Exploring a museum is a great way to spend quality family time together while learning something new. From extinct creatures to historical landmarks, there are so many things to discover. So grab the kiddos, because we’ve hand-picked these seven top museums you need to visit near Leawood, Kansas:
Museum at Prairiefire
Image via Flickr by LauraGilchristEdu
The Museum at Prairiefire, located at 5801 W. 135th St. in Overland Park, Kansas, sprawls across 42,000 square feet. This immense facility hosts various exhibits created by other museums, such as a terrifying Tyrannosaurus Rex and colossal sea creatures that once called Kansas home.
Experience a mission to space in virtual reality, discover the universe, and plan to explore The Discovery Room. From animal encounters to dinosaur digs and authentic hands-on science, follow the MAP into the past and the future. All-access admission tickets are just $10 for adults and $5 for kids ages 3 through 12. Entry into the museum and the Great Hall are free. It’s open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.
Historic Oxford Schoolhouse
Image via Flickr by Sunni J
The Oxford is one of the first schools ever built in Kansas. It operated from 1877 until 1955 and was the only place in the area for the first through eighth-grade students of Oxford Township to get an education. Visit this terrific historical gem and learn about the important role this one-room schoolhouse played in the community.
Its present location is in Ironwoods Park, next to the Prairie Oak Nature Center at 147th and Mission Road. Admission is free, but open house hours vary during different seasons. Schedule your visit online through the Leawood Parks and Recreation Department. After your tour, enjoy the afternoon with a stroll along the walking paths that meander through the grounds.
Alexander Majors Historic Museum
The home of Alexander Majors sits at 8201 State Line Road in Kansas City. This Civil War-era estate is an outstanding example of architectural preservation. The Majors House museum is in immaculate condition, just like it was back in 1856.
It’s one of four surviving antebellum houses in the area, and it served as the family’s home and the headquarters for Mr. Majors’ freighting company. The grounds feature blacksmith shops, barns, a wagon, corrals, grazing lands, and an oxen pen. Take the self-guided tour every Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and immerse yourself in the beauty of this extraordinary manor.
Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
Image via Flickr by Kansas City PBS
Make lasting memories at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead. It’s a wonderful place for families to learn and have fun. At this unique attraction, your kiddos can discover what life is like on a real farm.
Visit more than 250 animal residents, learn all about growing vegetables, bottle-feed baby goats, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, and pan for treasures. Grab a cane pole and some worms and take a stroll down to the fishing pond, then discover the Kanza Indian encampment.
These 12 acres of wholesome family fun sit at 13800 Switzer Road in Overland Park. Its season runs daily from April through October, and its hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is just $3 per person, and kids 2 and under are always free.
American Jazz Museum
Image via Flickr by davidburn
Get to know jazz at the award-winning American Jazz Museum at 1616 E. 18 St. in Kansas City. This style of music is an integral part of America’s culture, and Kansas is one of the country’s most significant jazz crossroads. Everyone in the family can experience this art form through live shows, exhibitions, and education.
A jazz museum may not come to mind when thinking of a family-friendly destination. However, it offers plenty of youth programs, including Jazz Storytelling. Gather in the atrium on the first Friday of every month at 10 a.m. for this free program hosted by an Internationally renowned cast.
Start your children on a path to jazz mastery with preschool and elementary classes held every week. The Academy teaches kids about core concepts, instruments, and the all-time great jazz performers. Instructors use improvisation, movement, play, art, story, and song to develop an appreciation of jazz.
The American Jazz Museum is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for kids ages 5 to 12.
Arabia Steamboat Museum
Image via Flickr by Brian Whitmarsh
A popular Kansas City attraction for more than 25 years, Arabia Steamboat Museum tells the legendary tale of this great ship. Located at 400 Grand Blvd. in Kansas City, the Arabia was lost to the Missouri River in 1856 with 200 tons of cargo aboard. Divers rediscovered it 132 years later, and it’s now a time capsule of life on the frontier.
This splendid museum is truly a one-of-a-kind treasure. The artifacts on display include clothing, fine china, carpentry tools, guns, dishes, children’s toys, and even the world’s oldest pickles. The collection captivates visitors of all ages and connects you to American history in an exciting way. Discover the Arabia Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $14.50 for adults and $5.50 for children ages 4 to 14.
The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
Image via Flickr by andy_tyler
You can find some of the world’s largest collections of fine-scale miniatures and historic toys on display at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. Located at 5235 Oak St. on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, this charming gallery’s mission is to educate, inspire, and delight adults and children. It’s open every day but Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and the cost to see the toys is just $5.
At Crème de la Crème of Leawood, Kansas, these are our picks of the top museums near Leawood that you need to visit. Kids love museums but don’t just take our word for it. Get out there and explore all the fun, family-friendly places this growing city has to offer. If we missed your family’s favorite exhibit, let us know and we’ll add it to our list.