Located in the heart of the America, Kansas City is often overlooked as a tourist destination, but it’s a city that should be on everyone’s radar. Famous for its barbecue, fountains, and jazz clubs, the city is also home to the Kansas City Royals, numerous family friendly attractions, and a thriving art scene. Visitors will enjoy the Midwest hospitality, unique dining choices, and entertainment options that will appeal to children of all ages.
Favorite Places to Go with Kids in Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City is a unique destination. There are actually two Kansas Cities.
One is in Missouri, and the other is in Kansas. They sit right across the state line from one another, but the one in Missouri is the larger of the two and the one that took the name first. One of the things I love most about Kansas City, Missouri, is its variety of attractions and its wealth of kid friendly museums. Kids can learn about World War I history, the Federal Reserve, the Negro Leagues, science, and life on a farm in Kansas City. The beauty of it all? It never feels like work, it just feel like fun. Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun
If your family loves amusement parks, plan on spending the day here. World of Fun has all the roller coasters, entertainment, and Planet Snoopy. Oceans of Fun is the adjacent water park, so bring a swim suit! This park is perfect for all ages (and levels) of thrill seekers.
2. College Basketball Experience
The CBE mixes a Hall of Fame museum with a hands-on indoor basketball experience. Kids (and adults) can play basketball, shoot three pointers, take pictures with the pros (a prop that is), and practice free throws. It’s a great place to spend a few hours and learn some basketball history.
This art studio run by Hallmark is located inside Crown Center in the heart of downtown. Families are encouraged to explore their creative sides with hands-on art projects while the whimsical creatures and creations in the room inspire them. Kids can make their own puzzles, explore the glow in the dark room, or make their own crafts with different materials on hand. The only limit is their imagination!
4. Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
Located in the nearby suburb of Overland Park, this 12 acre farmstead was designed to represent a 1900s turn of the century farm. Here, families will find over 200 animals and birds, a one room school house, pony rides, a dairy barn, and more. The farm is open seasonally, (April 1 – October 1), and offers plenty of fun activities for families on the farm.
5. Money Museum
At the Kansas City Federal Reserve bank, there is an interactive museum for kids. Here they can see a giant vault filled with millions of dollars, the coin collection of President Truman, and test their strength by lifting a gold bar. Free, self guided tours are available, so don’t miss this stop!
6. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
The Negro Leagues Museum and American Jazz Museum are both located in the 18th & Vine museum complex. Even non-baseball fans can appreciate the history of African-American baseball. This museum shares the stories of the players both on and off the field. School age children will hopefully understand the concepts being taught and the fact these players wanted to play a sport they loved in a world that didn’t want them to succeed. The exhibits are very well thought out and they tell a story from beginning to end. There is a lot of reading throughout the exhibit, so take a tour, or prepare to explain a lot to younger children.
7. Science City at Union Station
There are many hands-on activities at Science City and unique experiences for kids including a dinosaur dig site, a maze park, a hotel of illusions, and a sky bike. Located inside Union Station in downtown Kansas City, there are plenty of activities for kids of all ages.
8. National World War I Museum
This is the only museum in the United States dedicated to the people and stories of the Great War. We visited with our children and they were fascinated with everything, from the artillery to the field of poppies representing those who lost their lives. We did not expect to stay long, but spent several hours touring the museum. We enjoyed taking the elevator to the top of the tower for a view of the greater Kansas City area. The kids can run around in the plaza area surrounding the tower if they need a break. Definitely worth a visit in our book.
Kansas City has many options for families and these are only some of our favorites. We look forward to our next visit to see what else the City of Fountains has for us to explore.