Disclosure: KC Destinations hosted my visit to the Kansas City area. However, all opinions are my own.
It’s no secret that I love a quirky destination. I’m never happier than when I have an offbeat itinerary ahead of me, which is why I was so excited to experience KC Destinations’ Quirky Trip.
This collection of a dozen museums, restaurants, roadside attractions and small businesses around the greater Kansas City area is the ultimate eclectic adventure. From a 15-foot-tall fiberglass rooster to a restaurant where your food is delivered by miniature train, there’s truly something for everyone here.
If you’re looking for an offbeat adventure in the Kansas City area, look no further! Keep reading to learn more about accessing the tour and discover our experiences at the dozen stops along the KC Destinations’ Quirky Trip.
About the KC Destinations’ Quirky Trip
The KC Destinations’ Quirky Trip was put together by a group of member destinations that represent the greater Kansas City area. There’s so much to do outside of Kansas City proper! KC Destinations helps highlight and share some of the area’s hidden gems.
The tour utilizes the free Otocast app, which not only helps you navigate to each spot along the way but also has great audio descriptions of each stop. We found the app really helpful on our adventure along the Quirky Trip and listened to each clip before hopping out of our car.
Stops Along the KC Destinations’ Quirky Trip
The 1950s All Electric House
We’ve all seen retro “homes of the future” in old TV shows and movies, but in Overland Park, Kansas you can experience one for yourself. Located inside the Johnson County Museum, visiting the 1950s All Electric House is like stepping back in time. Built by the Kansas City Power and Light Company in 1954, this ranch house was an example of the standard home in a new all-electric neighborhood in Kansas City. During the six months it was open as a model home, more than 60,000 people tour the home.
The home was outfitted with many gadgets and electronic conveniences like automatic curtains, a painting above the fireplace that moves to reveal a black and white TV, an electric heat pump and more. It was so cool to be able to wander through the house and see the state-of-the-art built-ins up close.
Five families lived in the home between the 1950s and 1990s before it was moved the nine miles to the Johnson County Museum campus in a trek that took five hours.
Johnson County Museum, 8788 Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park, Kansas
Atchison County Historical Museum
North of Kansas City in the town of Atchison, Kansas, you’ll find lots of rich history. Head to the Atchison County Historical Society located inside a historic Santa Fe Depot learn about the area’s past, including its history as a booming railroad town. Be sure to explore the historical society’s grounds and see some of the historic trains they have on view up close.
The community was also home to the supposed “12th President” of the United States: Senator David Rice Atchison, whom the town was name after. As the story goes, President-elect Zachary Taylor did not want to hold his inauguration on a Sunday. So during the day between when President James Polk left office and Taylor was sworn, Atchison—who was elected president pro tempore by the Senate—was technically “president” and brought a small brush with presidential history to this Kansas community.
Atchison County Historical Museum, 200 South 10th Street, Santa Fe Depot in Atchison, Kansas
What’s a better addition to a quirky tour than a roadside attraction? Meet Chick Norris! Chick is a 15-foot fiberglass rooster who lives south of Kansas City near Gardner, Kansas. Created Chris Cakes owner Steve Hamilton, the sculpture brings smiles to the faces of visitors and locals alike. Stop to snap a photo with Chick for a fun memento of your cluckin’ good time exploring greater Kansas City.
Chick Norris, 33665 W. 199th Street in Edgerton, Kansas
If you’re interested in learning wheel throwing, Driftwood Ceramics is the place for you! Located in North Kansas City, this art studio offers evening and multi-week classes that let you try your hand at ceramics. Tap into your creativity and experience this unique way to try something new.
We didn’t have time for a class during our visit to Kansas City, but I hope I can visit for a little wheel throwing sometime soon.
Driftwood Ceramics, 2106 Swift Street in North Kansas City, Missouri
The Fish Market
With an incredible selection of fresh fish and Cajun-inspired favorites, The Fish Market in Liberty, Missouri is a must-visit stop along your quirky tour. Especially on weekends, this small eatery is a popular spot so be ready for a wait. I promise it’s worth it!
After snagging a table on the patio, we were happy to see beers on the menu from Abita Brewing Company, which took us right back to our visit to another roadside favorite near New Orleans. After much deliberation, we opted for the fried crawfish and fried gulf shrimp baskets, which come with seasoned fries and hushpuppies. The crab cakes and corn bread were also absolutely delicious. One thing is for sure—if you’re headed to the Fish Market, be sure to come hungry!
The Fish Market, 1120 E. Old, MO-210 in Liberty, Missouri
Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a meal that will surprise and delight you, look no further than Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant. At this quirky railroad-themed diner, guests order from telephones installed in each booth and their food is brought to the table via miniature train.
I didn’t expect to be so delighted by Fritz’s, but our meal here was truly one of the highlights of our trip. We opted for a Saturday morning breakfast at Fritz’s and enjoyed eggs and hash browns as well as the MEK, a truly tasty breakfast sandwich. The staff at Fritz’s was so kind and truly went above and beyond to make our morning fun. Not only did they turn the trains on early for us, but they also brought us paper conductors’ hats so we could feel like kids again.
Fritz’s has been a Kansas City tradition since 1954, and the N. 18th Street Fritz’s was actually the restaurant’s second location, which opened in the 1960s.
Travel Tip: Fritz’s uses its telephone ordering and train delivery primarily during lunchtime. So if you want the full experience, plan to visit later in the day! We loved their breakfast but I’ve heard great things about their burgers and shakes as well.
Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant, 250 N. 18th Street in Kansas City, Kansas
Gators Games & Hobby
You may not know it from following along here, but we are, without a doubt, a board game household. Josh loves board games of all kinds and so if you can think of a board game, we probably own it. Which is why we were both so delighted to visit Gators Games & Hobby in Leavenworth, Kansas.
This unique shop and community space has a great selection of games and other nerdy memorabilia. We had a blast picking out a new-to-us two-player game, Codenames: Duet, that we can’t wait to play. The Captain Kirk mural out front is also a great photo op and a fun reminder of one of my favorite Iowa towns.
Gators Games & Hobby, 720 Shawnee Street in Leavenworth, Kansas
Head to downtown Merriam, Kansas for a little holistic healing at Gemini. This unique shop is filled to the brim with everything you need to create a calming, tranquil environment. From handmade candles and incense to a wide variety of crystals and Tarot cards, Gemini has it all.
Gemini, 5807 Merriam Drive in Merriam, Kansas
Located on the second story of Gomer’s of Kansas in Lenexa, Kansas, Gomer’s Collectibles offers a unique assortment of antiques and vintage collectibles, including—very aptly—vintage spirits bottles. After browsing for antiques, don’t forget to head downstairs to explore Gomer’s incredible selection of wine, beer and spirits.
Plus, be sure to check out the mural on the east side of the Gomer’s building, which features five significant local historical figures including Charles Bradshaw and his wife, Sarah, for whom the town was almost named Bradshaw, Kansas. You can learn more about the mural on the Gomer’s website.
Gomer’s Collectibles, 17220 W. 87th St Parkway in Lenexa, Kansas
The Junque Drawer Boutique
If you’re looking for a gift, The Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio is the perfect place to shop! Based in an old house in Olathe, Kansas, the Junque Drawer is a three-story shop brimming with jewelry, gifts, home décor and more. There’s so much to see and discover in this shop that you could spend hours wandering its halls. From puzzles and planters to wine glasses and an entire room full of jewelry charms, there truly is something here for everyone.
The Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio, 233 S. Cherry Street in Olathe, Kansas
Moon Marble Company
There are few toys more whimsical than handmade marbles. And at Moon Marble Company in Bonner Springs, Kansas, you can learn about the history and craft of this unique art form. In addition to handmade marbles, this unique shop also sells machine-made marbles and a wide variety of other toys and games.
While Moon Marble Company is currently open by appointment only, you can also shop their wares online.
Moon Marble Company, 600 E. Front Street in Bonner Springs, Kansas
Rolle Bolle in Sister Cities Park
Sister Cities Park in Shawnee, Kansas may be one of the city’s smaller parks, but it’s home to its most unique game: rolle bolle. Pronounced like “roly-poly,” rolle bolle is a Belgian sport that’s part horseshoes and part bowling but sounds way more difficult. Especially because the bolles are made to roll in a curved, elliptical arc.
Every week residents get together for a friendly tournament of this unique sport. Each year it’s played during the community’s annual Shawnee Days. We didn’t get to try our hands at rolle bolle during our visit, but I’m obsessed with learning more. In fact, we learned that there are other places in Iowa and Minnesota that have also embraced rolle bolle.
Sister Cities Park, 5801 King Street in Shawnee, Kansas
Share Your Thoughts
I would love to hear from you! Would you take the KC Destinations’ Quirky Trip? Have you visited any of these stops before?