When you hear the word “tour” you probably associate it with vacations (or trips, as we call them when we bring the kids!). We’ve been on some great tours while traveling together, from the Jelly Belly Factory outside San Francisco to the Louisville Slugger Museum. I knew there were a handful of places in KC that offered tours but once I dug deeper I realized there are LOTS of places that offer them! Schools, homeschool co-ops and scout troops are often the target audience for these but they are great for moms groups, families and out of town visitors, too! Some are drop in; others you need to schedule in advance. Some have group minimums (and maximums) or age minimums. Many are free or low cost but many require an admission ticket or a small fee. I’ve linked to info for most of these so you can plan your tours.
- Chips Chocolate Factory: This tour includes a fudge making demonstration and LOTS of taste testing. You even get a goody bag to take home!
- Strawberry Hill: See how povitica bread is made. (You’ve probably sampled it at Costco if you’re a member). These tours are free but are only for kids ages 8 and up.
- Firehouses/police stations: Check on your city government website for information on these tours. Many have an online form to fill out or a number to call to request a tour. These are a HUGE hit with the preschool crowd! Bring cookies or cards to bless these brave men and women.
- Wayside Waifs: This organization offers several different educational programs for kids to learn about animals, participate in community service projects, and see how Wayside Waifs helps needy animals.
- Libraries: Many libraries offer tours to help familiarize families with all that they have to offer. The Central Resource Library is one such library (check out their MakerSpace!) but call the library nearest you and find out if they can give you a tour!
There are SO many museums and historical sites in the Kansas City area where you can appreciate art, culture, and take a step back in history. The kids might even learn something.
- Museums: C.W. Parker Carousel Museum, National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, Steamboat Arabia Museum, WWI Museum, Children’s Peace Pavillion, Federal Reserve Money Museum.
- Historical sites: Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site, Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, Missouri Town, Shawnee Indian Mission,
- Arts & Culture: Hallmark Visitors Center, Kansas City Ballet, Jazz Museum, Kauffman Center, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art , Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
- Moon Marble has regular demonstrations or you can get a group together to do a field trip package. The kids even get to bring home some marbles.
- Harley Davidson Motorcycle Factory: Free factory tours are available (age 12 and up), this would be a great option for teenagers.
- Beanstalk Children’s Garden: We took a tour back in the summer of 2015, and I shared all the details here. They are only open from June-October so plan accordingly. Kids get to explore the garden with all of their senses.
- Shatto Dairy Farm: We took this tour a couple of years ago with a huge group of moms and even though it was POURING rain, we had a lot of fun. We got to milk a cow, play with barn kittens, see where the milk is bottled, and try all kinds of fun flavors of milk and cheese curds!
- Also check out: Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, Green Dirt Farm, Agriculture Hall of Fame, Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory, Kansas City Zoo.
Kids obsessed with sports? Here are a few places to take them where you can take a tour and feed their fascination.
Create Your Own:
You can also DIY a tour that suits your interests. In the summer of 2015, we did a tour of popular parks in Johnson County with our moms group and found some AMAZING parks. Some other ideas: create a tour of KC fountains, spend the summer trying all the yummy ice cream shops in town, or find and take pictures in front of the many murals in our fun city. The possibilities are endless!