By Kaitlyn Wallace
Kansas planners are always on the hunt for unique and exciting venues– venues that bring experiences, beauty and adventure to events that are often otherwise long and business-focused. And what better way to explore new venues than to search for those with an innate sense of history, artistry, and grandeur– museum meeting and event spaces.
Luckily, Kansas is a state with a wide variety of artistic offerings and stately historical perspectives. Because of this, potential meeting and event spaces stretch across the state, from Kansas City, to Manhattan, to Lindsborg, and more. Here, we present a few novel and magnetic museum venues to consider for your next meeting or event.
1. The Flint Hills Discovery Center – Manhattan, Kansas
The Flint Hills Discovery Center (FHDC) is located just adjacent to the Manhattan Conference Center, putting it in a perfect position to partner with readily available conference amenities or to reap the benefits of the Manhattan Conference Center’s excellent location while providing a unique natural flair. The FHDC is dedicated to educating the public about the picturesque Flint Hills, which lie on the border between Kansas and Oklahoma and are home to the unique shallow-soil tallgrass prairie. Reflecting the rare and exceptional nature of the hills, the FHDC brings an innovative and original spin on meetings and events as well. As Karen Hibbard, Vice President of Manhattan CVB describes: “One will experience the Flint Hills in the immersive theatre with wind, fire, lightning, snow, and fireflies! The unique structure of the building, with the ability to utilize the outdoor terraces, provides amazing views of the community and appreciation of the beauty of Kansas.”
2. The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art – Manhattan, Kansas
Located on Kansas State University’s campus, the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art is dedicated to celebrating the art of Kansas artists, as well as researching and cultivating experiences from around the Kansas region. With a collection of over 7,000 works spanning 200 years, the Marianna Kistler Museum of Art is sure to amaze and immerse guests into the culture and history of Kansas. Of its events amenities, Karen Hibbard of Manhattan CVB describes: “The expansive galleries make it ideal for an off-site meeting venue after a long day of conference speaking. The Chihuly glass chandelier greets the visitor in the sweeping staircase and represents the beauty of a Kansas prairie fire.” In igniting your visitors’ passion for the arts and natural beauty of Kansas, the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art is sure to impress.
3. Strawberry Hill Museum & Cultural Center – Kansas City, Kansas
If you’re looking for a venue to celebrate the melting pot of cultures and nationalities that exists in Kansas, the Strawberry Hill Museum & Cultural Center is just the place for you. Devoted to preserving and celebrating the rich cultural and ethnic heritage of Kansas City, Kansas, Strawberry Hill boasts exhibits from sixteen different nationalities and showcases the area’s history from 1887 forward. With a banquet hall, tearoom, courtyard and larger Tomasic Hall available, the stately charm of this Victorian Queen Anne Style architecture is bound to educate and amaze your guests.
4. Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum – Lindsborg, Kansas
Looking to go international? Look no further. The Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum is located just adjacent to the picturesque Riverside Park and Välkommen Bridge and contains unique and historically relevant meeting spaces such as the Swedish Pavilion building (originally built for the 1904 World’s Fair), the train depot, which opens onto a village green, and a variety of green spaces for outdoor events across the museum’s 15-acre complex. The museum itself aims to preserve McPherson County’s heritage in the period between 1870-1910, and offers local residents the opportunity to dive into their ancestry by access to their research library. The Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum not only offers charming natural views and deep dives into the area’s history, but also lets attendees step into the charm of the past for any meeting or event.
Routine is the curse of any great event planner; guests crave excitement and wonder alongside their business-casual wear and hour-long seminars. Expanding the scope of your search for venues is one excellent way to combat this trend. While meetings and events are, by nature, “all business,” they can also be surrounded by history, culture, art, and natural beauty. And this is exactly what these museum venues can provide– a setting that adds another dimension to business, and that, most of all, leaves them with a tranquil and positive memory of your event.
Kaitlyn Wallace is a contributing writer from St. Louis.