In Kansas City, the LGBT community gathers at Berkeley Riverfront Park for its Gay Pride Festival, which will be held this year from June 1-3. The nearby Hotel Indigo Downtown Kansas City and the forthcoming Hotel Indigo Crossroads District offer ideal hubs to experience the festival, as well as the Heartland’s most buzzy — and LGBT-friendly — offerings:
Food and Drink
Step inside the charming, brick-exposed Bistro 303 for French classics like steamed mussels and heavenly Croque Monsieur’s and stay late for the Thursday night sips and karaoke, which starts at 9 p.m. Meanwhile, Café Trio offers a winning combination of a creative American menu, live music and outdoor seating overlooking Country Club Plaza.
For some late night fun on 39th Street, kick up your heels at the wildly popular Missie B’s, a venue with shiny disco balls, plastic straws and Jell-O shots. On Main Street, the laid-back Sidekicks Saloon offers cheap drinks, country music and a backyard patio, while the venerable dive bar Buddies is great for happy hour drinks and the occasional drag show.
Be sure to check out Heartland Men’s Chorus, which will perform “Indivisible: Songs of Resistance and Remembrance” on June 9-10, and “Big Gay Sing” in mid-July — the latter a mashup of “collision karaoke and choir.”
Don’t miss the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, home to a world-class Asian collection and contemporary works. Across the street, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, flanked by Louise Bourgeois’ giant lawn spider, is also home to works by artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and Dale Chihuly.
For cinematic inspiration, check out the annual Kansas City LGBT Film Festival, which is held June 21-28 at Tivoli Cinemas.
Local studio Hammerpress sells its own line of notebooks and gift cards. Situated in a former schoolhouse, the Webster House stocks antiques and unusual gifts and also serves lunch. For an even bigger selection of antiques, River Market has seemingly something for everyone.
For national and designer brands, Country Club Plaza, an outdoor shopping mecca with stunning Spanish-inspired architecture, is a must.