In my opinion, Kansas City is one of the best vacation spots for families in the United States. They have a large amount of family based attractions for all interest types. Many of these attractions are affordably priced or completely free. As a former resident of Kansas City I have had the privilege of visiting many of these great spaces. Today I am going to be sharing with you one of my favorite spots in Kansas City – Crown Center.
Crown Center is a located in downtown Kansas City. The Crown Center District is packed full of exciting adventures. They have an amazing variety of restaurants, great shopping, and unique attractions. Crown Center is also the home to great entertainment. You’ll frequently find live music, festivals, outdoor movies, and free exhibits. As you can see there is plenty to enjoy during your visit. Luckily, your time at Crown Center doesn’t have to end just because the day does. They have two phenomenal hotels on site (The Westin and The Sheraton). So, you can easily keep the adventure going into the next day. After all, nobody wants to cut family fun short.
Over the years, we have spent a lot of time exploring Crown Center. During that time I’ve been able to truly discover what makes this space so unique. Today, I am going to walk you through my favorite parts of Crown Center. I’ll be sharing an in depth look into their three main attractions. I’ll also share some great food options for you to enjoy during your time there. Let’s get started!
Attractions at Crown Center
Sea Life Aquarium at Crown Center
I have always enjoyed taking my daughter to aquariums when we go on vacation. There is something so special about walking into an aquarium. It almost transports you into an underwater world. My daughter and I love getting to soak up a bit of that magic. So, it was only natural for us to visit the Sea Life Aquarium during our trip to Crown Center.
The Sea Life Aquarium is home to more than 5,000 sea creatures including sharks, starfish, sea horses, rays, turtles, and more. They have 30 incredible and unique displays on site that allow you immerse yourself in this underwater adventure. Our favorite exhibit is the Interactive Rockpool Exhibit where children can enjoy a hands on experience by touching sea stars, urchins, snails, and more. We also really enjoy visiting Doodle Reef at the end of our aquarium journey. At Doodle Reef, children can draw and color one of the fish they saw in the aquarium and then watch it come to life on the big screen.
During our visit, we were able to attend Sea Life’s Meet a Mermaid event. This event is going on through May 26th. At Meet a Mermaid, guests are able to witness mermaids perform underwater next to sharks, stingrays, and seas turtles. If you have a little one, then this is a must do experience. Every child deserves to see the magic come to life. The Meet a Mermaid event goes beyond mermaid dives. Sea Life Aquarium is also offering a Mermaid Makeover Package for purchase. This will allow your child to meet one of the mermaids and get a complete mermaid makeover including a costume and makeup. The memories your child makes during the event will last a lifetime.
LEGOLAND at Crown Center
LEGOLAND is an amazing attraction at Crown Center that allows children to engage in imaginative, engaging, and creative play. This interactive attraction is packed full of exciting activities, exhibits, and play areas. So, I highly recommend setting aside two to three hours. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of time to explore. Luckily, once you enter the LEGOLAND Discovery Center there is no time limit on your visit. You are able to explore and enjoy as long as you’d like.
LEGOLAND has a great variety of attractions including two rides, a 4D cinema, and 10 LEGO play zones. Miniland is one of our favorite spots in LEGOLAND. It is built with over 1.5 million LEGO bricks and features a selection of iconic Kansas City attractions. This space is interactive for children. So, they can push different buttons to watch buildings light up, airplanes soar, and race cars zoom around the track. DUPLO Village is our favorite place to hang out with our toddler. Young children can safely let their creativity flow in the animal themed village. They have giant soft bricks to build with and a fun slide in their cottage. Merlin’s Apprentice Ride is an excellent option for older children. As guests pedal their enchanted cart they will soar into the air in an attempt to become Merlin’s next wizarding apprentice.
Throughout the year LEGOLAND Discovery Center will host various events. So, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on their event page to stay up to date. During our visit, we were able to enjoy their Report For Duty event. This event runs through June 9th. Guests are able to build their own police badge, build and fly a rescue helicopter, enjoy a special 4D film, and film their own rescue scene in the STOPMOTION Studio! One of my favorite parts about Report For Duty is that local heroes will receive free admission during the event.
Kaleidoscope at Crown Center
One of my biggest passions in life is finding ways for children to freely express their creativity. Finding a creative outlet whether it be art, music, dance, or writing is so crucial for children. That’s why Kaleidoscope is not only one of my favorite Crown Center attractions, but one of my favorite Kansas City attractions as well. Kaleidoscope’s mission is to nourish the creative spirit in children. How amazing is that?
The Kaleidoscope attraction at Crown Center is provided by Hallmark. Hallmark provides left over materials from their manufacturing process for children to use as they please. The materials Hallmark provides are constantly changing so the experiences and projects at Kaleidoscope are ever changing. Children of all ages are welcome to attend Kaleidoscope’s 50-minute art sessions. However, adults are must be accompanied by a child to enter. They are not permitted to enter alone. The best part about Kaleidoscope is that it is completely FREE!
Restaurants at Crown Center
Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant at Crown Center
Fritz’s Restaurant is such an amazing piece of Kansas City history. They have been serving Kansas City families for decades. In fact, their first location opened in 1954! At Fritz’s you will find delicious old fashioned hamburgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and more.
Fritz’s is more than just delicious food. It’s a wonderful experience that the whole family will cherish. This railroad themed restaurant has families creating memories from the moment they step in line to be seated. Fritz’s sets the scene by handing children a train conductor hat when they sit down at the table. The highlight of the meal is about to come. After parents order food through the phone at the table it’s time to look to the ceiling. Soon, a train will zoom around the restaurant with dinner in tow. Children will watch in amazement as their meal is delivered and lowered onto the table by a train delivery car. It’s a memory your family will never forget.
Spin! Pizza at Crown Center
Y’all will never meet another person who loves pizza more than me. My husband loves to joke and tell people that I could eat pizza for every meal for the rest of my life. It’s not even a joke though because I love pizza that much! I try not to discriminate against pizza because let’s be real it’s all pretty yummy. However, there are a few restaurants that have truly captured my heart. Spin! Pizza is at the top of that list.
When Anthony and I used to live in Kansas City I would beg to go to Spin! at least once a week. It quickly became our Friday night dinner tradition. Spin! features a delicious selection of gourmet pizzas. My ride or die has always been their Sausage & Apple option. It is next level tasty. They also have an amazing variety of Italian gelato. In my opinion, a dinner at Spin! simply isn’t complete without a cup of this tasty dessert.
If you are planning on making a weekend getaway to Crown Center with your family, then you should absolutely make eating at Spin! a priority. Spin! makes families feel welcomed and comfortable when dining with them. They have excellent staff members who take top notch care of everyone at the table. They even have a great special going on for children right now. On Sundays kids eat free! For every adult entree purchased, children 12 and under will receive a free kids meal.