Important visitor information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

Important visitor information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

Important visitor information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

Update – Dec. 1, 2020

The City of Independence is currently in the early stages of a reopening plan, which has unfortunately prevented our historic sites from opening for the 2020 tourism season. As such, the Vaile Mansion, Bingham-Wagonner Estate, 1827 Log Courthouse and Chicago and Alton Depot plan to reopen April 1, 2021. We are also working with our partners to update reopening information about other attractions in Independence.  Please refer to the tabs below for more information.


Earlier information

On Thursday, March 12, 2020, the City of Independence declared a state of emergency as a precautionary response to the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic. Some of our attractions and events have been closed or cancelled, and our services have been impacted. With this page, we intend to keep our visitors informed about these impacts in Independence.

We appreciate your understanding as we do our part to help slow the spread of this disease. 

We further encourage visitors to keep up to date with the latest information about the COVID-19 pandemic here.

The City of Independence is following guidance from Jackson County regarding restaurant operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Nov. 18, the County has implanted to following orders for restaurants:

  • Restaurants, taverns, and all other such venues serving food and/or drink indoors, including public, private, or membership-only venues, shall limit the number of occupants to no more than 50 percent of building occupancy, and shall close no later than 10:00 p.m.
  • Indoor patrons must be seated and masked at all times except when actively eating or drinking.
  • Indoor and outdoor parties are limited to ten (10) or fewer persons; and
    parties shall be spaced with no less than six feet of distance between themselves and individuals from any other parties.

The City of Independence has elected to shutter its historic sites — including the Vaile Mansion, Bingham-Waggoner Estate, National Frontier Trails Museum, and Chicago & Alton Depot — through the 2020 season as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are denoted ‘COI’ below. We apologize for any inconvenience.

We’re currently working with our partners throughout Independence to update reopening plans at other local attractions. If you’re interested in an attraction not operated by the City of Independence, please visit its website for details.

Attraction updates as of Dec. 1, 2020 (Listed alphabetically)

  • 1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home & Museum: Closed until spring 2021.
  • Adventure Oasis Water Park (COI): Closed through 2020 season.
  • Bingham-Waggoner Estate (COI): Closed through 2020 season.
  • Chicago & Alton Depot (COI): Closed through 2020 season.
  • Community of Christ Temple Complex (including the Children’s Peace Pavilion, Auditorium and all historic sites): Closed through June 30, 2020.
  • George Owens Nature Park (COI): Park trails, lakes and outdoor areas accessible during regular park hours. DeWitt Center and lodge open with some restrictions.
  • Harry S Truman National Historic Site (Truman Home): Closed until further notice.
  • Independence Center: Open with some restrictions. Individual store reopening dates and hours may vary.
  • Independence Uptown Market (COI): Public events have concluded for 2020. 
  • Midwest Genealogy Center & Mid-Continent Public Library branches: Open with curbside services only.
  • National Frontier Trails Museum (COI): Closed through 2020 season.
  • Cable Dahmer Centers Arena: Open with some restrictions.
  • Truman Courthouse: Awaiting update.
  • Truman Library: Museum closed for renovations.
  • Vaile Mansion (COI): Closed through 2020 season.
  • Visitor Welcome Center (COI): Open with limited hours (8 a.m. to noon, Monday-Friday).

Several local events have been cancelled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the time being, we are marking these events “cancelled” on our Event Calendar. Many events will be rescheduled, and we will update event dates/times as they become available. Please see the calendar below for known cancellations.

Please visit our Event Calendar page to see all of our upcoming events.

Our hotels are open for business, and they’re taking precautions to protect the health and safety of visitors and employees.

Please contact the hotel you’re planning on booking with for details.

For up-to-date information from the City of Independence, go to