Entertainment

How to have fun underground in KC if you like to run, drink beer, watch classic films

O’Malley’s Pub in Weston features beers brewed on-site by the Weston Brewing Company and live Irish music on weekends.
O’Malley’s Pub in Weston features beers brewed on-site by the Weston Brewing Company and live Irish music on weekends. The Kansas City Star

So you’re intrigued by the idea of being way down under but could do without the semi-trailers and forklifts. Understandable.

Consider these ways to experience earth’s embrace in a fun way.

Cave running

At the coldest time of the year, underground metro offers a flat, climate-controlled course for fundraising walks and runs.

The Arthritis Foundation’s 2017 Jingle Bell Run takes place Dec. 10 at Meritex Executive Park in Lenexa. Racers are encouraged to be there with bells on, literally, for the 5K walk/run.

Santa Claus and magicians usually show. And one stretch of the Meritex complex will be darkened to provide for twinkling holiday lights and decorations.

For more information about the Jingle Bell Run, contact Steve Rock at srock@arthritis.org or call 913-262-2233.

IMG_IMG_Groundhog_ME_012_2_1_M41DJVKU_L34008398
The annual Groundhog Run benefits the children of Ability KC, a pairing of Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City and Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center. The next 5K and 10K events will be Jan. 28, 2018. JILL TOYOSHIBA jtoyoshiba@kcstar.com

At Hunt Midwest’s Subtropolis in south Clay County, thousands of runners have been taking part in the annual Groundhog Run for 35 years. The next event, 5K and 10K, will be Jan. 28

The Groundhog Run benefits the children of Ability KC, a pairing of Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City and Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center. The race has raised more than $4.75 million for kids with special needs since its 1982 inception.

A Hunt Midwest press release notes the 10K version of the Groundhog Run “is believed to be the only 100% underground sanctioned 10K race in the nation.”

To register and for more information, go to runsignup.com/Race/MO/KansasCity/groundhogrun.

O’Malley’s Pub

More than 50 feet below the then-rollicking town of Weston, five arched cellars constructed in 1842 provided an ideal constant temperature for German immigrant John Georgian’s lager beer, which had to be fermented at least six weeks.

The site now is an entertainment landmark.

Nationally known Irish performers cycle through the festive watering holes on weekends, their music enhanced, they say, by the natural acoustics of limestone’s snug wraparound. Go judge for yourself.

Toss darts or watch sports on large TV screens with a pint of one of O’Malley’s featured beers, brewed on-site by the Weston Brewing Company. As a startup venture, Weston Brewing acquired O’Malley’s Pub in 2005 and made it livelier than ever.

The bottom cellar is the largest, with multi-level seating and a ceiling 25 feet above the floor. Sandwiches are served in the pub; more complete fare is dished up above ground at the American-Bowman Restaurant.

Brewery tours are offered on Saturday (when guides may unlock “the secret cellar” for a walk-through). Call for details.

O’Malley’s Pub, 500 Welt St., Weston. 816-640-5235. Monday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday, 4 p.m.-1:30 a.m.; Saturday, 1 p.m.-1:30 a.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m.-midnight.

WWI museum, classic movies

In her 2012 tour of not-so-deep underground spaces worthy of a visit, The Star’s Cindy Hoedel reminded us that some of Kansas City’s proudest attractions boast a considerable presence underground.

wwi museum
The National World War I Museum opened in 2006. It includes re-created WWI bunkers, listening booths and artifacts. File The Star

The National World War I Museum may have the Liberty Memorial tower that rises 268 feet above the north lawn, but its magic is underground.

In 2004, construction started on a new 80,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art museum and a research center, which opened in 2006. It features recreated WWI bunkers, listening booths and artifacts. In 2008, the facility’s design won the American Institute of Architects’ National Honor Award.

National World War I Museum and Memorial, 2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City. 816-888-8100

Central library
The Durwood Film Vault screening room at Kansas City Central Library downtown features free monthly classic films. File The Kansas City Star

Kansas City’s Central Library is housed in a former bank building stunningly renovated in the early 2000s. In its basement is a walk-in vault with a 2-foot-thick steel door. Beyond the round entryway a screening room awaits, allowing you and two dozen others to enjoy classic movies for free.

Arranged around monthly cinematic themes, a different title is screened every Saturday afternoon and on floating weeknights in the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault.

Durwood Film Vault, Central Library basement, 14 W. 10th St. 816-701-3400

Rick Montgomery: 816-234-4410, @rmontgomery_r

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