Crown Center Staycation

I can’t think of a more fun, family friendly and convenient Kansas City staycation destination than Crown Center. With a variety of attractions and local restaurants connected to The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center, it makes for a very easy family fun weekend! I’m sharing with you our itinerary and some tips and tricks for planning your next Crown Center staycation!

Day 1

Head down to the Crown Center area and start your day off with some excitement at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City. Make sure to buy your tickets ahead of time online and get the combo pass with SEA LIFE for the best deal. I was excited to see they rearranged the flow, added some new areas and had lots of sanitizer stations. Grab your very own bucket of LEGOS bricks for some master building. There’s a Creative Workshop area where you can space out and build to your heart’s content and race tracks to see how your creations perform against others. Catch a 4D movie and walk through the Mini Village to see Kansas City landmarks and Wizard of Oz in tiny brick form- my favorite every time! Make sure the kiddos bring their piggy bank money as the LEGO Store has plenty of souvenirs they will be begging for.

Now walk across to the Crown Center shops for lunch. We decided to try something new. Unforked offered seating right away and had plenty of kid friendly and unique and tasty grown-up options. We loved the Fried Egg BLT, Not So Sweet potato wedges, and the Hail to the Kale Salad. It was nice to try something different that pleased my kids too.

The Crown Center Shops currently close at 5, so you’ll want to do some shopping now. Crayola Store and Toy Time are great for the kids, you can pick out a new board game for the hotel room. Stop in to The Best of Kansas City Store and stock up on some Kansas City local snacks to take home – Guy’s chips, Velvet Crème popcorn and the chocolate covered almonds from Andre’s are some of my favorites. Browse through Halls and remember the days we used to get dressed up and go places or find a new kitchen gadget at Function Junction. There’s plenty of local shops to keep you busy for awhile.

If you’re starting to feel shopped out, head back over to SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium  for a calm afternoon exploring the underwater world. The kids will love the oceanwater tunnels where they come face to face with stingrays and sharks, the interactive touchpool and Shawny the rescued Sea Turtle.

After your underwater adventure, head outside to Crown Center Square to catch the dancing fountains and walk over to The Westin to check in for the night. The staff at The Westin is incredibly friendly and on your way to the room, stop by mezzanine level to throw some pennies in the waterfall. There’s a heated outdoor pool on the 5th floor so bring your suits if kiddos like to swim.  The hotel has great views of Union Station, downtown and the World War I Memorial and is connected to the Crown Center Shops so shopping and dining is literally right downstairs.

After getting settled in your room, you’re probably hungry. We ordered SPIN! Pizza on their app and it was ready in just 15 minutes. They offer in-restaurant dining but we decided to get it to go, along with some concretes from Sheridan’s Custard and some adult beverages from The Apothecary. We had a pizza party in our room in our jammies and snuggled up to watch a virtual showing of The Coterie’s production of The Snowy Day and other stories by Jack Keats. You can purchase the on demand showings through March 30th online at Watching the sunset over downtown KC and the skyline lit up was a perfect ending to our day.

Day 2

Are you ready for another fun-filled KC Day?! Take the Link indoor skyway over to Union Station.

The Link skyway connects The Westin/Crown Center to Union Station.

Grab some breakfast at Harvey’s where the chocolate chips pancakes are ooey gooey and one order is plenty for the kids to share or grab some quick to-go options with a cappuccino from Parisi Coffee. Head downstairs to Science City for some STEM fun. My kids loved the new train area and outdoor playground and my husband was a big fan of the challenges at the Amazing Brain exhibit. You could wander Union Station for hours with its stunning architecture, model train exhibit, Planetarium and Xtreme Screen, so spend as much time as your family wants or head back to Crown Center Shops to browse more stores

Complete your staycation with a meal at Fritz’s at Crown Center. You can’t beat burgers, fries and milkshakes delivered by an overhead electric train. It’s the one place my kids beg me to take them every time we visit Crown Center so it’s the perfect ending meal. While one of our favorite Crown Center attractions – Kaleidoscope remains closed for now – you can swing by Crown Center Customer Service to pick up craft kits to take home.

Stop by Crown Center Customer Service on Level 2 any day from 12-4pm to get your Kaleidescope craft kits to go.

While you’re upstairs, you can watch chocolate being made right in front of you at Chip’s Chocolate Factory, taste some of their 40 flavors and head home on a sweet note.

Laura Mulcahy
Laura is wife to Marty, and mom to Michael (11), Joseph (9) and Anna (5). She spends most of her days juggling working from home, shuffling kids to activities and can usually be found cheering on the boys from the baseball stands. She is born and raised in Kansas City, graduated from KU (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!) and has spent most of her career in advertising sales. She loves big Italian family dinners, trying out new restaurants in Kansas City on a rare date night and can never say no to an impromptu dance party with her kids.