3 Kid-Friendly Museums in Kansas City
The Nelson Atkins Art Museum
Sometimes referred to as the “Jewel of the Midwest” or the “City of Fountains,” Kansas City, Missouri is a great destination for families. This city is unique in that it sits right on the border of two states, Kansas and Missouri with the Missouri River running through them. With dozens of museums, public parks, and over 200 fountains to explore, you’ll find something to entice every person in your family. On a recent trip to Kansas City, to visit relatives, we explored the three museums listed below. Our stay was short and we couldn’t squeeze more in, but there will be plenty more to choose from when we visit again. Take a look at what we loved about our visit and have fun exploring Kansas City on your own.
Located in Union Station, this is a fun spot to spend half a day. For starters, Union Station is a beautiful turn-of-the-century train depot with ornate architecture and today houses a few points of interest, including restaurants and Science City. Science City is a three-story hands-on Science extravaganza. The old adage, “Look with your eyes, but don’t touch” does not apply here! Kids are encouraged to touch, climb, pull, pedal, experiment, and explore every square inch. We spent about three hours doing just that and probably could have even spent more time. It’s great to see kids get excited about Science and for their curiosity to get piqued about how things work.
Ticket Prices: $13.50 (adults) $11.50 (kids)
Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (closed Mondays)
Be sure and check Science City’s website for current information.
National Toy & Miniature Museum
Located on the grounds of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Campus, the National Toy & Miniature Museum was a great find for a brief visit one afternoon. We have visited a few toy museums over the years, but this one completely took us by surprise. The miniature collection is quite impressive. We spent most of our visit in this down-stairs section of the museum. We had so much fun wandering through with magnifying glasses in hand and admiring the detail on each piece of miniature furniture, china, and other details. Upstairs, there is a huge collection of toys from by-gone eras. Beginning in the 1700’s all the way up to semi-modern times, it was fun to see how toys have evolved over the years.
Ticket Prices: $5.00 (kids 4 and under are free)
Opening Hours: 10am – 4pm (closed Tuesdays)
Be sure and check the National Toy & Miniature Museum’s website for current information.
The Nelson-Atkins Art Museum
While the two previous museums mentioned are geared for children, this one is not. I do, however, believe that visiting art museums is important for children. Being exposed to the art itself, the environment of an art museum and the rubbing shoulders with others who have an appreciation for what the world considers treasure, does great things for kids. What I love about art museums is that each person in your family can appreciate what they see at their own level. The art enthusiast or historian may connect with pieces on a completely different level than a 10 year old that just simply likes the way something looks, but each are enjoying just the same. The Nelson-Atkins has a large contemporary art section (which is really fun for kids), a European section and also a section for antiquities including an Egyptian mummy. Stop by the visitor’s desk to pick up a Family Gallery Guide and scavenger hunt. And don’t miss the expansive outdoor grounds, sculpture garden and glass labyrinth.
Ticket Prices: FREE (parking garage is $8 per car, or find free parking on the street)
Opening Hours: 10am – closing time varies by day (closed Mondays and Tuesdays)
Be sure and check the Nelson-Atkin’s website for current information.
We just cracked the tip of the iceberg. With an aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center, Money Museum, zoo, and more, Kansas City has so much to choose from. Check this website for a more complete list of options for families. Visit KC.
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