Best of April in Kansas City
April means Spring in Kansas City! It's time to enjoy Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead, the Kansas City Zoo and other outdoor attractions. Also, treat the kids to wonderful family friendly productions, amazing exhibits, and family fun!
Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead Open for the Season
The Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead (13800 Switzer, Overland Park, KS) is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 2 to Oct. 31. Admission - $2/person (under age 2 free) Fri.-Sun. & holidays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Mon.-Thu.: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors enjoy Free Admission Mon.-Thu.: 2 p.m. to close. 913.897.2360. The first sign of spring in Kansas City: the opening day at Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead. This is one of our family's FAVORITE outings in Kansas City! The children love feeding goats, watching horses, turkeys, prairie dogs, bison, and chickens. My girls LOVE taking pony rides, but they also offer wagon rides, mining, and fishing. Explore the Dairy Barn, pond, petting zoo, one-room country schoolhouse and the Indian Encampment. The children's butterfly garden is a great place to play or take a photo. Nothing says spring quite like a day at the farm!
Johnson County Healthy Yards Expo
Johnson County's Healthy Yards Expo will be held April 7 at the Shawnee Civic Center this year. Make greener choices for your yard and home at the Ninth Annual Johnson County Healthy Yards Expo — a FREE Earth-friendly lawn and garden event. Kansas Healthy Yards and Communities (KHYC), developed by K-State Research and Extension, helps homeowners make better choices on environmentally conscious lawn and garden care techniques. Johnson County Extension is teaming with Johnson County Stormwater Management and the cities of Lenexa, Overland Park and Shawnee to present the Expo.
Access Art is a free event presented by Mid-Continent Public Libraries on April 14 and 15. Access Art is an all-day event led by instructors from the Kansas City Art Institute and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art with opportunities for you to create new works of art. This event will feature free workshops in drawing, painting, poetry writing, illustration, paper craft, digital graphic arts, and family art activities. In addition, attendees will be able to meet and interact with local artists and artisans throughout the day. Highlights include: For Children - Draw Like Da Vinci and Youth Nature Weaving. For Teens - TeenZine and Surreal Self Workshop. For Adults - Adult Portraits and Intro to Acrylic Painting.
The Culture House's April Shows
The Culture House is presenting several wonderful family-friendly shows this spring:
- James and the Giant Peach April 12-15. Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach is now a musical for the whole family to enjoy! Featuring a wickedly tuneful score by the Tony Award-nominated team of Pasek and Paul (Dogfight and A Christmas Story the Musical) and a curiously quirky book by Timothy Allen McDonald (Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka, The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley), critics rave: James and the Giant Peach is a "masterpeach!"
- The Diary of Anne Franke April 19-22. The Diary of Anne Frank is one of the most famous and haunting stories to emerge from the 20th Century. The memoirs of this young Jewish girl, forced to hide for nearly two years to escape Nazi persecution, are an essential part of how we remember one of the darkest periods of our human history.
Passport to India
April 15 from 10am-4pm at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak, KC, MO). All activities and performances are FREE and open to the public. There is a fee for parking. The Nelson's FREE Festivals are simply amazing and this is no exception. Discover the dance, music, fashions, art and culture of South Asia at a very special Passport to India! Journey to India at this event and get your passport stamped along the way! Activities include hands-on learning in the South and Southeast Asian Art Galleries, henna design demonstrations and temporary tattoos and art activities. Enjoy dance and music performances and a fashion show.
KC Fountain Day
Fountain Day is April 17 at 11 a.m. at Spirit of Freedom Fountain, Emanuel Cleaver II Blvd. at Cleveland Ave. Note: Parking is available at Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center and Brush Creek Community Center. Fountain Day is a Spring ritual and holiday unique to Kansas City as our city's fountains are turned on for the season.
The Fun Show with Cat & Nat
The Fun Show with Cat & Nat is April 19 at Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland. For the FIRST TIME, Cat & Nat are in Kansas City as they go on tour with The FUN Show. Get a behind the scenes look into how Cat & Nat came to be; sit in for a "Chit Chat with Cat & Nat" Show; and enjoy a party where there is sure to be games, a Q & A, impromptu dance parties, and cocktails!
Miller Marley Youth Ballet presents Sleeping Beauty
Miller Marley Youth Ballet presents The Sleeping Beauty April 21 & 22. Act One features four original, age-appropriate ballets performed by the Youth Ballet 2 & Youth Ballet. Act Two features the adaptation of "The Sleeping Beauty."
Flights of Fancy
April 21 is this year's Flights of Fancy Festival at MCC-Longview 500 SW Longview Rd. Lee's Summit, Mo. This free festival is open to the public and it is absolutely wonderful. Kite enthusiasts gather every year to fly their favorite kites. You'll see gigantic kites, stunt kites, Chinese kites, and fun kites... last year we loved Snoopy and his dog house. They even have a giant kite kids can climb through and the kites do a candy drop over the field. The festival is a wonderful way to enjoy Spring and it's such a relaxed, beautiful nice family tradition... we never miss it!
Family Timber Challenge
April 22 is the Spring Family fun run event at the KC Timber Challenge course. This spring, little Sasquatch's have a chance to get in on the fun! The Spring FTC is 2 miles long and is packed with fun and challenging obstacles for the whole family (ages 5+). Lots of people ask about how hard it is. Well here is the truth. Your kids will rock this course out... heck they're designed for it. Registration includes: Run entry, t-shirt or drawstring bag, souvenir wristband, finisher swag, event pictures, water stations, fresh fruit and access to the family party zone at the start / finish line. Meet our very own Sasquatch and celebrate with a Spring themed party including a free face painter, self paint station, kids activities and fun things to do for the whole family. Save $5 on registration with our coupon.
Worlds of Fun Opening for the Season
Worlds of Fun opens for the season the weekend of April 20-22. This year, enjoy the new Nordic Chaser where guests of all ages will board mini ships that rotate speedily around a circuit. The ride captures the imagination as guests experience the sensation of rising and falling along ocean waves. The ride will be placed in the park’s Scandinavia themed area. Guests will also enjoy the newly renovated Timber Wolf. Since its debut in 1989, Timber Wolf has cast an imposing shadow on the surrounding woods as Worlds of Fun's first wooden roller coaster. Timber Wolf opened as the top wooden coaster in the world and then received accolades as a top wooden coaster for over 8 consecutive years.Now, fan favorite and the park's original wooden coaster gets a new finale! Worlds of Fun is replacing the helix with a high-speed over banked 70 degree turn. This thrilling final corner turns riders nearly sideways!
Midwest Conference on ADHD
The 2018 Midwest Conference on ADHD is Thursday & Friday, April 26-27th at the Matt Ross Community Center: This year, CHADD, ADHDKC and Children’s Mercy Hospital & Clinics have joined forces to provide you with an extraordinary experience - a two day conference featuring the internationally recognized ADHD research pioneer, Russell A Barkley, PhD! You’ll be able to ask the questions that are on your mind, share insights, and laugh with people who share your journey. Take advantage of all of the formal and informal opportunities to get to know your fellow participants, organizers and speakers.
Funville: What do you want to be?
Funville is a FREE Exhibit Feb. 10-May 6 at Crown Center. Will your child be a firefighter, a schoolteacher, a race car driver, or maybe, President of the United States? In FUNVILLE, children experience grown-up occupations in a kid friendly setting. Let them forecast the weather, perform magic, work in a barbershop or ride a tractor. Whatever they choose, the most important job in FUNVILLE is to have fun.
Tuck Everlasting and Jack and the Bean Magico
Tuck Everlasting thru Apr. 5 at The Coterie (Level I at Crown Center). Over a century ago, the Tucks - Ma, Pa, and their sons Miles and Jesse - drank from a forest spring. Ever since, no one in the family has aged a bit. Now they have to live separately only to reunite once every 10 years because of rising suspicions when they never age. Now, young Winnie Foster is out exploring the woods, and she has accidentally discovered the Tuck family secret... which brings her to the question: Is living outside the rules of time a blessing or a curse? Read our review of Tuck Everlasting here.
Jack and the Bean Mágico! is showing at The Coterie April 17 - May 20. The classic fairytale, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” is told with the audience’s help, who assist Jack as he climbs the beanstalk to the giant’s rich and fertile land. While there, Jack discovers the source of the trouble with his farmland, learning how to make it fertile again by understanding and balancing the life cycle. Young audiences will become tiny bugs in the giant’s garden. The giant loves the bugs because they help keep his soil and plants so healthy!
The Art of the Brick at Union Station
The Art of the Brick: at Union Station (30 W. Pershing, Kansas City, MO). "The Art of the Brick has inspired and thrilled audiences from Brazil to Australia, France to Russia and Taiwan to Spain. Now, experience this “Must See” exhibition at Union Station Kansas City. This first-ever art exhibition focused exclusively on the use of LEGO bricks as an art medium is one of those rare experiences nearly impossible to describe, but so easy to love. Massive and intimate. Brilliantly simple and complex all at once. Unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Over 100 arresting creations from the mind of a contemporary art genius." Read our review of The Art of the Brick here.
Just Between Friends Sale (Overland Park)
Just Between Friends is the place to find amazing deals on the best items for the kiddos, newborns to teens! Don't miss out on the best in kids' and maternity consignment. Upcoming Sale: APRIL 26-29 at the Overland Park Convention Center. Use our FREE admission ticket.
Visit the Kansas City Zoo
The Kansas City Zoo is open year-round (except Jan. 1). (6800 Zoo Dr., KCMO. 816.513.5800). Pack a picnic and bring it to the zoo! This month, celebrate Party for the Planet, Superhero Weekend and special days.
Bonus: Visit the Zoo's Calendar to learn about Polar Bear and Penguin Overnights when visitors are invited to spend the night at the zoo and other special events year round!
April's Special Events at the Kansas City Zoo:
- April 7 Girl Scout Day
- April 8 Autism Awareness Day
- April 14 & 15 Superhero Weekend
- April 14 & 15 Zootastik Learning Fest— Birds of Prey
- April 21 Boy Scout Day
- April 22 Party for the Planet
- April 28 & 29 Species Spotlight—Otters
- April 28 Meet Daniel Tiger at the Zoo
Johnson County Museum
The Johnson County Museum (8788 Metcalf Ave Overland Park, KS) is one of our favorite local attractions with fabulous local history exhibits and the beloved KidScape. At KidScape, kids learn through play about the past. An 1870s farmstead introduces kids to life on the farm-- tending animals, collecting eggs, gardening and house chores inside the farmhouse. Time travel to the 1900 the city where kids sell fruits and vegetables at the City Market, perform for an audience at the theatre, and teach at the school. Suburban life springs up in the 1950s! Care for sick patients at the hospital, cook up burgers and fries at the diner, and build a house for a new suburban family. Even explore a park with a secret cave! Kidscape offers hours of fun for kids to explore and play.
- Kids Day Out April 2: Come have fun when school is out! Kids choose from a variety of activities each day, including KidScape, art, dance, music, and down time. Bring your lunch and a water bottle. We provide snacks. Pre-registration required. Open from 7:30-5:30. Limited to 45 participants.
- Retro Storytime April 4 at 1pm : Remember “The Poky Little Puppy?” You and your preschoolers will love the stories and illustrations from long ago, read by a special guest from the 1950s All-Electric House! After the story ends, enjoy an art activity for little hands. Stories change monthly, connecting to KidScape community environments, and Kansas Early Learning Standards. An adult must attend program with child.
- JoHo the Storyteller April 11: In this series of storytelling programs for children, local storyteller Jo Ho dramatically engages with entertaining and educational stories involving nature, history, culture, and art. Preregistration is recommended. Tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of event if space is available.
- Doo Dad Mike April 18: A Kansas City performer focused on family entertainment, Doo-Dad Mike brings his high-energy rock concert for one show only!
Fun at Paradise Park
Paradise Park in Lee's Summit. Paradise Park is a favorite family fun center where there truly is something for everyone. From the Children's EduTainment Center with indoor play for little ones, to the arcades, gokarts, and rock wall and more for teens and adults - this is the place for families to play.
April Special Events at Paradise Park:
- Middle School Teen Night April 13: Our middle school-aged teen guests can enjoy the organized fun with their friends on the second Friday of each month. For only $15 you can enjoy unlimited fun on all our Adventure Attractions with a Max Pak, $5 FUN CARD and a PERSONAL PIZZA.
- Earth Week April 15-22: Spring is here and we are celebrating Earth all week by learning about our home planet in our version of a children's museum, the Discovery Play center. Choose from a variety of self-directed projects in our Art Studio that can also double as decorations. Enjoy Celebrate Earth Week in Adventure Time.
- Goat Yoga April 22: Featuring Sunset Trails baby goats & Core Balance Yoga Instructors
Family Events at the National World War I Museum and Memorial
The National WWI Museum and Memorial (2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO). Within the museum walls below, however, lies one of the best historic sites in the Midwest, the National World War I Museum. With tremendous state-of-the-art exhibits telling the story of World War I and, more importantly, the soldiers and civilians of the era—their sacrifices, their journeys—this is one of Kansas City’s most important attractions.
April Special Events at The National WWI Museum and Memorial:
- Hands-On History: Every Saturday at 11am. History is brought to life in this family‑friendly program in which kids of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts.
Complimentary with paid admission.
- Complimentary Museum Tour: Every Thursday 2:30pm. Explore the Main Gallery with one of our knowledgeable Museum Guides on a tour. Space is limited on a first come, first serve basis. Sign-up on Thursdays at the Museum ticketing window. Complimentary with paid admission | Museum Main Gallery
- Gassed Hands-On History: Every Saturday in April at 1pm. Join us for our Gassed-edition Hands-on History where an Education staff member will lead an interactive viewing of the work as guests see how Sargent used his observational skills to create his masterpiece. Discover your inner art historian at this family-friendly exploration!
- Day in the Life: Medical: Apr. 15 The Living History Volunteer Corps will be on site to share stories of the Great War era and make history come to life! This month they focus on medical practices during the war. Join us as we learn how medicine was used and changed in response to new diseases and injuries. Guests will have the opportunity to ask our Living History Volunteer Corps questions and view non-accession WWI objects up close.
JCCC Performing Arts Center Shows
Enjoy live shows all season at JCCC Performing Arts Center (12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS). February's shows offer great shows for parents and educational shows for families.
April Shows at JCCC:
- TAO: Drum Heart Apr. 7: TAO has performed in over 22 countries and 400 cities around the world. After its first performance at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, TAO sold out every show of its first North American tour. Direct from Japan, TAO wields athletic bodies and contemporary costumes combined with explosive Taiko drumming and innovative choreography. TAO: Drum Heart has critics raving about TAO’s extraordinary precision, energy and stamina.
- Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella Apr. 21: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical from the creators of The Sound of Music and South Pacific that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love.
- The Young King Apr. 26-27: For the first time ever, Carlsen Center Arts Education puts an intimate story on Yardley Hall stage and limits the experience to 250 individuals per show. With so many shows focused solely on curriculum ties to math and science, the message of The Young King brings a human tenderness to our stage in a story about privilege, compassion and making ethical choices. The achingly beautiful and endearing language of Oscar Wilde joins the world of Slingsby Theatre from Australia.
Farmers Market Season
Kansas City's Farmers' Markets start opening ALL Month long! With over 30 markets to choose from, ranging from small to large all across the metro, there is something for the locavore in all of us. Check out our Guide to Kansas City Farmers' Markets and read great tips for buying local farm fresh produce and discover a Farmers' Market near you. We're fortunate to have so many terrific Farmers' Markets in Kansas City to choose from. If you want to eat organic, fresh, locally grown produce, or you are looking for plants for your own garden, or local honey, Amish baked goods, or even live animals... Kansas City's Farmers' Markets have it all! Several even boast live music and entertainment. This is an excellent family outing on a Spring Saturday... you have fun and finish a chore all at once!