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Partly due to being the world headquarters of Hallmark Cards and home of the Kansas City Art Institute, which trained such artists at Robert Rauschenberg and Missouri native Thomas Hart Benton — who later taught Jackson Pollock — Kansas City has a thriving arts community. Check out the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, which features productions throughout the year, such as Carmen, Madama Butterfly and The Marriage of Figaro. They take place April through May and September through November.
For theater, check out Kansas City Repertory Theatre, which presents classic and contemporary productions, like Cabaret, Saved and Little Shop of Horrors, along with a holiday performance of A Christmas Carol. To see Broadway and musical concerts, head to Starlight Theatre, the city's outdoor amphitheater, from June to September.
And if you happen to be visiting in March, the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is sure to please. It's one of the nation's largest, at just over a mile long, so there's plenty of themed floats, bands and performers.