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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


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,