Baby's First Field Guide to Kansas City

Life is full of firsts: first car, first date, first day of school. But many of the most special firsts are celebrated in the first years of life.

First Birthday

If you’re looking for the perfect venue and entertainment for your little one’s birthday celebration, look no further than KC Parent's Party Guide. You’ll find great places to host parties, entertainers to add some fun and ideas to celebrate.

First Indoor Play Date

These adventures are perfect for getting the wiggles out and making new friends for Mom and Baby. The KidScape exhibit at the Johnson County Museum (8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, 913.826.2787) is a wonderful interactive hands-on child-sized exhibit perfect for young children.

Crown Center hosts delightful exhibits for children throughout the year. These indoor exhibits on Level I are free and interactive. From Feb. 9 to May 12, enjoy Journey to Oz, a fun tour through the enchanting world of the Munchkins. Follow Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, sneak into the Wicked Witch’s castle and much more.

First Swim Lesson

Little ones love to play in water. You can enroll your child in age-appropriate swimming lessons at your local YMCA, where parent-child classes are offered for the youngest swimmers. These sessions are a perfect introduction to pools and water fun.

First Smiles

Keep those smiles healthy with a visit to a pediatric dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that babies visit the dentist by their first birthday. Parents are able to hold their little one during the exam and get great tips on the teething process and care of Baby’s teeth. These local dentists offer top-notch kid-friendly care and customer service: Pediatric and Laser Dentistry in Olathe, Jenkins & LeBlanc with five metro locations and Parkville Pediatric Dentistry in Parkville, MO. Your child is guaranteed to receive extra TLC at his first checkup.

First Baseball Game

Take the family to a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium and cheer for the Royals. Infants do not require a ticket, but you may purchase Blue Crew kits with discounted tickets and souvenirs for children. When attending your first game, the Royals provide a souvenir with first game certificates available on their website:

First Baby Book Club

Kansas City’s local libraries, nature centers and bookstores offer story time sessions for infants, toddlers and preschoolers throughout the week, and you’ll find a complete schedule on the KC Parent calendar. Infant story time is a great chance to introduce a love of books and make friends. Toddlers love watching the puppet shows, learning new songs, making crafts and playing with fun finger rhymes. Best of all, local story time is always free or cheap!

First Dining Experience

Kansas City is the barbecue capital of America, so it’s only natural that local kids enjoy the best at an early age. Every local has a favorite, from Fiorella’s Jack Stack Bar-B-Q and Q39 to Joe’s Kansas City and Gate’s. Pick your fave and pack the camera… finger-lickin’, lip-smackin’ very-first barbecue makes for some super cute pics!

Another place to make some kid-friendly memories is one of Kansas City’s landmark restaurants, Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant at Crown Center ( At this favorite eatery, model trains deliver food right to your table, and children receive their own engineer caps! Or, treat your tyke with a shared Skyscraper—a gigantic shake or ice cream soda—at Winstead’s.

First Cultural Experience

Cultivate that love for art at an early age with a visit to the stroller-friendly Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where admission is always free. For added fun, check out our Nelson-Atkins scavenger hunt ( the kids will love! On the third Friday of the month, participate in the museum’s Junior Jaunts program. Bring your baby in a stroller or front carrier for an adult-focused, yet infant-friendly, mini museum tour. Enjoy discussion of a few favorite art galleries.

First Zoo Trip

When the sun is shining, head outside and visit the Kansas City Zoo, where you can watch penguins, sea lions, polar bears, tigers, elephants, giraffes, kangaroos and other beloved animals. Be sure to enjoy a carousel, train, boat or Sky Safari ride while you’re there! Or, head to the Overland Park Arboretum ( to see the new train garden that features an actual caboose, renovated boxcar and running trains.

First Trip to the Farmstead

Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is one of the most affordable family outings in Kansas City. Children enjoy bottle-feeding baby goats, seeing cows, pigs, chickens and bunnies, playing on the playground, riding kid-sized tractors and enjoying the great outdoors. The park and petting zoo are the perfect outdoor field trip for little ones.

First Roller Coaster

When the sun is shining, take the family to Worlds of Fun, where your child will enjoy tyke-sized fun meeting the Peanuts gang and enjoying rides in Planet Snoopy, a themed section of the park with more than 20 rides and activities for young children.

First Visit to the Lake

Feed the fish at Longview Lake Marina (9898 Longview Rd., Kansas City, MO). Another exciting option there is to take your little one on the dock in his favorite life jacket, then head to the marina’s shop (located on the dock), where you may purchase fish food for 50 cents to $2.50 per bag. Children love watching the fish eat from the dock.

Or visit Shawnee Mission Park Marina or Lake Jacomo, where you can rent pontoon boats, paddle boats, kayaks and canoes (boats available vary with each lake) for a family excursion.

Kristina Light enjoys making memories with her daughters.

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