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Road Tripping With Kids

Summer’s coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have time to squeeze in a last minute mini vacay!  Gabrielle, from our iFamily Mom Squad, shares some tips for road tripping with kids close to home!  Take a look…

Road Tripping

Road Tripping

A full-fledged family vacation was not in the cards for us this year.  It doesn’t matter how many times I crunched the numbers, or how deep the discounted airline tickets were, we couldn’t make the budget work.  So I decided to plan a last minute road trip.

Luckily, here in Kansas City, there are lots of places to visit within driving distance.   Every parent needs to personally determine how long they can continuously be in the car with their kids BEFORE planning a road trip.  A few of my family members drove for 22 hours to California a couple of weeks ago.  They are saints.  My family and I have a 3-4 hour maximum for car rides, mainly because we have a toddler.  Our choices are a bit more limited because of that.  Even in that short amount of time, we have multiple options in various states.

Here are a few options:

St. Louis, Missouri – In about 4 hours, you can drive to the largest city in the state of Missouri.  Family friendly attractions  include the St. Louis Zoo, the Gateway Arch, and the St. Louis Science Center.  There are plenty of outdoor spaces to explore, when the weather permits.  St. Louis is also home to one of 17 of the Six Flags theme parks in the United States.   There are plans to open other parks in China and the United Arab Emirates in the near future.

Branson, Missouri – This family friendly destination is home to another popular amusement park, Silver Dollar City.  There are several museums to visit, and lots of live entertainment.  There is also a popular outlet mall.  It might be a good time to buy some summer clothes on clearance. The Branson Scenic Railway is a must see while you’re there!

Omaha, Nebraska-The Henry Doorly Zoo is a popular destination for many road trippers from Kansas City.  While the zoo might be the most popular attraction, do not make the mistake of thinking there is nothing else to do in this Midwestern town.  The Omaha Children’s museum hosts several permanent exhibits that are sure to hold your children’s attention for a couple of hours.

There are a number of other cities that are just a short drive away.  Both the Kansas and Missouri State Fairs our just a few hours away, (and both are coming up pretty quickly if you’re interested.) Our fair city is centrally located and there are major tourist attractions in just about any direction you decide to drive.

So fill up the tank, pack up the kids and be on your merry way.  Adventure awaits.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle


Road Trip to St. Louis! Explore…….

St. Louis is…for KIDS? You bet!  

The city hosted the 1904 World’s Fair and the 1904 Olympic Games and owns the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the most successful Major League Baseball clubs.  The city is commonly identified with the Gateway Arch, operates more than 100 parks, and is the home of these “firsts”: the first concrete stadium, the first skyscraper, and the fist ice cream cone!  Just a road trip away, St. Louis is a vibrant Midwestern city. The city is a mix of old world charm and modern life. The renowned Gateway Arch attracts tourists from all over the world. But do you know that St. Louis is also a city for KIDS? Marvelous attractions, entertainment, recreation and fun stuff are waiting for you and your kids to explore and enjoy.

~All about ART~

Bringing internationally renowned dance companies to St. Louis audiences. Performances at the Fabulous Fox Theatre and Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center. Education programs available. Call for show Schedule.

ADDRESS: 3547 OLIVE BLVD. IN CENTENE, ST. LOUIS, MO 63103-1014

HOURS: MON-FRI., 9:30AM-4:30PM

PHONE: (314)534-6622

  • Saint Louis Art Museum

http://www.slam.org/

Built as the Fine Arts Palace of the 1904 World’s Fair and one of the nation’s leading comprehensive art museums. Collections include works of art of exceptional quality from virtually every culture and time period. Highlights include free admission to special exhibitions on Friday and programs that range from films to performances. No ticket admission required!

ADDRESS: ONE FINE ARTS DRIVE FOREST PARK, ST. LOUIS, MO 63110

HOURS: MON, CLOSED; TUE-SUN., 10AM-5PM; FRI., UNTIL 9PM

PHONE: (314)721-0072

~See ANIMALS getting around? ~

  • World Bird Sanctuary

http://www.worldbirdsanctuary.org/

Live eagles, owls, hawks and more exhibited in a convenient 305-acre park setting. Hiking trails, bird watching, picnic areas and knowledgeable naturalists offer unique environmental entertainment. No ticket admission required!

ADDRESS: 125 BALD EAGLE RIDGE RD. VALLEY PARK, MO 63088

HOURS: OPEN DAILY, 8AM-5PM

PHONE: (636) 225-4390 ext. 0

  • World Aquarium

http://www.worldaquarium.org/

Over 10, 000 outrageous sea creatures and fun river critters await you at the World Aquarium. Feed stingrays, pet a shark,

get a fish manicure, slide through the shark tank or cheer on your favorite racing turtle.

ADDRESS: WITHIN CITY MUSEUM, ST. LOUIS, MO 63103

HOURS: SPRING/SUMMER: MON.-THUR., 9AM-5PM; FRI.-SAT., 9AM-11PM.; SUN., 11AM-5PM. FALL/WINTER: MON.-TUE., CLOSED.

PHONE: (314)647-9594

~Have fun, kids! ~

  • Gateway Arch

http://www.coreofdiscovery.com/

The Gateway Arch attracts four million guests each year. It is a family friendly attraction that spans from the St. Louis Riverfront to Citygardern. Open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. Extended Summer Hours. Limitetd Accessibility.

ADDRESS: ST. LOUIS RIVERFRONT, ST. LOUIS, MO 63102

HOURS: OPEN DAILY EXCEPT THANKSGIVING, CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS DAY

PHONE: (314) 982-1410

The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum

http://www.magichouse.org/   

Nationally acclaimed children’s museum offers hundreds of hands-on educational exhibits for kids from one to 101. Explore the Children’s Village, Star-Spangled Center and Jack and the Beanstalk Climber.

ADDRESS: 516 S. KIRKWOOD RD. ST. LOUIS, MO 63122

PHONE: (314) 822-8900

~Go and Color the WORLD! ~

  • 2011 Kid’s Activity Book

http://members.explorestlouis.com/pdfs/ActivityBook2011Email.pdf

Click the above link to download a copy of the 2011 Kid’s Activity Book. Be sure to check back in May for the 2012 book!

Sources retrieved from http://explorestlouis.com/visit-explore/discover/st-louis-kids/

There are also some UPCOMING EVENTS for you and your kids to consider for this summer!

  • Fee Free Week-Arch

To celebrate National Park Week, The National Park Service will waive the $3 entrance free to the Gateway Arch.

NOTE: The fees to ride the tram to the top of the Gateway Arch and for viewing the films at the park will remain in effect for this day.

Saturday, April 21-Sunday, April 29, 2012

For more information, visit http://www.coreofdiscovery.com/

  • Summer Camps

FREE summer camps for kids ages 7-15 are offered by Playtime. Camp topic include basketball, cheerleading, creative writing, football, gold, poetry, soccer, tennis, theater and track.