Best Museums for Kids in Kansas City [Guide to FREE Museum Day 4/2020]
KC is known for many things, but did you know there are fun Kansas City museums you can visit year round?
Whether your family is into American history, the history of clothing & garments, or baseball history, there’s a museum in Kansas City for nearly everyone.
Check out the best museums in Kansas City now for fun summer activities with kids:
Best Museums in Kansas City for Kids
There are SO many Kansas City Museums to Choose From!
There are TONS of Kansas City museums for kids to explore! Use the 2019 KC Museum Guide to help you navigate the best museums in Kansas City.
So, head out to learn something new with your kiddos & explore KC! Some admissions are even FREE…
On April 4th, 2020 you can visit TONS of museums in Kansas City for FREE!
We’ve starred each museum that is participating in the family event, so check it out. Museums offering free entry that aren’t on this list are:
- Thomas Hart Benton Home & Studio State Historic Site
2 Memorial Dr, Kansas City | MO 64108-4616
Steeped in history, the National World War 1 Museum and Memorial features interactive displays, thought-provoking films and eyewitness testimonies.
These exhibits help guide visitors through one of the largest collections of WWI artifacts in the world.
From the first shots fired in 1914 to the last attempts at peace in 1919, this award-winning museum offers a global perspective of “The War to End All Wars,” and includes firsthand accounts from the battlefield and home front alike.
Plan your visit to the National World War 1 Museum today, and learn why the First World War wasn’t the last.
1401 Grand Blvd, Sprint Center | Kansas City, MO 64106-2917
INTERACTIVE exhibits are what set The College Basketball Experience apart from any other museum in the world.
Don’t just come and see…get off the bench and get completely immersed in the game!
Explore all our interactive activities online & plan to visit The CBE soon!
4525 Oak St. | Kansas City, MO 64111-1818
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is fill with interesting exhibits & art pieces.
Free admission gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy, appreciate and understand the finest visual arts. So, head to the Nelson with your family this weekend!
3218 Gladstone Blvd | Kansas City, MO 64123-1199
The Kansas City Museum is currently working on Stage I Construction, which includes the restoration and renovation of Corinthian Hall (the mansion) into a leading-edge 21st-century museum of Kansas City’s history and cultural heritage.
Come learn more about our home town today!
** National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (free entry 4/4/2020)
5235 Oak St (Across from Univ of Kansas City) | Kansas City, MO 64112-2877
The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures inspires & delights adults and children. There are SO many toys to be seen – through the museum’s collection and preservation of toys and miniatures.
4420 Warwick Blvd | Kansas City, MO 64111-1821
Kansas City’s acclaimed, FREE contemporary art museum, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is definitely worth a visit!
The Museum boasts a rapidly growing Permanent Collection of modern and contemporary works of art from around the world, and hosts exhibitions, installations, film and video series, lectures, concerts, workshops, and other creative programs.
** American Jazz Museum (free entry 4/4/2020)
1616 East 18th Street | Kansas City, MO 64108-1610
Located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District in Kansas City, MO, the American Jazz Museum showcases the sights and sounds of jazz through interactive exhibits and films, the Changing Gallery exhibit space, Horace M. Peterson III Visitors Center, Blue Room jazz club and Gem Theater. Since its inception in 1997, the Museum hosts thousands of students, scholars, musicians and fans of the arts for over 200 performances, education programs, special exhibitions, community events and more each year, providing an opportunity to learn about the legends, honor their legacy, or simply enjoy the sounds of modern day jazz.
1616 East 18th Street | Kansas City, MO 64108-1610
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum was founded in 1990 in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a privately funded museum dedicated to preserving the history of Negro league baseball in America.
400 Grand Blvd | Kansas City, MO 64106-1111
When the mighty Steamboat Arabia sank near Kansas City on September 5, 1856, she carried 200 tons of mystery cargo. Lost for 132 years, its recovery in 1988 was like finding the King Tut’s Tomb of the Missouri River. Remarkably preserved clothes, tools, guns, dishware and more. The discovery was truly a modern day treasure-hunting story at its best.
30 West Pershing Road | Kansas City, MO 64108-2410
The 100 year old Union Station is a hub of culture, education, and entertainment. Visit traveling national exhibits, 3D movies on the Extreme Screen, or explore our world in Science City, or enjoy a cup of coffee or a special meal in this beautiful, historic building. Union Station has something for everyone in the family.
1 Memorial Dr | Kansas City, MO 64108-4604
Walk-in guests are welcome any time. Reservations are not required. Our free, walk-in experience allows you to see all of the exhibits, the Cash Processing and Vault viewing area, and our audio tour and iPad scavenger hunt are available for use.
5700 King St | Shawnee, KS 666203
Wonderscope features fun, interactive exhibits and programs for kids to enjoy year round.
Programs include topics in science and literature for kids 8 and under. So, all parents & teachers across the metro are welcome to bring kids to explore, create, and discover! Programs include: Farm to Market, Raceways, Ready Vet Go, & Tinker Space…among MANY others.
201 NW Lou Holland Dr | Kansas City, MO 64116-4223
We hope you can find time to visit our Museum with your friends and family in the near future to see whats happening at Hangar 9. The heart of Kansas City plays host to our piece of history and we encourage you to keep an eye on our events schedule above to know whats going on at Hangar 9.
** National Agricultural Hall of Fame (Free Entry 4/4/2020)
630 N 126th St. | Bonner Springs, KS 66012
Explore farming & agriculture at the National Ag Hall of Fame. Their facility in Bonner Springs is a fun museum for kids to learn about agriculture, so check it out!
801 Broadway Blvd | Kansas City, MO 64105-1596
The [email protected] provides 3,300 square feet for exhibitions, programs, and events, and it is adjacent to Garment District Place Park. In addition, the [email protected] is across the street from the Historic Garment District Museum, a 1,000 square-foot space located at 801 Broadway in the historic Poindexter Building at the northeast corner of 8th St. and Broadway Blvd.
7000 NE Barry Rd | Kansas City, MO 64156-1278
Nestled quietly on 80 acres out of the 1,000 acres that makes up Hodge Park. The museum has 21 structures with 17 authentic 19th century buildings dating from 1807-1885. Our historic log cabins and homes were relocated from surrounding counties to create a village setting.
1333 S Noland Rd | Independence, Missouri 64055
Leila’s Hair Museum is the only hair museum in the world, boasting over 600 hair wreaths and over 2000 pieces of jewelry made of human hair. First-time visitors to the museum usually don’t know what to expect. There is no exact date that can be pinpointed as to when and where hair art began, but it is known to have flourished in the Victorian times and can be traced back to the 12th century. Many pieces were for a memorial purpose; however this art form was also used as a keepsake of a loved one before cameras were invented. Hair was a token of love in these times as well as a remembrance of someone who passed away. The tradition of giving a lock of hair goes back hundreds, and even thousands of years and can be traced from different cultures as well as different time periods.
** Museum at Prairiefire (Free Entry 4/4/2020)
5801 W. 135th Street | Overland Park KS 66223
The Museum at Prairiefire features rotating natural history-based exhibitions, curated by the world-renowned scientists of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City. Museum at Prairiefire exhibitions rotate semi-annually and feature fossils, historical artifacts, and state-of-the-art interactives for visitors of all ages.
8788 Metcalf Ave | Overland Park, KS, 66212
The Johnson County Museum began as an all-volunteer organization in 1967 with the mission of collecting, preserving and sharing the history of Johnson County with its community. Originally located in Shawnee in the 1,500 square foot 1927 Greenwood School, the museum expanded at the site to a 20,000 sq. ft. facility.
Belger Building, 3rd Floor 2100 Walnut Street | Kansas City, MO 64108-1885
The John and Maxine Belger family created a 501C3 foundation to educate the public regarding the work of artists including, but not exclusive to William Christenberry, Terry Winters, Robert Stackhouse, William Wiley, Terry Allen, Renee Stout, and Jasper Johns. The Collection spans their careers allowing study of their work and their creative processes. The Collections are available for loan to art institutions and museums throughout this country and abroad. In addition to sharing the collection we curate new exhibitions throughout the year. All of this is free to the public. We also use our facilities to partner with other art-related organizations for their art related events. We are conveniently located in the Kansas City Crossroads Arts District.
1701 American Royal Court | Kansas City, MO 64102
American Royal Museum and Visitors Center. Hands-on, interactive museum of agricultural history. The American Royal is Kansas City’s famed barbecue, rodeo, horse and livestock show venue.
** Grinter Place State Historic Site (free entry 4/4/2020)
1420 S 78 St. | Kansas City, KS 66111
Explore this beautiful state farmstead historic site. The house overlooks the Kansas River, with scenic views throughout!
There are different exhibits that you can explore, as well as programs & special events, like Saturdays by the Stove.
** Thomas Hart Benton Home & Studio State Historic Site (Free Entry 4/4/2020)
3616 Belleview Ave. | Kansas City, MO 64111
This state historic site was the home and studio of Thomas Hart Benton, Missouri artist. You can learn more about this historic family in Kansas City, as well as see his paintings and artwork if you visit!
** Gardner Historical Museum (Free Entry 4/4/2020)
204 W Main St. | Gardner, KS 66030
You can visit the Gardener Historical Museum and The Bray House in one visit!
It was founded in 2020 after they purchased the historic home where the museum stands today. You can explore the history of Gardner and Kansas in each room. They usually have one primary exhibit and then secondary exhibits for you to explore as well.
** National Silk Art Museum (Free Entry 4/4/2020)
423 Main St. | Weston, MO 64098
There are TONS of different silk art exhibits for you to explore within the museum. It opens at 11:30 am each day for you to check out the 500+ artworks from English & French artists.
Most works are from the 15th century to 20th century, so there is a wide variety of artist types. It is known as one of the most extensive collections of silk tapestries and textiles in the world (according to their websites, so check it out).
** Battle of Lexington State Historic Site (Free Entry 4/4/2020)
1101 Delaware St. | Lexington, MO 64067
This state historic state became famous after the Civil War battle in 1861. You can even walk through the house to see bullet holes from the Battle of Lexington! Be sure to stop by the visitors center to get a full look of the site, including the gardens & orchards, battlefield & more.
** Constitution Hall State Historic Site (Free Entry 4/4/2020)
319 Elmore | Lecompton, KS 66050
This museum exhibit is about antislavery and the protests during the 1850’s. You can explore exhibits, as well as programs & special events.
10 Richards Rd #110 | Kansas City, MO 64116
The mission of the TWA Museum is to provide information to the public emphasizing the story, history and importance of the major role TWA played in pioneering commercial aviation. From the birth of airmail to the inception of passenger air travel, to the post-WWII era of global route expansion, TWA led the way for 75 years.
Other Fun Online Resources & Activities:
- The Best Subscription Boxes for Kids – cooking, art, science, sports & more.
- Best Homeschool Programs & Curriculum (most online)
- Free Disney Imagineering Course for Kids – Build your own theme park!
- Library programs for families – all free!
- Free Educational Websites for Kids to practice STEM concepts. You can find educational companies here too.
Quick reminder to always check ahead of time for hours, pricing and any FAQ’s you may have.
I hope you found this guide helpful when planning your next family outing!
For more educational things to do in Kansas City, sign-up for The Scoop. You’ll get everything Kansas City kids sent straight to you!
From our family to yours, iFamilyKC.