Everyone needs a little time out of the classroom to recharge and rediscover the world outside the windows. Kansas City offers student groups endless opportunities for an entertaining and educational getaway chock-full of world-class sightseeing, great food and family-style fun; its myriad historic attractions, architectural features and points of interest promise to engage young imaginations, and exciting menus of regional favorites are just waiting for your student group to discover and enjoy! This sample itinerary treats travelers to the best of the Midwest on a well-rounded three-day excursion to the City of Fountains.
Harley Davidson Factory Tour
You and your students will kick off your 3-Day Kansas City getaway with a visit to the 358,000 square foot Harley Davidson Vehicle and Powertrain Operation facility! After a short introductory video, you’ll beat feet to the factory floor where you'll witness a wide range of operations from welding, laser-cutting and frame-bending, to polishing and assembly. Swoon at the sight of freshly painted frames hanging on the line, be amazed by robotic welding technology and watch the Revolution® powertrain assembled from crankcase to cylinder heads; you’ll even have a chance to try your seat on current production models; is there a Harley in your future? Be sure to drop by the gift shop to score a cool souvenir of this rockin’ KCHD Factory Tour!
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
The baseball fans in your student group will appreciate a stop at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum; self-guided tours let guests proceed at their own pace through a wonderfully immersive ballpark experience featuring hundreds of informative text panels and photographs, a series of multi-media computer stations, life-sized bronze sculptures of Negro League legends, a growing collection of historic artifacts and a number of film exhibits all artfully arranged to create an accurate, original and exciting time line of baseball and black history. Don’t forget to pop by the museum store for that perfect souvenir of your visit!
Union Station & Planetarium
Your student group will truly enjoy ambling through historic Union Station, the 100 year old landmark hub of culture, entertainment and education - “Where Kansas City Connects.” Once inside this architectural masterpiece, they can check out traveling exhibits, catch a 3D flick, (or a train!) explore the myriad wonders of Science City, try a chocolate covered apple from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company, grab a latte and light bite at Parisi Café, sit down to lunch at Harvey’s, or browse an exciting signature menu of KC-spun classics and the best seafood and steaks in town at Pierpont’s. The real “star” of this trip to Union Station is Gottlieb Planetarium; your young itinerants will delight to spectacular live tours of the swirling cosmos over Kansas City, while learning about constellations, deep space objects, black holes, planets, and other features of our breathtaking solar system and universe!
This tour of the Money Museum in the Federal Reserve Bank delivers guests privileged insight into our Nation’s financial system. Discover what happens inside an automated cash vault, examine perfect specimens of coins minted during every presidential administration, get your hot little hands on a 27 lb., $400,000.00 bar of solid gold and check out the fickle market as values change before your eyes! Take a crack at designing new currency, identify counterfeit bills and check out 40 million in cold, hard cash. A variety of interactive exhibits explain banking, the economy and how the “Fed” really works, and the Museum offers free presentations and lesson plans on a variety of financial topics – why not “spend” a little time helping your students shape a better understanding of why – and how – money makes the world go ‘round?
Kansas City Royals Game (If in Season)
Hey, sports fans - ready to rumble? Find your seats, grab some hotdogs and get ready to rock, Royal-style at state of the art Kauffman Stadium. You’re in for a breathtaking outfield experience at “The K” - one of Major League Baseball’s “crown jewel” ballparks.
Worlds of Fun
Student groups on Kansas City excursion looking for a rockin’ good time won’t have to argue about who goes where first; the only waiting they’ll be doing will be in line for the rides- including the Mamba® - one of the tallest, longest and fastest roller coasters on the planet - and a special fast lane pass will zip them right through. This popular 235-acre mega-fun universe features a wet and wacky, mild-to-wild menu of rides and waterpark features, classic midway fare and buckets of live entertainment – a real “one park, one price-twice the thrills” experience! Refuel KC-style with yummy family-style bbq, and celebrate the 4th of July all month long with dazzling fireworks shows at 10 pm Friday and Saturday nights. The World is, indeed, your oyster at Worlds of Fun!
Dessert at Chips Chocolate Factory—Watch them make fudge!
Now that you’ve conquered Worlds of Fun, you’re off to the awesomely amazing Chips Chocolate Factory in Crown Center, where you’ll embark on a delicious adventure in “Chocology” – Chip’s 45 minute chocolate education and tasting extravaganza! For over 30 years the good folks at Chips have taken great pride in delivering big batches of premium Kansas City style fudge (over 35 varieties), old fashioned chocolates and other sweet treats to their loyal customers; they even offer a selection of sugar-free delights for those chocoholics watching their sugar intake. Your group will learn how fudge is made - and what makes Chips’ so special - and watch the skilled candy maker create smooth, fat loaves of the beloved, creamy confection as well as special treats to enjoy during your tour! Take away a goodie bag filled with fudge, chocolate, a Chip’s sticker, and more; what sweeter way to spend an hour of your group’s Kansas City getaway!?
Free Time in Crown Center
Kansas City’s Crown Center is often called “A City within a City” and now that you’re there, you’ll see why! Nibble those yummy goodie bag treats from Chips while you unwind and explore this “fountainful” and bustling 85 acre family entertainment complex, home of Hallmark’s international headquarters. Exciting features include the Hallmark Visitor Center, Crown Center Ice Terrace, Sea Life Aquarium and a variety of excellent theaters; you’ll discover endless treasures at dozens of one-of-a-kind stores, and delicious opportunities for late-day refueling abound. Free time truly is fun time at Crown Center!
Rise and shine! Your third day in the City of Fountains is going to be full of exciting discovery and outdoor adventure, and it’s starting off with a trip to the Kansas City Zoo! This 202 acre animal oasis in historic Swope Park consistently ranks among the top zoos in the nation, offering guests outstanding, year-round experiences that compel them toward a greater understanding of our natural world. The forward-thinking Zoo is big on recycling, using many things normally considered trash for animal enrichment purposes; it features three fascinating Green Exhibits (with more in the works) showcasing their diligent commitment to conservation, and even utilizes eco-friendly food service and product packaging at their concessions where possible. You’ll find every one of the fascinating 1300+ residents from around the world quite healthy and happy in the many special zones and exhibits of this peaceful and progressive zoological park…so happy, in fact, that some of them have taken up painting! Original works of art by elephants and orangutans may be purchased at the Deja Zoo gift shop at the Front Entry Plaza.
Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center
Next up: a visit to the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center - a wonderful urban respite and learning facility tucked into a 10-acre oasis of gardens, wetlands, walkways and wildlife in the heart of Kansas City. The Discovery Center provides inner-city children and adults an invaluable opportunity to experience and appreciate the bounty and beauty of nature while learning about/enjoying outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, wildlife viewing and the cultivation of native plants. Hunting and fishing permits, literature, videos and educational materials highlighting the natural resources of Missouri are available for purchase in the Missouri Outdoors Nature Shop.
World War I Museum
A stop by this wonderful museum – the area’s number one historic attraction and our Nation’s sole institution charged with the preservation and dispensation of WWI history - warrants a place on every Kansas City student travel itinerary. The legacy of WWI is an important one, though one often overlooked in favor of more recent or perhaps more “interesting” or “popular” wars. Tours of this beautiful, well-planned museum take visitors by surprise time and again as they find themselves spellbound in the midst of a moving and transformational experience; a fascinating series of interactive displays, thought-provoking films and eyewitness testimonies help guide them through one of the largest collections of authentic WWI artifacts in the world. This award-winning museum tenders guests a comprehensive global perspective of “The War to End All Wars” including incredible firsthand accounts from the battlefield and home front, alike. Be sure to get a photograph of the Liberty Memorial while you’re there.
Loose Park Rose Garden
You’ll wrap up your fabulous three day KC excursion with a visit to the 75-acre Jacob L. Loose Park - one of Kansas City’s most popular family attractions and a major site of the Battle of Westport – known as “the Gettysburg of the West.” In addition to a series of Civil War markers and memorials, an authentic cannon and wonderful array of features and amenities including picnic areas, a lake, a rain garden and a playground, you’ll find the park tenders guests the perfect opportunity to “stop and smell the roses” – more than 4000, to be precise – in the perfectly planned and carefully tended 1.5 acre Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden. If you’re lucky enough to wend your way around the circular paths of this beloved civic treasure when thousands of roses are in full, glorious, bloom you’ll see why this beloved vintage garden nestled in the City of Fountains historic parkland is the perfect place to come, cast off your cares and catch your breath!