Kansas City On a Budget With Kids

The Visit Neighboring States Series

Want to do something extra special for your kiddos but need some low cost options? Kansas City On a Budget With Kids has just what your looking for. From Central Iowa, Kansas City is only a few hours drive, just about the length of one movie.  In our opinion, the city offers the most opportunities and attractions for younger children compared to other large cities that are the same driving distance.

Kansas City On a Budget With Kids

Disclaimer: Our visit may have been hosted to some of these locations, however, all opinions expressed in this article are completely ours and based on our own family’s unique experience.


LEGOLAND Discovery Center and SeaLife share the same building but are two separate attractions that require separate admission fees. However, you can get joint discounts. We found a deal where kids were free with paying adult. 

The kids and even hubby really enjoyed the touch tank in SeaLife. The whole aquarium is very family friendly and has a lot for the kids to do besides just looking at the animals. There are different interactive displays and a soft pad play area. 

SEALIFE Kansas City

Don’t think, ‘just another science center’! Science City at Union Station in downtown Kansas City is perfect for all ages. Your family could easily spend a full day of learning and play with over 50 hands-on displays. Plan for a 4-6 hour visit. This place is so huge that is deserves it’s own post

But what about the “on a budget” part of Kansas City On a Budget With Kids? GREAT NEWS! Science City is part of the Reciprocal Program and is FREE for SCI Members!

Kansas City is home to more then 20 museums including The Money Museum (free) where kids can design their own money or see what 40 million dollars looks like!

A library is not typically on the vacation destination list, however, the Kansas City Public Library is worth a stop! Huge bank vault, giant book steps and roof top Chess are all found here for free.

Super Shops

Cabela’s outdoor store (10300 Cabela Dr, Kansas City, KS 66111)  is more than just a place to buy fishing gear. They have an incredible lifelike taxidermy animal display, water feature and live fish aquariums. We visited the store a couple of times during our stay in Kansas City so hubby could do a little shopping.


The Crown Center hosts the Crayola Store, Hallmark’s Kaleidoscope creative space (free with reservation), and several other neat shops. Attached via skywalk is Science City at Union Station, Sealife and LEGOLAND Discovery Center. 

Mega Meals

Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant is in the Crown Center and about a ten minute walk from Science City. 

Kansas City Kids


Make It a Special Stay

Kansas City has a few special hotels and one of them is The Great Wolf Lodge. We love the family friendly themed indoor water park. While a bit more pricey in the busy season, off season can offer some fantastic deals making it a Kansas City On a Budget With Kids favorite! 

Mini fridges and microwaves come standard in all the rooms, so pack some easy meals to save even more. If your budget is tight, bring along some tasty treats as a surprise. 

Cabelas Kansas City Great wolf Lodge

Kansas City On a Budget With Kids is doable and enjoyable! Make memories! 

Kansas City On a Budget With Kids

Additional fun can be found with the The Kansas City’s Passport to Adventure. 

“The Kansas City’s Passport to Adventure is a free annual program sponsored by the Greater Kansas City Interpretive Site Coalition. Every year hundreds of families participate in the kickoff and throughout the summer visiting participating sites. It is a great way to explore some of the little “treasures” of the Kansas City area.”

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    1. Yes, It’s totally great for the kids! I have to confess, I think I embarrassed my husband with my own excitement! 😉

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