Fun Things to Do With Kids in Kansas City
From al fresco adventures to indoor entertainment, good eats and more, everyone can be a kid in the City of Fountains.
Here are some of the best family-friendly adventures for every age:
The city is brimming with exciting places designed to cultivate a sense of wonder and discovery for inquisitive toddlers and preschoolers.
One of the most popular spots in town is Kaleidoscope, a free, hands-on art center for children. Located at Crown Center and sponsored by Hallmark Cards, Kaleidoscope offers a unique multi-sensory, artistic environment where kids can design, cut, glue and decorate either on their own or with a little help from their grown-up, in the end taking home their own special works of art.
The magic of puppetry takes center stage at the Stone Lion Puppet Theatre. Their original, full-scale productions incorporate multiple puppetry styles, including rod and shadow puppets, marionettes and more.
Young adults will thoroughly enjoy artistic exploration at two of the city’s best museums: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, designed to showcase some of the world’s finest modern and contemporary art, and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, internationally recognized for its outstanding collection of objects dating from ancient times to the modern day.
There's hardly a better way to spend a day than at The K. Take the whole family out to the ballgame by attending one of many home Kansas City Royals games. Kids can hit the Outfield Experience to test out their baseball skills—and then catch nine innings of exciting baseball action.
Thrilling action can be found at Zip KC, one of Kansas City’s zip lining courses. Soar through the trees at high-flying speeds in this outdoor thrill park. Or, stay indoors and go skydiving at iFly, where kids can simulate a free-falling flight in safe and fun environment. And CoCo Key Water Resort and Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, KS, offer indoor water park family fun year-round.
More al fresco escapades can be found at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park, with conservation area trails, pole fishing, petting zoos and more. At Lakeside Nature Center, one of Missouri’s largest wildlife rehabilitation facilities, the kids can travel along the scenic trails, explore hands-on exhibits and enjoy educational programming.
For other adventures in nature, visit Olathe's Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm. This living history museum highlights prairie life in the mid-1800s with engaging activities and exhibits. Also be sure to check out Swope Park for outdoor fun with the entire family. Encompassing more than 1,800-acres, Swope includes exercise and bike trails, cricket and soccer fields, playgrounds, plus baseball diamonds, a disc golf course, tennis courts, a pool and two golf courses.
Learn and Play
If you’ve got baseball fans, grasp more of the history of this great American pastime at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District. The museum tells the story of the Negro National League (founded in 1920), its teams, players, innovators and more through historic timelines, artifacts and interactive themed galleries.
The district is also home to the American Jazz Museum, which melds jazz history with modern technology in a multidimensional exhibit environment. Displays celebrating the lives and music of many jazz greats, jazz memorabilia, listening stations and interactive areas for experimenting with and discovering jazz fundamentals are part of the fun here.
Located inside the Federal Reserve Bank, the Money Museum offers a free, one-hour tour encompassing the region’s largest cash vault, interactive exhibits, a Truman Coin Collection and an area for designing your own digital currency. For future chefs, kids can learn the basics at The Culinary Center of Kansas City, which offers cooking classes for youngsters.
Play like Dr. Doolittle and talk to the animals at the Kansas City Zoo. Encompassing 200-plus acres, you’ll find more than 1,700 diverse creatures from across the world. For more animal-centric fun, head to Yaya's Alpaca Farm to pet, interact and learn about these fluffy creatures.
Play along with everyone's favorite beagle at Planet Snoopy in Worlds of Fun, featuring more than 20 rides, shows and attractions devoted to pint-sized play, plus daily meet-and-greet opportunities with Charlie Brown, Lucy and the rest of the Peanuts gang.
For interactive adventures with the little ones, visit two of the most popular attractions at Crown Center: SEA LIFE Kansas City and LEGOLAND Discovery Center. The city’s first aquarium, SEA LIFE features more than 5,000 creatures, an underwater tunnel, interactive rock pool experience, demonstrations and more. LEGOLAND offers a 30,000-square-foot hands-on play area with LEGO-themed rides, a 4-D cinema and other activities.
One of the nation’s oldest and most historic landmarks is Union Station. Attractions here include Science City, an interactive science center; the KC Rail Experience; a planetarium; several performance theaters; traveling and holiday exhibits and a variety of dining options.
Kids and adults alike love The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, home to the world’s largest fine-scale miniature collection, as well as one of the nation's largest antique toy collections. Expect a slew of rotating exhibits and permanent mainstays, including Victorian dollhouses and 1:12 scale architectural masterpieces.
Plan a fun-filled family dinner at one of these great restaurants.
- Spin! Neapolitan Pizza - Kid-sized pies and delicious gelato are perfect for young ones.
- Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant – Your burgers and fries arrive via miniature train.
- Donutology – Craft your own mini-donuts with dozens of glazes and toppings.
- Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue – Everyone can savor classic KC 'cue courtesy of kids menus.
- Waldo Pizza – A kid-friendly pizza joint that is a big hit with locals.