iFamilyKC Search

Search our Blog Posts:

Search our Calendar:

Search our Directory:

Select a Directory Category:

The little book with BIG resources!

Disney Junior Dance Party Live at The Midland Theatre

Are you ready to DANCE?!

Coming to The Midland Theatre Kansas City

May 9, 2018

Disney’s Junior Dance Party On Tour!

Get your tickets now before it sells out.

Disney Junior Dance Party Poster KC-2

Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour is an ALL NEW interactive live concert experience. Sing along to Disney Junior’s greatest hits with your favorite characters:
Mickey and the Roadster Racers
Sofia The First
Puppy Dog Pals
Elena of Avalor
Doc McStuffins
Vampirina
The Lion Guard and more!
Kids of all ages and their families are invited to get up and dance, play games and join the biggest dance party around!

 

BUY tickets to this exciting live concert experience here:
Disney Junior Dance Party Poster KC-3

Family fun Ninja Warrior Course comes to town!

Family fun Ninja Warrior Course comes to town!

Am I the only one who watches American Ninja Warrior and thinks “I could so totally do that?”  Or at least “I would so love to try to do that?”  Well, good news—your ninja dreams are about to come true.  Sky Zone Lee’s Summit has just remodeled and added an all new Ninja Warrior section to their already amazing facility.  I was psyched to try it out, and so were my kids.

Family Fun in KC

My family and I attended Warrior Weekend earlier this month.  My kids were literally jumping up and down as soon as they saw all the cool new attractions.  Not to mention, they got to meet an American Ninja Warrior contestant “in real life MOM!!!”   The Classy Ninja was hanging out and helping participants through the course and completing it himself to the delight and awe of the crowd.

The first obstacle we attempted was the Ninja Warrior course, which included some hanging barrels, ropes, swings and all sorts of assorted upper body challenges.  It was a little tough for my 5 & 7 year old, but they enjoyed attempting it.  The staff was fantastic about helping them though and encouraging them to keep going.  For older kids and adults, it was challenging and fun.  The Classy Ninja basically made the course look like a cake walk, but that’s why he’s awesome, right?  The course allows you to jump through/past some of the more difficult obstacles if you have the legs for it, giving adults and older children an advantage.  Upper body is not my strength, so I pretty much gave myself an A for effort on this one.

Next, my son wanted to attempt the Warped Wall.  There are three different heights at Sky Zone’s new warped wall, and if you can make it to the top, you get to push a fun button like the one on the show and some fog comes out, making you feel like the Ultimate Champion.  Or at least that’s what people told me who made it to the top.  I’m going to blame my bum knee for this one, because I can, but in reality, I clearly haven’t done enough ninja training to master this one yet.  But it was really fun to attempt it and watching my son do a little happy dance when he made it up made it all worthwhile.  The fireman’s pole you get to slide down once you make it is definitely an added bonus.

I knew better than to even attempt Free Climb, the rock climbing wall, but it looked like a fun challenge.  There was plenty of staff there to help get people safely on and off the wall and my 7-year-old made it about half way up before he decided he wanted to move on.

Our final stop was the foam pit that houses both the Sky Joust and the Sky Ladder.  This was by far my kids’ favorite spot.  My 5 year old was determined to master the Sky Ladder by crawling, and she never made it past the second rung.  It’s a rope ladder suspended at varying heights across a foam pit.  This was another one I did not attempt, but looked like what I imagine it must be like to try to wrestle a pig.  Lots of trying to balance and hold yourself upright, while the ladder constantly shifts underneath you.  My kid couldn’t get enough.  My 7 year old’s eyes lit up when he saw the jousting.  Probably because I rarely let him play with swords at home.  You balance on a Bosu Ball on top of a pillar and try to knock your opponents off into the foam.  Let me just say, this was my favorite.  Something about being up so tall and getting to knock people around with a jousting stick made my day.  And my son giggled so hard he snorted, so that was a win for me.

You have to go check out the new attractions.  They add some much needed variety to an already highly entertaining venue.  My kids did get worn out after about 40 minutes in the “Ninja Zone” as they called it and spent the last bit of our hour jumping on the trampolines and playing dodgeball, but again, isn’t that the point?  They were sweaty and tired by the time we left.  They slept well that night and thanked me profusely for taking them.

For more information on Sky Zone’s brand new attractions, visit them online at SkyZone.com/LeesSummit

From iFamily to Yours,


The Holidays Come Alive at Union Station: FREE Santa Holiday Train!

The holidays are a time to enjoy celebrated traditions and the company of loved ones. Our friends over at Union Station in downtown KC invite you to enjoy the holidays as they come alive this season. Your family can enjoy a FREE annual event that has been enjoyed for 17 years and running. Take a look…

holidays at union station

The Holidays Come Alive at Union Station: FREE Santa Holiday Train!

A Kansas City favorite, the FREE Holiday tradition returns with Santa and his elves. Unlike any other train, the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train is led by Kansas City’s Southern Belle and includes a smiling tank car Rudy; a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer, and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; the elves’ workshop; a reindeer stable; and a little red caboose.

You’ll enjoy a magical walk-through experience on this one-of-a-kind train that the little ones will never forget!
This year – enjoy FREE admission to the Astro Botanical sculpture garden in Haverty Family Yards.

Experience the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train during the below days and times:

  • Friday, December 15: 2pm-5pm
  • Saturday, December 16: 10am-8pm
  • Sunday, December 17: 10am-8pm
  • Monday, December 18: 11am-8pm
  • Tuesday, December 19 : 11am-5pm

holidays at union station

PLEASE NOTE: The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train cannot accommodate strollers or wheelchairs. However, stroller parking will be available outside of the entrance to the train. Those utilizing wheelchairs will still be able to view Rudy, the boxcar with reindeer and Santa’s sleigh as well as visit with Santa inside Union Station. If assistance is required to walk through the carriages, please notify one of the Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train elves and they will help board and assist with movement through the train carriages.


Your Guide to Holiday Lights in Kansas City: 2017 Edition!

Happy December, Kansas City! If you’re in the market for family fun for the holidays, we’ve got your yearly round-up for fun holiday lights and winter activities right here on the blog. Whether you’re looking for fantastic family photo opportunities around Kansas City or you’re looking to pop the family in the car and drive around to take in KC area light displays, you can find details here. This guide is broken up into different sections, so no matter what you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered. Take a look…

Here’s how the guide is made:

Our team here at iFamilyKC has been working hard to bring you all the details on the beautiful Christmas lights in Kansas City that your family can enjoy. We’re crowdsourcing (and we need YOUR HELP!) to find the best and the brightest displays around town. Keep in mind that we can’t drive around to each and every location to verify that the lights are on this season, if someone sends us a spot to add to the list, we’ll do it and what some people find worth the drive, others might not so please understand this as you head out this season.

**Spots with a double asterisk are verified locations meaning that either an iFamilyKC team member or friend of an iFamilyKC team member has seen the lights with their own eyes this year.

Spots with no asterisk have not been verified this year but have previously had displays. If you’ve been to one of these spots, let us know so we can keep this post updated!

Do you know of a great spot in the KC area that we can add to this list?! Drop us a comment and let us know so we can add it in! 

holiday lights kansas city

 

Where to see Christmas Lights around Kansas City {2017 Edition}

Christmas Lights Driving Map with 64 Christmas Light locations and growing:

Holiday Trees

#1 **Legends Christmas Tree:

When: Now thru Christmas

Where: 1843 Village West Parkway, KCK

legends Outlets near the Kansas Motor Speedway and Sporting Kansas City offers a fabulous 45-foot tree that features lights synchronized to holiday music. It’s the perfect backdrop for a fun photo by the tree!

#2 **Lee’s Summit Magic Tree

holiday lights kansas city

When: Daily 5:00pm-1:00am now thru Christmas

Where: i470 and View High Dr.

The Lee’s Summit Magic Tree is the ideal complement to your visit through the park and makes for wonderful photo opportunities for the family. Lit with glowing lights in an assortment of colors, the tree is a fun way to celebrate the holidays. Donations collected during the season go to support local families in need.

#3 Deanna Rose Ultimate Holiday Tree

When: Daily 5:00pm-10:00pm now thru January 5th

Where: Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park

Animation, effects, and fun holiday messages are all in store for you when you visit The Ultimate Holiday Tree at Deanna Rose this year. This flat panel “tree” is a 30-minute light display that your whole family will enjoy.

#4 **Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center

When: Now thru Christmas

Where: 2450 Grand Blvd KCMO

The Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center is a beautiful sight to see. Standing at nearly 100 feet tall, the tree is the perfect spot to grab pictures for the holiday season. And – bonus – your kiddos are going to LOVE the sweet wooden playground at the base!

Drive Around Light Displays

#5 **Plaza Lights

When: Now thru the Middle of January

Where:  Country Club Plaza

Songs have been written about the beauty of the holiday lights at Country Club Plaza and now it’s time o see them for yourself. Drive through and see them now through the middle of January and be sure to stop and shop or eat while you’re there.

#6 Zona Rosa

When: Throughout the holidays

Where: i29 & Barry Road

Now through Christmas, you can see the lights at Zona Rosa while you shop and dine in the outdoor shopping mall.

#7 Liberty Lights

When: Now through January 1st

Where: 1600 N. 291 in Liberty

Enjoy the free light display with synchronized music from Pleasant Valley Church.

 #8 Stagecoach Park

When: Daily 5:30-10:00pm (Friday-Sunday they’re open an extra HOUR!)

Where: 1205 E Kansas City Road in Olathe

Drive through an animated light show at Stagecoach Park in Olathe.

#9 **Christmas in the Park at Longview Lake Park

holiday lights kansas city

When: Daily 5:30-10pm (Open late, until 11pm, Friday & Saturday)

Where: i470 & View High Drive

Christmas in the Park is one of the most anticipated holiday lights displays in Kansas City each year. Your family can drive through the park and take in the beautiful light show this year.

#10 Vince & Associates Lights

When: Now thru Christmas

Where: 101st & Metcalf in Overland Park

Don’t miss the Vince & Associates annual lights display. They put on a fantastic display of animated lights which are set to fun holiday music.

Walk Around Light Displays in KC

 #11 **Winterfest at World’s of Fun

holiday lights kansas city

When: Now through December 30th

Where: World’s of Fun

Live shows, sparkling lights, tons of activities are all in store for you at Worlds of Fun this year for Winterfest. You have GOT to check out all that’s in store for you this year!

 #11 Festival of Lights

When: Weekends through January 7th

Where: Powell Gardens

Powell Gardens combines fantastic lights with beautiful botanical themes to create a fun Christmas festival of lights.

#12 **Holiday Luminary Walk

When: December 9th & 10th

Where: Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

With over 2 miles of candlelit paths and light displays, your family is going to love the Holiday Luminary Walk at the Overland Park Arboretum this year. Plus, you can enjoy special music, wagon rides, and a visit with Santa at the Depot.

#13 Winter Solstice Hike

When: December 13th 5-6:30pm

Where: George Owens Nature Park in Independence, MO

Enjoy a hike down a beautiful woodland path lit by torches at the Winter Solstice celebration. Bring your cameras for photo shoots by the ice sleigh and enjoy the winter evening.

#14 Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park

When: Now through January 8th

Where: 14907 W 87th St. Pkwy, Lenexa

Lenexa’s Sar-Ko-Par park offers a dazzling lights display each season with fun lights around the Rose Pond.

Neighborhood Light Displays:

Johnson County:

Overland Park- 

  • 13800 Switzer Road, Overland Park, KS 66221
  • 11308 Mackey Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66210
  • 8911 W 131st Place, Overland Park, Kansas 66213
  • 11619 Lucille street, Overland Park, Kansas 66210
  • 8500 West 129th Terrace, Overland Park, Kansas 66213
  • 12253 W 105th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66215
  • 7515 Hemlock Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66203
  • 9508 West 117th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66212
  • 9606 West 117th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66212
  • 13812 Bradshaw, Overland Park, Kansas 66221
  • 7716 West 98th Terrace, Overland Park, Kansas 66212
  • 9319 Goddard Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66214
  • 9622 West 117th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66212
  • 7608 West 115th Street, Overland Park, Kansas 66210
  • 131st Pl (west of Antioch Road), Overland Park, KS
  • 6600 West 131st Street, Overland Park, KS

Shawnee-

  • 21324 West 58th Street, Shawnee, Kansas 66218
  • 6321 Millbrook Avenue, Shawnee, Kansas 66218
  • 6800 Maurer Road, Shawnee, Kansas 66217
  • 12612 West 70th Terrace, Shawnee, Kansas 66216
  • 13089 W 70th Terrace, Shawnee, Kansas 66216

Leawood-

  • 13020 Ash Street, Leawood, Kansas 66209
  • 2801 West 127th Street, Leawood, Kansas 66209
  • 9717 Lee Boulevard, Leawood, Kansas 66206
  • 13201 Granada Drive, Leawood, Kansas 66209
  • Roe & East 132nd Street, Leawood, KS

Lenexa-

  • 9025 Alden Street, Lenexa, Kansas 66220
  • 8358 Oakview Circle, Lenexa, Kansas 66215
  • 14907 West 87th Street Pkwy, Lenexa, Kansas 66215
  • 10150 Walker Street, Lenexa, Kansas 66220
  • 8007 West Haskins Street, Lenexa, Kansas 66215
  • 13916 W 110th Terrace, Lenexa, Kansas 66215

KCK-

  • 2309 South 49th Street, Kansas City, Kansas 66106
  • 2303 South 48th Street, Kansas City, Kansas 66106
  • 5806 Quiver Road, Shawnee, KS 66216

Gardner-

  • 215 North Center, Gardner, Kansas 66030
  • 6007 East Richard’s Drive, Shawnee, Kansas 66216
  • 5536 County Line Rd, Kansas City, Kansas 66106

Merriam-

  • 9900 Johnson Drive, Merriam, Kansas 66203

Prairie Village-

  • 7900 Outlook Lane, Prairie Village, Kansas 66208

Olathe-

  • 15904 West 152nd Place, Olathe, Kansas 66062
  • 1533 West Dartmouth Street, Olathe, Kansas 66061
  • 16617 Indian Creek Parkway, Olathe, Kansas 66062
  • West of Mur-Len at 162nd Street Olathe, KS 66062
  • 1549 West Dartmouth Street, Olathe, Kansas 66061
  • Frontier & Ridgeview, Olathe, Kansas

Jackson County:

Blue Springs-

  • **S Bradford Ln, Blue Springs, MO 64015

Independence-

  • **Hiram Young Park, Independence MO 64050

holiday lights kansas city

  • **3510 S. Crysler Avenue Independence MO

Platte County:

Clay County:

  • **N Bellaire Ave & NE Gunn Ave, Kansas City, MO 64119

Whatever you decide to do this holiday season, get out and enjoy the beautiful Christmas scenery!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Winter Break With Kids, What To Do!

Winter Break is nearly here and our iFamily Squad has got some fun things planned!  Take a look at this great holiday fun guide from Erin!…

winter break

Winter Break With Kids, What To Do!

Before we know it, the kids will be home from school for 10+ days!  If you’re like me, you are already trying to figure out what to do during winter break and planning fun stuff to do when bored at home!  Here’s a list of 10 fun things to do at home to beat the winter blues!  What’s on your winter bucket list?  Be sure to let us know in the comments what winter break activities your family has planned!

#1 Pajama & Movie Party

Put on your coziest pair of pjs, pop some popcorn, and watch family Christmas movies! We’ve got your holiday movie guide, broken down by age group, ready to go for you so be sure to check that out as you plan to watch your favorite family Christmas movies this season.

#2 Bake cookies!

Before Christmas, I love to get my kids together and bake cut out sugar cookies and decorate them!  They never turn out “magazine perfect” but my kids LOVE doing it and they are perfect in my eyes!  Here’s the recipe I use to our Christmas cut out cookies:

  • 1cup butter softened
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1large egg
  • 1/2cups all-purpose flour
  • 2tablespoons orange juice
  • 1tablespoon vanilla
  • 1teaspoon baking powder

Combine 1 cup butter, sugar, and egg in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add all remaining cookie ingredients; beat at low speed until well mixed. Divide dough into thirds; wrap in each plastic food wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 400°. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-third at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2-inch cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

#3 Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?

I hear we are supposed to get around 2 feet of total snow in KC this year! If the forecast rings true, it sounds like we’ll have plenty of opportunity to get out and play in the snow! Sledding, snowboarding, snowball fights, and snowman building are all things I’m going to add to our winter to do list!  Snow ice cream, anyone?  Check out this simple recipe for snow ice cream:

10-12 cups of snow

1 tsp of vanilla extract

10 oz of condensed milk

Mix together and enjoy!

#4 Host a Classic Board Game Night

Invite some friends over and bring out the classic family board games and compete against each other! Our Squad loves to host game nights at home and we’ve got your guide for fun games the whole family can enjoy. Let us know what your favorites are!

#5 Start a Book Series

Start a new book series to read aloud with your kids! Choose a series above their reading level to challenge them a bit!

#6 Make Your Own Fun

Make slime/goop/floam! There are so many recipes out there so the possibilities are endless!  Here’s a recipe we made recently called “Frozen Silly Putty”

1 bottle of Clear School Glue (147ml)

The same amount of water (147 ml)

1/2 teaspoon of Borax

1/2 cup hot water

A few sprinkles of silver & blue glitter

A few drops of blue food coloring

#7 Make Ornaments 

Homemade ornaments are such a wonderful gift idea for parents and grandparents. We made some super cute trees out of salt dough with food coloring and dipped their fingers in shiny paint to resemble lights on the tree!  You could also do handprint salt dough ornaments.

#8 Make a Winter “I Spy”

Create your own winter themed “I Spy” sheet with clip art images that the kids can find inside or outside the house!  See who can complete their list the fastest!

#9 Declutter the House

Make room for new toys and clothes and clean out closets/rooms.  Donate unused toys and clothes to charity.

#10 Get a Head Start on 2018

Work on your “Summer Family Bucket list” and come up with a list of ideas to do when school is out for the summer!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Save BIG on Monster Jam Kansas City Tickets!

It’s time to get LOUD, KC! Are you looking for family fun in Kansas City this winter?! We’ve got the scoop! The highlighly anticipated Monster Jam Triple Threat is COMING to Sprint Center January 12th thru the 14th and you can unlock major savings using our exclusive code iFamilyKC on your ticket purchase! Details are below, take a look…

Monster Jam Kansas City

Save BIG on Monster Jam Kansas City Tickets!

$5 OFF* Each Ticket w/ the code iFamilyKC

Curious about all the fun in store for your family this year?! Check out our Monster Jam recap

Kansas City Monster Jam® Triple Threat Series

January 12-14, 2018

 Witness a fierce battle for the championship with each competitor using customized high-powered vehicles!

$5 OFF* WITH CODE: iFAMILYKC

With four performances to choose from, your family is going to LOVE this year’s Monster Jam Kansas City show! Come see your favorite world-class athletes compete while driving Monster Jam Speedsters, Monster Jam ATVs and the famous Monster Jam trucks. Seats fill up quickly so get tickets to Monster Jam early before they sell out!

Athletes vying to be the Monster Jam Kansas City champion:

Hometown: Lafayette, LA

Date of Birth: July 19, 1990

Started competing in Monster Jam: 2016

Hometown: Oskaloosa, Iowa

Date of Birth: July 1, 1997

Started competing in Monster Jam: 2016

Hometown: Paxton, Illinois

Date of Birth: March 2, 1996

Started Competing in Monster Jam: 2014

Hometown: Deltona, Florida

Date of Birth: September 15, 1988

Started Competing in Monster Jam: 2014

  • Monster Mutt Rottweiler driven by Jack Brown

Jack Brown is a driver who will drive Monster Mutt Rottweiler in 2018 as the teammate to Buddy Tompkins’ Megalodon.

Hometown: Daveport, Iowa

Date of Birth: February 18, 1991

Started competing in Monster Jam: 2016

Driver: Tony Ochs

Engine size:  540 CI

Transmission:  Coan 2-Speed

Tires: BKT

Hometown: Cleveland Ohio

Date of Birth: November 6, 1980

Started competing in Monster Jam: 2010

We are so excited for you to experience Monster Jam Kansas City next month! Hurry to grab your tickets before they’re gone!

*Valid on up to 6 tickets. Valid on the $20 ticket. No double discounts. Additional fees may apply.
From iFamily to Yours,
Your iFamilyKC Team


KC Holiday Activities Guide for Your Child with Special Needs

For many special needs families, the holiday’s can be stressful and overwhelming.  If you’re looking for help planning some holiday fun, Ruth from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad has created a list of holiday activities the whole family can enjoy!  Take a look…KC Holiday Activities Guide for Your Child with Special Needs

KC Holiday Activities Guide for Your Child with Special Needs

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are just around the corner – They’ll be here quickly and, for parents who have special needs kids, that can mean more opportunities for melt downs and anxiety. Fortunately, the metro area has an amazing Special Need community that is gaining steam with more activities for kids with exceptionalities in Kansas City. I’ve been digging around to put together a list of Holiday 2017 activities that special needs parents can bring the kiddos to this holiday season. Whether you’re wanting to attend a holiday movie or just enjoy the holidays around town in general, this guide is for you!

#1 FREE Autism Friendly Santa Event

When: Saturday, December 9th 10am-1pm

Where: ACI Learning Centers in Overland Park

Parenting a child with special needs on the spectrum? This event is for you. ACI is offering free photos with Santa and family friendly activities designed for children that find the traditional mall Santa to be too overwhelming. They’ll have snacks, craft activities, and a play area open during the free event.

#2 AMC Theaters Sensory Friendly Holiday Movie Showings

When: 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month

Where: AMC in Olathe, in the Northland, and in Independence

AMC opens their doors to special needs kids on the 2nd and 4th Saturday each month to offer current releases in a sensory friendly atmosphere where kids are allowed to get up, dance, walk, and sing during the show. Their partnership with the Autism Society enables them to provide these unique showings where the lights are turned up and the volume is turned down.

#3 Special Needs Kids Winter Camps 

When: December 21-22, December 26-29, and January 2nd

Where: We Rock the Spectrum Kansas City

The location in our area have daily open play, birthday party packages, special events, holiday camps and special activities. Their sensory friendly play environment is open to families of kids with special needs and without. They offer an additional quiet calming space for those that need it.

#4 C.H.A.S.E Sensory Friendly Events & Workshops

When: Ongoing throughout the year.

C.H.A.S.E offers sensory friendly opportunities, workshops and community education for families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

#5 Sensory Friendly Jump Time for Special Needs Kids 

When: 2nd Saturday of the Month

Where: Sky Zone Kansas City

Sky Zone Kansas City offers sensory friendly jump time the second Saturday of each month where individuals with special needs and disabilities can jump and to learn new skills in a safe, controlled environment. 60 Minute Jump passes $11.99/jumper (plus one helper allowed).

No matter what you decide to do with your kiddos this holiday season, there are resources available around Kansas City for you. Do you have other ideas for activities we can add to the list? Comment below! Also, be sure to check out our calendar of family events around Kansas City online!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


5 Fun Ways to Celebrate St. Nicholas Day

The first week of December is well known for being a time to kick off the holiday season. Did you know that December 6th is a day when many celebrate a special, early visit from St. Nicholas? You, too, can take part in this celebrated family tradition with five fun ways to celebrate St. Nicholas Day. Take a look…

celebrate st nicholas day

5 Fun Ways to Celebrate St. Nicholas Day

Holiday customs are celebrated around the world and there are many ways to honor the upcoming season throughout the month of December. Each year, on the 6th of the month, we kick off the season with an early visit from the Patron Saint of Children. St. Nicholas is known for his gracious and selfless nature and the holiday is a great way to get in the spirit of giving for the upcoming season.

The tradition around St. Nicholas day is centered on children leaving their shoes or stockings out on the night before (December 5th). In the morning children can wake to find some simple gifts waiting for them such as fruits, candies or treats. This day is also celebrated in many places in America near the beginning of the season of Advent and preludes what we now refer to as Santa Claus.

This day is a great time to discuss the season of giving with your kids and the true meaning of Christmas. There are many ways to partake in St. Nicholas day. I have created a list of five ideas to share.

#1 Celebrate the Spirit of Giving

Teach your kids the spirit of giving by sharing thoughtful gifts with others. You can do this anonymously in the spirit of St. Nicholas by creating giving bags to the needy. Blessing bags, which you can create on your own, are a great way to help the homeless in Kansas City.

#2 Celebrate the Custom of the Shoes

Talk with your kids about the history of Saint Nicholas and allow them to leave their shoes out on the night of December 5th so they can find gifts the next morning. They should place their shoes on the window sill or front stoop along with a letter to the child Jesus. It can contain gift requests to be taken to heaven, or I would recommend, a prayer for others.

#3 Celebrate with Recipes

Try your hand at some holiday themed recipes from around the world. The St. Nicholas Center website has an extensive list of great holiday recipes that your family can try out to celebrate the season.

#4 Celebrate by Putting on a Play

You can learn a lot, and teach a lot, about St. Nicholas day by performing a play with your family. From single person plays that you can put on for your kids to large group options for the whole family to get involved, the St. Nicholas Center has tons of great options to put on a family play at home.

#5 Make a St. Nicholas Miter Headband

Crafts are always fun to do with kids and it makes a great conversation starter. There are tons of great FREE Christmas craft ideas online. The St. Nicholas Miter Headband from Teachers Pay Teachers is an easy printable that your child can make. You can wear it or use it as a centerpiece.

From iFamily to Yours,


Top Five Reasons to Visit the Santa Train Near Kansas City!

Are you on the lookout for the opportunity for wonderful Santa visits around Kansas City?! Our friends over at Midland Railway offer an annual Santa train that you’re not going to want to miss! You can save $3 per ticket now through December 10th when you use the code iFKC2017 at MidlandRailway.org when you grab your tickets. But hurry! These tickets sell out FAST! Want to know what all is included in your trip aboard the train?!  Take a look…

Save $3 Per Ticket Using the Code IFKC2017

santa train

Top Five Reasons to Visit the Santa Train Near Kansas City!

#1 Get Away From The City for a Few Hours

Nestled in the beautiful Kansas countryside, Baldwin City is just a hop, skip, and a jump outside of the metro area. From I-35 South, you can arrive at the depot platform from Olathe in around a half an hour. With the simple commute, it’s the ideal distance away from the city to feel like you’re on fantastic a day-trip from Kansas City without the hassle of packing the overnight bag.  Midland Railway offers seasonal excursions for perfect for families including the annual Easter Train, Day Out With Thomas, Maple Leaf Train, and (what we’re going to talk about today) the Santa Claus Express Train.

santa train

#2 Create FUN Family Memories

Among the many benefits of riding aboard Midland Railway is the opportunity to create lasting memories with your family. The Santa Claus Express Train, simply put, is FUN. The excitment begins the moment you arrive at the depot. Guests are invited to await the train inside the rustic, historic building where a beautiful Christmas tree and holiday film (they played The Polar Express when we visited) help to get you into the Christmas spirit.

santa train

Once aboard the train, your family will enjoy seasonal beverages (hot apple cider or cocoa) and in the comfortable cars where you’ll spend most of your time on your journey. First class passengers (I highly suggest the upgraded ticket when you book) sit inside the 1940’s Belle Train cars which include four top table settings during the excursion. Your first class ticket includes a beverage, cookie, coloring book, a keepsake ornament, and (of course) all of the entertainment during the trip. On the journey, your family will enjoy Christmas storytime, carolers, and the visit with Santa.

#3 Skip the Santa Lines

Let’s face it, waiting in line for an hour (or more) at the mall is tough with little ones. Midland Railway does a phenomenal job at managing the timing of visits with Santa so that nobody feels like they’re waiting to see the man in the big red coat. Passengers are escorted car by car (row by row) throughout the ride so that, by the time you get to the car where Santa and Mrs. Claus are waiting, you don’t feel like you’ve ever waited in a line to see them.

#4 Enjoy a More Personalized Santa Visit

Santa is wonderful, always, but he’s even more magical during the Express train. Your child will spend a few minutes chatting with Santa and Mrs. Claus about the upcoming Christmas holiday and will take time to capture some wonderful keepsake photos on your trip, too. Part of the benefit to how they do things at Midland Railway is that you truly feel like your visit with Santa was special.

santa train

#5 Support an Incredible Organization

Midland Railway is amazing. Their team of volunteers (which they all are) are on a mission to keep the history of railroading alive for Kansas City area families. When you purchase a ticket aboard any of their trains, your dollars go directly to support their cause and to preserving a part of history that children and their parents and grandparents enjoy year after year. I encourage you to discover more about Midland Railway online. Be sure to carve out time for your visit this year, your family is going to love it!

Midland Railway, Baldwin City

Loading
Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

From iFamily to Yours,


All About Loose Park – Your Guide to Kansas City Outdoor FUN!

Are you on the hunt for a great, fun park in Kansas City? Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team is sharing some details about a large park off of Wornall Road today on the blog. Take a look…

All About Loose Park – Your Guide to Kansas City Outdoor FUN!

Loose Park Guide - Kansas City, Missouri

Welcome to Loose Park!

Just because it’s Fall, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the great outdoors- And one place you should definitely enjoy this Autumn is Jacob L. Loose Park in Kansas City, Missouri. Located off of Wornall Road, you’ve probably driven by this gorgeous park dozens of times in Kansas City (I know I see it all the time). While you can only admire certain attributes from afar, you may not know what lies behind the trees and entrance of this grand park. So, before you head out for a family outing or a leisurely walk, here is a little more information about Loose Park that you may have not known!

Loose Park Guide

A bit about Loose Park

First a little history on Loose Park, it is “ a major site for the Battle of Westport where Confederate forces were routed by Union forces in the area in which the park is now located. It is estimated that 29,000 people were involved in the battle. The property at that time was owned by William Bent, a man who led wagon trains and traded with the Indians.” -KCPARKS.ORG

At just about 75 acres, Loose Park is one of the largest and, in my opinion, one of the best parks in Kansas City for all types of ages and lifestyles. If your family is active, you can enjoy a spacious playground, a volleyball court, tennis court and (in the summer months) a spray ground!

Loose Park Guide - Kansas City, Missouri

My kids love the playground! Especially because of the sand pit and mini rock wall. Not to mention, I enjoy the swings as well. We haven’t had the opportunity to play in the spray ground (pictured above) yet, but it looks perfect for smaller kids! My family is pretty active, especially my son, so the open spaces and hills are perfect for him to burn off his arsenal of energy!

Loose Park Guide - Kansas City, Missouri

If you and your family like to enjoy spending time watching birds, taking in the scenery, or enjoying a leisurely stroll there are plenty of ways to do that, too. You can explore the Kansas City Municipal Rose Garden, walk along park wide trails or sit and look over the lake. There are plenty of benches spread throughout the park. During the Fall, the fountains may not always be on, but it still is a sight to see! Just ask the dog that jumped in to get a fish last week!

Loose Park Guide - Kanas City, Missouri

During these Fall months, Loose Park is ideal for family photos and relaxing picnics as well. I am definitely one of those moms that thinks she is a pro photographer lol. I love taking my camera to the park and snapping photos of my kids. Loose Park is the perfect backdrop for that, especially during the Fall when the trees are at their loveliest.

Loose Park Guide - Kansas City, Missouri

So whether you are looking to get out and play or enjoy the scenery, consider heading to Jacob L. Loose Park! The park is open everyday from 5am to midnight, so you can definitely make a day out of it! Happy trails!

Tips for Your Trip from other Parents

  • Loose Park is a fun place for a picnic in Kansas City!
  • Recycling is NOW available at Loose Park – Be sure to protect the environment during your visit.
  • Shelter rentals at the park are available May through October each year. Book early so you don’t miss out!
  • The park opens at 5am, so if you’re on the hunt for an early morning outdoor jog – Check it out!

Loose Park is located at: 5200 Wornall, Kansas City, MO 64112

Do you have tips or questions about the park?!

Drop us a comment, we’d love to hear from you!

From iFamily to Yours,