A Family Guide to 5 Exciting Spring Break Getaways in Missouri with Kids

Missouri is a hidden gem when it comes to spring break with kids. While you may not be able to relax on a sandy beach, plenty of fun experiences and mild temperatures can still be found. The average temperature in Missouri in March and April is in the 50s (Fahrenheit). This means families can joyfully spend their spring break exploring a wide variety of kid-friendly activities, from hikes and zoos to museums across the state. ​​If you’re ready to embark on some of the best Missouri vacations for families, consider Kansas City, which boasts dynamite barbeque, world-class museums, and a growing live music scene. Or, head to Silver Dollar City, an 1880s theme park near Branson with thrilling rides, dinner cruises, and more. Then, please keep reading to discover our top picks for the best spring break getaways in Missouri with kids!

Spring Break Missouri: Kansas City

Families looking for big-city fun can plan a spring break vacation to Kansas City! From its sparkling fountains and history of jazz music to its own style of delicious barbecue, Kansas City is filled to the brim with family fun throughout the year. From kid-friendly museums to a fantastic zoo, adventures abound for all ages.

Start your visit to Kansas City at one of its fantastic museums. Those traveling with toddlers and young kids will love Science CityThe Regnier Family Wonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City, and Kaleidoscope, a free, hands-on art center. Meanwhile, those with tweens and teens can check out the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the American Jazz MuseumDo you have sports fans in your family? Kansas City offers several unique sporting experiences, including the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and The College Basketball ExperienceAdd a seasonal sports game happening in Kansas City to your itinerary!

Then, head to the Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium, where you can encounter more than 1,700 animals, including elephants, alligators, and pelicans. Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is another great stop with outdoorsy kids. There is even a children’s garden with fossils and footprints! Finally, top off your weekend with a tasty stop at Chip’s Chocolate Factory. Or one of the top barbeque spots for families, like Jack Stack BBQ. If you’re looking for the best weekend getaways in Missouri with kids, it’s time to head to Kansas City!

Jack Stack Barbecue
Image: Missouri Division of Tourism

Silver Dollar City

We can only talk about the best vacation spots in Missouri with kids if we mention Silver Dollar City. This theme park is located near Branson and is PACKED with family-friendly activities and attractions, from thrilling amusement park rides to lovely dinner cruises. While some attractions won’t be open for the season, spring break visitors can still enjoy the theme park (which reopens on March 9), tons of shows and entertainment, and the dinner cruises (which begin on March 12).

There is something for everyone at Silver Dollar City. Silver Dollar City is designed to look like the 1880s and features 40 rides, attractions, dozens of unique shops, and delicious restaurants. Not to mention, 100 demonstrating artisans are sharing their work and wares! You can even witness artisans like blacksmiths, glassblowers, and candy-makers at work. All nestled in the picturesque rolling landscape of the Ozarks. Adrenaline-seekers can start (and end!) their visit on the Time Traveler, the world’s fastest, steepest & tallest complete-circuit spinning roller coaster! Then, make sure you experience one of the family-friendly live shows, performances, and entertainment throughout Silver Dollar City. And who can miss seeing Marvel Cave? This beautiful cave has even been named a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Finally, due to its location near Branson (about a 20-minute drive), you can pair them together during spring break for an entire week of fun. Or, spend your time at Silver Dollar City. Either way, you’re in for an epic spring break trip with kids! As one of the best ​​Missouri vacations for families, you’ll never hear “I’m bored” when exploring Silver Dollar City!

Image: Silver Dollar City


Branson is often ranked as one of the best U.S. destinations to visit with kids, and for good reason! From its family-friendly live music shows and outdoor adventures in the Ozark Mountains to its proximity to Silver Dollar City, Branson has much to offer people of all ages. Branson is also known as the “Live Entertainment Capital of the World“!

Families can fill their days during spring break with everything from kid-friendly museums to exciting outdoor activities. Outdoorsy families can begin their exploration of the Ozarks on thrilling Pink Jeep Tours. Then, head to the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area for extraordinary views of the White River and the surrounding Ozarks. The best family hikes can be found at Table Rock Lakeshore TrailWaterfall Trail, and Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. Afterward, see the area from a different perspective by exploring the Fantastic Caverns, an intricate cavern system open for year-round exploring. Consider the Titanic Museum Attractionthe Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museumor the Hollywood Wax Museum for museum days.

Related Article: 5 Top Spring Break Ideas in Michigan that Your Family Will Love

And no family vacation to Branson is complete without taking in a live show. Try Buckets N Boards for a delightful mix of comedy and percussion. Or, Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction features mind-boggling stunts, live horses (which you can meet before and after the show), and a delicious four-course meal. If you’re looking for fun spring break getaways in Missouri with kids, put Branson at the top of your list!

Image: Missouri Division of Tourism

Spring Break Missouri: Saint Louis

Known as the “Gateway to the West,” Saint Louis is an excellent spot for a fun spring break trip with kids. Saint Louis offers a unique urban city experience with a humble, welcoming heart, from the iconic Gateway Arch to its vibrant blues music scene. Plus, kids will love learning that the ice cream cone debuted at the St. Louis World Fair in 1904! 

Those looking to begin their visit outside will love experiencing the Saint Louis Zoo. Home to over 16,000 animals, from black rhinoceros and gorillas to king cobras, the Saint Louis Zoo also features a carousel, dinosaur exhibit, and zoo line railroad! Want to encounter creatures of the deep? Explore the new St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station together. Then, add Laumeier Sculpture Park and the Missouri Botanical Garden to your itinerary too. Of course, those traveling with toddlers and young kids can attend The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum, which even has a Dinosaur Train exhibit! With older kids, head to the Saint Louis Science Center. Kids will love exploring their exhibits on everything from Doctor Who to Earth Sciences! Then, musically inclined tweens and teens can’t miss learning about the local music scene at the National Blues Museum.

kids playing at the st louis science center

Of course, spending an afternoon meandering through Gateway Arch National Park is a must for all ages! Here, you’ll find stroller-friendly paths and the entrance to the monument tram ride! Finally, for the best views of the Gateway Arch and St. Louis’ riverfront, families can embark on a tour with Gateway Arch Riverboats! As one of the best weekend getaways in Missouri with kids, Saint Louis offers everything you need to connect and make memories together.

Image: Missouri Division of Tourism

Lake of the Ozarks

If you are looking for one of the best spring break getaways in Missouri with kids for outdoorsy families, Lake of the Ozarks is not to be missed! Located less than 3 hours from Kansas City and Saint Louis in the scenic Ozark Mountain Region, this beautiful lake community has become a top tourist destination in Missouri for families.

While spring break may mean few beach days or opportunities to swim, this area is still filled with natural beauty and fun experiences. Visiting Lake of the Ozarks during spring break means you will have a front-row seat to watch the area come alive with fresh spring blooms. Start your visit at Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Parkoffering several family-friendly guided cave tours. Then, for excellent family trails to explore the great outdoors, head to Lake of the Ozarks State Park or Ha Ha Tonka State Park. Ha Ha Tonka State Park offers several unique natural wonders like sinkholes, caves, a massive natural bridge, and bluffs! Alternatively, Magic Dragon Trails offers a unique, multi-use trail system for biking and hiking. And, of course, April visitors are in for a treat when fishing season begins in full force! 

Add Willmore Lodge And The Bagnell Dam Historical Museum to your itinerary when you’re ready to learn about local history. Open year-round, it’s also one of the best free things to do with kids in Lake of the Ozarks. Alternatively, Miner Mike’s Adventure Town is ideal for indoor fun for all ages. Here, you can race through a maze, play many games, and munch on yummy food together. With so much to offer, you’ll quickly see why Lake of the Ozarks is one of the best vacation spots in Missouri with kids!

Missouri Spring break at Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Image: Missouri Division of Tourism

Keep Exploring!

We hope you found this article featuring the best spring break getaways in Missouri with kids helpful in planning your adventures. From Kansas City to Lake of the Ozarks, this list includes some of the top ​​Missouri vacations for families across the state. Whether you are looking to fly down thrilling amusement park rides or hike amongst the stunning landscape of the Ozarks, there is a Missouri destination waiting for your family!

Antonia Grant is a Minnesota mom + freelance writer who loves encouraging parents to find ways to connect and make memories with their kids. She’s a firm believer in providing children with experiences over things. You can find more from Antonia and her family adventures on Instagram @knead.to.roam and on her website. She shares all things family travel, outdoor adventures, and their favorite foodie finds.

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