Our family celebrated Labor Day weekend by leaving the Ozarks in exchange for a Kansas City getaway, our first trip as a family of four with two children under 4. I’d been to KC a few times before with my husband but never with our children. If you have ever traveled with little kids, you know it’s a totally different experience. Hopefully there are kid friendly food options, interesting things to do and most importantly a bathroom. Our trip had all that and more, so take notes if you want to be the most awesome parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, godparent etc.
Before we went on our trip, I asked several “mom” friends and the local mom’s group I’m involved with where to go and they did not disappoint. Based on several high recommendations, we decided on the following activities.
Kansas City Zoo
Kansas City Zoo is AMAZING! There is an entry fee but it is well worth it. The 202 acre zoo has vast habitats and my husband and I both commented that the animals at this zoo actually seemed happy. We also had several moments where we realized this was the closest we’d ever been to certain animals. At the hippo enclosure, the playful mammal had a toy in the water and we thought were going to get splashed. Both of my children, age 3 and 10 months, thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
They also have some AMAZING features that I’d never seen before. There’s a chairlift ride that goes over various African animal enclosures. They also have a train that travels throughout the zoo and several trams. We had our double stroller with us and walked the whole time. My husband and I accrued over 17,000 steps each. There is food available for purchase but sack lunches are also welcome.
One of our favorite things at the zoo was a pond full of koi fish that can be fed. I have never seen fish go so crazy to get some food. They were practically leaping over one another in the water to get it. If you can spare a quarter, it’s quite the sight.
Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
Where can your family have a day of fun in KC on the cheap? Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, located in Overland Park, Kansas. I’m convinced this is one of the Kansas City areas best kept secrets for families. For about $10, your child can bottle feed a baby goat, mine for precious gems, fish in a catch and release pond, go for a hayride and ride a pony. For our family of 4, we spent about $22 on park run activities and a couple quarters to feed some goats. They also have a free demonstration with a dairy cow, twice daily.
Open to all ages, this is an amazing place to go for children under 10. A tween would probably enjoy it too as there is a walking trail, butterfly house and a few “old timey” shops but some of the farm magic may be lost on them. It really does have something for everyone. If you ask my 3 year what his favorite part of the farm was, he’ll say it was the movie they showed about cows. 😮 Figures.
If you have a little train lover on your hands, visiting Fritz’s train themed restaurant is a MUST. There are several trains running on tracks around the restaurant and (wait for it) a train delivers your meal. Yes, you read that right. A train delivers your order to your table, lowering it from the tracks on a little elevator type apparatus from above.
Orders for food are phoned in from a telephone on each table. There are two Kansas City locations and also a Shawnee, KS location. The food type is American and priced between McDonald’s and 5 Guys. The food is decent but the real treat is the train experience. My son left the restaurant with a paper conductor hat on yelling, “Engineer! Engineer!”. 😏🚂
Lastly, several years ago friends told us about some incredible flavored milk they had while in KC. We tried this for ourselves and it was magical. We first had coffee milk which was pretty good but their root beer milk was on another level. It may sound off putting, but it tastes like ice cream melted into a root beer float. It’s udderly delicious. Ha. Cow puns. 😏🐄🥛😋 Buy a glass bottle, ranging from $4 or more depending on size, and see what I mean. We had a cooler and only had room for the root beer milk. Next time, we are bringing an empty cooler and stocking up! You can find this milk at most local grocery stores in the Kansas City area and their dairy farm is available for tours. We’ve already decided we’re going to visit the dairy farm on our next visit.
I ❤️ traveling and look forward to going on more adventures as a family. Where is your favorite place to travel with kids? Comment below! Happy trails!