Kansas City Animal Adventures

Animal Encounters: Get Up-Close and Personal with These Kansas City Creatures

By Lysa Allman-Baldwin

Yes, Kansas City has a wild side. From creatures of the sea to the African plains, Missouri’s woodlands, the Australian Outback, the Kansas prairie and a great deal more, Kansas City offers a wealth of unique and exciting animal encounters that delight and inspire.

Continental Adventures

Kangaroos at the Kansas City Zoo

Situated on a 202-acre nature sanctuary in Swope Park, the Kansas City Zoo is an interactive, entertaining and educational adventure through diverse habitats representing the over 1,000 diverse creatures from Africa, Australia and Asia that thrive here. Attractions include an indoor rain forest, Helzberg Penguin Plaza, Polar Bear Passage, Discovery Barn, Tiger Trail exhibits, and an African Sky Safari, just to name a few.

Beyond Little House on the Prairie

Deanna Rose Farmstead

Designed to depict a 1900s turn-of-the-century farm, the 12-acre Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead brings the “charm of the farm” to children and their families living in the big city. A one-room country schoolhouse, working dairy barn, historically accurate Kanza Indian village encampment, push-pedal tractor circle track, mining camp and horse-drawn hayrides are all part of the fun here. Nevertheless, one of the Farmstead’s biggest draws are the more than 200 animals including miniature horses, bison, goats, sheep, turkeys, pigs, donkeys and chickens, among others, some of which visitors can feed during their visit.

Under the Sea

SEA LIFE Aquarium at Crown Center in Kansas City

SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium, located at Crown Center, is an amazing underwater world. Visitors here can experience and learn about the lifecycles of more than 5,000 creatures dispersed throughout the aquarium, including through an interactive rock pool experience, as well as in an underwater tunnel where Blacktip Reef Sharks, Cownose Stingrays, Clownfish and other creatures of the sea swim over your head.

Get Back to Nature

Hands-on exhibits emphasizing native Missouri wildlife and local conservation projects, coupled with meandering scenic trails, are the focus at Lakeside Nature Center, one of Missouri’s largest wildlife rehabilitation facilities. And in nearby Blue Springs at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, visitors can enjoy family-friendly expeditions, conservation area trails, bird watching and other natural habitat oriented activities.

Cat Tracks

Cedar Cove Feline Sactuary

Located in Louisburg, approximately 20 miles south of Kansas City, Cedar Cove Feline Sanctuary & Education Center is a non-profit organization devoted to the care and preservation of endangered large exotic felines, or “big cats.” Obtained from private breeders, zoos, nature preserves and other entities, the “family” here encompasses grey wolves, leopards, Coatis (members of the raccoon family) and of course lions, in a stress-free environment designed to educate the public on their habitats, behavior and physiology, as well as to the dangers and threats of extinction.  

Zoos & Animal Parks in KC

Cedar Cove Feline Sanctuary & Education Center

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.

Jackson County Parks + Rec

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.

Kansas City Parks & Recreation

Enjoy Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation’s 213 parks, 132 miles of boulevards and parkways, 49 fountains, 87 ornamental structures, 27 lakes, 38 miles of trails and bikeways, 105 tennis courts, five golf courses, four museums and more than 400 recreational programs and special events. Rose Garden: http://kcparks.org/attraction/laura-conyers-smith-municipal-rose-garden/ Love Locks: http://kcparks.org/attraction/old-red-bridge-love-locks/ The Springs: http://kcparks.org/recreation/the-springs-water-park/ KCNRR:  http://kcparks.org/attraction/kansas-city-northern-railroad

Kemper Outdoor Education Center

Step into a world of adventure. Explore our woodlands, wetlands, arboretum, garden pond, butterfly gardens and much more. Listen to the birds singing, leaves rustling in the wind, turkeys gobbling and grogs chirping. Joyfully learn about our native wildlife. Come see, smell and touch nature in this beautiful enhanced environment located in Fleming Park. We do weddings, too. On your special day, Jackson County Parks and Recreation invites you to celebrate your wedding ceremony the way you have always dreamed it would be…Your alter is the bridge over the waterfall of a garden pond.

SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium

EXPLORER? Come this way! Step beneath the waves and prepare for a world of glittering scales, darting sharks, gliding stingrays and a curious octopus. And get ready to come face-to-fin with some of the most fascinating creatures. Get your exclusive VisitKC discount to SEA LIFE Kansas City here: https://www.visitsealife.com/kansas-city/visit-kc/. Combination tickets that include visits to SEA LIFE and LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City are also available: https://www.visitsealife.com/kansas-city/tickets/. Open daily from 10am.

Kansas City Zoo

More Zoo for you to explore with more than 200 acres of adventure filled with more than 1,700 animals. See penguins like never before at Helzberg Penguin Plaza. Watch king and gentoo penguins torpedo through the water in their 100,000 gallon cool pool and see the Humboldt penguins bask in the sun and get their flippers wet in the 25,000 gallon warm water pool. Dip your hands into a shallow pool and discover the unique texture of stingrays and bamboo sharks at Stingray Bay. Journey to the Polar Bear Passage and marvel at our polar bears' beauty and strength.

Yaya's Alpaca Farm

Looking to make some great memories? Yaya's Alpaca Farm is just the place to do that! Young or old, individuals, families or bus tours have a wonderful time at the farm. Come and feed, photograph and pet our 30 alpacas, learn about the history of where they came from, and feel their luxurious fiber. Enjoy a 90 minute guided tour with our wonderful animals, and see how we make great alpaca product out of their fleece. A must for all, we love to show you our wonderful alpacas, and welcome you to make some lifelong memories for years to come. Call us for a appointment for your farm tour today!