All things Oz in Kansas City



The Wizard of Oz is Kansas' iconic story, oft-associated with the Sunflower State, this family classic is celebrated at local attractions! Published in 1900, L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz is considered America’s first fairy tale and it holds a special place in the hearts of Kansans and Kansas Citians alike. The story of Dorothy’s fantastical journey through the land of Oz has enticed generations. You can celebrate this masterpiece with some local fun! 

These are FIVE of our favorite ways to experience a bit of Oz in Kansas City:

Over the Rainbow: Toys from the Land of Oz: This exhibit will run Jan. 14- Aug. 20 at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures is one of our favorite whimsical attractions with toys bringing back memories for generations. The newest exhibit explores the original literary story of The Wizard of Oz and its many retellings, including the 1939 Technicolor film, Return to Oz, and The Wiz, through playthings, first edition books, and original costumes at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. HOURS: Open Daily 10am-4pm. Closed Tuesdays and major holidays. The museum will be closed this weekend, January 14-15, for inclement weather, and Monday, January 16 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. ADMISSION: Ages 5 and up $5, Ages 4 and under Free
Museum members Free, UMKC faculty, staff, and students with ID Free, Active duty service members with ID Free. Special Events with the exhibit: 

  • MEMBERS-ONLY BREAKFAST WITH GLINDA SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2017 | 10AM-2PM NEW DATE! Join us for a special viewing of Over the Rainbow: Toys from the Land of Oz and a complimentary pancake breakfast with the Good Witch. Enter the merry ‘ol Land of Oz for pancakes from Chris Cakes, sing-alongs, and photo opportunities. Breakfast is available for the number of people in each membership level: two, six, or twelve people per visit. Become a member todayfor as little as $25 to attend!
  • MEET THE EXPERTS: WIZARD OF OZ SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2017 | 2-3PM: Get to know the experts at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures through this monthly exploration of special topics. On February 12, collector Jane Albright will discuss toys inspired by the book and film adaptations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The program includes a lecture and gallery visit. Included with museum admission.
  • WIZARD OF OZ PUPPET SHOW FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2017 | 1-2PM RSVP REQUIRED: See The Wonderful Wizard of Oz come to life with puppets in a 35-minute performance that is fun for the entire family. Kraig Kensinger, a resident puppeteer at the Puppetry Arts Institute in Independence, Missouri, will present the live show with puppets from longtime museum volunteer Sally Ruddy as well as some of his own design. Included with museum admission. Space is limited. Reserve a spot today by calling (816) 235-8005 or emailing mercierk@toyandminiaturemuseum.org.
  • WIZARD OF OZ PUPPET SHOW SATURDAY, MARCH 18, 2017 | 1-2PM RSVP REQUIRED: See The Wonderful Wizard of Oz come to life with puppets in a 35-minute performance that is fun for the entire family. Kraig Kensinger, a resident puppeteer at the Puppetry Arts Institute in Independence, Missouri, will present the live show with puppets from longtime museum volunteer Sally Ruddy as well as some of his own design. Included with museum admission. Space is limited. Reserve a spot today by calling (816) 235-8005 or emailing mercierk@toyandminiaturemuseum.org.
  • MEET THE EXPERTS: MESNER PUPPET THEATER SNEAK PREVIEW OF WIZARD OF OZ SUNDAY, APRIL 09, 2017 | 2-3PM: Get to know the experts at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures through this monthly exploration of special topics. On April 9, Mesner Puppet Theater will give an exclusive, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the theater’s upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz. The program includes a lecture and gallery visit. Included with museum admission.

Enjoy the Classic film for $5: We all love the movie and no one can sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” like Judy Garland. This is your chance to enjoy it on the BIG SCREEN! On Jan. 19, 2017 at 4pm and 7pm local B& B Theaters are showing The Wizard of Oz. for just $5/ticket!

Experience an interactive Lego Model of Oz: LEGOLAND Discovery Center (2475 Grand Avenue, KC, MO) is one of our favorite local attractions. One of the highlights of your visit to Legoland is a stroll through LEGO Miniland depicting Kansas City's most iconic buildings created entirely from LEGO bricks. Best of all, the entire exhibit is interactive. Guests can control features including racing cars at the Kansas Speedway, playing music at a Starlight concert, operating a construction crane, and more! Cars drive, sirens blare, lights change (including KCP&L's lit tower), fountains work, boats float, and the entire city changes from day to night every 2-3 minutes. And, they even included a MINILAND Oz, complete with Munchkinland, the Emerald City, and the Witch's Castle! This was our favorite part of the entire LEGOLAND Discovery Center experience! Legoland is full of fun as you walk through a simulated LEGO Brick Factory with interactive displays allowing children to mix, heat, and mold LEGO Bricks. Each child receives a souvenir brick to take home! Visitors also enjoy two amusement park rides: Kindom Quest: This is an interactive ride and contest. Use laser guns to shoot at trolls, spiders, bats, and skeletons on a quest to rescue the Princess. Compete with your friends to earn the highest score. And Merlins Magic Potion: This is a spinning ride enjoyed especially by young children.Kids also enjoy playing with Lego blocks. Children can create their own racecar and test it on tracks with LEGO Racers. Or, they build their own dynamic structures and test them against an earthquake simulator for stability. Girls especially enjoying creating their own LEGO Friends.  The LEGO Master Builder Academy offers workshops where children learn the tricks of the LEGO-Building trade straight from Master Builder, Jeremiah Boehr. The workshops are included with admission. Each child is provided with a station, complete with the bricks needed for a project, and Jeremiah demonstrates the buiding techniques from the front of the class with his models projected on a large screen so students may see exactly how to create their own LEGO masterpieces! Be sure to take advantage of a Master Class on your visit! And, the LEGO 4D Cinema is another fantastic attraction showing LEGO short films (10-15 min. in length) in 3-D with a 4-D experience generated by wind, mist, bubbles, and simulated experiences kids love!

Watch the stage production: CYT presents The Wizard of Oz Mar. 9-12 at Avila's Goppert Theatre (11901 Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO). A live, Broadway-style musical, performed entirely by students age 8 to 18, CYT Kansas City presents The Wizard of Oz! One of the most captivating musical shows of our time with muscial theatre classics such as "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," "If I Only Had A Brain" and "We’re Off To See The Wizard." This musical proves there really is no place like home. School-day shows at 10 am on Thursday and Friday, March 9 & 10. Family Night Show, 7 pm Thurs. March 9, where all tickets are just $9! Other public shows: Fri at 7 pm; Sat at 2 pm and 7 pm; Sun at 2 pm.

See characters from the show - as puppets: The Puppetry Arts Institute (11025 E. Winner Rd. Independence, MO. 816.833.9777) is one of Kansas City's Best Kept Secrets. Located in the Englewood Shopping District in old Independence, this charming museum dedicated to the memory of Hazelle Rollins founder of Kansas City’s original puppet factory, is also home to a puppet theater, and puppet making workshop. The museum houses exhibits showcasing puppets from every continent except Antarctica (apparently penguins are not adept puppet masters). Among the collections, you'll find favorite characters from books and film. Characters from The Wizard of Oz are among the favorite puppets at the museum. On select Saturdays, watch live puppet shows. After the show, you may make your own hand puppet (limited space so reservations recommended). 

Bonus: Take a Road Trip to Wamego to visit the Oz Museum: In Wamego, Kansas (about 2 hours from KC), you’ll find the Oz Museum (511 Lincoln). The museum features the largest collection of Oz memorabilia in the world! Admission charged. Call 1.866.458.TOTO. For information: www.wamego.org/oz_museum.htm

Note: This list was compiled by the staff of KC Parent Magazine and may not be reproduced in print or online without permission. If you have an addition to this list, please email kristina@kcparent.com

 

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