Kansas City is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, and it is exceptionally family-friendly. Throughout the city, it is very easy to find family-friendly attractions that cater to kids of all ages.
On our most recent trip to Kansas City, we were very impressed with a couple of children-focused or family-friendly museums within striking distance of downtown. Filled with educational experiences, the best kids museums in Kansas City all really exceeded our expectations, and you won’t want to miss them if you’re visiting the City of Fountains with young kids!
1. The Regnier Family Wonderscope Children’s Museum
By far, the Regnier Family Wonderscope Children’s Museum is the best museum for kids in Kansas City. Located in the Red Bridge Shopping Center, this Kansas City-themed museum offers over 30,000 square feet of indoor exploration space for kids to use their imagination and express their creativity. This non-profit children’s museum offers free admission to all kids under 2 years old and otherwise charges $15 per child (2-15) and $10 per person aged 16+.
Angel took Nicola to this museum after a friend recommended it, and she was absolutely wowed. Nicola had a blast, and visiting Wonderscope was easily one of the most fun things we did in Kansas City. In all of our travels, we have never come across a children’s museum that was so well-designed and so encouraging of imaginative play.
2. Science City at Union Station
Union Station is located right in the heart of Kansas City, and it is more than just an urban train station. With great restaurants and a gorgeous central area, Union Station is a place you need to check out whether you have kids or not.
However, if you have kids there is even more of a reason to check out Union Station. Science City is a wonderful children’s museum that is located right inside the train station, and it is filled with interactive exhibits that are sure to appeal to your little kids. Our son was too young to really enjoy the museum, but in a couple of years, I’m sure he would have loved the more than 120 interactive displays and special exhibits located inside.
3. KidScape at The Johnson County Museum
The Johnson County Museum is located across the state line in Overland Park, Kansas. Johnson county is the county immediately south of Kansas City, Kansas, and the Johnson County Museum exists to preserve over 160 years of Johnson county – a.k.a suburban Kansas City – history.
While the museum’s collection of exhibits is wonderful for visitors of all ages from what we have heard, KidScape is what really draws in families with young children. KidScape is a dedicated children’s center that contains over 3,500 square feet of space for children to explore Kansas City’s history, and it alone makes the Johnson County Museum one of the best kids museums in Kansas City. It is set up in a way that helps kids feel as though they are traveling through time and experiencing different aspects of local history. The museum also offers sensory friendly Mondays every week from 9-12.
4. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Baseball is America’s National Pastime, and the Negro Leagues are a core piece of baseball history. The History of the Negro Leagues is both electrifying and saddening, and the legacy of these astounding athletes lives on through the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
We have now visited both of the major Negro Leagues museums in the U.S. in Kansas City and Birmingham, Alabama, and the one in Kansas City is exponentially better. Filled with different exhibits showcasing the glory, history, and suffering of these legendary sports teams, the Negro Leagues Museum is one that you don’t want to miss.
Generally speaking, the museum is great for children. The video at the beginning does contain language that is not suitable for children, but the rest of the museum is very family-friendly.
5. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum is the premier art museum in Kansas City. It is so prestigious that you might wonder what it is doing on a list of the best kids museums in Kansas City! Despite its prestigious reputation, the Nelson-Atkins is a fantastic place to visit with kids. Our son really enjoyed looking at all of the contemporary art, paintings, sculptures, and tapestries here, and we took him back several times.
If the weather is nice and you’re in the mood for a little outdoor adventure, take a stroll around the museum’s grounds and visit its statue garden. There is also a glass maze that is supposed to be very fun to walk through, but it was closed for the season while we were in town. If the weather is on the colder or rainier side, there are plenty of interesting exhibits and beautiful artworks to keep you busy for days on the inside.
You can’t beat the ticket prices, either, considering that entrance is free! There is a parking garage located under the museum, but I recommend taking advantage of the free parking available on every street surrounding the museum’s grounds.
6. The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve is the central bank of the United States, and it has several major locations throughout the country. At the Kansas City location, you can find a Money Museum. The Money Museum is a really interesting place filled with information about money…as in, the actual paper money.
This museum doesn’t give financial advice of any kind. Rather, it provides information on what exactly money is, how it is made, and how it has changed over time. This can be a fun museum for both adults and children, and the stuff you can learn about money is actually really fascinating.
All in all, the Money Museum is absolutely worth checking out if you have the time. It is conveniently located in the Crown Center district of the city, within walking distance of the National World War I Museum. If you plan on visiting Science City in Union Station, you can walk to the Money Museum afterward.
That’s all we have for you about the best museums for kids in Kansas City! Hopefully, this post inspires you with some great things to do with your little ones while visiting. Each of these museums offers some special exhibitions and special events just for kids, and we definitely recommend each and every one of them.
If you’re planning a trip to Kansas City, comment below!
We’d love to chat ahead of time and answer any questions you have.