Thousands of visitors are expected to experience the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts for the first time at a free public grand opening from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Doors will open at 11 a.m., and performances on six stages (two indoors and four outdoors) will run from noon to 5 p.m.
Downtown Kansas City, home to the spectacular Kauffman Center, will roll out the red carpet to the expected 20,000+ visitors with a series of special events to enjoy before or after their visits to the Performing Arts Center.
The public open house – Experience Downtown! – will give visitors unique opportunities to experience Downtown arts, culture, shopping, and dining at its many new and established destinations throughout Sunday afternoon and evening. From a First Friday arts experience on a Sunday in the Crossroads, to a street festival in nearby Westside, to the 14th Street Jazz Festival the Power & Light District, visitors will experience all the richness of Downtown. These Downtown area restaurants, shops, galleries and attractions will be open on Sunday, Sept. 18 to welcome Kauffman Center guests before or after their visits to the Performing Arts Center: Experience Downtown Participants
The Downtown Council has worked closely with the Kauffman Center and the City of Kansas City, Missouri to prepare for the thousands of open house guests on Sunday. The following information will help visitors find their way to parking, shuttles, the Kauffman Center and to the neighborhoods of Downtown.
5 insider tips to ease your journey
1. What’s free and what’s not?
- The Kauffman Center open house, Experience Downtown! events and the shuttles are free.
- The MAX buses will be running to the Kauffman Center every 15 minutes from Waldo, Brookside, the Plaza, Crown Center and the River Market. Cost is $1.50 each way.
- Parking, generally, is NOT free. Fees will vary depending on the Downtown surface lot or garage.
- Food and beverage will be available for sale from urban food trucks just outside of the Kauffman Center and in more than 100 Downtown area restaurants that will be open for this special occasion and, in many cases, offering specials
2. What’s the best way to get to the Kauffman Center?
- With thousands of visitors expected on Sunday, consider your options before you start out. Review the grand opening map and make a plan that will avoid the heaviest traffic at I-35 and Broadway. Consider a less congested route, such as the West Pennway exit, to offsite parking and free shuttles.
- Download the Kauffman Center Parking & Driving Map (PDF)
3. Where’s the best place to park?
- Parking will be available in the Kauffman Center’s new, 1,000-space garage, but that will be the site of the heaviest traffic. More than 15,000 parking spaces are shown on the parking and shuttle map. Choose one near one of the shuttle locations – near the Convention Center and Downtown Marriott; near the Power & Light District or Midland Theatre; or in the Crossroads. Remember, come prepared to pay to park.
4. Where can I catch a shuttle?
- Free shuttles will run continuously to and from the Kauffman Center from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on three routes:
- Convention Center: 12th & Wyandotte (in front of the Downtown Marriott)
- Crossroads: 19th & Baltimore and 20th & Central
- Power & Light District: 14th & Main
- Kauffman Center: 16th Street, between Central and Wyandotte
5. Is there anything within walking distance, following our visit to the Kauffman Center?
- Yes! Downtown is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Greater Kansas City. Review the walking/shuttle map for simple directions to:
- First Friday arts experience in the Crossroads (5 minutes)
- 14th Street Jazz Festival in the Power & Light District (10 minutes)
- Black Expo at Bartle Hall (10 minutes)
- Dining and live music in the Westside (12 minutes)
- Shops, restaurants and galleries that will be open on Sunday
- Download the Kauffman Center Walking Map (PDF)
The opening of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts marks a unique milestone in revitalization of our Downtown and this event is a chance for everyone to share in the celebration. Visitors will get a renewed sense of what a vibrant, active and cultural community Downtown KC is.