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6 Arts and Culture Venues for Offsite Events in Missouri

Kauffman Center for Performing Arts, Kansas City Photo Credit Mike Day

Venues like museums, botanical gardens and theaters aren’t necessarily the first place that planners look to when planning a meeting or event in a destination. But oftentimes, these arts and culture venues can be the most exciting part of your event for attendees and can also provide a richer understanding of the destination’s culture and history. 

To get the most out of your next meeting or event in Kansas City, Missouri or St. Louis, check out these arts and culture venues that will provide the perfect backdrop for your next offsite gathering.

Kauffman Center for Performing Arts, Kansas City

Located in downtown Kansas City and within walking distance of most of the major hotels in the area, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts can provide a unique artistic backdrop for any group. Home to the Kansas City Ballet, Lyric Opera, Kansas City Symphony and other performing arts programming, the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts serves as a cultural hub for the city and can accommodate groups of up to 1,800.

The Kauffman Center is home to two performance venues, the 1,800-seat Muriel Kauffman Theatre and the 1,600-seat Helzberg Hall. The Muriel Kauffman Theatre features a 5,000-square-foot stage with a 40-by-22-foot presentation screen and is also able to accommodate up to 300 attendees in a dinner configuration. Helzberg Hall features a custom-designed Casavant organ as its visual centerpiece and is an ideal setting for meetings, presentations or even on-stage dinners and receptions for up to 100 attendees. 

[Related: Family-Friendly Activities in Missouri to Enjoy Pre- or Post-Meeting]

The Kauffman Center also features a lobby space called the Brandmeyer Great Hall with a four-level curtain wall of glass looking out on the Kansas City skyline. The lobby space can also accommodate up to 450 seated attendees or up to 1,000 for a reception-style event. Additional event spaces include the Arts District Terrace, three upper floor balconies, the Founder’s Lounge and two reception suites.

Midland Theatre, Kansas City

Located in downtown Kansas City just two blocks away from the Kansas City Convention Center in the Power & Light District, the historic Midland Theatre features a unique event space that blends historic elegance with modern production capabilities. 

Photo of Midland Theatre
Midland Theatre

The Midland Theatre is best known for its unique architecture, with over 500,000 feet of gold leaf detailing and five large, hand-cut Czechoslovakian crystal chandeliers. The theatre can be configured in multiple ways depending on the event being held. Its live-show capacity ranges from 1,300-3,000 attendees, and it can also seat up to 640 attendees in a dinner configuration and up to 1,500 for a cocktail reception. Additionally, the venue provides access to a 1,700-square-foot dance floor, full bar service and additional event spaces including the Chandelier Bar and Aristocrat A’ List Lounge with full views of the city. 

[Related: How to Make the Famed Foods of San Francisco vs. Kansas City]

“I always say this is one of those venues where you don’t have to do much inside,” said Ashley Rossbach, director of convention sales and services at Visit KC. “It just stands apart, which is amazing. And I think a lot of groups actually appreciate that because you don’t have to bring in a lot to make it have a certain feel.”

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

Known as the “art and soul of Kansas City,” the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is not only home to a number of unique event venues, but also more than 32,000 works of art from nearly every continent and culture. 

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City

The largest venues in the museum include the Atkins Auditorium, able to accommodate up to 500 seated attendees, the Bloch Lobby, able to accommodate up to 1,000 attendees, and Kirkwood Hall, able to accommodate up to 450 seated attendees and 1,000 for a reception. Other notable venues include the Lens 2 event room, the Rockhill Room and Rozelle Court, an interior courtyard surrounded by a two-story balcony.

Hosting your event at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art may also help give back to the local community. According to the museum’s website, event rentals are part of the way the museum raises funds to keep admission free for over 500,000 annual visitors.  

[Related: Major Sporting Events and Infrastructure Improvements Boost Kansas City’s Meetings Scene]

St. Louis Art Museum

With paintings, sculptures and cultural objects from around the world in its collection, the Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM) is one of the principal art museums in the country and is visited by nearly 500,000 people every year. Located in the Forst Park neighborhood, this St. Louis staple also features a variety of meeting and event spaces and provides an elegant setting for offsite private events. 

Many of the venues in the museum are only available to be rented after the museum closes at 6 p.m., but there are a few options for groups planning to meet during business hours. The Farrell Auditorium can be rented any time it is not being used for museum programs, features a 1,600-square-foot stage and can seat up to 465 attendees. Notable venues that are available outside of museum hours include the 7,500-square-foot Sculpture Hall, the 3,500-square-foot Taylor Hall, the 2,660-square-foot Grigg Gallery and the Panorama Restaurant. Corporate planners and nonprofit organizations will also receive discounted rates for event space rentals. 

The museum provides unique F&B and catering options, as well as private guided tours of the museum’s exhibitions or collections. Tour options include a docent-led or self-guided tour through the main exhibits or a collection tour that highlights specific artistic movements or historical periods. Corporate planners and nonprofit organizations will also receive a discounted rate for event hosting.

Gateway Arch, St. Louis
Gateway Arch, St. Louis

Gateway Arch, St. Louis

The Gateway Arch is one of the tallest accessible monuments in the United States, standing at 630 feet—and you can scale these heights by taking a tram ride to the top of the arch with an observation deck overlooking the city.

The arch is also a part of Gateway Arch National Park, along with the Old Courthouse and the Museum at the Gateway Arch. In the free museum, located underneath the arch, groups can explore six interactive galleries and exhibits that tell the story of the U.S.’ westward expansion, with the arch itself often called “The Gateway to the West.” 

Another activity for groups to enjoy while at the Gateway Arch are the Riverboats at the Gateway Arch, which can be rented out for groups of up to 150. Groups can board the Tom Sawyer, a replica of a 19th-century paddle-wheel riverboat, and ride along the Mississippi River on a river tour with views of the arch monument and St. Louis skyline. 

Explore the Missouri Botanical Garden

For groups that want to experience some natural beauty during their time in St. Louis, the Missouri Botanical Garden offers a stunning natural backdrop to your offsite gathering with over 79 acres of horticultural displays to explore. With more than 6.6 million plant specimens, the Missouri Botanical Garden is the second largest botanical garden in North America behind the New York Botanical Garden. 

Missouri Botanical Garden
Missouri Botanical Garden

Notable attractions in the garden include the narrated tram tour, available April through October; Seiwa-en, the largest Japanese Garden in North America; the Climatron greenhouse and reflecting pools, which is the world’s first geodesic dome greenhouse; and the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening demonstration beds. 

The garden also features multiple event spaces, many of which are outdoors in the garden itself. Additionally, the indoor Bayer Event Center is able to accommodate up to 450 attendees in a cocktail configuration or 300 seated. Located in the recently constructed Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center, the event center features state-of-the-art event technology and sleek modern architecture while still highlighting the natural beauty of the surrounding garden. The visitor center itself was constructed in 2022 and was part of a $100 million entryway project in the botanical garden, featuring not only an event center, but also a conservatory, cafe, gift shop and auditorium.

Read this next: 4 Historic Hotels for Your Next Meeting in St. Louis and Kansas City

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Logan Pratt | Digital Content Coordinator

Logan Pratt joined Meetings Today in May 2023 as digital content coordinator, focusing on digital marketing efforts and covering breaking news stories for the Meetings Today website and newsletters. To send a press release or any information regarding the meetings and events industry please email