On a recent weekend in Kansas City, Missouri (not be confused with the Kansas City, Kansas) my family discovered so much to do with our kids. While we had picked up tickets to visit LEGOLAND and watch the Kansas City Royals, we found so much more, including lots of free activities. Take a look:
Kaleidoscope: A creative arts space sponsored by Hallmark, Kaleidoscope is a wonderful place for children to draw, paint, glue, cut and create. They provide free timed tickets for a 45-minute session, and there are lots of stations for children to explore their creative sides, including a cool glow-in-the-dark room.
Hallmark Visitors Center: The Hallmark Visitors Center pays homage to the company that began in Kansas City, allowing the whole family to explore the history of the company and our country. Children receive a passport and hunt for stamps. Be sure to check out the bow machine, presidential holiday card display and the free stationery sets to take home.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center: Different from LEGOLAND theme parks, kids will find many more opportunities for hands-on play at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Look out for iconic Kansas City landmarks made out of LEGO bricks, as well as an area where kids can build and test out a race car. Go in the late-afternoon for the fewest crowds and the shortest lines.
SEA LIFE: Adjacent to LEGOLAND, SEA LIFE is a huge aquarium that allows kids to get up close and personal with more than 5,000 sea creatures. You’ll also find plenty of interactive areas where kids can touch smaller sea life, like crabs and starfish. Look out for feeding shows throughout the day.
KC Rail Experience: If your kids like trains, they’ll love the KC Rail Experience, a permanent exhibit located inside Kansas City’s Union Station. You’ll find hundreds of yards of train tracks with all sorts of replica trains and set designs. Plus, look out for interesting displays chronicling food service on railroad cars and areas of the country that prospered from railroad expansion.
Country Club Plaza: If you want to take a break from exhibits and interactive displays, head to Country Club Plaza, a beautiful area of town with tons of fountains and upscale shops. The streets are clean, there’s plenty of space to walk and endless shops to pop in and out, many of which are family-friendly. There are also many local barbecue joints – our favorite was Jack Stack Barbecue - delicious food, great atmosphere, kid-friendly and with a very reasonable children’s menu.
Kansas City Royals: We love baseball and did our research ahead of time, realizing that our children could join the Kansas City Royals “Blue Crew” for only $20 and the whole family could reap the benefits. The “kit” comes with replica team jerseys, water bottles, cloth backpacks, and a coupon book, which includes tickets for a free park tour, two free tickets to almost any regular home season game, as well as discounts on food and souvenirs.
Have you ever been to Kansas City, Missouri? Let us know some of your favorite activities to do with your kids when you’re in town.
Jenn Record lives in Trumbull, CT with her husband two young children.
Photo Credit: Crown Center