Science City of Kansas CityScience City at Union Station

Ranked a “Top 25 Science Center” by Parents Magazine, Science City is located inside the nation’s second-largest working train station in the nation (behind Grand Central). This fun, hands-on science center has over 125 exhibits in 18 different environments or “neighborhoods.”

DestinationReview

Each neighborhood is cleverly designed and inviting for children and adults alike. I loved the open architecture that the train station gives Science City. From the second floor we could scope out almost the entire center and plan what neighborhood we wanted to explore next.

Science City of Kansas CityWhat surprised me most about Science City were how many unique experiences it had that we hadn’t seen before at other science centers, such as:

  • Testing the laws of physics while riding the Sky Bike on a high wire 30 feet up.
  • Wandering through the Mister E. Hotel where 21 different illusions will keep you guessing.
  • Climbing inside a retired KC Police helicopter for a simulated flight.
  • Exploring the chemistry behind every day foods in the Test Kitchen.
  • And so much more!

Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City

As the museum with one of the largest collections of antique toys on public display and the world’s largest collection of fine-scale miniatures, the Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City will proudly be changing its name in 2014 to the “National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.” With the name change will be additional permanent exhibits, so Kansas City’s best-kept secret will be pausing operations on January 6, 2014 while it makes this exciting transformation.

Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City - 9ft dollhouse

You’ll need a good three hours just to scratch the surface of all there is to see at the Toy & Miniature Museum. All 33,000 square feet and 38 rooms of what was once the Tureman Mansion on the campus of UMKC is filled with beautifully exhibited antique toys and fine-scale miniatures. From Georgianna, c. 1750’s (the oldest doll in the collection) to Teddy bears and one of the world’s largest marble collections, toys of all generations will take you back to your own childhood. And the little ones will never know that while they’re having fun browsing the exhibits, they’re also learning about history, architecture, decorative arts, science and mathematics at the same time.

Special exhibitions like “50 Years of America’s Favorite Doll” (which we were privileged to see), lectures, year-round programming and family-friendly events mean there’s always something new going on when you visit.

The Coterie Theatre of Kansas City marquee signThe Coterie Theatre

Introduce your kid to the performing arts at The Coterie, a professional yet contemporary children’s theatre located inside Crown Center Mall. TIME Magazine named The Coterie one of the top five theaters serving families and young audiences in the United States today.

From the moment we arrived at The Coterie, I could tell we were in for more than just an amateur kid’s production. This was a real theater designed with multigenerational audiences in mind. The floor area immediately in front of the stage is reserved for children to sit as close to the action as possible while adults have comfortable tiered seating behind them. My family found our seats (all general admission) and took in the whimsical set before us for while we waited for the summer production of “Lyle the Crocodile” to start.

The Coterie Theatre of Kansas CityFor the price of a movie, we were treated to a first-rate musical production showcasing incredible talent of all ages. The sets, costumes and lighting were far beyond my expectations for a children’s theater – comparable in production value to major metropolitan theaters anywhere in the country, but smaller in size. The intimate size of the theater is just big enough to allow for elaborate productions, while small enough to enable the audience to feel connected to the actors and the story.

Innovative programming for all ages means new generations of audiences for the performing arts are being created in Kansas City because of The Coterie. What a refreshing change of pace from a night at the movies.