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A lot of people get confused between Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas because they not only share the same name, but they also share an invisible border.
Kansas City, Missouri not to be mistaken with Kansas City, Kansas is the 23rd largest city in the USA and well known for jazz and barbecue. So, if you’re into any of those things, this is the ideal place for you to visit.
If jazz or barbecue isn’t your thing, that’s okay too, because there are plenty of family friendly things to do in Kansas City.
How Did We Get To Kansas City?
We flew from Los Angeles (LAX Airport) to Kansas City, Missouri (MCI Airport) on a red eye flight with lay over in Chicago and landed at about 9.30am ready to explore. We love red eye flights!!
Aiden was so tired so I carried him on my back, also known as baby wearing or the African name “baba”. You can watch the video below.
Traveling with kids and looking for tips, then make sure to click the links below and read more:
- Best Travel Gear For Kids
- How To Travel With Kids Internationally Alone
- Best Countries To Visit In The World With Kids
- Top Must Have Items When Traveling With Kids
- How To Keep Your Kids Entertained & Happy On Flights
- Everything You Need To Know About Traveling With A Car Seat
How To Get Around Kansas City
As soon as we landed in Kansas City, we took the shuttle bus to the car rental location and rented a car from Enterprise. The drive from the airport to Kansas City itself was about 25 minutes with no traffic.
Other Ways To Get Around Kansas City
Kansas City Street Car – the Kansas City street car runs through downtown Kansas City. The best thing about it – it is completely FREE. We enjoyed riding it up and down.
Uber/Lyft – these car services work in Kansas City and can make traveling without a car pretty easy.
Scooter – If your kids are older and you want to get around downtown quickly, I recommend using the BIRD scooters. They are pretty easy to find around. You just need to download the app and scan your ID to use them.
Pro Tip: If you do plan to visit Kansas City, Kansas while you’re in Kansas City, Missouri, renting a car may be the best route to take as they are about 30 minutes apart with no traffic.
Where To Stay In Kansas City
We stayed at the Sheraton Crown Center which is located in downtown Kansas City. It is in the perfect location which just a short walk from the Liberty Memorial and Union Station.
Other Kansas City Kid Friendly Hotels
There are plenty of family friendly hotels in Kansas City and below are a few other suggestions.
- The Fontaine
- Westin Kansas City at Crown Center
- Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza
- InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza
- Drury Inn & Suites Kansas City Stadium
- Crowne Plaza Hotel Kansas City Downtown
Things To Do In Kansas City With Kids
There are so many things to do in Kansas City with kids. We had a long list and fit in as many as we could on our schedule.
Legoland Discovery Center
The Legoland Discovery Center in Kansas City is an indoor amusement park, unlike the other Legoland Park’s around the world.
There are about three rides or so and the rest of the activities revolve around building legos, racing legos and more. If you’ve been to any of the indoor play areas at Legoland, then you know exactly what to expect.
Even though everything is inside, if your kids love legos, then it’s guarantee that they’ll have a blast here. We got on the rides, played with legos and even watched a VR (virtual reality) Lego race – It does cost $3 extra per person but it was really fun and worth it.
Pro Tip: They stop admitting people two whole hours prior to closing. We got there at 4:05pm and the doors were locked even though the website says they close at 6:00pm. Keep this in mind when planning a trip here.
Sea Life Kansas City
If you’re heading to Legoland Discovery Center, make sure to combine that visit trip with a Sea Life trip as well. They are both located in the exact same building however the doors to get in are on opposite sides of the room.
We loved looking at the fish and Aiden even got an opportunity to touch some star fish. We love visiting aquariums and learning about all types of fishes so this was definitely a fun activity.
Pro Tip: If you plan to visit both Legoland and Sea Life, you can save money by purchasing a combo ticket.
Kansas City Library
The Kansas City Library is well known for its giant bookshelf which is one of the biggest bookshelves in the world. We just had to go see it and check it out.
When we got there we were told about rooftop chess and made out way up there. Chess is so much more fun to play when you have giant pieces. Aiden has showed an interest lately in chess and checkers and so this was a fun activity for him to do.
Aiden wanted to check out a few kids books but we weren’t able to do so, so we looked around the library and left. He has a library card at home and loves checking out books to read. It’s part of our homeschool curriculum.
American Jazz Museum
The American Jazz Museum is located in the 18th and Vine district in Kansas City and features the history of Jazz music. We learned about jazz legends like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker and more.
Aiden’s favorite part of the museum was getting the chance to create his own jazz music. This station allows you to create the sounds you want and teaches kids about the different instruments used to create jazz music.
Aiden and I also completed a scavenger hunt which tells you what to search for around the museum. Make sure to ask for it at the front desk. This kept Aiden entertained throughout our entire visit there and he was excited to check things off his list.
Kansas City Zoo
The Kansas City Zoo is very big, and exhibit is quite a walk from each other, so make sure you give yourself enough time if you plan to visit.
It is known best for its Tiger Trail exhibits as well Kenya trail. We got there during one of the tiger feedings and it was so amazing to see them devour their meat.
They have a train that runs through the park, and Aiden loved riding it. They also have the African Sky Safari which passes over giraffes, zebras, rhinos and more. You can buy a one way pass or a round trip for both the train and sky safari.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
There aren’t many museums in the United States that show what baseball was like when it was segregated. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum does a good job at showing a timeline and sharing important facts to help people understand what things were like in the 1800’s.
A lot of people don’t know that years ago, during segregation, black people were not being accepted into the minor and major baseball leagues so they had to form their own teams. The first Negro Leagues Baseball game took place in November 1859 in New York City.
It was important for me to explain to Aiden why there was even a need for the Negro Leagues Baseball team and the significance that it has. If your kids don’t know about this, then make sure to add it to your list of things to do in Kansas City with kids.
Kansas City Historic Market
The Kansas City River Market is the perfect to visit if you’re looking to visit a farmers market, grab a bite or just stroll around.
There are several restaurants, especially ethnic food restaurants, flea markets, souvenir shops, flower shops, and even the Arabia Steamboat Museum is located here too.
Just a short walk from the City Market is Betty Rae’s Ice Cream, which is one of the best ice creams I have ever had.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson Atkins Museum of art is known for its architecture as well as wide collection of Asian art.
We found all types of art work at this museum, from African art to painting all the way to a statue of Buddha too. There so was so much to see an admire here.
Aiden’s favorite piece of art was this one below. He said to me “Mom, these guys have hair just like me.” He was so excited to see this artwork and this just goes to show the importance of representation.
Art Course tee time at the Nelson-Atkins
After enjoying all the art work in the Nelson Atkins Museum, we stepped outside for art course tee time. This is a 9 hole mini gold course designed by an artists to interpret the works of art that can be found in the museum.
We loved being able to recognize the artwork we had seen inside in miniature form outside during our tee time. Aiden loves mini golf and wanted us to stay there all day playing.
Union Station in Kansas city is a big, historic train station which features restaurants, as well as permanent and temporary exhibits, and a science center. There are so many things to do in this one place.
The first thing we visited in Union station was the Stonehenge exhibit. The real Stonehenge is a world heritage site and it is located in Wiltshire, England.
Every time we visit London, I always tell myself we’ll make it to see the real deal but we haven’t yet. So I was excited about visiting the Stonehenge exhibit at Union Station.
They have boots with headphones that explain the history of Stonehenge in words that children could understand. Aiden loved this, and to be honest I did too.
Museum Of Illusions
This was my first time visiting a museum like this and it was so much fun. There are enough illusions to spin your head and make you laugh as well. The Museum of Illusions is rather small so you can see everything and take photos in under two hours. Don’t skip it!! Aiden loved it and I’m sure your kids will too.
Science City is a science center which is interactive and very family friendly. Aiden is also about science centers and science museums so we had to add this to our things to do in Kansas City with kids list. Sadly when we got there, we found out that they were closed that week.
The Train Exhibit in Union Station is one of the temporary exhibits that is currently there for people to see. You can watch the trains as they go by on high speed on the tracks. If your kids love trains, then make sure you don’t miss this.
Things To Do In Kansas City, Kansas and Overland Park With Kids
Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas are so close, so we spent one of our days in Kansas City and we were able to do quite a few things that we all really enjoy.
Visit The Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
The Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead has so many things to do. From feeding the baby goats, to fishing, to riding a pony to hay rides around the farmstead.
We spent several hours here just interacting with animals. My favorite part was feeding the baby goats and Aiden’s was the catch and release. With my help we were able to catch a fish. This was his first time doing this and loved it.
There are also several playgrounds at the farmstead that children can choose from. Plan to spend several hours here because there are just so many things to do to keep your kids entertained.
Play golf and enjoy lunch at Topgolf
Golf and lunch, why not? I had never head of Topgolf before until we got to Kansas City. At Topgolf you can eat lunch while you take turns playing golf with your family.
You have to watch this video below of us playing golf. We missed so many hits, but it was so much fun!
Visit the Museum at Prairiefire
The Museum at Prairiefire is a natural history museum with exhibits such as dinosaur fossils, science, art and offers educational experiences for kids. There is a discovery room on the second floor for kids aged 3 to 12 where they can dig up fossils in the sand and interact with animals such as hamsters.
Aiden really enjoyed watching life in space with this virtual reality set. It was almost like we were floating in space with astronauts.
Other Things To Do In Kansas City With Kids
Looking for other things to do in Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas, City Kansas, then here are a few more things to add to your list.
- Look at all the tiny toys at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
- Admire the flowers at Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
- Enjoy being a kid at Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City
- Admire art at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
- Try your luck escaping at the Union Station Escape Room.
- Watch the trains go choo-choo at Kansas City Northern Miniature Railroad
- Learn about the war at National WWI Museum
- Try your luck at basketball at the College Basketball Experience
- Watch a Kansas City Royals game
- Enjoy the butterflies at Powell Gardens
- Listen to Jazz at the American Jazz Museum
- Learn about money at the Money Museum
- Get on rides and enjoy the water park at Worlds of Fun
- Experience hands on science experiments at Science City
- Create free art at Kaleidoscope
- Play at the kid friendly exhibits at Kidscape at John County Museum
Water Parks In Kansas City
There aren’t very many water parks in Kansas City, however if you visit Kansas City in the summer you should definitely put it on your to do list.
- Oceans of Fun – This is an amusement park which also has a water park attached to it. All you need is one ticket to get into both parks.
- Coco Key Water Resort – This one of the indoor water parks in Kansas City that is well know for having over 55,000 square feet of slides, pools and more.
- Great Wolf Lodge – This is another indoor water park in Kansas city which families loves because it is 84 degrees all year long. It also has a kids play area for the littles.
Where To Eat In Kansas City
As we all know, Kansas City is known for having the best barbecue, and let me tell you this – we were not dissapointed. We ate barbecue every single day we were in Kansas City and loved it!
Succotash – This is a well known breakfast spot. Don’t forget to ask about their 8 layer cake for desert!
Donutology – Head over here for the yummiest donuts you’ll ever have. I’m sure you can tell which are mine and which are Aiden’s.
Rye – This is a brunch type spot. They serve a mix of breakfast and lunch items throughout the day.
Banksia Bakery – this is an Australian bakery. They even had kangaroo meat on their menu.
Fritz – this is a kid friendly restaurant. Kids get to call in their order and the food is delivered by a train. Aiden was in heaven here!
The Parlor – This place has plenty of small food stands within offering a variety of food. We enjoyed the Mochi balls at this Japanese food stand.
Betty Rae’s Ice Cream – The best ice cream I have had in a long time. Make sure to get the in-house waffle cone.
Topgolf Overland Park – They have a variety of food, from barbecue to chicken wings and also a kids menu.
Best Barbecue Spots In Kansas City
Arthur Bryant Barbecue
Jack Stack Barbecue
Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
Other Kansas City Barbecue Spots To Try Out
These other Kansas city barbecue spots below were on our list but we didn’t get a chance to make it there.
- Slap’s BBQ
- LC’s BAr-B-Que
- Danny Edwarda BLVD BBQ
- Char Bar
- Scott’s Kitchen
- Woodyard Bar-B-Que
Kansas City Itinerary
Kansas City Itinerary Day 1
- Breakfast at Succotash
- American Jazz Museum
- Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
- Lunch At Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque
- Rooftop Chess at the KC Library
- Dinner at Parlor
Kansas City Itinerary Day 2
- Breakfast at Mildred’s
- Coffee at Quay Coffee (inside the Nelson Atkins Museum)
- Explore the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
- Art Course tee time at the Nelson-Atkins
- Lunch at Rye
- Explore Union Station (there are plenty of things to choose from)
- Stonehenge Exhibit
- Museum Of Illusions
- Science City
- Escape Room
- Train Exhibit
- Dinner at Jack Stack Barbecue
Kansas City Itinerary Day 3
- Breakfast at Donutology
- Visit the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead (Kansas City, Kansas)
- Lunch and Golf at Topgolf (Kansas City, Kansas)
- Visit the Museum at Prairiefire (Kansas City, Kansas)
- Visit Kansas City River Market
- Ice Cream at Betty Rae’s
- Dinner at Gate’s BBQ
Kansas City Itinerary Day 4
- Breakfast at Banksia Bakery
- Visit SEA LIFE Kansas City and LEGOLAND Discovery Center
- Visit the Kansas City Zoo
- Lunch at Joe’s Kansas City
- Head To The Airport
Overall Thoughts On Kansas City
We absolutely loved our time in Kansas City and plan to visit again soon. I love how kid friendly it was and how easy to get around it was. If you haven’t been to Kansas City yet, then make sure to put it on your list!
This post was sponsored by Visit Kansas City, however all opinions expressed are my own.
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