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Ultimate Staycation: 9 Must See Spots You’ll Love in Downtown KC

Happy Friday, Kansas City!

There are so many incredible activities and opportunities available to you and your family here in the metro area and we are so excited to share 9 places you can visit in downtown KC this summer. Take a look…

downtown kc

Ultimate Staycation: 9 Must See Spots You’ll Love in Downtown KC

Alright folks, Summer is in full swing and back to school shopping is already in the talks! So if you haven’t had the chance to take that once a year vacation as a family, consider these places for an amazing staycation. Kansas City has so many wonderful family friendly places to visit! And don’t worry about that bank account, there are Cheap and FREE places too! Check them out.

Crown Center

Crown Center is a great place for everyone in the family. There are awesome toy shops, cool local threads, great food and fun discovery centers! Currently, Crown Center has a free exhibit featuring Thomas the Train! It is great for the younger kids.

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

Coterie Theater

The Coterie Theater is another family favorite. While tickets can be a little pricey for a larger family, they have great group rates as well. The theater runs various shows throughout the year and they vary in topics and age ranges.

Science City

Whether you are looking to explore nature or architecture, Science City is not only educational but fun for everyone! I always find something to explore when I go myself lol. Grab your walking shoes and plan a day filled with Science.

LegoLand Discovery Center

Next to Crown Center, LegoLand Discover Center is perfect for the creative mind in your family. Spend the day exploring the world of Legos in a fun interactive indoor attraction including rides, a 4-d theater, and a massive supply of Legos perfect for your master builders!

Savings tip: Your kids go FREE using our exclusive code that you can find here

Kaleidoscope

This is probably my family’s favorite place! The Hallmark Center donates art and craft supplies for kids of all ages to create and express themselves artistically! This Free space is open Monday- Saturday and they offer various times.

Savings tip: This activity is FREE for families! 

College Basketball Experience

Located next to the Sprint Center in downtown KCMO, your family can learn about college legends and experience the game of college basketball! They are open daily this summer.

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

Sea Life

Located directly next door to LegoLand, explore the deep sea at Kansas City’s #1 aquarium! They are open daily and with over 5,000 sea creatures, you can touch starfish and more in the touch pool!

Savings Tip- Your kids can get in absolutely FREE using our exclusive coupon code found here!

City Market

The famous City Market has amazing restaurants, fresh produce and on the weekends, unique entertainment. Visit the market and grab a bite or two with fun activities inside the market, like the Steamboat Arabia.

WWI Museum

A stellar museum full of history and a memorial, visit the WWI Museum to learn and explore the history of America and its part in WWI. Also check their calendar for special events and programs.

Savings tip: The museum offers FREE Hands On History and Storytime At The Museum sessions each month!

Summer vacation will be over before you know it! Make sure you check out these local favorites before school starts! Also, since all of these locations are located downtown, you can ride the free KC Street Car to avoid extra parking costs!

From iFamily to Yours,

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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,

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Eight Easy Ways You Can Prevent Headlice This Summer

Summertime is (officially) here in the metro area and we want to make sure that your family stays safe and healthy this year. We’ve teamed up with our friends over at Combers KC to share eight easy ways you can prevent lice this summer today on the blog. Take a look…

prevent headlice

Eight Easy Ways You Can Prevent Headlice This Summer

When school ends for the summer, a lot of people think head lice ends too. But, kids are just as likely to get headlice in the summer as they are the rest of the year. In fact, summer is our busiest season. So, as your children head off to summer camps, sleepovers, scouts, daycares, etc…  here are some great preventative tips to keep them lice free:

#1 Pre-Check Before Camps

Children should be checked for any indication of head lice before and after summer camps. You want the all clear before they leave, but you also want to make sure they didn’t pick it up while they were away.

#2 Detect Early

Check your child’s head before and after sleepovers as well. Early detection will make lice removal much easier and it will stop the spread to the rest of the family.

#3 Take Preventative Measures

Preventative shampoos, conditioners, and spray shields will help prevent head lice too. Lice do not like these scents, so adding one of these to your packing list for camps and family vacations will assist in lice prevention.

#4 Sleep Head To Foot

Having children sleep head to foot will also help them avoid getting lice. 95% of people contract lice through direct head to head contact, sleeping this way will avoid this.

#5 Send Comfort Items With Kids

Children can take their own pillow and blanket as well, just to be sure there is nothing transferring back and forth.

#6 Keep It Up

Girls, who are more susceptible to getting lice because of their longer hair, can wear their hair up, off the shoulders. Buns, braids, ponytails, and even hats will keep the hair up and make it more difficult for lice to latch on.

#7 No Sharing

Make sure no one is sharing brushes, hats, helmets, or any other hair accessories. If possible, write your child’s name on them so everyone knows who’s is whose and there is no confusion.

#8 Get A Good Comb

A good Nit comb will save every parent a lot of stress and frustration. If you see your child scratching, or just think you see something suspicious in their hair, checking them with a Nit comb will be the easiest way to find traces of head lice.

As always, if you need any help checking or treating for headlice, call Combers KC (913)451-2662

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Mummies Of The World: Now At Union Station!

Good Evening, Kansas City! We are SO excited to help share the news that Mummies Of The World, the NEW exhibit at Union Station, is now open! We sent Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, to check it out and she’s sharing her thoughts with you tonight on the blog. Take a look…

mummies of the world

Mummies Of The World: Now At Union Station!

This past Friday, my kids and I were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of Union Stations’ Mummies of the World exhibit! I was so excited to go because I hadn’t had the chance to go see any of their exhibits since moving back to Kansas City. Thailand (9) was just as excited as I was but Baltimore (6) and Italy (4) were a little apprehensive since they didn’t know what to expect.

When we arrived they were still in the process of setting up a few more décor items for opening day but that didn’t stop me from having a good time! First stop in the exhibit is a short welcome movie about the mummies and what to expect. Once the short movie was over, we were ready to see the mummies!

There were so many mummies and ancient artifacts to see! I knew there would be mummies from all over the world and different time periods, but I had no clue that mummies were once mummified in different and unique ways. Typically when you think of mummies, you think ancient Egypt, Halloween costumes or wrapped up from head to toe in toilet paper. I was very impressed by the majority of ways people and animals had been mummified throughout the World’s history.

From the more common mummies like King Tutankhamen to mummies that had been buried by the earth and mysteriously preserved by natural elements. We learned that even though mummies have been dead for centuries, you can still learn about their past and how they died. Scientists have ways through scanning and examining if in fact they had died from diseases or natural causes.

All in all I would say this exhibit is beyond educational and cool! Thailand and I really enjoyed learning about all the different mummies and where they came from. Baltimore and Italy not so much! Because the exhibit is in dimmed lights and there are real life mummies, they were scared and said it was too creepy. I would say if your child scares easy, doesn’t car for the dark or are younger than 8, they may not really enjoy it as much. If you have a family with littles, I would suggest maybe breaking up your group and alternate turns with the other adults in your group. This way everyone can enjoy the exhibit and no one gets scared.  The exhibit is located downstairs at Union Station (next to planetarium). The exhibit is open through the rest of 2017.

To get your tickets or to find out more information about the mummies or exhibit, check out Union Stations’ Mummies of the World online! http://www.unionstation.org/mummies/

Since no flash photography is allowed, I was only able to snap some pictures with my phone! Here are a few photos from the exhibit!

mummies of the world mummies of the world mummies of the world

** THESE ARE REAL MUMMIES FROM THE EXHIBIT, VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED**

From iFamily to yours,

 

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22 Spraygrounds To Check Out This Summer

With summer temperatures in full swing here in the metro area, you’re likely wondering how you can both escape the heat and keep the kids active this year. Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team has put together your ultimate guide for Spray Grounds here in the metro area. She’s compiled a list of 22 places you need to put on your summer bucket list. Take a look…

sprayground guide

22 Spraygrounds Around Kansas City!

It’s summer, you’re hot, I’m hot… we’re ALL hot! And nothing says summer like water parks, splash parks and really anything to do with water. As a mom of littles and mediums that don’t fully know how to swim or have been scarred by going under water one time, it can be nerve wracking when going to the pool.

Take my pool for example. Living downtown is great! You get a mix of people, however, they are mostly young and no kids. So it can cause a lot of stress on everyone when trying to take your kids to a populated pool.

So over the past few years, I have grown to LOVE spray grounds! The water is not too deep and they can enjoy themselves in a fun, non-scary place with water. I can either join them in the fun or relax on the side. Mind fully at ease.

So if you are like me and you love spraygrounds, then have no fear and take a look at this amazing list of spraygrounds throughout the metro area!

Missouri

#1 Dagg Park

701 East 21st Avenue, North Kansas City

#2  Harmony Park

East 10th Street & Agnes Avenue, Kansas City

#3 Blue Valley Park

23rd Street and Topping, Kansas City

#4 Douglas Park

2632 Jarboe Street, Kansas City

#5 Jacob L. Loose Park

52nd Terrace and Summit Street, Kansas City

#6 Sunnyside Park

8255 Summit Street, Kansas City

#7 Longview Tract

7101 Longview Road, Kansas City

#8 Golden Oaks Park

North East 46th Street & North Antioch Road

#9 Garrison Square

4th Street and Forest Avenue, Kansas City

#10 Central Park

Linwood Boulevard and Bales Avenue, Kansas City

#11 Lynkins Square

East 8th Street and Myrtle Avenue, Kansas City

#12 Parade Park

1600 John “Buck” O’Neil Way, Kansas City

#13 Seven Oaks Park

East 39th Street & Winchester Avenue, Kansas City

#14 Spring Valley Park

East 27th Street and Woodland Avenue, Kansas City

#15 McCoy Park

24 Highway and North Delaware, Independence

#16 Rotary Park

24th and Hardy, Independence

#17 John Anderson Park

4701 East 135 Street, Grandview

 #18 Miller J. Fields Park

1301 South East 3rd Terrace

While the amount of Spraygrounds in Kansas is not as extensive, these are great parks to check out as well!

Kansas

#19 Pierson Park

1800 South 55th, Kansas City KS

#20 Eisenhower Park

2901 North 72nd Street, Kansas City KS

#21 Heathwood Park

North 10th Street and Parallel Pkwy, Kansas City KS

#22 Roe Park

10400 Roe Avenue, Leawood KS

While I have not been to most of these parks, this is merely a guide of locations throughout the metro area. It is always wise to check the time and dates before heading off for a day of fun!

*Pro tip* Pack plenty of snacks, water and extra clothes/towels when heading to the sprayground. Also, if you have or can purchase some, water shoes are a great idea for your kiddos when they are playing in water. Some of the grounds can get slippery and the last thing you want to do is heal boo boos when you want to have fun.

I hope you find this list helpful and enjoy your time this summer!

From iFamily to Yours,

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Get Your Tickets for PJ Masks Live! Time to be a Hero at the Midland Theater

Get Your Tickets for PJ Masks Live! Time to be a Hero at the Midland Theater

SHOWTIME:
Thur, Nov 9, 2017. 6 PM.

Doors open at  5 PM.

ON SALE:
Fri, May 19, 2017 10 AM.
TICKET PRICES*:
$29.50 – $49.50
Purchase at The Midland Box Office, online at AXS.com
or by phone at 888-929-7849.
Get Your Tickets for PJ Masks Live! Time to be a Hero at the Midland Theater
New Live-Action Adventure Brings
Entertainment One’s Hit Animated TV Series to Life
– on Stage –
at Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
NOVEMBER 9, 2017
The live show is based on eOne’s top-rated animated TV series, which airs daily on Disney Junior.
Catboy, Owlette, Gekko, and the Baddies will delight fans of all ages with live performances featuring world-class production, familiar and original music, acrobatics, and immersive interactivity.
​​​​​​​
PJ Masks, the hit series, follows the thrilling nighttime adventures of three young friends who transform into their dynamic alter egos, Catboy, Owlette and Gekko, when they put on their pajamas at night and activate their animal amulets. Together, they embark on action-packed capers, solving mysteries and learning valuable lessons along the way.

10 Super Fun Staycation Ideas For Kansas City This Summer

Howdy Kansas City! The school year is probably wrapping up for many of the kiddos, it’s time to start looking for some fun activities for the family. Summer doesn’t have to mean expensive vacations and extended amounts of traveling. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has some great ideas for for a staycation here in the Kansas City metro. Check it out!

10 Super Fun Staycation Ideas For Kansas City This Summer

 

10 Super Fun Staycation Ideas For
Kansas City This Summer

 

Can y’all believe it will be summer soon!? No school, stores are open late and one of the best things ever created… VACATION! Who doesn’t love that?! We rarely take a summer vacation in our house because we take a long one in the Fall (10 days, so worth it!). So we try our best to do our very own family staycation! If you are unfamiliar with a staycation, it is basically vacationing at home but you do special things you wouldn’t normally do during the year.

There are so many fun things you can do during a staycation. Kansas City is a very family friendly city and there is always something for everyone to enjoy. So, get out your planner, pens, highlighters or whatever you use and start planning your family staycation.

 

1. Amusement parks

Take a day and visit one of Kansas City’s parks! Check out Worlds of Fun for exciting rides and games, Oceans of Fun, Schlitterbahn and Paradise Park are a few!

2. Museums

Kansas City is rich in history and art. Plan a day or week to venture off to see various museums for all ages and interests. There is the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Negro League Museum, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, National WWI Museum and MORE!

3. Downtown Restaurants

Living Downtown gives you an advantage when it comes to exploring. Everywhere you go you are seeing something new. The are so many amazing restaurants downtown, I know everyone will be happy! Start with a family favorite like Chipotle or Jason’s Deli. Fritz’s or Crayola Cafe at Crown Center. Or you could venture a little further south towards the Plaza for Seasons 52 or Fogo de Chao!

4. Exhibits

Exhibits are always fun because they are only around for a limited time. This really makes you feel like you are on vacation lol. Union Station has different exhibits throughout the year. Currently they have a Pompeii exhibit (ending soon) but starting June 23, you can explore real mummies from around the world!

5. Campouts

Plan a campout in your very own backyard! Pitch a tent, fire up a grill or fire and enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of your own home.

6. Movie under the Stars

Throughout the summer, Crown Center and other suburbs around the metro area host movie nights outside. You can plan to head out to a free show, the drive in or if able, watch one in your own yard!

7. Water Park DIY

Sometimes, it’s just too hot to go anywhere, wait in lines and really just leave the house. So turn your backyard into your own water park! Using pools, hoses and a few other miscellaneous items, you can bring the party to you! Check out Pinterest for some super easy ideas for all ages.

8. Parents Night Out

A lot of places around town offer parents night out. From churches to rec centers, theses are becoming more popular for both parents and kids. So why not finally take them up on that offer and plan a night out with your spouse and go dancing, eat at a fancy restaurant or meet up with friends! Parents Night Out usually lasts for about 3-4 hours so take a breather and enjoy some adult time!

9. Go Hiking/Biking

Nothing beats free during the summer time. With so many trails and parks around the metro area, got for a hike or ride through some trails. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and plenty of water!

10. Spend the night in a hotel

Just because you are not leaving your area doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the comfort of a nice hotel. Check out the rates of some of your favorite ones and enjoy a night away from the house. *Pro tip, make sure your hotel offers free wifi and breakfast to avoid extra costs*

I hope these ideas are enough to get you in the zone for planning your family staycation. I know my kiddos and I are already packing out our calendar!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 


Are You a Hello Kitty Fan? Check out this Food Truck at Town Center!

Are you a Hello Kitty fan? Our very own Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, has a great suggestion for a “Kitty” experience. Town Center has welcomed a Hello Kitty food truck, with great theming, and great fun for anyone who has an infinity for the cute little character. Check it out!
Are You a Hello Kitty Fan? Check out this Food Truck at Town Center!

Are You a Hello Kitty Fan? Check out this Food Truck at Town Center!

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of Hello Kitty! If you know someone who is even close to a fan of this mania that is Hello Kitty then you probably were at the same place I was on Saturday—The KC stop of the Hello Kitty Café food truck. Making its annual stop in Kansas City and, in particular Town Center in Leawood, I was amazed at the popularity. Hello Kitty is part of the Japanese company, Sanrio.
Appearing over 40 years ago with just one tiny coin purse, this massive empire now boasts over $600
million in revenue each year. Most of you will probably remember this craze during the 80’s and 90’s—and it has never lost its speed. The Hello Kitty US headquarters, located in Irvine, CA is considered the mecca to all things Hello Kitty and also a large player in the annual Hello Kitty Con located in Los
Angeles.
The Hello Kitty Café was born to bring the brand and this celebrity in her own right to the rest of the country. Depending mostly on social media and Town Center to promote this visit in particular, I was greeted by over 500 people waiting in line to purchase their goodies from the truck. I saw people decked out in their Hello Kitty merchandise, taking pictures, laughing and purchasing their collectible merchandise. The café’s menu is fairly simple; cookies, small cakes, bottled water, and merchandise
including a bow (of course) a mug and t-shirt. I spoke with one woman whose husband brought her for
Mother’s Day; but I am not sure if they were standing in that line! Another said they were there to line
up an hour before the café even opened at 8AM, she said the line had already formed and although their wait wasn’t too long, those that decided to make a last minute trip were probably met with at least a 2 hour wait.
Honestly I didn’t know that Hello Kitty was still this popular, and especially not in the Midwest. I remember always having to make a trip to Bannister Mall to the Hello Kitty store and oh how I wish I
would have kept some of that merchandise! Looking through the crowd you can see that Hello Kitty
appeals to so many and from so many different age groups, one of the most recognizable characters in
the world is truly an understatement. It was fun to take a step back into this sense of nostalgia and
introduce my girls to it. What an amazing event, one that I am sure a lot of people hope to make an
annual stop on the Hello Kitty circuit!
From iFamily to Yours,

5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

Hello, Kansas City! As spring winds down, and summer ramps up, you may be looking for fun and affordable day trips near the metro. You’re in luck — our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, gives you five options for the upcoming season. Check them out and let us know in the comments where you’re going!

5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

School is out in a few weeks. And if you weren’t aware I am sure that you have a kid that is counting
down the days! I am always one for a celebration—just ask my husband, anything; good grades, cleaned
up their room, brushed their hair, didn’t color on the dog! I am also a big fan of getting out of town for a
few days. Combine those two and you have the perfect recipe for an End of School Road Trip! The other
thing—my kids can make it about 5 hours and then the questions start, which I realize is pretty good for
most kids, but basically this is when the movies start to get old! So this week I have included some off the beaten path road trips within 5 hours of the metro that are sure to keep all members of the family entertained!

 5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

1. Tanganyika Wildlife Park

1000 S. Hawkins Lane, Goddard, KS 67052
(3 hours, 8 minutes)

Tanganyika Wildlife Park is a family-owned zoo which has one of the largest animal collections in Kansas. With over 40 exhibits including several interactive stations this is definitely one to add to your list. Tanganyika is the only place in the US where you can interact with ring-tail lemurs in their island habitat and feed Indian rhinos and pygmy hippos. From most of the reviews that I read, it is a great place for younger kids—more animals in a smaller area to save their little legs (and grandparents too!). If you still can’t get enough zoo the Sedgwick County Zoo is close as well and has some great exhibits as well.

 5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

2. Ha Ha Tonka State Park

1491 State Road D, Camdenton, MO 65020
(2 hours, 41 minutes)
Ha Ha Tonka State Park is located in the Lake of the Ozarks area. If you like hiking then this is the place
for you! One of the highlights is a turn of the century castle built high on a bluff and more than 15 miles
of walking trails. These trails lead to sinkholes, natural bridges, caves and of course to the lake itself! Just head down for the day and pack a lunch for a picnic or decide to make a camping trip out of it!

 5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

3. Eureka Springs, AR

(3 hours and 50 minutes)
If you think that Eureka Springs is just bed and breakfasts and ghost inhabited hotels then you are only half right. Eureka prides itself on its fabulous festivals, I personally love the St. Patrick’s day celebration
and have participated many times, they just had their May Festival celebration and there are several more throughout the summer—just check to make sure they would be fun for the kids! The city itself is
nestled in the Arkansas hills and makes for a great walking area, there are tons of eccentric shops and
art galleries, and always good music to find in many areas of the city, especially during Blues Weekend. Plan on staying the night in either The Crescent or The Basin, both have their share of ghost stories but
their true draw is how they pull you into the vintage feel of the city. I have stayed at both but I don’t think got an ounce of sleep because the lights were always on and I was constantly checking under the
bed!
5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

4. Roaring River State Park

12716 Farm Road 2239, Cassville, MO 65625
(3 hours, 17 minutes)
I grew up in Southwest Missouri, so I have spent quite a bit of time exploring Roaring River. I have incredible memories from here sharing times with my grandparents, parents and friends. Trout fishing is obviously its biggest draw but there are also great things to do and see for the whole family. The park is one of the premier trout fisheries in the nation and stocked each night. When you walk past the tank
wave your arm like you are throwing food, cruel but kind of funny too! There are seven trails that lead
through the hills including Deer Leap Trail that ends overlooking the fish hatchery. There are options to
camp as well as rent a cabin for the weekend; but double check to make sure of these arrangements before you go, southwest Missouri had some major flooding which has shut down a lot of their camping
throughout the area.
5 Fun Day Trips Within 5 Hours of Kansas City

5. Amana Colonies

622 46th Avenue Amana, IA 52203
(4 hours, 29 minutes)
Celebrating a rich heritage in arts and crafts and taking visitors away from the hustle and bustle of busy
life, the Amana Colonies have something for everyone. There is some type of event every weekend at
the colonies from a dog speed racers competition to woodworking festivals. In fact the Wurst Festival: A
Celebration of all things Sausage was named the Best New Event of 2015 by the Iowa Tourism Commission. There are many places to stay camping, bed and breakfasts, and hotels nearby.

What are some of your favorite places to visit near the metro? Let us know in the comments!

From iFamily to Yours,


Swing into Summer with this Fun Park & Picnic Night

Howdy, Kansas City! Becky, one of our Mom Squad Ambassadors, is sharing one of her favorite family summer traditions today with this picnic and park night. Kansas City has a wealth of fantastic parks, so why not pack up some food, and head out to the great scenery in the metro? Take a look at how Becky does it below.

Swing into Summer with this Fun Park & Picnic Night

 

Swing into Summer with this Fun Park & Picnic Night

 

This Summer, once a week, our family is going to make it a Park & Picnic night. That means after work/preschool/camp, we’ll all head to a new park each week to play, explore and eat dinner.

This is fun for our kids because dinner is always better when surrounded by slides and swings. This is fun for me because it means NO cooking and—even better—NO clean up required! Plus, big bonus: The kids burn up all their extra energy for the day so they go to bed like champs.

It’s a very easy and cheap family fun night. Below are lots of ideas to make your own Park & Picnic night a success.

 

Picnic Smorgasbord Ideas:

• Baby dill pickles
• Baby carrots
• Celery sticks
• Cherry tomatoes
• Cucumber slices
• Zucchini slices
• Cheese slices or sticks
• Pepperonis
• Salami
• Turkey or Ham slices
• Dinner rolls
• Pretzels
• Dried apricots
• Grapes
• Strawberries
• Blueberries
• Pineapple
• Cherries
• Watermelon slices
• Popcorn

Basically, anything that Charlie Brown would serve for Thanksgiving is perfect.

Pro Tips:

• Invest in a Tupperware-like container with individual compartments. That way it’s one thing to carry but the juice from the pickles won’t get on the pretzels (“GROSS MOM!”).

• Just set the spread of food out and give your kids the freedom to come and go from the picnic table to the playground as they please. If you try and force (sorry, “encourage”) them to eat first, they won’t eat much because they’ll be too excited about playing.

• Skip the paper products and bring heavy plastic plates or bowls instead that won’t blow away.

• Bring a container of baby wipes instead of napkins because, again, wind.

• Pack the kids’ water bottles. They are earth-friendly, you can add ice, and they hold more water than a plastic bottle of water so no one goes thirsty. Plus, there is no confusion (or mental breakdowns) over the owner of each water bottle. (Heaven forbid your little brother accidentally takes a sip out of yours.)

• Each week introduce a new fruit (mangos, kiwi or apricot slices) to mix things up and expand taste buds. It’s amazing what kids will try after they’ve built up an appetite.

• Save dessert for the car ride home. How else are you going to convince them it’s time to go home?

• If you aren’t up for finding new parks every week, take one new activity to the same park with you each week to mix things up: Balls, sidewalk chalk, bikes, bubbles, etc.

 

Becky Ervin is a creative director, mother of three, and blogs at PartyBoxKC.com/blog.

 

From iFamily to Yours,