We’re Off to See the Wizard…
The Wizard of Oz is Kansas' iconic story, oft-associated with the Sunflower State. And this family classic is celebrated at local attractions! Published in 1900, L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz is considered America’s first fairy tale, and it holds a special place in the hearts of Kansans and Kansas Citians alike. The story of Dorothy’s fantastical journey through the land of Oz has enticed generations. You can celebrate this masterpiece with some local fun!
These are FIVE of our favorite ways to experience a bit of Oz in Kansas City:
Journey to Oz is a free interactive exhibit at Crown Center thru May 12. One of the world’s beloved movies turns 80 this year, and Crown Center is celebrating by bringing the magic of the big screen to you! Families can tour the enchanting world of the Munchkins, follow Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion down the Yellow Brick Road, sneak into the Wicked Witch’s castle and much more. CrownCenter.com
Visit the Johnson County Museum’s Expanding Oz Exhibit (June 1-Nov. 2). The Wizard of Oz has inspired popular culture in the United States as well as internationally. The exhibit explores the growth of that phenomenon through a collection of artifacts ranging from clothing to toys to books to posters. By looking at the history of stage and screen adaptations, seeing familiar pop culture materials and surprising international pieces, visitors will glimpse the expanding world Baum created with his book come alive. Included with museum admission: $5/adults, $4/seniors, $3/kids 1-17. JCPRD.com/museum
An interactive Lego Model of Oz: Legoland Discovery Center is one of our favorite local attractions. One of the highlights of your visit to Legoland is a stroll through Lego Miniland depicting Kansas City's most iconic buildings created entirely from Lego bricks. Best of all, the entire exhibit is interactive. Guests can control features, including racing cars at the Kansas Speedway, playing music at a Starlight concert, operating a construction crane and more! Cars drive, sirens blare, lights change (including KCP&L's illuminated tower), fountains work, boats float and the entire city changes from day to night every two to three minutes. They even included a Miniland Oz, complete with Munchkinland, the Emerald City and the Witch's castle! Legoland is full of fun as you walk through a simulated Lego brick factory with interactive displays allowing children to mix, heat and mold Lego bricks. Each child receives a souvenir brick to take home! Visitors also enjoy two amusement park rides, and the Lego 4D Cinema showing Lego short films (10-15 minutes in length) in 3D with a 4D experience generated by wind, mist, bubbles and simulated experiences kids love! LegolandDiscoveryCenter.com
Live Productions of The Wizard of Oz this spring and summer in Kansas City:
- The Wizard of Oz performed live by the Culture House, May 3-4, Lenexa, KS. Ticket information at CultureHouse.com.
- The Wizard of Oz at Starlight Theatre, Kansas City, MO, showing June 10-16. Ticket information at KCStarlight.com.
- The Wizard of Oz at Theatre in the Park, Shawnee, KS, showing Aug. 2-10. Ticket information at TheatreInThePark.org.
Bonus: Take a road trip to Wamego to visit the Oz Museum: In Wamego, KS (about two hours from KC), you’ll find the Oz Museum (511 Lincoln). The museum features the largest collection of Oz memorabilia in the world! Admission charged. Call 1.866.458.TOTO. For information: www.wamego.org/oz_museum.htm