Sensory-Friendly Attractions and Things to Do in KC
Many of Kansas City’s most popular experiences are also the city’s most inclusive, meaning visitors and locals with sensory sensitivities can enjoy the best of KC without overwhelming sights, sounds and other factors.
Attractions and Things to Do
- National WWI Museum and Memorial: The country’s national museum dedicated to the Great War illustrates the conflict and its impact on modern life using a variety of exhibits and interactive media. For individuals with special sensory needs, audio tours tell the World War I story without distracting or overwhelming background noise.
- Kansas City Zoo: Animals always amaze at the iconic KC Zoo. Download the Sensory Friendly KC Zoo app to plan your day and preview a variety of exhibits and spaces, such as the Variety KC Exploration Play area, which is dedicated to children with special needs.
- Science City at Union Station: This Union Station attraction encourages youngsters to explore the world around them with interactive exhibits like a dinosaur dig site, a test kitchen and other hands-on activities.
- Kansas City Royals: Known for hosting an Autism Awareness Night each year, the Royals also provide services for the sensory-sensitive during every home game, including two quiet zones and noise-reducing headphones available for checkout.
- Carolyn’s Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch: Ideal for the autumn, this all-ages pumpkin paradise is accommodating to visitors with sensory sensitivities. Carolyn’s also offers a petting farm, tractor rides and simulated mining experiences, among other fun.
Art and Performing Arts
- The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: Kansas City’s most well-known museum hosts low sensory mornings an hour before official open, meaning hands-on art activities and art in the galleries in a quiet, low-stimulation environment.
- Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts: The distinctive home to some of Kansas City’s most renowned performing arts companies is known for putting on sensory-friendly shows throughout the year, including Kansas City Ballet’s The Nutcracker.
- Kansas City Repertory Theatre: One of KC’s finest theatres presents plays throughout the year with special Low Sensory Performance designations, meaning lower sound levels, dimmer lights and no restrictions on talking or leaving the theater during shows.
- Kansas City Ballet: The previously mentioned Nutcracker performance is a holiday favorite, and KC Ballet’s sensory-friendly rendition offers similar settings to KC Rep, along with a designated quiet space during the show.
- Kansas City Symphony: Another Kauffman Center company, the Kansas City Symphony regularly plays sensory-friendly concerts for kiddos and their families.
For a more comprehensive breakdown of sensory-friendly attractions and things to do in the region, consult the resources provided by the Autism Society of the Heartland, based in Overland Park.