10 Things to Do in Kansas City With Kids

Updated On October 8, 2023

After growing in prominence as a port in the 1830s, it was time to make Kansas City official.

From the outsider, there might be a few leftover questions after just hearing the name.

Kansas City is actually in both the state of Kansas and Missouri.

However, it’s most likely when you hear the name, it’s referring to the Missouri side, like the NFL team.

Regardless of state, the area is named Kaw or Kansas River, in honor of the Kansa Native American tribe.

Funny enough, the original KC was in Missouri.

Kansas got theirs about two decades later.

The name isn’t the only aspect of Kansas City worth learning more about.

Come along with us as we share things that both you and your kids can do for entertainment!

10 Things to Do in Kansas City With Kids

Science City
Science City

1. Science City

Sometimes you just need to do something different.

A great way to motivate kids to step out of the norm is right here in Science City.

Inside, 120 exhibits encourage hands-on participation.

That’s at least two hours of learning and being part of science.

Also included in admission is access to the Gottlieb Planetarium.

This provides the whole family with a front-row seat to the universe.

Why stop at exploration?

Science City is also home to the largest movie theater screen around 80 feet tall.

That’s enough room for 400 eager movie watchers!

Worlds of Fun
Worlds of Fun

2. Worlds of Fun

235 acres dedicated to the thrill of rides and games exist here in Kansas City.

Worlds of Fun is an amusement and water park that holds the title of largest of its kind in the Midwest.

Opened for the past 50 years, parents have turned this place into an essential part of every local childhood.

It’s a great option for the whole family because of the interests the park caters to.

Want to have a relaxing day in the pool?

The water park has massive pools and water rides for calm and calamity.

Looking for a thrill?

There are roller coasters.

That’s just the beginning!


3. Kaleidoscope

What could make a place where kids can be free with crafts and creative expression better?

Being free, which Kalediscope is.

This imaginative indoor space was made to invigorate children under 14 to explore their love of the unique and colorful.

Kaleidoscope is brought to Kansas City by Hallmark.

For almost an hour, children get to be the director of their journey using any type of resource available.

There are plenty of supplies abound, including paper, stickers, crayons, markers, paint, ribbon, and more.

Reserve your spot in advance.

There are only five sessions a day.

National WWI Museum and Memorial
National WWI Museum and Memorial

4. National WWI Museum and Memorial

Do you know where the best views of Kansas City are?

At the National WWI Museum.

Walking past the obelisk, you can look over the side and see a glorious view of the city below.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg for this nearly century-old museum.

Yes, this museum opened before the follow-up war, WWII, even began.

The museum has been declared the most comprehensive collection of WWI memorabilia in the world.

Not only do you learn about those who served, but also why they served and what it all meant.

For kids who haven’t had education on the subject yet, this is a thoughtful introduction to one of the biggest events in world history.

Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead
Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead

5. Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead

Kids love the famed nursery rhyme, Old MacDonald.

Bring the lines to life for them by coming out to visit the Children’s Farmstead.

Visitors can get up close and personal with several farm animals, birds of prey, and a healthy population of butterflies.

Another teaching moment presents itself with the Kanza Native American display.

Let’s not forget a glimpse of education’s past with a replica one-room schoolhouse.

The farmstead has many reasons to come back regularly.

Who wouldn’t want to see 250 animals and birds as often as you could?

Hey, you might even catch a fish!

LEGOLAND Discovery Center
LEGOLAND Discovery Center

6. LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Legoland is another great option for indoor fun when it’s too hot to stay outside all day.

Aside from going wild with legos, children can ride rides, have free play, watch 4D movies, and buy their own sets from the gift shop.

Most families are out in about three hours but, depending on how imaginative your kids are, they might want to stay until closing time.



Located in the Crown Center, Sea Life is a fantastic introduction for the youngest of children to creatures of the deep.

Not only can they walk through an underwater tunnel surrounded by aquatic life, but the whole family can also actually touch and pick up some of those creatures.

In total, there are 25,000 feet of aquarium space that houses turtles, sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, seahorses, and more.

Harry S Truman Presidential Library and Museum
Harry S Truman Presidential Library and Museum

8. Harry S Truman Presidential Library and Museum

Perfect for older children, the Harry S Truman Presidential Library is a walk back through American history.

Not just any history, mind you.

Truman became president immediately following one of the biggest events ever, WWII.

Honestly, it was completely by accident.

When President Roosevelt asked Truman to be his vice president, it was mainly to boost his image.

Of course, he never expected to pass away while in office.

So, Truman was not part of any official business coming into the Oval Office.

That left him pretty shocked when he had to take the big seat.

It left much of the US in the same belief, considering when he ran the following term many believed his opponent would beat him.

You can buy memorabilia in the gift shop showing off exactly that.

You can also visit the resting place of Truman and his wife, Bess.

While you’re here, why not take a photo with the whole family and the bronze Truman himself?

Kansas City Zoo
Kansas City Zoo

9. Kansas City Zoo

This 200-acre zoo has more than 1,700 creatures inside from 200 species.

Coming to see everything is an all-day event.

It can take as long as six hours to get through the entire zoo.

If that’s not enough to tire out a little one, nothing is.

In addition to viewing animals, there are regular events such as Friday Flamingle and Friends of the Zoo days.

On the schedule to be added to the zoo in the fall of 2023 is an aquarium.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

10. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Baseball has been synonymous with American culture for quite a long time.

A big part of that history belongs to the African American players who broke barriers to play the game they loved.

The NLBM just so happens to be the only facility of its kind in the world.

Going through the museum reminds visitors of not only how far back baseball has been integral to society, but also what impact it had on social advancement.

Interestingly enough, this museum is only down the street from where the original Negro National League was formed a century ago.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kansas City a good place for family-friendly vacations?

Perhaps the best part of visiting Kansas City is the cost.

Unlike other big cities, Kansas City leans more towards budget-friendly.

In fact, aside from what’s listed here, there are a ton of places to take kids that are free or close to it.

Parents don’t have to break the bank to give kids a good time here.

All it takes is a little planning and strategy!

Kansas City is also one of the most affordable major cities in the nation, which can be attributed to some of the lowest housing prices.

The city government seems geared toward families by making so much available for them throughout the year.

Not only does that benefit locals but tourists as well.

Where is the closest beach to Kansas City?

Just over 20 minutes west of downtown is Shawnee Mission Park Beach.

This beach is the access point to Shawnee Mission Lake.

While it’s not free, it costs a nominal $4 to get in.

The fee goes to maintenance and things like lifeguards, concession stands, and even facilities for your restroom needs.

There are several other beaches just outside of Kansas City, depending on which state you prefer to swim in.

What's one must-eat item that is regional to Kansas City?

One food product locals are proud of is BBQ.

Not every big city has a BBQ style, but Kansas City BBQ grew enough in popularity to make a real name for itself.

If you’re from another area where BBQ is a point of pride, it would be educational to try the Kansas City style.

It’s known for having charred ends and a sauce that is quite sugary in texture.

The tastes are very different and, who knows, you might find a new favorite.

A few favorite restaurants serving up the good stuff are Gates BBQ, Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, and Arthur Bryant’s.

It’s worth trying whether you prefer pork or brisket.

Even if it’s the opposite of what you like, at least you’ll have a story to tell.

Is Kansas City walkable?

Not particularly, no.

There are places you can park and walk around for a good bit, like the shopping areas.

The city made the walk on Ward Parkway by Brush Creek a fun one with restaurants, shops, and art.

Otherwise, you can’t really get around without having transportation.

Aside from renting a car or ordering a ride, Kansas City has a pretty decent transportation system.

All the maps and schedules you could need are accessible online.

Even more fun for tourists, the streetcars are free.

You can expect to go as far as two miles through the heart of downtown.

Perhaps that’s a good excuse to book a room as close to a stop as you can.

Does the fact that Kansas City belongs to two states help the variety?

Not by a ton, but it’s worth checking out all the beaches either state has to offer.

Who knows, you might find a new favorite.

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