Great Places to Explore with Kids in Kansas City
A List designed for BBBS Kansas City
There are many fun things to do in Kansas City – we’ve listed a number of great places to visit, along with website links. Some attractions are free and some have admission fees (which can be found at the attraction’s website).
Animals & Nature
- Burr Oak Woods Nature Center (Blue Springs, MO) FREE
Huge nature center, trails, native animals and great programs
- Cedar Cove Feline Sanctuary(Louisburg, KS)
- Visit lion, tigers & wolves at this conservation and education park.
- Deanna Rose Farmstead (Overland Park, KS) $2 on wknds/Free during the week
- Open April – October, feed animals, tour a prairie town, daily programs, nature trails & playgrounds. Extra cost for fishing, horse rides, mining & feeding.
- Ernie Miller Nature Center (K-7, Olathe, KS) FREE, but admission for special programs
- Owls, hawks, native animals and lots of hiking trails.
- Kansas City Zoo (Swope Park, KC, MO) Admission
- Ride across Africa on the new Skyride, feed the lorikeets, visit the polar bear & much more!
- Lakeside Nature Center (Swope Park, KC, MO) FREE
- Native animals, hiking trails, weekend programs.
- Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary (Liberty, MO) $1 requested/Cost for programs
- Hiking trails, nature center and special events & programs.
- Native Hoofed Animal Enclosure (Fleming Park, Blue Springs, MO) FREE
- Feed bison & elk – bring small apples and long carrots with you.
- SEA LIFE Aquarium (Crown Center, KC, MO) Admission
- Visit fish, sharks, stingrays and more at Kansas City’s 1st aquarium!
- Powell Observatory (Louisburg, KS) Admission/donation requested
- Saturday evenings from May – Oct. View stars & planets thru the largest telescopes in a 5-state area!
- Science City (Union Station, KC, MO) Admission
- Ride a bike on a high wire, explore weather on huge interactive sphere, learn about energy, the earth and more!
- Science Pioneer Saturday Science Seminars (Union Station, KC, MO) FREE
- 1-hour science sessions on some Sat. mornings (Aug – Mar. )
- Voyage: A Solar System Walk (Downtown KC) FREE
- Walk a 1-to-10 billion scale model of the solar system with stations for each planet.
- Warkoczewski Observatory(UMKC Campus)
- Friday evenings from late March – Oct. View the night sky thru telescopes.
- Kaleidoscope (Crown Center, KC, MO) FREE
- Attend ‘family art sessions’ where adults & kids can be creative together.
- Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (KC, MO) FREE
- Sculpture, paintings, photography exhibits that encourage art exploration and discussion. Events hosted one Saturday each month.
- Nelson-Atkins Museum (KC, MO) FREE
- Travel thru history in the galleries, enjoy some time at Sculpture Park – use the online guides, grab a snack at Rozzelle Court and visit the interactive exhibits in the Creative Café.
- Nerman Museum (JCCC Campus, Overland Park, KS) FREE
- See contemporary art, photography & sculpture – plus, tour the college campus!
Places to Build Things
- Lowe’s Kids Workshops (Many locations in KC Metro) FREE
- Kids can make fun projects like wood cars, games, holiday items.
- Home Depot Kids Clinics (Many locations in KC Metro) FREE
- Make birdhouses, planters and more – includes apron and pin.
Travel thru History
- Arabia Steamboat Museum (KC, MO) Admission
- See huge number of items from 1856 that were found on sunken boat.
- Federal Reserve Bank Money Museum (KC, MO) – FREE
- Lift a gold bar, see the vault and learn about money.
- Harry Truman Library & Truman Historic Site (Independence, MO) Admission
- Visit a replica of the Oval Office along with many interactive exhibits at the Truman Library. Then head over to see the Truman Home, use the Jr. Ranger guide from the National Park Service.
- Johnson Co. Museum of History/1950’s Electric House (Shawnee, KS) Admission
- Interactive exhibits show how the area has grown over the past 150 years. Tour the 1950s home to see how people lived & how life has changed.
- Lanesfield School Historic Site
- Visit a historic one-room schoolhouse to see how students learned in the late 1800’s.
- Mahaffie Stagecoach & Farmstead (Olathe, KS) Admission
- Tour the last hotel on the Santa Fe trail still open to the public & & ride a stagecoach.
- Missouri Town 1855 (Lee’s Summit, MO) Admission
- Tour buildings, see animals & talk to costumed interpreters about life in the 1800’s.
- Shawnee Indian Mission (Fairway, KS) Admission
- History of Native American children who attended this training school in mid-1800’s.
- Toy & Miniature Museum (UMKC Campus) Admission
- See a huge collection of toys and games from the last 200 years. Some interactive exhibits.
- Wornall House (KC, MO) Admission
- Tour this historic home and learn about people who lived at the time of the Civil War.
- WWI Museum/Liberty Memorial (KC, MO) Admission
- Poke your head into a trench scene; see tanks, guns and planes; movies and interactive exhibits that showcase the events of World War I.
- College Basketball Experience (Sprint Center, KC, MO) Admission
- Interactive basketball exhibits along with College Basketball Hall of Fame.
- Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (18th & Vine, KC, MO ) Admission
- Tour the museum that highlights the history of African-American Baseball.
- LIVESTRONG Sporting Park (KC, KS) Admission
- Take a walk-up tour of the stadium and see behind-the-scenes.
- Kansas Speedway (KC, KS) Admission
- Tour the racetrack, pits and more – reservations req’d 2 weeks in advance.
- Cabella’s Mule Deer Museum (KC, KS) FREE
- Museum of nature and learn about the mule deer, retail store.
- Bass Pro Stores (Olathe, KS & Independence, MO) FREE
- Huge fish tank, cool (taxidermy) animal displays, retail store, varying kids programming.
Places to Play
(these locations recommended for kids ages 6 – 10)
- Kidscape @Johnson Co. Museum (Shawnee, KS) FREE
- Kid-size town with theater, park, hospital and more for kids to pretend.
- Crown Center – Special Exhibits (KC, MO) FREE
- Interactive kids exhibits with varying themes – 3 offered per year.
- LEGOLAND Discovery Center (Crown Center, KC, MO) Admission
- A Lego world with rides, games and exhibits – Recommended for Kids ages 3 – 10 years.
- Wonderscope Children’s Museum (Shawnee, KS) Admission
- Many rooms with interactive exhibits for kids. Most entertaing for kids under age 8.
- Coterie Theatre (Crown Center, KC, MO) Admission
- Awarded Top 5 Kids Theatre in the Country – great shows for kids & teens.
- Paul Messner Puppets (KC, MO) Admission
- Entertaining and engaging puppet shows. Best for kids 10 and under.
- Theatre for Young America (Union Station, KC, MO ) Admission
- Fun live theater shows, many based on kid’s books. Best for kids 10 and under.
- Summer Theatre Options – Admission varies, charged for all
Farm Tours & Fruit Picking
- Shatto Dairy – Tour of Dairy Farm (Osborn,MO) Admission
- Tour a working dairy farm, milk a cow & see how milk goes from farm to store.
- The Berry Patch (223rd & State Line Rd, MO) Cost for fruit that you pick/buy
- pick your own blueberries or blackberries
- Pome on the Range (Williamsburg, KS) Cost for fruit that you pick/buy
- pick your own apples, pumpkins
- Weston Red Barn Farm (Weston, MO) Cost for fruit that you pick/buy
- pick your own blackberries, apples & pumpkins with a farm store