One Tank Trips: Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

(John Benfer | Royal Purple)

If you only had one tank of gas to get you to a destination of your choice, where would you go? Due to COVID-19, traveling options are limited, but there are still some really cool things you can do within social distancing guidelines.

Obviously, how far a tank of gas will get you will vary from car-to-car, but the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art is well within most people’s range. The Nelson is located in Kansas City, Mo. It’s about a two-hour drive and is approximately 110 miles from Manhattan.

So why is the Nelson such a great option? It provides activities to fill your schedule for the entire day.

Not only is there around 40,000 works of art to look at, there is also a sculpture park, a large lawn outside for activities, the Rozzelle Court restaurant inside and it’s conveniently located just down the street from the Country Club Plaza.

Currently, some featured exhibitions include enamel portrait miniatures; Gordon Parks X Muhammad Ali photographs; a multimedia series called 30 Americans that emphasizes themes of race, history identity and beauty; and 15th-17th-Century Italian and Spanish Textiles, just to name a few.

After exploring 68,000 square feet of art exhibits, you can either pop into the restaurant for a quick meal or even have a picnic on the lawn, where you can also play games, get lost in their glass maze or explore the sculpture park.

If those options aren’t appealing to you, the Plaza is only a 15-minute walk and offers shopping, food and entertainment.

Both the Nelson and the Plaza require a face mask and social distancing. The museum has also been taking precautions such as checking employees’ temperatures, sanitizing surfaces frequently, setting up hand sanitizer stations and closing water fountains, so it is a safe place to go on a free day.

The Plaza is also enforcing COVID-19 regulations, but they can vary from business to business.

Next time you are looking to escape Manhattan for a day with only a tank of gas, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art is the way to go.

Hey! I’m Maddie Daniel and I am a junior in mass communications. This semester, I'm the assistant culture editor and have previously served as a staff writer. After I graduate, I plan to go to law school to pursue a career in Federal Indian Law. I love art, history and anything outdoors.