15 Great Day Trips From Kansas City

Day trips from Kansas City

Day trips can turn any boring summer week into something special! From popular favorites to some lesser-known destinations, we’ve got some excellent ideas from area homeschool moms:

Day trips in Kansas

  • Museum of Natural History in Lawrence.

Scavenger hunts, exhibit checklists and “science scoops” are just a few of the highlights awaiting young ones at this natural history museum! See vertebrate and invertebrate fossils, flora and fauna of the Great Plains, and the historic Panorama with hands-on learning for grades K-12.

Distance: About 1 hour from downtown Kansas City.

  • Prairie Park Nature Center in Lawrence.

See a dazzling variety of Kansas wildlife, watch educational programs, explore walking trails, and even go fishing at the Lawrence nature center, which includes wetlands, prairie habitats and woodlands over 100 acres.

Distance: About 1 hour from downtown Kansas City.

  • Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory & Sanctuary in Louisburg.

This sanctuary for endangered large cats provides guided tours, an education center and even weekend animal feedings!

Distance: About 1 hour from downtown Kansas City.

  • Kansas Children’s Discovery Center in Topeka.

This interactive children’s museum offers a range of programs, field trips and hands-on fun through 9 indoor exhibits and 4.5 wood acres of hiking trails, obstacle courses and bike paths.

Distance: About 1 hour from downtown Kansas City.

  • Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison.

Visit the cottage where Amelia Earhart lived and learn more about this famous aviator, who considered Atchison her home.

Distance: About 1 hour from downtown Kansas City.

  • The Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan.

Enjoy breathtaking views and histories of tallgrass prairie in North America, one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world. The Flint Hills Discovery Center offers a multimedia immersive experience, summer camps, and permanent as well as temporary exhibits.

Distance: About 2 hours from downtown Kansas City.

  • Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson.

Launch your summer’s space exploration adventures with this museum, which features tours through four galleries, as well as shows in three Cosmosphere theaters. The center also offers summers camps for grades 2-12.

Distance: About 3.5 hours from downtown Kansas City.

  • Salt mine in Hutchinson.

Don’t miss this under-world experience in Hutchinson! The salt mine is one of the world’s largest deposits, covering 27,000 square miles.

Distance: About 3.5 hours from downtown Kansas City.

  • Nicodemus, a black pioneer town (45 miles northwest of Hays).

Discover the only remaining western community established by ex-slaves after the Civil War. The Nicodemus Community Center offers pamphlets, video presentations and a walking tour map and guide for visitors.

Distance: About 4.5 hours from downtown Kansas City.

Day trips in Missouri

  • Missouri Town in Blue Springs.

The “Missouri Town 1855” living history museum spans 65 acres in Fleming Park, in eastern Jackson County. Complete with 25 period-appropriate structures, the museum is home to educational workshops, such as blacksmithing, baking pies on the hearth, and making lye soap.

Distance: About half an hour from downtown Kansas City.

  • Watkins Woolen Mill State Park in Lawson.

Explore 19th-century life and textile machinery at this historic site, which provides customized tours through its Living History Farm Program. Teachers can even request to reserve a special day in an authentic one-room schoolhouse!

Distance: About 1 hour from downtown Kansas City.

  • Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph.

Relive the experience of the Pony Express riders as they braved dust storms, icy mountains, rugged terrain and other pitfalls to deliver mail around the United States. Browse exhibits such as the blacksmith and wheel wright shop, 1860s coin collection, and more.

Distance: About 1 hour from downtown Kansas City.

  • Oliver Anderson House in Lexington.

This beautiful house is part of the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site and exemplifies some of the large mansions built in Missouri during the Civil War period. The house was a strategic stronghold during the Battle of Lexington, when it changed hands between the Confederate and Union troops three times in one day: Sept. 18, 1861.

Distance: About 1 hour from downtown Kansas City.

  • Jesse James State Home in Kearney.

Want to learn more about this famous outlaw and Civil War history? Take a tour of the renovated James Farm, which was owned by the descendants of Jesse Woodson James until 1978.

Distance: About 1 hour from downtown Kansas City.

  • Titanic Museum in Branson.

Get your students’ “boarding” pass to the world’s largest Titanic museum attraction, and see if they survived the maiden voyage on their scavenger hunt sheet! Better yet, they may have homeschool discounts available – check out this page or contact the museum for more info.

Distance: About 3.5 hours from downtown Kansas City.

This post was originally published in June 2015. We have updated it for timeliness and detail.

Liked this post? Check out other ideas on our field trips page.

5 Comments

  1. Amanda Nachtmann
      June 24, 2015 at 8:54 PM

    The hunt morgan house is in Lexington, KY. you mean the Anderson house in Lexington MO

    1.   June 25, 2015 at 6:53 AM

      Whoops – thanks so much for the catch, Amanda! We’ve updated the post and added the correct link.

      -Shanxi Omoniyi, MPE’s online content manager

  2.   June 23, 2018 at 10:47 AM

    You might look at adding the Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka, Kansas to your list. I know your first reaction is REALLY? But their upstairs does focus on broken bones, and the physics and math involved in jumping a motorcycle. Its also shows how things have changed from over the years. Reach out to abeach@topekaharley.com or 785-215-6205 for questions. THANKS! Student rates are very affordable.

    1.   June 25, 2018 at 1:20 PM

      Thanks for the suggestion, Amanda!

  3. Pingback: Homeschool Flexibility: 20+ Places To See After School Begins - MPE

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

close-link
close-link