Family-Friendly Guide to Kansas City


Article by Mindy Hargesheimer

Photography by Mindy Hargesheimer

Whether it's a family day or night out in Kansas City you're looking to plan, or a fun itinerary of options for out of town visitors, there's no shortage of activities and entertainment options in KC! From the memory-making fun of our beloved pro sports teams, museums, and farms to the not so obvious options like breweries and distilleries that can keep the kids entertained while the adults imbibe, this is my personal guide to some of my favorite spots that I, i.e. @kansascitybucketlist, would recommend for a good time!

See MORE Local KC Guides HERE!

Look for family-friendly inspiration categorized by Sports, Competition & Recreation | Arts, Farms & Entertainment | Free Annual/Recurring Events | Breweries, Distilleries & Wineries | Performing Arts Theatres & Arenas | and Annual Art Fairs

Sports, Competition & Recreation

The Kansas City Royals @ Kauffman Stadium | KCMO

The Kansas City Royals celebrate their 50th season at Kauffman Stadium in 2022. Kauffman has always been one of the crown jewel ballparks of Major League Baseball. Having hosted 89,350,390 fans since 1973, The K with its signature look, has proudly stood the test of time. The Outfield Experience provides the fans with entertainment for all ages. In addition, the views of the field are spectacular and give fans several photographic locations to watch a game.

RoKC @ North KC | Downtown | Olathe

Our mission is to provide a fun, inclusive, and adventurous environment where people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds can learn and be challenged. RoKC was founded on the phrase "build it to give it away," a saying that remains at the heart of all we do. As the community grows, our goal stays the same: to offer the best possible experience for every person who walks in the door. If you can climb a ladder, you can climb at our gyms.

Sporting KC @ Children’s Mercy Park | KCK

Kansas City's MLS club. Sporting Kansas City's 2021 season will mark the club's 26th year in Major League Soccer. 

FlipSwitch VR | West Crossroads

Epic Scale, Free-Roam, Multiplayer Virtual Reality. With state-of-the-art wireless technology and motion tracking, we take you inside the game where your body is the controller and your mind believes it’s real.

KC Mavericks @ Cable Dahmer Arena | Independence, MO

The Kansas City Mavericks are a professional ice hockey team located in Independence, MO. Proud ECHL affiliate of the Calgary Flames of the NHL and the Stockton Heat of the AHL.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum @ 18th and Vine | KCMO

The world’s only national institution dedicated to preserving the rich history of black baseball and its impact on America.

Kansas City Monarchs @ Legends Field | KCK

Formerly known as the Kansas City T-Bones, they are members of the American Association of Professional Baseball; which, in 2020, became designated as a Major League Baseball partner league. They have played their home games at Legends Field (formerly CommunityAmerica Ballpark) since 2003, when the team began as a member of the Northern League. 

The College Basketball Experience @ KC Power & Light District | Downtown

The College Basketball Experience, a world class entertainment facility connected to T-Mobile Center by the Grand Lobby, is two floors and 41,500 square feet of basketball exuberance. It houses the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, where visitors can honor college basketball legends and learn about the history of the game. But The CBE is not just a place where you go and look. The word “experience” is in the title because that’s exactly what fans can do – experience the game of college basketball.

Chicken N Pickle @ South Overland Park | North KC

Chicken N Pickle is a unique, indoor/outdoor entertainment complex whose mission is to provide an atmosphere that fosters fun, friendship and community for all ages. Our newest location in South Overland Park – boasts a fast-casual dining restaurant, 10 pickleball courts, bocce ball and shuffleboard courts, a bar and entertainment space, an outdoor game yard, and a game room with ping pong and TV screens for you and your friends to catch your favorite game.

Oceans + Worlds of Fun | KCMO

Oceans of Fun is the Kansas City waterpark offering more than 60 acres of summer fun for the whole family. Enjoy the wet and wild times on extreme water slides like the record-breaking Riptide Raceway, the largest mat racing waterslide in the world, or make a splash in the kid-friendly Splash Island. Featuring a wave pool and lazy river to beat the heat, cabanas to cool down and dining options to fill up, you can always have fun at the biggest waterpark in the Midwest!

Game Show Battle Rooms | Overland Park

Game Show Battle Rooms is one of the nation's first game show experiences for everyone to enjoy! Face-off against your friends, family and coworkers in our custom arenas - all facilitated by our game show hosts. It's time to battle!

Shawnee Mission Park Marina | Shawnee Mission

Shawnee Mission Park Marina offers boat rentals including kayaks, paddle boards, pedal boats and canoes in the heart of the beautiful Shawnee Mission Park. Whether you are looking for a great workout, fun family activity or a peaceful float on the water, Shawnee Mission Park Marina has what you are looking for.

Top Golf | Overland Park

The premier entertainment destination in Overland Park, KS - Enjoy our climate-controlled hitting bays for year-round comfort with HDTVs in every bay and throughout our sports bar and restaurant. Using our complimentary clubs or your own, take aim at the giant outfield targets and our high-tech balls will score themselves.

KC Live! @ KC Power & Light District | KCMO

KC Live! is the Midwest’s premier entertainment destination. An entire city block with two levels of world-class restaurants, taverns and night spots, KC Live! is where Kansas City goes to play. KC Live! also features a full-concert stage where the country’s most premiere musicians and bands perform weekly during the summer and for special events throughout the year.

Berkley Riverfront | KCMO

Look just north of downtown Kansas City, on the south bank of the Missouri River and between the iconic Kit Bond and Heart of America bridges. At the heart of it all, there is Berkley Riverfront, a one-of-a-kind expanse of greenspace filled with cultural and recreational amenities. It is a vibrant landmark in your city. It is a sustaining connection to your river. It is your park.

Zip KC | Bonner Springs

ZIPLINING: Zip KC hosts Kansas Cities wildest zip line adventures! Soar high above the bluffs of the Kansas River on 9 zip lines stretching over 5,800 feet and reaching up to 50 miles per hour! ZIP LINE TOURS: Hike & Zip, Tower Tour, Ultimate Adventure Tour, Date Night Sunset Tour & Glow in the Dark Night Zipping!

Pinstripes | Overland Park

A modern restaurant and entertainment venue featuring a delicious Italian/American bistro menu, classic bowling, bocce, ideal for dining, gaming, and private events.

Urban Air @ Lenexa | Overland Park

Welcome to the Ultimate Indoor Adventure Park where kids of all ages (and kids at heart) can explore thrilling attractions, challenge their body and mind, and most importantly…have a blast! We are WAY more than a trampoline park.

Arts, Farms & Entertainment

Powell Gardens | Kingsville

As Kansas City’s Botanical Garden, Powell Gardens plays a vital role in the community as a space for release, rejuvenation, and the celebration of the fleeting nature of nature itself. Visitors enjoy eight themed display gardens, a three-mile nature trail, seasonal festivals, rotating exhibitions, exceptional architecture, and dining options featuring ingredients grown in our Heartland Harvest Garden, one of the nation’s largest edible landscapes.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art | KCMO

"Kansas City is defined by its enormous shuttlecocks that grace the grounds of this gorgeous art museum. With rotating exhibits, a modern and classical wing, and an expansive lawn perfect for picnics and perusing the surroundings, this free museum (aside from special exhibits) is beyond picture worthy."

Kansas City Zoo | KCMO

The Kansas City Zoo is located in historic Swope Park. With more than 1,700 animals and over 200 acres, the Zoo is the most aff|ordable fun in Kansas City.

Louisburg Cider Mill | Louisburg

A regional destination that offers customers a unique opportunity not only to taste great apple cider and apple cider donuts, but to see where and how the cider and donuts are made. The Cider Mill continues traditions of hosting the Annual Easter Egg Hunt, the Cider Mill Century Bicycle Tour, Cider Mill Swap Meets, Ciderfest, corn maze and pumpkin patch, and many more events and activities that align with the mission of the business.

Grinter's Sunflower Farm | Lawrence

Ted and Kris Grinter's Sunflower Farm in Leavenworth County has become a phenomena. Although Kansas has a great many sunf|lower fields, those fields are primarily in central and western Kansas. These fields are in the far eastern part of the state (near the population centers) and the Grinter family let the public come into the fields and take photos. 

Museum at Prairiefire | Overland Park

In addition to permanent and rotating exhibitions, the Museum at Prairiefire offerings include regular events and programming such as Science Happy Hour and Little Explorers Club, stunning artifacts from national and regional collections, the Discovery Room for children ages 3-12 and two unique Virtual Reality Experiences.

Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead | Overland Park

Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is the perfect place to learn, grow, and have fun. Visit more than 250 animals and birds, learn about growing flowers and vegetables, experience a Kanza Indian encampment or a one-room school house, and take a stroll through main street to the fishing pond, small shops representing commerce in a rural town include a general store, a bank, a barber shop, an ice cream parlor, and a one-room country schoolhouse.

Green Dirt Farm | Weston

Green Dirt Farm makes award-winning sheep’s and cow's milk cheeses. Our cafe in Weston is a cozy spot to enjoy our delicious cheeses, sandwiches and ice cream along with other small batch local food goodness.

Union Station | Crossroads

Kansas City’s most celebrated destination boasts over 100 years of iconic history and year-round attractions for all ages. Visit the internationally awarded Science City, Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, or visit our current touring exhibitions. There’s always something new to see and do at this family-friendly favorite!

Wonderscope @ Red Bridge | KCMO

The region’s only fully accessible, non-profit children’s museum dedicated to providing STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math – educational experiences for young children and their families. Wonderscope features 30,000 square feet of indoor exploration and 1/2 acre of year-round outdoor adventure, all with a unique Kansas City theme. 

Cider Hill Family Orchard | KCK

Cider Hill Family Orchard is 38 acres covered with 1500 apple trees. There are 18 different kinds of apples that are grown in the Orchard.  Apple season at Cider Hill begins in late July.

Yaya's Alpaca Farm | Garden City

Located 45 miles south of Kansas City Missouri in Cass County, alpacas are our passion. We have a farm store with all kinds of neat items made of alpaca. We raise these adorable alpacas for sale, show, and for the gorgeous fleece that they produce.

Pinot's Palette @ Leawood | Olathe | Prairie Village | Blue Springs | Briarcliff

Paint. Drink. Have Fun.® with Pinot’s Palette or Imagine. Create. Have Fun with our new sub-brand Little Brushes at LittleBrushes.com

National World War 1 Museum | Midtown

The National WWI Museum and Memorial is America's leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. 

Shatto Milk Company | Osborn

THE SHATTO FARM EXPERIENCE: Learn how our milk gets from our farm to your table. Take a tour of the processing plant. See the bottling process including how we prep bottles for re-use. Meet some adorable calves. Milk a cow. And then check it off your bucket list. See where the cows eat, sleep and how they’re milked. Sample. and sample again.

Creative Culture @ Westport | Leawood

Locally owned DIY studio, milkshake bar and splatter studio that is focused on developing a creative culture and expanding a community of makers.

Culinary Center of Kansas City | Downtown Overland Park

A unique culinary arts center offering over 600 cooking classes annually, interactive culinary events and team building, catered events and a retail store.

Selfie WRLD @ Town Center | Leawood

Welcome to the #1 trending selfie museum in the WRLD. Arguably one of the most instagrammable places in the center US, here you can immerse yourself into our fun, eye-catching, interactive art installations. Experience many unique themes knowing we had your best selfie in mind. Bring your friends, family, a date, or just yourself and your phone, and unleash your inner child!

Cedar Cove Feline Sanctuary | Louisburg

Cedar Cove Feline Conservation Park opened on August 27, 2000 as a preserve for tigers and a refuge for all kinds of big cats which are abandoned, neglected or whose owners are unable to care for them. The only regular hours for visiting the conservation park are on Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to allow at least an hour as a volunteer will take you and a small group on a tour where you will learn a great deal about each animal. 

Paint Glaze & Fire | Overland Park

Paint Glaze & Fire is a friendly paint-your-own-pottery space where people of all ages can have fun, make art, and flex their creative muscles. At our heat-proof, boredom-proof studio, you’re the artist. There are no rules let your imagination soar as you create a personalized, perfect piece or painting. We host birthday parties and lead private and group classes for painting, glass fusion, and clay, too.

Park Place | Leawood

Situated in the middle of all the retail, dining, office, loging, and residential spaces, is the beautiful Barkley Square. This community green space features year-round activities such as a farmers’ market, movies in the lawn, and more.

Fun Farm Pumpkin Patch | Kearney

What started from an effort to sell pumpkins, quickly turned into over 300 acres of full-fledged, fun-loving experiences packed with family activities for all ages to enjoy together. Visit Fun Farm Pumpkin Patch this season! 

Free Annual/Recurring Events:

Future Stages Festival @ Kauffman Center | KCMO

Join the celebration and experience the arts in Kansas City! The FREE one-day festival invites everyone to explore a diverse range of performances and interactive arts activities. Futures Stages Festival is a community event that showcases youth in the performing arts and is an extension of the Kauffman Center’s Open Doors Spotlight on Youth program. Featuring a variety of performing arts organizations and arts activity partners – the festival provides fun for ALL ages! 

Farmers Markets - @citymarketkc | @opfarmersmarket | @ppvfarmersmarket | @brooksidefarmersmarket |

All local. All year. City Market offers visitors a variety of import and specialty groceries, international restaurants, unique shops, and boutiques. With a rich history spanning more than 160 years, City Market is a place for people to gather, exchange, and share. Shop the Farmers Market every weekend. (During colder months, the market is enclosed and lightly heated.)

Cultural Festivals @ Nelson Atkins | KCMO

We offer creative activities and gallery explorations that are FREE and fun for all ages. Art Course at the Nelson-Atkins is an artist-designed, mini golf experience located in the exquisite Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park. Each hole on this nine-hole course presents a creative interpretation of a work of art in the museum’s collection.

Rotating Exhibits @ Kemper Museum | KCMO

Kansas City’s acclaimed, FREE contemporary art museum, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art opened in 1994 and boasts a rapidly growing Permanent Collection of modern and contemporary works of art from around the world. The Museum hosts exhibitions, installations, lectures, workshops, and other creative programs, free for all ages.

The Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair | Rotating Locations

We have a fair for every season: Fall, Holiday, Spring, and Summer Swings, with some pop-ups in between. Enjoy inspired handmade & vintage vendors, innovative food trucks, local live music, kids’ crafts, and a really great time at one of the Top 35 Indie Craft Fairs in the World! Our juried makers specialize in ceramics, clothing, printing, painting, photography, woodworking, leatherworking, metalsmithing, fiber arts, and more. We strive to showcase the highest quality handmade goods in an inclusive and accessible environment.

First Fridays @ West Bottoms | Crossroads Arts District

Mid-20th Century buildings tower overhead as shoppers hustle between vintage stores in search of their next great discovery. It’s First Friday Weekend in the West Bottoms, home to the largest vintage and antique market in the U.S., which means that many of the most prominent and popular antique dealers open their shops to reveal their thrifty picks to the masses While the Crossroads Arts District is well-known for its First Fridays events, the West Bottoms extends the monthly celebration through the end of the weekend, bringing food trucks, special happenings and more to the historic district.

Breweries, Distilleries & Wineries

J Rieger & Co. Distillery | Electric Park

The J. Rieger & Co. distillery is open 7 days a week for visitors. Visiting our distillery offers the opportunity to experience everything Rieger: distillery tours and spirits tasting, shopping in our Mercantile Gift Shop, or drinking and dining at any our 4 unique restaurant experiences within our distillery. Open seasonally, the Electric Park Garden Bar is a one of a kind outdoor bar and restaurant experience that plays homage to the amusement park that was located in our neighborhood from 1899-1906.

Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery | Paola

We are a family-owned vineyard and winery located in the rolling hills of Miami County, Kansas, approximately 20 miles south of the greater Kansas City area. We take pride in making handcrafted, premium wines from Kansas grown grapes. Open for wine, food & live music!

Red Crow Brewing Company | Olathe

Family Friendly, Amazing Beer & Great Food! Chris and Mistie are always ready and willing to talk about their adventure with you when you visit! Red Crow is happy to welcome you and your families to their establishment and will make you feel like you are a part of theirs. You simply cannot separate Red Crow from the concept of family.

Bull Creek Distillery | Spring Hill

Bull Creek Distillery is home to our very own Gunstock Reserve, 3-year Rye Bourbon! We house a full restaurant & bar in Spring Hill -- just south of Olathe! Join us for great drink specials, fun events, live music, & delicious food!

Boulevard Brewing Company Beer Hall | Midtown

Boulevard’s Beer Hall is the ideal place for friends, family and colleagues to come together and explore our wide variety of fresh, flavorful beers. From Beer Hall Bingo, Barrel-Aged Happy Hour and Hop Quiz Trivia to special tappings and games - we like to party. Join us! Be in the know and follow the fun.

KC Bier Co. | Waldo

Kansas City's largest 100% locally-owned and independent craft brewery. Authentic German-style bier served in a German-style Bierhalle & Biergarten with small plates of pretzels and brats. Bottles & kegs available across all of Kansas & half of Missouri. We look forward to hosting you at our Bavarian-style Bierhalle & Biergarten to enjoy our fresh, authentic, locally-brewed German-style bier and small plates of pretzels, sausages and other favorites in a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere!

Jowler Creek | Platte City

Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery is owned and operated by Jason and Kit Lacy, Kansas City born and raised siblings. With their families, they now manage more than 3,500 grapevines and produce several wines in various styles ranging from dry to sweet. Their passion and love for agriculture and wine run as deep as the roots in their 7-acre sustainable vineyard. Take a look at all the sustainable practices they’ve put in place below from the grape to the glass – to make delicious wines you can feel good about drinking.

Brewery Emperial | Crossroads

Bringing ales and lagers to the East Crossroads community in an effort to contribute to the craft brewing movement by producing world class Beer. Delicious Food Locally sourced, fresh seasonal ingredients are the basis for our menu. Comfortable  & casual environment suitable for business, families, friends, special occasions, you'll feel at home with us. Our intimate dining room or our spacious beer garden make for a great place to hang out. 

Pathlight Brewing | Shawnee

Pathlight Brewing ignited from a shared passion for craft beer, and a mutual desire to contribute to our local community. Whether it’s our lambic inspired wild ales, or our hazy IPA’s, we are dedicated to continuously elevating our craft and exploring new ways to deliver the highest quality product. We will light the path for traditional and modern craft beer enthusiasts alike, and look forward to making new friends along the way.

Performing Arts Theatres & Arenas:

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts - @kauffmancenter | Crossroads

Starlight  - @kcstarlight | Swope Parkway-Elmwood

Theatre in the Park - @jcprdparks | Shawnee

Music Hall - @kcconventioncenter | Downtown

Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland - @themidland | Downtown

KCRep - @kcreptheatre | KCMO

Unicorn Theatre - @unicorntheatre | Midtown

The Coterie Theatre - @thecoterietheatre | Crown Center

T-Mobile Center - @tmobilecenter | Downtown

Azura Amphitheater - @azuraamp | Bonner Springs

Annual Art Fairs

Plaza Art Fair - @countryclubplaza

Brookside Art Annual - @brooksidekansascity

Prairie Village Art Show - @theshopsofprairievillage

Art Westport - @westport_kc

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