Kids will enjoy exploring the many tunnels, passages and rooms at SEA LIFE Aquarium. Watch sharks, stingrays and fish swim over your head. Learn some fun fish facts, hold a sea star or horseshoe crab, and discover more than 5,000 sea creatures during your visit.
"The Magic School Bus On the Ocean Floor" by Joanna Cole takes the class on a trip through the ocean. Kids will recognize a few friends from the aquarium, along with some new creatures too.
In "Wish for a Fish: All About Sea Creatures" by Bonnie Worth, kids will travel through the various ocean zones and meet some of the creatures that live in each area.
While you're at Crown Center, you would also enjoy:
View SEA LIFE Kansas City in a larger map
Do you think owls can really turn their heads all the way around? Come and learn more about owls, hawks and other animals and reptiles at Ernie Miller Nature Center. Explore the hiking trails, visit the animals and find some great hands-on learning activities.
If you want to learn more about what owls eat, try the online virtual dissection of owl pellets at KidWings.
Other great places to explore nature in Kansas City include:
“Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam..” You can visit the bison who use to roam our plains right here in Kansas City. The Native Hoofed Animal Enclosure at Lake Jacomo has bison, elk and deer roaming free in a 110-acre enclosure.
You can visit more animals around Kansas City at:
View Native Hoofed Animal Enclosure in a larger map
How would you like to see your kids bottle-feed a kid (baby goat)? Or watch a cow being milked? Bring them to see some of their favorite farm animals, hike the trails, feed the chickens and play on the slides.
"A Year at a Farm" by Nicholas Harris
A great glossary of terms and beautiful pictures walk you through what happens each month at a farm, with seasonal changes and events.
"Farm" by Elisha Cooper
A beautiful look at a farm family that describes the sights, smells and activities of farm living. Kids will get a realistic view of the life on a farm, with longer text to fit this inquisitive age.
After your visit, ask your child which was their favorite animal and why. Also ask them what buildings were missing from the prairie town - see what they might notice as places in their community that didn't exist years ago.
View Deanna Rose Farmstead, 13800 Switzer Rd., Overland Park, KS 66221 in a larger map
Want to explore a tunnel covered in vines? Look for frogs, butterflies and bugs? Hike a trail through the woods? Come to the Overland Park Arboretum and explore nature, smell herbs, and play in the Children's Garden.
View Overland Park Arboretum in a larger map
Amphibians, birds and turtles, oh my! Come visit some of your favorite animal friends. See a 3,000 gallon fish tank, explore the many animal homes, watch a nature film or hike a trail at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center.
Visit other great Kansas City nature centers:
View Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in a larger map
What's your favorite animal: sea lions, a polar bear or elephants? Come visit some of your favorite animals at the Kansas City Zoo. You can visit the tropical Rainforest house, climb into a huge ant hill and ride the Endangered Species Carousel.
Kids love visiting the animals at the zoo - here are some ideas:
The Magic Tree House series have quite a few books about animals. Try "Polar Bears Past Bedtime or "Good Morning, Gorillas" by Mary Pope Osbourne.
If your kids love animal-watching, visit:
View Kansas City Zoo in a larger map