Kansas is way more of a toddler-friendly state than we anticipated. There are unique, family-friendly accommodations, remarkable animal encounters, toddler-specific areas in museums, and fun restaurants that will grab your toddler’s attention and keep you wanting to go back for more. Here are just a few of our favorite places to enjoy in Kansas with a toddler.
Kansas with a Toddler
Tanganyika Wildlife Park
Tanganyika Wildlife Park is a family-friendly destination where visitors have up-close interactions with the animals. It is the most interactive wildlife park I have ever experienced, and there are tons of options for toddlers.
While Max is a little too young for some of the animal encounters, he was able to participate in the Penguin Meet and Greet, Giraffe and Friends experience, and Unlimited Animal Feedings. He also loved the jungle gym and the seeing all of the other animals.
Max’s favorite animal is a penguin and he was able to watch how they behave, play with them, and get photos with them all while learning about their interesting behavior. It was such a beautiful experience.
Tanganyika Wildlife Park is a must when visiting Kansas with a toddler.
Manna Meadows is an alpaca farm located in Bonner Springs, Kansas.
Manna Meadows was a beautiful animal encounter. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to spend so much time with the alpacas and be able to pet, hug, touch, walk, and hang out with the alpacas in such a relaxed setting.
The owner made us feel like we were visiting family. Max really felt comfortable and enjoyed the entire experience.
When he wasn’t interacting with the alpacas, he loved playing in the field, petting the friendly cats, and enjoying nature.
Tours to Manna Meadows are by appointment only so be sure to book before making the drive to Manna Meadows.
Sedgwick County Zoo
At Sedgwick County Zoo, guests can come face-to-face with some of the wildest animals from around the world including gorillas, elephants, bison, rhinos, and tigers.
Some of the possible wild encounters at Sedgwick County Zoo include a rhino encounter, equine encounter, ectotherm encounter, elephant encounter, and tortoise encounter.
Other attractions include Stingray Cove, Camel Rides, Giraffe Feeding, and a boat ride.
Exploration Place is a science museum located on the west side of the Arkansas River in the Delano neighborhood of Wichita, Kansas. It is one of the best science centers we have visited anywhere in the world!
The interactive museum emphasizes aviation and Kansas geography, and it hosts traveling exhibits that showcase the importance of math and science in the world around us.
The most toddler-friendly permanent exhibits are Where Kids Rule and Kansas Kids Connect.
Visitors can also enjoy the live science show, dome theater, Explore Store, and the outdoor Exploration Park.
Our favorite part of Exploration Place is the Dome Theater. The soaring 60-foot screen with a 360-degree view and booming surround sound is the largest dome theater in Kansas.
We watched Superpower Dogs and it held the attention of our entire family for the full 47 minutes.
Kansas Children’s Discovery Center
The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center is a hands-on children’s museum where children, especially toddlers, can explore, create, discover, and learn.
The museum features over 15,000 square feet of indoor exhibits and a 4.5 acre certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom. Exhibits include an Art Station, Illumination Station, Careers, Building, and Learning Around Every Corner. There is an outdoor play area as well as a special fenced-in area with a playhouse perfect for toddlers.
Johnson County Museum
Johnson County Museum is the perfect place to spend a rainy day in Kansas with a toddler.
The main exhibit, Becoming Johnson County, features a 1950s All-Electric House, as well as changing special exhibits, but it’s the poplar children’s exhibit, KidScape! that is ideal for toddlers. Kidscape is filled with toddler-friendly toys and experiences including toddler-sized cars, a wagon, puppets, and distinct play areas that combine learning and fun.
Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant
Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant is definitely worth visiting while in Kansas, especially if you have a toddler. The wonder on a toddler’s face as they watch a train chug-chug-chugging along with their dinner is magical.
Order your food by telephone and watch your meal be delivered to your table by an overhead train! You’ll go for the trains but stay for the food. Delicious burgers and milkshakes await. There are two locations in Kansas including one in Shawnee and one in Kansas City.
Great Wolf Lodge Kansas
Great Wolf Lodge Kansas City is our first choice in accommodations in Kansas.
It offers a variety of suites from a standard Queen Sofa Suite to a Deluxe Wolf Den Suite that sleeps up to 12 guests and includes an in-suite cave-themed sleeping area with a queen-sized bed, a private bedroom with two queen beds and two bathrooms. Every toddler loves room to play and climb and Great Wolf Lodge is filled with toddler-friendly spaces.
Additionally, there is a 38,000 sq. ft. water park kept at a warm 84 degrees. There are water experiences for everyone from toddlers to grandparents. If you’d prefer dry-land experiences, there are tons of free kid’s events and character appearances throughout the resort. Add in on-site family dining and attractions all under one roof, and you have the ultimate toddler-friendly destination.