Visit the Nation’s only World War I Museum! Interactive exhibits, like light tables, allow you to set the flight pattern of WWI planes, create your own sculpture and see how camoflauge is used. Kids enjoy some of the unique viewing opportunities like periscopes and peek-holes that allow you to see into a trench.
Before Your Visit:
- Make sure to discuss the concept of war with your child before you go - there will be some exhibits that discuss the hardships people faced during war so you'll want to give your kids a chance to ask questions.
- If you want to go up in the Observation Tower, call the museum to make sure it's going to be open (it closes in inclimate weather).
- Get the Family Guide from the Museum's website - it has great puzzles, games and a scavenger hunt for kids.
Explore the WWI Memorial:
- When you enter the museum, pay special attention to the flowers (poppies) below the glass bridge. Make sure you point them out to the kids - there are 9,000 of them and each one is in honor of 1000 people who died in combat during the war; a total of nine million.
- There are a lot of guns, tanks and ammunition which show visitors just how big things were during the first War.
- Visit the area of the museum that has trench exhibits – you are able to view and listen to different war scenes that soilders may have encountered during battle.
- Many kids will want to try the light tables that allow you to set a flight pattern for a WWI plane, see the inside of a machine gun and think about how camouflage can be used.
- Check out the periscope viewers - they are kind of hidden on the walls of the exhibits so you have to look for them.
- There's a great view of Kansas City from top of the memorial!.
Learn More About WWI:
There aren't many kids books that discuss World War I, but here are a few you might read with your kids:
"Cher Ami" is the story of a carrier pigeon who saves many lives during the war. "The Donkey of Gallpoli" is also a wonderful read about a donkey who helps soldiers.
View National World War I Museum in a larger map