Updated June 6, 2018
My family and I recently found a place in Kansas City that’s all about wide open spaces and a quiet stroll, and history mixed with nature: Shoal Creek Living History Museum.
We visited this new-to-us place during a super fun weekend trip and it was a welcome change from the go-go-go adventures we’d had the day before at Worlds of Fun.
What’s Shoal Creek Living History Museum
Located on 80 acres within Hodge Park in Northern Kansas City, Shoal Creek Living History Museum is a FREE attractions takes families on a walk through Missouri’s past as told through architecture.
Grab a brochure at the entrance to learn a bit more about the buildings on the grounds: There are 21 structures, 17 of which are authentic buildings dating from 1807-1885.
Some of the more interesting structures included the Blacksmith barn built in the 1800s and was originally on a farm next to Hodge Park; the 1868 City Hall and Jail; and the 1880 Eldorado School. There’s also a carpenter shop, doctor’s office, church and several homes that I imagine are interesting to visit during re-enactment events.
Just a handful of people were there when we visited.
Given the wide-open feel of it, it felt like we had the place to ourselves.
What we liked about Shoal Creek
I loved the space it provided for the kids to run, but even more so, I liked how relaxing it was.
My favorite building was the Grist Mill. It’s the first thing that caught my eye and it just stood out from the rest of the buildings. It’s actually the lone structure there that was built on site and is a replica of an 1824 mill. Figures.
They loved the American Bison herd kept on the land.
While they did seem pretty peaceful, one reminded us that they are still wild animals.
It charged the fence. Even standing back a few feet from the fence didn’t feel like a good idea.
Perhaps a lesson learned here: Stand further back from the fence.
Special Events At Shoal Creek
On a given day, there isn’t programming in place, and you can only see the buildings from the outside.
But there are special events throughout the year where you may find re-enactors and perhaps enter some of the buildings.
* Always check ahead of your visit to make sure an event is still happening. Things can be rescheduled!
First Saturdays – June 2, July 7, Aug. 4 and Sept. 1, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. FREE family fun event with re-enactors bring the village to life with skits and shootouts throughout the day, food and craft vendors, family activities and demonstrations, and shop at the mercantile. Some activities may charge for their services, cash only.
14 Annual Harvest Festival – October 14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $5 per person, FREE for ages 5 and younger. Old-fashioned county fair with a puppet show, historical games, re-enactors, pony rides and more. $1 horse-drawn wagon rides from noon to 4 p.m.
Kids Safe Halloween – October 27, noon to 3 p.m. FREE with donations accepted. Trick or treat event is for infants and elementary aged children.
Wilderness Run – Nov. 3, 9 a.m. Choose between a 5-mile or 2-mile trail run.
An American Girl Doll Tea – TBD
22nd Annual Visit From St. Nicholas – Dec. 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $5 per person, FREE for ages 5 and younger. Homes will be decorated and e-enactors will bring 19th century Christmas to life. Take a brief horse drawn sleigh ride through the countryside from noon to 4 p.m.
If you go
Shoal Creek Living History Museum
Where: Located in Hodge Park at 7000 Northeast Barry Road, Kansas City, Mo.
When: Open all year, seven days a week, dawn to dusk
Cost: FREE to view the exterior of the buildings; buildings are open during special events with an admission fee or donation.