Things to Do with Kids in Missouri (2024)

Planning a family vacation this year? There are loads of things to do with kids in Missouri. From theme parks and zoos to museums and caves, the Show-Me State is filled with fun for the whole family. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Kansas City

You’ll find lots of family-friendly activities and Midwestern hospitality in Kansas City. Top off the day with some of the best barbecue in the country.

  • – Get an up-close look at penguins, polar bears, primates and more at the 200-acre zoo and aquarium.
  • The Regnier Family Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City – This fully accessible children’s museum features interactive experiences that incorporate STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and math – for young children and their families.
  • Union Station Kansas City – Explore Science City, the Arvin Gottleib Planetarium, traveling exhibits and shops at one of the city’s most iconic destinations.
  • Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun – Spend the day enjoying seven roller coasters, family rides and live entertainment. Make a splash at the wave pool, lazy river and largest mat-racing water slide in the world.
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St. Louis

No trip to St. Louis is complete without a stop at Gateway Arch National Park. Start your adventure with a tram ride 630 feet to the top of the iconic arch and a tour of the underground museum.

  • City Museum – Don’t let the name fool you – this is no ordinary museum. This must-see spot is a whimsical space with tunnels, slides, secret passageways, a rooftop Ferris wheel and more.
  • Saint Louis Zoo – Enter a world of more than 16,000 animals – many of them endangered. Book a behind-the-scenes tour to learn what it’s like to be a zookeeper.
  • St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station – Housed in St. Louis’ historic Union Station, six galleries and 13,000 animals will take you on an aquatic trip down the Mississippi River to the depths of the Ocean.
  • The St. Louis Wheel – Go for a spin on the 200-foot observation wheel with 42 fully enclosed, climate-controlled gondolas.
  • The Magic House – This children’s museum is filled to the brim with hundreds of hands-on exhibits and activities for visitors of all ages.
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This Ozark town may be best known for its music shows, but you’ll also find enough family-friendly attractions to keep the kids entertained for days.

  • Branson Ferris Wheel – Board a gondola and get ready to go up (way up!) as the Ferris wheel reaches its apex at 150 feet.
  • The Runaway at Branson Mountain Adventure Park – Get your adrenaline pumping on the longest andfastest mountain coaster in the Midwest.
  • Dogwood Canyon Nature Park – Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Ozarks at this 10,000-acre nature park. See streams, waterfalls and wildlife as you ride through the park on a tram or explore on horseback, bicycle or foot.
  • Silver Dollar City – This top-rated theme park is home to dozens of rides, shops and shows inspired by life in the 1880s. Artisans demonstrate their skills in glassblowing, woodcarving, blacksmithing, candy making and more.
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Nature takes center stage in Springfield, home of one of the top aquariums in the United States and the country’s only ride-through cave.

  • Discovery Center of Springfield – Don’t tell the kids, but they might learn a thing or two about chemistry and physics through fun, interactive exhibits.
  • Fantastic Caverns – Board a jeep-drawn tram for a subterranean trip through stalactites, stalagmites and other intriguing rock formations.
  • Springfield Conservation Nature Center – Nature thrives in this 79-acre slice of the Ozarks outdoors. Explore miles of walking trails plus nature exhibits and programs.
  • – Marvel at more than 35,000 fish, mammals, reptiles and birds. The complex includes a massive aquarium and immersive wildlife galleries.
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More Family Fun

  • Missouri campgrounds, multiple locations – Whether you spend the night in a tent, RV or camper cabin, camping is always adventure. The Show-Me State has dozens of privately-owned campgrounds as well as campgrounds in state and national parks.
  • Discovery Playhouse, Cape Girardeau – Your child’s imagination will run wild in the interactive spaces at Discovery Playhouse. With one floor dedicated to younger children and another for older kids, there’s plenty of magic to uncover.
  • Elephant Rocks State Park, Belleview – Got explorers? They’ll love this scenic park, where a maze of massive granite boulders provides lots of opportunities for climbing.
  • Lake of the Ozarks, Osage Beach – Have fun in the sun swimming, fishing and boating on the lake. Go ashore for mini-golf, go karts and kid-focused activities at Miner Mike’s and Buster’s.
  • Shatto Milk Company, Osborn – Call ahead to plan a tour at this dairy farm. Sample fresh milk in a variety of kid-friendly flavors – cotton candy, banana, root beer and more.
  • Lost Valley Fish Hatchery, Warsaw – Spot fish in the Visitor Center’s 12,700-gallon aquarium. Then try out the kids’ fishing pond, open to visitors ages 15 and younger.
  • Mark Twain Cave, Hannibal – Navigate the crisscross passages on a guided tour through this labyrinth-style cavern. Mark Twain featured the cave in five of his novels, including “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

This list should keep you and the kids busy for quite a while. Find more ideas for family fun at

Things to Do with Kids in Missouri (2024)
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