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5 Reasons to Visit Kansas City With Your Family

by Silke Elzner

Kansas City is the perfect family destination, as there’s a lot to do and see in this buzzing city. Known as the Heart of America, Kansas City is the metropolitan destination that’s closest to the geographic center of the U.S. Home to hundreds of fountains and a vibrant jazz scene, Kansas City also has exciting family-friendly attractions and attractive boulevards.

Kansas City is also the birthplace of Walt Disney’s animation studio, Laugh-O-Gram, and children will find a lot of nods to this illustrious connection all around the city. Even today, it is known as a film city, having served as a backdrop for well-known productions such as “The Delinquents,” “The Day After”, and “Paper Moon.”

Whether you want to explore the city’s film history or visit its interactive attractions, you’ll find several convenient IHG hotels in Kansas City. Here are five great family-friendly attractions you won’t want to miss.

I. Legoland Discovery Center

If your child likes to play with these colorful little bricks, then a visit to Legoland Discovery Center is essential. Children will love the variety of things they can do here. They can browse the fascinating displays, most of which show local landmarks, have fun on the rides, and watch a 4-D movie at the cinema. Parents can relax at the café while the children build their own models at the workshop. Kids can even build their own cars and race them against each other.

Located at Crown Center, Legoland Discovery Center is easily accessible by car. You can also ride the free Kansas City Streetcar and get off at Union Station. Standard tickets start from $15 online.

II. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Atkins Center Kansas CityImage via Flickr by Jeff Fudge

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a jewel in Kansas City’s crown. The collections of American and international art are outstanding and include works from the impressionist and post-impressionist eras and beyond. If you ever wanted to see a real Van Gogh, here’s your chance.

Best of all, entry is free, so you can spend as little or as much time as you like here. It’s perfect for families who require a little bit of flexibility. What makes this art museum such a family-friendly destination is the collection of giant sculptures on the lawn outside. Children find the oversized objects fascinating, and they make for great photo opportunities. The museum offers underground parking for a fee.

III. Science City at Union Station

Close to the famous Union Station, you’ll find popular Science City, a wonderful place to keep the kids busy and happy. This children’s museum offers a whole range of interactive exhibitions for all ages, with the aim of educating and entertaining.

Most exhibits offer hands-on experiences, and children can learn about dinosaurs, chemistry, physics, and engineering. One of the highlights is the mystery hotel, which is packed with optical illusions. Make sure you don’t miss the outdoor play area, Simple Machines at Play, which is based on plans designed by nine local elementary school students.

You can park in the four-level parking garage on the west side of Union Station. General admission is $13.25.

IV. Fun Family Dinner at Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant

Combine your visit to Legoland Discover Center or Science City with lunch or dinner at Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant, which is also located in Union Station. Children will love eating at this fun restaurant.

You place your order by telephone, and a train delivers your meal promptly. You’ll find everybody’s favorites on the menu, including burgers and fries, hot dogs, shakes, and much more.

V. A Day Trip to Amish Country

Just about two hours’ drive away from Kansas City you’ll be in a different world altogether. Take the kids to visit Jamesport, Missouri, in the heart of the state’s Amish country. Step back in time and discover a world of old-fashioned, horse-drawn carriages, beautiful specialty stores, arts and crafts, and collectibles.

To get the most out of the experience, join a private tour to hear more about the ways of the Amish, and then have lunch at a family-friendly restaurant like Gingrich Durch Family Restaurant. Make sure to pay a visit to Homestead Creamery to stock up on artisan cheeses, and don’t miss the delicious pastries at Anna’s Bake Shop.

As you can see, Kansas City is a wonderful destination to explore with your family. From exciting museums to family-friendly businesses, there is always something new to explore. Also make sure you plan a trip to the surrounding areas and experience the contrasting world of the nearby Amish communities.