The KC Folk Alliance International Conference will be from Feb. 14-18. Christopher Smith | Special to The Star

Happy new year! Here are 9 things to do in KC in 2018

Get a library card. File | The Kansas City Star
Remember to register to vote. LAUREN JUSTICE | NYT
Third Thursdays at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art promise fun and drinks.
The KC Folk Alliance International Conference will be from Feb. 14-18. Christopher Smith | Special to The Star
Join a local CSA. Charles Bertram |
Volunteer at a nonprofit like the KC Pet Project. Allison Long |
Try a new restaurant during KC Restaurant Week. Abi White |
Set specific intentions for the new year. Jackie Cook |
Lucky Boys is a new favorite hangout of Jared’s.

Food, culture, tech — you name it — it seems like the City of Fountains can only continue to grow.

The new year presents a new opportunity to make the most of KC.

Whatever you may have missed last year, don’t sweat it. There are plenty of things (both old and new) to check out this time around.

Whip out your 2018 bucket list and take notes.

1. Register to vote


We know it’s not sexy, but it’s certainly important, so we thought we’d put it up front. People say that our generation is politically apathetic, but we disagree. This is a midterm year, so there are going to be plenty of local, state and federal seats up for grabs. Plus, with all of the airport and streetcar hullabaloo in 2017, be prepared to make your voice heard.

Click here for voter registration information for Missouri.

Click here for voter registration information for Kansas.

2. Attend one of KC’s music fests

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It might be cold now, but KC’s music festivals start as soon as February, with the KC Folk Alliance International Conference from Feb. 14-18. This year is the last time the conference will be based in KC, and it’s likely going to be one of the best, featuring acts like The Lumineers.

Looking toward the sunnier months, if you haven’t been to Middle of the Map or Boulevardia, you’re missing out. Middle has yet to be announced, but beer and music fest Boulevardia will be returning to the Stockyards District, and they’re still redeeming last year’s beer tokens.

3. Expand your palate

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Get adventurous. Try some cuisine. This year should be one of exploration. If you’re looking for immediate gratification, KC Restaurant Week starts next week on Jan. 12 with cheaper-than-usual, multi-course lunch and dinner menus aimed at showcasing KC’s top culinary talent. Generally this is a great opportunity to eat at a fancy place like Capital Grille at a whopping discount. For those of you just looking for new types of eats, pho is a great place to start.

4. Set intentions, not resolutions


We all know that resolutions are kind of a joke, but have you heard of intentions? Our good pal Caitlin Wallace dropped in to show how if you set actionable intentions for your new year, you’ll find that you’re much more likely to attain your goals. Here’s her method.

5. Take some time to give back

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I’m sure you’ve thought, “Gee, I should really volunteer more,” but never taken the time to follow through. We’ll make it easy for you. With a host of great organizations like KC Restaurant Week charity Kansas City Community Gardens, local animal haven KC Pet Project (where I got my kitties) and Harvesters, there’s something for every need. You can browse plenty of opportunities here.

6. Find a new “spot”

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Wherever you’ve been hanging around, it might be time to select a new haunt. For me, it’s been Lucky Boys in the West Bottoms for drinks and the Made in KC cafe downtown for the Apple Jacks-infused oat milk latte. Check out the ol’ Ink neighborhood guide for a good place to start.

7. Learn a new skill


A new year can be a great time to kickstart some personal development. If you’re like me and like to do this on the cheap, picking up a library card is your best bet (you can even do it online).

Doing so will give you access to the online learning site Lynda, which has high-quality courses in everything from graphic design to programming to finance.

8. Join a Community Supported Agriculture program


Joining a CSA program was one of the best things I did last year. It nets you locally grown, typically certified organic produce on a weekly or biweekly basis for a weekly or seasonal fee. Some CSAs offer delivery, while others require that you pick up your produce at a regular time and place, so it may be helpful to consult a directory. Supporting local farmers while receiving delicious, high quality produce just in time to use it? Yes, please.

9. Hit up Third Thursdays at the Nelson

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You’ve probably heard of First Fridays, but what about Third Thursdays? Our friend and 2017 Ink 30 Under 30 honoree Cat Mueller puts on an amazing event every third Thursday of the month with a new theme each time. This month’s is Superheroes Amongst Shuttlecocks, and features a bevy of superhero-themed activities. One thing is always the same: happy hour, music and plenty of art.

Have anything you’d like to add to the list? Slide into the DMs on Twitter or Instagram and let us know.

Happy new year! Here are 9 things to do in KC in 2018