Winter Wonderful: Fun Things to Do in KC

Let’s be real. This winter has been different than the ones we’re used to. This list of fun things to do with your family in KC during the colder months celebrates the familiar and suggests some pandemic-specific options, too. Some may include more people interaction than you want. That’s okay—those just aren’t for you right now. Be sure to check before you head out to make sure you’re prepared for safety guidelines and necessary reservations. 

  • Your kids’ favorite summer destination may be a great cold-weather outing, too! Bundle up and plan a winter visit to the Kansas City Zoo (reservations required) or Burr Oak Woods Conservation CenterYou’ll see a much-loved place in a whole new way. 
  • Scoop it up. When the weather cooperates, snow ice cream is a sweet and simple treat to top off a blizzardy day. Some fancy moms use a recipe with ingredients. I’ve found we get better results mixing a big bowl of clean (!) snow with a can of sweetened condensed milk. Delish! 
  • Inspired by American Ninja Warrior, my kids loved building and then conquering obstacle courses. This activity combines movement and engineering—win/win for sure! You may want to set some limits on what can be used as an “obstacle” to protect your favorite things.  

  • Spend some time re-reading beloved board and picture books. These good friends sometimes get forgotten as our kids grow and they often contain big ideas worth talking about again. Reacquaint your family with your old favorites. 
  • Leslie Knope would suggest we check out our local parks and rec departments to see what hidden treasures we can find. Winter isn’t a good time for splash pads, but there are lots of other fun options. The Native Hooved Animal Enclosure at Fleming Park in Jackson County, for example, is home to bison, elk, and white-tailed deer—but no Li’l Sebastian. 
  • Go on tour. Pick a food your family loves and build a tasting tour. Barbecue and beer are two popular choices, but you might consider burgers or buttercream frosting or breakfast. Get some inspiration from our Kansas City Mom Collective Guides. 
  • Lace up your skates. There are quite a few options for ice skating throughout the metro. Ranging from The Ice at Park Place in Leawood to the Ice Terrace at Crown Center, a community favorite for 48 years. Find more information about locations, hours, and reservations here.
  • All aboard! The KC Streetcar is running daily and is always free. Whether you’re available during the week or on the weekends, the streetcar might be heading your direction. Find out more info about times and places here. 
  • Greater Kansas City is home to a variety of outdoor art installations, many funded by the One Percent for Art programWhatever your taste, you can likely find something you love on this list of mural and sculptures from Visit KCNote: Several of the Art in the Loop 2020 pieces will be on display through the Spring.
  • Sledding FamilyWhen the next big snow hits, grab a sled and head to a popular sledding hill. There are perfect spots around the city. Lots of fun for everyone!
  • Flop Where You Drop. We got this idea from a sweet friend, and our kids love it! Plan an evening of TV watching or game playing. No bedtimes, just drifting off on the couch or floor.  
  • City of Fountains. Kansas City’s first fountains date back to the 1800s and served a purely practical function: watering animals. Today, our city’s fountains are looked after by the City of Fountains Foundation who publish a DIY tour guide. Don’t miss the Northland Fountain which freezes over in the winter. 
  • Visit Your Library Virtually. Our local library systems have shifted much of their programming online. Check out the events tab on your library’s website to see what they are planning. Mid-Continent Libraries’ Winter Reading Challenge  commemorates Missouri’s Bicentennial and continues through mid-March. 
  • Create a Cooking Show. I’m guessing you’ve watched about a million cooking/baking shows while you’ve been sticking close to home. Why not create your own? Your kids will love being part of your creative process. Maybe you’ll be the next Food Channel phenom.

Winter isn’t leaving us just yet, so why don’t we embrace the season until spring arrives!

Beth is mom to a high school sophomore and a first year college student. After fourteen years as a professional writer and editor, she earned graduate degrees in counseling and play therapy. Now she exercises her creativity as a school counselor. Beth loves reading, especially mysteries.