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The 25 Best Places for the Family Photos in Kansas City [Picture Time!]

When it comes to finding the perfect place for family photos, picturesque locations are in no short supply around Kansas City. From the stunning scenery in Loose Park, to the beautiful city views at Liberty Memorial, KC truly offers the perfect backdrop for every family.

But what parents have time to search for the best photo spot…? I can’t find 30 minutes to shower in peace, let alone time to search the internet. But hey, do it for the memories. Right?

Your hunt is over! Mom Squader Leah explored KC to find 25 picture perfect locations for beautiful photos with the fam. So, stop searching the internet and scroll on down to find picture perfect locations all across the metro. Take a look…


family photos and family portraits

Picture Time….Say Cheese!

It’s no surprise that Kansas City is filled with endless picture possibilities, but do you know them all? My quest for the perfect family photo led me to discover many new places around the metro I would love to share with you! Every parent and grandparent wants to best family photos, so grab your camera (or your phone) and head to these beautiful locations around KC. There is something for everyone!


Explore the Most Beautiful Family Photo Places in Kansas City

A list of the Best Picture Places in Kansas City. They all have one thing in common: they’re fabulous places to take your family pictures. 


 #1 Burr Oak Woods Conservation (Blue Springs)
family pictures kansas city

Burr Oak Woods is a great place to hike and explore, but also take family photos! They have a nature center that offers indoor and outdoor exhibits, picnic areas, six hiking trails, viewing decks, and bridges. Burr Oaks offers many family oriented activities to do in the summer. Visit their website to find location, hours, activities, & all the info you need.


 #2 Lake Remembrance (Blue Springs)Family Pictures Kansas City

I absolutely love Lake Remembrance. You can take the family  for a picnic, fishing, scavenger hunt, bike ride, walk, or a jog. There are three walking trails to choose from as well as a dog park. Lake Remembrance has such beautiful views and is so peaceful. I like to go there and escape day to day stress by just breathing in it’s beauty. Learn more about the lake at their site.


#3 Rotary Park at Railroad Lake (Blue Springs)Family Pictures Kansas City

Rotary Park at Railroad Lake is such a pretty place for family photos. Throughout the summer  it hosts free summer concerts in the park. Take advantage of them for some free fun. Rotary Park is a total of 12 acres and is located in central Blue Springs. There are two playgrounds, a walking trail that surrounds a small lake, tennis courts, and a basketball court.


#4 Powell Gardens  (Kingsville)
Family Pictures Kansas City

This 915-acre botanical garden is open to the public and does cost a fee to enter . However, it is worth it. They offer countless activities  for the entire family. There really isn’t a place in Powell Gardens that isn’t picture perfect. I highly recommend you go there and make a day out of it. You could play “I spy,” go on a self -made “treasure quest,” or make a list of items to find. The options are endless.


#5 Unity Village  (Just Outside Lee’s Summit)

best places to take a picture

Unity Village is absolutely breathtaking. It truly is one of the most serene places I have ever been. You can find peace in one of the many gardens, get lost in the landscaping, or  relax  at  one of several fountains. I have photographed my niece there for her prom as well as enjoyed picnics there with a dear friend. I highly recommend you check out Unity Village if you have not yet.


 #6 Kansas City River Market (Kansas City)

There are more than 25 merchants, markets, grocers & shops. The City Market is so much fun. It allows you to travel the world without a passport. I could get lost there. There are so many amazing  places to eat, beautiful fresh flowers for sell, cultures from all around the world, and just beautiful people in general. I love showing my son all the family ran produce stands. However, my favorite thing to do there is to taste food that is made by hand, passed down from generation to generation.


#7 Country Club Plaza (Kansas City)

best places to take a picture

What is not to love about the County Club Plaza? There are high end shops, food prepared by world class Chefs, an amazing toy store, live music, carriage rides, and fountains galore! We love going there and making a whole day of it. I encourage you to get out there and explore The Plaza together.


#8 West Bottoms (Kansas City)

The popular West Bottoms’ stores and restaurants offer one-of-a kind quality vintage items, antiques and lots of places to find great gifts . There are so many cool places tucked away waiting for you to find them. The West Bottoms offers artistic architectural views, hip and fun locally owned shops, and lots of unique places to take photos.


#9 Loose Park (Kansas City)

Best places to take a picture

Loose Park is the third largest park in Kansas City. The  rose garden at Loose Park is worth the visit alone. There are so many great things to say about Loose Park. The Rose Garden and ponds are perfect family photo opportunities. The beauty it carries is rare to anything else in the area. The park is perfect for playing Frisbee, catching a live  drum circle in action, watching the geese in the pond , letting the kids play, eating lunch while people watching, etc. Loose Park is a Kansas City staple.


#10 Nelson Atkins Art Museum Of Art (Kansas City)

The Best Places for Family Photos in Kansas City

The Nelson is such a remarkable asset to Kansas City. It provides so many opportunities to bond as a family. The outside area is ideal for taking family photos.  I think sometimes people forget about what a great place this is. Not only is The Nelson aesthetically beautiful it is a necessity to show to your children. Most children see the beauty in art and see it as inspirational.

#11 Union Station (Kansas City)

The Best Family Photos Spots in Kansas City
There is something almost magical about Union Station. It maybe the nostalgic charm that comes from the history of so many people who have stepped foot there before me. I like to sit on the former train station benches and think back of what it used to be like there. I can imagine lots of busy travelers, people kissing their families goodbye, people excited to return home, etc. Whatever it is I feel it takes me over every time I am there.  I honestly could get lost in the beauty Union Station holds. It has an exotic beauty that is so classy. What better place to take a family photo.


#12 National WW1 Museum & Liberty Memorial (Kansas City)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

The Liberty Memorial, located at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, is a memorial to service men and women who served in World War I. The museum overlooks downtown Kansas City; the perfect backdrop for family photos! Stand atop the overlook to see a vast Kansas City skyline. 


#13 Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

One of my favorite things about Kansas City is the passion we have to see others succeed. The love Kansas City has for The Royals is evident everywhere you look. Their story is a true example of where hard work and determination leads you. Why not take the opportunity to express your love for the team by taking a picture in front of the stadium ? Although many of the Royals billboards displayed around town will never be as cool as the “Salvy” billboard there are still many to choose from. What a great idea for your next Christmas card.


#14 Briarcliff Waterfall Park (Riverside)

Come enjoy the lovely waterfall and capture beautiful pictures of your family. The waterfalls are the perfect backdrop for your next family photo op!


#15 Old Downtown Overland Park

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

Old Downtown Overland Park equals charm. It is a great place to spend the day, go shopping, bring out of town guests, or eat brunch at. You can take cooking classes, art classes, explore an awesome art gallery, have yummy desserts, smell fresh spices, run through kid friendly fountains, go to the local farmers market, etc. There is so much to do there.


#16 South Lake Park (Overland Park)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

South Lake Park holds a special place in my heart. It is the park I walked around while I was pregnant with my son. I also had his first three birthday parties there. It is a gorgeous park that is literally centered around a lake. South Lake park offers picnic areas, a play ground, basketball courts, and beautiful place to walk.


#17 Prairiefire (Overland Park)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

I personally have not been inside of the Museum at Prairiefire. I’ve just been awestruck by the beauty of the outside of it. I have seen many people make the drive simply to see the building itself. I have heard a lot of great things about the museum. Their stained glass wall is perfect for your family photos.


#18 Deanna Rose Farmstead (Overland Park)

The Top Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

Deanna Rose is a child favorite among many. Children can feed animals, go fishing,  go” mining”, ride horses, and much more. The amount of fun your child can have  is  endless. What a great place to take personality reflecting photos of your children.


#19 Shawnee Mission Park (Lenexa)

Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

Shawnee Mission Park is home to a number of fantastic amenities as well as a beautiful 120-acre lake. The beautiful scenic lake is a very popular spot for boating, fishing, sail boarding, family photos and much more. The park also has eleven spacious shelters, numerous picnic areas, nature trails, play areas, an archery range, a 53-acre dog off-leash area, a disc golf course, and is a great place to enjoy mountain biking and horseback riding. The park is also home to The Theatre in the Park, Shawnee Mission Park Beach, and Shawnee Mission Park Marina. In season, there are canoes, pedal boats, and fishing boats available for rent at the marina. Please see the SMP website for more information.

 #20 James A Reed Memorial Wildlife Area (Lee’s Summit)

Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

Expansive woodland & wetland hunting grounds features picnic spots, trails & fishing lakes & ponds.


#21 Antioch Park (Merriam)

Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

A 44-acre park featuring a playground, 2 fishing lakes, tennis & basketball courts, trails & shelters. There are many great places for your family to take photos! Come explore today.


#22 Lake Olathe Park

Lake Olathe is vast, with tons of different areas for pictures. The park has a playground to keep the kids entertained and smiling (we all know the struggles of a screaming child during pictures) and trails to walk. Find many choices for cool forests and creeks. And of course, there is the lake!


#23 English Landing Park (Parkville)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

English Landing Park is a 68-acre facility with several amenities, including; 3 miles of walking trails, a large playground area, a boat ramp, picnic shelters, sand volleyball court, and a disc golf course. This park is sure to satisfy anyone wanting to take advantage of the great outdoors. English Landing Park attracts a wide variety of users from bicyclists to walking or running enthusiasts; there is a recreation outlet for all to enjoy. Or the perfect natural backdrop for family photos;)


#24 Tryst Falls Park (Excelsior Springs)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

Tryst Falls is a scenic waterfall, one of the only natural waterfalls in the area. This natural park includes a playground, shelter houses and picnic tables. Grab your family and capture adorable family photos you will treasure forever.

#25 Watkins Mill State Park (Lawson)

The Best Family Photo Spots in Kansas City

Fascinating intact civil war era factory and farm. Wonderful camping grounds as well as a great walking and biking trail around a beautiful lake. There are many great events like campground trick or treating and living history events. Check out user reviews of Watkins Mill for more info.

If you have a strong desire to capture great family photos, just go to a place that allows your family to simply be your family.  I hope through this article you’re able to find just that place. Thank you to all of the people who helped make this article possible.

From iFamily to Yours,

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Kansas City’s Downtown Staycation Guide: 2018 Edition

There’s nothing quite like playing tourist in your own backyard. With so many of us living in the suburbs, planning a Staycation in KC can provide a fun adventure for your family. As we head into Spring Break (want to know when yours is? Find out HERE!) later this month, we want to encourage you to spend a few days exploring some of the incredible opportunities available to your family in the heart of the metro area: Downtown Kansas City. While you’re enjoying Spring break fun, consider some of these incredible activities during your time off. Take a look…

staycation Kansas City

Kansas City’s Staycation Guide: 2018 Edition

Spring break is right around the corner here in the metro area and, while many of us would love to get away for a few days, the time off from school seems shorter now than in year’s past. That few days off from school provides the ideal opportunity to take a (very) short “road trip” to downtown Kansas City to explore the sights and scenes that KC proper has to offer.

#1 Crown Center

2450 Grand Boulevard

Savings Tip: Check out their website for free movies and music on the weekends this summer!

#2 Coterie Theater

2450 Grand Boulevard

Check their website for showtimes.

#3 Science City

30 W Pershing Rd, Kansas City, MO

Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm

Sunday 12pm-5pm

#4 LegoLand Discovery Center

2475 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO

Monday-Thursday 10am-4pm

Friday 10am-5pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 10am-5pm

#5 Kaleidoscope

2500 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO

Check their online calendar for family art session availability.

Savings tip: This activity is FREE for families! 

#6 College Basketball Experience

1401 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO

Wednesday-Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 11am-6pm

Savings Tip: Save $2 on admission with our exclusive discount offer here!

#7 Sea Life

2475 Grand Blvd, Kansas City, MO

Monday-Thursday 10am-4pm

Friday 10am-5pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 10am-5pm

#8 City Market

20 E. 5th Street, Suite 201, Kansas City, MO

#9 WWI Museum

2 Memorial Dr, Kansas City, MO

10am-5pm Tuesday-Sunday, Closed Mondays

Savings tip: The museum offers FREE Hands On History and Storytime At The Museum sessions.

#10 Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

4525 Oak St, Kansas City, MO

Wed: 10am-5pm
Thur: 10am-9pm
Fri: 10am-9pm
Sat: 10am-5pm
Sun: 10am-5pm
Mon-Tues: CLOSED

Savings tip: Admission to the museum is free. 

#12 National Toys & Miniatures Museum

5235 Oak St, Kansas City, MO

Open Daily 10am-4pm
Closed Tuesdays and major holidays

#13 Kansas City Ballet

KCYB Presents “Raymonda”

March 9, 7:30 PM
March 10, 7:30 PM
March 11, 2:00 PM

#14 Visit the Downtown Library

14 W 10th St, Kansas City, MO

Mon-Wed 9:00am-9:00pm
Thu-Fri 9:00am-5:00pm
Sat 10:00am-5:00pm
Sun 1:00pm-5:00pm

#15 Money Museum

1 Memorial Dr, Kansas City, MO

Monday-Friday 9:30am-4pm

Savings tip: Admission is free.

Since all of these locations are located downtown, you can ride the free KC Street Car to avoid extra parking costs!

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Why Ignoring Software Updates Can Harm Your Devices

Everyone needs a great tech expert in their lives. We are fortunate that we can share tech guru Burton Kelso’s with you right here on the iFamilyKC blog. We’ve recently gone over the most important things you need to know to protect yourself from cyber criminals and how to clean your tech to stop the flu from making its rounds but, today, we want to talk about something very important. As parents, it is our job to ensure that we’re protecting our family online and at home; But, did you know, there’s one simple thing you’ve probably been ignoring that’s putting your family at risk? Let’s talk about why ignoring software updates can harm your devices (and your family). Take a look…

ignoring software updates

Why Ignoring Software Updates Can Harm Your Devices

It never fails. You’re working hard on your computer, smartphone or tablet and that annoying message pops out of nowhere saying “a software update is available”.  In most cases you click “cancel” instead of “install”, saying to yourself “I’ll get to it later. But you never do them. Does this sound familiar?

The truth is it’s easy to get in the habit of skipping software updates because they don’t seem that important and they take so darn long to install. But not doing them allows cyber criminals access to your personal information, putting you at risk for identity theft, loss of money, credit, and more.

How do they do it?

You remember the Equifax data breach, right? Well did you know a hackers were able to access Equifax’s data because they failed to perform software updates?  It’s true.  Hackers were able to break in through a known vulnerability in a web application. The sad part is that a fix for this security hole was actually available two months before the breach.

Software updates are important because they often include critical patches to security holes.
It doesn’t matter if it’s for Microsoft Office, your computer, or an update for your browser, updates do more than just give you new features or make changes to your software that sometimes do more to confuse you than help.

Computer manufactures are constantly bombarding you with updates to make your software run efficiently and to protect you from vulnerabilities that hackers find and try to exploit. The bonus is software updates can add new features to your computer or smart device that allows them to have new features that will make your tech work with the latest stuff on the market.

When vulnerabilities are found, software developers release an update or a patch. These patches are important and should to be installed as soon as they pop up on your device. If you ignore them, it opens the computer to cyber-criminal compromises because of the “un-patched” vulnerability. This becomes dangerous because the vulnerability can then be exploited by hackers who don’t need to use Internet scams to get into your computer; they can simply take advantage of the flaw to get your information.

Here are some tips to follow to keep you safe.

Understand that keeping your Anti-Virus software up-to-date is critical. This protects you from the latest threats.

Enable auto-update for software on your computers, smartphones and tablet. If you can’t enable auto update, make a habit to regularly check for and apply  updates.

Before downloading any software or apps, read the reviews first to make sure it’s safe to install. Hackers love upload fake programs that are designed to steal your information.

Keep on top of the latest threats so you know how to protect yourself from online threats.

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,

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 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

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!

Planning a staycation? Kids want to go swimming (indoors) instead?  We’ve got you covered too!

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 Kansas City Young Audiences

3732 Main Street, Kansas City, MO

Come explore and learn to act at the many different summer camps offered at KCYA. Find a complete list of camps to match your child with the the acting camp perfect for their personality! Camps meet Monday through Friday and camp fees include a snack. There is a multi-camp discount if you sign-up for 2 weeks or more of acting camp. (Scholarships are available too!)

More info online by visiting the KCYA website!


#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 Play-Well TEKnologies

Minecraft, Lego, STEM camps and more. Kids dive into their classes and exercise their innate gift for building. They come away understanding fundamental principles of engineering and physics. The experience boosts their confidence, creativity and ability to collaborate. Kids can’t get enough. Programs at lots of locations in and around the KC metro.

Visit Play-Well 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,

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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,


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,


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


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!


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.