Kansas City First Friday guide to art and shops May 2022

This weekend is First Friday in Kansas City.

This weekend is First Friday in Kansas City.

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It’s the first Friday of the month and there are tons of events and activities in the Historic West Bottoms and Crossroads to keep on your radar.

Historic West Bottoms

This First Friday the Historic West Bottoms district will celebrate its “Blooms in the Bottoms” weekend. So bring out your floral and spring time outfits, as there will be lots of photo-ops to take advantage of, with fresh flower displays lining the streets.

The blooming weekend will also feature some good West Bottoms Shopping. Shops should be open on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more about the West Bottoms shops here.

If you’re looking for a fun group activity there will be escape rooms at Full Moon Escape for up to 11 people at a time. Groups can solve puzzles and work together to get out of the escape room within 60 minutes. Full Moon Escape will be open from 12 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 12 p.m. until 8:45 p.m. on Sunday.

When to go

The First Friday festivities will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Where to park

Free street parking in the West Bottoms is typically extremely limited during First Friday weekends. City parking lots cost $10 for the day and may require a short walk. Here’s a map of the neighborhood parking lots.


The Crossroads will have an array of activities for those looking to be immersed in Kansas City’s art scene. To start out your Friday, there will be a First Friday reception at Buttonwood Art Space at 3013 Main St. from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

There will be a Kansas City exhibition, which will include artwork that captures all of what makes the city special, from the jazz scene to the sports teams. There will also be light refreshments for guests.

The Cherry Street Art Market will be at 609 E. 17th St. Vendors will be selling art, jewelry, clothes and more. Plus, there will be live music from Lvbyrinth.

There are also a number of art exhibitions to see this Friday. The Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art Gallery at 2004 Baltimore Ave, will host an exhibit honoring Hung Liu. Liu is known for painting historical Chinese photographs from the 19th and 20th centuries. The exhibit will be open on Friday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will run until May 21st.

The Bunker Center for Arts will also showcase art from Kansas native Troy Swangstu. Swangstu’s art is inspired by his daily observations and his time working with livestock in Paola, Kansas. Swangstu’s exhibit will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. until June 26. at 1014 E. 19th St.

If you’re looking for something upbeat, there will be an open studio and live music at the Anne Garney Paintings gallery at 1920 Wyandotte, Unit 5 from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m.

To see the full list of events happening in the Crossroads, visit here.

When to show up

Events in the Crossroads start as early as 10 a.m. on Friday and there are a number of events happening on Saturday and Sunday as well. See all the events with times and locations, visit here.

Where to park

Parking will likely be tight on a First Friday. People who show up early will have the best chance at on-street parking, according to the Crossroads website.

One way to avoid a parking snafu is to use public transit like the Kansas City Streetcar. The 16th Street and the 19th Street stops will put you right in the middle of the Crossroads.

Kynala Phillips is a Service Journalism Reporter at The Kansas City Star, where she works to answer readers questions about the resources and services in the community. She attended the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism and is originally from Madison, Wisconsin.

Anita Shire

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