Last updated on November 26th, 2022 at 05:50 am.
Kansas City is a great city for amazing family fun without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a local KC parent looking for something fun to do on the weekends or searching for that ideal vacation spot; Kansas City, Missouri is one of America’s best-kept secrets. This town offers phenomenal family fun without overwhelming crowds.
Where are the coolest places? Where can you eat that is fun for the kids, but actually tastes good? And where do you stay with your family in KCMO? And, are there any attractions that my teen will like as much as my kindergartener? Keep reading for all the best things to do in Kansas City for kids.
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22 Fun Things to do in Kansas City With Kids
Don’t worry! There are hundreds of fantastic options in KCMO (as the locals call it), but we’ve narrowed it down to the “best of the best” for you! Whether your family loves the outdoors, indoors, burgers or vegetarian options, we have you covered so you can plan your trip quickly and get ready to enjoy the best Kansas City attraction for kids and adults!
The city of fountains has a lot to offer families. Whether you live in KCMO or passing through to visit family or for a family vacation, below are some great ideas for kids of all ages that the whole family will enjoy.
Family Friendly Attractions in Kansas City
1. Kansas City Zoo
No list of Kansas City attractions for kids would be complete without the Kansas City Zoo! This is easily one of the best zoos in the country! Over 1,700 animals spread among 200 species are scattered around 200 acres. African elephants, amur leopards, and Borneon orangutans are among the most popular animals.
The zoo has special activities happening all the time, from Halloween-themed events to daily talks with zoo keepers– be sure to take advantage of these unique opportunities while you’re there!
Tickets range from $17-$20.
Address: 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, MO 64132
2. Sea Life Kansas City Aquarium
Where can you touch a chocolate-chip sea star, pet a pencil urchin, or feel a cowrie snail? You can do all of that at the Sea Life Kansas City Aquarium, plus so much more! Meet Gertrude, Shawny, and Lou in the sea turtle rescue while you hear the brave stories of their rescues. Stop by Sting Ray Bay and watch them splash around while you learn all about their interesting behavior patterns!
Tickets start at $22 and can be combined with admission to Lego Land for additional discounts!
Address: 2475 Grand Boulevard Kansas City, MO 64108
3. LEGOLAND Discovery Center
For Kansas City family fun that will have everyone from grandpa down to your toddler smiling, you have to check out Legoland! Imaginations soar as everyone in the family constructs a car to race down the track. The Ultimate Lego Ninjago Experience will test your reflexes while the Earthquake Tables will challenge your knowledge of stability in structures. Duplo Village is perfect for toddlers with the oversized, easily stackable Legos.
Tickets start at $19.99 and can be combined with Sea LIfe Kansas City Aquarium for additional discounts!
Address: 2475 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64105
4. Worlds of Fun Theme Park
If you have thrill seekers who love roller coasters, Worlds of Fun theme park is a fun option. It’s a great place for young kids, as they have Planet Snoopy section filled with rides for little ones.
Worlds of Fun is located on 235 acres and there are 64 rides. The amusement park was created based on the Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days. Themed areas of the park include the following continents: Americana, Europa, Africa, Scandinavia, and Orient.
Location: 4545 Worlds Of Fun Ave, Kansas City, MO 64161.
5. Oceans of Fun Water Park
Oceans of Fun opens in late May each year and is the biggest water park in the Midwest. Oceans of Fun water park is located beside Worlds of Fun and is included with your admission. Extreme water slides appeal to thrill seekers and kiddos love the pint-sized slides, geysers, and foundations at Crocodile Isle.
Address: 4545 Worlds of Fun Ave. Kansas City, MO 64101
Remember when everyone used to send actual, physical cards instead of texting memes on your birthday? And if they really loved you, they’d send a card from Hallmark, right?
Well, that company is still around, and making hundreds of kids smile and explore their creative side every day! The Hallmark Kaleidoscope experience in downtown Kansas City, MO is hands down one of the best Kansas City attractions for kids! Not only is it 100% free, but your kids can spend hours creating masterpieces with watercolors, markers, crayons, glue, scissors…even glitter!
Address: 2500 Grand, Kansas City, Missouri 64108
7. Science City
If you have kids that love hands-on science experiments and exploring the world around them, Science City is the place to add to your list of activities to do in Kansas City for kids. Exhibits are constantly changing, so even if you’ve been there before, there is guaranteed to be something new to see!
Learn about the forensics behind fingerprinting, write notes in invisible ink, or learn about the real-life animals that inspired many of the mythical creatures in our movies and books! Science City is located in Union Station.
Admission is $14.50 for those over 1 year old.
Address: 30 West Pershing Road Kansas City, MO 64108
Kid-Friendly Museums in Kansas City
There are over a dozen museums in Kansas City, Missouri, not to mention many more historic locations that offer tours. Here are some of our favorite museums for kids in Kansas City.
8. The Regnier Family Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City
The Regnier Family Wonderscope Children’s Museum is at the top of any good list of Kansas City activities for kids. This non-profit STEM-themed museum provides hours of giggles and learning! Inside the museum, you’re kids will have fun exploring 30,000 square feet of exhibits such as a KC BBQ play cafe, a child-sized grocery store, and even a high-energy zone where kids can run, jump, and pretend being their favorite KC professional sports player!
After exploring the cool interactive exhibits, head outside to the half acre of nature scapes and maze that are open year round.
Adult admission is $9, and kids get in for $12.
Location: 433 E Red Bridge Rd Kansas City, MO 64131
9. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Yes, I agree. Banks are typically boring places that you avoid visiting. However, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and Money Museum is definitely not your typical bank!
Here you can lift a real gold bar, view the Harry S. Truman coin collection, and learn all about how money is printed! You can even design a dollar with your face on it! You can even take home a free bag of shredded money as a souvenir. Best of all, you can keep the money you already have because admission is free!
Address: 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198
10. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Have a family member who loves baseball? Don’t let them down by skipping this attraction! Learn about the history of African American baseball players as they bravely crossed cultural lines to make significant progress in the game of baseball in our country!
Walk around the Field of Legends which is home to bronze statues of 12 of the biggest figures in negro baseball history. The Geddy Lee baseball collection displays over 200 autographed baseballs!
Tickets are $6 for kids and $10 for adults.
Address: 1616 East 18th St, Kansas City, MO
11. The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures is home to the largest collection of historic toys and miniatures in the world. They have dolls and dollhouses that date back to the 1800’s. Be sure to find the Buck Rogers Rocket Space Pistol from 1934!
Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children.
Address: 5235 Oak St. Kansas City, MO 64112
12. Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
For any budding artists, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a great option. In fact, bring paper and pencils for yourself and little ones to sketch a favorite piece of art or sculpture. (The museum does request no pens, paint, crayons or markers).
Beyond the Museum itself, the grounds are also a fun outing. There is a pathway that encircles the property filled with sculptures, interactive exhibits and of course, the even popular shuttlecocks.
Tips for sharing fine art with kids: Nelson Atkins Museum suggests short and repetitive visits. It is more valuable to view and discuss a few art objects rather than trying to see all the art at once. Try just 30 minutes to 2 hours at a time. The museum is free, so come often!
Address: 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City, MO 64111
Sports Kids Will Love to Watch
The Kansas City area is home to many major professional teams including Sporting KC Soccer, Kansas City Monarchs baseball Club, The Royals, The Kansas City Mavericks hockey team and of course, the Kansas City Chiefs.
13. Attend a Chiefs Game
If you have football fans in the family and it happens to be football season, heading to a Chiefs Game could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you do plan on attending a game, make sure to register them for Chiefs Kingdom Kids; a free, youth fan club for kids 12 and under.
A trip to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium
Arrowhead Stadium Address: 1 Arrowhead Dr, Kansas City, MO 64129
14. Watch a Chiefs Game At Power & Light
If tickets to a game are out of the budget, another really fun option is to head to the Power & Light district to watch a game. Power & Light Game Day Experience is free to attend and is located in a huge space with the biggest screen outside the stadium. There is tons of outdoor seating options as well as several restaurants with outdoor patios facing the screen.
If you don’t want the restaurant vibe, there is a big area of stadium-style seating, beverage and food stands. Oh, and if it is raining, snowing, or just really cold, there is a retractable roof they close.
Address: 50 E 13th St Ste 200, Kansas City, MO 64106
15. Catch a Royals Game
If you have a baseball fan and you visit in summer, you can see a KC Royals baseball game. The Kansas City Royals are an American professional baseball team in the MLB as a member club of the American League Central division.
Even better, children 32 inches in height and under do not require a ticket to enter Kauffman Stadium for Kansas City Royals games. However, they must sit on the lap of an accompanying adult.
One of the best days to attend a Royals game is Family FunDay Sunday. Each Sunday home game there is kid friendly entertainment and activities in the Outfield, as well as a pre-game player autograph signing atop the Royals dugout.
Kauffman Stadium: 1 Royal Way, Kansas City, MO 64129
Great Kansas City Parks & Nature Reserves
16. Explore Swope Park
This 1800+ acre park is the 51st largest municipal park in the entire country! Swope Park hosts outdoor performances of Broadway musicals and concerts at Starlight Theatre, features a tree-top adventure park, and is home to a beautiful golf course that once hosted the Kansas City Open Invitational of the PGA Tour.
The Kansas City Zoo is also located here, making it the perfect place to stop and have a picnic after your time at the zoo! The park welcomes over 2 million guests per year, so be sure you check it off your list of adventures to have with kids in Kansas City!
Location: East Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway
17. Lakeside Nature Center
Lakeside Nature Center is an incredible place to enjoy learning about local native wildlife, including birds of prey, snakes, amphibians, turtles, fish, and invertebrates. You can explore the exhibits on your own, or sign up for a wildlife program.
There are also three interpretive walking trails to explore.
Address: 4701 E Gregory Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64132
18. The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden
This small 2-acre botanic garden is replanted four times a year and always has a beautiful assortment of flowers, plants, and trees. In addition to the gardens, there are fountains, sculptures, and a resident cat to keep the kiddos entertained. The garden attracts butterflies throughout the warmer months.
Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on one of the shaded benches in the zen garden.
Address: 4800 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110
Explore River Market
The historic River Market neighborhood is located just past downtown and near the Missouri River. It is the oldest part of Kansas City. There is a lot for families to explore and can be a full day of fun on its own.
19. City Market
City Market dates back to 1857 and is one of the oldest farmers’ markets in the Midwest.
City Market is another of the fun free things to do in Kansas City with kids. The farmers market is in full swing on Saturday and Sunday, but there are produce vendors, shops, and restaurants open every day of the week.
There is a candy shop in the River Market square and Betty Rae’s Ice Cream on Delaware Street if you are looking for a sweet treat.
20. Arabia Steamboat Museum
The Steamboat Arabia museum is located in the City Market square and is well worth a visit.
The Arabia Steamboat Museum displays thousands of salvaged items from a ship that sunk in the Missouri River in 1856. 200 tons of frontier-bound cargo was lost when the steamboat Arabia sank in the Missouri River and is on display at the museum.
Explore the lives of the Western pioneers through the story of the sunken Arabia and its cargo. It’s a remarkable time capsule of life on the American frontier that is told through a series of short movies that will have your family chatting about life, lost treasure and following your dreams.
Address: 400 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64106
21. Town of Kansas Bridge and River Bluff Park
From the River Market, it’s a very short walk to the Town of Kansas Observation Deck for great views of the Missouri River. Along the way are plaques and displays sharing the history of Kansas City (once named the Town of Kansas).
You can take stairs or an elevator down to the river path. Along the way are several beautiful bridges.
The broad path is good for both walking and biking. Kansas City’s Riverfront Heritage Trail has several historical markers and statues to commemorate the heritage of Lewis and Clark’s travel along the river as well as many other explorers that made their way along the Missouri River and to Kansas City.
As you continue along the path, you will find Berkley Riverfront Park.
Location: Main Street (walk towards the river)
22. Ride the Street Car
I’m not even sure you can really say you experienced Kansas City with kids if you don’t take the KC Street Car. From River Market, there are several locations where you can jump on the KC Streetcar. You can get off at several locations between the River Front area and Union Station. It’s also fun just to ride the street car.
Family Friendly Hotels in Kansas City
Worlds of Fun Village
If you’re looking for somewhere fun and unique during your stay in Kansas City with kids, be sure to check out Worlds of Fun Village! The cute woodside cabins sleep up to 6 and include all the luxuries you want while traveling, but still keep you feeling like you’re camping!
Family cabins are also available with a little more space. The best part about staying here? The onsite water park and amusement park are just minutes away. Just be careful, your family may have so much fun relaxing and laughing here you miss the rest of the kids’ activities in Kansas City!
Great Wolf Lodge
If you’re willing to drive about 20 minutes to Kansas City, Kansas, Great Wolf Lodge is a win-win for everyone in the family! The indoor waterpark is kept at a comfortable 80 degrees year-round, so even in the winter, your family can enjoy a great waterslide or relaxing trip around the lazy river.
Restaurants are conveniently located in the hotel, including a few sweet spot shacks for that late-night sugar craving! Worried the kids will get bored of the water park? The interactive adventure quest will have your kids running up and down the stairs as they use magic wands to unlock clues and free fairies!
Ameristar Casino Hotel
Ok. I know, you’re immediately thinking “Casino? For Kids? No way!” But hear me out! The Ameristar KidsQuest Club has an indoor playground and climbing wall, an arts and crafts section, and karaoke for kiddos up to 12 years old.
The older ones will love the arcade and movie theatre located inside the hotel. And the food options in this casino are sure to satisfy even the pickiest eater. Burgers, pizza, pho, and tacos are just a few of the choices available!
The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center Hotel
If you plan on visiting some of the activities at Crown Center while visiting Kansas City with kids, the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center hotel is a great location!
It is within a short walking distance from Legoland, Sea Life Aquarium, and Kaleidoscope! And after a day of enjoying all the adventures, you can let the kids get their last wiggles out in the outdoor pool!
Family Friendly Restaurants in Kansas City
Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant
As a parent, I know nothing is worse than that time between ordering and waiting for the food to arrive. Even games and videos on your phone only keep kids entertained so long while your kids are hungrily staring at everyone else’s food. Located in Crown Center, in downtown Kansas City, MO, Fritz’ Railroad Restaurant is guaranteed to keep everyone at the table in exciting anticipation of the food arrival!
Why? Where else can you have your food delivered to your table by a miniature train that travels around the restaurant over your head! When it’s time for your table to get your food, it is slowly lowered down where you can pick it up and dive in. Best surprise for mom and dad– the food is absolutely delicious! Perfectly grilled burgers, fish sandwiches and crispy fries pair perfectly with the creamiest milkshakes your tastebuds have enjoyed in years!
Address: 2450 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64108
Jack Stack BBQ
No trip to Kansas City with kids is complete without some authentic KC bbq, and Jack Stack BBQ is one of the best around, according to many locals. This restaurant has been voted #1 by Zagat many times over and is still serving up bbq with the highest standards.
The smoked jalapeno cornbread is one of their most requested appetizers, and their family-style bbq meal options are perfect for letting the whole gang try a little bit of everything!
Jack’s Stack has several locations including the downtown Freight House at 101 W 22nd St. #300 and Country Club Plaza at 4747 Wyandotte St.
Chicken N Pickle
Hate waiting for the food to come, trying to get wiggly kids to sit still? You need to head to Chicken N Pickle! The chef-driven menu serves up entrees such as the Seasonal Harvest Salad and Pickled Chicken for grown-ups, while still offering the well-loved favorites of children including mac ‘n cheese and chicken strips.
Best part? The pickleball courts, of course! Whether the weather is sunny or not, you can enjoy pickleball on one of the 4 indoor or 4 outdoor courts! The outdoor lawn games such as oversized Jenga and ping-pong are a blast for the kids to play while the adults enjoy a drink around the firepits watching a sports game.
Address: 1761 Burlington North Kansas City MO 64116
Cupcake A La Mode
Looking for a sweet treat after dinner? Cupcake a la mode is the mecca of dessert lovers! Forget those lame cupcakes that you had in elementary school, these gourmet cakes in cup-size servings will wow even the snobbiest of dessert connoisseurs. Salty Carmella, Amaretto Sweet, Cannoli, and Mama Mia are some of the most ordered flavors. Be sure to ask about the flavor of the month– a limited-time flavor that is sure to impress your kids and leave you all wishing you’d ordered seconds!
Address: 4639 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64112
Kansas City is known for its hospitality and family-friendly attractions. After learning about all the fun things to do in Kansas City with kids, you may have just realized you need to plan a return trip next year! If you do, you can rest assured the locals will be just as happy to see you return as they were to see you the first time!