25 Things We Love About Spring in Kansas City (with little ones)

Beautiful places on sunny days, super fun places on get-out-the-wiggle days and favorite indoor places for rainy or mega-hot days, these are 25 of our favorite ways to enjoy spring in Kansas City (with infants and toddlers).

The Sun Is Shining…Enjoy the Great Outdoors!

  1. Powell Gardens (1609 NW US Hwy. 50, Kingsville, MO, 816.697.2600, PowellGardens.org), the area’s botanical gardens, is a delightful place to spend a spring day. With flowers in bloom, the charming Heartland Harvest Garden (entirely edible landscape), rock wall garden and more, there is much to see and explore—including play areas for children.
  2. Visit the Native Hoofed Animal Enclosure in Fleming Park (JacksonGov.org). This 110-acre fenced enclosure is home to bison, elk and white-tailed deer. You may feed apples or pears to the animals as they approach the fences.
  3. Feed fish from the dock at Longview Lake Marina (9898 Longview Rd., Kansas City, MO). Purchase fish food for a dollar or two in the marina shop and enjoy the feeding frenzy as carp splash for the food. Tip: Remember life jackets.
  4. Play at Penguin Park (intersection of N. Vivion Rd. & N. Norton Ave., Kansas City, MO). Penguin Park is one of the most beloved parks in the city, with giant penguins, elephants and kangaroos adorning the expansive playground. This is one park worth the drive for a special play date!
  5. Ride the carousel at the Kansas City Zoo (6800 Zoo Dr., Kansas City, MO, KansasCityZoo.org). The zoo is always a favorite destination, with polar bears, penguins, elephants, kangaroos, sea lions and hundreds more animals to enjoy. Purchase a FOTZ pass to include rides and visit often, plus zoo memberships are reciprocal with other zoos if your family travels.
  6. Stop and smell the roses at Loose Park (51st & Wornall, Kansas City, MO).
  7. Root, root, root for the Royals (KansasCity.Royals.MLB.com)! Take the family to the Royals game and stop by guest services where babies are awarded a souvenir certificate in honor of their first game.
  8. Ride a tricycle at Leawood City Park (Leawood.org/parks/citypark.aspx).
  9. Visit Kauffman Memorial Garden (4800 Rockhill Rd., Kansas City, MO, 816.932.1200). This free botanical garden offers a beautiful place to enjoy flowers and fountains and is a great spot to take photos of your family.
  10. Explore at Brumble’s Forest at Meadowmere Park (13610 Byars Rd., Grandview, MO). The forest theme at this park is beautiful and features a wooded landscape that is one-of-a-kind in the metro.
  11. Feed baby goats at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead (13800 Switzer, Overland Park, KS, 913.897.2360). The farmstead is a top pick for local moms who can take their tots to encounter goats, chickens, ponies, bunnies, pigs, horses, bison, prairie dogs and more.
  12. Take photos in the sculpture park at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak, Kansas City, MO, Nelson-Atkins.org).
  13. Search “Best Parks” on KCParent.com to find whimsical and enchanting playgrounds to explore across the metro.

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring…Head Inside!

  1. Imagine your favorite fairy tales at Crown Center (2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO, 816.274.8444, CrownCenter.com). Enjoy the free Fairy Tale Village exhibit through May 3. Walk into a world of make-believe to interact with characters from favorite stories and rhymes.
  2. Climb through the tunnels in the Small Wonders room at Wonderscope Children’s Museum (5700 King, Shawnee, KS, 913.287.8888, Wonderscope.org). This fun exhibit is designed with children 6 months to 2 years in mind.
  3. Play pretend at KidScape at the Johnson County Museum (6305 Lackman Rd., Shawnee, KS, JoCoMuseum.org). This indoor play village includes a child-sized community with a doctor’s office, shop, farm, theater, bookstore and more where toddlers may play. Best of all, admission is free, and the museum offers special story times and events throughout the year.
  4. Play in the ball pit at Paradise Park (1021 NE Colbern Rd., Lee's Summit, MO, 816.246.5224, Paradise-Park.com). The Paradise Park Children’s EduTainment Center is perfect for a day of play. With a sanitized ball pit, pretend village, water table, art room and outdoor playground, this is the perfect place for learning and fun.
  5. Climb the walls at Little Monkey Bizness (12219 Shawnee Mission Pkwy., Shawnee, KS, 913.631.7000, LittleMonkeyBizness.com), a favorite indoor play place designed with toddlers in mind. With moon bounces, tunnels, giant toys, an art room and even a coffee shop for moms, this is a favorite destination for rainy days, super hot days and every day in between.
  6. Paint pottery. Local ceramics shops (Ceramic Café: 9425 Mission Rd., Leawood, KS, 913.383.0222 or Paint Glaze & Fire: 12683 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS, 913.661.2529) offer story time and projects for little ones. Or walk in any time and paint something together. Let your little one get creative or design a handprint or footprint keepsake.
  7. Visit your local pet store and look at the fish, turtles, birds and other pets.
  8. Meet up with other moms at Parkside Coffeehouse at Cedar Ridge Christian Church (8839 Lackman Rd., Lenexa, KS, 913.393.3000). Enjoy a coffee shop for parents and indoor play for tots, including gym, indoor playground equipment and ride-on toys.
  9. Watch the fish at Bass Pro (12051 Bass Pro Dr., Olathe, KS, 913.254.5200 or 18001 Bass Pro Dr., Independence, MO, 816.795.4300; BassPro.com), the outdoor shop featuring giant fish tanks kids love.
  10. Build a giant Duplo tower at Legoland Discovery Center (Crown Center, 2475 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO, 816.471.4386, LegolandDiscoveryCenter.com/KansasCity).
  11. Sample ice cream at Glace Artisan Ice Cream (Two Locations: 4960 Main St., Kansas City, MO and 4535 W. 119th St., Overland Park, KS). Glace uses only pure, fresh foods and natural ingredients to create their delicious flavors—no artificial flavorings. Locally owned and operated, this Christopher Elbow ice cream shop frequently invents NEW flavors. Treat yourself to something decadent and share a bite or two with your little one.
  12. Sing along during story time at Plaza Library (4801 Main St., Kansas City, MO, 816.701.3481), where they offer one of our favorite story times in the metro. Baby Bounce Story Time meets on Wednesday mornings at 9:30 and 10:30 with stories and activities for children newborn to 18 months of age. Tales for Tiny Tykes is offered Thursdays at 9:30 and 10:30 for toddlers ages 18-36 months. It’s a 20-minute story time, followed by a fun craft in the Art Spot.

Some of Kristina Light’s favorite memories are enjoying these great KC places with her girls when they were toddlers. Feeding fish at the lake was a laugh-out-loud favorite for the whole family.

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