Memorial Day in KC 2018

Posted May 22, 2018 12:20pm by Jane

We’re hoping for good weather this Memorial Day weekend because there are many great, family-friendly, outdoor events coming up this long weekend:

Friday, May 25, 2018

Saturday, May 26, 2018

  • Trivial Pursuit®: A 50-State Adventure begins at Crown Center: Ride a mule in the Grand Canyon, celebrate New Year’s Eve in Times Square, hit a home run at Fenway Park, and guide your sled dog team on the Iditarod Trail. More than 70 ways for kids to learn about our country’s iconic destinations, with lots of fun along the way! Through September 3, 2018
  • Shawnee Mission Beach House Grand Opening: Grab your flip-flops and head to the grand opening of the new Shawnee Mission Park Beach House! Enjoy refreshments, giveaways, and music beginning at noon. Free beach admission throughout the day!
  • Worlds of Fun Festival of Dance: Celebrate young performers as they showcase their talent! May 26 & 27
  • The Art of the Brick at Union Station, Final Days: This is truly an incredible art exhibit for parents and kids alike! Showing at Union Station through May 28
  • Kansas City Zoo: Celebrate Species Spotlight with the Zoo’s Apes, and enjoy the Penguin March May 26 & 27; and don’t forget to check out the brand new Stingray Bay in the Penguin Plaza!
  • On Your Feet! The Musical: Starlight Theatre is kicking its Broadway Series off in style with the real-life story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Get inside the real story of this groundbreaking couple, complete with songs that’ll make you dance! Through May 27, suitable for all ages.
  • Get some delicious local food at one of KC’s area Farmers Markets

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Monday, May 28, 2018

Remember, there are tons of great parks & playgrounds and outdoor pools and splash parks  to visit too!

Berry Picking in KC 2018

Posted May 14, 2018 10:39pm by Jane

Berry season is coming soon! With our extreme spring weather that went from winter cold to summer heat, it looks like strawberry season will be a short one. The good news…strawberry picking is starting in KC! Blueberries are typically ready around mid-June and blackberries in mid-July. Again, with this crazy weather, be sure to check your favorite berry patch online for their picking report.

To make it easy to find one in your neck of the woods, here’s our 2018 berry picking list:

  • Benny’s Berries (Kansas City, MO) – U-pick strawberries are becoming available this week (May 15); check their Facebook page for updates
  • The Berry Patch (just south of Leawood & Martin City) – big crop of blueberries and blackberries, great activities for kids!
  • Buckeye Acres (Warrensburg, MO) – strawberries are becoming available mid to late-May, red raspberries, blackberries, wide variety of other vegetables; produce sold at Warrensburg Farmer’s Market
  • Cy & Dee’s Blackberry Farm (Louisburg, KS) – thornless blackberry plants to make the picking easier; mid-July-August. Tomatoes and sweet corn also available in season.
  • Duncan’s Berry Farm (Smithville, MO) – blueberries and blackberries
  • Gieringers Orchard (Edgerton, KS) – strawberries becoming available this week (May 15), blueberries, blackberries, peaches, tomatoes, and sweet corn. Fun play area, check their Facebook page for picking updates.
  • Happy Valley Farm (DeSoto, KS) – blueberries, blackberries, bush cherries, grapes and other orchard fruits available for picking by appointment only. Honey produced on the farm and other local produce also available. Check their Facebook page for picking updates.
  • Lawson Brothers Farm (Baldwin City, KS) – Typically, they have strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, call for recorded message of picking conditions, 785-594-3936
  • Schreiman Orchards (Waverly, MO) – berries and peaches, an hour east of KC
  • Schwinn Produce Farm (Leavenworth, KS) – spring strawberries, asparagus and assorted flowers; summer sweet corn, tomatoes, melons and peppers; and fall pumpkins and hayrides
  • Sibley Orchards & Cider Mill (Sibley, Jackson County, MO) – blackberries, asparagus and rhubarb; peaches and apples late summer/fall
  • Spanish Garden Berry Farm (Platte City, MO) – strawberries, red and black raspberries, blueberries and blackberries; they also grow vegetables, melons and other orchard fruit. Check their Facebook page for picking updates.
  • Tubby Fruits Peach Orchard (Stilwell, KS & Belton, MO) – peaches, blackberries and tomatoes available; check their Facebook page for picking updates.
  • Wagon Wheel Orchard (Gardner, KS) – no berries here but look for peaches, apples and pears beginning late summer
  • Wohletz Farm Fresh (Lawrence, KS) – strawberries are becoming available this week (May 19), blueberries and other fruits and vegetables throughout the season; check their Facebook page for picking updates.

For a few more in the outlying areas, check out our Pumpkin Patch/Orchards directory for ideas, or look at these state-by-state lists for  Pick-Your-Own Farms and Orchards:

We’d love to hear about your favorite berry patches in the comments section below. Happy picking!

Image courtesy of Wohletz Farm U-Pick Strawberry Patch.

Road Trip from KC

Posted May 07, 2018 11:27pm by Jane

My family left town this weekend for our annual campout in Mansfield, MO, to enjoy the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Spring Planting Festival. While this particular festival isn’t for everyone, it was a great reminder that spring and summer offer so many perfect opportunities for a great weekend road trip. It exposes your kids to different places and experiences, and gives everyone a break from life as we know it.

So if you’re looking for a mini-break from a never ending to-do list, or a packed schedule of games, lessons and other obligatory events, here are a few places to consider. All of them are a relatively easy drive from KC, but hey, the ride is part of the fun too, right?

Omaha, NE: The fun begins in Omaha with it’s world-class Henry Doorly Zoo, which can easily provide a full days’ worth (or more) of entertainment. Other great places to explore include the Omaha Children’s Museum, the Old Market for dinner and a stroll, and, a visit to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, where you can take a picture of yourself standing in Iowa and Nebraska at the same time, then enjoy the splash park on the Omaha side of the park. Note: Thanks to their reciprocal agreement, KC Zoo FOTZ members and SEALIFE Aquarium Kansas City annual pass holders receive 50% off of Omaha Zoo entrance fees. 

Branson, MO: I could go on and on about the many things to do here, but I’ll try to keep it to a few family favorites. Silver Dollar City tops the list, with its theme-park meets old-time craftsmanship experiences. Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede offers dinner, a really fun show, and an all-around great time. Ride the Ducks Branson lets you relax a bit during this unusual land/lake tour, and your kids will never want to leave the Grand Country Resort’s Fun Spot.

Flint Hills, KS: Located in east central Kansas, the Flint Hills is the largest stretch of prairie grass in North America. This is definitely a quieter getaway for active families who want to get out and enjoy nature. Meander down the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway to view many beautiful scenes and lots of native wildlife at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase State Lake, and Council Grove Lake. In the surrounding towns, there are also many interesting and unusual historic Kansas sites to enjoy.

Wherever the road takes you, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Henry Doorly Zoo and Silver Dollar City.