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The little book with BIG resources!

No-Toy Holiday Gift Ideas Your Kids Will Love

Psssst! Look {Inside} for a FUN GIVEAWAY!

We’re now *officially* less than 75 days away from Christmas 2017 (not that we’re counting or anything!) and our team here at iFamilyKC is excited to share some wonderful ideas, tips, and tricks for your family over the next few months. To kick things off, we’ve got some no-toy holiday gift ideas to keep the magic of the holidays alive even after the New Year. And, BONUS, we’ve got a giveaway RIGHT in this post! Take a look…


holiday gift ideas

No-Toy Holiday Gift Ideas Your Kids Will Love

There was a time in my life when I thought my family might want to explore living in a larger house. Why?! Simply put, we thought we needed more space. Life was feeling a little crowded and it wasn’t until we realized we just have too much stuff that we made the decision that more square footage wasn’t going to solve the problem in the long run – it would just make it worse with time. So we went on a mission (a long road that we’re still on, to be honest) to simplify life and get rid of all the excess stuff. Now that the holidays are approaching, we’re exploring new ideas for holiday gift giving that don’t involve toys.

We’ve got a few go-to ideas that we typically fall back on but were ready for some fresh concepts for Christmas 2017. So, we took to our brand new Community Group on Facebook (shameless plug– have you joined the iFamilyKC Kansas City parent group yet?!) to ask you for your ideas on no-toy gifts you can give the kiddos (or adults!) in your life this year. Here are some of our favorites:

#1 Books

It’s always a good time for learning and I am a huge fan of gifting books for special occasions (and normally give them for kid’s birthdays, too). Reading provides children with the opportunity to use their imagination and dive deep into other worlds.

“A reader lives a thousand lifetimes…” -George R.R. Martin 

With hundreds of thousands of different titles to select from, the possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to gifting stories for the holidays. If the special person in your life has a Kindle, tablet, or other e-reader, you could give them a gift card to purchase books onto their device. Depending on the age and reading level of your recipient, a book series can provide hours and hours of entertainment.

Some of my suggestions include:

  • Classic Children’s Books (all ages)
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama Books (toddler)
  • Pete The Cat Books (preschool)
  • Ivy & Bean Books (school aged)
  • Judy Moody Books (school aged)
  • Harry Potter Series (preteen)

#2 Experience Gifts {We’ve Got a GIVEAWAY!}

Over the last few years, my family has become really big into giving experiences as gifts (mostly to each other) and, in addition to being incredibly fun for both the giver and the receiver, they also help to bring your family closer together in ways that you might not expect (#FamilyBonding).

Each year for my daughter’s birthday, we gift her a membership to somewhere in the Kansas City area and, because KC is so full of amazing options for families, it’s awarded us with the chance to check out some fun spots across the metro over the years. We’ve done memberships to the zoo, the local botanical gardens, and to Union Station in the past and each has given us the chance to spend time together as a family – it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Many places that you can get memberships to here in the greater KC area offer tax deductions along with your purchase so you can consider that a little gift to yourself, too.

{Bonus!} Giveaway! 

We want to give YOU a head start on your gift giving this year and have a family four pack of tickets to the newly remodeled Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium ($28 Value!) AND a family four pack of tickets to Science City ($32 Value!) both at Union Station in downtown Kansas City.

Want to get in on the action?!

We’ll randomly select TWO winners (one getting Science City tickets and the other getting Planetarium tickets) on Wednesday, October 25th!

#3 Gift Cards

I’ll admit, until recently, I’d never been big into gift cards for the holidays but, now that my daughter is getting older, I am starting to see the value in all that they provide. Charlotte, who is six, absolutely LOVES shopping at the little boutique jewelry (and hair accessory, hat, makeup, toy, etc) shop in the mall. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the one I’m talking about, it’s been around since most of us were kids. Ever since I took Charlotte to get her ears pierced over the summer, she’s been obsessed with going into the store. I can understand why, it’s every little girl’s dream to have fun costume jewelry and adorable accessories all in one place.

The joy she gets in shopping for earrings, “makeup” (relax, it’s just lip gloss…we’re not there yet), and other little things that the kids enjoy these days is really special. When you give a child a gift card, you’re giving them the freedom to explore, to discover what they really enjoy, and the entertainment of shopping.

Here are a few places I suggest for gift cards:

  • Claires (they often have ‘Buy 3 Get 3 FREE’ sales so your gift card can go further.)
  • Five Below (with everything in the store UNDER $5, a little bit can go a long way.)
  • The bookstore (See #1 for more details)

#4 Subscriptions

One of the moms on our Community Group offered up a suggestion that I hadn’t thought of before. As adults, many of us enjoy subscription boxes that come once a month or once a quarter. Why not give that as a gift for the kids?! There are several great options for subscription services specifically designed with children in mind and many of them give you the flexibility of deciding how frequently you want to send the boxes (read: how much you’re willing to budget for).

We found some options that you might be interested in exploring as gift for this year (please note that we have not used these ourselves and, as such, do not provide our endorsement for any of the following) online:

  • Little Passports
  • Kiwi Crate
  • Doodle Crate
  • SproutKin

#5 A “Yes” Day

I recently read an article that discussed how utterly exhausted (and beyond happy) actress Jennifer Garner was after successfully completing a “yes day” with her kids. It’s a concept I’ve never heard of but is apparently based on the book with the same name by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

The idea is simple, spend a day with your kids and let them take the reins in planning what they want to do. You set limits (budget, time, etc) and rules for the day and then allow your kids to call the shots. If it sounds as exciting to you as it does to me, check out the book from your local Mid-Continent Public Library branch and consider giving it to your child this Christmas.

We’ll have an in depth listing of resources available to your family this season in our Annual Holiday Guide. You can pick a copy up starting November 1st in any of our 1,000 drop spots across the metro area or access it online. Also, be sure to join the discussion on the iFamilyKC Kansas City Parent Community Group on Facebook!

From iFamily to Yours,

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Paint, Glaze & Fire ReCap Kids Club Event Recap

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Paint, Glaze & Fire here in KC then you should!  Bridgette was able to attend our Paint, Glaze & Fire Kids Club Event, here is a recap of her fun experience!

Paint, Glaze & Fire

Kids Club Event Recap

Hey there, KC! Have you ever been somewhere, smelled something or seen something and you were instantly transported back to your childhood or a special memory? At our recent iFamilyKC Kids Club event, I was! For the first time forever…just kidding, sorry if that song gets stuck in your head now. But seriously, for the first time in a very, very long time, I was transported back to my childhood when my kiddos and I visited Paint, Glaze & Fire.

Growing up, my grandmother had a room dedicated to ceramics and I loved watching her make and paint them. Paint, Glaze & Fire is a neat art studio filled with pre-made ceramics in a wide variety of things. They have plates, mugs, figurines, home decor and plenty more to choose from. You and your family could spend a nice afternoon there laughing and painting away! They have a coffee shop inside with a variety of drinks and snacks in case you or your kiddos need a little something to sip or eat. There really is no rush!

Even though space was limited to the first 18 people, there was no shortage of fun and memories being made. For this special event, kids and parents were able to pick a specially selected ceramic fitting to the season. There were ghosts, monsters, pumpkins and mugs. Of course, my kiddos went straight for the pumpkins!

Paint, Glaze and Fire is located at 12683 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park, KS

They are open Tuesday- Sunday with various open and closing times. They do allow walk in sessions if seating is available but they highly recommend making a reservation. You can get more information on making reservations and hours of operation by visiting their website.

The cool thing about Paint, Glaze & Fire is that along with ceramic painting, they also offer glass fusion, raw clay building and even canvas painting. Plus, they host kid’s birthday parties or group outings too!

As a homeschooling family, this is definitely moving into our extra-curricular activities budget for Art class!  Check out some of the cool things we painted! I didn’t get to snap a picture once they were done painting, I was having too much fun of my own! I hope you can make it out to our next Kids Club event! Just keep checking iFamilykc or better yet subscribe to our email list below to be one of the first to know!

From iFamily to Yours,


5 Spooktacular Ideas For Celebrating Halloween in the Classroom

 Halloween is going to be here before we know it!  Here is Ruth, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad with some spooky ideas for celebrating Halloween in the classroom!

celebrating halloween

5 Spooktacular Ideas For Celebrating Halloween in the Classroom

Halloween comes around once a year, and there are a lot of ways to make it special without adding lots of sugar and hyper kids into the mix. Many of you are already planning out ways to help your child’s classroom celebrate this year. Here are a few ideas that are great for the classroom!

#1 Do-It-Yourself Games & Activities 

DIY games are a great way to celebrate parties at school. Most of the time they are cheap and use items that you can find at home such as ghost bowling.

Items: bowling pins or empty water bottles, crepe or toilet paper, googly eyes or black paper and a small ball. The kids can even help prepare the activity. For directions and other DIY party games check out this link from Good Housekeeping.

#2 Skip the Sweets 

Non-candy Halloween treats are a delicious and healthy idea for the classroom party. There are a lot of fun and healthy alternatives that can be made at home and sent in without giving every child a sugar buzz. Mini mummy pizzas, ghost bananas and spider crackers are just a few ideas to get you started. Listotic.com has 64 ideas to choose from.

#3 Get a Little Crafty 

Crafts are usually a winner with kids. They love things that are hands on and it’s also the best way to teach young ones new skills. Parents.com has some fun ideas for party crafts that kids can create at school as well as some other fun ideas for costumes and decorations. These ideas are simple to create and there are video tutorials for some of them as well!

#4 Don’t Be Too Scared to Keep it Fit 

Make it a fit Halloween by adding in some themed movement activities. You can do a Halloween dance party, do story yoga, spider parachute toss, zombie tag or a variety of other exercises that will be fun to get them up and moving. These activities are geared toward PE teachers but they would work well out on the playground too! GopherSport.com has some great ideas for Halloween!

#5 Every Good Ghoul and Goblin Loves to Read 

Get those kids reading with Halloween themed books and songs.  Fortunately, there are books out there for all ages at the school library or book fair. You can do buddy reading or a group story time. You can make it more fun with puppets, finger plays, or let kids act it out and tell the story to each other. The more participation that is included, the more fun it will be for everyone. Here are some fun book ideas for younger elementary kids from StorytimeKatie.com.

I hope you find some of these ideas useful for this year’s Halloween party!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


5 KC Parks to Fall in Love with This Autumn

Erin, with the iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares with us 5 of KC Parks for you to FALL in love with this Autumn season!

kc parks

5 KC Parks to Fall in Love with This Autumn

Fall is the perfect time to check out a new park or visit an old favorite!  I love October for many reasons but one reason being in KC you can get away with picnics and outdoor parties at the park with beautiful weather! There are so many awesome parks in our awesome city! We’re counting down the 5 best parks in the KC area! Which one is your family’s favorite?

Variety KC Parks

Several park locations in KC are adapted so that children of all abilities have a safe place to play.  Smooth surfaces, adaptive swings, fencing, ramps on the play equipment, stainless steel slides and roller slides, sensory activities involving musical chimes and drums.  Located in Independence, Leawood, Olathe and Tiffany Springs,

McCoy Park

Nice park with shelters for rent, playgrounds, spray ground, tennis courts, horseshoe pits. Located in Independence, MO. across from the Truman Library.

Loose Park

Well known park in KC with 75 acres of beautiful and historic land.  Fantastic rose garden, picnic areas, large shelter house for parties and events, and a playground with a sand pit the kids will love to dive in to! Spray ground open May 27th-September 4th. Located on Wornall Rd.

Shawnee Mission Park

1600 acre park includes 120 acre lake with boating, fishing, swimming, sail boarding, a giant off-leash dog park with 53 acres of land for your furry friend to run, picnic areas, shelters, playgrounds, Theater in the Park, archery and disc golf. You can even rent paddle boats, canoes and fishing boats!  What more could you ask for? Located in Shawnee Mission, KS.

Drum roll please…..

The number one park in KC has to be Penguin Park!

Kids LOVE the gigantic animals including a penguin, giraffe, kangaroo, and an elephant.  They have a separate area for the little ones to play and tucked away behind the park are some great walking/biking trails with a pond for fishing and watching geese. Located on Vivion Rd in Kansas City North.

Also worth mentioning:

Fleming Park

English Landing Park

Antioch Park

Dagg Park

Waterfall Park

The “Castle” and “Pirate” parks

Little Mill Creek Park North

 

Happy Park Hunting!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 


4 Easy Ways to Balance Your Crazy Busy Schedule

If there’s one thing that we, as moms, need more of (and just can’t get enough of), it’s balance. Between managing your household, working around your children’s school routines, getting to and from extra curricular activities, and everything else that life seems to throw your way, balance can become overwhelming (and sometimes feel too time consuming).  Bridgette, with the iFamily Mom & Dad Squad has 4 easy ways to help balance your crazy busy schedule!

 

4 Easy Ways to Balance Your Crazy Busy Schedule

I remember, back when I was in school, how exhausted I felt after sporting games, work, and pageants (sorry mom!). But now that I am a mom and a wife, I can fully see just how important plans, balance, and organization really are to a family. So, if you, like pretty much the rest of us moms out there need to incorporate a little or a lot more balance into your life, try incorporating these four small ideas.

#1 Get a Mommy (or Daddy) Binder

I know this may sound crazy but my life is basically written out into multiple organizing items. But my binder is my “go-to” strategy for keeping everything together. Inside, you will find everything from mail that needs to be sent, monthly bill paying spreadsheet, grocery list, to do list and way more. Seeing everything written out on a calendar or a check list makes me feel more organized and able to keep school tracking and home life more doable.

#2 Get a Family Command Center

Lately I have been getting hip to the idea of a family command center. Since I don’t always need my binder just a quick reminder, I can take a glance at my command center to make sure I am on schedule for the day and EVERYONE can see what is ahead.

#3 Get a Planner, Be a Planner

Similar to my binder but more for “mom stuff”. If I plan a girl’s night or have a doctor’s appointment it goes into my planner. I know it may seem a little extra to have a planner as well, but my binder is so big and bulky, It would never be ideal to carry it around with me every single day. A planner is a lot smaller to carry around but big enough to write things down.

#4 Use Your Cell Phone

Last, I have my cell phone. Nothing is worse than writing everything down and forgetting an appointment because you have been hustling and bustling all day. Adding events and dates in my phone allows me to set a timer so I can ensure that I am on time.

Now, you may be thinking this is a nice idea to get organized but how can I balance everything. Well, on top of being organized with dates and times, you will be able to see what you are doing a lot of and what you need to do more of. Are you doing too many extra-curricular activities after school? You can see what days you can rearrange or let go of to allow more family time or time with your spouse. Working too much outside of the house? This will also help you add in those much-needed vacations and breaks from the stress. Having a balanced life makes not only you, but your whole family, happier! The saying is true, happy wife, happy life.

I hope you find these ideas helpful and are able to incorporate them into your life!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 


Fashion Solution For On The Go Moms

As a mom, some days the last thing you want to think about is what you’re going to wear that day!  From the moment you get up you’re sometimes pulled in many directions, from getting the kids out the door and then getting yourself out the door… practices, dinners, homework, etc etc.  We have Sarah, from the iFamily Mom Squad here with a great fashion solution for you moms that are always on the go!

Fashion Solution

Fashion Fix

It’s about this time of year when mornings are just not my thing.

My girls are exhausted…  You would think that I’d asked them to cut off a leg instead of put on their shoes, but getting them dressed is usually pretty straightforward. I organize outfits for the week in boxes (see the previous post on “Tips to Make your Life Easier”) so having them run and get that day’s box is simple. On the other hand am, I am what you would call an “emotional dresser”. I can’t pick out my clothes beforehand. I have tried and it doesn’t work. Some days I wake up feeling fat or that time of the month has come unexpectedly and I can’t possibly wear light colors today! Or my personal favorite;  you’re all dressed and ready to go and then the dog comes into the house with muddy paws and jumps right on top of you!

So every morning, I say the same thing, “I have nothing new and exciting to wear!”

I try and scour Pinterest boards about fashion and how to change up my wardrobe.  Sometimes I hit a home run.  Other times I just look like a 30(ish) woman headed to my first day of high school!

I wish that I had time and could actually spend a whole day shopping. It’s not the shopping that I mind all that much, and in the right circumstance don’t even mind digging to find a good deal. Right now I just don’t have that time.

Enter the latest craze around my office–Stitch Fix.

Now, I know this has been around for some time and there are plenty of other sites doing this same thing, but I am really just going to explore the idea of this site in this article instead of listing them all out in comparison. Stitch Fix is the answer to the busy woman or man that just needs a little help brightening up their wardrobe.

  • You go online; fill out a profile which includes your sizes, preferences in clothes and accessories, and the price threshold that you are willing to pay for an article of clothing.
  • Then you choose when you would like your first delivery.  It can come in as little as a week and then automatically sent to you from then on– every other week, or even every six months.
  • In each of these shipments you will find 5 (I don’t know why this is the “magic” number) items that match your style profile.

On the day of delivery, I imagine the doorbell rings and music begins to play and you gracefully run to the door to meet a smiling delivery man (who may or may not have a shirt on!) and hands you the famous Stitch Fix box.  In reality, the box is a normal looking box and is left on your doorstep.  You are probably racing your kids to the door before they get there and think it is something for them.

The Box

After perusing the contents of the box you try on everything, create new and interesting outfits from what you already have and then decide to buy. There is a styling fee of $20 that is automatically credited towards any items that you purchase. If you don’t purchase anything then they keep the $20 as their fee. If you do like some things, you purchase them and send back what you don’t like with free shipping and voila! You now have an updated wardrobe!

So where is the downside?

I asked a couple women that I work with who currently take a Stitch Fix shipment every month.

Both said that the biggest issue they have with the service is that some of the items are just things they don’t need. Purses, which let’s face it most of us have purses that went with us to college, our weddings and to the hospital to have a baby! Another issue, forgetting to cancel the shipment. One of the women said this happens to her all the time.  She ends up paying the $20 fee or thinking she needs to buy something to get the credit.  Then she is “stuck” with something she may have never bought and no way to return it. We laughed about this but she swore it happens more often than we would like to think! The prices of the items are a little high. The website says that the average price of all items is $55. My “consumer panel” confirmed that this is probably about right.  However, they point out that for the right pair of jeans they would gladly pay any amount!

Online is where it’s at!

At the end of the day, or the research for this article, I totally get it! Online personal shopping is a great way to update your style without having to shop around, lug the kids with you or the spouse that would rather be doing anything else. Everything is sent to you in a relatively easy way and the cost is okay for the right items. Everyone that I know who does this gets things that are absolutely adorable and look great on them! Plus good quality stuff which isn’t what you find in too many brick and mortar stores.  If you can even find any brick and mortar stores!  I noticed yesterday while running into the mall at lunch that my favorite store is now closed—moving to online only!

More stores are closing and malls are becoming places to power walk instead of power shop. But the other side of this fashion-forward coin? I still really like the “hunt” of going out and purchasing the best deal! I crave that “shoppers high” when I find the really great deals.  Like when I read the receipt and see how much I saved! But the market is there for these types of things and for that I am in full support!

From iFamily to Yours,


How To Have A Successful Fundraising Season!

Fundraising is pretty much a part of being a parent these days. If your kids attend public schools, or if they are involved in any extracurricular activities, then you know that pretty soon it’ll be time to sell something.  Whether you are selling coupon books or cookie dough, here are some helpful tips to help you navigate fundraising season, here are some helpful tips from Gabrielle, with the iFamily Mom & Dad Squad, to help you navigate fundraising season!

Fundraising

Parent’s Guide to Product Sales

 

Do not feel pressured to participate.

You are not required to sell 100 candy bars. You know what your schedule is like. You know what you can handle. If the Fall fundraiser just does not fit into your life right now, do not fret. There will be another one in the spring.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m supportive of my children’s activities, and I do on occasion help with product sales. But there are times when I would much rather write a check than have to sweet talk my neighbors into buying another magazine subscription.

Have your child set a goal.

If (When) you do decide to sign up for the fundraiser, make sure the child sets a realistic goal. Goal-setting is a skill that your child will use the rest of his life. You might was well get them started early.

Children’s goals are often guided by the shiny prizes and plastic toys offered as rewards for selling. Consider that it is usually cheaper and more convenient for you to buy the prize outright, than trying to collect hundreds or even thousands of dollars from your friends and neighbors.

Instead, talk to your child about what they can reasonably expect to sell and then set their goal just a little bit higher than that. It gives them something to work towards, and to be proud of at the end of the sale.

Set a budget.

You will always be your child’s biggest supporter and therefore you are likely to be their best customer. If my child, or any child for that matter, is just a couple of items from meeting their goal, I am likely to make a purchase to make up for the difference.  I always place my order last, just in case.

However, be careful not to be a crutch for your child. They shouldn’t depend on you to always make those last few sales. That is a good way for you to end up with 10 tubs of cookie dough (and 10 extra pounds.)

Start collecting money early.

There will always be one family member who placed an order that you probably will not see again until Thanksgiving. Get the money at the earliest possible time, and try to turn in everything a week before the actual deadline. Have everything counted and collected before you hand it over to the fundraising coordinator. They will thank you.

Confession: I take all the cash and write one check. Fundraising coordinators love me.

Fall product sales and other fundraisers are a great way to support your children’s activities. They also offers some valuable life lessons, but they are not without pitfalls to both your wallet and waistline. Be careful. Have fun, and sell, sell, sell… or not.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle

 

 


54 Incredible Resources You Need to Know About

Happy September , Kansas City! Now that school is in full swing and you’ve had the chance to settled into your new 2017-2018 routine, it’s time to start thinking about activities for the upcoming school year. Whether you’re a member of your child’s PTA/PTO, an educator (thank you for all you do!) looking for fun activities for your students, or a parent searching for inspiration on awesome things to do with the family, we’ve got a list of 54 amazing resources right here in the metro area that you just have to check out. Take a look…

54 Incredible Resources You Need to Know About


54 Incredible Resources You Need to Know About

#1 Burr Oak Woods          

Blue Springs, MO

Discover nature with the Missouri Dept of Conservation at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs. The Nature Center offers free programs for schools and groups in the fall and winter and frequently hosts activities, classes, and events for families and individuals. Additionally, groups and families are welcome to come out and explore the open savannas, prairies, and woodland areas on the property on their own during visiting hours. For more information, visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website and be sure to check out their “Nature & You” publication to stay up to date on all of their programs and offerings happening year round.

 #2 Carolyn’s Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch

Liberty, MO 

Carolyn’s Country Cousins Pumpkin Patch is a working farm, only 2 miles south of Liberty, Missouri, with easy access from all parts of Greater Kansas City. The farm offers Missouri Science Grade Level Curriculum Standards. The Pumpkin Patch Tour is a hands-on educational field trip to help students enjoying learning about the farm, how plants grow, and process by which food ends up on their table. The educational experience centers around the pumpkins, of course, and will help students understand pollination, soil, varieties of Cucurbits (pumpkin cousins), diversity in farming and how food is grown from farm to table. Students will also enjoy a tractor-drawn wagon ride and each student receives a pie pumpkin and their award winning coloring book (available in 8 languages). Also offered at the Patch are Uncle Earl’s Mining Educational School Tours, options for home school groups and families, as well as special needs opportunities. Visit them online for further details about all of their offerings during pumpkin season.

#3 Ceramic Café       

Leawood, KS

Ceramic Cafe is a paint-your-own-pottery and glass fusing studio serving the Kansas City area. Their helpful staff will guide you through the creative process with techniques and supplies to help even the artistically challenged create a masterpiece they are proud to call their own. Paint your pottery piece or create a beautiful work of glass in their vibrant Leawood, Kansas, studio. The process to paint, glaze and fire your masterpiece takes about a week. If you’re looking for the place to host your next group outing, Ceramic Cafe is the place for you. They also donate to charitable groups and can help your school or organization with a fundraising project.

#4 Champion Gymnastics Academy 

Raytown, MO

Built in 2016, this fully renovated, brand new state-of-the-art facility located in the heart of Raytown, MO is home to some of the best gymnastics equipment and coaches in the Kansas City Area. Champions Gymnastics Academy offers group rates to rent out their entire facility. In addition to their group events, birthday parties, and classes, they also offer fundraisers where a percentage of the proceeds go to your group! Discover your options by conacting them online or by phone today! (816) 360-9879.

#5 Create2Day  

Bonner Springs, KS 

Creative Reuse (also known as up-cycling or re-purposing), is adding a creative element to an already manufactured item, resulting in a new function. A CD case can become a bird feeder, corks turned into a cork board, a t-shirt transformed into a rug (as defined by The Resource Alliance). Create2Day collects discarded materials from the public that can be reused and given new life. Create2Day is part retail store, part DIY space, filled with resuable materials for your creative projects.

#6 CW Parker Carousel Museum

Leavenworth, KS 

Open February through December, the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum is a museum that has nearly a thousand items, nearly a dozen interesting collections, plus exhibits that will take you back in history. While you’re there, you can learn more about entrepreneur Fred Harvey and his significant impact on business. Leavenworth, Kansas is a small river town with a big, proud past. There’s so much for you to see while you’re visiting. So check your calendar and make plans to visit with your group today.

#7 Discovery Center    

Kansas City


Just a 10-minute walk from the Plaza shopping area, the Discovery Center is a unique, hands-on, urban conservation education center located on eight acres in the heart of Kansas City. The Discovery Center offers free educational field trips that follow curriculum standards. Additionally, families and groups are welcome to attend any of the demonstrations, activities, and self-guided hiking that are available to you on the property. The Discovery Center offers a butterfly garden, bird feeding garden, and Grow Native demonstrations including prairie wildflowers, wetland, water garden, and manicured upland and lowland forests.

The Discovery Center offers a variety of hands-on learning experiences and workshops. There are also tours of the building and grounds showing environmentally friendly ways to build an urban environment in harmony with nature. The Discovery Center has a 0.25 mile disabled accessible winding Wild Sidewalk that takes visitors through the Grow Native Gardens on the site.

#8 Dole Institute for Politics 

Lawrence, KS

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics celebrates public service and promotes civil discourse and the legacy of Senator Bob Dole by providing public programming, research and educational opportunities, a museum gallery, and other offerings. Museum gallery features include the world’s largest stained-glass American flag, Kansas veterans WWII memory wall and World Trade Center beams. It is home to the Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections, which includes over 35 years of congressional papers, as well as objects and materials from the Senator’s entire life.

#9 Elite Gymnastics & Aquatics 

Lenexa, KS

Elite Gymnastics and Aquatics, founded over 40 years ago, was built on the tradition of excellence using a positive and healthy influence.  Conveniently located at 13600 w.  108th (near Pflumm and College Boulevard) on the edge of Lenexa, Elite offers recreational and competitive gymnastics, swim lessons, birthday parties, parents night out and open gym.

Gerald Carley opened Elite in May of 1973 in Merriam, Kansas.  Elite was the first privately owned gymnastics facility in Kansas.  In 1978, Elite moved to it’s current location at 108th and Pflumm in Lenexa.   Gerald went on to open two additional locations in Overland Park and Lawrence providing boys and girls competitive and recreational gymnastics, dance and cheer programs.   In 1992, these facilities were consolidated to the Lenexa location.  Elite continued to pioneer unique ways to share its passion for gymnastics offering a tumble bus, the first of it’s kind, that traveled to day care centers and preschools in the area to teach tumbling classes.

#10 Engineering for Kids  

South Kansas City 

Engineering For Kids of Kansas City is very excited to be able to inspire the next generation of engineers by bringing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), to children ages 4 to 14 in a fun and challenging way through classes, summer camps, clubs and parties.  They offer hands on learning programs in LEGO Robotics, Electronic Game Design and in Aerospace, Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Environmental, Industrial and Mechanical Engineering. Many of their classes are taught by experienced Engineers.  Their programs meet national standards in mathematics, science, engineering, and technology. Engineering for Kids builds upon the math and science that is being taught in the schools and apply those skills to hands on, real world engineering challenges.

#11 Ernie Miller Nature Center 

Olathe, KS 

Ernie Miller Nature Center was the first Nature Center In Johnson County. The Center provides an opportunity for learning, understanding, and admiring nature’s ever-changing ways. It is the focal point of cultural historical, and environmental education programming offered to all ages by the Johnson County Park and Recreation District. The Center contains displays, live animals, and Nature’s Corner Gift Shop, along with a friendly, knowledgeable staff eager to share their knowledge of nature.

#12 Fahrmeier’s U-Pick Produce Market 

Lexington, MO

The Fahrmeier farming operation began in 1947 as a traditional diversified crop and livestock farm. In 2004, they began growing fresh fruits and vegetables for markets and today, they grow about 40 acres of farm fresh fruits and vegetables. Fahrmeier Farms sells at farmers markets in the KC area, to area restaurants, schools and offers CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscriptions. The Fahrmeier family welcomes and hosts many agri-tourism experiences, weddings and children’s farm tours to educate others about agriculture and how food is grown.

As a family, the Fahrmeiers understand the importance of eating more fresh vegetables and fruit. Their goal is to share healthy eating habits with your loved ones and expose them to a variety of produce and agricultural experiences. By supporting their farm, you’re investing in a family that takes care of their land by growing food in ways that take care of the soil. Another benefit is that you cut down on the number of miles your food travels from the farm to your plate.

#13 Folly Theater  

Kansas City

In 1900, by the glow of gas street lamps, men in top hats and women in high-button shoes arrive in horse-drawn carriages for the grand opening of Kansas City’s newest theater, the Standard.  The theater was as breathtakingly beautiful as she is today. Now, the Folly is filled with the sounds of children’s giggles, thunderous applause for world-class performers, and the clink of toasting glasses.  We invite you to share in the history and magic of the Folly Theater.

#14 Fort Osage    

Sibly, MO

Step back in time, back to when Missouri was way out West in the wilderness, and experience the lives of the men and women who secured the American frontier. Built in 1808, under the direction of William Clark, co-leader of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Fort served a dual role. It was both a military garrison and trade center.
Overlooking the Missouri River, this historic site has been reconstructed to portray Fort Osage as it was in 1812. Authentically attired interpreters provide living-history insights into the daily life of both the military and civilian populations.

#15 Historic Mt. Gilead School 

Kearney, MO

Mt. Gilead School located just west of Kearney, Missouri, operated for over 100 years until it closed its doors in 1946. The present two story school was built in 1879. Historians believe that Mt. Gilead was the only school in the area to continuously hold classes during the Civil War.

Clay County Historic Sites offers a unique field trip opportunity to experience history in a one-room school. A teacher in period costume instructs the class in late 1880s style with McGuffey readers. Pupils practice penmanship and perform arithmetic problems using slates. The four-hour program accommodates up to 30 students and complements required school curriculum. This popular field trip requires advance reservations. Contact Clay County Historic Sites at (816)736-8500 to schedule your group.

#16 Johnson Farms Plants & Pumpkins  

Kansas City 

2017 will mark Johnson Farm’s fifteenth year of offering fun, educational school tours for children preschool age to 3rd grade! Monday through Friday from 9am until 11:45am, students are invited to spend an hour touring the beautiful farm and a half hour picnicking on the property. An additional hour of self-guided exploration is also optional. Open September 22nd through October 31st in the fall. Inquire about Springtime options by calling or visiting the farm online.

#17 Kansas City Young Audiences    

Kansas City 

KCYA’s School and Community Programs works with a roster of nearly 200 artists to provide dynamic and educational arts programs to children in schools, libraries, community centers, and hospitals throughout the greater Kansas City area.

With performances, residencies, workshops, and after-school programs in nearly every artistic discipline and covering numerous academic subjects KCYA’s School and Community Programs reinforce core curriculum as well as cultivates artistic expression; unleashing ideas, creativity, and individual problem solving skills.

#18 Kansas Museum of History 

Topeka, KS

This award-winning museum tells the story of the people of Kansas. See the Santa Fe’s oldest surviving locomotive, No. 132, from 1880. A. K. Longren’s 1914 version of the plane in which he made the first successful flight of a Kansas-built plane in 1911. The museum was named one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas History. While you’re there, be sure to shop the Museum Store for Kansas gifts.

#19 KC Pumpkin Patch  

Olathe

KC Pumpkin Patch provides education through entertainment. Bring your students to the Patch for a highly interactive field trip experience filled with learning opportunities. Students will learn an anti-bullying message from Spookley the Square Pumpkin, gain a greater understanding of agriculture and an appreciation for Kansas heritage by exploring their pumpkin field and visiting their Critter area.

#20 KC Watersports  

Paola

KC Watersports is the best wakeboarding destination in the Midwest.  For beginners, they offer day camps and lessons to perfect your skills.  Experts won’t find a more challenging set of rails, ramps, and sliders anywhere in the region. For the family and groups, they have a shaded beach, where you can relax and watch the kids ride or play. Their Surf Shop is well stocked with the best gear in the industry, with rental equipment available. All skill levels are encouraged, so plan your visit to KCW in the summer and enjoy some fun in the sun!

#21 Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art  

Kansas City

A variety of free programming for children and families is offered throughout the year. The objective of Kemper Museum educational programs is to engage children and adults in a discussion about contemporary art and how it relates to their lives. Groups of ten or more may schedule free docent-led guided tours of Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection and special exhibitions, to see more information visit the Museum’s Tours page.

#22 Kemper Outdoor Education Center  

Blue Springs

Inside the Nature Center you’ll find rock and fossil exhibits, a natural resource library, mounted examples of native wildlife. The grounds feature nature trails, butterfly and water gardens, wildlife viewing areas, an arboretum, a shelter house, large pond and a day camp site. The Outdoor Classroom offers a valuable resource for hands-on environmental education. Hikers on the Habitat Trail can explore a variety of ecology: wetland, prairie, woodland and cactus glade. Self-guided tours are free of charge.
The Kemper Outdoor Education Center staff offers guided interpretive programs for classrooms, youth groups and organizations. In April, May and September, the X-Stream Green field trip program offers multi-station outdoor education for 1st to 6th grade classrooms. The interpretive staff conducts programs on Snakes, Bats, Skins and Skulls, Butterflies, Birds and Binoculars, Fishing, Recycling, Nature Hikes and much more.

#23 Kona Ice  

Serving KC Metro & Surrounding Areas 

Treat your taste buds to the most amazingly fine, flavored shaved ice this side of the islands. The Kona Ice experience will amplify any event! From our steel drum music to the signature Flavorwave(TM) where guests can flavor their own shaved ice, we guarantee to bring the fun and laughter. Whether indoors or outdoors, we handle a whole variety of events including schools, corporations, daycares, summer programs, youth sports, picnics, weddings, and major sporting events and festivals.

They also specialize in fundraising so just show us where to park and who to make the check out to! Plus, they’ll come to you. It doesn’t get much easier than that. No event is too big or too small. They can serve hundreds of people per hour. Contact Kona Ice today!

#24 Landmark2Skate  

Lee’s Summit, MO 

Landmark 2 Skate is just that, a Lee’s Summit landmark for fun activities. Charlie Johnson has been opening the same doors to kids (of all ages!) for the over 18 years. Generations of residents from Lee’s Summit and surrounding Jackson County cities have skated at Landmark 2 Skate since the Spring of 1974, and the tradition continues today. People from as far away as Belton make the regular trip to enjoy the fun activities available here. Tradition doesn’t have to mean old and stale!

With a spankin’-new 10,500 square foot floor and all updated electronics, Landmark 2 Skate is ready for your modern skate/dance party. Beginners who need a different environment can join them for Learn to Skate Classes, sessions for you to learn and gain confidence. From fundraisers and private parties to kid’s birthday parties; there is no end to the “fun things” list. Skaters with all musical tastes will enjoy our song lineup. Skating is great fun, great exercise and a great time for the whole family! Make sure to say “Hi” to Charlie when you visit!

#25 Lanesfield Historic Site  

Edgerton

Johnson County offers field trip experiences at their two sites, the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center in Overland Park and Lanesfield Historic Site in Edgerton. To make a reservation for your group, please fill out either the form for Lanesfield or the Arts & Heritage Center, or contact the Museum’s Education Department at 913-715-2570 or email.

#26 Language and Music House 

Kansas City

The best time to expose children to music and language is while they are young; as by high school many people have lost the ability to hear specific accents or tones. That is the mission of Language and Music House, to grow minds through language and music. This includes Dyslexic minds as well, which are powerful but need to be taught reading and languages in a different way. At Language and Music House each class is tailored to each individual child or adult.
They want to offer the best to their students and customize each class. From Toddler language and music classes to adult classes, they want to grow your mind to its’ full potential. They also want to make learning a language or music educational and FUN!Their approach is Kinesthetic, meaning that even within their language classes you’ll move a lot.

#27 Learning2Fly   

Mission

Learning2Fly is super excited to announce our K-12 School Field Trips! If you are an educator, teacher, or administrator and would like to tour their studio to see what they offer, call 913-262-2600 or email Sumya@iAMLearning2Fly.com. Their passion is health – They teach kids 7 habits of health through creative activities and play!

#28 Lecompton Historical Society   

Lecompton

Lecompton was founded in 1854 and platted on a bluff on the south bank of the Kansas River. It was originally called “Bald Eagle,” but then later changed to Lecompton in honor of Samuel D. Lecompte, the chief justice of the territorial supreme court. In 1855, the town became the permanent and only official capital of the Kansas Territory. President James Buchanan appointed a governor and officials to establish government offices in Lecompton, and construction began on an elegant capitol building, Lane University / Territorial Capitol Museum.

In the fall of 1857 a convention met in Constitution Hall and drafted the famous Lecompton Constitution, which would have admitted Kansas as a slave state. The constitution was rejected after intense national debate and was one of the prime topics of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The controversy contributed to the growing dispute soon to erupt in civil war. The Lecompton Constitution failed, in part, because the antislavery party won control of the territorial legislature in the election of 1857. The new legislature met at Constitution Hall and immediately began to abolish the pro-slavery laws. The victorious free-state leaders chose Topeka as capital when Kansas became a state in 1861. They would like to extend an open invitation to you, to take a step back in time, to look at the rich heritage that led to the formation of their town and the State of Kansas.

#29 Lee’s Summit Physicians Group 

3 Locations in Lee’s Summit & Blue Springs 

Pediatricians are specialists in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. They currently accept new patients under the age of 18. Their training consists of three years of residency, limited to pediatrics, after completion of medical school. They are members of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and are American Board of Pediatrics certified or eligible. Lee’s Summit Physicians Group Pediatrics Section offers Personalized, Preventive, and Primary Care for infants, children and adolescents.

#30 Legoland Discovery Center    

Kansas City at Crown Center

LEGOLAND® Discovery Centers and LEGO® Education work in partnership to deliver high quality educational experiences will prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s world. Now educators can discover the learning philosophy of LEGO Education in the thrilling atmosphere of LEGOLAND Discovery Centers, offering a wonderful balance of learning and fun. They offer teachers well-designed, age appropriate school trips that support educational curriculum standards. All LEGOLAND Discovery Center workshops integrate hands-on materials and activities designed by LEGO Education in collaboration with real-world educators, meet current education standards bringing math, science, engineering, and language arts to life, and develop 21st century learning skills of communication, collaboration, critical-thinking, and problem solving

#31 Legler Barn Museum     

Lenexa

Welcome to the Lenexa Historical Society. They are a member based 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 1974. Their mission: To encourage community involvement the appreciation, preservation, and promotion of Lenexa’s Historical Heritage. How they do this: They host educational meetings, participate in community events and festivals, and bring local history to Lenexa’s schools through the City’s “Learning About Lenexa” program. They also partner with the City regarding Lenexa’s history museum: The Legler Barn Museum and Lenexa Frisco Train Depot, which displays local area history and artifacts, engaging exhibits, and includes a local historical research library.

#32 Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm  

Olathe  

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop offers students an opportunity to discover history where it happened. Activities with animals, wagons, and the stagecoach make visiting Mahaffie fun for children and a valuable tool for educators! Fall Home School Days are Thurs., Sept. 7 & Fri. Sept. 8. -Registration full for all sessions! We will not be able to accept walk up registrations, thank you for your understanding. Please mark your calendar for Spring Home School Days Thurs. Apr. 26 & Fri. Apr. 27.

#33 Mesner Puppet Theater     

Kansas City 

Bring Your Class to MPT! Make your next field trip a visit to Mesner Puppet Theater! Students K-12 will enjoy performances that stir the imagination and tickle the funny bone! Their theater creates shows based on contemporary children’s literature. The books, folktales and fairytales are chosen for their ability to be successfully translated into puppetry, colorful characters and plots that invite interpretation, and characters that lend themselves to the nature of puppet productions.

The puppet exhibition room is free, and a great way to introduce students to a variety of different puppets from different cultures. Make-A-Puppet kits will enhance your student’s visit and allow an opportunity for discussion in the classroom after the show. A paper puppet is designed for each show. Mesner Puppet Theater is a proud member of Kansas City Arts Partners, a sequential arts-in-education program for grades K-12, integrating our community’s arts resources into the curriculum of Greater Kansas City area schools districts.

#34 Midland Railway   

Baldwin City, KS 

The Midland Railway operates excursion trains on a line originally constructed in 1867 by the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Fort Gibson Railroad.   The Leavenworth, Lawrence and Fort Gibson Railroad Company (LL&G RR Co.) was originally chartered in 1858 to build a railroad from Leavenworth to the south Kansas boarder.  Construction began in late 1867 and on New Years day of 1868 track had been laid to Ottawa. Construction resumed in the spring of 1869 and reached Coffeyville, KS in 1871. Making a total distance of 143.83 miles for the railroad line.

The Midland Railway now offers train rides, featuring an over-20-mile round trip from Baldwin City via “Norwood, Kansas” to Ottawa Junction, Kansas, traveling through the scenic Eastern Kansas farmlands and woods via vintage railway equipment just like the original LL&G RR Co.

#35 Missouri Town 1855    

Lee’s Summit 

See what a progressive farming community, spread across some 30 sloping acres, looked like in the mid-1800s.
Missouri Town 1855 is composed of more than 25 buildings dating from 1820 – 1860. This living history museum uses original structures, furnishings and equipment. Also depicting the 19th Century lifestyles are interpreters in period attire, authentic field and garden crops, and rare livestock breeds. Visit with professional living history interpreters on this self-guided tour.

#36 Negro Leagues Baseball Museum 

Kansas City

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum was founded in 1990 in Kansas City, Missouri. It is a privately funded museum dedicated to preserving the history of Negro league baseball in America. The museum is part of the historic 18th & Vine district, which also includes the American Jazz Museum. The museum chronologically charts the progress of the Negro leagues with informative placards and interactive exhibits. Its walls are lined with pictures of players, owners, and officials of Negro league baseball from the Negro National League of 1920 through the Negro American League, which lasted until 1960. As one progresses through the exhibit, one moves forward through the history of Black baseball. In one area of the museum, there are lockers set up for some of the legends of the Negro leagues. One can see game-worn uniforms, cleats, gloves, and other artifacts from stars such as Josh Gibson.

#37 Oxford School House   

Leawood

The Historic One-Room Oxford Schoolhouse built in 1877, located at Ironwoods Park (147th & Mission) in Leawood, Kansas, will be open to the public every Saturday and Sundays in September, October and November. Saturday hours are 11:00am – 2:00pm and Sunday hours are 1:00 – 4:00 pm, weather permitting. Visit the school and talk with a costumed docent about the history of the Oxford School and the surrounding rural area.

The Oxford Schoolhouse is also available for programs year-round to groups of all ages by appointment any day or time, except during open house hours, for a small fee. Scout programs can meet badge requirements. Educational field trips are offered weekdays to elementary classrooms throughout the school year. The Historic Oxford Schoolhouse hosts events for children and adults throughout the year. For more information please call (913) 663-9157 weekdays.

#38 Paradise Park   

Lee’s Summit

Let Paradise Park be your classroom outside of your classroom. More than 10,000 students are served annually with these fun instructional field trips. During a Paradise Park field trip, students participate in four educational activities and also receive one hour of creative play time in our Discovery Play area, foam factory and mini golf. They can tailor your educational field trip to fit your learning objectives by combining activities from different topics.

#39 Potter’s Haven 

Lee’s Summit

Bring your next field trip, scouting event, or birthday party to Potter’s Haven! They have a large selection of pieces appropriate for parties of all ages. The cost ranges from $11-16 total per child to paint a figurine with acrylic paints that go home the same day. Pick your maximum price point and they’ll let the kids know what they can choose from based on your decision. A separate room is available with a $30 deposit, which is applied to your party total the day of. You are more than welcome to bring in your own food and drinks.

#40 Premier Bowling & Rec  

Raytown

At Premier Bowl, guests of all ages will enjoy good old fashioned bowling fun in a clean and safe environment. In addition to their group rates for field trips, outings, and birthdays, they also offer weekly specials for families to come out and enjoy an afternoon or evening together.

#41 Sea Life Aquarium       

Kansas City at Crown Center

With thousands creatures on display, a visit to SEA LIFE Kansas City will engage your student’s senses. In addition to the spectacular view from the underwater tunnel, children can get involved at the interactive rock pool by holding a crab or even touching a starfish. With so much to see and experience you will take learning beyond the classroom and into a new underwater world.

Field Trips are self-guided through the aquarium, giving all school groups the freedom to explore at their own pace! The aquarium walk-through experience typically takes 60-90 minutes for large groups. However, all school groups are free to spend as long as they would like inside.  Workshops are offered in 30 minute sessions. Each workshop can accommodate 32 students maximum. For larger groups, students can rotate between time spent inside the aquarium and time spent in a guided workshop led by a SEA LIFE Educator.

All workshops are open to students only (Adults are welcome to wait inside the aquarium!) and are entirely optional. Groups are not required to purchase a workshop for their visit. Each workshop entails a different hands-on activity led by a SEA LIFE Educator in our Education Room. Please note, if Field Trip groups are participating in multiple workshops, they will need to be separated by 15 minute increments to allow for material set-up.

#42 Sky Zone Trampoline Park Lee’s Summit 

Lee’s Summit

They’re the originators of wall-to-wall aerial action, and they never stand still. They’re always working to invent epic new ways to play, gather, and compete. The only way to understand it is to come experience it. So rally your crew and let’s go! Sky Zone is the original indoor trampoline park, and Sky Zone Fort Myers is proud to bring the unmatched, out-of-this-world, and high-flyin’ FUN of the world’s first all-trampoline, walled playing court to the Lees Summit area.

#43 Sky Zone KC Trampoline Park (Shawnee)

Shawnee

Welcome to the original home of wall-to-wall aerial action- Where they never stop searching for new ways to play. Community is important to Sky Zone Kansas City. In addition to their own charitable efforts, they’re eager to support your efforts to do good. Rent their space for your next fundraising event. They’ll do more than provide the space, they’ll help with flyers, helpful staff, meeting rooms, and more.

#44 Summit Lanes 

Lee’s Summit 

Young and old alike will enjoy knocking down pins at Summit Lanes. They have many things to offer you for your bowling experience. First, let’s start by saying that they have been a family owned business for over 40 years and strive to keep up with all the changes within the bowling industry. Their business is to make you happy and make sure that you have a great time every time you visit. Summit Lanes it the premier bowling center in the area, with a new remodel with synthetic lanes and new seating areas that glow in the dark. Their affordable rates on group outings and field trips make Summit Lanes an obvious choice for teachers and families alike.

#45 Sunset Trails Stables 

Lee’s Summit

Sunset Trails Stables offers field trips opportunities for any number of organizations including day care facilities, elementary and home schools, girl scouts & boy scouts, church youth groups and many others. Field trips are available all days of the week and include two hours of instruction from our staff. Access to the picnic area is available before and after the field trip. Visitors are encouraged to bring lunch and/or snacks. The cost is $10 per person for two-hour field trips that include horseback riding. Two-hour field trips that do not include horseback riding are $7 per person. Prices are for children and adults regardless of age.

An indoor facility is available; field trips will be held rain or shine. All field trip participants are required to have a release form signed by their parent or guardian prior to the day of the field trip. Release forms can be picked up at the Sunset Trails Stables office or printed online. Safety is always a top priority. Riding helmets will be provided. Closed toed shoes are required. Everyone is encouraged to bring a water bottle and apply sunscreen.

#46 TasteBuds Kitchen  

Leawood, KS

Taste Buds Kitchen’s mission is to be the top culinary entertainment experience for kids, families and adults by engaging and delighting our budding chefs in the kitchen. They support kids, families and food and strive to create a lifestyle around connecting, learning and growing in the culinary playground of the kitchen. Learn, laugh, cook.

What began as a few holiday baking classes and cupcake birthday parties, under the name Cupcake Kids!, quickly evolved into much more. Their culinary events now include an ever-growing variety of culinary classes, parties, camps and special events that combine a mix of hands-on engaging recipes, both savory and sweet, for kids and adults. They make the kitchen exciting and we create it all from scratch – from pasta to sushi and everyone’s favorite cupcakes!

#47 The Coterie Theatre  

Kansas City 

The Coterie is a non-profit organization, established in 1979, with the mission of providing professional classic and contemporary theatre which challenges audience and artist and provides educational, dramatic outreach programs in the community.

#48 The Farmer’s House   

Weston, MO 

The Farmer’s House is the combined dream of Peaches and David Cunningham for their son John David, and Suzanne and Alan Zimmerman for their daughter Julianna (Anna). The two families met at preschool for children with developmental disabilities when John David and Anna were 3 and 4 years old, today they are young adults. Like most parents who have children with a developmental disability, one of their biggest concerns was for their future. Every parent hopes that the future includes a safe environment for their child’s individual needs and a fulfilling and valued lifestyle. In 2006 out of these hopes and dreams The Farmer’s House, Inc., a not for profit 501(c)(3), was born. The idea of a working farm where children, youth and young adults could live, work, play and grow took shape and the process of learning as much as possible about existing farm or ranch communities for individuals with developmental disabilities was undertaken.

#49 The Storybook Forest  

They come to you!  

The Storybook Forest is an event entertainment company geared towards the creation of realistic, honest character interactions with children. They strive to make their costumes film quality, and have actors that represent the characters both visually and in performance. They design programs that fit each event specifically to your child. They perform anything from elementary schools, to tea parties for birthdays, and everything in-between. The Storybook Forest team is dedicated to engaging the pure imagination that is so powerful in all children.

#50 TimberRidge Adventure Center 

Olathe

TimberRidge Adventure Center (TRAC), one of Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s premier facilities for teamwork and team building, offers a wide range of opportunities for families, friends and work groups to challenge themselves, learn to communicate better, solve problems and work together.

Groups ranging from boy scouts to executive boards can experience fun and excitement in a noncompetitive, safe and supportive atmosphere. The main venue for these activities is the Center’s professionally certified challenge and ropes course featuring 28 low elements, a 300-foot zip line and a climbing tower with 3 other high elements. With firsthand experience and group discussion, TimberRidge participants explore and create problem-solving methods that are readily adaptable to the challenges of day-to-day life. In addition to the Challenge Course, TimberRidge offers other outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, archery, canoes, and paddleboats.

#51 Union Station & Science City  

Downtown Kansas City 

Let curiosity be your guide as you explore this dynamic, hands-on science center! Kids of all ages will experience the amazing world of science first-hand through fun and engaging exhibits and programs. Start your lifelong love of science, learning and discovery at Kansas City’s Science Center, Science City!

#52 Urban Air Trampoline 

Overland Park 

Urban Air Trampoline Park is the nation’s premier indoor trampoline and adventure parks. Urban Air Trampoline Park offers a variety of trampoline activities on its wall-to-wall trampolines, Foam Pit, trampoline Dodgeball, trampoline Runway, Slam Dunk Track and trampoline Bowl.

No matter if you are looking for a kids birthday party venue or to have some family fun, Urban Air Trampoline Park is the place to go.

#53 Waldo Gymnastics 

Kansas City 

Waldo Gymnastics is a beginner gymnastics club for girls and boys ages 18 and under. Beginner classes offer a great start to gymnastics & tumbling. Basic fitness and gymnastics skills are taught in an instructional 60 minute class. Each class ends with free time. Small classes with experienced teachers allow for ample individual attention. Ratio students/teacher 8:1. Parent Participation classes are a part of the ABC GYM program, ages 3 years and younger. ABC GYM classes are 45 minutes.

#54 Wings of Love Educational Bird Shows 

They come to you!
Yvonne Patterson-Burbach (the ‘Bird Lady’) had her first ‘pawakeet’ (parakeet) at the age of two. She has always loved nature more than anything. This passion led Yvonne to embark on an incredible journey during college. Working as a horticulturist she kept ‘Snowball’, a wild-caught Moluccan cockatoo she still has, a macaw, and an Amazon parrot who sang opera, amongst the acres of flowers. It didn’t take long to realize the public’s fascination with her birds, which led to the creation of Wings of Love.

Imagine experiencing the graceful silent flight of an eagle-owl’s 5 ½ ft. wingspan as ‘Swoop’ silently glides over the audience; the uncanny imitations of parrots who talk or sing; and the unbelievable trained routines the bird have learned ~ like riding a bicycle across a high wire. Our riveting bird shows bring the incredible avian world to audiences in a fun yet educational way to remind us of the natural gifts we share in the animal world. With our dedicated board of a CSI policeman, school educator and professional trainer, we are able to create routines to fit specific themes, or tie-ins with curriculum.

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We’re so blessed to be living in a town with so many incredible opportunities and resources for your young learners. We invite you to use this guide to help you along with your year. Whether you have a chance to visit one, or all, we’d love to hear from you! Stay connected with us here on the iFamilyKC blog, on social media, and all around town throughout the year!

From iFamily to Yours,

Holli & The iFamilyKC Team


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Labor Day Weekend Fun in KC!

Are you looking for something fun to do this weekend? Erin, from our iFamily Mom Squad, has got some fun things for you and your family to do this Labor Day Weekend KC!

Labor Day Weekend Fun in KC!

Wow! Does anyone else feel like summer zoomed by? School has started and the official end to summer is this weekend.  That doesn’t mean KC is slowing down by any means!  There are tons of super fun family events planned for Labor Day weekend!  Check out the list below and be sure to comment on the blog or our Facebook page with any events we may have missed!

CowTown Family Fun Fest American Royal BBQ

September 2nd, 11am -3pm. Inflatables, mechanical bull, face painting, pony rides, balloon artist, petting zoo, entertainment from Mr. Stinky Feet and much more! Adults: $23 Kids: $8.  Ages 5 and under are FREE.

Kidfest at Science City Union Station

September 2nd 10am-5pm Come to Science City for a big day of science fun including: face painting, balloon artists, petting zoo, entertainment from Rockin Rob, 7 ft hamster wheel snow cone machine. Event is free with paid Science City admission. Kids 3-12 $7

SantaCaliGon

September 1st – September 4th FREE entertainment on the Main Stage and Community Stage, 400 arts, crafts and food vendors, carnival. Located on the Historic Independence Square. All activities excluding the carnival are FREE.

Dollar Days at WOF/Last Days for Oceans of Fun

September 2nd – September 4th Take a dip in the water at Oceans of Fun for the last time this season on it’s closing weekend.  Dollar Days at Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun with $1 hot dogs, $1 french fries, $1 donuts, $1 games and discounted merchandise.

Schlitterbahn

Float down the rivers at Schlitterbahn for the last time this season on it’s closing weekend. Open September 2nd, 3rd and 4th 10am-6pm.

KC Irish Fest

September 1-3, An Irish tradition in KC, come join the fun with music and entertainment to celebrate Irish Celtic culture. Kids 3-12 $7, Friday Adult admission $10, Sat and Sun advanced adult admission $12

KC Renaissance Festival

Opens for it’s 41st season, weekends September 2nd through October 15th and Labor Day, Columbus Day. You do not want to miss out on the magic of the Kansas City Renaissance Festival!  Appeals to young and old alike. Gate admission: Adult $21.95, Child $12.95, Senior/Student $19.50 5 and under are FREE. Buy online and save. Hyvee, Walgreen’s and Menard’s offer discounted tickets. Free Parking,

Sunflowers at Grinter Farms

September 5th, Free admission, donations accepted. 40 acres of rows and rows of gorgeous sunflowers with great photo opportunities. Visit Sunflower General for baked goodies and souvenirs.

Desoto Days

August 31st, Sept 1-2. Parade, entertainment, food, carnival, classic car show and much more! Free admission.

Fiesta KC

Presented by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, located in the Power and Light District, Fiesta KC is in its 18th year of celebration. Music, food and live entertainment. Tortilla flinging contest. Families welcome! Admission $10. Kids 12 and under are free with a paid parent admission.

From iFamily to Yours,


Make Yourself A Morning Mom!

Some mornings are just plain hard.  Hard to get out of bed, hard to mom, hard to anything.  You are not alone!  Make yourself a morning mom with these great tips from Liz, with our iFamily Mom Squad!

Make Yourself a Morning Mom!

Do you have those mornings where the blankets have taken them as one of you and you would do anything to turn the clock back 2 hours?

I recently have been trying daily to make myself a “morning person”. I have had my struggles it’s and not something I really enjoy doing, but I love the feeling of having woke early before anyone else. The feeling I love even more is getting ahead of the day before I hear the pitter patter of feet. I want to share some snooze- proof tips on making waking up easier than ever before.

Give yourself a reason to wake up early:

Plan to do something you love during your early mornings. My favorites are getting in a workout, reading a few pages of a really good book and enjoying my coffee alone. The night before I layout my clothes and my at home workout program is in the DVD player ready to press play. I am a nursing mama to a 3 month old so my pump and my book waiting for me. And most importantly the coffee cup is sitting under the Kurig ready to press start.

Every night before bed consciously decided to have a positive morning experience.

Move Your Alarm Clock Across The Room:

If you haven’t already, try moving your alarm clock as far from your bed as possible. This will force your body out of bed and to get moving. Motion creates energy and this movement will help you naturally wake up.

Another idea is to buy an old fashioned digital clock. This will help from grabbing your phone and start the mindless scrolling on Facebook (guilty).

Start your day with mindless activities:

Doing a few mindless activities will give your body time to wake up. Go straight to your bathroom sink, brush your teeth and splash some water on your face. This simple activity will increase your wake up motivation to start your day.

Feeling even a little dehydrated can cause fatigue, so make sure you hydrate yourself first thing every morning to get your body and mind going. Try drinking warm lemon water in the morning to help flush the digestive system and hydrate the body. Lemons contain Vitamin C and drinking it in the morning gives the body a chance to absorb these vitamins and provide a little immune boost. Have you ever heard the quote “I exercise before my brain knows what I am doing”? Yep, this is the best time to get that workout done when you are in the mindless phase.

Don’t wait to try this! Start tonight by moving your alarm clock across the room, setting a glass of water on your nightstand and commit to your early morning rising! Try just waking up a few more minutes each morning and set the tone for a more peaceful, organized and productive day.

From iFamily to Yours,