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The little book with BIG resources!

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,


Road Trip to Topeka, KS — An Art of Life or A Life of Art?

Yo Yo Club at the Discovery Center in Topeka

So much to see, do and learn in Topeka! What a great destination for a family day trip!

Topeka, KS, the capital city of Kansas, is the homeland for famous Topekans like Harry E. Gavitt, the spirit behind Gavitt’s Stock Exchange, which is one of the most exciting and popular games ever invented; Cyrus K. Holiday, one of the founders of Topeka; and Arthur Capper, the noted editor and politician. The city also gets little known facts: the home of the first million-dollar high school, the home of Margaret Hill McCarter, the home of Charles Sheldon who wrote In His Steps… The list can go on and on. Thus, it is not surprising to know that Topeka is one of Kiplinger’s 10 Best Cities for the next decade.

There are tons of fun things to do in Topeka, KS: If you are fond of libraries and museums, Combat Air Museum, Kansas Center for the Book and Old Prairie Town at Ward Meade Historic Site are there for you; If you would like to see animals, the renowned Topeka Zoo is your choice; Or if you are longing to see a Brian Regan show, Topeka Performing Arts Center is the place for you. See it now? Topeka, as Alissa Sheley says, is small enough to know everyone around you, but it is big enough to do fun things you can possibly imagine.

Now, we are delighted to share our recommended TOP 5 FUN EVENTS in Topeka with you and your family. Hope you can find the bright spot for a nice spring roadtrip!!

TOP 1— The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center

Website: http://www.kansasdiscovery.org/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_57835724015

The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center a center for children with exhibits for discovery and exploration! It’s a “hands-on” envirnment with focus on EDUCATION! There’s math, science, arts, creative thinking and gross motor skill activities for the kiddos.  The Center provides moms and dads with Birthday Parties & Private Events rooms, Field Trips, Exhibits and Discover Camps too!

Upcoming Fun Events for kids:


Begins this THURSDAY, MARCH 29

The Yo Yo Club will meet every Thursday afternoon for 6 weeks, at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center. This is a great after school activity for children ages 5+ years or older. Read more about the event at http://www.kansasdiscovery.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=71&Itemid=85

Read more about all of their upcoming events at http://www.kansasdiscovery.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=66&Itemid=79

TOP 2— Topeka Zoological Park 

Website: http://topekazoo.org/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TopekaZoo

The Famous Topeka Zoo has been a favorite destination for kids and adults alike since the 1930s. Today, the Zoo features more than 380 animals amidst acres of native horticulture.

Upcoming Fun Events for kids:

Summer Camp Registration NOW OPEN!

Begins on this FRIDAY, MARCH 30

Giraffe Feeding, Bone Day for the big cats, Campout with Dad, and Drew @ the Zoo are waiting for your kids!! Read more about the events at http://topekazoo.org/

TOP 3— Mulvane Art Museum at Washburn 

Website: http://www.washburn.edu/main/mulvane/index.html

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MulvaneArtMuseum?sk=wall

At Mulvane Art Museum, you can see art of life because they believe art can change people’s lives. You not only gaze at pictures and works, you also get to know stories behind them.

Upcoming Fun Events for kids:

ArtLab Family Days (Free & Open to the Public)

Begins at APRIL 14, Saturday

Come to ArtLab to create artistic bird houses and feeders to shelter and feed your fine feathered friends! Read more about the event at http://www.washburn.edu/main/mulvane/files/FREE2012.pdf

TOP 4— Kansas State Capitol Building

Website: http://www.kansastravel.org/kansasstatecapitol.htm

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kansas-State-Capitol/105509059482760

Kansas State Capitol Building in Topeka, KS is the best FREE attraction in the Kansas State Capitol. The Capitol is open to visitors from 8 AM-5PM, Monday through Friday, with free tours conducted by the State Historical Society 4-6 times during the day.

*Special Note: The Kansas State Capitol dome tours have been suspended through June 2012 due to renovation. The rest parts of the building can still be visited.

TOP 5— Helen Hocker Center for the Performing Arts

Website: http://parks.snco.us/Facilities.aspx?Page=detail&RID=92

The Helen Hocker Center for the Performing Arts is an organization dedicated to enriching the cultural growth of Shawnee County community in Topeka, KS. They offer family entertainment, positive theater learning experiences in a friendly atmosphere.

Upcoming Fun Events for kids:

BathHouse Players

Begins on MAY 30, 10AM-3PM

The BathHouse Players need energetic and creative youth ages 14-18 with varied talents, who enjoy the arts and producing plays for young people. Read more about the event at http://parks.snco.us/Facilities.aspx?Page=detail&RID=92

Find an Art of Life in Topeka, KS!

Embrace a Life of Art in Topeka, KS!