Things To Do With Young Kids This Summer in KC

Kansas City is a pretty great place to raise a family! Whether you live downtown, in Brookside, in the suburbs of Overland Park or North of the River - there are a lot of things to keep a family busy during the summer. Now that school is out for the summer, I've been seeing an influx of questions from moms in the Facebook groups that I admin (Check those out here and here if you want to connect with other local moms btw) asking "What is there to do in Kansas City?" 

Well let me give you the list of places that *I* have personally been to with my own kids - whether while they were still infants or as toddlers! I'll also share a few of my own tips and tricks for surviving these outings and making them as fun as possible.

1. Deanna Rose Farmstead - This is a Kansas City family favorite! It can be done in little under 2 hours (depending on how many stops you take for the playgrounds sprinkled throughout, for ice cream at their old fashioned ice cream shop, to feed the baby goats or to go fishing in the pond). We've gone with a toddler walking and an infant in a wrap and it's always been a pleasant experience. Pack a lunch to eat at one of the picnic areas or grab something at the snack shop.  

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2. Kansas City Zoo - Who doesn't love a good zoo day? Kansas City has a fantastic one! Bring a stroller or rent one at the gate, baby-wear and enjoy your day! Stingray Bay is now open and is a really cool exhibit for the older-ish kiddos to reach in and touch the stingrays!

My practical tip: Plan on going to either Kidzone or Africa - both only if you brought lots of water and snacks. Once you get to the Elephant exhibit, take note of how everyone is doing physically and emotionally. Because you don't want to get aaaaaalll the way out to the giraffes and then have someone decide they've had enough and have a meltdown and still have to walk aaaaaalll the way back (Trust me. Do you sound like I'm speaking from experience? Good, because I am).  

Nursing tip: They have a mother's room! And it is strategically placed in Penguin Plaza. So if you need some privacy to feed your baby or need to pump, you can just pop in there while your partner hangs out with the older kiddos and watches the penguins and fish!

3. Kaleidoscope KC - Feed your child's creativity this summer with a trip to Kaleidoscope! This place is magical and fun for kids of all ages. They can explore and create to their heart's content! Did I mention that admission is free? Yeah, it's free. And while you're over there, maybe pop on over to Crown Center and check out the fountains on your way over, the Crayola store, the children's exhibit/play space (does this place have a special name? We've always just called it the "play space" Ha!)

4. Farmer's Markets - There are SO MANY Farmer's Markets in KC! We've always enjoyed the experience of the River Market, but others that you should check out are the ones in Overland Park, Brookside, Lenexa and Liberty. There are always more things than just vegetables to find at the River Market! Baked goods, fresh honey (one vendor had a live bee hive in glass), local wines, handmade soaps, and of course food at the restaurants that surround the market area.

Tip: Make a day of it, park at Union Station and then take the streetcar to the River Market to avoid the crowded parking.

5. Cool down at a splash park! Here are a few of our favorites (I had help on this one from the lovely parents in the Facebook group, Kind of Crunchy - Kansas City Moms and Parents) :

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  • Ruth Moore Park - Liberty
  • Roe Park - Overland Park
  • Loose Park - Plaza 
  • Dagg Park - North KC
  • Lea Mckeighan North - Lee's Summit
  • John Anderson Splash Park - Grandview 
  • McCoy Park - Independence
  • There are many more! These are just the ones I've taken my kids to or that have been highly recommended. 

6. Catch a Movie in the Park!

Many communities host these and they are a lot of fun for kids of all ages. Even if you only have a baby, it's nice to have an evening out and go see a movie (even if it is Pixar...) and grab dinner to go for a little family date night.

They're usually later in the evenings, so you'll have to weigh that with bedtime. But hey - it's summer time!


That's what I've got for you! There are of course many more things, but some of them either not free or geared toward much older kiddos. These all are either stroller friendly or you can baby-wear. Get out there and enjoy this amazing city!

What else would you add to this list? I'm always looking for fun things to take my kids to as well! 

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