Kansas City is a great city for a quick 3 day trip with the family. There is so much to see and do, and you will not be bored. Check out this post for some of my favorite picks as a Kansas City native! There are lists of things to do in Kansas City with kids that will have you guys busy during the vacation.
I'm sharing with you a three day weekend trip in Kansas City for families with kids. Kansas City is a trending vacation destination, especially for families with little kids under ten years old!
Things to Do in Kansas City with Kids - Itinerary During Spring and Summer
Day 1 Itinerary: Exploring Kansas City's Westport and Plaza Areas
The Westport and Plaza areas are less than a mile from each other, so that's why I grouped these two areas close to each other.
Breakfast: I would start in Westport and have breakfast at Donutology - you can make your own donuts and grab a coffee or a smoothie to start your day. If you wanted a heavier breakfast, I would highly recommend Port Fonda. It's freaking DELICIOUS Mexican food.
Plaza Shopping: I literally would spend the day just exploring the Plaza and do some shopping. There is literally something for everyone. The goal here is to take in the amazing architecture that you are surrounded by.
On the weekends, sometimes, there are musicians playing in the street. There's a creek that runs parallel to the plaza that has a concrete path that you can walk on. There is also a bridge that is sometimes decorated with flags or lights that goes over the creek.
Snack: Grab some sushi at Kona Grill. If you have kids with you, make sure you avoid most nights after 8pm because that's when the younger crowd comes out.
Museums: There is the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art that are just a short distance away that you can visit as well. If you have kids under five, I wouldn't recommend either of them. However, I would recommend for that age range to go out on the yard of the Nelson-Atkins and play near the mirror pond and the glass maze.
You'll find that a lot of newly married couples take their wedding photos there if you go on a Saturday.
Dinner: There are so many great places in the Plaza to eat, but with kids, you'll probably want to avoid the high-end dining options. However, I will recommend two places nearby the Plaza: Go Chicken Go and Gates BBQ.
Go Chicken Go is greasy, but delicious fried chicken. It is pretty much like eating a stick of butter. Gizzards there all the way.
Gates BBQ is barbeque with a slight kick. Be forewarned, the servers are intentionally not friendly. You need to know what you want to eat, so make sure you look at the menu before you come in. Or, you'll be yelled at.
Date Night: Grab a show at the Kauffman Center of Performing Arts if you are able to match your schedule. It is fairly new and a beautiful venue for shows. You can also go downtown in the Kansas City Power & Light District, but I wouldn't recommend going there with kids at night because it's a party scene past 7pm.
That's Day 1's schedule of things to do in Kansas City with kids!
Day 2 Itinerary: Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun
Let me just put it out there: don't expect any service like Disney World or Disneyland when you go to Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun. With those expectations set low, you should have an amazing time.
For the price of one ticket, you get entry to both attractions (which used to not be the case a decade ago).
I would recommend eating breakfast before you get there. As for tickets, if you go to a grocery store like Price Chopper, SOMETIMES, they'll have discounts. A few years back, I remember them having discounts marked on Coke and Pepsi cans.
Before you go into the park, go to guest services and have your kids height checked so they can get height bands so that you can skip the measuring stick measurement on all of the rides.
As far as the Fast Lane passes that Worlds of Fun has to purchase, if you are going on a Saturday or Sunday, I would recommend purchasing them for the sake of not having to wait in line. If you are going Monday through Thursday, you definitely do not need them.
Worlds of Fun: I would recommend starting your loop going LEFT, and starting at the Viking Voyager ride. That is the oldest ride in the park. For our family, we have a tradition of riding it first and last each time we go to the park.
I've written a few other awesome tips and hacks on making the most of Worlds of Fun that you should definitely read in addendum to what I just mentioned.
During the winter, they have what's known as Winterfest and I wrote a review all about that here.
Oceans of Fun: Oceans of Fun is amazing in that they have zones for kids of all ages. There are more than 4 places within Oceans of Fun that your toddler under 2 can go safely! They've recently added a splash zone that is tucked away that is awesome for little toddlers.
I would recommend starting at Oceans of Fun if the weather is hot, and then ending at Worlds of Fun so that you are DRY on your way home.
Dinner at Strouds in North Kansas City: If the kids are up to it (I know they can get exhausted), I would highly recommend eating at Stroud's. Again, it's fried chicken. They are known for their friend chicken, but I personally think their sides are TO.DIE.FOR. They are freaking delicious.
If you get there late, chances are, you may have to wait a while, especially if it's a weekend. From Worlds of Fun, it's about a 15 minute drive.
Day 3 Itinerary: Union Station, Liberty Memorial and Crown Center
On Day 3 of exploring Kansas City, you'll be headed close to downtown.
Harvey's is right inside of Union Station if you wanted a sit down breakfast. Parisi coffee is like a corner coffee stand that you can get grab and go breakfast items if you wanted something a little quicker.
Exploring Union Station
Union Station is an old train depot that still works to this day. The architecture in there is beautiful.
If you are lucky enough to come during a free exhibit, you'll get to experience what Union Station has to offer in terms of holding large events (for example, we went one time when they had a STEM event for kids of all ages).
Check out the little train areas and take the elevators upstairs so you can get another view of the station!
Make sure you also get a photo underneath the clock.
Science City Inside Union Station
This place is AMAZING for fostering the love of STEM. You could spend 3 hours here if you aren't careful. Check out the outdoor section as well, they have zip lines and large climbing attractions that are safety guarded with netting.
Liberty Memorial is a World War I museum that you can go and learn so much history. There's a memorial that you can visit. There is a large tower that you can also take an elevator and climb to see the city.
You can't do this at night unless you are with a private party that is holding an event there (if you were thinking about doing that).
The view of the city cannot be beat in this area. If you bring your kids, DO NOT let them climb on the cement structures - security will yell at you from unseen speakers hidden in bushes that you didn't even notice.
If you wanted to, you could pack a lunch and a blanket and just have lunch on the memorial lawn.
Crown Center is a shopping complex that has all sorts of nooks and crannies you can explore. They'll often have exhibits set up depending on the season. It's just great to walk around, sneak a peek at the fudge shop, and check out all of the different shopping boutiques that you won't find anywhere else.
Lunch at Crown Center
Let's say you didn't want to do a picnic lunch.
You could take the family to Fritz's, which is known for it's trains that deliver your food to your table! I must be real though - the food isn't that great, you are there for the EXPERIENCE.
Now, if you wanted good food, inside of Crown Center there is unForked. They source natural ingredients from local farmers - and preach about honest, clean food. And they are legit DELICIOUS.
Kaleidoscope is a free art activity center run by none other than Hallmark. It is a 30 minute art session that is scheduled at certain times during the day. Make sure you look at the calendar before you plan on doing this!
They've got art supplies and everything you can think of. Check out my review and tour of Hallmark's Kaleidoscope here.
Sea Life and Legoland
Sea Life and Legoland are pretty much next door to each other. I would spend about 2-3 hours in each of these attractions. I would NOT buy tickets at the door. If you scrounge around, you'll be able to buy tickets on the cheap online somewhere. Seriously, save some dough here.
Dinner at Kansas City Joe's
This barbeque joint used to be called Oklahoma Joe's, but they changed it because they wanted to represent our little local area. This is the barbeque restaurant that's in a gas station. It is MY FAVORITE barbeque places. I absolutely love their Z-Man, which has a fried onion ring inside of a brisket sandwich. It is just DELICIOUS.
Things to Do in Kansas City with Kids Vacation Itinerary
I hope you found this itinerary useful. There are SO MANY other things to do as well, so if you stayed an extra few days, I am SURE I could fill up that itinerary as well (maybe I'll save that for a later post).
I hope you found this guide on a quick 3 day weekend trip and the list of things to do for kids in Kansas City helpful! Leave a comment below and check out my other attractions around Kansas City here.
Kansas City Trip Ideas
If you loved this review of Hallmark Kaleidoscope for kids, check out the following posts about Kansas City:
- Fun Things to Do in Kansas City with Kids
- Toddler Activities in Kansas City
- Great Wolf Lodge Kansas City Reviews
- Pogo Pass Kansas City
- Midwest Family Vacations
- Legoland in Kansas City
- Worlds of Fun Preparation Tips
- Worlds of Fun Winterfest Review
- Using Pogo Pass in Kansas City
- Weekend in Kansas City Itinerary with Kids
- Antioch Park Dodge Town
- Pumpkin Patches in Kansas City for Fall Activities
- Sea Life Review Kansas City
- Hallmark Kaleidoscope in Kansas City and Review of Kansas City Kaleidoscope
- Kauffman Stadium Field Trip