Kansas City's Rainy Day Fun Guide from A-Z

It's Raining, It's Pouring... you don't have to be snoring! Okay Kansas City, we all love our sunshine and nature, but let's face it Kansas City gets its fair share of rain. Planning for a little indoor fun is necessary for the savvy parent. Follow our guide from A to Z for great ideas to enjoy on a rainy day!

A) Art: Explore Hands-On art at Kaleidoscope where children can create their own projects with special materials from Hallmark and Crayola. They love the glow-in-the-dark room, melted wax, watercolor paint dryer, and jigsaw puzzle maker. Best of all, it is FREE! Kaleidoscope (2500 Grand, KCMO. Call for hours 816.274.8300). To read our review, click here.

B) Bowling: At AMF Bowling Alleys, Kids Bowl Free all summer! For just $24.95 you can buy a family pass for up to four adults to join the kids in up to two games a day. Visit www.kidsbowlfree.com for complete details.

C) Carousels: Did you know that one of America’s great carousel makers was from Kansas? Children love the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum, where you learn about C.W. Parker, the founder of a Carousel factory in Leavenworth, and ride an authentic 1913 carousel. This summer, you can also enjoy an all new model railroad exhibit. CW Parker Carousel Museum (320 S. Esplanade, Leavenworth, KS. 913.682.1331).

D) Dolls: For Doll Lovers, there are many wonderful sites to see in Kansas City. Visit the UFDC Doll Museum.  Note: The Toy & Miniature Museum is closed until 2015.

E) Eat Out: KC boasts several super fun restaurants for families. Three of our favorites: 

  • T-Rex (1847 Village West Pkwy, KCKS. 913.334.8888). Take your family on a Jurassic Journey to T-Rex for an amazing prehistoric dining experience. From life-size robotic dinosaurs to amazing aquariums, this prehistoric adventure will delight the entire family. For more Dinosaur ideas in KC, click here
  • Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant (2 Locations: 250 N. 18th St., KCKS. 913.281.2777, or 1st floor Crown Center 2500 Grand, KCMO. 816.474.4004). Who needs waiters when you have a model train to deliver the food to your table? Fritz’s serves hamburgers, shakes, fries, and hot dogs all with the help of model trains that bring the food directly to your table. Little Engineers love the fun and the food is great! For more train ideas, click here.

F) Foam Factory!: At Paradise Park a family can bond by firing foam balls at one another with air-compressed machine guns and devices in the Foam Factory! While you’re there, climb a rock wall or explore the Children’s Edutainment Center with everything from a miniature grocery store and bank, to an indoor water play exhibit and art center with face paints and special projects for kids. New this year, you can also enjoy laser tag! If it’s not raining, enjoy outdoor fun with go-karts, miniature golf, and batting cages. Paradise Park (1021 NE Colbern Rd., Lee’s Summit, MO. 816.246.5224).

G) German Go-Karts: Put the pedal to the metal and race your loved ones at Sadlers. The indoor track is home to Go-Karts imported from Germany, racers can reach speeds of 45 mph. Sadlers Indoor Racing (325 N. Mur-Len, Olathe, KS. 913.768.7700).

H) History of the Trails: The Oregon, California, and Santa Fe Trails played an integral part in shaping Kansas City. At the National Frontier Trails Museum (318 W. Pacific, Independence, MO. 816.325.7575) you can participate in interactive exhibits as you learn about Western Expansion. The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop features tours of the farm home and Santa Fe Trail Stagecoach Stop, as well as actual stagecoach rides (1200 Kansas City Rd., Olathe, KS. 913.971.5111).

I) Ice Cream:  If you're looking for one-of-a-kind decadence showcasing a dozen flavors you've never heard of, but upon reading their names find yourself thinking, "They read my mind - what a fabulous concoction!" - then Glace Artisan Ice Cream is for you! 

J) Jazz: Kansas City is known for Jazz and the American Jazz Museum is the perfect place to introduce young music lovers to the local genre. With wonderful hands-on exhibits and listening centers, children enjoy listening to classic Jazz, composing their own pieces, and learning about the history of 18th and Vine. American Jazz Museum (1616 E. 18th St., KCMO. 816.221.1920). To read our review, click here.

K) KidScape: KidScape is a miniature city just for children. With a hands-on child-sized hospital, city hall, theater, shops, and park, kids love to play and explore the adult world through their eyes. This FREE outing is hosted at the Johnson County History Museum (6305 Lackman, Shawnee, KS.). To read our review, click here.

L) Laughter: Comedy City is Kansas City’s family-friendly Improv Show (recommended for ages 10 and up, only because they’ll be old enough to enjoy it). At Comedy City, local comedians create a show right before your eyes with improv comedy that includes the audience. The show is clean and wholesome, and guaranteed to have you laughing out loud!

M) Make Something: Kansas City is home to many great DIY shops where you can paint ceramics, make crafts, paint your own work of art and more. Read our guide to DIY Shops in Kansas City for inspiration.

N) Nature – Indoors: Our local nature centers offer hands-on exhibits, aquariums, and special programs for families. For a complete guide to Nature Centers in Kansas City, click here.

O) Ocean: Wonderscope Children’s Museum ‘s exhibit, Lego Ocean Adventure includes a Lego Submarine children can play inside, sea life constructed with Legos and plenty of space for Lego creativity and play. Other exhibits include H2O Water Play, a child-sized grocery store, Raceways where children race golf balls on wooden tracks, and much more. Wonderscope Children’s Museum (5700 King, Shawnee, KS. 913.287.8888). To read our review of Wonderscope, click here.

P) PLAY: Indoor fun places abound! With moon bounces, slides, inflatables, Little Tykes toys and more, you'll find great places to play with our guide to Kansas City Play Places!

Q) Quest: Embark on a quest for hidden art. Take the family on a FREE outing and enjoy our exclusive Scavenger Hunt at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, printable here. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak, KCMO. 816.751.1238).

R) Read Something New: Participate in a local summer reading program! Our 2014 Summer Reading Guide shares local library and business programs to inspire children to read.

S) Science: Visit Science City at Union Station (30 W. Pershing, KC, MO) where children enjoy hands-on exhibits and adventures!

T) Treasure: In 1856, the Arabia Steamboat was traversing the Missouri River when her paddlewheel caught a tree snag and she sunk. In the 1980s, the Hawley family took on the adventure of unearthing the Arabia’s treasures and their success is now on display for all to see. Children are captivated by her story and amazed by the cargo, from ketchup to porcelain dolls, tools to dishes, the artifacts of the Arabia give us a glimpse into the past. Arabia Steamboat Museum (400 Grand Blvd. KCMO. 816.471.1856). To read our review of the Steamboat Arabia Museum, click here.

U) Uncover something Big: The National Archives in Kansas City (400 W. Pershing Rd., KCMO. 816.268.8000) preserves historic documents for the Federal Government. They also provide museum quality exhibits year-round.

V) Visit the Harley-Davidson Factory: Harley Davidson Factory Tours (11401 N. Congress Ave. KCMO 816.270.8023). These tours are for guests ages 12 and up. Watch the modern assembly line process firsthand as manufacturers build a motorcycle right before your eyes! Call for hours or to schedule a group tour.

W) Water: Okay, it may be raining outside, but you can still have fun swimming and playing in the water at local indoor pools! Read our guide to local indoor pools and waterparks to find the best location near you!

X) eXperience Kanas City: Discover 50 Ways to Experience Kansas City - some of these ideas are great for rainy days and others will make your dry-weather bucket list!

Y) Yum: Kids love to eat their OWN creations. Take a cooking class for kids at A Thyme for Everything (231 SE Main St., Lee’s Summit, MO. 816.554.3755) or the Culinary Center of Kansas City (7920 Santa Fe Dr, Overland Park, KS. 913.341.4455. If you’re inclined to have fun cooking at home, try some of our favorite healthy, kid-friendly Recipes.

Z) Zoo: Did you know that the Kansas City Zoo (816.513.5700) is open ALL year round?  For our review of the Kansas City Zoo, click here.

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