As a Grantham University graduate, you have the pleasure of celebrating commencement with your loved ones in Kansas City. Whether you have traveled 1,000 miles or 10 to attend commencement, you have completed a major academic journey this year and deserve to enjoy some of the city’s best offerings while visiting KC. If you are thinking about getting your diploma and heading straight home, here are a few reasons not to:
1. Union Station/National World War I Museum and Memorial
The commencement Meet and Greet takes place at Union Station–one of Kansas City’s most prized destinations. While you already happen to be there, grab a fresh-brewed coffee at Parisi, and enjoy the classic Kansas City charm that Union Station has to offer. You can go on a historical tour, or experience the traveling national exhibit in town. When you walk out the main doors just look across the street to the Liberty Memorial and head to the state-of-the-art National World War I Museum and Memorial to cross the next thing off your to-do list. When you’re done, hop aboard the new KC Streetcar to visit your next destination…
2. City Market
If you happen to be a fan of open-air markets, then City Market is the perfect place for you while you spend your weekend visiting KC. This market has been a Kansas City tradition for 150 years, and will give you an authentic experience while you’re here. Go ahead and treat yourself to an assortment of delicious foods inspired by countries all over the world. Grab your food and a table, and spend a moment taking in the view of Kansas City before returning home.
3. Country Club Plaza
If you find yourself questioning why Kansas City is named the “City of Fountains,” a quick trip to the Plaza is the only explanation you need to see how this name was coined. After hours of sitting during the commencement ceremony, stretch your legs with a stroll through the Plaza and see just how many fountains you can count! Enjoy the iconic Spanish architecture, and with plenty of restaurants, the Plaza is the perfect place for some post-commencement fuel.
4. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Plaza is not only shops and restaurants, though, so don’t miss out on the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. With free admission you can discover anything from ancient pots to contemporary sculptures. Kansas City has a vibrant arts culture, making the Nelson a popular spot among both the locals and those visiting KC. Even if you just want a moment to relax with those who came to support you at commencement, then the Nelson Lawn is the perfect spot to enjoy some peace and quiet within the city.
5. The Kansas City Royals
You’re visiting KC, so you can’t pass up a game at Kauffman Stadium to watch the 2015 World Series Champions: the Royals! After working so hard for your personal academic win, enjoy some time at “The K” with your friends and family while cheering on the Royals as they fight for a win of their own! The weekend of commencement the Royals will be taking on division rivals, the Toronto Blue Jays, in a rematch of the dramatic 2015 American League Championship Series teams. Enjoy Friday Night Fireworks after the Graduate Meet and Greet and Career Boosting Event on Friday, August 5, or enjoy some afternoon baseball on Sunday, August 7 when the Royals will be celebrating Arts Day at The K.
6. Historic 18th & Vine District
Did you know that legendary African-American baseball player Jackie Robinson was recruited into the major leagues from the Kansas City Monarchs? If you are a fan of baseball or jazz, then 18th & Vine is worth exploring while you are in town for commencement. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and American Jazz Museum in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District are the perfect places to visit to learn about Kansas City’s unique history.
7. Live Performance
Watching people walk across the stage at commencement doesn’t have to be the only performance you see while you’re visiting KC. The city has a variety of concert venues that host both local and world-known bands. It also has the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, home to the Kansas City Ballet and Symphony, and Grantham University’s commencement! If you arrive in KC a couple days early, you can catch Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle or Dave Koz and David Sandborn in concert at the Kauffman Center. The Capitol Federal Concert Series has three great shows lined up at Starlight Theatre the weekend of commencement: Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy on Friday, Kool and the Gang on Saturday and “Weird Al” Yankovic on Sunday. If you extend your stay in KC, you can catch A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder August 9-14 at Starlight Theatre. The Sprint Center is KC’s premier live events venue. If you are a fan of Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas, you can catch them performing at the Sprint Center in the heart of downtown KC on Saturday evening while you are in town.
Commencement is your reason to come to Kansas City, and now you’ve got 7 great reasons to stay. If you are fond of traveling, visiting KC is a must for your travel to-do list! And even if traveling isn’t your thing, staying a couple of extra days in the city while you’re here is the perfect opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and explore somewhere new. Congratulations on graduating, and enjoy your Kansas City getaway!