Moms’ Guide to Union Station in Kansas City

There aren’t many places in Kansas City where the whole family can find something they’ll enjoy, but Union Station in Kansas City checks all the boxes for little kids, big kids, teens, parents, and grandparents! Here’s our guide to everything that Union Station has to offer.

What Kids Will Love at Union Station

The variety of shows at the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium. My space loving kid was so excited for the Destination Solar System show, and we have plans to return for the Legend of the Enchanted Reef.

Kids will love seeing movies on the BIG screen at the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre. This is the largest movie screen in the area measuring 80 feet by 53 feet. Unlike most movie theaters they air both first run movies as well as classics and educational films.

Kids of all ages (and grown ups, too!) will enjoy a day exploring Science City. Check out our full guide to Science City as well as our guide to the new little explorer area

What Moms Will Love at Union Station

There are so many indoor activities to choose from, especially on a really hot or a really cold day. Moms will also love the money that can be saved with a Union Station membership (great idea for a birthday or holiday gift!) 

Who It’s Best For

The attractions at Union Station appeal to kids and adults of all ages so it’s easy for everyone to find something they enjoy.

Union Station Location and Parking

30 West Pershing Rd. Kansas City, MO 64108

The garage in the back by the entrance to Science City and the Planetarium is $5 for up to 5 hours and $10 for 4-8 hours. Credit cards are accepted. Parking in the lots up front is priced higher at $10 for up to 4 hours.

You can get your parking validated if you go to a movie at the Extreme Screen. Harvey’s will also discount your parking if you eat there. 

If you want to park for free, park over at the Freight House and take the sky bridge over the railroad tracks. Another option is to park at Crown Center (businesses there will validate parking if you make a purchase) and take The Link from there to Union Station.

If you’d rather take public transportation, you can hop on the KC Streetcar (free!) which stops at Union Station.

Admission Cost

You can pay for your tickets to these attractions online here or purchase when you arrive. Science City tickets are sold at the door and for other attractions the tickets can be purchased at the box office. Open 7 days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

What to See at Union Station

Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium

General admission tickets are $8 and for Union Station members they are $4.

Science City

General admission tickets are $16. Babies 12 months and younger are free. Union Station members get in free.

Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre

Matinee showings are only $5. Regular ticket prices are $8 for adults and $7 for kids age 3-11.

Model Train Gallery

Free! Donations are accepted.

Union Station Membership

A membership to Union Station comes with many benefits including free admission to Science City, discounted tickets to exhibits and shows at the planetarium, $1 popcorn at the Extreme Theater, and a 10% discount at the restaurants and shops located inside Union Station. One of the biggest perks is the ASTC Travel Passport Program that will get you free or discounted admission to over 300 museums around the United States. Nearby museums in this program include the Amazeum in Northwest Arkansas, the Children’s Museum in Omaha, the Discovery Lab in Tulsa and several spots in Kansas including the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Exploration Place in Wichita, and the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan.

Family Amenities

Bathrooms

There are several bathrooms located on the main level as well as bathrooms inside Science City.

Stroller and Wheelchair Accessibility

Union Station offers accessible parking, entrances, and elevators to move throughout the building. There is also stroller parking outside the entrance to the planetarium.

Nursing Room

Union Station has a nursing room across from the Innovation Room on B level as well as one inside of Science City.

Seating Areas

Union Station has lots of benches throughout the building where you can sit and people watch.

Food Policies and Purchase Options

There are quite a few places to get food at Union Station. There is a concession stand by the movie theater and on the main level you’ll find several other options. Be aware that Science City does not allow you to bring in food, only water, and the Planetarium does not allow food or drinks inside the theater. 

Harvey’s and Whistle Stop Market

Harvey’s offers breakfast, lunch, and a Sunday brunch buffet. At lunch there is a kids’ menu with an entree, side, and drink for only $6.50. If you don’t have time to sit down for a restaurant meal, check out the grab and go option located next to Harvey’s called Whistle Stop Market. See the full menu here.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Stop by for a sweet treat, including locally made ice cream from One More Scoop.

Parisi Coffee

This is another place where you can make a quick stop for coffee, hot chocolate, and baked goods.

Pierpont’s Restaurant

This is probably not where you want to take your kids for a meal (no kids’ menu), but it’s a great spot for a date night!

Special Events

The holiday season at Union Station is packed with special events, a huge Christmas tree, and beautiful lights and decor. This is a can’t miss holiday experience in Kansas City!

The exhibition hall at Union Station hosts a couple of touring exhibits each year and they are discounted for members. 

Birthday Parties

Science City does offer birthday parties. Check out all the details here.

Don’t Miss This Hidden Gem

Many people don’t know about the model train gallery that is located at the back of the great hall in Union Station. The free model train gallery is fun and especially festive during the holiday season. There is also a small play area for kids. It’s hard to describe how cool this area is so you need to check it out yourself. There are 80 trains that are operated by volunteers. There are so many detailed displays you’ll be able to spend lots of time here. Like Science City, it is closed on Mondays, so plan accordingly! 

I'm Julia and I live in Olathe with my husband of 15 years, my 9 and 5 year old daughters, and our rescue pug Mabel. I’m a social worker turned SAHM and love Dr. Pepper, thunderstorms, and talking to other adults. I hate coffee, diet culture, and washing dishes. I'll talk your ear off about the best local parks and which restaurants have wronged me by changing their long-standing menu items. I try to walk the line between knowing a lot of stuff and not being a know-it-all. Some days I'm better than others.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here