Since we moved from Kansas City, Missouri to Northwest Arkansas, I’ve missed the obvious things, like my parents living a few miles away and the not-so-obvious things like the occasional shopping trip to Trader Joe’s.
It’s interesting to get an outside perspective of the city I grew up in. For us, the biggest attractions in KC are friends and family, but I’ve had several people ask me about things to do in Kansas City.
Spring break is coming up in mid-March so I’m tentatively planning a trip back home. Today I bring you my favorite family-friendly activities in the land of fountains, barbecue and Chiefs football.
Downtown KC Adventure
My girls are 4 and 2-years-old, so taking them on city excursions can seem daunting, but downtown Kansas City has a lot to offer young families.
Historic City Market
The City Market is open Saturdays and Sundays year round. You can browse the stalls for fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. This is a great place to people-watch and enjoy one-of-a-kind dining experiences at the many restaurants. My favorite morning treat is sitting outside of Beignet and savoring the sweet powdered sugar goodness of one of their signature french doughnuts.
Taking a ride on the KC Streetcar is free, fun and it takes you all the way from the City Market to my favorite building in Kansas City, Union Station.
Union Station is an active Amtrak train station. It is also home to Science City, a Planetarium, Extreme Screen, rotating exhibits like “Dinosaurs Revealed” and restaurants. Most of all I love the architecture of this historic building. It’s a great place to take a family photo!
Union Station and Crown Center are connected with a sky walk. Crown Center is home to unique restaurants and shops. My girls like going to Fritz Railroad Restaurant because their food is delivered by toy train. It’s really fun. Outside Crown Center you will see fantastic fountain displays. Check the calendar of events, because there are often events held in the pavilion.
Kansas City Barbecue
Kansas City is known for barbecue and everyone has their favorite. If you want to stay in the downtown area, I’d suggest eating at Jack Stack Barbecue in the Freight House district and buying a bottle or two of their signature barbecue sauces as a tasty souvenir.
Kansas City Zoo
The Kansas City Zoo is open year-round. It’s located in Swope Park which is a 15 minute drive from downtown. You could easily spend a day seeing all of your favorite animals. Our girls love the polar bears, penguins, tigers, giraffes and elephants. We also like riding on the carousel and taking the tram, so I suggest splurging on a pass that includes rides.
Country Club Plaza
Visiting the Country Club Plaza with it’s Spanish architecture, fountains, and high-end retail shopping feels like a special treat. For a family dinner on the town, I’d suggest Bo Ling’s, Brio Tuscan Grille, Buca de Beppo, or the Cheesecake Factory.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is located near the Plaza. The museum is free (although you may have to pay for parking) and often hosts family-friendly events. My girls enjoy the Sculpture Park on sunny days.
Loose Park is one of our favorite parks in Kansas City. It is located near the Plaza and has a great playground, rose garden and a beautiful pond. The homes that surround the park exude historic charm.
If historic charm is your thing, head 5 minutes down the road to Brookside. I suggest trying out local coffee favorite, The Roasterie Cafe before browsing the neighborhood’s shops.
And wait, there is so much more…
Our spring break is mid-March, but there are a few extra events taking place this spring that I MUST share.
- Kansas City Royals Baseball opening day is March 28
- It’s March Madness! Kansas City hosts college NCAA basketball tournament March 29-31
- Deanna Rose Farmstead opens for the season, April 1. It’s located in Overland Park, KS (a suburb of KC). Honestly, I could write a whole other post on things to do near OP!
I hope this gives you a lot of great ideas for fun family adventures in Kansas City, Missouri… my beloved hometown! I’d love to hear what you think of my list.
Happy Travels – Kelly