29 Best Museums in Kansas City: Famous Spots to Visit

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

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…

FREE Museum Day is September 18th, 2021

On September 18th, 2021 you can visit museums in Kansas City for FREE!

There is not updated information on participating museums yet, but we will keep the info updated as it is released.

National World War 1 Museum

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.

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

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!

Kansas City Museum

** Currently closed with plans to re-open fall of 2021.

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

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.

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

** Now CLOSED to the public with plans to reopen in the fall of 2021.

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

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.

Negro League Baseball Museum

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.

Arabia Steamboat Museum

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.

Union Station

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.

Wonderscope Children’s Museum

433 E Red Bridge Road | Kansas City, MO 64131

Wonderscope features fun, interactive exhibits and programs for kids to enjoy year round. There’s 30,00 square feet to explore!

This activity participates in The POGO Pass Kansas City – 16 kids activities for less than $40! Purchase a POGO Pass for ONLY $39.95 with code ifamilykcThis is a steal. 

National Airline History Museum

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

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!

Kansas City Garment District Museum

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.

Shoal Creek Living History Museum

** No mention of 2021 on website.

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.

Leila’s Hair Museum

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

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.

Johnson County Museum

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 Arts Center

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.

American Royal Museum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

TWA Museum

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:

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!

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From our family to yours, iFamilyKC.


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