Comfort Suites Independence - Kansas City
19751 E. Valley View Parkway
Independence, MO 64057
Phone: (816) 373-9880
Fax: (816) 373-9885
Arts & Museums
As you walk in through the doors of Leila's Hair Museum, you will be surrounded by nothing but hair. Styling of hair has been an aspect of beauty since ancient times; this museum, established by Leila Cohoon, aims at cherishing this art form. Exhibits on display include broaches comprising hair, paintings made with powdered hair, hair wreaths and hair accessories. Popular artifacts on display include locks from celebrities, presidents, Queen Victoria, St. Anne and Mother Mary.
This 30 acre estate depicts what life was like during the mid-19th Century. It is located in the magnificent Fleming Park and is open year-round. Some of the highlights here are the original buildings that date back to that era and within their halls, the actors who reenact the daily life of these hearty settlers on the American frontier. Missouri Town 1855 also offers hands-on learning with several different workshops that vary from teaching visitors how to blacksmith, basket weave or even how to hearth cook. As a side excursion, Fleming Park itself has much to offer like Lake Jacomo and Blue Springs Lake, both perfect for those who seek the Great Outdoors.
The National Frontier Trails Museum reflects centuries of history. This museum features a number of exhibits that highlight the life and times of a pioneer, including quotes and narratives from the brave souls that made their way out West.
Built in 1859, this historic frontier jail located in Independence Square is where Frank James, Jesse's bank-robbing brother, was imprisoned. With bars on the windows, the jail looks like something out of an old western movie. Visitors can tour the Marshall's home, the jail cells, a schoolhouse and the surrounding grounds. An exhibit of handmade weapons is also on display.
Located in nearby Independence, this library is one of only ten presidential libraries in the country run by the National Archives and Records Administration. It houses 15 million pages of documents and 35,000 objects that are all associated with the life and presidency of Harry Truman. This populist president was born in Independence and he is buried in the courtyard alongside his wife Bess on the grounds of this impressive library.
This museum is devoted to the history of Kansas City and its environs. The museum is housed in the stately Beaux-Arts mansion that once belonged to the lumber tycoon R.A. Long. The estate was given to the city in 1938 and converted into a museum shortly thereafter. Inside, visit the 50-room wing known as the Corinthian Hall or the StoryTarium, which is an interactive area that presents the history of the city as well as the people who created it. In addition to Kansas City history, the museum also focuses on community events that run the gamut, from Latino heritage exhibits to LGBT programs.
A visit to the Black Archives makes the perfect addition to a day of discovery in the downtown area. This one-of-a-kind attraction, located just one block west of the 18th and Vine District, boasts one of the largest collections of African-American art, memorabilia and historical materials in the region. You will also explore the histories and lifestyles of many of the most respected African-American leaders in the area.
This impressive museum pays tribute to the music and performers within the inimitable American art form we call jazz. The history of this music is told through interactive exhibits where you can listen to performances, watch videos and learn more about the greatest jazz musicians on earth, from those perennial favorites Dizzy and Miles to those lesser known cats like Horace Peterson and Tony Williams. Visitors will also learn about the history of African-American artists in local Kansas City lore and their many contributions to the community. The museum, which adjoins the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, rents its stage for special events and group tours are available. Call ahead or check the website for more details.
Explore the history of the Negro Baseball Leagues at this museum located in the 18th & Vine District. Through video presentations, film exhibits, interactive stations, a photo gallery and pieces of memorabilia, the museum offers insight into the lives and careers of the players who contributed so much to the game of baseball while helping to advance the Civil Rights movement. This museum adjoins the American Jazz Museum, so be sure to allow enough time to visit both. Check website to find out more details on events and presentations.
This artistic wonderland is housed in a splendid neoclassical structure that looks like it is a piece of work in itself. The collections of American and European art contain masterpieces from the most prominent schools and periods, from artists such as Homer, Caravaggio, Monet, Titian, Rodin, Renoir and hundreds of others. Popular displays at the museum include the Chinese Temple Room, a sealed Egyptian tomb and an outdoor sculpture garden. A cafe and gift shop are also on-site. Admission is free.
This is a must-see for children and the young-at-heart. Located near the Country Club Plaza on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, this museum features a collection of antique toys, built-to-scale miniatures, antique dolls, doll houses, farm toys and teaching kitchens. They recently added a new room to feature the worlds most complete marble collection, donated by Larry and Cathy Runyan-Svacina. The museum was founded in 1982 by two women who wanted to share their toy collections with the general public. Adults will especially enjoy the miniature displays, which fascinate and inspire. *One added note, the museum is closed for renovations until 2015, check website for details.
Since its opening in the Fall of 1994, over the last two decades the Kemper Museum has become one of the most respected galleries in the region. The permanent collection donated by Bebe and Crosby Kemper features contemporary artwork and some of the artists include the famous glassblower Dale Chihuly, Georgia O'Keefe, Andrew Wyeth and Robert Mapplethorpe, just to name a few. Some temporary exhibits have featured a complete retrospective by fashion photographer, Herb Ritts and a moving AIDS tribute by Robert Juarez. The building merits attention also, it has plenty of nooks and crannies that are interspersed alongside two elongated wings, which makes the structure appear like a bird in flight.