Just for Kids
|Ideas for Family Fun|
|See our guide to Family-Friendly Adventures for every age.|
Kansas City is a children’s land of enchantment with acres of parks, playgrounds, zoo and special attractions geared just for their interests. Kids love Hallmark Cards’ Crown Center and their free art sessions at Kaleidoscope. The Toy & Miniature Museum offers an amazing collection of antique dolls, trains and fantastically detailed miniatures that’s sure to impress. Attend puppet shows and workshops at Paul Mesner Puppets or the Puppetry Arts Institute. Magnificently restored Union Station, the second largest working train station in the country, houses a children’s science museum, theater district, restaurants and the KC Rail Experience. And that's just beginning of the options for fun!
Below are local attractions that will welcome your little ones.
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Type: History | Location: Northwest
C.W. Parker Carousel Museum has been rated 4 out of 5 stars
Charles Wallace Parker started traveling carnivals in the midwest and was expanding rapidly. His carousels began to evolve through several style changes. He went from the track machines to the jumping carousels, from steam to electric. The carving on the horses began to get more fanciful.
The Parker "Carry-Us-Alls" (his play on words for carousel) continued to be the most important part of the amusement business. He built hundreds of small traveling carousels and also built five large extravagant "park" machines, designed to be permanently installed in large amusement parks.
About 1914, he began to introduce the new stretched leg and long bodied shape to the horses on his carousels that became his best know figures. Most carousels from then on had a horse called "Lillie Belle" on every machine produced. By 1925 he began phasing out the wooden carved horses, and began creating the aluminum cast figures.
The museum features carousel horses and parts, and three complete carousels from 1850-1950.
Type: Farmer's Market & Specialty Foods | Location: Northeast
Carolyn's Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch has been rated 3 out of 5 stars
A Day of family fun awaits at Carolyn's Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch, Sept. 20-Oct. 31.
From 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily through October, visitors can ride the wagon to the 60-acre patch and pick a pumpkin or two (or choose some from the tons already picked.)
Trips to the patch, Uncle Earl's mine and the farm train as well as the petting farm, farmer's playground, trike track and other children's activities make any day a good day for families to visit. A ride on Little Bud's Railroad, presented by Hy-Vee, adds extra special fun. There are shops full of fall décor and goodies, too.
Every weekend the Pumpkin Princess will welcome visitors and there will lots more live entertainment -- including Uncle Lester's pig races.
Admission to the family farm and education center is just $8 each. Children two years and younger are admitted free. Train rides are only $3 each. Parking is free.
The U-Pick Patch and education center, co-owned by Buddy and Carolyn Raasch, is a short drive ... just south of Liberty to 17607 NE 52nd St., which is right off of Hwys 291 and 210....
Type: Zoos & Animal Parks | Location: Southwest
Cedar Cove Feline Sanctuary & Education Center has been rated 5 out of 5 stars
Cedar Cove is a non-profit organization devoted to the care and preservation of endangered large cats while educating the public on their behavior, physiology, habitats and the threats & dangers of extinction.
We're making great progress in many areas of the park . Please bear with us during the changes and come visit the park to see what's new!
Aside from our public hours on the weekends, Cedar Cove arranges hosted tours for schools, special interest groups, families or any group interested in visiting the park during the week if your schedule prevents a weekend visit....
Type: Sports Attractions | Location: East
The Centerpoint Community Ice Rink strives to provide a fun, safe and educational environment for everyone learning to skate. We know you will enjoy learning to skate with us....
Type: Museums | Location: East
Captures the challenge of building peace through a fantastic array of interactive, hands-on exhibits and activities. Children delight at the sights, sounds and colors of this DO-TOUCH creative learning environment. Group visits by appointment. $1.00 admission. Closed Sun.-Mon., Tue. & Thu., large tours by appointment only, 1:00-4:00pm Wed. & Fri., open admission for small groups of 5 or less, Sat. Scout Tours by appointment only. ...
Type: Just for Kids | Location: Crown Center Area
Chip's Chocolate Factory has been rated 4 out of 5 stars
Kansas City's richest, most creamy fudge and mouth-watering chocolates are made fresh by hand before your very eyes. Visit the factory to watch (and smell!) as we celebrate 30 years of turning the finest ingredients into the most unbelievably delicious treats! Featuring more than 26 flavors of made-daily creamy Kansas City FudgeTM and more than 200 fresh made-daily Swiss Chocolate confections. Mouth-watering gourmet caramel apples, gourmet candy gifts, truffles, imported licorice, 20+ selections of Sugar Free Chocolates, cotton candy and much much more! Definitely a visit worth making while in Kansas City!
Type: Sports Attractions | Location: East
CoCo Key Water Resort has been rated 2 out of 5 stars
Escape to CoCo Key Water Resort, Kansas City's largest indoor water park.
CoCo Key Water Resort is 55,000 square feet of fun for the entire family. Thrilling water slides, dip-in theatre, adventure river, indoor/outdoor spa, interactive play island, lounge, private pool-side cabanas, arcade and family restaurants. Inspired by Key West, CoCo Key combines the relaxation and enchantment of a tropical paradise.
Located at the Holiday Inn Kansas City SE Hotel at I-70 across from the stadiums. ...
Type: Religious Organizations | Location: East
World Headquarters, spectacular buildings and history. Free organ recitals, hands-on Children's Peace Pavilion, historic museum. Free and open to the public. Guided tours 9am-5pm Mon.-Sat., 1-5pm Sun. Daily Prayer for Peace 12:30pm....
Type: Sports Attractions | Location: East
With 60 years of entertaining behind us Cool Crest has become one of Kansas City's best family entertainment facilities. Preferred for birthday parties, group events, or a night out with family and friends Cool Crest is sure to please....
Type: Free Admission | Location: Crown Center Area
Crown Center has been rated 4 out of 5 stars
Home to the international headquarters of Hallmark Cards, Crown Center offers something for everyone. The three-level Crown Center Shops feature more than 60 shops and restaurants. Eating options range from a burger spot where meals are delivered by miniature train to the city's only Forbes Four-Star dining experience, The American Restaurant. Shopaholics are drawn to the unique specialty stores, headlined by Halls Crown Center. Theatregoers can choose from award-winning youth-oriented shows at The Coterie and innovative shows at the Off Center Theatre. The center also hosts free activities, such as children's exhibits, puppet shows and the Crayola Christmas Land. Crown Center Square, located right across from the shopping center, is the heart of the complex. It's home to events throughout the year that are great for the whole family, including ethnic festivals, an antique show, outdoor movie series and concerts. LEGOLAND Discovery Center and SEA LIFE Aquarium also reside on the square. Also at the complex are free Hallmark-sponsored activities. The Hallmark Visitors Center details the illustrious history of the world's leader in personal expression, while Kaleidoscope offers a creative art experience for children ages 5-12. Travelers can choose from two of the city's most luxurious hotels--Sheraton Kansas City at Crown Center and Westin Kansas City at Crown Center . They're connected to the shopping center by The Link, an elevated, climate-controlled pedestrian walkway. Come to our "city within a city" and find out for yourself why five million people visit Crown Center each year!...
Type: Attractions | Location: Southeast
Faulkner's Ranch opens it's gates to the public every October for a huge pumpkin season. Families enjoy scenic hayrides, petting farm, field maze, pedal karts, farm train and more every fall at KC's most beloved ranch. Open year round for private events the Faulkner's specialize in hosting corporate events, weddings and receptions and children's pony parties....
Type: History | Location: East
Historic fort overlooking Missouri River. First U.S. outpost in Louisiana Purchase....
Type: Recreation Centers | Location: Northeast
Gladstone Community Center is perfect for year round swimming, fitness and family fun.
The center features 3 water areas and is home to North Kansas City Schools' four High School swim teams and the host site of the Kansas City Corporate Challenge.
" An 8-lane, 25-yard competition pool, maintained at 80 degrees, is a great place to train and practice your competitive swim skills.
" Diving well that is maintained at 83 degrees and contains 1-meter and 3-meter diving boards.
" Leisure pool, maintained at 85 degrees, is zero-depth entry and is pirate themed with dumping buckets, spray features and a large flume slide. This pool is fun for all ages and is an ideal spot to host your child's next birthday party.
Another feature of the center is its 20,000 square foot state of the art fitness center with gymnasium and indoor running/walking track. From cardio/weight workout to basketball, you are sure to get a good workout in when visiting the center.
Finally, the center also features a banquet facility and is able to accommodate groups such as family reunions, wedding receptions, or business seminars with banquet style seating for 250 and theater style seating for 400.
Type: History | Location: Downtown Area
Paying tribute to music’s rich cultural history, the GRAMMY Museum Experience @ Sprint Center is a one-of-a-kind museum celebrating the enduring legacies of all forms of music. Located inside Kansas City’s home for live entertainment, the GRAMMY Museum Experience @ Sprint Center features legendary artifacts and interactive displays. Educational exhibitions get hands-on with creative song-writing, the art and technology of recording and the history of the GRAMMY Awards. Through dynamic programs, guests experience music from a never-before-seen perspective....
Type: Theme & Water Parks | Location: West
Great Wolf Lodge has been rated 4 out of 5 stars
Every aspect of Great Wolf Lodge Indoor Water Park Resort is built for families. Your Great Wolf Lodge family getaway will have everyone howling for more.
The adventure begins in the 38,000 square-foot, 84-degree indoor waterpark that is exclusive to our guests. From spray features in the toddler area, to white-knuckle extreme tube rides, the waterpark is designed with everyone in mind. Waterpark admission is included with your stay.
Continue the fun outside the waterpark. Grab a wand in the live-action adventure game, MagiQuest, visit Scooops Kid Spa, gather together for Story Time.
Stay in a spacious family suite that four to eight guests.
It’s a weather-proof family vacation with everything under one roof. Great Wolf Lodge defies the weather outside with an indoor waterpark experience that has young and old soaking in the fun!...
Type: Just for Kids | Location: Northwest
Gymboree Play & Music has been fostering creativity and confidence in children ages 0-5 for over 35 years. Today there are over 700 locations in 33 countries, making us the global leader in early childhood development programs. Designed by experts, our age-appropriate activities help develop the cognitive, physical and social skills of children as they play. Our programs are also recognized for their unique approach to parent involvement—which encourages participation in and understanding of each child’s development.We Are The Experts in Early Childhood Development. Our class curriculum is developed by our program directors in collaboration with the national child development expert Zero to Three®, to ensure our programs provide the best support and early enrichment education to children and their parents.Our Locations Are in Safe Places To Play and Learn. We provide an environment where children are free to move, play and explore safely. Our proprietary equipment was designed by Jay Beckwith, a nationally respected playground designer with more than 30 years of experience, who created every structure with the needs of children in mind. Our play environments are designed to deliver the high-quality standard parents expect for their children....
Type: Just for Kids | Location: Southwest
Join Gymboree play, music, and art classes! Gymboree offers classes for children birth through six years of age. It is a wonderful opportunity for children to learn through play. The classes work on both gross and fine motor skills. Music classes expose them to a variety of music genres and instruments. The art classes offer a variety of mediums to develop their creativity. The play class offers fitness and learning through play. Gymboree offers 2 hour drop-off camps during the week for 3 to 6 year olds, too.
Hundreds of play groups have been formed through Gymboree. It’s a great way for parents to meet other parents and for children to meet friends. Private birthday parties are offered that are geared specifically to the children attending. The parties are developmentaly appropriate and any theme can be chosen. ...
Type: Free Admission | Location: Crown Center Area
Hallmark Visitors Center has been rated 4 out of 5 stars
See one of the world's most creative companies come to life. Located in Kansas City's Crown Center complex, the Hallmark Visitors Center celebrates the Hallmark story in a display of remarkable exhibits, from our founder's humble beginning in 1910, to the creation of one of the world's largest greeting card company. Step inside the Timeline exhibit where you'll view historical artifacts that reflect various eras and trends throughout 20th century America into the new millennium. Marvel at the J.C. Hall Christmas Trees, a collection of 17 unique and imaginative trees. Visit with some of our Hallmark craftspeople a graphic arts technician or press operator as they demonstrate hot foil stamping and die cutting, processes used in the manufacture of greeting cards. You can even press a button to create a star-shaped bow that you can take home as a souvenir. There's so much more to see at the Hallmark Visitors Center. This stop is sure to add many happy memories of your visit to Kansas City. And the best part is...it's FREE!...
Type: Attractions | Location: Northeast
One of the most walk-able historic areas in mid-America includes 240 preserved homes and buildings built more than 100 years ago. Self guided walking tours, unique shops and restaurants, 3 museums, and one of the finest liberal arts colleges in America, make the area interesting and entertaining. A spring arts festival, a fall festival and a farmers market that runs from May to October are annual events fun for the entire family. Plan to stay in one of our charming bed and breakfasts and come visit us soon.
Belvoir Winery - 816-407-9015
Cardinal Hill Golf Course - 816-781-7025
Carolyn's Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze - 816-781-9196
Clay County Archives & Historical Library - 816-781-3611
Clay County Museum - 816-792-1849
Corbin Theatre - 816-529-4988
Historic Liberty Jail Visitor's Center - 816-781-3188
Jesse James Bank Museum - 816-736-8510
Liberty Performing Arts Theatre - 816-439-4360
Martha LaFite Thompson Nature Sanctuary - 816-781-8598...
Type: Festivals | Location: Southeast
Jackson County Parks & Recreation has been rated 3 out of 5 stars
Jackson County Parks and Recreation is one of the Midwest's premier park systems and we are making it even more convenient for you to take advantage of the many wonderful things that make our county a destination all its own. World-class lakes, competitive sporting leagues, spectacular events, a championship golf course and intriguing historic sites are now just a click away.
You can now register for programs and facilities online with Jackson County Parks and Recreation. The program is available at www.jacksongov.org In addition to Parks online registration, look at our Parks Program Guide, this is also available online.
With over 22,000 acres of parkland that sets just minutes outside Kansas City, Jackson County Parks has something for the entire family to enjoy. The Parks Department provides exceptional events throughout the year: Lake Fest the last weekend in June, Missouri Town Fall Festival the first weekend in October and Christmas In the Park starting the night before Thanksgiving and lasting throughout December.
Jackson County invites your family to "Take a Break at the Lake" this season and enjoy Lake Jacomo, Blue Springs Lake and Longview Lake....
Type: Museums | Location: Southwest
Johnson County Museum of History has been rated 4 out of 5 stars
Step back in history and discover your future. See what has lured people to Johnson County for the past 175 years. Includes 14 hands-on stations, KidScape and changing exhibit gallery. Youth programs include tours, classes and interactive play.
The Johnson County Museum of History opened in 1967 in the former Greenwood School. Over the years, the museum has continued to achieve its mission of preserving and sharing the community's history through its award winning permanent and changing exhibits. The facility includes permanent and changing galleries, a research library, an education center, KidScape and a museum store....
Type: Free Admission | Location: Crown Center Area
Kaleidoscope has been rated 5 out of 5 stars
Kaleidoscope is a magical art studio where children can be creative and feel good about their own special ideas. Creating with bows, cardboard, jazzy junk, making puzzles and painting with melted crayons are just a few of the fun things to do. Independent art sessions for children ages 5-12 and family art Sessions for children of all ages! Kaleidoscope is free as a public service by Hallmark. Call for session times.
Way back in the 1960s, a bright, bright Kansas City man named Don Hall had a bright, bright idea. He got together some of the other idea makers at his company, Hallmark, and they cooked up an imagination machine, where children from all over our planet could explore, create and cook up their own bright, bright, ideas.
Millions of children across the United States have been creating ever since using melted crayons, polka dots of all sizes, zig and zags, shooting stars and lots of other jazzy junk that tickle the minds of young artists everywhere.
Kaleidoscope's imaginative worlds inspire each child's creativity. Children explore exciting environments as they discover the joy of creativity by making their own amazing art from Hallmark scrap materials.
Kaleidoscope gives children (and grown-ups, too) a unique opportunity to express themselves in a supportive, encouraging environment. At Kaleidoscope, every idea is a good idea! ...
Type: Gardens | Location: East
Corinthian Hall Celebrating 100 Years!
2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Corinthian Hall, the residence of Robert A. Long and his family, and the historic home of the Kansas City Museum. The Corinthian Hall Centennial will be celebrated all year long with special events, programs and activities.
The Kansas City Museum will be celebrating the “century mark” each month with a dynamic series of lectures, workshops, books, films and seminars that highlight Corinthian Hall’s unique architecture and the Long family’s deep and abiding commitment to the civic well-being of Kansas City.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Long and their daughters, Sallie and Loula, were the original residents. The house and 5 outbuildings were built between 1907 and 1910. After the death of Mr. Long in 1934, the daughters made a gift of the house and grounds to the Kansas City Museum Association in 1939. The mansion was added to the National Historic Register in 1980.
Corinthian Hall and the estate grounds are owned by the City of Kansas City, Missouri and are operated by Union Station Kansas City, Inc. Ongoing renovation at the site strives to return some areas to their magnificent historical appearance, and to redesign exhibits and programs to better serve the Museum’s educational goals.
The site is open 6 days per week. Come help us celebrate 100 years at the Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall.
Type: Just for Kids | Location: Northwest
The Kansas City Northern Railroad operates on a half mile oval track and maintains the Southern Belle – Southern No. 31, the City of Kansas City - Union Pacific No. 910, and The Eagle - Missouri Pacific No. 651. All of the trains are Model G-16's, meaning the operate on a 16? gauge track, and were built by the Miniature Train Company of Rensselaer, IN and by the Alan Herschell Company of N. Tonawanda, New York....
Type: Festivals | Location: Near Speedway
Kansas City Renaissance Festival has been rated 5 out of 5 stars
Huzzah and Cheers for 37 years!
The Kansas City Renaissance Festival, a Kansas City fall tradition celebrating 37 years of Huzzah & Cheers, opening Labor Day weekend August 31st thru October 14th 2013, weekends, Labor Day and Columbus Day 10am - 7pm, rain or shine in beautiful Bonner Springs, Kansas. The Kansas City Renaissance Festival is like walking through the gates of time to another age where guests from around the metro, the Midwest, the country and sometimes the world get a taste of 16th century life. There are discount specials listed at www.kcrenfest.com or guests can call 800-373-0357 for group ticket prices and information on parties and weddings at the Festival. Discount tickets can be purchased at Kansas City Hy Vee's, Walgreen's regional Dillon's, Baker's and Gerbe's and online at www.kcrenfest.com. Each year, nearly 300 school groups ranging from elementary to high school travel to the Festival for a fun learning experience. These groups hail from across Kansas and Missouri as well as Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas and Oklahoma to complement their in-class learning with a fun, interactive view of life in the Renaissance and through the Living History Tour. www.kcrenfest.com has games and curriculum activities specifically designed to compliment what students learn at the Festival. After over three decades of entertaining the Midwest with the sights and sounds of Renaissance England, this event has become almost synonymous with autumn in Kansas City. As guests have come to expect, Festival organizers and participants will offer an escape from this century and a chance to play, if only for a day, in the village of Canterbury. Where else can you feast like royalty, dance like gypsies, quaff ale with colorful villagers, shop among 165 skilled artisans and watch noble knights joust for honor all in the same day?...
October 17th - 20th and 24th - 27th at 6:30 pm. Please join us for this howling good time. Only 150 guests each night can join this interactive show that starts each evening at 6:30 pm. Torches will burn as you enter the gates! Pass by the Fountain of Blood on your way to the spooky dining area!