Top Things to Do with Kids in Kansas City, Missouri
With the Oceans of Fun water park, Legoland, the Kansas City Zoo and more, families will find plenty to fill a Midwest weekend getaway to Kansas City, Missouri.
Pandemic-related closures and restrictions may be in place. Please check destinations' websites before making travel plans.
1) The Kansas City Zoo It's more than a century old, but the arrivals of animals such as polar bears, penguins and red panda cubs keep visits fresh. The original building dates to 1909 and now houses an indoor rainforest. For some of the best views, glide 45 feet in the air in a ski-lift-style ride over the African Plains habitat. When you come back down to earth, take the renovated suspension bridge to the Congo section, where you'll meet gorillas, red river hogs and a rare Amur leopard. kansascityzoo.org
2) Legoland Discovery Center In downtown's Crown Center, this playland holds more than 3 million tiny toy bricks. Marvel at the painstaking re-creations of Kansas City landmarks and miniature scenes from The Wizard of Oz in the Miniland area. (Combo tickets are available if you also want to hit the Sea Life Aquarium next door.) legolanddiscoverycenter.com
3) Fritz's Railroad Restaurant All aboard! This diner serves tasty signature burgers, crinkle-cut fries and milk shakes with a hearty dose of railroad nostalgia. Model trains chug overhead as you eat after delivering food you order via a telephone at your table that rings back to the kitchen. The recipe for the old-fashioned, grilled onion-garnished burgers hasn't changed since the restaurant opened in 1954. Why mess with a good thing? fritzskc.com
4) Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun Ripride Raceway, with four side-by-side slides, debuts at Oceans of Fun in summer 2021, the first thrill attraction added to the water park since Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun joined in 2013. Twofer admission tickets get you into both facilities for one price. The Planet Snoopy section of Worlds of Fun has more than 20 rides, shows and attractions for young guests and their families. Looking for something more thrilling? The SteelHawk ride swings around a spire 300 feet in the air. worldsoffun.com
5) Cedar Cove Feline Conservation Park This sanctuary about 45 minutes south of downtown Kansas City is like a small retirement home for lions, tigers and leopards. An all-volunteer staff keeps the place afloat, giving these beautiful creatures lots of TLC and educating the public. And Cedar Cove isn't just for cats; you'll also see other rescued animals, such as wolves and coatis (a member of the raccoon family). saveoursiberians.org
6) Sea Life Aquarium Sharks, starfish, sea horses, stingrays and other creatures of the deep live in this 260,000-gallon underwater world. The turtle shelter is a great place to learn all about these humble reptile; some of the tanks are even shaped like turtles. Buying tickets online instead of at the door saves you a few bucks. visitsealife.com/kansas-city/
7) Science City at Union Station See science demos; play in the test kitchen; sculpt sand or paint on glass walls in Creative Corner. A train-themed play area is geared to ages 4 to 7. unionstation.org/sciencecity/
8) The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures Both kids and adults will love to peer at tiny masterpieces and vintage toys among the more than 72,000 objects collected by this University of Missouri-Kansas City museum. toyandminiaturemuseum.org
9) Moon Marble Company Adults harboring fond memories of shooting giants and peewees on the playground will love this Bonner Springs store just across the Kansas state line. Kids enjoy browsing the traditional wooden toys, sock monkeys and board games. Owner and artisan Bruce Breslow is an expert when it comes to glass marbles. (Open by appointment only during the pandemic; check website for updates) moonmarble.com
10) College Basketball Experience (Closed during the pandemic; check website for reopening information) The 41,500-square-foot facility celebrates over 100 years of college hoops with interactive exhibits and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. On-site courts let you shoot free throws, sink your own buzzer beater and dunk on a series of rims. Other activity stations focus on rebounding and passing skills, and you can test your broadcasting chops at the ESPNU desk. collegebasketballexperience.com