Top 10 places to take your kids in Kansas City

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Whether you’re on the Kansas side or the Missouri side, this great American city has plenty to offer! Check out our top 10 Places to Take your Kids in Kansas City:

1. Kaleidoscope

This little gem is spectacular for a number of reasons. First, it’s FREE! Kaleidoscope is actually the brainchild of Hallmark’s creator but you’d hardly know that the greeting card giant is involved (except for the proximity to the Hallmark Center), because he wanted it to be about the kids and their creativity and not about his generosity in offering the unique center. Children get a 45-minute session to let their imaginations run wild! There are centers filled with paper, die-cut shapes, ribbons and more. Some are leftover from the Hallmark factory and others are made especially for use at Kaleidoscope. There’s also a place to make your own puzzle. School groups love this spot so be sure to check the online calendar for availability before you go!

2. Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead

When the weather is nice, this is the place to be. Deanna Rose is located in Overland Park, Kansas and is a 1900s turn of the century farm. There are farm animals, an old-time schoolhouse, blacksmith’s shop and general store. You can also try your hand at fishing (the pond is stocked and the odds are in your favor), bottle-feed a baby goat or go for a pony ride. Concessions are sold on site. Next to the farm portion of the property is a small zoo that’s home to rare birds, a bobcat, bison and other fun critters. Admission is just $2 per person and kids under 2 get in free. Admission is free after 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Some activities cost a small, additional fee. There is also a beautiful park right next door so feel free to pack a picnic!

3. Worlds of Fun, Oceans of Fun and Schlitterbahn

If your family likes a theme park, then we’ve got you covered. Worlds of fun is a regional amusement park filled with roller coasters, heart-pounding rides and a variety of family-friendly activities. It’s themed after the Jules Verne novel, Around the World in 80 Days. Right next to it is the water park, Oceans of Fun. Your admission to one grants you entrance to the other for that day. Schlitterbahn is designed to offer a whole day of wet and wild fun for every age group. Their website even lets you use a filter system to customize your itinerary with attractions that are perfect for your level of thrill seeking.

DSC_71254. Science City 

Located inside Kansas City’s historic Union Station, this science center is filled with interactive attractions for kids of all ages. Little ones can explore the Kinderlab, where they’re encouraged to build, imagine read and play or check out creepy, crawly critters in the Nature Center. Older children can try their hand at the Skybike, which lets participants put the law of physics to the test, or use the Burns & McDonnell Engineerium to consider a future in engineering and math. Other attractions include the Dinolab and Digsite, Genetics: Unlock the Code, Giant Lever, KC Rail Experience, Maker Studeio, Maze Park and more. Parents Magazine even named Science City as one of the country’s 25 best science centers. Admission for adults is $13.50 and kids ages 3 to 12 is $11.50.

5. Kansas City sports

IMG_4563Kansas City is home to a number of sports teams that kids will love to root for. As the 2015 World Series champs, the Royals are a local favorite. But there’s also a minor-league team called the T-Bones. Or if baseball isn’t your cup of tea, check out the Major League Soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, the hockey team, the Missouri Mavericks or the local football team, the Chiefs.

6. Shatto Farm

I grew up on a dairy farm so Shatto Farm was a bit like going home for me. But for my kids, it was a glimpse into the inner workings of a real-life dairy operation. What’s most impressive about the farm is that kids get a hands-on tour that will help them understand what had to happen in order for them to pour that glass of milk each morning. They can see calves and cows (and if they’re lucky, some barn cats), a milking parlor and processing and bottling facilities. Perhaps the most exciting part of the tour is the end, though, when participants can taste the products! Shatto offers crazy, unconventional milk flavors, like cotton candy, coffee, banana and root beer. Other food products for sale include cheese, lemonade and ice cream. There’s also a general store bursting with dairy-related items. Shatto is packed with school groups most days so calling ahead to schedule a tour would be wise. It’s also located in Osborn, Missouri, which is about an hour from Kansas City.

7. City Market

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKansas City’s Farmer’s Market is an eclectic mix of people, produce and products held each weekend year-round. Most weekends you’ll find talented musicians showcasing their talents throughout the busy market, as well as a bounce house for the kids. The food is delicious and most is locally sourced. My kids love it because they can get a hot dog at 10 a.m. and their mommy doesn’t even complain. But’s that’s because I’m busy indulging in a cup of decadent coffee from City Market Coffee House and fried goodness from Beignets. It’s a perfect way for your family to start their weekend! Shops and restaurants that line the perimeter of the market are also open daily.

8. Kansas City Zoo

The animals at the Kansas City Zoo are grouped based on where they reside geographically in the wild. There is a large African section that is home to elephants, lions, giraffes and zebras. In the Australian portion of the zoo, your kids will go wild for tree kangaroos, wallabies and singing dogs. And the Asian section contains tiger trail in addition to the adorable and entertaining red pandas. Admission is $14.50 for adults and $11.50 for kids.

9. LEGOLAND Discovery Center

legoland1Does your little one spend endless hours building and playing with the classic toy Legos? Then you must unleash their creativity at Kansas City’s LEGOLAND! Their little minds will practically explode when you let them loose in a building with literally millions of LEGO bricks! They can meet LEGO Model Builders and get tips from these experts to help take their own construction to the next level. It also features a hands-on play area, 4D cinema and LEGO-themed rides. The center is designed for children ages 3-10 and admission is $18 at the door. Children age 2 and under enter for free. The center does limit the number of people who can enter at a time, so visitors are required to book an arrival time slot in order to receive guaranteed  entry.

10. SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium

DSC_7747Right next to Legoland’s entrance is the door to KC’s very own aquatic wonder. Start your journey with a photo that makes you look like you’re under the sea! Then your kiddos can roam in search of clownfish like Nemo, sharks, sea horses and jellyfish. Or if they’re feeling brave, they can reach our and touch some of the creatures living in the interactive rockpool! Admission at the door is $19 for adults and $15 for kids ages 3-12. Online ticket prices are generally less expensive and you can select your arrival time.

Bonus Tips:

  • SEALIFE and LEGOLAND have joined forces to offer visitors a special combo experience option that will save them money and grant admission to both of these fantastic attractions.
  • If you’re visiting an attraction near the Crown Center (like Kaleidoscope, Science City, aquarium or LEGOLAND), check out the Crayola store, which includes a quiet room for free drawing and coloring, the outdoor, covered ice skating rink in the winter and Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant in the lower level of the center. The food at Fritz’s leaves a bit to be desired for adults (think hot dogs and all things fried) but your kids will go WILD for the experience. Diners order their food via a telephone at each booth and then it is delivered by a train system that runs high above the guests. Once the train delivers your meal, it’s lowered to your table! My kids aren’t even interested in trains but this place is always a hit!

Well that’s our list but what are your favorite kid-friendly attractions in Kansas City?

-By Emily Shedek

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6 Responses

  1. Angela says:

    Deanna Rose is free M-T. It costs 2.00 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There are some things inside that cost extra if you want to do them.

    • That was my experience last year too, but when I called to verify that info, they said that the policy has changed. The new pricing information is posted on their website. Thanks for reaching out, Angela!

  2. Ashley says:

    13800 Switzer Rd (map)
    Overland Park, KS 66221
    913-897-2360
    Daily Hours

    Admission – $2/person (under age 2 free)
    Fri.-Sun. & holidays: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Mon.-Thurs.: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
    Free Admission
    Mon.-Thurs.: 2:00 p.m. to close

  3. Dawn says:

    What about the Nelson? I loved this as a kid–the rooms are designed to let you imagine being in a time and place, and even from very young ages like 3 and 4 I remember feeling awed by the huge Chinese lions and the big Buddha. I always imagined myself living in a Roman courtyard and sitting in the Colonial parlor or by the fireplace cooking in the “cauldron.” The modern art on display at that time I can still visualize because my child mind was so attracted to the clear colors and dynamic sculptures. Kids can appreciate great art at a very young age!

  1. January 28, 2016

    […] spot. And sometimes you’ll stumble into a post that gets a lot of attention (like our recent 10 Places to Take Your Kids in Kansas City post, which got twice as many views than our entire site last year). No matter where the momentum […]

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