Winter has enveloped the area, but that doesn’t mean families have to let its grip hold them captive.
There are plenty of things for the kids to see and do. They just might have to be a bit more creative than during the spring and summer.
Movies are always an option, as are visits to a community center or YMCA.
These listings provide plenty of other possibilities.
Never miss a local story.
They cover the entire area geographically, and they range on the activity spectrum from sedentary (theater performances) to pulsating (trampoline gyms). Some are free; most aren’t.
In fact, you could satisfy just about all your desires with one visit to the Union Station/Crown Center area.
If the H&R Block City Stage Theater, Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, Science City and the Model Railroad Experience aren’t in your wheelhouse, then maybe the Crown Center Ice Terrace, Coterie Theatre, Martin City Melodrama, LegoLand and Sea Life are.
Bottom line: The kids can no longer complain they have nothing to do on a cold day in January or February.
“And Justice for Some: The Freedom Trial of Anthony Burns (1858),” Jan. 26-Feb. 21.
Crown Center, 2450 Grand. thecoterie.org, 816-474-6552
H&R Block City Stage Theater
Theatre for Young America, “The Toughest Kid in the World,” through Jan. 23; “Junie B Jones, The Musical,” Feb. 9-March 19.
KC Young Audiences
Kansas City Young Audiences Programs and Community School of the Arts.
5601 Wyandotte. kcya.org, 816-531-4022
Martin City Melodrama
“The Wizard of Paws!” Feb. 20-May 7.
Crown Center, Third floor, 2450 Grand. martincitymelodrama.org, 913-642-7576
Paul Mesner Puppets
“St. George & the Dragon,” Feb. 17-28.
1006 Linwood. paulmesnerpuppets.org, 816-756-3500
Puppetry Arts Institute
Workshops, museum tours and live shows.
11025 E. Winner, Independence. hazelle.org, 816-833-9777
Museums and learning centers
Children’s Peace Pavilion
Part of the headquarters complex of the Community of Christ, the museum is designed to teach concepts of peace through learning activities.
1001 W. Walnut, Independence. kidpeace.org, 816-521-3033
Exchange City and EarthWorks
Environmental and government activities are the focus.
8300 NE Underground. tlekc.org, 816-600-6826
Johnson County Museum
Of special interest to the youngsters is KidScape, a miniature city to explore.
6305 Lackman, Shawnee. jocogov.org, 913-715-2550
LegoLand Discovery Center
More interactive and educational activities with Lego bricks than you thought possible.
Crown Center, 2475 Grand. legolanddiscoverycenter.com/kansascity, 816-471-4386
Model Railroad Experience
How long can kids watch toy trains circling miniature cities?
Union Station, 30 W. Pershing. unionstation.org, 816-460-2020
Museum at Prairiefire
Exhibits and artifacts from the American Museum of Natural History come to the Midwest.
5801 W. 135th, Overland Park. museumatpf.org, 913-333-3500
National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
Little stuff always intrigues little people.
5235 Oak. toyandminiaturemuseum.org, 816-235-8000
Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium
The night sky comes to life all day long.
Union Station, 30 W. Pershing. unionstation.org, 816-460-2020
Science City at Union Station
Youngsters can enjoy interactive exhibits of all sorts.
Union Station, 30 W. Pershing. sciencecity.com, 816-460-2020
United Federation of Doll Clubs Doll Museum
Dolls from around the world and throughout history are on display.
10900 N. Pomona. ufdc.org/education/museum, 816-891-7040
Wonderscope Children’s Museum
Interactive exhibits cover the spectrum from science and technology to art and music.
5700 King, Shawnee. wonderscope.org, 913-287-8888
Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center
Plenty to discover indoors and outdoors.
4750 Troost. mdc.mo.gov/regions/kansas-city/discovery-center, 816-759-7300
Burr Oak Woods Nature Center
If the weather doesn’t cooperate for hiking, there’s still an aquarium and other activities and exhibits inside.
1401 NW Park Road, Blue Springs. mdc.mo.gov/regions/kansas-city/burr-oak-woods-nature-center, 816-228-3766
Burroughs Audubon Nature Center and Bird Sanctuary
The best place in town to enjoy and learn about birds.
7300 W. Park Road, Blue Springs. burroughs.org/its-free/nature-center-bird-sanctuary, 816-795-8177
Cave Spring Historic Site and Nature Center
Most highlights here, including a cave, pond and historic ruins, are outside.
William M. Klein Park, 8701 E. Gregory. cavespring.org, 816-547-9679
Ernie Miller Nature Center
Learn about animals native to Kansas.
909 N. Kansas 7, Olathe. erniemiller.com, 913-764-7759
Lakeside Nature Center
Kids can check out wildlife exhibits and participate in educational programs.
Swope Park, 4701 E. Gregory. lakesidenaturecenter.org, 816-513-8960
Kansas City Zoo
Don’t forget it’s open year-round.
6800 Zoo Drive. kansascityzoo.org, 816-595-1234
Martha LaFite Thompson Nature Sanctuary
The Interpretive Center provides hands-on environmental and natural science education for all ages.
407 N. Lafrenz, Liberty. naturesanctuary.com, 816-781-8598
Prairie Oak Nature Center
Native reptiles, amphibians and fish reside indoors, and outside are a bird-feeding area and garden pool.
Ironwoods Park, 14701 Mission, Leawood. leawood.org/parks/naturecenter.aspx, 913-681-0902
Sea Life Kansas City
The only place in town to see live sharks.
Crown Center, 2475 Grand. visitsealife.com/kansas-city, 816-471-4386
Arts and crafts
Apple Pie Painting
Book a painting party for the kids.
9525 Melrose, Overland Park. applepiepainting.com, 816-809-2272
Children create stuffed bears and other critters.
Oak Park Mall, Zona Rosa and Independence Center. buildabear.com
All ages are welcome at this paint-your-own-pottery and glass-fusing studio.
9425 Mission, Leawood. ceramiccafekc.com, 913-383-0222
Dare to Dabble
1329 Swift, North Kansas City. daretodabble.net, 816-287-1531
Painting, decoupage and fiber art are just some of the possibilities.
Got Art Gallery
Gallery offers painting classes for all ages, and Friday night is especially for kids.
18 SW Third, Lee’s Summit. gotartgallery.org, 816-600-5932
Children can create works of art and do much more.
Hallmark Cards, 2500 Grand. hallmarkkaleidoscope.com, 816-274-8300
Potter’s Haven Art Studio
The specialty here is painting pottery.
292 SW Blue Parkway, Lee’s Summit. pottershavenartstudio.com, 816-525-9323
Fun and games
Advanced Laser Tag
Laser-tag games as well as a high-tech video arcade and a party room.
2026 E. Santa Fe, Olathe. advancedlasertag.com, 913-254-9678
A Flip Zone
Activities include gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling.
3411 NE Ralph Powell, Lee’s Summit. aflipzone.com, 816-524-2636
Kids, who must be accompanied by adults, have 60 minutes to escape a room.
114 W. Third. breakoutkc.com, 816-945-2633
CoCo Key Water Resort
Multiple water slides highlight this indoor water park.
9103 E. 39th. cocokeykc.com, 816-737-0200
Trampoline park also features dodgeball, basketball and more.
12025 S. Strang Line, Olathe. cosmicjump.com, 913-397-7700
Debbie Howard’s Gym
Gymnastics classes are offered, and open gym time is available.
655 N. Somerset Terrace, Olathe. debbiehowardsgym.com, 913-829-3006
Elite Gymnastics & Aquatics
Kids can choose gymnastics or water activities.
13600 W. 108th, Lenexa. elitegymswim.com, 913-469-5554
Emerald City Gymnastics
The highlight here is an indoor rock wall with 5,000 square feet of climbing challenges.
9063 Bond, Overland Park. emeraldcitygym.com, 913-438-4444
Escape Room KC
Another escape game for children with adults.
511 W. Fourth. escaperoomkc.com, 816-656-5158
Check out the inflatable obstacle course and bounce houses.
1919 Industrial, Liberty. funrunkansascity.com, 816-781-0386
I-49 Fun Center
This indoor inflatable play facility is for folks on the south side of town.
17217 S. Outer Road, Belton. i49funcenter.com, 816-331-5867
Attractions include laser tag and a sky maze.
523 N. Missouri 291, Liberty. kidzplaykc.com, 816-994-2160
Little Monkey Bizness
A coffeehouse overlooks a play space with climbing structures, mini-zip line and arts and crafts.
12219 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Shawnee. shawneemission.monkeybizness.com, 913-631-7000
Main Event Independence
Activities range from bowling and billiards to laser tag and gravity ropes.
4600 S. Cochise Court, Independence. mainevent.com/locations/independence-mo, 816-350-1000
This preschool gymnastics facility offers open play.
10551 N. Ambassador. mercurygymnastics.com, 816-880-9996
My Gym Children’s Fitness Center
Classes, parties and open playtime are available.
8532 W. 133rd, Overland Park. mygym.com, 913-685-9005
Indoor fun includes a game room, rock-climbing wall, bumper cars and more.
1021 NE Colbern, Lee’s Summit. paradise-park.com, 816-246-5224
Rides, laser tag, whirly ball, arcade games and cosmic golf are some of the activities.
13110 W. 62nd Terrace, Shawnee, and 509 NW Barry. powerplaykc.com, 913-268-4386 and 816-268-4386
Pump It Up
Inflatable-filled arenas are available for open play.
7230 W. Frontage Road, Shawnee. pumpitupparty.com, 913-236-7867
There are trampolines from wall to wall.
6495 Quivira, Shawnee, and 2801 NE McBaine, Lee’s Summit. skyzone.com, 913-213-5900 and 816-457-0068
Urban Air Trampoline Park
Trampolines and other facilities exist for jumping, climbing and generally enjoying yourself.
14401 Metcalf, Overland Park. urbanairop.com, 800-960-4778
Open play is sometimes offered at this fitness facility.
725 NW Commerce, Lee’s Summit. xgtkids.com, 816-347-8008
Y.E.S! Youth Fitness and Sports Performance
Focus here is on fitness more than fun.
12 NE Skyline, Lee’s Summit. yesfitnessfranchise.com, 816-246-0058
Challenges offered here include arcade games, video games and racing games, as well as inflatables.
Oak Park Mall, 11149 W. 95th, Overland Park. zonkers.com, 913-393-3535
Centerpoint Community Ice Rink
Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, 19100 E. Valley View Parkway, Independence. centerpointcommunityice.com, 816-442-6128
Crown Center Ice Terrace
Through March 13.
Crown Center, 2450 Grand. crowncenter.com, 816-274-8411
Ice at Park Place
11565 Ash, Leawood. parkplaceleawood.com, 913-663-2070
Through Feb. 15.
Linden Square Ice Rink
Through Feb. 28.
602 NE 70th, Gladstone. lindensquare.info, 816-437-2489
Line Creek Community Center and Ice Arena
5940 NW Waukomis. kcparks.org/facility/line-creek, 816-513-0760