Family Travel: Artsy Kansas City, IMG Cred: Katie Bodell

Let Your Creative Wings Spread in Kansas City!


Kansas City has become the art Mecca of the Midwest.  Between the downtown area’s revitalized Crossroads Art District, three incredible art museums, and numerous opportunities for kids to get involved in the creative process, KC is a great destination to inspire your budding artist.

Of the three major art museums, the Nelson-Atkins is by far the most diverse and expansive.  The museum boasts over 33,500 art objects with collections spanning from primitive to contemporary art periods, from numerous cultures around the world.  The collection itself is not the only impressive aspect, the architecture of the museum’s two buildings, one section built nearly 100 years ago, the other a more modern expansion, are incredible feats of architecture.  The property grounds boast the outdoor Kansas City Sculpture Garden.  Although kids might not typically be drawn to exploring sculpture, they might change their minds as they explore the grounds and pass four giant badminton shuttlecocks.  The whimsical sculptures set the tone for a relaxing afternoon exploring art at you and your child’s leisure.  Inside the museum, kid-friendly favorites include the impressionism gallery, ancient Egyptian mummy & tomb, and a massive and beautifully intricate reproduction of a Chinese temple.

Two other museums in town, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art give your kids plenty of options for exploring world-class art in beautiful and professional museums.  In addition to large museums, KC’s revitalized Crossroads Art District features numerous small galleries and exhibits.  First Fridays, appropriately named as the festival runs on the first Friday of each month, offers visitors the chance to head into most of these small museums free of charge.  Many of the streets are blocked off and numerous street vendors, craft makers and artists fill the streets.

If all of this art focus has your kids itching to get creative themselves, you are in luck.  In addition to numerous free festivals, workshops, and events at all the major museums, the city boasts an innovative art space just for kids: Kaleidoscope.  At Kaleidoscope, children are free to create imaginative works of art from scrap material that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.  There aren’t any set templates here, no samples to match up to in skill.  With the help of volunteers, kids are guided to explore, create, and discovery with art tools including colors, paint, markers, stencils, and more.

The best part of all of this art-based fun?  Every one of these art spaces, from the museums to Kaleidoscope are free to visit.
Breakaway from the typical family travel destinations and book a Kansas City family vacation today!
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photo: Katie Bodell

One Response

  1. KSeward

    Saving one of the best for last….The Heart of America Shakespeare Festial offers free plays in the beautiful South Moreland Park every summer.


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