iFamilyKC Search

Search our Blog Posts:

Search our Calendar:

Search our Directory:

Select a Directory Category:

The little book with BIG resources!

10 Cool Christmas Gifts that Won’t Clutter the House 

Merry Christmas Kansas City!  If you’re searching for gift ideas that are unique, affordable and won’t clutter the house you’ve come to the right place!  Ruth has put together a list of 10 cool Christmas gifts that won’t clutter the house.  Take a look…

10giftsthatwontclutterthehouse

10 Cool Christmas Gifts that Won’t Clutter the House 

(Read with a little bit of sarcasm. :))

Every year, it seems like there is an endless toy parade in the living room. Kids unwrap Christmas gift after gift and the mountain grows adding to what they already own. The kids are excited to be rolling in presents. They are more excited about the opening process than the actual toys themselves. After they have shredded the wrapping paper like the wild animals that they are, they (of course) want to open all the boxes at once. They beg to have us cut every twist tie and release every miniscule piece from its plastic prison. As good parents, we ask them to wait and open only one at a time. This leads groans and complaints. The world must be ending. Their fragile emotions are shattered because we are obviously the meanest parents in the world.

Following Christmas day, we are left with a sea of tiny parts ready to be lost and toys they are already bored with, because they weren’t as exciting as they believed they would be. The trash overflowed into a series of black trash bags that will puzzle the sanitation worker and our neighbors who don’t realize that hosting a holiday means 14 plus people will be exchanging gifts. So what can we do to mitigate this mess?

This year my husband and I are requesting a change of pace. We are asking for less tangible gifts. While we appreciate the thought put into the gifts and the joy put on tiny faces, we know our kids are spoiled at Christmas. We are requesting gifts that won’t clutter the house and add to the waste.

Here are a few Cool Christmas gifts to give the kids that won’t clutter the house:

  1. A gift card to a restaurant or store that they enjoy.

Ideas: Sporting Goods Store, Outlet mall,

  1. A gift certificate to a fun and educational place to visit.

Ideas: History Museum, Bowling Alley, Human Foosball, Coding workshops, Language or music lessons, dance classes, Create 2 Day,

  1. Tickets to see a play at an area theater.

Ideas: The Storybook Forest

  1. Memberships to local attractions.

Ideas: Union Station, College Basketball Experience, Legoland, SeaLife,

  1. Tuition for a camp or activity they want to participate in.

Ideas: Gymnastics Classes, Ceramic Café,  Piano Lessons, Sports Programs, Horseback Riding, Ceramic Studio,

  1. Gift certificate to a local play center or indoor park.

Ideas: Urban Air, Sky Zone, Paradise Park, Aerial Yoga, Gymboree, Jump City

  1. A donation to a charity organization in their name.

Ideas: The Farmer’s House, Charlie’s House

  1. A weekend getaway to a fun place they would enjoy or a waterpark themed hotel.

  2. Gift card for movie rentals.

  3. Practical items that they may need but with fun characters on them, bath wash, soap, tooth paste and a brush, a new loofa, etc.

Whatever you choose to do this holiday, these ideas can be family fun that everyone can enjoy together.

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Fun in Kansas City: New Year’s Eve Family Guide

The countdown to 2018 is officially underway here in Kansas City! If you don’t have plans yet for a safe New Year’s Eve for the whole family, don’t fret! We have the inside scoop on some pretty awesome New Year’s Eve parties throughout the Kansas City metro area! So, pull out that calendar and get ready to start making plans for some fine holiday fun with our New Year’s Eve guide!

New Year's Eve

Fun in Kansas City: New Year’s Eve Family Guide

 

Family Fun for New Year’s Eve

Paradise Park

Located in Lee’s Summit, Paradise Park has one of the biggest New Year’s Eve celebrations for families. This New Year’s Eve, you and the family can celebrate early with an awesome Ball Drop at Paradise Park’s Foam Factory!  This kid- friendly New Year’s Eve party is from noon to 6pm and includes awesome door prizes you can use all year long at Paradise Park!

Union Station

Practically the most popular pic for metro area families is the science city noon year’s eve celebration! Another safe kid- friendly New Year’s Eve party fit for the whole family! Located inside Union Station near Downtown KCMO, Science City’s Noon Year’s Eve celebration offers hands on science experiments, stage shows and even some cool science items you can take home. Join other families from   12-7pm on December 31st! Plus, it’s free for Station Members!

Summit Lanes Lee’s Summit

Roll in the New Year with Summit Lanes Lee’s Summit from 9:30pm-12:30am. They’ll be offering Glow in the Dark Bowling! Party favors and shoe rental are included for $20/person (4 people per lane). Reservations are required and space will fill up FAST. Call to secure your spot (816) 524-3322.

Zoo Year’s Eve

Celebrate the new year in true “zoo-style”. Come see all the animals and enjoy an interactive DJ, make noise makers and have fun with festive enrichment activities! Plus, check out the Kansas City Zoo’s photo booth to create special memories!

Wonderscope Children’s Museum

Wonderscope is always an excellent choice for family fun. But another great thing they offer is their early New Year’s Eve party! Their WonderEve activities start at 9am on SATURDAY, December 30th and end with the big countdown to noon! Kids can enjoy a balloon artist, story time, art activity and treats including doughnut holes and juice.  A special performance by Mr. Stinky Feet himself will be at 11am where he will lead the countdown. Plus, there will be noisemakers, hats and a confetti shower! All of these activities are included with admission which is only $6-$7. If you have questions or want to purchase tickets you can give them a call at 913-287-8888.Or, visit them online.

Dave and Buster’s

Games, Food and a ball drop! Dave and Buster’s offers two package deals for families this year! Each including food, drinks and games!

 

Adult Festivities

New Year’s Swingin’ Eve

Located at Union Station, this 21 and older New Year’s Eve party will be one to remember! Enjoy big band swing style music from 8pm- 1am! Plus, your ticket includes live music, party favors, drinks, hot appetizers and a midnight champagne toast!

NYE Live!

Located on the Kansas City Live block in the Power and Light district is Kansas City’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration! There will be access up to 12 bars and nightclubs, special bar packages, live DJ’s, party favors, Champagne toasts, confetti cannons and a Times Square ball drop!

Harrah’s 

Check out the VooDoo Lounge inside of Harrah’s Casino in North Kansas City. This years theme is Havana Nights! With different styles of music, party favors and a toast, you will be sure to have a spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration! To get tickets head over to Ticketmaster now before they sell out!

New Year’s Eve at the Temple

Worried about the cold and prefer to stay indoors this New Year’s? Then the NYE at the Temple is perfect for you! Located at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City, Mo, you can enjoy 4 floors, 8 party areas, DJ’s and unlimited drinks! Enjoy the night with family and friends in an amazing venue.

We have rounded up some of the best and safest locations for you and your family to enjoy ringing in the new year! As always, when heading out at night always take caution of your surroundings. If you are attending an event which serves adult beverages, please drink responsibly! I hope you found this list helpful with making plans for your New Year’s Eve in Kansas City! I hope you have a great rest of the year and see you in 2018!

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.


10 Family Fun Activities For Your Christmas Eve

With Christmas Eve quickly approaching you may be trying to find some traditions to begin! Take a look at this list of 10 family fun Christmas Eve activities from Ruth…

Christmas Eve

10 Family Fun Activities For Your Christmas Eve

December is in full swing and there are so many events that you can attend during the month to show your holiday spirit. There are visits with Santa, cookie decorating events, holiday parties, and photo sessions.  By the time you reach Christmas Eve you may be looking for some fun things to do at home. I always like to relax at home and do some fun family things without the crowds of people and have a chance to chill before family comes rolling in the next morning. I decided to compile a countdown of fun holiday things you can do from home.

#10 Give the Gift of Holiday PJ’s

A fun tradition is to give your kids a gift early in the evening and have a pajama party. Last year I found some pajama sets at target that had Christmas coloring pictures on them. It was complete with fabric markers. They loved designing their own PJ’s. If you are into Elf on the Shelf, then they could even leave the gift for your kids as they say good bye.

#9 Have Take-Out for Dinner

Chances are that you have done or will be doing a lot of cooking for the holiday. Take the night off and enjoy someone else’s cooking.

#8 Sing Some Silly Carols

There are plenty of traditional Christmas songs circulating the radio and playing in every store. If you would like a good laugh, then sing some silly, non-traditional holiday tunes.

#7 Make Homemade Gifts

Put everyone’s name in a hat and then draw one name each. Send everyone to different parts of the house to make gifts for the person they drew. They can be simple crafts that you make for that person. Make sure to keep each gift a surprise, NO peeking! Be sure to wrap them and put them under the tree for Christmas morning.

#6 Play Some Unique Holiday Games

If you want a break from the traditional board game then you can try something new. You can play the candy cane pick-up game: hold a candy cane in your mouth and race against someone to see who can pick up the most without using their hands. You could play marshmallow toss: Hang up a couple wreaths dangling in the doorway with a bucket on the other side. Toss giant campfire marshmallows through the wreath and see who can get the most in the bucket. For other ideas, head to Pinterest!

#5 Watch a Humbling Holiday Movie

I really enjoy watching Mr. Magoo’s a Christmas Carol By Abe Levitow. It is based on the story by Charles Dicken’s but it is an animated family favorite that is great for the whole family to enjoy. It still covers the great moral concept of the original story but is less scary for those little ones. The music is also very catchy.

#4 Bake Cookies & Make Reindeer Chow

Making cookies with kids is a fun project. I really like these 12 fun recipes for homemade cookies.

Reindeer ChowYou could just set out carrots for the reindeer but I bet by the time they reach your house, they will want a treat. Here is a fun recipe for reindeer food that is 100% edible and your kids can toss it out in the yard.

#3 Gifts for Santa and the Reindeer

Take those cookies you baked earlier and set some aside for Santa and treats for the reindeer. You could decorate a special plate for Santa to set the treats on and leave your letters too! If your kids aren’t tired of activities yet, then you can also make a present for Santa since he rarely gets one in return!

#2 Christmas Story Time

Each year I like to set out all of my Holiday books and read a story or two that night before bed time. Another fun thing would be to gift a new holiday book each year.

#1 Norad Tracks Santa

The Norad Santa tracker is a weather service that is sponsored by the U.S. Air Force. Each year they put up videos and give regular reports of Santa traveling around the world all evening long on Christmas Eve. They reach the United States between 10pm-midnight to help your child know when to head off to bed.

From iFamily to Yours,


DIY Christmas Gifts for Your Friends and Family!

Finding the perfect gift can be daunting!  Creating something with your own two hands can be much more meaningful.  Take a look at these DIY Christmas Gifts that Liz has compiled for you!

DIY Christmas gifts

DIY Christmas Gifts for Your Friends and Family!

Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift idea to knock off that Christmas wish for a loved one?  I have some fun ideas for DIY Christmas gifts and present ideas to make your holiday season easier!  DIY or Do It Yourself gifts are fun to do alone, with your kids or as an entire family. These gifts are inexpensive and because they are homemade are filled with heart and thoughtfulness.

diy christmas gifts

DIY Kids Ideas: Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments 

Are you overwhelmed with the thought of homemade Christmas gifts from your kids to grandparents and family? If your parents are like mine they are excited about any Christmas gift that is homemade. Each year I feel a little pressure to find new and creative ideas in DIY gift-giving.  Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments are beautifully rustic and simple. They look especially cute dangling from the Christmas tree or from a peppermint cookie in a jar, which you will learn in a bit when you keep scrolling.

Supplies:

  • Straight sticks (6” in length) found outside or use cinnamon sticks
  • Ribbons (cut into 5-6 inch strips) in a variety of Christmas tree greens
  • Hot glue gun
  • Twine
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. After gathering supplies, show your child how to tie the scraps of ribbon down the twig or cinnamon stick. Wide ribbons, tied into single loose knots, give the best coverage down the stick
  2. For best results, bunch the ribbons close together. The ribbons will bend and slightly overlap. Gently tug them into place until you are satisfied with their placement. You will probably use between 13-16 strips of ribbon for each ornament.
  3. Use sharp scissors to trim the ribbon scraps into the shape of a Christmas tree. The little fray of the ribbon gives the ornament a rustic look. Get creative and go beyond ribbon and try using cotton and wool fabric scraps, cinnamon sticks and flannel to create your Christmas tree.
  4. Hot glue or tie a loop of twine to the top of the tree. If desired, top the tree with a wooden star, yellow button, or any embellishment your child chooses.

DIY Christmas Gifts

DIY Gifts for Family: 

Tied up with red and green plaid ribbon, this DIY Christmas breakfast gift basket is very festive. This is a super simple little hostess, neighbor or family gift. You simply take a few breakfast items and place them all in an inexpensive cute box or breakfast. Ideas are pancake mix, a sweet syrup, jelly, tea bags, coffee, red frying pan, whisk, spatula and festive holiday napkins.

I would use a little brown paper bag tied with some pretty red yarn and a simple tag to put in some pre-made pancake mix. You can add a little instruction or recipe card if you wish.

diy stock photos

DIY Small Gift Idea:  Christmas Cookie in a Jar 

These Christmas cookies in a jar gifts are so cute! Such an easy gift to put together and will be so appreciated and loved by friends and neighbor!

Grab a quart size mason jar and begin layering the following ingredients. Kind of tap the bottom of the jar on the counter as you go to get everything to lay down into the jar nice and flat.

Layer the following in this order:

  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 and 1/4 C flour
  • 2/3 C chocolate chips
  • 2/3 C peppermint or mint chocolate chips

This gift is so cute you don’t even need to wrap it! Just tie a big red ribbon around the lid. Finish off by sticking on a cookie label and also baking instructions. You can write out the directions yourself or use the computer and print off on to stickable paper.  Make a front label that says “CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT COOKIES”. 

On your back label: List off the ingredients that are already in the jar.

And then write:

  • Now Add: ½ C (one stick) butter (softened)
  • 1 egg
  • Mix & Roll into 1 Inch Balls & Bake
  • Cook at 375 for 8-10 minutes

Share with those loved ones who love to bake especially during the Christmas season!

Fun Gift Ideas for Friends and Teachers: Fleece Blanket 

I am so excited to give this cool Christmas gift to my close mom friends this season!  You can find festive and inexpensive fleece throws in every store around the holiday season. Simply find your fleece blanket, wrap in large ribbon and finish it off with a tag that says “ Fleece Navidad.  We want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of our hearts.” How fun is this gift-idea?!  I know this would also be a great gift for your children’s teachers, neighbors or girlfriends!

Consider jazzing up your gift a bit!  Pair this fleece idea with popcorn, a box of hot chocolate, marshmallows and perhaps a DVD or movie gift card! No matter what DIY gift you choose to give this year, it is sure to be loved by all!  Happy giving and happy holiday season!

From iFamily to Yours,


Christmas Gift Ideas: Stocking Stuffers for the Family

Finding fun stocking stuffers can be tricky!  Gabrielle, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad, has put together a list of some great stocking stuffers that are sure to be a hit!

stocking stuffers

Christmas Gift Ideas: Stocking Stuffers for the Family

Stocking stuffers often get a bad rap. They are usually the last things to be opened after we’ve unwrapped all the big colorful boxes, and tossed aside all the carefully tied bows… But good things can come in small packages.  Here are few Christmas gifts that can fit inside the “stockings hung by the chimney with care.”

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Kids 

School supplies– pencils, pens, erasers and crayons make great stocking stuffers.  Kids have often lost or destroyed many of the items you purchased for back to school.

Virtual pets–If your kids are begging for a pet for Christmas, but you’re not ready to commit, this is a great way to buy yourself some time.  Have your kid take care of the virtual pet for a few months to show that he is responsible enough to handle pet ownership.  I know my children would either lose the pet, or at least lose interest after just a couple of months.  If your kids are more responsible, use that time period to save up cash to buy an actual puppy.

Cold Weather Gear– Socks, gloves and mittens work as stocking stuffers for kids (and adults) of all ages.  This is the perfect time to stock up, as many of them will be going on clearance soon to make room for Spring clothing.

Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers 

Christmas shopping for toddlers can be tricky.  Many toys are too dangerous or delicate for their tiny hands.  Stuffed toys are often good for little bitty hands. Also, DVD/BluRay Disc featuring their favorite characters would be a hit.  Board books also make great stocking stuffers for kids.  Cute little hair accessories might work for girls, and toddler safe toy cars might be a good idea for little boys.

Stocking Stuffers for Teenagers 

If you have teenagers to shop for, you can make their Christmas wishes come true by stuffing their stockings with gift cards to their favorite stores, or even better, cash.  Teenagers also would appreciate more technologically advanced stocking stuffers, like earbuds/headphones, USB Drives, or wireless chargers

Affordable Stuffer Ideas 

Some of the best Christmas gifts can be bought at your local discount store.  Spend a dollar or two on favorite boxes of candy, toys, and kitchen gadgets.  Cruise the aisles of your local dollar store and stock up.

D.I.Y Christmas Gifts for Your Christmas Stocking 

Finally, there is nothing as sweet as a homemade gift.  Your homemade triple chocolate brownies taste better than anything you could buy at the store.  Scarves and slipper socks are warmer when they are knitted or crocheted with love.  Be creative.  Give from your heart, and the work of your own hands.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle


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,

 


Christmas Morning Breakfast: Healthy and Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Scones

These healthy and gluten free cranberry orange scones are full of sweet orange flavors and tangy cranberries leaving you wanting more!  Take a look!

Christmas Morning Breakfast:

Healthy and Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Scones

These scrumptious scones are ready in just a quick 30 minutes!  Make them in addition to your Christmas brunch recipes or healthy brunch recipes all year long.

Ingredients: Makes 8 scones

  • 1 ½ cups (180g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp (7g) orange zest (about 1 large orange)
  • 2 tbsp (28g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp (45mL) honey
  • 3 tbsp (45mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (82g) fresh cranberries, diced
  • 2 tsp nonfat milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the orange zest. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or the back of a fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the Greek yogurt, honey, orange juice, and vanilla. Fold in the diced cranberries with a spatula.
  3. Using a spatula, shape the dough into a ¾” tall circle on the prepared baking sheet, and brush with the milk. Slice the circle into 8 triangular segments with a sharp knife. Bake at 425°F for 18-21 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes.

Notes: Whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour, or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the white whole wheat flour.

For a gluten-free version: 1 cup (120g) millet flour, ¼ cup (30g) tapioca flour, ¼ cup (30g) brown rice flour, and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Most store-bought gluten-free flour blends will work as well, if they’re measured like this. And any milk will work in place of the nonfat milk.  Pure maple syrup or agave may be substituted in place of the honey.

Coconut oil may be substituted for the butter, but the texture of the scones may be affected. Cold butter is required to achieve the tender texture, and since coconut oil melts at a much lower temperature, the results will not be the same.

It’s important to dice the cranberries finely or use frozen and thawed cranberries to ensure that the scones bake evenly. You are sure to be left with a scrumptious breakfast treat to share with your friends and family for your Christmas morning breakfast!

Enjoy!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 


10 Cool Tech Gifts for Everyone on Your List!

If you’re on the hunt for the best new tech gadgets on the market look no further!  Burton, iFamily’s resident tech expert, has put together a list of 10 cool tech gifts for everyone on your list!  Take a look…

tech gifts

10 Cool Tech Gifts for Everyone on Your List!

It happens every year.  The Holiday season creeps up and the panic of trying to find the right gift for your loved one sets in.  Cool gadgets and techy gifts are always appreciated, but with so many new devices hitting the market this time of year, it’s hard to keep up with which piece of technology will make the perfect gift.  One of the challenges I face, is finding innovative gifts that won’t become dated by the time the New Year rolls around.  I know everyone reading this wants to get cool-tech that will be enjoyed long after Christmas day is over.  Fear not. To save you some frustration, I put together a list of 10 tech gadgets I know that are hot this season and that are sure to be enjoyed for the months to come for every member of your family.

Gifts for Kids:

Amazon Fire Kids Edition

Yes, it’s another tablet and who needs one right? The great thing about the latest Amazon Kids tablet is you get a two-year worry-free guarantee.  If your kid breaks it, Amazon will replace it for free for up to two years. So, feel free to add it to your Amazon Christmas list this year!

The Nintendo Switch

Since the Switch was released in March, it’s been almost impossible to find one in stock. The best feature about the Switch is that it’s a hybrid portable home console. Which means you can play it on your HD TV at home and take it with you and enjoy games on the built-in HD display. Our boys have had one from the start and they say it’s the best console they’ve played with.

Gifts for Her:

Fitbit Flex 2 Bangle

It’s an activity tracker, but it’s also a beautiful piece of jewelry. You have all of the great features of a Fitbit, but now keep up with your daily activity in style.

Everpurse Kate Spade Small Harmony Tote

A good black tote bag that will hold a 13-inch laptop and has a charging dock for a smartphone is a cool thing for Christmas for most women. The bag will even recharge by placing it on a charging mat.

Gifts for Men:

DJI Phantom 3 Standard Drone with 2.7K HD Video Camera

Drones are all the rage now, but the best ones are not cheap. Not everyone needs to spend thousands of dollars on a device you might end up smashing into a tree. The DJI Phantom is a great all-purpose drone and one of the best tech gifts for men.  I got one as a birthday gift this year and I can’t put it down.

Samsung UHD TV Curved Screen Smart TV

The Samsung is one of the best TVs on the Market and one of the best gifts for tech guys.  Hands Down. The Samsung Smart UHD TV is hard to beat.  Beautiful curved screen, tons of built in apps and a picture that’s hard to take your eyes away from.

Gifts for Everyone:

The Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo made the list for popular gifts for techies last year, it’s hot again this holiday season.  You can get everything from the Echo, theDot, the Spot and the Look.  All great products that will transform any standard home to a smart home.

Google Home Smart Speaker

This is Google’s answer to the Amazon Echo,it can control the same smart home accessories as Amazon’s smart speaker, in addition to members of the Google Chromecast family. The bonus with this device is you have access to Google’s data base for information.

Apple Airpods

Get rid of those messy cables with AirPods. The AirPods connect with any iPhone or iPad over Bluetooth.

Philips Hue Bulbs

Perennially popular, Philips’ Hue bulbs are many people’s first smart home accessory. Since smart homes are becoming more common, there’s a good chance these bulbs will become harder to find than usual this season.

The Google Pixel 2 Smartphone

The Pixel is Google’s response to the iPhone running the Android OS. If you don’t like the iPhone, check this out.

The iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X

All three of these cool gadgets support fast charging, wireless charging, have improved internal components (especially the camera), and run iOS 11 out of the box. The iPhone X has a new design, better camera system, and a pair of front-facing cameras, which are used to unlock the phone using facial recognition.

The Amazon Fire Tablet

The Fire Tablet is the ultimate choice for casual tablet users. You can use it to read ebooks, browse the web, watch Netflix, or play light games. It’s not the most powerful or capable tablet on the market, but it’s definitely the best choice under $50.

The Sonos One Smart Speaker

The Sonos One is an updated version of the audio company’s popular PLAY: 1 speaker. It sounds better, has the intelligence of Amazon’s Alexa baked into it, the One will also work with your current Sonos system without requiring a new app or hub. Whether you’re already a Sonos fan, or want to start your collection, this is the right time and place.

Nest Smart Home Products

With the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Protect smoke & carbon monoxide alarm and Nest Cam security camera, Nest is creating a home that’s better than smart.

Want to keep up with the latest tech tips and cyber security alerts? Subscribe to my YouTube channel ‘Burton Kelso’ There are hundreds of videos designed to help you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or business.

From iFamily to Yours,

Burton

Burton Kelso is the Chief Tech Expert at Integral. They offer tech support to homes and businesses all over the Kansas City Metro. He regularly appears 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 Burton on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on his YouTube channel. He can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com