15 Fantastically Fun Things to Do in Kansas City in January 2023

Last updated on January 28th, 2023 at 11:35 am.

It’s time to finally say goodbye to 2022, and welcome in 2023. January is here with renewed hope and a long list of fun things to do in Kansas City. 

For some folks, January is the time to buckle down on those New Years’ resolutions, but we know better! All around the world, January is a month for parties, festivals, and winter celebrations, and Kansas City, MO is in on the action.

14 BEST Things to Do in Kansas City in January 2023 (From a Local!)

If you are willing to brave the cold and snow, January is still a good time to visit Kansas City as attractions are less crowded and accommodation is more affordable. 

If you are a Kansas City local, we’ve got the best list of things to do in KCMO.

14 Fun Things to do in Kansas City in January

No matter the season, no matter the weather, you can indulge in fabulous barbecue, visit the city’s amazing art museums, take in music of all genres at cool venues, see amazing live shows at KC’s beautiful performing arts center, or visit any of the city’s excellent museums such as the WWI memorial or the Negro Baseball League museum.

15 fun things to do in kansas city in January

In January, you can enjoy all that the city offers year-round and the January-only events listed below. Whether you are looking for things to do in Kansas City today or things to do in Kansas City this weekend, this list will provide a lot of great options.

I suggest bookmarking this blog post as I plan to update it regularly with new info.

Plaza Lights (Through Mid January 2023)

Plaza Lights in Kansas City

The Plaza Lights are iconic for anyone in Kansas City around the holidays, featuring over 200,000 bulbs strung across the Plaza. That’s 80 miles of lights if stretched from end to end! The Plaza has plenty of shopping and restaurants for the whole family or for a cozy night out with a significant other. 

The Evergy Plaza Lights shine daily from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. from Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022 to Sunday, Jan. 9, 2023.

Location: Country Club Plaza; 4706 Broadway Kansas City Missouri 64112

Jazz Storytelling (January 6, 2023)

American Jazz Museum
Photo Credit: American Jazz Museum

Jazz Storytelling is a free, family-friendly, interactive show taking place behind the museum, introducing young kids to the magic of jazz!

Aimed at toddlers to early elementary schoolers, Jazz Storytelling is lead by vocalist Lisa Henry, storyteller Brother John, drummer Mike Warren, and bassist Tyrone Clark. Their master storytelling skills bring an innovative, engaged approach for you and the whole family to enjoy!

Fri, Jan 6, 2023 from 10 – 11 AM

Location: American Jazz Museum; 1616 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO

First Fridays in the Crossroads Arts District (January 6, 2023)

First Friday at Crossroads
Photo Credit: Crossroads Community Association

No First Friday is the same thanks to an eclectic mix of art galleries, boutiques, food trucks, and more. First Fridays in Crossroads is one of the best free things to do in Kansas City every month for art lovers! This late-night event offers something for everyone in one of Downtown’s most vibrant neighborhoods.

Jan 7th, 7:00pm-9:00pm

Location: Crossroads Art District, Downtown Kansas City, MO

First Weekends in the West Bottoms (January 6-8, 2023)

West Bottoms first friday antique shopping

Once home to Kansas City’s thriving stockyards, West Bottoms now offers a wide assortment of antique and vintage stores that invite visitors to search for kitschy-cool artifacts the first weekend of every month.

Location: 12th Street Bridge Entertainment District, West Bottoms, Kansas City, MO

First Weekends at urban mining (January 6-8, 2023)

Open the first Friday weekend each month, Urban Mining is a vintage market and treasure trove of antique, vintage & mid-century finds for Home & Garden. On Sunday all remaining inventory is 10% off all day long.

Address: 3111 Gillham Road, Kansas City, MO 64109

R.K. Kansas City Gun Show (January 7, 2023)

Hunting is a major part of Missouri culture, particularly near the Ozark Mountains, so this event is sure to draw locals. R.K. Gun Shows are known for their safety and the Kansas City show will be no different.

The show will have a variety of vendors displaying guns, hunting supplies, military surplus, and outdoor gear Admission is $14 for adults, $6 for kids, and $16.50 for VIP (no waiting).

Jan 8th 8:00am – 5:00pm, Jan 9th 9:00am – 3:00pm

Location: KCI Expo Center; 11730 NW Ambassador Dr. Kansas City, MO 64153

National Fishing Expo (JAN 20-22, 2023)

If you’re a fishing enthusiast, you won’t want to miss the chance to enjoy activities, seminars, and exhibits at the National Fishing Expo. There will be hundreds of vendors from all over the U.S. and Canada who will come to showcase and sell their innovative top-notch products.

Explore more than 70,000 square feet of exhibit space featuring vendors representing every corner of fishing — from national brands to handcrafted items. It’s a one-of-a-kind product showcase you don’t want to miss. Plus, the best speakers in the industry will present on a wide range of fishing topics. These pros are eager to share their tips and secrets with you.

Tickets for this family-friendly event can be bought on site or ahead of time online for $12-$25.

Friday: 12pm – 7pm, Saturday: 10am – 6pm and Sunday: 10am – 3pm

Location: KCI Expo Center, 11730 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, MO 64153

Kansas City’s Restaurant Week (Jan 14-23)

Kansas City Restaurant Week
Photo Credit: Kansas City Restaurant Week

There may be no better time to visit a foodie city than during its annual Restaurant Week, and KC’s runs through the middle of January. Enjoy specials from 125 participating restaurants all around the city.

Not only can you sample all the culinary wonders that KC has to offer, but you’ll also be supporting a good cause as a portion of all proceeds benefits Guadalupe Centers, the largest Hispanic organization in KC.

Dine your way with exclusive carry-out, delivery, and dine-in specials featuring multi-course meals. This is definitely one of the most foodie-fun things to do in Kansas City in January!

Locations: Various. See full list of restaurants.

Jeff Lorber – Contemporary Jazz Concert (Jan 15)

Jazz Concert & instruments

Kansas City may be famous for sports and barbecue, but the city’s arts scene is one of the best in the nation. See Grammy Award-winning musician Jeff Lorber for one night only at KC’s oldest theatre, the Folly.

The contemporary jazz show begins at 8pm and tickets range from $20-$55. Before the show, enjoy cocktails and antipasto at Tavernonna Italian Kitchen, only a couple of blocks east of the theatre.

Location: Folly Theatre, 300 W 12th St, Kansas City, MO 64105

Family Game Night: The KC Improv Comedy Co (through Jan 29)

The KC Improv Comedy Company isn’t always family-friendly, but they keep it clean every Saturday night at 5 pm throughout January for Family Game Night.

Enjoy burgers and beer while you watch the show, and you might even get the chance to go on stage as a volunteer for off-the-cuff games and sketches based on audience suggestions.

Tickets can be purchased in advance and are only $6-$10. Vaccinated audience members are welcome, and masks should be worn in the theatre.

Location: KC Improv, 4010 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, 64111

Donut Fest Kansas City (January 29, 2023)

Donuts

Donuts + Beer = Kansas City Donutfest
Love Donuts? Who doesn’t? Enjoy beer? Us too — so plan to visit the sweetest event this month! Donut Fest curates the best donuts in KCMO and guests can simply enjoy a Sunday Funday while sampling donuts, enjoying beer, coffee and more with a fun-filled tasty event!

Location: Rochester Brewing and Roasting Company; 2129 Washington St, Kansas City, MO

Sun, Jan 29, 1:00 – 4:30 PM

40th Anniversary: Groundhog Run (Jan 30)

The annual Groundhog Run event has been going strong for 40 years! Choose the 5k or 10k event, or go for both. The Hunt Midwest SubTropolis is guaranteed to keep runners warm, even in the western Missouri winter weather.

Jan 30 8:00am – 11:50am

Location: SubTropolis; 8300 NE Underground Dr, Kansas City, MO 64108

Kemper’s Tensile Strength Exhibit (through Feburary 12, 2023)

Tensile exhibit at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Photo Credit: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

This immersive exhibit at KC’s renowned museum of Contemporary Art is sure to amaze family members of all ages.

Tensile strength, in science and engineering, is the resistance of a material to breaking under tension. Engaging with this definition, this exhibition displays a selection of works from the Kemper Museum Permanent Collection that embrace material fragility and/or endurance. The art featured in this gallery is stretched, snapped, salvaged, worn, assembled, and transformed either by human intervention or by forces of nature. Best of all, admission to the Kemper is free!

Location: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64111

Ice Skating at the Crown Center Ice Terrace (through March 2023)

ice skating rink

In the midwest, wintertime means ice skating. Locals and tourists alike enjoy the atmosphere of the beautiful Crown Center ice terrace. Admission is free for kids under 4 with one paid admission, and regular tickets are only $8.

Rent skates for $4 or have your own skates sharpened onsite for $9. Reservations aren’t required for groups under 20, and January hours are Sun-Thurs 10am-9pm and 10am-11pm Fri and Sat.

If you go right after the new year, you’ll be able to enjoy the beautifully decorated Crown Center Square and the Mayor’s Christmas tree while you skate!

Location: Crown Center, 2405 Grand Blvd. Ste 200, Kansas City, MO 64108

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We hope you enjoyed our list of fun things to do in Kansas City, Missouri in January.

But, if you are still wondering what to do in January, check out our list of top things to do throughout Missouri in January!

We also have our favorite things to do in Kansas City for every month. Just click on the month you want to plan your next KCMO adventure! January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

Do you know of other events, festivals or things to do in Kansas City, Missouri in January? Please let us know in the comments.

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