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iFamilyKC Kids Club Event Recap: Weston Red Barn Farm

Happy Tuesday, Kansas City! We always have so much fun with you at our iFamilyKC Kids Club events across the metro area. Last week, we had the chance to explore Weston Red Barn Farm with several of you and had a blast. Erin, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team got to check out the farm with her family and shares her experience today on the blog. Take a look…

weston red barn farm

iFamilyKC Kids Club Event Recap: Weston Red Barn Farm

Last week we got a chance to check out Weston Red Barn Farm at the iFamilyKC Kids Club event!  My family and I had fantastic time!  Beautiful scenery, picturesque views, and family fun- what more could you ask for this fall? This was our first time at Red Barn Farm and definitely won’t be our last!  Check out my recap of our event and don’t forget to get on our eNews list to get in on upcoming super awesome Kids Club events!  We love the opportunity to check out really neat places in KC throughout the year (some very minimal cost and some FREE events!)

Weston Red Barn Farm

We spent a few hours on the farm enjoying smores by the campfire, pumpkin painting, hayrides and the animal barn.  My kids loved the space to run free and we all enjoyed the hayride through the woods!  The hayride was definitely my favorite thing and brings back memories of my own childhood at our church fall event.  The kids said their favorite thing was picking apples off the apple tree and eating them!

Weston Red Barn Farm offers FREE admission after 2:00pm Monday through Friday and on Saturdays and Sundays. You pay only for the activities you wish to do. It is open spring through fall.  As well as being open to the public, they do offer school tours Monday through Friday. It is also a perfect place for a wedding and the open air barn can be used for a reception.

Whether you want to take a hayride to pick out the perfect pumpkin, shop in the country store, visit the animals in the barnyard or navigate your way through the corn maze, the farm has something for everyone this fall!  Check them out on Facebook and on their farm website! The staff were super nice and I can’t wait to take my family back again soon!

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


Top Five Reasons to Take Your Kids to the Renaissance Festival

It’s the LAST weekend for the KC Renaissance Festival!  If you haven’t been yet, here are just a few reasons you should!

renaissance festival

Top Five Reasons to Take Your Kids to the Renaissance Festival

If you’re looking for something a fun autumn family activity, I highly recommend loading up the SUV and heading to the Renaissance Festival.  There are many reasons I love the festival, but here are my top five:

5) To get some (relatively) fresh air.  

Too many of our children spend all of their free time glued to electronic devices.    The only trees and grass they experience are the pixelated versions they have created on Minecraft.  The Renaissance Festival (link “renaissance festival” to www.kcrenfest.com) is completely outside, with the exception of a few of the shops, and the first aid area (which, unfortunately I have visited several times in the last few years.)

4) It gives everybody a chance to stretch their legs. 

You’ll get plenty of exercise, walking from booth to booth, and between shows.  There is also free kids’ area where kids can run, jump, climb and slide.   It’s a great way to burn calories, which you will need to do because of number 8.

3) The food! 

My favorite Renaissance festival food is the apple dumpling.  Who doesn’t love a deep-fried apple, served with ice cream and caramel syrup?  If apple dumplings are not your thing, there are plenty of festival favorites.  You can get deep fried everything, from cauliflower to cookies.  I rarely leave any festival without trying a funnel cake…but without a doubt, the Renaissance Festival’s most popular food item is the Turkey leg.  There is nothing cuter than watching a tiny person try to eat a giant turkey leg.

2) The shows!  

There are gymnastic feats and acrobats, people hula-hooping with fire, and some of the funniest pub songs you will ever hear.   Take your kids to watch a jousting match and let them cheer for their favorite knight.  The shows also serve as a great way to rest your well-exercised legs between stretches of walking.

1) Character Bingo. 

Collect a bingo card at the gate, and let each of the characters you meet sign mark your card.   There’s a prize for winning bingo cards at the end of the game. It will keep your children observant for the day, but there’s also a secret history lesson.  The actors are not supposed to break character have researched their roles.   Last weekend, Queen Isabella, explained told my daughter each of her official royal titles.  It was impressive.

Seriously, there are games and shops, and for the second year, an Escape Room.  It is fun for the whole family.

From iFamily to Yours,

 

Gabrielle


40 Fall Bucket List Ideas Your Family Will LOVE

Fall is a great time for making memories!  Apple picking, pumpkin patches, baking and snuggling up with some warm apple cider and just a few of our favorites!  Liz, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad shares some fall bucket list ideas for your family to enjoy this fall!  Take a look…

fall bucket list

40 Fall Bucket List Ideas Your Family Will LOVE

Now that the season of pumpkin spice is here, I have compiled a family bucket list to make this fall the best ever!

  • Roast marshmallows, either outside or use an indoor fireplace
  • Carve pumpkins together
  • Take a hayrack ride
  • Visit an area fall festival
  • Go camping in your backyard
  • Enjoy a foggy morning walk together
  • Create your Halloween costumes together
  • Bake Halloween treats
  • Go apple picking at a local orchard
  • Snuggle up and eat chili
  • Decorate your porch with fall flair
  • Visit a local pumpkin patch together
  • DIY fall crafts together
  • Get lost in a corn maze
  • Sit outside with hot chocolate while telling spooky stories and telling funny jokes
  • Have a slumber party on the living room floor while watching Halloween movies
  • Open the windows to let in the crisp fall air in
  • Make pumpkin bread, pumpkin dip and caramel apples
  • Discover a new place to explore for colorful full leaves
  • Walk or run in a local race together
  • Tailgate together at a local football game
  • Get spooked in a haunted house together
  • Trick or Treat as a family
  • Celebrate Oktoberfest with sausages and German food
  • Host a potluck Halloween party
  • Do a nature scavenger hunt together
  • Sip on apple cider
  • Bake a pumpkin and an apple pie
  • Jump in a pile of leaves
  • Host a family trunk or treat in your neighbor
  • Decorate the inside and outside of the house for Halloween
  • Check out fall and Halloween books from the library
  • Decorate and send out Halloween cards
  • Make a festive fall wreath
  • Create a countdown to Halloween
  • Go star gazing
  • Donate to a food bank or food pantry
  • Host a family garage sale
  • Rake a neighbor’s yard
  • Visit a local farmers market

Take some time to search around for more ideas around your area to do for the next few weeks. Look up easy recipes and craft projects for your family to do together. When in doubt, grab a pumpkin spice latte sure and refer back to this list to keep your family’s fall season full of fun!

From iFamily to Yours,


Unique Kansas City Playgrounds That Are Worth The Drive

If you’re looking to add a little variety to your playdates, read on!  Ruth, from the iFamily Mom And Dad Squad has provided us with a list of 4 Unique Kansas City Playgrounds that are well worth your drive!  Take a look…

kansas city playgrounds

Unique playgrounds that are worth the drive

As a Mom of 3, I am always looking for something new to do. I have a range of kids ages 9, 6 and 3.  Sometimes it’s can be hard to find activities that accommodate all their interest levels and needs. Parks are a fun way to keep kids active and socializing. This summer I spent some time seeking out new parks.  These are the ones that I have found to be the most unique and kid approved!

Frisco Lake Park 

1100 E Dennis Ave, Olathe, KS 66061

This park has features for kids and adults! It features a trail that wraps around a lake that includes built in exercise equipment with directions for a quick work out every few yards. Or if you are seeking some relaxation, there are a few bench swings along the walk, shelters and even the option for fishing. And I cannot forget to mention the pirate ship themed playground designed for the younger crowd. All around this park has something for everyone!

Listowell Park 

12037 W 71st St, Shawnee, KS 66216

This park features a pirate ship themed playground prefect for elementary age kids. There is access to a ball field, 2 roller hockey rinks and a walking trail, if you’re looking for something more relaxed. This park is a favorite for our family on International Talk like a pirate day!

Barrier Free Playground

290 Grant Ave, Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027

This playground is designed for kids with special needs. There is a fence around the perimeter to help parents with kids that may like to run. A variety of swings, climbing equipment, padded ground and interactive musical items are included to engage children at a variety of levels and needs. Themed around the state of Kansas, the park features a large bison, teepee and boat which can prove to be a history lesson in itself. It’s a great place for fun photo-ops!

Lions Park 

300 W Morse Ave, Bonner Springs, KS 66012

This is by far the most interactive park I’ve found. It goes beyond your standard playground. There is a simple playground for kids ages 2-5, a large structure with climbing ropes, slides, and tight rope walk geared toward older kids, a small merry go round, a bridge and an outdoor electronic game system. The game system has a few choice modes for play and kids run around the area taping and seeking lights. This park is great for developing a variety of motor skills of all kind. The best part is that all parts are easily within a short visual range from the shelter and a rocking bench swing that parents can use.

Enjoy!

From iFamily to Yours,


Kansas City Renaissance Festival Sneak Peak!

Huzzah!! It is that time of year again! Fairies, Kings, Queens, wisps and everything in between can be found at one of my favorite places, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival! The biggest kickoff to the Fall season.  Bridgette, from the iFamily Mom Squad, was able to get a little first hand preview of what to expect at this years Ren Fest!  Take a look…

Kansas City Renaissance Festival Sneak Peak!

Growing up I have always wanted to take part in the Royal Court at the Ren Fest.  Being able to preview this year’s Ren Fest was a close second! Seeing everyone in their costumes, hearing the music, meeting the King and Queen, participating in the royal precession… it was so magical.  It brought back so many fond memories from my childhood. I even had my first pumpkin spice late of the season thanks to The Roasterie!

If you have never been to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, it is a long standing tradition for the KC area filled with a variety of live shows & tournaments, unique arts and crafts and of course amazing food and drinks!

This amazing festival begins September 2nd and runs through October 15th. The only sad thing about this festival is that it is only open on Saturday and Sundays, except for Labor Day and Columbus Day. You can check their website HERE for more details on hours and even the theme of each weekend. Take note: they have a knighting ceremony in the kids’ realm too!

This year, the Ren Fest is featuring new food and drink items.  New on the menu is pulled chicken, funnel cake fries and amazing Mexican street corn! Not to mention a killer spiked apple cider beer!

Make sure you get your tickets ASAP and head out to the Annual KC Renaissance Festival!

Here are a few photos of our experience from last week. Just know, these pictures do no justice of how awesome it really is!

renaissance festival

From iFamily to Yours,


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,


Planning Fun Family Outings With Your Kids In 7 Easy Steps

Is planning a fun family outing a chore in your household?  Today Liz, from the iFamily Mom Squad, shares some tips on how you can eliminate the chaos and put the FUN back into planning those FUN family outings!  Take a look…

Family Outings

Planning An Outing With Your Kids In 7 Easy Steps:

 

The splash pads of Kansas City are some of the easiest and fun places to take your kiddos this summer! Here are 7 tips I have found that help make this summer outing a success.

1- Avoid morning chaos by packing the night before. That seems so easy but that one extra step saves much time and frustration in the morning when everything is ready to go out the door.

2- Beat the heat! A great time To head out is around 9 am before the mid- summer sun hits its peak. Also, it’s not as crowded giving you the option to choose your bench or table in the shade. The same goes for the later in the afternoon when the sun starts to fade.

3- Timing is everything! Allow enough time to play & splash before you head home for lunch and the littles need their naps.

4- The best news, splash pads are free! Just in case things don’t go as planned you will not feel guilty spending any money.

5- Give a good pep talk. I have found with my toddler, getting her to jump up out of bed in the morning is easy when I tell her we are headed to the splash pad! She is so much more cooperative In the process of heading out the door.  She also enjoys knowing what’s going on ahead of time. I let her know where we are going, how long we will stay, what I’m bringing for snacks and what else she can expect from the morning there. In turn I let her know what I expect from her.

6- What to pack.  Snacks and more snacks. I swear my daughter is only hungry when she sees other little people around her eating.  In our bag is her swimsuit, water shoes, swim diapers, hat, towel, sunscreen, water, snacks or lunch in a small cooler & an extra change of clothes for the ride home. If you don’t want to carry an exhausted child to the car after the fun than make sure you bring the stroller.

7- What does mom wear? Be comfy, it’s hot out! You can find me in a tank, shorts and flip flops and often taking my turn to cool off in the water.  If you want to wear a suit and jump in with your kiddos, go for it mama!

There are a few great splash pads around the Kansas City area! Find one that’s convenient for your family, cool off and have fun!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


This Weekend At The Box Office: Despicable Me 3

The highly anticipated third installment of the “Despicable Me” series hits the box office this weekend. Does the movie fulfill the hopes of moviegoers who will be heading out to the theater? We had the chance to send Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, to catch an early screening earlier this week. She’s sharing her thoughts with us today on the blog. Take a look…

movie review

This Weekend At The Box Office: Despicable Me 3

Here’s the thing, keep in mind that I have a tendency to be “that mom”. Just know that my opinion is coming from that mind frame. I’m not going to lie, I was a little hesitant at first to see the latest installment for this series. I saw a trailer for it on T.V a week ago and was not pleased. The trailer showed an old lady drumming on a guys behind in swimming attire. I instantly thought, “I don’t want my kids to see that, it is totally unnecessary.” So, when I had the opportunity to screen the movie first so I could see if it was appropriate, I jumped on it.

The Not So Good

I’ve always thought the Despicable Me series were cute little movies but knew they had some adult jokes that go over kids’ heads. I feel like a lot do these days. So I already knew what to expect with them. But this go round, there was just too much for me to really think of this as a kid friendly movie. At least for younger kids.

I won’t go into too many details at the risk of spoiling it for you, but I will say this, there were quite a few suggestive scenes that I just don’t feel comfortable showing my younger kids. One scene in particular when the minions make a joke that includes the word boobs! It’s just something I don’t particularly want my younger kids to joke about.

The Really, Really Good

However, the main villain this go round was PHENOMENAL! My husband and I still can’t get over how funny Evil Bratt was! Evil Bratt, an ex-child actor shunned by Hollywood, is back for revenge. All the while being stuck in the 80’s. CLASSIC! We are hoping that he has a spin off very soon! Every time he hit the screen, I was laughing at everything from his looks to his nostalgic 80’s sayings and dance moves. I really, really enjoyed him!

Gru also finds his twin brother that he was separated at birth from and he tries to build that relationship the only way he knows how. Although they didn’t really elaborate on their story, Evil Bratt fills in all the missed opportunities to really make this story heartfelt.

In Short:

Altogether, I would give this movie a solid 7. I’m pretty sure that as a parent, you will enjoy the 80’s references and music, and I’m sure the kiddos will enjoy the mischievous antics of Gru and company. Just know that if you do have issues with adult jokes or suggestive scenarios, this film has quite a bit.

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


Four Simple Ways To Enjoy Independence Day

Independence Day is just around the corner and, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably trying to think of simple ways your family can have an enjoyable holiday this year. Look no further! Our very own iFamilyKC Mom Squad blogger has put together four ways you can enjoy the fourth this year. Take a look…

4 tips for a fabulous fourth

Four Simple Ways To Enjoy Independence Day

I love the Fourth of July. When I was a kid it meant fireworks and “God Bless the USA” on repeat, hot dogs and apple pie and as I have grown older not much has changed. I now find myself yelling at my kids not to run with the punks and don’t stand over the firework—something I am pretty sure I did more than once including the one year that I got so brave as to launch the bottle rocket from my hand! I really don’t know how I survived!

But if you are anything like my family, your summers are sometimes even busier than during the school year! We have one daughter’s birthday right before and the other daughter shortly after the holiday. Of course birthday’s in my house take precedence over ANYTHING so we always try and make it bit lower key. Here are my four easy steps to a fabulous fourth!

#1 The Food

You gotta eat right? But everyone in the neighborhood is going to have the typical hot dogs and hamburgers, which is just fine but maybe spice them up a little. The fresh meat counter at the grocery store may have something that could help there! Our family LOVES brat burgers (basically the ground up brat formed into a patty) they always have great flavors and you can make some great toppings to go one them. Instead of just a plain mayo, why not make it a spicy mayo or add some chopped up pineapple or mango salsa to really get some good flavors going!

Usually these are just as inexpensive as getting hamburger and you don’t have to make the patties yourself! Chips and dip are table staples at fourth parties, but again take a look around your local grocery and think about an additional out of the box dip. Hummus for instance or create an easy Mexican flair dip with sour cream and taco seasoning, cut up some tortillas and serve with some pico de gallo or salsa. And don’t feel like you have to do everything just because you are hosting; have your friends bring the sides or something for their kids if they have the picky eaters!

#2 The “Frinks” (sorry I couldn’t find an F-word for beverages!)

Obviously the only drink of summer is kool-aid but let’s branch out a little more! I cheated and went on Pinterest and found some really neat red, white and blue drinks one in particular I think I am going to try for the kiddos. You take a clear cup (they used milk bottles) pour in a small amount of Cranberry-apple juice, then load up on the ice pour in a little amount of SoBe Pina Colada drink (no alcohol) and then finish by pouring in a little blue Gatorade.

According to my friend on Pinterest it is supposed to work! Basically you are just stacking the drink by sugar content—more sugar goes toward the bottom. I haven’t tested this but will report back! For the adult drinks, if you are making them alcoholic just make sure they aren’t too strong. We need adults on full alert in order to watch for rogue bottle rockets or a tipped over artillery shell container (I know this from experience—sober you right up!). Beer and a nice summer sangria really hits the spot and you can dial down the hard stuff for this night.

#3 The Fireworks

You have to have them! I realize that a lot of communities around the area don’t allow fireworks for understandable reasons; chances are there is a display just a short drive away. If not a city display ask a local fireworks tent if they are planning on doing anything; a lot of them will shoot off their larger fireworks because they know they won’t sell them for this year and obviously can’t save them for next year.

If you are one of the few that can shoot off fireworks make sure you have a sturdy board or table to shoot them from. I would also recommend rigging some sort of holding device for those artillery shell launchers (see above statement) they aren’t made to really withstand much so they can get really tippy which means they are aimed straight at your guests! Putting the launcher inside the hole of a concrete block would help this tremendously!

#4 The Favors

If you have read any of my posts about parties you know that I love party favors! It’s what makes coming over to my house unique. Now is the time to start looking! Target’s dollar spot has tons of glow sticks, head bands, wands, and necklaces that are very affordable so you can buy one for everyone. Plus it looks really neat to see everyone lit up after dark. I also need to mention that it is a really nice tool to keep an eye on your kids; sometimes you can’t see them in the dark but you can see their glow stick bracelet walking ever closer to the firework launching pad! Favors and life-saving all in one package!

Have fun, be safe, and Happy Independence Day!

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


12 Dazzling Fireworks Displays in KC You Can’t Miss This Year!

Independence Day is almost here, Kansas City and we are so excited for all the fun in store for your family here in the metro area. If you’re looking for fun fireworks displays around the metro, we’ve compiled a list of 12 spots you don’t want to miss this year. Take a look…

fireworks displays

12 Fireworks Displays in KC You Can’t Miss This Year!

It’s almost the 4th of July and you know what that means.. FIREWORKS! Fireworks are one of the best things about the 4th of July, and if you have a crowd, they can get expensive and the process of finding the perfect spot to show them off can become tedious.  So, why not go and enjoy a show instead! There are so many places around the metro area that put on great shows for the entire family! Check out this list!

#1 River Fest

Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park, 1298 Riverfront Dr., Kansas City, MO 64101 July 4th. You can find ticket information, directions and more online!

#2 Worlds of Fun

4545 Worlds of Fun Ave July 1-4th

#3 Parkville

July 4th Celebration: English Landing Park – Over the Missouri River
8701 Clark Avein Parkville, Missouri 64152.

#4 Olathe Red, White & Blue

Various addresses July 4th. For information on parking locations visit them online.

#5 Gladstone Independence Day Celebration

Oak Grove Park July 4th. This is a free viewing and you can find more information on parking here.

#6 Red, White and Blue Springs

2000 NW Ashton Drive in Blue Springs, Missouri 64015, July 4th.

#7 Platte City Fireworks Display

High School Pirates Stadium 1501 Branch Street in Platte City, Missouri 64079.

#8 Pleasant Hill Fireworks

Skyline Field – 1301 Myrtle in Pleasant Hill, Missouri 64080.

#9 Salute to the Union Fireworks

Merritt Lake, Grant Ave., Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027 July 4th.

#10 OP Fourth of July Celebration

8717 W. 110th St.

Overland Park, KS 66210 July 4th.

#11 Westwood Fireworks Display

St. Agnes Athletic Field MONDAY JULY 3rd.

#12 July 4th Celebration in Gardner, KS 

Live music, food vendors, out of this world bounce houses, face painting, portable zip lines, interactive entertainment and one of the best fireworks displays in the area!

Before you head out to view the fireworks, check your destinations site to see if there are any rules and guidelines for pets, chairs and beverages you can bring. Some places are located on school and church campuses so glass and alcohol may be restricted. Also, fireworks have gotten louder over the years, make sure you bring noise reduction headphones or earplugs. Don’t forget the snacks and blankets too! Have a great 4th of July!

From iFamily to yours,

emailsignupforblog3