Union Station’s Best Kept Secret

Kansas City Skyline Union Station Foreground
Kansas City’s skyline with Union Station in the foreground

Kansas City’s Union Station is a hub of activity at any time of year, but especially so during the holidays. If you’ve never seen the cavernous, 850,000 square foot station decked out in holiday splendor, put it on your to-do list. You can find an extensive list of their family-friendly activities on their website.

Now, maybe you’re not new to Union Station. Maybe you’re thinking, “Been there, done that.” You probably even got the t-shirt, as the saying goes. (If not, you can find some great ones at MadeinKC.com.) But don’t cross Union Station off your list just yet because I’m willing to bet there’s one exhibit you haven’t seen.

Union Station Stories is a permanent exhibit that tells the history of the building, along with much of the more colorful history of Kansas City. It’s strictly History Lite, set up to spark your interest in the extraordinary people who built the station and turned it into a small city of travel and commerce. Topics include:

  • Building the station
  • The City Beautiful movement
  • Train Travel in the 20th century
  • The Kansas City Massacre
  • Behind the Scenes at the Station
  • The Harvey House restaurants

Not only is the exhibit first rate, but you’ll also be treated to the best views of the station itself.

The view from the third floor mezzanine

The website’s directions to the start of the exhibit are as follows:

“From the Grand Hall, start at the staircase in the southwest elevator vestibule and follow through Mezzanine levels 2 and 3.”

If you see round windows like the one at left, you’re in the right place.

As you go up to levels 2 and 3 (elevators are easily available), your views of the station get better and better.

Whatever your reason for visiting, Union Station is sure to delight you this holiday season.

Union Station Christmas Tree, Kansas City
Union Station Christmas Tree

5 comments

  1. And believe it or not, my tween son actually loved exploring the history with us one day. I think it was being able to explore that made the history interesting to him. Unfortunately, your photos did not load for me. Not certain why.

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    • The exhibit makes history so accessible. I’m glad to know a tween enjoyed it too! Thanks for letting me know about the photos not loading. My website is due for some routine maintenance.

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  2. It’s one of my favorite landmarks full of great memories. My mom and I boarded a train every summer for Amarillo, TX, to visit her parents. It was a 12-hour train ride, and oh, the wonderful food in the dining car was such a treat for a little girl! We sat in our chairs to sleep, after having washed our faces and put on our hairnets in the ladies’ room!! I’m sure we were a sight, although not that uncommon in the ’50s. Great memories. Thanks for sharing. xo

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