The Mom’s Guide to the Kansas City Museum

This post is sponsored by the Kansas City Museum.

After seven years of being closed for renovations, the Kansas City Museum reopened in 2021 after $22 million in renovations and this cultural icon of Kansas City has proven it was worth the wait. From the stunning architecture to the thoughtful and informative galleries to the brand new Elixir soda fountain, the Kansas City Museum is a place for families of all ages to enjoy.

What Kids Will Love

Spread out over three floors and containing more than 400 artifacts on view, the Kansas City Museum provides a vast interactive, cultural experience of Kansas City history. The first floor focuses on the grandeur of the Corinthian Hall and The Long Family. Kids from young to old will be entranced by elaborate clocks, chandeliers, tapestries, and clocks of a bygone era. It has the feel of having your very own castle to explore. It also has their gift shop, Wisteria, which has something for everyone: stuffed animals and brightly colored castanets for children as well as gorgeous pottery, jewelry and other unique goods handmade and featured from both local and international artists.


Going up the elegant staircase to the second floor provides five large rooms of galleries tracing Kansas City history from the American Indians of the region with one of a kind artifacts to the later formation of the city, the cultural elements of Kansas City including jazz and the Plaza, as well as an honest look at how Jim Crow laws and other forms of discrimination impacted the city.  Beyond the excitement of seeing old swords, velocipedes, an early form of a motorbike, as well as instruments and jukeboxes, older kids will start to see how the history of our city was built on the backs of both great leaders as well as marginalized people groups.


Finally, the third floor provides an exploration of Kansas City’s past, present and future through changing exhibitions. From the emotionally moving “Our City, Our Stories” with a sweeping gallery of racially and culturally diverse people from Kansas City and their personal stories to the contemporary art portion containing a giant mirror ball from the 1920s and interactive moving theater displays, guests are constantly surprised by both the depth of the history as well as the fun, whimsical art pieces.


Working up an appetite, we headed downstairs to the both visual and delicious treat of Elixir – the Kansas City Museum’s soda fountain.  Elixir is an exciting throwback to the old days of the soda fountain experience and features house sodas, bottled sodas, phosphates, milkshakes, and sundaes.  Going above and beyond the traditional experience, you can experience food collaborations with such local restaurants and coffee shops as Fairway Creamery and Christopher Elbow.  Be sure to grab a scoop of the Corinthian crunch – a museum exclusive ice cream!


What Moms Will Love

For starters, the museum is FREE! This means you have a great place to take your kids to get the wiggles out on a cold day without breaking the bank. The art and history is just as compelling for adults as for children. And while the kids are enjoying their ice cream or milkshakes, flip over the menu to see wines by Les Bourgeois Vineyards, beers by local breweries, and specialty cocktails featuring local distillers.  You can even treat yourself to a Corinthian Affogato with espresso and Irish Cream liquor as well as the Death by Chocolate Sundae, which is indeed to die for.

Who It’s Best For

Families of all ages will enjoy the museum, but it truly becomes an educational experience for those children seven and older. If you are looking for a place to truly show the full history of our city to your child, I could not recommend any better place. And, between the museum itself and the delicious food and adult beverages, it also makes for an excellent day date for you and your spouse!

Location and Parking

3218 Gladstone Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64123

There is plenty of room for street parking adjacent to the museum.

Admission and Hours

Free admission.

Open Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.,
Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday noon – 5 p.m.

Elixir is open Thursday 3:30-7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and Sunday noon-3 p.m.


There are multiple bathrooms located on different floors of the museum.

Stroller and Wheelchair Accessibility

A wheelchair/stroller accessible entrance is located at the west gate entrance on Norledge Ave as well as an elevator lift is accessible inside to all floors of the museum.

Special Events

The Kansas City Museum hosts a wide range of events, many of which sell out quickly.  The best way to see what is available is to check out the events listings online. These include the Winter House Concert Series featuring live music, various book events, curator conversations in which certain museum pieces will be highlighted and discussed in addition to an after event beverage, and the extremely popular “Historic Exploration of Kansas City Cuisine” in which guests are treated to a multi-course dinner and beverage pairings inspired by the culinary history of Kansas City as well as discussion of the history of Kansas City’s unique contribution to cuisine.

Also, don’t miss the event highlight of the year, the annual Derby Party. This yearly fundraiser event is a beloved local event held on the grounds and supports the museum’s education and public programs.

We must also recommend the Fairy Princess tradition – a magical holiday experience that has been going on for generations in Kansas City!

Don’t Miss This Hidden Gem

Located downstairs in the Corinthian Hall next to Elixir, the billiard room is an elegant, fun place to enjoy yourself at the museum. Enjoy your beverage while playing pool, board games or cards. A quiet place to sit and relax with plenty of games for the kids to play!

Rachel Schulte
Hi! I'm a former English Literature teacher and Kansas City transplant with 3 boys - 8, 6 and 3. I've fallen in love with the city and its people and enjoy exploring the area's coffee shops, libraries, art museums, and gardens when I'm not wrangling my three little ones. Raising a child with autism has given a passion for connecting with and providing resources for other moms with neurodiverse children. On a regular day, you can find me with my nose in a book, coffee in hand, and probably trying to take on WAY more than I have time for. I'm passionate and love finding other moms who are here to do life together and make the world better.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here