Have a Staycation in St. Joseph, MO

Even though school is quickly approaching, there’s still time for quick vacations. Instead of traveling to someplace else, why not have a staycation and explore what St. Joseph and Kansas City have to offer? Here are my top seven favorite things to do with my family when we have a staycation in St. Joseph, Missouri.

kansas city aquarium1. SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium

I am a sucker for aquariums. Anytime we visit a city with an aquarium, it’s the top destination on my list. So, not surprisingly, it made the top of this list, too.


I am so proud that Kansas City has such a wonderful aquarium. There are tons of ways to observe the animals. They offer a touch pool, overhead observation, and glass tunnels through the water in addition to more standard exhibits of the fish and other creatures. Additionally, they regularly update their exhibits to appeal and involve children.


It’s also important to note that SEA LIFE shares an entrance with Legoland Discovery Center. Personally, I do not recommend Legoland. However, if your kids are crazy about Legos, it might be worth it to spend the whole day in that building and see both parks.

2. Kansas City Zoo

One of the challenges to a staycation anywhere in Missouri is the heat. Still, even with the heat, it’s worth it for a trip to the zoo. Although lots of the zoo is out in the open, it’s obvious that the newer areas try to provide more shade a seating for weary visitors.


I have two favorite things to do at the Kansas City Zoo. First, I love to check out the polar bears. A couple years ago, they acquired a female polar bear for our lonely male. Now, he frequently shows off, doing flips and such to try to get some attention from his lady. (Just so you know, she’s not impressed.)


Next, I check out the kangaroos. I was astounded to discover that the kangaroos just roam around free!


This is a wonderful zoo that is constantly working on expanding and improving. I really enjoy my time there.

3. Pony Express Museumpony express museum

When I was a kid, my folks and I traveled across Missouri to explore what this side of the state had to offer. My dad has always loved the Wild West, so it’s not a surprise that one of our stops was the Pony Express Museum. All of us loved learning about the Pony Express and its impact on America.


In the past decade or so, the Pony Express Museum has really worked on becoming a perfect stop for the whole family. They still have all the wonderful exhibits that I enjoyed as a child, but they’ve included tons of other activities to help get smaller children involved.

4. Patee House/Jesse James House

The Patee House and the Jesse James House are located right next to each other. The Patee House is a former hotel that now houses a collection of St. Joseph life. It has a saloon from 1854, a “tea house” that was built in 1916, a carousel from the 1940’s, and it’s next door to the home of one of St. Joseph’s most notable citizens, Jesse James.


The Jesse James House is exactly as you would expect. It’s a perfect mix of paying homage to the former bank robber and allowing a glimpse into his personal life. See the room where he was shot as it was decorated on that day, and notice the dent in the floor where his head hit.


These two museums are a fabulous way to get a taste of the rich culture and history of St. Joseph.

5. Remington Nature Center

With its appropriate location right next to the Missouri River, the Remington Nature Center explores and explains area rivers and wildlife. Find out about local wildlife, including a prehistoric wooly mammoth, or show up in time to feed the fish. With tons of activities for children and information for adults, this is a wonderful place for the whole family to visit.

art museum6. Albrecht Kemper Art Museum or Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

If you’ve got the time, you really should go to both the Albrecht Kemper Art Museum and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Although the Albrecht Kemper isn’t terribly large (you can easily make your way through it in a couple of hours), it’s got an impressive collection. Plus, the building itself is a work of art. Make sure you go downstairs to check out the lounge area and the library.


The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City is more like other art museums that you might find in large cities with larger, more notable works of art–except for two things. First, the lawn features a giant sculpture of a badminton shuttle. Second, the museum is free of charge.  

7. Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead

I’ve travelled all over the country and into some foreign countries as well, but I’ve never seen anything like Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead. Like a zoo, this allows your children to get close to animals. However, unlike a zoo, these animals are standard farm animals. There are some petting zoo opportunities where you can feed and touch the animals, but more than that there are trails and paths that let you feel like you’re really walking through a farm.


With so many wonderful things to do in and around St. Joseph, take the time to explore! Create your own staycation. Let us know what you like best in the comments below.

If you’ve vacationed in St. Joseph and are thinking of moving to the area, we at Ramseier Realty Group are ready to help. Let our experienced realtors help you find the home of your dreams. Contact us through our website or give us a call at 816.262.8077!