Kansas City Hidden Gems + Giveaway!

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Kansas City Hidden Gems

It is officially summer in the Midwest! Which means time to jump in the car and do some exploring. Our family loves to go on road trips and one of our favorite places to visit is Kansas City. Kansas City is approximately 3 hours south from Des Moines. It is an easy destination to plan a long weekend or an entire week vacation from home.

Visit KC, Giveaway, Kansas City, Missouri
Photo Credit: Jenny Wheat

Many are aware of Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun, but there are so many hidden gems and free things to do in Kansas City. Here are 10 of many hidden gems located in Kansas City.

Hidden Gems

  1. Puppetry Art Institute: The Institute includes a research library, puppet performance, and workshop areas.
  2. Self-guided fountains tour: Many are familiar with Crown Centers fun fountains, but did you know that Kansas City has more than 200 fountains in the city?! That is more than any other city except Seville, Spain.

Crown Center, water fountains, Kansas City

  1. Powell Gardens: A non-profit botanical garden set on 970 acres of rolling hills and windswept meadows. They have beautiful garden displays, exhibits, and events.
  2. West Bottoms: Looking for food trucks, shopping, and entertainment? This is the place to be!
  3. National Airline History Museum: A fun place to explore for any plane loving child or adult.

National Airline Museum, Kansas City

  1. Children’s Peace Pavillion: The museum houses more than 25 interactive exhibits that engage visitors in learning a variety of life skills, such as dealing with strong emotions, conflict resolution, understanding diversity, and environmental sustainability.
  2. The City Market: One of the largest farmers’ market in the region. The market runs from April through October.
  3. Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead: Bottle feed goats fish with cane poles and worms, ride in a horse-drawn carriage and much more. Free admission Monday – Thursday 2 p.m. to close. Weekends and holidays are $2 per person. Open April through October.
Deanna Rose Children's Farm, Kansas City
Photo Credit: Jason Dailey
  1. Kaleidoscope: Be creative and have fun! Children are invited to use their imaginations to make art with materials from Hallmark’s manufacturing processes. And it is free!
Kaleidoscope, Kansas City
Credit: Austin Walsh
  1. Penguin Park: A fun park including a 26-foot kangaroo slide and a 23-foot penguin to play inside.

Upcoming Events


WeekEnder at Crown Center

Cap off your work week with top local bands and favorite food trucks. Shop the wares of artisans and finish the evening off with a famous flick under the stars. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. movie at 9 p.m. FREE. Every Friday in July and Aug.

Jul. 20-21

Amelia Earhart Festival

The aviator’s hometown celebrates her legacy with aviation displays, aerobatic performances, and live concerts.

July 22

Kansas City’s Big Picnic

In partnership with Kansas City Parks & Recreation. All activities and performances are FREE and ongoing 4-8 p.m. unless noted. Held at The Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park at The Nelson-Atkins Museum.

Jul. 19-29

KC Fringe Festival  

This citywide festival is packed with live performances—ranging from theatre and dance to film and fashion.

Aug. 4

Heart of America Hot Dog Festival

Launched by Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in 2013, this annual hot dog festival celebrates the historical connection between the nation’s pastime and the fan’s favorite, a hot dog.  It showcases legendary hot dogs from ballparks across the country.

Aug. 17-19

Ethnic Enrichment Festival

One of the largest of its kind in the Midwest, this festival features food and culture from nearly 50 countries.

Sept. 13-16

American Royal Barbecue

Nicknamed the “World Series of BBQ,” this competition features more than 500 teams and is largest barbecue contest in the planet.

Aug. 31 – Sept. 2

Kansas City Irish Fest

Go green on Labor Day weekend and celebrate KC’s deep Irish roots at one of the nation’s largest Irish festivals.

Aug. 31 – Sept. 3

Santa-Cali-Gon Days

Independence, Mo., celebrates its trails heritage with this free, four-day street festival.

Sept. 1-Oct. 14 (weekends)

Kansas City Renaissance Festival

A 16th-century English marketplace comes to life for seven weekends amid a beautiful wooded setting.

Sept. 7-9

Art Westport

KC’s most historic neighborhood is the canvas for this annual art fair, exclusively featuring the work of local artists.

September 6-9


This three-day, three-night festival in Berkley Riverfront Park will feature national acts and on-site camping.


We want to make sure you make it to Kansas City this summer! We have teamed up with Visit KC to giveaway an amazing package valued at $700!!

** A winner will be chosen and contacted via email on Tuesday, July 17.

Enter here to win!


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

49 thoughts on “Kansas City Hidden Gems + Giveaway!

  1. Sporting KC games are a great family activity also. The stadium is located near Legends shopping center!

  2. We loved the KC zoo! We could watch the polar bears all day!

  3. Avatar Sarah Bosen says:

    We LOVE Kansas City! Our favorite thing to visit is the zoo-it’s HUGE! Next time we go, I’d love to have a chance to visit Kaleidoscope!

  4. Avatar Brandie Stifel says:

    Our FAVORITE FAVORITE and must-go place is the Deana Rose Childrens Homestead. We had SO MUCH fun there! The kids could fish and the baby goats were their favorite. An honorable mention that everyone needs to try is SLAPS BBQ (sweating like a pig BBQ) they make their own sauces, even their own ketchup. It is AMAZING!

  5. My kids would love the zoo!

  6. Our little guy loves animals so we’d be so excited to take him to the zoo and Sea Life!

  7. The Zoo and Legoland!!!

  8. Sea Life for sure!

  9. Love the zoo and the Plaza!

  10. Avatar Thomas Hogue says:


  11. Avatar Brittany Hogue says:

    KC is one of our favorite places!

  12. We haven’t been yet with our little, but looking forward to our first trip together!

  13. This giveaway is amazing!! We are planning a trip to KC in the fall.

  14. Avatar Jenny Ham says:

    I would love to go to The City Market

  15. Avatar Alyssa DeHaan says:

    My boys have been begging to visit Legoland, daddy loves baseball and this Momma wants to go to IKEA 😉

  16. I’m excited for Sea Life!!!

  17. My son would love The KC Zoo or airline history museum!

  18. We would be most excited for the zoo and the Royals game!

  19. What a great list! We’re planning a trip for next month!

  20. We’ve done a number of things in KC but there is so much more to explore! Would love to go to the Ethnic enrichment festival.

  21. Our family loves Kaleidoscope and the zoo! We also really enjoy going to Weston which isn’t too far from KC to enjoy the small town shops.

  22. I’ve heard the Deanna Rose Farmstead is really fun, but I’m also really intrigued by the Peace Pavillion.

  23. Excited to check out Science City on our next trip!

  24. Avatar Jessica Grandstaff says:

    Kansas City is so easy to navigate! We love the Children’s Museum and Deanna Rose! This prize package is incredible!

  25. Avatar Angeles Zurita says:


  26. Avatar Angeles Zurita says:


  27. We haven’t been to the zoo yet.

  28. Avatar Angeles Zurita says:

    We’d love to go to Legoland!!

  29. Avatar Lisa Nelson says:

    Looks so fun!

  30. Avatar Cindy Shelley says:

    I think my 4 year old would like the zoo best.

  31. Avatar Cindy Shelley says:

    Maybe Legoland Discovery Center…. he would really like them all I think.

  32. Avatar Kayla Stace says:

    I love going to Kansas City a lot to do, I haven’t taken my kids yet but when I went with my family we loved Worlds of Fun and all that it had to offer, I can’t wait to go and take the kids to the zoo or even lego land, so much to do

  33. Never been to KC. So excited to plan a vacation for our 5 kiddos and this will be a tremendous help!

  34. The new rays at the Zoo look really awesome!

  35. I would love to go on the fountain tour and also visit Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun!

  36. Avatar Stephanie Hager says:

    I’ve only been to WOF and OOF so I love this list

  37. The Kansas City Zoo!! Legoland!!

  38. Haven’t been to the zoo or Sea Life, but I know my kids would love these!

  39. We haven’t taken the family there yet. We’d love to see a game, go to legoland AND try out some of the amazing FREE things to do! Fingers crossed!!!!

  40. Avatar A Shannon says:

    We’ve never been so all of it.

  41. Would love to check out Legoland and Sea Life!!

  42. Avatar Kim Francis says:

    So many things we would I’ve to explore, Worlds of Fun, Sea Life, the zoo and so much more!

  43. Avatar Katie Holzworth says:

    The Zoo!

  44. Wow! What a great list. We haven’t taken a family trip to KC yet, looks like a lot of fun!

  45. Avatar Kaylee Morgan says:

    We love Kansas City! The zoo is definitely a family favorite!

  46. Avatar Allison Frederick says:

    Excited to go to LegoLand

  47. Avatar Erin Tveter says:

    The zoo and Deanna Rose Children’s farmstead!

  48. Most excited to see the zoo, Legoland, & the beautiful gardens & fountains!

  49. The zoo!!

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