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26 Family Staycation Activities in Kansas City (Family-Friendly Spots)

If you want to get away from the suburbs, or if you’re looking for a cheap alternative to family vacation…staycations are perfect!

A fun staycation in downtown KC is just what your family needs. 

So, spend a few days exploring some of the incredible opportunities available to your family in the heart of the metro area: Downtown Kansas City.

Kansas City Staycation Guide

26 Staycation Spots in KC: Kansas City’s Downtown Staycation Guide

While many of us would love to get away for a few days of Spring Break, the time off from school seems shorter – Not to mention Spring Break travel gets expensive.

A few days off from school provides the ideal opportunity to take a (very) short road trip to downtown Kansas City to explore the sights and scenes of our city.

Fun Things to Do  |  Outdoor Activities  |  Unique Experiences  |  Educational Things to Do  |  Restaurants

Extra Tips:

You can even book a hotel to make it feel a little more like a vacation! Also find things to do in KC, or Day Trips near KC for even more family fun. If you are looking to save $$, explore the Deals, Discount Codes & Money Saving Tips guide for KC. 

Plus, enjoy a family dinner on the CHEAP with these places kids eat free every night of the week in KC!

 

Fun Things to Do on Staycation in KC:

1. Crown Center

2450 Grand Boulevard Kansas City, MO

Crown Center is a staple of any KC experience. With exciting events and unique attractions the Center is full of locally owned shops and restaurants – a particular area that is a must during all season, but especially in the warm weather months.

Savings Tip: Check out their website for FREE movies and music on the weekends this summer!

2. Science City

30 W Pershing Rd. Kansas City, MO

Located inside Union Station, Kids of all ages will experience the amazing world of science first-hand through fun and engaging exhibits and programs.

Savings Tip: Be sure to check the events calendar so that when you stop by Tuesday-Saturday 10 am – 5 pm or on Sundays 12 pm – 5 pm, you’ll get the most bang for your buck by attending the activities that most spark your interest.

Plus, Buy a POGO Pass for $40 & get access to this children’s museum included!

3. Art Golf Course at Nelson Atkins

4525 Oak St. Kansas City, MO

Every day except Tuesday your family can golf together on the front lawn of Nelson Atkins! Their Art Course is a fun, themed mini golf course that you can enjoy. 

Each hole of the mini golf course features different art pieces from the museum. You don’t want to miss this unique experience in Kansas City.

Savings Tip: Explore the Nelson Atkins Museum after…for free!

4. Kaleidoscope

2500 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO

Kaleidoscope is a place where children and their families are invited to be creative, have fun, and feel good about their own special ideas using Hallmark materials to design unique projects.

Check their online calendar for family art session availability.

Also, make sure stop by the Hallmark Visitor Center where you can see exhibits about the Hall Family and development of Hallmark Cards, as well as some of the past ornament collections and vintage cards.

Savings tip: This activity is FREE for families!

5. Explore City Market

20 E. 5th St. Suite 201, Kansas City, MO

Whether it is time to relax or time to engage all your senses and experience something old or new, the City Market area is the place to be all year round.

You can eat, pick up local produce, shop or experience a unique event – check out the calendar for things to do on your Staycation!

Savings Tip: Purchase yummy produce at the market, then head home to make lunch or dinner together. 

6. Cooking Classes Together

5336 151st St. Leawood, KS 66224

TasteBud’s Kitchen offers family cooking classes so you can make yummy treats together! There are many different classes available, so check their online schedule to find the perfect Staycation activity for you…

Whether you already know how to cook or you know nothing, their cooking classes are fun for families. 

7. Top Golf

10611 Nall Ave. Overland Park, KS 66207

Top Golf is a fun place to take the kiddos during your Staycation in Overland Park. Your family can practice their golf swing while enjoying yummy food & fun times. You’re sure to have a laugh together!

Their high-tech golfing keeps score, so your entire family can compete against each other. You rent space by the “bay” instead of by the person, so the more people you have the cheaper it will be!

Savings Tip: Bay reservations are cheapest in the mornings (before Noon). It can be as little as $4.50 per person!

8. Coterie Theater

2450 Grand Boulevard Kansas City, MO

This non-profit located inside Crown Center is dedicated to providing professional classical and contemporary theatre and serving the community with educational outreach about theatre.

Check their website or call 816-474-6552 for showtimes this Spring and Summer.

9. LegoLand Discovery Center & Sea Life

2475 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO

A fun Crown Center Attraction, LegoLand Discovery Center has more to offer than meets the eye. Crown Center is a hot spot for staycations – Sea Life also calls the Center home. Sea Life Aquarium has tons to do and tons to SEE!

From building and testing Lego racers to playing at the Train Station Adventure, your kids will be in Lego heaven – especially if you go during a special exhibit or themed week!
Hours:
Monday-Thursday 10am-4pm
Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 10am-5pm

Savings Tip: Take advantage of group discounts and combo rates!

 

Outdoor Activities in KC

10. Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

8909 W 179th St. Bucyrus, KS 66013

If your family loves to explore outdoors, the Overland Park Arboretum is a fun place for an adventure! 

Explore 300+ acres of nature with your family as you walk the pathways & trails that venture to different areas. There are 5 gardens within the arboretum, including a Children’s Discovery Garden & Train Garden. You can also enjoy bird watching, hiking, butterfly habitats, thousands of plants, limestone bluffs and a vast prairie. 

Children 6 to 12 years old are $1 & anyone older than 12 is $3.  Open 8 am to 5 pm each day. Closed on some holidays. 

Saving tips: Tuesdays are FREE admission, so it’s one of the great free things to do for your family. (Children under 6 free every day) Friends of the Arboretum members visit the Arboretum for free, any day.

11. Bike Around KC with RideKC Bike

Throughout downtown

RideKC Bike Program allows you to rent bikes throughout downtown KC, so you can explore by bike. 

You need to download the BCycle App in order to unlock the bikes when you want to use. You can also use the app to find bike stands around KC. 

Savings tip: Ride the first 30 minutes for free! All day for $7. 

12. Explore the Best Parks in KC

There are tons of parks in Kansas City great for families! Plus, there’s unique playgrounds to enjoy for free things to do.

If you need to get outdoors during your staycation, explore these KC parks & playgrounds

 

Unique Staycation Experiences:

13. Ride the Street Car!

Since all sixteen spots are located downtown, you can ride the free KC Street Car to avoid extra parking costs! This a fun way to see downtown with your family, while avoiding traffic headaches. 

It runs from Union Station to City Market, so you can intertwine some other fun stops along the way… Stop at the City Market, Science City or WW1 Museum!

Savings tip: This is free!

14. Escape with Your Family

408 E 18th St b, Kansas City, MO 64108

This unique escape room was designed with children in mind by Escape Artist KC. Children can even solve these puzzle rooms on their own!

Up to 6 people can participate in an escape room, so your whole family can do it together. 

Savings tip: Save 20% OFF with our exclusive coupon

15. First Fridays

Crossroads Arts District

The 1st Friday of each month The Crossroads Art District hosts “First Fridays”. Your family should plan a staycation on the 1st Friday so you can enjoy together – especially during the summer months!

Explore art galleries, local food trucks, shops, sidewalk sales, beautiful murals & more. You can ride the streetcar nearby, because parking can sometimes be challenging in the area. After (or before) you explore, head out to dinner at a yummy spot around the district – there’s tons!

16. KC BBQ Tours

If you can spend a little more money (or room in your tummy) try KC BBQ Tours! They have public tours and private tours to fit any budget or group size. 

It’s a unique experience in KC where you get to sample some of our city’s best spots offer. You get to explore 4 BBQ restaurants – one of the most staycation activities in KC!

17. Kansas City Ballet

Perform in different theaters

KCYB has multiple family-friendly performances coming this spring that your children would love!

So, take your family to see a show.

Savings tip:Take advantage of group ticket pricing and student discount rates.

 

Educational (& Fun) Things to Do on Your Staycation:

Museums & more

18. WWI Museum

2 Memorial Dr. Kansas City, MO

The Museum and Memorial is a place where your family can relive an influential time in history. The Museum has lots of different exhibits that are always changing and being updated, plus educational programming provided too.

Hours: 10am-5pm Tuesday-Sunday, Closed Mondays

Savings tip: The museum offers FREE Hands On History and Storytime At The Museum sessions.

19. Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

4525 Oak St. Kansas City, MO

Maybe Art is more your group’s thing. The Nelson-Atkins more than just a gallery. It is a location that hosts must-see exhibits, classes for kids & groups of all kinds, and family-friendly events.

Hours:
Wed: 10am-5pm
Thur: 10am-9pm
Fri: 10am-9pm
Sat: 10am-5pm
Sun: 10am-5pm
Mon-Tues: CLOSED

Savings tip: Admission to the museum is FREE.

20. Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

4420 Warwick Blvd. Kansas City, Missouri 64111

For a fun, free Staycation activity, check out the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Each year, up to 12 exhibits are on display at the museum, so you can visit multiple times and see different things! Explore the current exhibits online to get a taste of their current activities. 

The museum is closed on Mondays, but open at 10 am any other day. The close at different hours each day, so check online. 

21. National Toys & Miniatures Museum

5235 Oak St. Kansas City, MO

This destination makes our list because it’s actually one of the nation’s largest antique toy collections on public display.

The museum also hosts a variety of events for kids & families – this March, it’s all about marbles! You can also explore other fun workshops and new exhibits to enjoy. 

It’s closed on Tuesdays but open 10 am to 4 pm every other day of the week. 

22. Museum at Prairiefire

5801 W 135th St. Overland Park, KS 66223

If you’re looking for staycation ideas in Overland Park, the Museum at Prairiefire is a fun activity for kids. You can explore the natural history of the Midwest through science, activities & natural history exhibits.

There are full-size dinosaur bone exhibits & virtual reality experiences to discover places like Stonehenge. You can even explore space here!

23. Money Museum

1 Memorial Dr. Kansas City, MO

The Money Museum provides a walk-in experience filled with exhibits, a Cash Processing and Vault viewing area, and an our audio tour and iPad scavenger hunt are available for use.

Located inside the Crown Center District, it’s walking distance from the National WWI Museum at Liberty Memorial and Union Station. We think this spot is a great way for those of all ages to learn about the economy in a hands-on way!

Open weekdays from 9:30 am to 4 pm. Closed on the weekends. 

Savings tip: Admission is FREE!

24. Kansas City Jazz Museum & Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Grouped together because of their close proximity on 18th & Vine, both places are unique to Kansas City.

The Kansas City Jazz Museum has interactive exhibits that tell the history of America’s classical music. Visitors can listen to jazz performances and tour exhibits that tell the story of Jazz legends.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum visually displays the history of the Negro Leagues from start to finish, while also highlighting the cultural impact the League has on today’s sports. Additionally, visitors will learn about the Civil Rights movement through the context of sports.
Both spots are equally worthy of a vist – plus you’ll definitely walk away having learned something new.

25. College Basketball Experience

1401 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO

The College Basketball Experience is a world class entertainment facility connected to Sprint Center where visitors are invited to honor college basketball legends and learn about the history of the game.

Virtually every skill of the game has an activity station – rebounding, passing, three-point shooting, free throw shooting and more. From informational kiosks to full court-action, if you’re a sports-loving family, this spot could definitely fill an entire day.

Savings Tip: Check out the ticketing page online for group discounts and “day-trip” deals!

26. Visit the Downtown Library

14 W 10th St. Kansas City, MO

We know that for kids, the library isn’t always the first thing they want to do when you say “fun activity.”

However, at the Kansas City Public Library, there is always something going on – clubs, film screenings, special events, story time – you name it! Be sure to keep tabs on the event calendar!

Hours:
Mon-Wed 9:00am-9:00pm
Thu-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm
Sat 10:00am-5:00pm
Sun 1:00pm-5:00pm

Or, visit your local library! Check out our Library Programs Guide to find the best library programs in your area. 

 

Fun Restaurants for Your Staycation:

Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant

3 KC metro locations

Get your food delivered by a train at Frit’z Railroad Restaurant! The Crown Center restaurant is the perfect lunch or dinner spot after you explore downtown on your staycation. Plus, it’s near a lot of the fun attractions on our list…

They serve dinner food – burgers, sandwiches, fries, onion rings…it’s all yummy.

Stroud’s 

Oak Ridge Manor or Overland Park

If you love fried chicken, Stroud’s has to be on your list of Staycation restaurants to try…

There are 2 locations in KC, so no matter what part of town you’re in you can enjoy their yummy food. 

Opera House KC

500 Walnut Kansas City, MO 64106

For unique & yummy food, check out the Opera House KC. They serve breakfast, lunch & dinner with family-friendly options so everyone can find something they like. 

It’s near the City Market, so head out for a bite after you shop around!

Lulu’s Noodle Shop

2030 Central St, Kansas City, MO 64108

If you’re looking for Asian food to fill you up, don’t miss Lulu’s Noodle Shop! They’re located downtown, near Union Station, Crown Center & Science City, so if those staycation attractions are on your list, Lulu’s is just down the street!

They also have a 2nd location in Westwood, KS.

 

Bonus: Book a Hotel for an Added “Vaca” Feel

If you want to trick yourself into feeling like your’re on vacation…consider booking a hotel

There are lots of fun, affordable hotels in Kansas City!

 

Aside from all of these downtown destinations, the metro area is full of tons of other incredible activities to fill your time off.

Plus, there are fun Spring Break Camps to fill the rest of your family’s time off. 

As always, be sure you and your friends sign-up for The Scoop so you can receive our Weekend Planner each week, filled with things to do teach weekend, month and beyond. Never search for things to do or local deals again – we’ve done it all for you!

From our family to yours, iFamilyKC

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