Crown Center is a mixed use commercial, shopping, dining, entertainment and residential destination located just south of downtown Kansas City, at 24th and Grand. Crown Center is over 85 acres and is home to over 50 unique shops. The district, which is anchored by Halls Department Store, is owned by Kansas City’s own Hallmark Cards, which also calls the Crown Center area their world headquarters.
The complex also includes two large hotels, and the headquarters of two of Kansas City's largest law firms as well as the American Restaurant, which is run by famed Chef Debbie Gold.
Crown Center History:
In 1967, Hallmark founder, Joyce Hall and his son Don Hall, decided that the run-down and unkempt area surrounding Hallmark’s headquarters, called Signboard Hill, needed a serious facelift and they set out to launch one of the nation’s first urban renewal projects. The Hall’s hope was to develop a ‘city within a city’—and with city approval, Crown Center was born and began construction that year.
Today's Crown Center:
Today’s Crown Center is built around the famous Crown Center Square, which houses the famed Crown Center fountains and is the districts focal point for everything from summer concerts and movies, to festivals, fairs, pumpkin patches, Crown Center’s Ice Terrace, and even the Mayor’s Christmas Tree.
It’s also on the South side of the Crown Center Square that you’ll find Crown Center’s newest additions, and two of Kansas City’s biggest attractions, SEALIFE and Legoland Discovery Center. You’ll also find the amazing Kaleidoscope and Hallmark Visitor’s Center, unique shops, and restaurants. Crown Center is also home to the children’s based Coterie Theatre and the American Heartland Theatre as well as a special exhibit space—also geared towards children.
Crown Center Quick Facts:
Location: 2450 Grand Blvd, Kansas City
Crown Center Shopping:
With over 50 unique specialty shops there is a little something for everyone at Crown Center. While anchored by the posh Halls Department store, you’ll mostly find locally owned shops in Crown Center. Function Junction (cool cookware), the Holiday Magic and Crayola are some of my favorites. Finishing’s for Her is a great women’s specialty store as well as the kids themed Toy Time and Club 223 is perfect for the tween in your life.
For more on the Shops at Crown Center: http://www.crowncenter.com/Shopping-ShoppingOverview/Index.htm
Where to Eat:
Restaurants abound at Crown Center and there is no shortage of places to eat. On the lower level you’ll find a food court with many options. d’Bronx is a hometown fave with great sandwiches and pizza and you’ll also find Einstein Brothers and a few quick options there. Panera Bread is located on the east side of Crown Center, across from the shops and near the town square.
A trip to Crown Center is never complete without a trip to Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant, where those young and old will enjoy having their hamburgers and fries delivered by a railroad car.
Chip’s Chocolate Factory is also fun for an after meal treat, and you can even sign up for a tour of the factory.
Milano, Kabuki and the American Restaurant are fine dining options located in Crown Center.
For a complete list of Crown Center Restuarants, go here: http://www.crowncenter.com/Dining-DiningOverview/Index.htm
Parking at the Crown Center Shops:
The retail parking garage may be accessed from Grand Blvd., just south of the Crown Center Shops main entrance. There are garages on either side. Parking is free for 3-hours with validation. Take $25 in Crown Center receipts to the Customer Service office and get an extra three FREE hours of parking. (Receipts not accepted at parking exit.) There is also FREE weekend parking.
Monday - Wednesday & Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Thursday & Friday: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday: Noon – 5 p.m.
Next door’s SEALIFE has quickly become one of Kansas City’s favorite kid friendly attractions. With over 260,000 gallons of water and 5,000 fish and sea creatures on display, expect to be completely immersed in the world under the sea as soon as you enter.
See the About.com Guide to SEALIFE
Kansas City houses the fourth LEGOLAND Discovery Center in the United States, and it is described as stepping into the biggest box of LEGO bricks in the world. The $15 million, 30,000-square-foot interactive attraction will feature a MINILAND exhibit, hands-on play areas, a 4D Cinema, master classes from the LEGO® Master Model Builder, LEGO rides, and special party rooms for birthdays and much, much more.
See the About.com Guide to Legoland
Free Friday Night Flicks:
See the About.com Guide to Free Friday Night Flicks
Kaleidoscope and Hallmark Visitors Center:
Kaleidoscope is the brain child of Hallmark Cards Don Hall, who dreamt of a place where kids could 'explore, create, imagine and do'. The magical atmosphere allows you and your kids to create art from left over Hallmark materials. Sessions last 40m. Independent sessions (ages 5-12) and family sessions are offered throughout the week, check the website for details. Free tickets are available at 9:30 each morning in the Kaleidoscope lobby at Crown Center.
The Hallmark Visitors Center is Kaleidoscope’s next door neighbor.
Crown Center Ice Terrace:
See the About.com Guide to the Crown Center Ice Terrace.
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