabrication areas. The Steel Toe Tour goes behind-the-scenes through areas previously unseen by the public. Tickets are $38 per person. This is the only Harley-Davidson factory tour where you will see a Harley-Davidson powertrain and vehicle assembled and brought to life. Children under the age of 12 are not allowed on the tours. Visit website for more information, including tour times.
6. Historic Kansas City Tour
Historic Kansas City is the only greater Kansas City nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and rehabilitation of the area’s heritage, neighborhoods and historic built environment. The Historic Kansas City Foundation offers a variety of walking tours featuring the diverse architecture and history of neighborhoods across Kansas City. Trained volunteers lead tours that last between 1 and 1.5 hours. Tour pricing is $10 per person. Members of Historic Kansas receive a 50% discount. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816-931-8448, at least one week in advance, to schedule a tour date.
7. Kansas City Ballet Tour
The Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity is home to the Kansas City Ballet. Located at 500 W. Pershing in downtown Kansas City, the facility houses the professional company, Kansas City Ballet School, Michael and Ginger Frost Studio Theater, and Kansas City Ballet’s artistic and administrative staff. Kansas City Ballet invites you and your group to come see the company at work. Call to arrange a tour of the studios for groups of 10 or more people. The presentation includes information about productions in progress and you can take a peek at their professional dancers in rehearsal. You’ll also be able to see costumes in the making in their costume shop. For more information about tours, please contact 816.216.5583
8. Kansas City Fun Tours
A Kansas City Fun Tour is the best first thing to do in Kansas City. Get acquainted with popular sites, local favorites and hidden treasures that the city has to offer during their fully narrated 75 minute, 15 mile guided tour. Take the tour in style aboard an authentic trolley. Some of the things you’ll experience are art museums, fountains and statues, where to go for the best nightlife and live music, and great restaurants to enjoy cuisine from around the world. Scheduled tours are daily at 10 am, 12 pm, and 2 pm. Tickets are $10 for children 12 and younger, $18 for 60+ and military, and $20 for adults. For scheduling book tickets online or call 816-500-5417.
9. The Roasterie Factory Café Tour
The Roasterie Factory Café goes to great lengths to bring you the best coffee in the world. Enjoy tours of the factory that gives you an up close look at their cupping, roasting and blending processes. You’ll learn about the history of the company, get a behind the scenes look at the factory, and experience a manual coffee brewing demonstration along with a Q&A. Arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for the 45 minutes long tours. The best day for a Roasterie Factory tour is Thursday. Public Cuppings (coffee tastings) are held on the first and third Thursday of the month. On these days, from 5 pm to 6 pm, you can sample a myriad of coffees from all over the world. One hour private tours are best for groups of 15 or more. Here’s a link to my last visit to the Roasterie Factory.
10. Taste of Kansas City Food Tours
Taste of Kansas City Food Tours started in 2012, becoming Kansas City’s first food and culinary tour company dedicated to helping visitors and Kansas City residents enjoy the best Kansas City food and cultural experience off-the-beaten-path. In addition to tasting deliciously crafted foods, participants will learn about the history, culture, and neighborhood entertainment offerings of the Crossroads Arts District. Whether through the Crossroads, Prohibition, Sunday Brunch, or on the KC Streetcar Line, any of the four Taste of Kansas City Tours are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Ticket pricing starts at $54 per person. Visit website for more tour information and schedule.
Which tour your favorite? Leave a comment. Thank you so much for reading!