First Fridays Bring The Kansas City Crossroads District Alive

All About First Fridays in Kansas City

Every month the Kansas City Crossroads Arts District gets even livelier during the highly popular First Friday event. This festive evening—which happens rain or first_friday_kansas_cityshine—offers locals and out-of-towners a fantastic opportunity to experience the best this neighborhood has to offer with late hours at the galleries and shops, special offers at bars and restaurants, and indoor and outdoor entertainment. While this downtown area bordered by 15th Street, I-35, the Freighthouse District and Troost Avenue offers fun throughout the year, it is especially happening on this night. Here’s what’s happening on Friday.

Galleries Galore

Art appreciation comes easy with galleries open until 9 p.m. A stroll into the Belger Arts Center reveals ever-changing exhibits showcasing an array of artists from home and abroad. Currently on view, The Mind’s Eye: Exhibitions From the Belger Collection showcases the multi-dimensional works of American artists spanning the 1970s to 2010. You’ll be able to view photography from locals like Larry Schwarm, Gary Sutton and Wes Lyle, along with ceramics by Jessie Brandl and more. The Jones Gallery typically presents eight to 10 different artists who have created everything from jewelry to sculpture and paintings.

Sensational Shopping

The boutique shops of the Kansas City Crossroads Art District also stay open until 9 p.m. Explore one-of-a-kind items including furniture and accessories at Azalea Home, Asian antiques at Black Bamboo, more than 100,000 pairs of shoes at Bob Jones Shoes and skateboards at Escapist Skateboarding.

Destinations for Dining

After all that strolling around, eventually everyone will be in the mood for food and drink. Fortunately, the Crossroads Art District serves up cuisine for every craving from pasta to savory Mexican, Thai and other tasty choices. When you can’t decide on a specific dish, head to Grinders, an upscale delicatessen known for its extensive menu of New York-style pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, Philly cheese steaks and wings. Live music is another draw of this place. Lidia’s KC has received kudos from the Zagat Guide, and this establishment owned by celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich does not disappoint with specially made appetizers for the occasion, along with a nice selection of pastas such as the Wild Board Ravioli and hearty entrees like Carme—cabbage rolls filled with beef, pork, herbs and sauerkraut. Finally, in honor of First Friday, The Cashew will serve special “Spring Drinks” and scrumptious appetizers.

Sounds like a lot of fun, right? Be sure to mark your calendar for the next First Friday at the Kansas City Crossroads Art District coming up on April 1, 2012.