Top Things to do With Kids in Kansas City

Top Things to do With Kids in Kansas City

Kansas City is an underrated midwest city located in the heart of the US. It’s probably most known for its barbecue, which is excellent, but it has a lot more to offer than that. Especially for families. Its central location makes it an easy weekend trip from many places in the US. It is also extremely affordable for any family that is on a budget. It is filled with parks where kids can play and run around as well as numerous indoor activities that can be enjoyed year round. Here are the top things to do with kids while in Kansas City.

Kansas City Zoo

The Kansas City Zoo doesn’t make the list of top zoos in the country, but maybe it should. We were very impressed with the zoo when we went there in February with our two daughters. The zoo is laid out in a way that makes sense with the different animals in the different regions so you know what you can expect as you walk around. The entrance to the zoo is very welcoming and lets you choose a few different direction to go after you pass by the otters swimming in their habitat. We decided to go to the left towards the monkeys, tigers and Australia first. You could go to the right and take the tram that goes past the huge elephant display and into the Africa region, which we eventually did at the end of the day. The zoo is quite large and we didn’t get to walk around all of Africa. I would recommend doing the Africa section first because it goes around a lake and there aren’t any easy paths back to the entrance of the zoo once you start. My oldest daughter loved the penguin display and was very excited for the train ride that goes around part of the zoo.

Union Station

If your kids love trains they will love Union Station. Kansas City is a huge train hub and Union Station is a showcase of that history. There is a large 8000 square foot model train gallery that is free but a $10/family donation is suggested. There is a plethora of model trains that glide on their tracks over, under and through cities and mountains. My daughter was fascinated watching all of the trains circle around the room. But the union station is much more than just trains. There is a science center with exhibits and fun for kids of all age groups. There is a movie theater that boasts the largest screens in the region and a planetarium for the star gazer in your family. If you’re hungry there are some restaurants to grab a bite to eat as well as a few mostly touristy shops to pick up a souvenir. Just to the south of downtown, getting to the Union Station was easy and we were able to park in the parking garage onsite. We only spent a couple of hours at the Union Station but we could have easily spent the entire day there had we wanted to explore all of the attractions.


Legoland and SeaLife

I’ll preface this by saying I have been to the Lego House in Billund, Denmark, headquarters of Lego, and SeaLife aquarium in Mall of America. The versions in Kansas City of both of these attractions are scaled down from their counterparts, but that didn’t make them any less fun. The attractions are located right next to each other and offer a combined ticket that makes it easy to do one right after the other. We opted to do the Legoland Discovery Center first. We entered the center and were greeted by the people at the front desk. Due to COVID protocols each child got their own bin of Legos to build with at the different stations, instead of the stations themselves being filled with Legos that were more catered to that station, like the race car station. This limited what my daughter could build somewhat, but she still had fun building with what she had. There is also a short Lego movie playing in a theater, Ninjago training camp and Merlin’s Apprentice ride.


After my daughter had her fill of playing with Legos, we made our way to Sealife. Sealife was not nearly as big as the one at Mall of America but had nearly every type of sea creature you would expect at an aquarium. Sealife included an ocean tunnel where we were able to watch the marine life swim over your head. Again because of COVID there were some modifications to the exhibits. Some of the interactive exhibits were not open. One of the last exhibits that was open on the tour was the Doodle Reef. It was my daughter’s favorite part of the entire day. This was where she was able to create her own sea creature which would then appear on a screen within an aquarium tank to swim with the other sea creatures. I think my daughter ended up making 4 or 5 different swimming animals and would have made more if we had let her. Smartly this exhibit is the last one at SeaLife, otherwise we may have never made it through the rest of aquarium.

City Market

Whether you have picky eaters in your family or not the City Market has something for everyone. From fresh fruit and vegetables to exotic cuisine there are numerous food options at the Kansas City Market. We spent a few hours here in a Saturday morning in late February and the place was very busy. My daughter enjoyed getting a smoothie and fruit as well as a few other treats to eat. She also enjoyed climbing on the City Market sign just outside the market. Since it was busy getting a stroller though some areas was not easy but there were plenty of open spaces for one parent to stand with the stroller while the other went to order something.






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