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Happy Pi Day! Here are the best ways to celebrate around Kansas City

The Upper Crust in Overland Park, Kansas, is one of many local pie shops participating in the annual celebration of pi π on March 14, 2023.
The Upper Crust
The Upper Crust in Overland Park, Kansas, is one of many local pie shops participating in the annual celebration of pi π on March 14, 2023.

March 14 marks Pi Day, an annual celebration of the mathematical constant pi (π). Whether you can recite the first 100 digits of the sign or simply love eating pie, here's how to celebrate Pi Day in Kansas City.

This story was first published in KCUR's Adventure newsletter. You can sign up to receive stories like this in your inbox every Tuesday.

Do you know what today’s date is? No? That’s okay ... usually, I don’t either. Today is March 14, 2023, aka Pi Day! And even if you’re not a math nerd, consider this a reminder to mark your calendar for next year.

Pi Day is an annual celebration for the numeral π (an irrational number equal to 3.1415926 ... etc. and represented by the Greek symbol “pi” ). On the 14th day of the third month, teachers, students and people worldwide gather to celebrate the mathematical constant.

Pi Day was founded in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw of the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco, but it didn’t become a nationally recognized holiday until 2009. March 14 also happens to be the birthday of legendary physicist Albert Einstein, adding more cause for celebration.

Ironically, although there is National Pie Day on Jan. 23, most people can’t get past the fact that “pi” and “pie” sound like the same word. And since the number pi is the constant ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, it only makes sense to commemorate the day with circular food.

Here are some delicious Pi Day deals to scoop up in Kansas City.

Celebrating Kansas City's sweet pies

A slice of pie sits beside a full size pie.
The Upper Crust
The Upper Crust in Overland Park, Kansas, will celebrate Pi Day 2023 with a pop-up pie sale at its shop on Santa Fe Drive.

A great way to celebrate Pi Day is by trying a Kansas City classic: Tippin’s Pies. Tippin’s started as a Lenexa, Kansas, restaurant in 1980 (it was called Pippin’s Restaurant and Pie Pantry then — they changed their company name a couple of times).

In 1992, the pies made their way to grocery stores, where you can find them today. Tippin’s offers a wide variety of flavorful fruit pies, cream pies and savory pies. The tart strawberry rhubarb pie might make you think of spring. To find a Tippin’s retailer near you, use their handy Pie Finder tool.

The Upper Crust Pie Bakery in Overland Park is having a Pi(e) Day pop-up. The pre-order period has closed, but walk-ins are welcome on March 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They have a delicious, Pi Day-only menu featuring German chocolate and bumbleberry pie. Some of the flavors come with a cute Greek letter π on top.

If you can’t make it on Pi Day, don’t fret. The Upper Crust has tons of delicious, unique pies on their daily menu, including the raspberry sour cream pie and the chocolate chess pie.

Tucked away in Independence, Missouri, is Englewood Cafe. It’s a classic, neon-sign-in-the-window kind of place that offers affordable options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The diner has a cozy, small-town vibe and serves a mean slice of pie. There are a wide variety of pie flavors ranging from lemon meringue to pecan.

Englewood Cafe is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Big Momma’s Bakery-Cafe in South Kansas City may be known best for their cinnamon rolls, but they serve other round things, too — like pies! Try their delectable peach, apple or sweet potato pies.

Pie Time in Liberty, Missouri, has an extensive pie menu offering French silk, triple berry, lemon icebox and more. They also serve a variety of quiches. On Pi Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., enjoy $3.14 off full-size pies and $3.14 slices.

Savory, and of course, pizza pies!

Neapolitan pizza in front of a wood burning oven.
1889 Pizza Napoletana
1889 Pizza Napoletana serves traditional style wood-fired Neapolitan pies.

Are you hunting for something circular to eat but you don’t have a sweet tooth? Don’t worry — pizza counts as pie, too. (And as we’ve discussed here before, Kansas City is full of pizza parlors to choose from.)

On March 14, Minsky’s Pizza has a yummy deal. If you order a large gourmet pizza and some jumbo or boneless wings, they’ll take $3.14 off your ticket. To receive the deal, make sure to mention the promotion to your server. For online orders, enter code 314.

If you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to try Minsky’s spicy Thai or chicken cordon bleu pizzas.

Are savory pies more your style? Pot Pie, a French bistro serving French and American comfort food in Westport, has some seriously tantalizing pot pies to choose from. Cozy up with a vegan root vegetable, beef and mushroom, or chicken and vegetable pot pie and pair it with their chocolate chip bread pudding. Or, if you’re feeling like takeout, try Pot Pie’s $50 Take and Bake Package, which comes with salad, two pot pies and bread pudding.

Pot Pie’s menu changes seasonally depending on what ingredients are available. Check their Facebook page to see what’s on the daily menu.

Get your math on! Nerdy ways to celebrate

Baking a π-shaped pie is one way to celebrate Pi Day.
Dennis J. Wilkinson
Baking a π-shaped pie is one way to celebrate Pi Day.

Are you looking for more ways to engage your brain on Pi Day? The KU Natural History Museum in Lawrence has a great scavenger hunt to get you started. Stop by the front desk to get a complimentary Pi Gallery Guide and stroll through the four floors of displays to look for natural occurrences of pi in the exhibits.

When you’re done hunting for pi, be sure to stop by the front desk for a circular prize. On Tuesday, the museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the event and admission are free.

Science City at Union Station is having a Pi Day event. Stop by with your kids between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. for plenty of hands-on, Pi Day-themed activities and demos. And, while supplies last, be sure to get some pie samples from Tippin’s Pies. The event is free to members and included with admission for non-members. Buy general admission tickets at this link.

It’s a little too late to join in on the fun at the annual Pi Day River Rotation Half Marathon, Marathon, and Pi Miler, but you might want to scout out for next year if you feel like running in circles (hee hee).

The race happens in Lawrence on the weekend ahead of Pi Day. There are multiple courses to choose from, like the Pi Miler, which features two looped trails of different distances that add up to be 3.14 miles. Or the River Rotation Half Marathon, which is made up of three different loops for a total of 13.14 miles. On this course, runners alternate between running clockwise and counterclockwise.

No matter what route you take, you’ll find homemade pie to munch on when you reach the finish line.

Bek Shackelford-Nwanganga reports on health disparities in access and health outcomes in both rural and urban areas.
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