KC Area Railways 2017

Posted April 30, 2017 2:22pm by Jane


May 10 is National Train Day, and there’s no better place to celebrate than in Kansas City!

To look at, learn about, or create your own trains, pay a visit to…

For a quick train ride, check out…

  • The Agricultural Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs has a mini train that takes you around for a quick tour of the grounds.
  • The Kansas City Zoo for a ride on the miniature train, where you will get the chance to view some animals along the way!
  • Worlds of Fun, for a ride on their railroad, which is a fully functioning replica of the great steam engines from the turn of the century.

For a longer train ride, ride on the…

  • Belton Grandview & Kansas City Railroad: Runs south from Belton on a 5 mile, 45 minute round trip. It is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving rail travel and railroading that offers a variety of rides (ice cream social, regular rides, pumpkin patch and Santa rides). Typically, it runs weekends May-September, but no info is listed just yet. Check back for their schedule.
  • Kansas City Northern Railroad/Line Creek Route: This miniature train is about as cute as it gets, and the volunteer train engineers love talking to the kids about trains. Running weekends and holidays May-September, weather permitting, the KC Northern Railroad definitely takes you back to yesteryear…for just 75 cents per ride! We love to bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it.
  • Midland Railway: This vintage train, originally constructed in 1867, takes you on a 20-mile round trip from Baldwin City to Ottawa Junction, KS. It also features the ever-popular Day Out with Thomas, where Thomas the Tank Engine joins his friends for tons of fun train-themed activities and a train ride. This year’s Day Out with Thomas is June 2-4, and June 9-11, 2017.
  • Missouri River Runner Route: This is the real deal, and if you’re up for a weekend vacation, you can hop the Missouri River Runner for a ride to St. Louis. Once you get there, explore downtown St. Louis on its MetroLink rail system to access some of the city’s bigger attractions. No cars needed!

Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND Discovery Center and Midland Railway.

Berry Picking in KC 2017

Posted April 24, 2017 7:30pm by Jane

It’s looking like we’re going to have a great berry season in the KC metro area!

We’re a little early with the berry picking post, but with the mild winter and warm spring, we wanted to get this info to you earlier this year. Kansas Citians can expect to start seeing strawberries available by mid to late May. Blueberries are typically ready around mid-June and blackberries in mid-July. Again, with the warmer weather, it’s always best to check your favorite berry patch online for their picking report.

Here are some Kansas City-area berry picking spots to check out…be sure to add your fave spot in the comments below if it’s not on the list!

  • Benny’s Berries (Kansas City, MO) – U-pick strawberries are becoming available this week; check their Facebook page for updates
  • The Berry Patch (just south of Leawood & Martin City) – HUGE crop of blueberries and blackberries, great activities for kids!
  • Buckeye Acres (Warrensburg, MO) – strawberries, 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, blackberries, peaches, tomatoes, and sweet corn. Blueberry plants in the works. Fun play area, including a giant hay stack for kids. Check their Facebook page for strawberries NOW…they are starting!
  • Happy Valley Farm (DeSoto, KS) – a small, pick-your-own berry farm for blueberries and blackberries. Other types of berries, fruit, vegetables, gourds and pumpkins are available to pick too. Honey produced on the farm is also available.
  • 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) – 660-493-2477 – berries and peaches, an hour east of KC
  • Schwinn Produce Farm (Leavenworth, KS) – spring brings strawberries, asparagus and assorted flowers, summer brings sweet corn, tomatoes, melons and peppers, and fall brings pumpkins and hayrides
  • Sibley Orchards & Cider Mill (Sibley, Jackson County, MO) – blackberries, asparagus and rhubarb (and peaches and apples in season). They also have asparagus and other vegetables.
  • Spanish Garden Berry Farm (Platte City, MO) – strawberries, red and black raspberries, blueberries and blackberries; they also grow vegetables and various melons and are developing their orchard to provide a wide variety of tree fruit, including cherries, apples, peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots
  • Tubby Fruits Peach Orchard (Stilwell, KS & Belton, MO) – peaches, blackberries and tomatoes
  • Wagon Wheel Orchard (Gardner, KS) – no berries here but look for peaches, apples and pears beginning late summer
  • Wohletz Farm Fresh (Lawrence, KS) – strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes and onions

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:

Let us know of other favorite berry patches in the comments section…and happy picking!

**CONGRATULATIONS, MOLLY RYNE!  THANKS TO ALL WHO ENTERED!  HAVE FUN, MOLLY!**
This is a fun one!  If you are a fan of the Harry Potter movies, or are hoping to introduce your kids to the magical series, here’s your chance! Extreme Screen at Union Station Kansas City is showing two of the movies.   To see one movie, it is only $3.  If you purchase both movies together, the price is only $5 for the combo.  There’s no better value in KC, especially with the new seating experience and massive screen! Click here to learn more about the new experience.  
Thanks to our friends at Union Station, we are giving away a Family 4-pack of combo tickets– this includes 4 tickets for each of two Harry Potter movies.  Azkaban runs through Thursday, then Goblet of Fire runs 4/28- 5/4.
How to enter?  Simply leave a comment on this post and tell us your favorite Harry Potter book or movie!  One lucky winner will be randomly selected at noon on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, and notified via this website and Facebook. (Like our Facebook page if you don’t already!)
When you go to Union Station’s Extreme Screen, you’ll enjoy:

– New expanded concession pricing

– Plenty of available parking – validated at Concession Stand

– Easy access from Pershing Road on west end of Union Station complex

– Seeing the setup for American Ninja Warrior challenge course (through 4/27)

Must be 18 years of age to enter and win. Only one entry per household will be considered. No substitutions or transfers. Giveaway prize is not redeemable for cash. By entering, winner consents to allow the use of his/her name for promotional purposes without further compensation. Winner releases sponsors of liability regarding use and enjoyment of the prize. No purchase necessary to enter or win.

ONE (1) winner will be randomly selected, and will receive a Family 4-pack of combo tickets: 4 tickets for each HP movie; 8 tickets total. Winner’s name will be held at Concessions outside of The Extreme Screen. The tickets will be good for any showing, based on availability. Winner will need to check showtimes and days.