Whether it’s animals, science, music, or antique toys your family enjoys, there’s so much to do in Kansas City! The city of fountains spilleth over with fun family activities.
Check out our list of the best things to do in Kansas City.
Quick View: Best Things to do with Kids in Kansas City
- Great Wolf Lodge
- LEGOLAND and SEA LIFE
- Union Station
- Science City
- Crown Center
- Kansas City Zoo (or YaYa’s Alpaca Farm)
- American Jazz Museum
- The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
- Country Club Plaza
- Worlds of Fun
- The College Basketball Experience
- Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
- Arabia Steamboat Museum
- Sprint Center
- Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm
- The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank
- City Market
- ZIP KC
- Kansas City Municipal Rose Garden
- Lakeside Nature Center
- The Museum at Prairiefire
- Paradise Park
- Fun Farm Pumpkin Patch
- Mesner Puppet Theater
- Kauffman Stadium
- Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant
Check in at Great Wolf Lodge and water park, where kids can explore and adults can kick back.
Offering so much more family fun than a regular hotel could ever provide, our Kansas City location boasts 8 water slides, plenty of kids activities, free wifi, a fitness center for adults, and so much more.
2. LEGOLAND and SEA LIFE
These big-name attractions are a big deal, and if you’ve never been, you should go! Located next to each other, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center offers a factory tour, rides, building opportunities, and a 4D theater with Lego movies.
At SEA LIFE you’ll pet starfish, walk through a shark tunnel, and learn about marine life.
Union Station contains an action-packed ecosystem all of its own. The fully restored, 1914 landmark houses attractions such as Science City, the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, the Reginer Extreme Screen Theatre and more.
Union Station is also a working train station that can connect you to coaches heading to different areas around the country!
Throw the “don’t touch” mindset out the window at Science City, voted one of the country’s 25 best science centers by Parents Magazine.
If your kids crave freedom and exploration, this dynamic hands-on science center is the place for you. They’ve got a test kitchen and imaginarium, maker studio, and fossil lab…and for an extra charge, a planetarium!
At this eco-friendly museum, provided by the Hallmark company, children are invited to have fun and be creative as they make art with leftover materials from Hallmark’s manufacturing processes.
Reviews indicate it’s actually tons of fun, even for older, pickier kids. Plus, it’s free!
6. Crown Center
This three-level shopping and entertainment complex is sure to keep you on the go for a few solid hours. Kansas City’s Crown Center houses more than 40 shops and restaurants.
It also contains an ice skating rink, the Hallmark Visitors Center and the nationally recognized Coterie Theatre where visitors can enjoy some amazing live performances.
If your fam loves animals, here are two great choices. The Kansas City Zoo is located in historic Swope Park and is home to over 1,000 animals.
Get a glimpse of animal behavior over at the Discovery Barn, Penguin Plaza, Orangutan Canopy or any one of the other special spots situated throughout the zoo.
The KC Zoo even has a live video stream tracking a few of their animals, including the penguin, giraffe and the polar bear! And about 45 minutes away is YaYa’s Alpca Farm, which is great if your animal lovers want something smaller, and more unique.
Their 90-minute-long educational farm tours are $8 a person, and they’re open 7 days a week.
For the family that loves (or plays) music, this interactive museum brings the great American art form to life through photographs and posters from the height of its popularity.
See artifacts such as Charlie Parker’s saxophone and a sequined gown worn by Ella Fitzgerald, and check out The Blue Room, a nightclub within the museum, with live music four nights a week.
When there’s a one-of-a-kind-museum, we always want to point it out, and The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures is no exception.
Peruse dollhouses, fine-scale miniatures, and one of the nation’s largest collections of antique toys on public display — all from before the time of video games and tablets.
As the name might suggest, Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza is where to go if you’re looking to bring a little luxury into your life.
Thanks the many high-end labels found around the plaza, the shopping district has been dubbed “The Rodeo Drive of the Midwest.”
If you really want to treat yourself, you can always take a horse-drawn carriage around the 15-block area. Seriously – the option exists!
Traveling around Kansas City with kids means finding ways to keep them entertained.
If you’re looking for ways to avoid boredom-assisted tantrums, look no further than Worlds of Fun.
This Kansas City theme park has roller coasters, family rides, and 21 kids’ attractions in their “Planet Snoopy” section. If you just so happen to be there during the summer, you might want to head over to the water park.
The Oceans of Fun area is equipped with 23 water slides, a wave pool and lazy river.
If your kids are crazy for basketball, take them over to the College Basketball Experience, where every element of the game is deconstructed and served back to you.
Every skill the game requires has a designated activity station, that includes rebounding, passing, three-point shooting, free throw shooting and a slew of other specialty stunts.
Located in nearby Overland Park, the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is a great place for parents traveling with small kids.
Introduce your little ones to over 250 animals and birds. See them learn about growing flowers and vegetables. They’ll even get the chance to experience a Kanza Indian encampment!
The Arabia Steamboat Museum pays homage to the Steamboat Arabia, which sank during its voyage along the Missouri River back in 1956.
It wasn’t until 1988 that a few local residents discovered the location of the sunken vessel and uncovered its cargo. Today, these objects are housed in the Arabia Steamboat Museum.
Voted “Favorite Kansas Hidden Gem,” by Visit KC, the museum gives visitors a unique understanding of what life was like for the 19th century pioneers.
The Spring Center is Kansas City’s home for live entertainment and sporting events. The stadium has hosted some major acts, including Cher, Elton John, Justin Bieber and more.
Make sure to check the events calendar before your trip!
If you’ve ever been curious about life as a 19th century farmer, be sure to check out this historic site. The Mahaffie is the only working stagecoach stop left on the Santa Fe Trail.
The historic site offers stagecoach rides, black smith and cookstove demonstrations, seasonal farming activities and more. It’s a great place for the whole family to learn about the Kansas frontier!
Ironically enough, the Money Museum happens to be one of the few free activities offered across Kansas City.
The museum, which is located in the Federal Reserve Bank, offers guests the opportunity to watch millions of dollars in currency be processed, lift a gold bar worth nearly $400,000 and explore a number of exhibits dedicated to the economy.
Welcome to the largest farmers market in the Kansas City Region. In operation since 1857, the City Market is open daily, all year long.
There, visitors will find a wide selection of cuisines from all over the world. Located in the historic River Market district, the venue also offers fresh produce, meats, baked goods, flowers and specialty foods.
Get ready for a family adventure! This zip lines park is located in Bonner Springs, a suburban region just outside Kansas City area.
Here, you can enjoy aerial views of the surrounding area, hiking excursions, ninja training obstacles and more!
This public garden is the result of efforts put forward back in 1931. Back then, the garden contained just 120 rose plants. Today, you can find upwards of 3,000 roses of nearly 150 varieties in the 1.5-acre garden.
The Lakeside Nature Center is one of many wildlife rehabilitation facilities around Kansas City. It’s located in Swope Park, an 1,800-acre wooded park that also hosts the Kansas City Zoo, Starlight Theatre, Blue River, Swope Memorial, and Disco Golf Courses.
There’s also a public pool, a few ballparks, some picnic areas and a fishing pond as well. The Nature Center is designed to teach visitors about local native wildlife, including birds of prey, snakes, amphibians, turtles, fish and invertebrates.
The Museum at Prairiefire is located in Overland Park, which is just a 20-minute drive to Kansas City.
Thanks to a founding collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the museum is able to bring a little bit of science, culture, art and natural history to the Midwest.
This amusement park and family-fun center has tons of attractions for kids of all ages to enjoy. From go karts to miniature gold, laser tag to rock wall climbing and more!
If you’re traveling with children 7 years old or younger, check out the discovery play area. This area emphasizes hands-on discovery and learning, making it the perfect thing to do with toddlers.
Head over to the cafe when hunger calls! The menu contains all the classic kid favorites, including hot dogs, burgers, french fries and more!
It may be called the Fun Farm Pumpkin Patch, but it offers a whole lot more than that.
A trip to this special family farm also includes a walk through the apple orchard, an adventure through the corn maze, barnyard games, wagon rides, duck races, kids play areas and beehive!
You know what makes storytelling that much more fun? Puppets! That’s right, we said it. Fortunately, the Mesner Puppet Theatre is based right here in Kansas City!
Great for toddlers and pre-school aged kids, this interactive experience will be sure to entertain and help flex the creative mind.
Is there a baseball fan – or perhaps some baseball fans – in your family? If so, you’ll have to check out Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals.
Originally opened back in 1973, the place is known for drawing in millions of visitors every year. if you don’t make it to a baseball game, you can always sign up for a tour.
There, you’ll get an inside look at the “crown jewel” of baseball stadiums, from the Royals Pressbox, Dugout to the Interview Room.
There’s also the Royals hall of Fame to check out, an education and entertainment venue designated to all things Royal!
Every city has something truly unique to offer its visitors. When it comes to Kansas City, this might be it. The restaurant is a fifties-style drive-in restaurant – with a twist!
Guests can order their food by telephone and have it brought to them by an overheard train. We suggest the burger!
That’s about it for our list of things to do in Kansas City. As you can see, there’s a lot to explore across this Midwestern city.
If you happen to be planning a visit, think about making Great Wolf Lodge home base. To learn more about the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, head to our official website.
There, you can learn more about our indoor waterpark, adventure zone and all the other activities we offer on-site! Check out our selection of themed rooms too.
You’ll feel like your camping out in the Northwoods in no time. Sign up for our email list to receive our newsletters and hear about our best deals!