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The little book with BIG resources!

Spring Break in Kansas City: 28 Awesome Places to Go During Break

Kansas City Spring Break Guide for Kids

 

Spring Break Vacations will soon be in full-swing, where you can enjoy sleeping in (a tad late), fun activities with the kids, and being able to go outside in a not-so-winter coat. You may be surprised to learn there is plenty of to do right in YOUR area this Spring Break! If you’re searching for fun, family things to do in KC over the break, you’ve come to the right place.

So, whip out that calendar and start penciling in these fun, family-friendly Spring Break activities and camps around Kansas City. Whether you are wanting to book a camp for the whole week or try a  new activity each day, there are activities to keep everyone in your family busy. Check out our favorite things to do during Spring Break below!

Family-Friendly Spring Break Ideas:

How to Make your Family’s Spring Break the BEST ever!

 

#1 Learning2Fly

4711 Lamar, Mission KS

L2F is a fun filled aerial fitness center with class options for every age! Their 2018 A Chakra Circus of Health is March 12th – 15th from 8:30 to 3:30 pm. Educate and empower your kids for a lifelong love of health. This camp will motivate young people towards a lifestyle of healthy choices in every aspect of life. Daily activities include aerial acrobatics classes, yoga and meditation, art activities, hula hooping, creative movement, nature hikes, and educational and interactive videos.

You can visit Learning2Fly online for general class schedules and requirements.

 

#2 College Basketball Experience

1401 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO

Located in the Power & Light district, you and the kids can play different activities while learning basketball history at the College Basketball Experience. The Basketball Hall of Fame is open throughout March- closed MONDAYS & TUESDAYS.

Visit the College Basketball Experience website for tickets and schedule.

 

#3 Ceramic Cafe

9510 Nall Ave, Overland Park, KS

At Ceramic Cafe, you and your kiddos can express your inner artist. Create a masterpiece for your home & make memories that will last a lifetime.

Check out Ceramic Cafe for a list of special classes and events.

 

#4 Urban Air Trampoline Park

With two locations in the Kansas City metro area (Overland Park & KCMO), there is an Urban Air for everyone. Get active with your kiddos while burning off some of that energy and stress. Every Thursday after 5pm is Family Night at Urban Air! For only $35 you get 5 one-hour jump passes, 5 bottled waters, and 1 large one-topping pizza!

Urban Air is and indoor trampoline park with tons of extra activities to do- Open Jump, Dodgeball, Teen Night & more. Grab details for locations, hours, and special classes and pricing at Urban Air’s website.

 

#5 Exit Room Express

1021 NE Colbern Road, Lee’s Summit, MO

Located inside Paradise Park, you can put your wits to the test in this express escape room.

To reserve your room or for more details on the rooms, visit Paradise Park online.

 

#6 Sunset Trails Stables

2100 SE Ranson Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO

Sunset Trails Stables offers lessons and trail rides from beginner level to expert. Come learn how to ride horses from the best in KC! Save $10 on select riding classes (Beginner or Texas Tots) with their ad in iFamilyKC- find ad in our digital issue.

For information on their Spring Break camp, visit Sunset Trails Stables online.

 

#7 Kick It Foos

8166 Monticello Terrace, Shawnee, KS

One of the coolest indoor activities around. Kick It Foos is a human foosball game, also offering several other life-sized games that you can (literally) get in on.

To get info on group ratings hours and FAQ, visit the Kick It Foos website.

 

#8 Summit Lanes

803 SW Oldham Parkway, Lee’s Summit, MO

A guaranteed family fun time during Spring Break is bowling. Our friends over at Summit Lanes even have GLOW IN THE DARK bowling. How cool is that?

Visit Summit Lanes online for further details.

 

#9 Jump City

8020 E 171st St, Belton, MO

At Jump City, you and the kids can enjoy a full day of open-jump fun in their 13 bounce houses! $5 admission to their open gym Tuesday through Friday. Parents are always FREE at Jump City!

For pricing and ours, visit Jump City online.

 

#10 Skyzone

With two metro locations, Sky Zone has everything from homeschool PE time to glow in the dark parties on Friday & Saturdays from 7pm to midnight. Have fun in the Foam Zone during open jump or play dodgeball, SkySlam, ultimate volleyball & more!

Find the closest location to you and pricing at the Sky Zone website.

 

#11 Kaleidoscope

2450 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO

A family favorite, Kaleidoscope is located by Crown Center & is always FREE for your family. Hallmark donates their extra craft materials for kids to repurpose into new creations of their own! The facility is designed for younger kiddos but will be enjoyed by the whole family.

For a session schedule, visit the Kaleidoscope website.

 

#12 Code Ninjas

3622 West 135th Street, Leawood, KS

With one location in Leawood currently enrolling and several opening soon, Code Ninjas is perfect for those that love the art of gaming and coding. Kids learn to create video games using coding skills they work their way through the colored belts. Enroll NOW to save big! Drop-in learning is also available.

For information on locations and classes check out Code Ninjas online.

#13 Paint, Glaze, and Fire

12683 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS

Instead of sitting at the movies silently, come get creative with the kids! Paint, Glaze, & Fire offers ½ OFF Studio Fees Tuesday to Thursday each week in March. Family Night is the second Saturday of each month from 5:30-9 pm. $45 fee includes 4 studio fees, large cheese or pepperoni pizza, 4 soft drinks AND 15% OFF pottery painted during the event. Paint Me a Story Pottery classes for kids run throughout March too! Plus, they have a coffee house located right inside.

For hours and events, visit the Paint, Glaze, and Fire website.

 

#14 Union Station/ Science City

30 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO

There is always an adventure at Union Station! Whether you are visiting Science City to ride Sky Bikes, the Planetarium for a laser show, or a special exhibit, there is something you will love at Union Station. Right now, the special exhibit showing at Union Station, “Art of the Brick”, allows you to see giant Lego structures and intricate pieces.

To get info on hours, tickets, & daily events visit Union Station’s website.

 

#15 Taste Buds Kitchen

5336 151st Street, Leawood, KS

One way to have a great family outing (or even a Mom and Dad night out) is a cooking session at Taste Buds Kitchen. Their cooking studio offers kids and adult sessions.

For their list of cooking camps and events visit Taste Buds Kitchen online.

 

#16 Tutor Doctor

Spring Break can be used to catch up on school subjects, and that’s okay. Our friends over at the Tutor Doctor have a customizable program for all styles of learners & help your child in the comfort of their home.

To see a list of subjects and how the process works, visit Tutor Doctor online.

 

#17 National WWI Museum & Liberty Memorial

2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO

The World War I Museum hosts fascinating events for your family. On Saturdays at 11am, you and your family can actually touch and explore artifacts from the world war.

For information on their upcoming events, visit the World War I Museum website.

 

#18 Kids Park

15296 W 119th Street, Olathe, KS

During the kids’ break from school, sometimes we need a break from the kids. KidsPark offers hourly child care without the need for a reservation. Relax knowing your kids are being cared for by compassionate professionals in a fun and safe environment.

For hours and pricing visit Kids Park online.

 

#19 Star Light Theater Spring Break Camp

4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO

This Spring Break camp is during the Kansas City area district’s break. Kids can learn and explore through art, singing, dancing and acting.

For information prices, restrictions and hours visit Star Light Theater’s website.

 

#20 The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

4525 Oak St, Kansas City, MO

Immerse your family in the arts at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art this Spring Break. The museum hosts Free Weekend Fun for families each weekend in March! Create an artistic masterpiece with your kids for FREE.

Full event calendar at the Nelson-Atkins‘s website. Click Family Events to find the above mentioned art event.

 

#21 The Kansas City Zoo

6800 Zoo Dr, Kansas City, MO

Discover exotic animals & wildlife with your kids at the Kansas City Zoo! Walk around with your family or enroll your kids in one of their 3-Day Spring Break Camps (March 12-28).

Visit The Kansas City Zoo online to learn more.

 

#22 LEGOLAND & SeaLife Discovery Center

2475 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO

Explore LEGO® Ninjago, opening at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center March 3rd! Come experience the captivating world of NINJAGO like never before!
Your kids will love the LEGO® Ninjago Training Camp! Test your ninja skills in their laser maze, challenge your super speedy ninja reflexes & more in their action-packed play-zone!

More info online by visiting LEGOLAND online and SeaLife online.

 

#23 Paradise Park

1021 NE Colbern Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO

Come play at Paradise Park with the kids! They offer Spring Break Specials throughout March (March 9-30). Visit https://www.paradise-park.com/spring-break to find the special of the day! Some highlights: Buy a $20 Fun Card- get a FREE personal pizza, Ice Cream Sunday- Get a FREE ice cream treat w/ purchase of any Max Pak , & BOGO Laser Tag.

Visit Paradise Park online for further details.

 

#24 Greater Kansas City YMCAs

With locations all around the Kansas City metro, the YMCA is a great option for Spring Break activities. Get active with your kids and play basketball, swim in their indoor pools, or attend one of their kids/family events.

Find Kids Night Out events at various KC YMCA locations online.

 

#24 Paul Mesner Puppets

1006 Linwood Blvd, Kansas City, MO

Enjoy a puppet show with your family at the Mesner Puppet Theater. Choose from the shows: Rhymes, Rap, Miss Mary Mack (through March 4th) or The Cat Came Back (through March 12th).

Buy tickets & explore shows at the Mesner Puppets website.

 

#25 Ernie Miller Nature Center

909 N Highway 7 Olathe, KS

Visitors are welcome to view the aquarium and hike the trails all week. During the Spring Fling Fun event, park naturalists will entertain guests with a special themed program each day at 10:30am (March 12th to 16th). Each program is approximately 45 minutes in length and the fee is $3- paid on-site.

For more information call 913-764-7759 or visit the Ernie Miller Nature Center website.

 

#26 Mid-Continent Public Libraries

Visit the MCPL event calendar to find children’s events at different Kansas City metro libraries. (35+ locations) Find story time for preschoolers, story time for families, story time for babies & more at the MCPL website.

 

#27 Johnson County Public Libraries

Visit one of the Johnson County Public Libraries to explore the stacks of books or attend a family event. The libraries host story time for toddlers, families, and every age in between.

Visit JOCO Library online to find an event near you!

 

#28 Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop-Farm

1200 E Kansas City Rd, Olathe, KS

Enjoy 1860s hands on Living History activities such as horse-powered plowing, planting, helping in the garden, stagecoach rides* and cookstove and blacksmith demonstations. *Weather and ground conditions permitting. Thursday, Friday & Saturday, March 15-17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission: $7/ adults, $5/ children ages 5-11.

Visit Mahaffie’s website for more info.

 

Give your kids a Spring Break they will never forget with these fun things to do in Kansas City. The wide variety of Spring Break camps & activities provides something for every personality in your family. Beat boredom for good and have fun exploring KC with your kiddos!

Also check out the iFamilyKC online calendar for additional events throughout the year 🙂

From iFamily to Yours,



When is My Spring Break?

We all anxiously await Spring Break, but breaks differ between school districts in KC. The kids keep asking, “is it Spring Break yet?!” and iFamilyKC is here to help you find out, “When is MY Spring Break?”. Check out our list of Spring Break dates below & plan your kids’ activities with our Kansas City Spring Break Camps & Activities Guide.

 

Spring Break Camps and Activities

 

Already know your school district’s Spring Break dates?

Check out our FULL Spring Break Guide for activities, events, classes & fun things to do in Kansas City with your kids over the break. 😊 Or visit our 100 Things to do During Spring Break post for inspiration on fun AND affordable activities!

 

Kansas School Districts:

Baldwin CityMarch 9th to March 18th

Blue ValleyMarch 9th to March 19th (Teacher ONLY days- 3/9 & 3/19)

Bonner Springs EdwardsvilleMarch 16th to March 25th

DesotoMarch 10th to March 19th

EudoraMarch 9th to March 18th (3/9 Teacher Work Day)

Gardner EdgertonMarch 9th to March 19th (3/9 Teacher In Service Day)

Kansas City, KansasMarch 9th to March 18th (3/9 Teacher Work Day)

LansingMarch 16th to March 25th

LawrenceMarch 16th to March 25th

LeavenworthMarch 17th to March 25th

OlatheMarch 10th to March 19th (Professional Day 3/19- NO school)

PiperMarch 16th to March 25th

Shawnee MissionMarch 9th to March 18th (Teacher Work Day 3/9- NO school)

Spring HillMarch 9th to March 18th

TurnerMarch 9th to March 19th (3/19 Professional Day- NO School)

 

 

Missouri School Districts:

Allen Village Charter SchoolMarch 30th to April 11th

Belton- March 24th to April 2nd (4/2 Teacher Work Day)

Blue SpringsMarch 10th to March 18th

Cass MidwayMarch 10th to March 18th

CenterMarch 17th to March 25th

ClintonMarch 24th to April 2nd (4/25 Teachers in Service)

DrexelMarch 27th to April 1st (NO school 3/26 too)

East LynneMarch 24th to April 2nd (4/2 Possible Make Up Day)

Excelsior SpringsMarch 24th to April 1st

Ft. OsageEarly Release March 22nd to April 1st

Grain ValleyMarch 9th March 12th

GrandviewMarch 24th to April 1st

HarrisonvilleMarch 28th to April 1st

Hickman Mills March 24th to April 1st

IndependenceMarch 23rd to April 2nd

Kansas City Public SchoolsMarch 24th to April 1st

Kearney March 24th to April 2nd

LawsonMarch 30th to April 2nd

Lee’s SummitMarch 17th to March 25th

LibertyMarch 24th to April 1st

Lone JackMarch 10th to March 18th

North Kansas CityMarch 17th to March 25th

Oak GroveEarly Release March 9th to March 12th

Parkville– March 16th (Teacher Work Day) to March 25th

Pleasant HillMarch 24th to April 1st

Platte CountyMarch 17th to March 25th

Raymore PeculiarMarch 24th to April 1st

RaytownMarch 17th to March 25th

Smithville- March 17th to March 25th

Sherwood CassMarch 24th to April 2nd (4/2 Teacher Work Day)

 

We hope this list of Spring Break dates for Kansas City area School Districts will help make your life (a tad) easier. The majority of private and charter schools follow the dates of nearby public school districts. Check with your local private school for specific closings or which public school district to follow.

Got any cool Spring Break plans? Leave ’em in the comments!

 

 

Kansas City coupons and affordable events

 


100 Super-Awesome Spring Break Ideas for Kansas City Families

Spring Break is filled with endless opportunities to travel with the kids, but finding other fun & interesting Spring Break ideas kids can be tricky. We compiled a list of 100 Spring Break ideas for families, so your kids never get bored. A fun way to get everyone involved is sharing this idea list with your family and have each person choose their favorite activity. Over Spring Break, your family can complete each activity together!

Check out our list below to find activities, games & inspiration for your family’s Spring Break Extravaganza!

 

Looking for a specific activity or event? Check out our 2018 Spring Break Camps, Events, and Activities Guide!

Need to know when your kids’ Spring Break is? Check out our complete list of Spring Break dates in KC.

 

Spring Break Ideas:

  1. Hula Hoop contest
  2. Water balloon fight
  3. Take a walk around the neighborhood
  4. Ride your bikes
  5. Grab a bite to eat at a new restaurant- Where do Kids Eat Free in KC?
  6. Take a trip to the Dollar Store
  7. Swim at a local indoor pool
  8. Play night games
  9. Take a class
  10. Visit the library 
  11. Take up yoga – there is even Frozen-themed yoga for kids (Thanks Youtube!)
  12. Play Frisbee golf
  13. Download the Geocache app and start a new adventure! (fee to download)
  14. Find a new park
  15. Help your child read a book to you
  16. Visit your family
  17. Make a playdate with neighbors/friends
  18. Play at the playground
  19. Visit your local nature center for a nature hike
  20. Explore Crown Center
  21. Create at Kaleidoscope
  22. Grab an ice cream cone
  23. Go to the movies for CHEAP- See a matinee movie at the Cinemark Palace at the Plaza on Sundays for $4.50!
  24. Picnic in the park
  25. Camp in the backyard
  26. Ride the Ferris wheel at Scheels 
  27. Explore Science City
  28. Ride the KC Street Car
  29. Go to a Royals game– tailgate time!
  30. Take a short road trip to Topeka- explore the capital!
  31. Fly a kite
  32. Make a fort (the bigger the better!)
  33. Volunteer at your local animal shelter- Wayside Waifs or Prairie Paws Animal Shelter are options.
  34. Take photos outdoors
  35. Play hide-and-seek
  36. Gather the neighborhood kids for Spring Break Olympics
  37. Make breakfast as a family
  38. Work on homework/study
  39. Visit Deanna Rose Farmstead (Open April)
  40. Explore the Kansas City Zoo
  41. Take a stroll around the plaza
  42. Find a new hiking trail
  43. Read a book
  44. Get a new pet- Adopt don’t shop
  45. Or foster a pet temporarily
  46. Plant a garden
  47. Hold a lemonade stand
  48. Plan a summer vacation
  49. Pot flowers for your porch
  50. Play mini golf
  51. Create a scavenger hunt
  52. Write letters to family and friends who live far
  53. Make a sandcastle
  54. Make up a new game
  55. Create a new recipe from scratch
  56. Play in the dirt
  57. Catch lightening bugs at night
  58. Plant a tree
  59. Join a new club or group
  60. Make a bird feeder & hang up
  61. Check out the local Farmer’s Market
  62. Visit a farm
  63. Open a bank account to teach your child good financial habits
  64. Organize the house
  65. Host a game night
  66. Bowling with the family
  67. Visit a museum- The Nelson-Atkins is FREE!
  68. Wash the car (& play in the water)
  69. Have a water fight
  70. Paint a picture
  71. Watch the sunset
  72. Camp in the living room
  73. Bonfire & roast marshmallows
  74. Go to the drive-in movies (before they close for good!)
  75. Paint your nails & toes
  76. Paint your full body (outside…of course)
  77. Bake a cake or cookies
  78. Visit a local retirement home (Bring them cookies?)
  79. Create a sidewalk masterpiece with chalk
  80. Act out your child’s favorite book or movie
  81. Enjoy the stars
  82. Watch an IMAX Movie or Extreme Screen at Union Station
  83. Horseback riding through the trails
  84. Visit the botanical gardens
  85. Run through Loose Park
  86. Dye Easter eggs
  87. Decorate the house for Spring
  88. Write a book with your child
  89. Watch for birds
  90. Make a new friend
  91. Create a Spring Bucket List for the next month
  92. Cut your hair
  93. Hold an eating competition (How many peeps can you fit in your mouth..?)
  94. Host a tea party
  95. Tie dye something (or everything)
  96. Make your own frozen treats- Walmart sells many different molds!
  97. Dance party!
  98. Eat lunch with the dinosaurs at T-rex Café
  99. Race go-karts
  100. Make a ribbon wand & play fairy

 

We hope this list helps spark inspriation for your own Spring Break ideas to do with your family. If you think of more ideas, drop them in the comments below! We are always looking for new fun and family-friendly ideas.

 

Kansas City coupons and affordable events

 


A Kansas City Family’s Guide to Read Across America

There are National holidays happening every single day throughout the year but one of my favorites is Read Across America day, which is coming up SOON on March 2nd, 2018. We’ve got some ideas for how your family can get involved right here in Kansas City today on the blog. If your kids aren’t avid readers yet, no worries, take a look at the scoop on ways to grow a reader also on the blog.

Whether your family is full of active readers or you’re just getting your feet wet when it comes to sharing the love for literacy, we want to encourage you to celebrate the day and join in as we Read Across America right here in KC. Take a look…

Read Across America Kansas City

The Read Across America Program was launched in 1998 as a way to encourage literacy in schools and at home. Sponsored for by the National Education Association(NEA) it has spread like wildfire encouraging kids to read 365 days per year with a special kick off on March 2nd. The mascot has been commonly associated with the famed character from the Dr. Seuss series, otherwise known as The Cat in the Hat.

Read Across America in Kansas City

This celebration of reading aligns with the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Around the country there are events to be found highlighting literacy such as library programs, online events, school collaborations and more. Teachers and parents are encouraged to partake in this program by involving students in a variety of reading materials, fun activities and so on. You can even plan your own event! So why am I sharing this information with you?

I feel that this is a special day where we can all be reminded of the importance of reading and literacy in our communities and I have taken some time to look for ways that you can celebrate this event at home and in the classroom. If you don’t want to plan an event be sure to look for one in your area!

How can you get started?

So how can you get started? By taking the Reading Pledge, of course! You can sign up as an individual or as a group and pledge participate and read

Once you have made your pledge to plan for reading in your home or school or program, then you can look for some great resources, books and literacy building activities that are fun and engaging. If you need a few monthly ideas then you can download this resource calendar with activities that you can do all year long!

Next on the list, I should explain that while Read Across America features Dr. Seuss they are also looking to spread diversity in reading. You can read from different genres, cultures, styles or topics as long as you are committed to reading. Check out these great ideas for diverse books.

Head Over to the Library

Plan a trip to your local library in Kansas City to grab books or discover special story time activities for families happening throughout the month.

Mid-Continent Public Library branches all across the metro area have story time sessions for babies and families available on March 2nd to help you celebrate the day. Check out their event calendar online for details on sessions happening near your home.

Beyond March 2nd, your local library is an amazing resource for your family. Check out our previous post on fun at the library in KC each month.

Planning an event at home

If you are interested in planning your own event at home, in the classroom or in the community there are a list of free items that you can choose from to get started. Find visuals, ads, posters, banners, and even reading certificates as well as directions on how to plan your own event, tips and background information sheets that can help answer questions for those attending online here.

Seussville is a great website where you can get lots of great reading activities, printables, guides and even lesson plans that you can use to encourage reading in a Seuss themed way.

Additionally, you can usually find a live video of a celebrity reader on March 2nd in the morning around 9am. Or you can watch live video from years past by searching the NEA site. If you want to stay up to date on current NEA information and the book of the month then you can follow their Facebook page.

 “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.”

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Vote for Your Favorite Places to Play, Eat, Learn & Shop for our iFamilyKC Readers’ Favorites Awards!

2018 iFamilyKC Readers’ Favorites

Our iFamilyKC readers are experts in “all things kid & family” in and around Kansas City. So we are asking YOU to VOTE in our iFamilyKC Readers’ Favorites 2018 Contest.  Tell us who your favorite family-friendly businesses are in KC by scrolling down to cast your vote in each category.

Whether you are new to Kansas City or were born and raised here, we know you appreciate recommendations for the best places in the Kansas City area to eat, shop, learn, play and to turn to for professional services.  Voting for your favorites will help area parents find your favorites too.

Be sure to bookmark this guide so you can quickly reference the final results of our iFamilyKC Readers’ Favorites!

reader's favorites

Vote in our iFamilyKC Readers’ Favorites Awards.

Tell Us the Best Places

to Play, Eat, Learn & Shop!

Use the form below to vote for YOUR favorite local businesses, destinations & resources. Voting will end March 6, 2018. Help us spread the word and get the best results by sharing the link to this voting page.  The more participants we have, the better the data will be.

By participating in our nominating and voting process you are also opting into our eNews list in order to receive notification that voting has opened. You can opt out at any time by clicking on the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of every email. Ready set, GO! Spread the word, share the fun!

Nitty gritty details: Votes will be collected from you, our fantastic iFamilyKC readers, from now through March 6th, 2018. Questions?! Send us an email anytime at info@ifamilykc.com. Happy nominating!


Five Ways to Stop the Flu in its Tracks

Flu season seems to be hitting everyone hard and, for my family, this year has been no exception. Gabrielle, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, understands what a hardship the flu can have on families and is offering up five ways to stop the flu in its tracks today on the blog. Take a look…

Five Ways to Stop the Flu in its Tracks

stop the flu

The flu epidemic has hit our nation hard this year. Unfortunately, the Kansas City area was not spared. As caregivers, we are often hit the hardest when illness enters our homes.  There is no way to completely germ-proof our homes, but there are a few things we can do (besides washing our hands).

#1 Disinfect Common Surfaces

Sure, we all wipe down our counters when we clean the kitchen.  But there are a few places that even the tidiest of moms could forget about.  For instance, wiping down the refrigerator door handle should become a common practice.  Every person in my house has their fingerprints on that surface.  The same goes for door knobs, and cabinet door handles.  Electronic devices are another place where germs might be passed amongst siblings.  Disinfect phones and other handheld devices.  Wipe down those video game controls and the TV remote while you’re at it.  Use the dishwasher to disinfect silverware and cups if you have one.  If not, tossing a little bleach in the dishwater might not be a bad idea.

#2 Take it Outside

Wastebaskets fill up fast when someone in the household is sick.  Take the garbage out as often as necessary, and don’t just empty it all in the big waste basket.  Tie it up in plastic and place it in a bin away from the house.  So many of these illnesses are airborne.  One misplaced tissue could cost you a week’s work of down time.

#3 Keep Remedies in Stock

Many pharmacies are sold out of common flu and cold remedies now.  It’s a good idea to pick some up if you see it, even if no one is sick at the moment.  I’ve heard tales of parents driving to 3-4 different pharmacies trying to find medication.   If over-the-counter medications will work to soothe your ailing loved ones, absolutely take advantage of them.

#4 Stay Away From Sick People

It seems obvious, but the best way to not get the flu is to stay away from people who have the virus.  The CDC and every health agency in the world is screaming at people to stay home if they are sick.  As a caretaker, if you have to care for someone who is fighting the illness, wear a mask and gloves and whatever protective gear you can find.  Don’t share food or drinks with sick kiddos, no matter how badly the toddler tries to feed you some of her Cheerios.

#5 Don’t Ignore Symptoms

If you think you might be sick, go to the doctor.  Early detection and treatment are extremely important when fighting the flu.

Stay healthy.  People are counting you.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle


5 Ways to Get The Most Out of Your Amazon Echo Alexa

We were so excited to unwrap two echo alexa dots under the tree this past holiday season and have really enjoyed getting to know all of the fun features available to our family through our new devices. Even though my husband and I are both pretty tech savvy, there are still benefits available through our Echo dots that we don’t know about. If you’re like us, you’re probably in the same boat. Burton, our resident tech expert, is here to help with some great ideas for getting the most out of your Amazon Echo Alexa this year. Take a look…

amazon echo alexa

5 Great Ways to Get The Most From Your Amazon Echo Alexa

Making it’s debut in 2016, the Amazon Echo Alexa has quickly become one of the hottest gadgets around. If you have an Amazon Echo Alexa, Echo Spot, Dot, Tap, or Show, there are lots of things you can ask Alexa, the virtual assistant to do. This device has so many useful features, it’s easy to overlook everything it can do.  To help you get the most out of the Echo Alexa, I’ve put together a list of tips and suggestions that make sure you enjoy this awesome device to the fullest.

What’s the big deal about the Amazon Echo Alexa?

Amazon Echo Alexa connects to your home WiFi, which allows you to connect to the Internet to give you the information you want by vocal commands. The setup process is very simple making it easy for even the basic user to configure. Once you have your Echo setup,  Alexa the personal assistant listens to your voice and responds to your requests either returning information found online or syncing with Amazon compatible devices that allow you to vocally control items in your home.

What are the cool things you can do with your Amazon Echo?

#1 Control Your Smart Home

One of best features of an Amazon Echo is being able to give voice commands to control the environment of your house. You can tell Alexa to dim your lights, lock your doors, turn home security on or off, change the temperature, and make coffee for you. Remember, all devices that you want to control must be compatible with the Echo.  Look for the Amazon logo when purchasing product that you want to work with your smart home. 

#2 Purchase Items Using Your Voice

Echo Alexa allows you to buy stuff from Amazon using your account and default payment method. Search for something  you like, buy it and it magically appears on your doorstep. The challenge is, anyone can talk to your Echo and make purchases. If you’ve got kids or have visitors who like to play jokes, you should probably turn that feature off.

#3 Listen to Audible or Kindle books on your Echo Alexa 

If you have an account with Audible or Kindle, you can have Echo Alexa read books to you.  While Alexa does a great job reading books to you, you will get a more robust reading through Audible. If you don’t have an Audible account, you can sign up for a free.

#4 Make Voice Calls

When you link your mobile number to your Echo, you can call anyone who is in your phone contacts. To make a call from your compatible Echo Alexa devices, just ask Alexa to call the person or contact you want to reach by name.

#5 Control Your TV

If you’re the owner of an Amazon Fire Stick, you can use your Echo to control it using your voice. To use your voice as a remote control, just say “Alexa,” followed by a playback command, such as pause, fast-forward or skip an episode. You can also tell Alexa to search for a specific video and open other apps on your smart TV.

This is just a few of the things you can do with an Amazon Echo Alexa.  How do you use your Echo?  Drop me a line and let me know.

From iFamily to Yours,

Burton

Check in with Integral on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin , YouTube and Google+ for more tips on helping you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or office.

I’m Burton Kelso and I’m a Kansas City based Tech Expert and the Chief Technology Expert at Integral, providing on-site and remote support for computers, tablets, smartphones, routers, printers, and any device that connects to the internet. I regularly appear as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn , and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com

 


A Library Lovers Guide to Family Activities Near Your Home

Can you believe it is already February? It honestly feels like I was just talking about things to do for New Years Eve! February may be a short month, but there are tons of fun “National Day/Months” One that I absolutely love is National Library Lovers Day!

A Library Lovers Guide to Family Activities Near Your Home

National Library Lovers Day is February 14th and in honor of this day, I thought I would highlight our own fascinating libraries around the metro area. I for one love the library. They always have fun and FREE things to do. Not to mention, anything you want to learn, perfect, or just fact check, it is all available right there at your fingertips.  The metro area has great, history rich libraries that are an adventure in their own right. So, even though you may have already visited  your  local library, here are a few things that these branches offer that you may not know!

library lovers

Mid-Continent Public Library

Mid-Continent Public Library’s mission is to enrich our citizens and communities through expanding access to innovation, information, ideas, and inspiration.

Mid-Continent Public Library is the largest library system in the metropolitan area, operating 35 libraries and serving nearly 800,000 people in Jackson, Clay, and Platte counties. The Library strives to enrich our citizens and communities through expanding access to innovation, information, ideas, and inspiration.

With the 19th largest public library collection in the nation, over 10,000 live programs per year, and constantly expanding resources, Mid-Continent Public Library has been providing world class customer service to the area since 1965.

Antioch Branch

6060 N Chestnut Ave, Gladstone, MO 64119

  • Storytimes for toddlers and babies
  • STEAM Powered Programs
  • Quilting Classes
  • Tax Help
  • Computer Classes
  • Book Clubs
  • Interior Design Classes

Blue Ridge Branch

6131 Raytown Rd, Raytown, MO 64133

  • Storytime for kids and families
  • STEAM Powered Programs
  • Kids Create Workshops
  • Kids Shows
  • Kids Games

Blue Springs North Branch

850 NW Hunter Drive, Blue SpringsMO 64015
  • LEGO Events
  • Read to a Dog
  • Storytime for Families
  • KC Magic Man

Blue Springs South Branch

2220 S. 7 Hwy, Blue Springs, MO 64014

  • Storytime
  • Kids Create Workshops
  • Kids Lab

Boardwalk Branch

8656 N Ambassador Dr, Kansas City, MO 64154

  • Homeschoolers at the Library
  • Storytime
  • Kid Reads
  • Sensory Lab – Play & Learn
  • Yoga Tales
  • Brixology

Claycomo

309 E. U.S. Highway 69, Claycomo, MO 64119

  • Read & Draw
  • Lego Time
  • Kids Create
  • STEAM Powered Programs
  • Zoomobile Visits

Colbern Road Branch

1000 NE Colbern Road, Lee’s SummitMO 64086
  • Stuffed Animal Sleepover
  • Storytime
  • Play & Learn Time
  • Family Night

Lee’s Summit Branch

150 NW Oldham Pkwy, Lee’s Summit, MO 64081

  • Gardening Workshops
  • Storytime
  • Play & Learn Time

Liberty Branch

1000 Kent St, Liberty, MO 64068

  • Homeschoolers at the Library
  • Play & Learn Time
  • Storytime
  • Read to a Dog
  • Stuffed Animal Sleepover
  • STEAM Program

North Independence Branch

317 US-24, Independence, MO 64050

  • Kids Create
  • LEGO Robotics
  • Yoga for Kids
  • Pet Safety Classes
  • Art Classes from Nelson Atkins

Kansas City Public Library

Lucile H. Bluford Branch

3050 Prospect Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64128

  • ABsolutely Amazing Abs
  • Cardio Kickboxing with NickiFit
  • Full Body Chair Fitness with NickiFit
  • HIIT Training with NickiFit
  • Kids Café ( free healthy snacks for kids 18 and under)
  • Strength Training with NickiFit
  • Tech Coach Drop In at Bluford
  • Teen Tabletop Gaming and more!

Central Library

14 West 10th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105

  • Storytime at Central
  • Citizenship Interview Practice
  • Graphic Novel Book Club at Central (7-15)
  • FREE Tax Preparation
  • Coffee & Conversation
  • Ukes on the Roof Monthly Meetup
  • Coffee Tastings and Pairings

Irene H. Ruiz Biblioteca de las Americas

2017 West Pennway Street,Kansas City, MO 64108

  • Lego Time

Plaza Branch

4801 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64112

  • Baby Bounce
  • Tales for Tiny Tykes
  • Preschool Story Time
  • Tommy Terrific’s Wacky Magic
  • Wildcard Wednesdays
  • Book Club (topics vary)
  • Tabletop Gaming

Sugar Creek Branch

102 South Sterling Avenue, Sugar Creek, MO 64054

  • Walk with us
  • Teens After Hours
  • Low Impact Cardio Workouts
  • After Lunch Book Group
  • Preschool Story Time
  • Kid’s Craft Time

Trails West Branch

11401 East 23rd Street, Independence, MO 64052

  • Rockin’ Ramblin’ Readers
  • Tuesday Family Fun (every Tuesday)
  • KC Kids Create: Kitchen Science
  • Coffee and Coloring (adults and seniors)
  • Teen’s Group

Waldo Branch

201 East 75th Street, Kansas City, MO 64114

  • Teen Gaming Club
  • Tabletop Tuesdays
  • Stories for Ones (12-24mo)
  • Preschool Story Time (2-5)
  • Read to a Dog
  • Lego Club
  • Parents as Teachers Playgroup

Westport Branch

118 Westport Road,Kansas City, MO 64111

  • Preschool Story Time
  • Library Yoga
  • Grown Up Game Night
  • Between the Lines Book Group

Kansas City Kansas Public Library

Main Library

625 Minnesota Avenue,Kansas City, KS 66101

  • Working Wednesday
  • Baby Story Time
  • Computer Training
  • Kids A Cookin
  • Kids Cafe
  • Family Story Time
  • STEAM Story Time
  • Anime Club
  • Book Clubs

South Branch

3104 Strong Avenue,Kansas City, KS 66106

  • Quilting
  • Little Learners Story Time
  • Teen Time
  • Conversational Spanish
  • Movie Night (varies in rating)

Turner Library

831 S 55th Street,Kansas City, KS 66106

  • Anime Club
  • Friday Story Time
  • Cubs Corner Crafts

FL Schlagle Branch

4051 West Drive,Kansas City, KS 66109

  • Homeschool Adventures (weekly age varies)
  • Project Feeder Watch
  • Nature Story Time

All of these libraries host recurring clubs and activities that vary in age. They also host a wide variety of special events that take place only once! To make sure you get the full details on age ranges, times and if a reservation is needed, you can check out the full list of events on the library’s websites! So this National Library Lovers Day, head to your local library!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 


Save $20 with Kona Ice & Bring the Fun to YOU! Fundraising Options for Your School

It’s hard to believe that we’re already a month into the second semester of school here in the metro area. Like many other across the metro, our school is looking to plan our upcoming Spring carnival in May and we’re on the hunt for fun ideas that a) don’t break the bank and b) help set us up for a great 2018-2019 school year. Our friends at Kona Ice have the solution and they’re offering you a pretty sweet deal to boot. When you book a Kona Day (details below) now through May 1st and mention iFamilyKC, you’ll save $20! Kona Days are incredible ways to fundraise at your school and, because Kona’s treats are smart snack approved, you can know you’ve made a good choice in bringing them out…

Save $20 with Kona Ice & Bring the Fun to YOU!

Fundraising Options for Your School

Save $20 When You Mention iFamilyKC

Kona Ice & School Go Together Like Peanut Butter & Jelly!

FUNDRAISERS

We’ve raised over $30 million dollars for local communities and organizations since 2007. So yeah, you might say that fundraising is our thing. The best part about it truly is that it’s so easy – for you AND for us. Fundraising should be a great experience for everyone involved – it should be fun! That’s where we come in – we put the “fun” back in fundraising.

We can fundraise for just about anything – schools, sports teams, band programs, etc. We have pre-paid Kona Cards that you can sell OR you can have us out at any event and we’ll donate a portion of the sales back to your program. Basically, if you have need, we’ll try and meet it as best as possible. We’re a fundraising machine…literally.

Bring the FUN to YOUR party, event, activity, fundraiser, or school function by booking the Kona Entertainment Vehicle TODAY. You just tell them where to park! Save $20 when you mention iFamilyKC (Expires 5/1/18). Call Kona Ice at (913) 709-3370 or reach Eric by email at KCKonaIce@gmail.com.


4 Steps to Disinfect Your Tech During Cold & Flu Season

Like so many of you, my family has been battling the flu lately. Whether you’re dealing with the common cold or full blown influenza, it’s important to disinfect to prevent the spread during cold flu season. Don’t forget to disinfect your tech! Expert Burton Kelso is here to help with 4 steps to make sure your devices are cleaned and ready to go. Take a look…

4 Steps to Disinfect Your Tech During Cold & Flu Season

4 Steps to Disinfect Your Tech During Cold & Flu Season

Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert

Cold and Flu season is here with a vengeance. We are in the midst of a flu epidemic and many experts predict it hasn’t reached it’s peak.   Public health experts recommend you stick the basic steps to avoid the flu such as washing your hands, getting a flu shot, and disinfecting surfaces you touch on a regular basis.  One of the most ignored surfaces we touch are our smartphones and our keyboards.  We place our smartphones on many surfaces (such as the bathroom counter) that can have many forms of bacteria and viruses. If you come in contact with people day to day, what are the chances you wash your hands every time you sit down at a keyboard? How can you protect yourself? Follow these simple steps to keep your phone and other gadgets clean during cold and flu season.

The most common way that the flu is spread is from person- to- person contact, as well as from dirty hands that come in contact with your face, eyes, nose and mouth. These areas are points of entry for the flu virus. Did you know the average person touches their face up to 16 times per hour? Even more disturbing is that if you don’t clean your smartphone, computer or laptop keyboard on a regular basis, it can contain more germs than a toilet?  Now you can see the concern. Here’s what you can do:

#1 Use cleaning products designed for technology

You don’t want to use harsh cleaning chemicals on your devices, including water. Remember these are delicate gadgets. While you can use Anti-bacterial wipes on your computer keyboard, you want to avoid using them on your smartphone. They are very abrasive and can leave scratches on your phone. My suggestion is to run to the store and get Wireless Wipes (www.wirelesswipes.com) or the Tech Armor Cleaning Kit (www.techarmor.com)  These handy wipes are guaranteed to keep your smartphone and tablet germ free.

#2 Make Your Own Cleaning Solution To Clean Your Devices

If you want save a few pennies, you can create your own mixture using You could also make your own cleaning solution using a 50-50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and distilled water. When wiping down the surface of your keyboard, smartphone or tablet, always use a microfiber cloth.  Never use paper towels or other standard cleaning clothes.

#3 Get Some Tech that Will Clean Your Tech

If you want a high tech solution for sanitizing your phone, consider the PhoneSoap Charger (www.phonesoap.com).  This device will make your smartphone and tablets germ free and charge them all at the same time. It might be a little pricey, but PhoneSoap will also clean things such as keys, credit cards and watches.

#4 Get a Cover that Will Minimize Germs on your gadgets

Use a surface cover or case for your smartphone or tablet that has antimicrobial protection.  One of the best products you can get is from BioArmor (www.bioarmortech.com). These products offer 24/7 protection from the germs your tablet and smartphone encounter.

Some more things to consider during cold and flu season:

  1. Do not share Smartphone with others.  If you do, wash your hands before handling your device or use a hand sanitizer to kill germs.
  2. Keep your smartphone out of the hands of your children. You take the risk of infecting your child and they can be can be a major factor for spreading the flu to you |
  3. Consider using your phone ‘hands-free’ or use ear buds for phone conversations.

Following these tips can help keep you and your family safe from germs during cold and flu season.

Do you have tips to disinfect your tech devices, drop me a line and let me know. Please share this information with everyone.

Check in with Integral on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin , YouTube and Google+ for more tips on helping you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or office.

From iFamily to Yours,

Burton

I’m Burton Kelso and I’m a Kansas City based Tech Expert and the Chief Technology Expert at Integral, providing on-site and remote support for computers, tablets, smartphones, routers, printers, and any device that connects to the internet. I regularly appear as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn , and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com