This post is part 2 of 5 in the series Quick Trips from Des Moines.
When it comes to weekend getaways, we take a lot of them (oh, the downfalls of being a travel writer!) One destination that never disappoints my well-traveled family is Kansas City.
Just three hours south of Des Moines, it’s close enough to head down on a Friday afternoon and drive home on Sunday – which gives you two full days of fun!
Midwest weather can be a bit tricky to predict (especially in early spring). Thankfully, Kansas City is filled with indoor and outdoor options!
Planning Your Kansas City Getaway
There is so much to do in Kansas City – each trip we take is like a new adventure! These are just a few of our favorites. Use the VisitKC website to find more family-friendly events, activities, and eateries.
Let your inner artist out at Kaleidoscope art studio in Crown Center. Operated by Hallmark – and free to the public – kids (and even adults) can produce masterpieces with leftover bits from the Hallmark studios.
What would you build if you had no shortage of LEGOs? Build and play at Legoland Discovery Center. A welcoming and safe environment for families as the attraction does not permit adults unaccompanied by a child.
Located in historic Union Station (a great place to visit in itself), Science City is filled with hands-on fun. Fossils, spaceships, and optical illusions in Mr. E Hotel. Sneaky education at its finest!
Venture into the underwater world of SeaLife Aquarium. Fun activity sheets (and prizes for completion), touch tanks, and plenty of fishy fun. (Tip: LEGOLAND and SeaLife are both owned by the Merlin Entertainment Group. To guarantee your entrance and bypass the queue, it is recommended to purchase your tickets online. Buy combo tickets to both attractions for more savings. Learn more at my site, Family Rambling.)
The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art near Country Club Plaza has been enticing families to its Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park for years with its famed Shuttlecock (badminton birdie). Venture inside and pick up a Family Gallery Guide to lead you through the best exhibits for kids.
Check the schedule at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and enjoy an evening of music, theater, or dance.
The Kansas City Zoo is huge! Covering over 200 acres and filled with more than 1,100 animals, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled the Earth! Don’t miss the Helzberg Penguin Plaza and Polar Bear Passage.
Kansas City is home to more than 213 parks, including a skate park, disc golf park, and plenty of play structures.
No getaway to Kansas City is complete without some time spent wandering the stores of Country Club Plaza. You’ll find upscale shops and plenty of tasty restaurants to fuel your excursion.
Searching for something unique? The Crossroads Arts District at the edge of downtown has over 60 shops and galleries in a 20-block area.
The kids will love Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant in Crown Center where you place your orders by phone – and your food is delivered by train (watch the video).
Skewering food on tongs and dipping it into cheese! What’s not to love? Everyone will enjoy the experience – and the tastes – at The Melting Pot in Country Club Plaza. Save room for dessert!
Hotel options are endless in Kansas City. If you’ll be doing a lot of activities at Crown Center, opt for one of the two hotels connected to the complex – the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel or the Westin Kansas City Hotel.
If you’ll be staying a few days and really want to relax, contact the Kansas City Marriott Downtown and request adjoining rooms with a parlor. So spacious!
If you like historic properties and the luxury that goes with them, then the boutique Raphael Hotel is for you.
Get It Free!
You don’t have to break your budget on a Kansas City getaway. Here are 33 free activities in the Kansas City metro.
Get It for Less!
Find great deals on family fun, dining, hotels, and more on the VisitKC Deals page.
So now you have seen a few of my favorite Kansas City activities. What are yours?
Giveaway includes a 4-pack of tickets to:
- Kansas City Zoo
- Legoland Discovery Center & SeaLife Aquarium
- Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun. Note: Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun don’t open until later in the season. So you can enjoy a spring break getaway – and then a fun summer trip, as well! The WOF & OOF tickets are a ‘combined ticket’ and must be used the same day.
Read more from our Quick Trips from Des Moines series!
- Destination: Omaha
- Take a Lake-cation: Clear Lake, IA + Giveaway
- Family Fun in the Amana Colonies
- Pella: America’s Dutch Treasure