Kansas City's most centrally located attraction for kids is Science City, in the restored 1914 Union Station, cater-cornered from Crown Center at 30 Pershing Rd. (tel. 816/460-2020; www.sciencecity.com). At this multilevel, interactive museum, open daily, kids can create a personal newspaper front page, anchor a TV news program, bicycle across a tightrope, train as an astronaut, solve a crime, play miniature golf, take a tour through the human body, dig for fossils, explore Kansas City's history, view the stars at a planetarium, catch a movie in a five-story theater, climb aboard vintage trains at the KC Rail Experience exhibit, and more. Admission to everything is $20 (children 3 and under are free).

For outdoor fun, there's the 175-acre theme park Worlds of Fun, I-435 and Parvin Road (tel. 816/454-4545; www.worldsoffun.com), open daily in summer and weekends in April, May, September, and October, with six roller coasters, including the Patriot, the longest, tallest, and fastest full-circuit inverted roller coaster in the Midwest; dozens of other thrill rides, like the tumble-and-spin Thunderhawk; and Camp Snoopy for younger kids, featuring attractions based on the comic strip. Admission is $39 adults, $15 children under 48 inches and seniors. Next door is Worlds of Fun's water-themed counterpart, the 60-acre Oceans of Fun (same contact information as Worlds of Fun, above), open June through August and featuring 18 water slides and various pools (including a wave pool). Admission costs $28 adults, $15 children under 48 inches and seniors. Discounts are provided for combined passes and evening admission.

The revitalized Kansas City Zoo, at I-435 and 63rd St. in Swope Park (tel. 816/513-5700; www.kansascityzoo.org), is open daily 9am to 5pm and features animals of Australia, Africa, and more in their natural habitats. Admission is $11 adults, $9.50 seniors, and $7 children 3 to 11; on Tuesday, prices are $8, $7, and $6 respectively.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.