Missouri is home to a wide variety of different things to do, and you'll have no problem finding plenty to fill an extended trip with your family. Kids and adults alike can find fun throughout the state, making it an ideal destination for family trips whether you're interested in the city or the serene countryside. You can also enjoy the best of both worlds, considering how easy it is to get around. Discover all the best activities for a family vacation in Missouri, and pick out which attractions would work best for your family's unique interests.
Top attractions in Kansas City
1. The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
If your kids love toys, they'll love a trip to the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. You'll find a massive collection of antique toys totaling more than 72,000 objects in all. Your kids can even enjoy some hands-on activities like demonstrations on how to create shadow puppets.
2. Crown Center
Crown Center is an iconic part of Kansas City that's home to several unique attractions. You can see aquatic creatures at SEA LIFE Kansas City, and your kids can enjoy endless play at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Several iconic restaurants are available here as well, offering delicious barbecue and burgers.
Your kids can enjoy fostering their creativity at Kaleidoscope. This interactive creative arts studio is home to a wide variety of hands-on activities and experiences that allow children to craft artistic masterpieces. All the supplies they'll need are supplied for them, and there are 6 different sessions each day to choose from.
4. Money Museum
Money can be more exciting than you might think when you and your family visit the Money Museum. Here, you'll have the opportunity to design your own currency as well as personally handle gold bars that are each worth almost $400,000. Kids can even enjoy seeing the process of how money is printed.
5. Museum at Prairiefire
The Museum at Prairiefire is an iconic destination in Kansas City that's packed full of interactive exhibits kids can enjoy. You'll find a wide variety of topics covered here including zoology, dinosaurs, and space. Kids will especially enjoy the virtual reality experience and hands-on bug encounters.
6. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
If your family is interested in art, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is one of the best destinations in the city. You'll find more than 5,000 years of artistic history covered here primarily focused on the local area's cultures. Additionally, you'll find an outdoor sculpture park and glass labyrinth that kids are sure to enjoy.
7. Swope Park
At Swope Park, your family can enjoy a wide variety of activities outdoors in the serene Kansas City sun. You'll find bike trails, playgrounds, and even a pool for families to enjoy. Don't forget to check out the Lakeside Nature Center as well for interactive exhibits about local plants and wildlife.
8. Kansas City Zoo
Any family who loves animals will enjoy a trip to the Kansas City Zoo. Here, you'll find 200 acres of space that's home to thousands of different animals from across the world. Among the residents, you'll find polar bears, penguins, giraffes, and more. Kid-oriented activities are prevalent here as well, with safaris and a preschool science hour for young kids.
Family attractions elsewhere in Missouri
9. Titanic Museum
In Branson, you can visit the Titanic Museum and see more than 400 artifacts from the Titanic. You won't have any trouble finding this museum, as one side is modeled to look like the ship's exterior. Additionally, you can touch an actual iceberg and stand on a replica of the ship's decks.
10. Saint Louis Zoo
The Saint Louis Zoo is home to a wide variety of different animals including zebras, lions, and several great apes. In fact, more than 19,000 animals live here. One of the best parts of this museum, however, is that access is completely free, so it's the ideal destination for travelers on a budget.
11. Johnson Shut-ins State Park
Middlebrook, Missouri, is home to Johnson Shut-ins State Park, which is one of the most iconic naturally preserved areas in the state. You'll find hiking trails, of course, but you can also enjoy several designated swimming areas. Either way, you'll find it easy to enjoy for the whole family including young kids.
12. Long Branch State Park
Given that Missouri is a landlocked state, pristine beaches aren't what you might normally expect. When you visit Long Branch State Park, however, you can enjoy a welcoming shore along Long Branch Lake. The lake is fun for kids and adults alike whether you're swimming or boating.
13. Six Flags St. Louis
There's nothing quite like a trip to an iconic theme park, and that's exactly what you'll find at Six Flags St. Louis. You'll find a variety of different rides including thrilling coasters and more child-appropriate rides like a Ferris wheel and a carousel. With the sheer variety of rides on offer, your family will find fun no matter how old they are.
14. Grant's Farm
Grant's Farm offers a family-friendly experience with animals that you and the kids can interact with. In addition to the normal farm animals you'd expect, you'll also find zebras, lemurs, and camels. Camel rides are available as well, along with a carousel.
15. Big Surf Waterpark
At Big Surf Waterpark, the whole family can enjoy some fun in the sun with refreshing slides, pools, and rivers. All ages can find fun, with adults and older kids tackling the high-speed waterslides and toddlers finding fun in lazy rivers and pools. Of course, the adults can relax in the lazy river as well.