NYC has Rockefeller Center, Kansas City has Crown Center. While maybe not as grand as the Big Apple version, Crown Center can offer just about anything the more popular version can. And with Bar B Q!
Crown Center is a shopping and entertainment complex located in Midtown Kansas City, Missouri. The Center contains apartments, restaurants (including the city’s only Forbes four-star location) retail shops, the opulent Westin and Sheraton Hotels, three venues for live theater, Legoland, and an Aquarium. Crown Center is also the world headquarters for Hallmark Cards. The “Crown” in Crown Center comes from Hallmark’s logo.
Hallmark’s visitor center includes a children’s play area called “Crayola -land” and has a lot of fun activities. You can also learn the history of their greeting cards known throughout the world, The headquarters is a real hub for creativity, hiring many artists and writers to produce their line of cards for every occasion.
Hallmark began developing the area in the 1960s. They designed a shopping plaza, with a large outdoor court. Later they developed an area that would serve as an ice terrace during the winter and a concert area in the summer. The ice terrace is the largest in the city and is a favorite of both locals and visitors.
Crown Center has events running throughout the year including the Kansas City Irish Festival, Oktoberfest, and an international sidewalk drawing competition. But Christmastime is probably the most special time of all to visit. The Center features the tallest Fir tree in the city (The mayor’s Christmas tree), and Santa’s Gingerbread Station,
Crown Center’s midtown location put the complex in the center of many of the city’s most popular tourist areas including Union Station, The National World War One and Science Center Museums, and Sea-Life Aquarium. The center is also connected to Downtown and the City Market and Riverfront areas by free light rail service. Make sure you include the Center on any visit to Kansas City.