Quirky KC: Delightfully Different
Updated: Mar 15, 2021
A 15-foot rooster. The country’s smallest presidential museum. Ghost-hunting at a winery. Ranging from weirdly wonderful to altogether off-kilter, the Kansas City metro is no stranger to quirky museums and attractions. Talk about a trip!
Kansas City, MO
Children and adults are equally intrigued by the unique objects at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City, MO. Quirky displays include a pair of fully dressed fleas that can be viewed under a microscope, a 1/12-scale pair of dueling pistols that are one-inch long and actually function, a nine-foot-tall dollhouse and a Victorian swimming doll.
Overland Park, KS
Whether you're a child of the Fifties or just curious about lifestyles from this nostalgic era, The 1950s All-Electric House at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center offers an eye-opening look at a “home of the future.” Showcasing what was considered to be advanced technology of the times, the model home is a time capsule of electrical oddities.
Every home’s junk drawer is chockfull of random odds and ends that sometimes tell a story all their own. Junque Drawer Boutique Studio takes it to a whole other level in Olathe, where you’ll find a cozy cottage full of quirky items, hand-painted signs, art, jewelry and more. Browse and wander through the former home, now a modern-day general store featuring a treasure trove of gifts and accessories inspired by the Midwest.
Kansas City, KS
All aboard for Fritz's Railroad Restaurant, where you order your food using an old-fashioned telephone and watch your meal delivered by a train. While the service may be quirky, the restaurant is well-known for its burgers and malts. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the vintage vibe of the restaurant as well as donning a paper engineer hat and watching the overhead miniature train in motion.
The Atchison County Historical Museum shares the curious case of David Rice Atchison—also known as the “U.S. President for a Day." Referred to as the country’s smallest "unofficial" presidential library, the museum remembers the man who served as Commander in Chief for only 24 hours between James K. Polk and Zachary Taylor in 1848. A vital player in pre-Civil War history and the humble beginnings of the Kansas territory, Atchison also served as a Missouri senator and is namesake for the City of Atchison and its surrounding county.
Step into Gemini in downtown Merriam to learn about all things holistic and natural. From beautiful Arkansas ice crystals to hand-made candles, bath salts, healing crystals and more, you'll instantly feel connected and aligned with the Earth and the energy surrounding you in this peaceful and calming environment.
A ride through southwest Johnson County isn't complete without a quick stop by "Chick Norris”—a 15-foot rooster fabricated by Steve Hamilton, owner of Chris Cakes. Never one to shy away from a good photo, Chick Norris frequently dresses up for holidays to raise money for good causes and has its own Facebook page. Take a delightful detour with this roadside attraction located just south and west of the booming Logistics Park Kansas City facility.
Bonner Springs, KS
Once the site of a potato-washing facility, the wonder emporium that is Moon Marble Company now houses timeless toys and every marble imaginable. From mibs and peewees to shooters and boulders, this place has it all. In addition to “knuckling down,” make time for the company’s free marble-making demonstrations to learn about marble history, the process of glass working and other fascinating marble facts.
If the massive Spock mural on the side of the building didn’t give it away, Gators Games and Hobby is home for all that is geek in Leavenworth. A family-owned business for more than 30 years, Gators buys and sells all types of games, including Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh and more. Get lost in the shop’s expansive inventory or double down in one of its regular tournaments.
Part bowling and part horseshoes, Rolle Bolle is a truly unique Belgian yard game that has found a following in Shawnee. Every Sunday, members of the public get together in Downtown Shawnee’s Sister Cities Park for a casual tournament of this off-kilter sport where new players are always welcome.
Want to know what really happens when things go bump in the night? Known for both its wine and its storied past, the Belvoir Winery in Liberty resides in a building that has inspired episodes of Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures and Most Terrifying Places. To learn more about the winery’s spooky side, participate in a nighttime tour led by Paranormal Research Investigators, using professional gear to find and detect supernatural activity over the course of a haunting, five-hour experience.
For unique spirits of a different kind, venture to Gomer's Collectibles on the second floor of Gomer's Fine Wine and Spirits in Lenexa City Center. There, you’ll find quirky antiques, retro bar accessories and vintage collectibles, many of which are for sale, as well as hard to find whiskey and spirits bottles.
Clay County, MO
Finally, for a unique diversion, try the therapeutic process of throwing clay at Driftwood Ceramics. The hands-on arts studio delivers a new twist on the group painting classes that have gained loyal followings in recent years, offering pottery experiences instead. Quirky meets creative at this North Kansas City establishment, the perfect destination for date night, a girls gathering or bonding with your littles.