33+ Best Fun or Free Things to Do in Kansas City with Kids
Looking for the best fun or free things to do in Kansas City with kids? Then look no further!
Whether you live in the KC metro or are planning a weekend trip to Kansas City, there are TONS of activities & attractions in Kansas City for families.
Best of all, the KC streetcar offers free ride services between Union Station & the KC River Market, so you can park once and experience it all!
33 Fun Things to do in Kansas City with Kids
Take a look at this list of attractions in Kansas City for families and start planning your family time! Your schedule will be filled with fun things to do 😊
Explore Kansas City museums, walk the Country Club Plaza, or soak in the history of Kansas City! Kansas City has fun activities for all ages.
Free Things to Do in Kansas City
This is a free streetcar that will take you from Union Station Kansas City to the River Market (& anywhere in between!)
If you are looking to explore downtown KC without the hassle of traffic, this is for you. You can hop on & off at many different stops throughout our vibrant downtown. It makes it easy to explore with kids…
The museum is a fantastic free thing to do with kids. Your family can explore the many exhibits & wide variety of artists featured. There is also a large walking trail around the museum with outdoor sculptures & artwork.
Hours – Wed: 10 am – 5 pm
Thurs – Fri: 10 am – 9 pm
Sat – Sun: 10 am – 5 pm
Mon – Tues: CLOSED
Ages – Good for all ages
Located near downtown Kansas City, Mo, this interactive museum is great full of information on the Federal Reserve. Museum goers can learn about money and how it is processed, made and its value! If your children love to learn, this is a unique & fun thing to do with kids…
Hours – Monday- Friday 9:30am- 4pm
Ages – Enjoyed by school ages and up( non school ages welcome)
Price Point – FREE
Check out our Museum Guide for a list of the Best Kansas City Museums.
Kaleidoscope is a Kansas City favorite! Kaleidoscope is one of many free thing to do in Kansas City. The creation center offers children the opportunity to create, explore, and design works of art using leftover materials from Hallmark. It’s a fun place to let your child’s creativity and imagination shine and has offered our family countless hours of fun over the last few years. Be sure to check their schedule online as they do fill up and space is limited.Creative Things to do in Kansas City with Kids
Hours – Open Monday thru Saturday, Admission subject to availability
Ages – Great for kids of all ages. Primary school aged children will love this!
Price Point – Free
Pro Tip – Kaleidoscope accepts group visits, plan a trip with your friends and family
This museum is a great educational thing to do with kids. Explore art with your children & get your creative juices flowing. Each year, Kemper Museum curates 8-12 exhibits. Check online to find current & future exhibits.
Hours – Tues–Wed 10–4, Thurs–Fri 10–9, Sat–Sun 10–4. Closed on Mondays.
Ages – This attraction is great for families of all ages
Price Point – Free admission AND parking
Pro Tip – The museum hosts many kids activities throughout the year – check the schedule.
If your family likes art, music, & food this is the place to be. You can find all kinds of fun activities, events, & concerts to enjoy. The entire city shows up in the Crossroads Art district to enjoy food & fun at this Kansas City staple event. There is literally everything here, so your entire family can find something fun to enjoy. 🙂
Pro tip – Every other First Friday, the downtown library hosts activities for the whole family including snacks, music and exhibits.
You have 2 options for free things to do with The Roasterie.
If you are on the Kansas side, the Lenexa Roasterie Cafe will hold free events on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. The Lenexa Public Market will host the events at 6 pm each month. You can RSVP online.
Or you can tour the Roasterie & take part in a private coffee sampling for a fee.
> Walk Around Shoal Creek Living History Museum
You can walk around the living history museum free of charge, except during special events. During special events, they ask for admission fees as donations.
If you’re looking for free things to do in our area, you can spend all afternoon here! There are 21 buildings to see (buildings are only open during events)
Looking for a great place to get active? This is one of our favorite places to hike and. It has a lot of fun attractions for the kids including the cascades, cave, & chimney ruins. Plus, it’s one of the free things to do in Kansas City with your kiddos.
There is no shortage of things to do or explore at Cave Springs, so your day will be filled with outdoor adventure.
This is a GREAT free thing to do with the family. There are tons of vendors & the market is open year-round. During warmer months, there are huge farmer’s markets on the weekends. Don’t miss out on this unique Kansas City attraction!
You can also walked along the river the Riverfront Park.
Pro tip – Try to visit the River Market during the week for even cheaper produce!
There are tons of places to camp near Kansas City! If your family loves spending time outdoors, there are many fun parks & campgrounds for you to explore.
If you love to fish, you can also check out the Best Fishing Spots in KC…many of them offer camping too!
Price Point – many of the camping spots are free, but some charge a small fee to stay overnight
Kansas City has so many fun things to do, but what better than exploring nature?
Whether you want to find a huge playground for the kids, or a large open space to enjoy the afternoon. Our list of Kansas City parks & trails has the perfect place for you.
- Jacob L. Loose Park is located in downtown Kansas City – filled with tons of open space to play. Explore the full guide to Loose Park before you go!
- Meadowbrook Park is a brand new playground & park in Prairie Village, KS. Check out all the details now!
- Penguin Park
- Swope Park
- Antioch Park
- Frontier Park
- Waterfall Park
- Lowenstein Park
- Harris Park and MANY, MANY MORE!
Pro-tip: Loose Park is definitely one of our family favorites & a classic Kansas City park. If you are looking for a full day of playtime, head to Meadowbrook Park! There are SO many kids activities there.
With all the beautiful nature areas around town, there are lots of great picnic spots!
Grab your family and enjoy a picnic lunch. There are places downtown, parks, trails & some classic KC places.
Price point – just the cost of the food!
Fun Things to do in Kansas City & Attractions for Families:
Explore the River Market in downtown Kansas City, or venture off to a smaller market around town…
There are so many outdoor markets open on the weekends, so be sure to stop by for some Midwestern hospitality!
Pro-tip: Go to Farmhouse for breakfast or brunch before you hit the River Market…there may be a line if you don’t get there early enough, but it’s definitely worth the wait…
This fun Kansas City attraction is home to a large variety of animals & the first all-inclusive play area in an American zoo. Come say hi to the monkeys, ride the African Sky safari, or one of the other fun rides at the zoo. They have tons of special animal experiences like the Penguin Encounters & Twilight Tours, as well as daily activities like zookeeper chats and animal shows.
Hours – Open year-round, every day. Weekdays 9:30am – 4pm, Weekends 9:30am – 5pm
Prices – Starting at $13 for kids & $16 for adults
If your family loves animals and the outdoors, there are tons of fun things to do inside the Farmstead. Children can fish, ride horses, play on playgrounds, feed the animals like baby goats & explore the many different exhibits! Explore all the attractions for kids.
The farmstead opens April 1st, 2020. You can visit during the holidays for their Holiday Lights on Farmstead Lane too.
Ages – Fun attraction for all ages
Price – Admission is $3, ages 2 and under are free.
Pro-tip – Bring a sack lunch so you can play all day.
Arguably one of the BEST & most fun things to do in Kansas City…of all time.
Enjoy a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium with the family! The laid back environment is a great way to enjoy Kansas City & be surrounded by a sea of blue. Check the website for the full Royals Schedule & game times.
Ages – Good for all ages
Price – Ticket prices vary by game & seat location, but can find tickets for $18.
Pro-tip – Hour long tours of Kauffman Stadium are available. See the dugout, Hall of Fame, press box, & other fun parts baseball in Kansas City.
Science City is easily one of the top attractions in Kansas City for families & kids. Each of Science City‘s three stories offers fun, exploration, and education for children (and adults) of all ages. Your family will have the opportunity to learn about alternative energy sources, take a ride on a bicycle suspended on a wire, dig for “fossils”, test their strength with the giant lever, explore the universe, and more during your visit.
Hours – Tuesday thru Saturday 10 am- 5 pm, Sunday Noon-5 pm
Ages – This activity is great for school aged children
Price Point – $13.25 (ages 3-12 & adults)
Pro Tip – Reserve a spot in the test kitchen to give your kids the chance to learn the chemistry in the foods they eat.
> Laser Light Shows at Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium
Located on the bottom floor of Union Station (near the exhibit hall), the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium is an incredible resource to discover the joys of astronomy. Take a guided star tour or explore space through one of the fun movies.
Laser light shows are also popular at the planetarium. The list of all available music light shows & presentations can be found on their website. You definitely do not want to miss this.
Hours – Varies By Show (Shows Run Daily)
Ages – Varies By Show
Price Point – $7 per person (members get in free!)
Pro Tip – Get there early, they have two very comfortable cushions that are ideal for your stargazing adventure!
If you have older children, The Plaza is one of the unique things to do in Kansas City. The area is filled with shopping, restaurants & fountains. You will feel transported to Europe with the fountains and sculptures throughout The Plaza!
There is also a small river to the South where you can sometimes ride boats – depending on the time of year.
Hours – Your family can walk around whenever. Most shopping/eating is open from 9 am to 8 pm.
Ages – Great for older children and adults
Price Point – Free to walk around AND park, but if you eat or shop that costs.
Pro Tip – Be sure to check out the JC Nichols Memorial Fountain across the street at Mill Creek Park – great for taking family photos!
Whether your family likes concerts or theater, this is a great attraction in Kansas City for families. Starlight outdoor theater is Kansas City’s home for the best concerts, theater performances, & Broadway shows.
Sit on the lawn & enjoy the show or watch from seats you choose (closer to the stage). There are great shows throughout the year, so check out their full events calendar to plan your family day.
Ages – Great for all ages, depending on show. Some are geared towards adults & others are great for children!
Price – varies by show, tickets as low as $14. `
There is a wide variety of shows, orchestras & movies played at the center. Check their website complete show schedules & descriptions. This is definitely a must do Kansas City attraction. Whether you want to go on a date or take the kids to the show, there are great options.
Pro Tip – Start your day at River Market and take the Streetcar to Power & Light to avoid congested traffic.
Mesner Puppet Theater is a non-profit professional puppet theater is located in the downtown area at 31st & Troost and aims to stir creative imagination through classic, folk, and contemporary plays for children and adults. These exciting performances are so unique and fun. Their list of upcoming performances is available on their website and extends into next year. The engaging shows provide fun & cheap things to do in Kansas City with kids.
Hours – Varies by show
Ages – Good for all ages
Ticket Prices – Starting at $7, but vary by show
Pro Tip – Season tickets provide the best value. Grab 10 tickets for just $80 (also good for special engagements)
> Zip KC
There are great things to do in Kansas City to get your family active. The Tower Tour is over 1 mile long of 5 lines running tower to tower and reaching speeds up to 50 mph! Fly through the trees of KC & see the outdoors in a way like never before. Experience their breath taking zero gravity line which features a 12 ft free fall before the zip line swoops you up like a roller coaster to end your adventure.
Hours – Vary by time of day & season. Check website for tour details.
Ages – This attraction is great for kids, but not ideal with toddlers or infants.
Price Point – Starting at $60
What better thing to do than ride roller coasters & tummy turning rides? Every kids loves a fun amusement park, and Kansas City has just that. Worlds of Fun offers tons of fun rides, water activities, games, delicious food, & more.
Hours – Open seasonally, check website for updated hours.
Price Point – Start at $40
Pro Tip – Make sure to visit the park if you find yourself in KC during Halloween time. The entire park fills with clouds of fog to enjoy the Halloween parade. It is sure to be spooky fun. 😉 (This is one of our favorite things to do in Kansas City during Halloween)
There are tons of shops in Crown Center as well as a The Crayola Store, The Coterie Theatre, Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant (where you can have your food delivered by train), a movie theater, chocolate shop, & other fun things to do with kids. You can also explore Sea Life, Legoland & Kaleidoscope (free creative activities sponsored by Hallmark).
Your family could spend all day here exploring.
Ages – Good for all ages
Price – Varies by activity.
Pro-tip – If you visit in the winter, be sure to go ice skating on the Crown Center Ice Terrace – outdoor ice skating! If you’re looking for cheap things to do in Kansas City with children, Kaleidoscope is perfect…
Sea Life Kansas City is a fun, interactive experience for children and adults who appreciate the creatures that live in the sea. During your visit, your family will have the opportunity to get their hands on critters, learn about fascinating sea life, and enjoy the fun of hands on exhibits.
Located next door to Sea Life at Crown Center, Legoland Discovery Center is a fun place for the kids. From 4D animated movie adventures on the big screen to the rides, play area, and legos everywhere this attraction has something for everyone.
Hours – Sunday thru Thursday 10am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm
Ages – This attraction is great for kids of all ages (your little ones will love it!)
Price Point – Starting at $15 per person
Pro Tip – The attraction stays open two hours after the last admission so don’t worry if you don’t arrive until 4pm on a Thursday, you’ll still have time to get it all in!
Looking for unique things to do in Kansas City? Martin City Melodrama has served the Kansas City community for 31 seasons. In addition to their fun line up of family friendly shows, they also offer Kids Komedy camps and other great activities for children who are interested in performing arts. If your family loves theater things to do, this is for you! Show times vary, so check online.
Ages – Fun For All Ages
Price Point – Around $13 per person
Pro Tip – Reservations are essential, space fills up quickly!
Best Museums & Educational Things to Do in Kansas City
If you’re looking for educational things to do, read below or explore our guide to the Best Museums in Kansas City…
Easily one of our favorite spots in downtown Kansas City is the National World War I Museum. The museum offers incredible insight to one of history’s most critical times and the most incredible views atop Liberty Memorial. During your visit, you’ll see real life artifacts from the era, learn about our nation’s (late) role in the war, and the impact it had on the world as a whole.
Admission includes a two day ticket so you can take in both the educational experience inside the museum as well as the stunning views at the memorial back to back during your visit. The museum provides educational things to do in Kansas City with kids, so be sure to support this great organization. You can also climb to the top of the tower with your admission!
Hours – Tuesday thru Sunday 10am-5pm (check the website for extended summer hours)
Ages – Best for older children and adults
Price Point – $16 and under (varies by age)
Pro Tip – Hands On History (where you can see touch real artifacts from Word War I) sessions are included free with admission on select Saturdays.
You can also climb the Memorial Tower Free with your admission – one of the most fun things to do. Maybe even pack a picnic to eat on the front lawn? There are amazing views of KC.
Union Station offers many fun things to do in Kansas City with kids. Their hands on exhibits bring a new and interesting to the experience with each visit. Multiple exhibits give your family hours of things to do inside Union Station. There is also the Reigner Extreme Screen Theatre, where you can watch new movies on an EXTREME screen!
Hours – Monday thru Thursday 10am-5pm, Friday and Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday Noon-5pm
Ages – This activity is great for older children and adults
Price Point – Around $20 per person
Pro Tip – Union Station members receive a hefty discount on exhibits. Take advantage of the perks!
Located in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District, this museum is perfect for the history and music lover in your family! With exhibits in music, art and photography, the American Jazz Museum is full of history through interactive exhibits and films. The American Jazz Museum is one of the best things to do in Kansas City!
Hours – Monday- Thursday 9am- 6pm and Sunday 12pm- 6pm
Ages – Enjoyable for all ages
Price Point – Adults $10, Senior $9, Youth (5-12) $6, 4 and under FREE
Located next to the Jazz Museum, the Negro League Baseball Museum is equally as historic! Museum goers can dive into the full history of the legendary Kansas City Monarchs. This self guided museum has several film exhibits, artifacts, photographs and more.
Hours – Tuesday- Saturday 9am- 6pm and Sunday 12pm- 6pm
Ages – Enjoyable for all ages
Price Point – Adults $10, Senior $9, Youth (5-12) $6 Contact 816-221-1920 for group rates and combo tickets for the NLBM and AJM.
Located in the ever popular KC River Market, this guided tour museum showcases artifacts from the great steamboat that sank near Kansas City in 1856. We definitely recommend this attraction for families.
Hours – Monday- Saturday 10am- 5pm and Sunday 12pm- 5pm (tours run every 30 minutes)
Ages – All ages welcome
Price Point – Seniors $13.50, Adults $14.50, Youth (4-14) $5.50, 3 and under FREE
One of the most fun museums for kids, The College Basketball Experience at Sprint Center lets you step inside basketball for hours of fun and activity. CBE offers more than 41,000 square feet of highly interactive, fun exhibits for guests to learn about the incredible contributions made in men’s collegiate basketball. Exhibits include the opportunity to participate in game-like situations and announcing at the ESPNU broadcast desk.
Hours – Summer hours Monday thru Saturday 10 am -6 pm, Sunday 11 am-6 pm
Ages – Great for older children and adults
Price Point – Youth $12, Adults $15.
Pro Tip – Save $2 with their ad! …& be sure to wear comfortable shoes so that you can take advantage of all the fun at CBE
Hours – Varies By Season, so check online. The summer hours – through October 31st – are below.
- Monday – Saturday: 9 am to 5 pm
- Sunday: 1 to 5 pm **Closed Sundays from June 1 – August 31
Ages – Great for all ages
Price Point – $7 per person (members get in free!)
Visit the home of Harry S. Truman – our 33rd President of the United States. You can take a guided tour to learn a more details about the family. Plus, there are over 50,000 artifacts being preserved by the organization. This is located in Independence, MO. Call (816)254-9929 to see how many tickets are left for the day, first come first served.
If your children like history, this is a great attraction in Kansas City!
Hours – tours run at 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, & 4 pm.
Price Point – No charge for the tour, but you must get tickets at the visitors center.
Whether you’re visiting the area for a few days or you live close by, there are so many fun, free, & fantastic attractions in Kansas City for families.
From our family to yours, iFamilyKC.