The Heart of America

Established in the southern part of a dynamic and diverse city, IHOPU is surrounded by an area rich in history and culture. There is plenty to experience outside the doors of our campus for those who choose to join us in person and call Kansas City home for a season.


Are you a coffee lover? This city was made for you. With an estimated 200+ coffee shops in Kansas City and the nearby areas, you will never run out of new locations and drinks to try. Get to know classmates over lattes at our IHOPU Prefix location or discover a new study corner at a local café. Early risers (or those on Nightwatch) can enjoy the sunrise on the roof of a three-story downtown coffee shop and bakery. For an easy (and often opinionated) conversation starter, simply ask “What’s the best coffee shop in town?”


The Kansas City food scene extends beyond our famous BBQ…though it is absolutely a highlight! Ask IHOPU faculty and staff about their favorite place to enjoy BBQ and you’ll likely get a dozen different options. For a historic touch, you can visit the original Joe’s restaurant located in a gas station just 25 minutes from our campus.

Not a fan of BBQ? Not a problem! There is a wide range of cuisine available across the city from a staff and student favorite serving delicious Mediterranean meals for over thirty years to a more unique Overland Park dining experience where a robot delivers your food (with an adorable, digitized smile). Whatever your palate preference and budget, Kansas City offers an amazing selection of restaurants within a short drive from our school.


Part of what makes Kansas City so unique is the diversity of experiences and events available to its residents. From the West Bottoms, Worlds of Fun, the Power and Light District, and Sporting KC—our city has so much to offer its residents. We can’t wait to cheer alongside the rest of the world when KC hosts the FIFA World Cup 2026!

Below is just a few of the many opportunities available to explore in your free time. Learn even more about what your future potential home has to offer here at this link.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Enjoy world-renowned performances year round, from musicals to symphonies, ballets to live movie score screenings. There’s something for everyone—and it always amazes.

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Open five days a week and free to the public, this multilevel museum is a beautiful, quiet way to spend an afternoon…or five. When you’re done walking the expansive halls, make sure to enjoy the museum’s 22-acre lawn—perfect for a leisurely game or small picnic.

The National WWI Museum & Memorial

This is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the history and experiences of the first world war. Our WW1 museum has over 300,000 objects, documents, and unique exhibitions. At the top of the memorial you will also find one of the most amazing views of downtown Kansas City! 

Kansas City Royals & Chiefs

If there’s one thing Kansas City natives are passionate about, it’s their championship sports teams. Bundle up in the winter to catch a football game at Arrowhead Stadium, or wait until the spring to chant in the stands of Kauffman Stadium for an exciting game of baseball.

Country Club Plaza

Come see why we’re called the “City of Fountains” as you stroll through fifteen blocks of Spanish-inspired architecture. Boasting everything from gondola rides in the nearby river to a beloved annual Christmas lighting ceremony, this district is home to dozens of local shops and restaurants worth a visit.

River Market

Have a Saturday morning free? Enjoy a vibrant, busy farmer’s market in the heart of downtown KC. Watch a local florist make bouquets by hand, get caught up in the fast-paced and colorful craze of the spice vendor, or enjoy the deli on the corner. No matter how you spend your time, the hours will fly by.

Kansas City Zoo and Aquarium

Want a cheap, fun way to spend the day? Come visit our 202-acre non-profit zoo that houses over 1,700 animals from around the world. The Kansas City Zoo regularly offers KC resident discounts and is an affordable and family-friendly adventure.

Union Station

Our historic Union Station has been a major travel hub for over a century. It is also home to the Planetarium, Science City, a live performance venue, and a one-screen theatre measuring an impressive 80 feet by 53 feet. Known as the biggest screen in the region—this giant silver screen theatre has 400 seats!

Kansas City Airport

The new Kansas City terminal opened in February 2023 boasting nearly 50 local and national food, beverage, and shopping experiences. With its current 40 gates and room to expand, this airport located less than an hour from our campus makes traveling accessible and enjoyable for students and family members alike.


This Kansas City bus system provides an affordable way to discover the many different locations and experiences of our city with ease. The nearest bus stop is located just under two miles from the IHOPKC Global Prayer Room.

Kansas City Streetcar

This is a free transportation service located in downtown Kansas City. Spanning a two mile distance from Union Station to River Market, this car offers students the perfect opportunity to explore downtown safely and at no extra cost.

Take a Gap Year to Pursue God.

Prioritize time to lay biblical and spiritual foundations that shape how you think, live, and relate with others. It is vital to take a season to set the groundwork for education, career, marriage, parenting, and all God has for you!