‘Tis the season to stare at gorgeously sunny days from inside your office all week long, only to get drenched by dreary rain storms when you finally escape for the weekend. While lounging in sweats and binging on your 6th round of Orange is the New Black may seem like a great idea on Friday night, by Monday morning, you’re sure to be a little bummed by the fabulously Instagrammed weekends that are taking over your feed. Fear not, Kansas City. In true weekend warrior style, I tackled a few of the more dry places in the city to bring you a some quick tips for taking in the city while staying dry — for the most part.
First and foremost…
Find Some Food
It’s safe to say that, regardless of the weather, you’re going to get hungry and you’re going to want to eat. Take this time to explore the city in a way you may have neglected to do for awhile. Pick a restaurant that isn’t your typical. Head to an area of town that you don’t usually see. Instead of your go-to burgers, grab noodles. Or get really crazy with some pizza that didn’t come from the lint-covered backseat of a delivery kid’s car. When it comes to bites, this city is huge and the food is phenomenal — rarely can you go wrong. But if sampling and discovery isn’t your thing, you can get started with my last weekend’s picks:
- Drunken Noodles for dinner at Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop
- Summer Brew for happy hour at The Cashew
- French Toast Sandwich and off-menu Grapefruit Mimosas for brunch at The Farmhouse
This is made secretly better by sitting as close to the front window as is humanly possible and blatantly laughing at each and every person as they fail at reversing their cars into the Delaware Street parking spaces in the pouring rain.
- Iced Black Coffee for a pick-me-up at The Roasterie
- Carrot Apple Ale from Weston Brewing Company for day drinking
- Queen Mary burger and margaritas for dinner at Hamburger Mary’s
- DIY beer/marg hybrids for toasting at Kauffman Stadium
- Full slab special for dinner at Johnny’s BBQ
Since we were entertaining out-of-towners, I also had the perfect chance to reiterate my overwhelming list of favorites. While the full list is much larger, you can never go wrong with:
- Brunch at Succotash, Happy Gillis, Tom Fooleries or Eggtc
- Patio drinking at Coal Vines, McCoy’s or O’Dowd’s
- General drinking at Sully’s, The Quaff, The District or Stuey McBrew’s
- Lunch or dinner at Woodyard BBQ, Beer Kitchen, Mixx, Nara, Drunken Fish, D’Bronx or Vietnam Cafe
And if you’re really desperate for a taste of KC but just can’t stand to leave your house while it sprinkles, opt for a KC cookbook like Last Bite: 100 Simple Recipes from Kansas City’s Best Chefs and Cooks which I found for about $15 at the Nelson Atkins gift shop.
Take a Tour
Many of our beloved KC brands offer tours of their facilities, but it’s easy for us to overlook them when they’re always available to us. However, on the dampest of days, these awesome behind-the-scenes peeks at what it takes to make our favorite things can be insanely interesting, wallet-friendly and sometimes include free samples!
After more than 5 years of living in the actual city, I finally made it to my bucket list The Roasterie tour last weekend. While the hour-long tour dragged a smidge too long for such a large crowd in such a relatively compact space, what I learned about the coffee and where it comes from was shockingly awesome. While I enjoy a good cup of their coffee fairly regularly, I had very little idea of what made it so special. From the selection of the coffee beans to the air roasting process, bagging and brewing — quite a bit of thought and expertise goes into making that perfect cup. And a perfect cup it was — sipping an iced black coffee while taking a coffee tour with a coffee expert to learn more about coffee in a space smelling of coffee because it was full of coffee.
Maybe you’re not the caffeine addict some of us are. That’s ok, there are some options for you too:
- Boulevard Brewing Co. tour
- Harley Davidson factory tour
- KC BBQ bus tour (totally not free, totally worth it anyway)
- Shatto Milk farm tour
Go for a Run
You’re thinking “but Laura, you said these were tips for having fun while it’s raining.” Yes, yes I did. And running in the Kansas City rain is like grocery shopping during the Super Bowl. You have your choice of trails, paths and sidewalks — all completely void of other people and freshly washed of the walking dog poos your neighbors didn’t pick up. And, the best part, no one can tell if you’re profusely sweating or just really wet from the rain. Regardless, you look pretty hardcore while everyone else is on their fourth episode with Netflix. Respect.
In prep for June’s Hospital Hill Half Marathon, I took this weekend’s long run through the beautiful residential sights of Fairway, Kansas. The clouds kept me cool and steady sprinkle had me pretty drenched by the end, but it was by far one of the more peaceful runs since we started training.
See a Show
Our wet weekend dinner/show combo could not have possibly been any better. Just when we were really needing a laugh, we ducked into Hamburger Mary’s at its semi-new location next to the Uptown Theater. While downing truly delicious burgers and magnificent margs, we were treated to 80s-themed Dinner with Divas. And my, were they amazing. Each phenomenal queen strutted the room and we quickly received an education in ‘erecting’ dollar bills from one of the room’s half a dozen bridal parties. The energy was amazing, music fun and comedy cheesy. It was a riot.
If dolled up drag isn’t quite your scene, you can pop in to nearly-free show at a number of places in the city. Check out the Ernie Biggs’ dueling pianos, OffKey karaoke or live jazz in the basement of the Majestic — to name a few.
Head to the K
Fresh off of an American League Championship win and city-rallying show in the World Series, the Kansas City Royals are packing their house and the games do not disappoint. Despite weather reports calling for 90% rain all weekend, we packed up the car — grill, beer, raincoats and all — and headed out to the K for tailgating and baseball.
It’s an energy that not even a few sprinkles can dampen — and our bet paid off. We soaked up the perfect overcast afternoon with hot dogs and brats in the parking lot — then ran inside to catch a great game against the Oakland A’s. Pro tip: depending on the power of the wind, row HH in the first level will land you just far enough under the upper deck to keep you dry should a few drops fall. With a light jacket and few strategic runs to the bar, we had a fantastic game with much-better-than-expected weather.
Let that be yet another testament to our beloved city. “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes — it will change” rings as true as ever through the weekend. And even if it doesn’t, you’ve got plenty to keep you busy.