Posts Tagged ‘parkville’

Locally-owned stores make holiday shopping easy!

Posted November 20, 2009 7:45am by Jane

With my family’s purse strings pulled tighter than ever, the tendency will be to do it all at a big-box retailer this holiday season.  But, Kansas City has so many unique merchants and I think it’s important now, more than ever, to support them.   SHOP LOCAL, if at all possible, I say!  The metro has so many neat, one-of-a-kind, locally-owned stores brimming with interesting gifts. Why not visit a few and put together a unique gift this year? We’ve got some suggestions to make it easy on you.

  • Reading Reptile create a Books Basket or treat a lucky kid to a Thursday Story Time at Reading Reptile followed by “select any book you’d like…and it’s yours!”—what a neat gift!
  • A Train-Themed giftThe Learning Tree (Leawood, KS and Prairie Village, KS) has some wonderful trains and train gifts. Thomas the Tank Engine is there of course, but so are lots of other choices. Include a certificate for a special meal at Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant at the Crown Center Shops, or head to the new location across the state line in Shawnee, KS (just west of I-435 on Shawnee Mission Parkway) . What kid wouldn’t love to have her meal delivered tableside by a train?
  • Unleash your child’s inner mad scientist! HMS Beagle is a wonderful store in Parkville, MO–“The Ultimate Science Store” according to their website.  You can introduce your child to science through a number of neat gifts from the basic chemistry set to a fantastic telescope.  They even have a science club with meetings for K-8th graders!  For the little ones–an easy introduction to science can be found by taking a trip toWonderscope Children’s Museum of Kansas City in Shawnee, KS, featuring arts and sciences exhibits for kids ages 10 and under.
  • GO RETRO! Moon Marble gift shop, located in Bonner Springs’ Moon Marble Company, has some great toys and games that have withstood the test of time…remember Pick-Up Sticks, Chinese Jumpropes and the wooden paddle with the red rubber ball attached?  Find all of these and more!
  • Enrollment in a class at one of the metro’s parks and recreation offices or community centers is a gift that will last weeks and even months! Your little one can try something new like a beginner’s martial arts class, a dance or ballet class or even try something exotic like fencing! What a great way to spend the winter months. Try Blue Valley Recreation or any of the parks and rec departments listed in our Classes directory!
  • Don’t Forget the Music – How about guitar (or other musical instrument) lessons at the School of Rock (North Kansas City), the Toon Shop (Prairie Village, Lee’s Summit or Overland Park) or the Music House (Overland Park)?
  • Shop Etsy Local for unique, handmade items created by talented Kansas Citians like Kate Williams (crayon holders and pinafores), three red trees (terribly cute sock dogs) and Becky Kelly (very sweet paintings and prints for a nursery or little one’s room).

There’s another place you might want to check out– because uniquely Kansas City traditions are being resurrected with each year!  Zona Rosa is a shopping district in North Kansas City at I-29 and Barry Road.  KC’s holiday past comes to life as the 2000-lb crowns are hoisted into place–near-exact replicas of the crowns that decked the streets of downtown KC for over 20 years!  You’ll also find the “Fairy Princess”.  She first appeared in the Kline’s toy department in 1936!  New this year is the return of the “Ice Igloo”.  Modeled from the original Kansas City Museum igloo, a new, more spacious one has been constructed so the younger generation can make holiday memories of their own.

Let us know if you discover something fun and different to do with your family–we’d love to spread the word!  Believe me, this site will be buzzing over Christmas vacation with parents looking for things to do with their kiddos!!!

2009 Kansas City Area Fairs & Festivals

Posted May 28, 2009 10:36pm by Jane

countyfair1Summer in the Kansas City metro means fairs and festivals! And they’ve already started! The Brookside Art Annual was held last month and the next few weeks brings the first wave of true summer events. The best news? Each and every fair has a TON of awesome activities to share with your kids!

So, get ready for Tilt-A-Whirls, funnel cakes, ferris wheels, corn dogs, cotton candy, livestock and live music. Fair and festival season is starting…and there are so many that you have ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE to not catch at least one!

The 2009 Kansas City fair and festival schedule looks like this:

Prairie Village Art Fair, Prairie Village, KS – May 29 thru May 31

Serb Fest – St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, College & Greenwood (west of Pflumm), Lenexa KS – May 29 and May 30

Old Shawnee Days – Shawnee, KS – June 4 thru June 7

Lee’s Summit Downtown Days – June 5 thru June 7

Festa Italiana – Zona Rosa, Kansas City North – June 5 thru June 7

Mardi Gras Days – downtown Overland Park, KS – June 5 and June 6

Vaile Strawberry Festival, Vaile Mansion, Independence, MO – June 6

Irish Street Fair – Kansas City, MO – June 6

Sugar Creek Slavic Fest – Sugar Creek, MO – June 12 and June 13

Greek Festival – St. Dionysios Greek Orthodox Church, Overland Park – June 12 thru June 14

Scottish Highland Games & Celtic Festival, E.H. Young Park, Riverside, MO – June 12 thru June 14

Dragon Boat Festival – Country Club Plaza, KCMO – June 13

Fiesta Filipina – Filipino Cultural Center, 79th St. between Antioch & Frontage in Overland Park – June 13 thru June 14

Chalk & Walk Festival, Crown Center Square, Kansas City, MO – June 20

KC Riverfest – Berkley Riverfront Park, KCMO – July 2 thru July 4

Cass County Fair, Pleasant Hill, MO – July 14 thru July 19

Amelia Earhart Festival – Atchison, KS – July 17 thru July 18

Miami County Fair, Paola, KS – July 18 thru July 26

KC Fringe Festival – various KCMO locations – July 19  thru July 26

Platte County Fair, Platte City, MO – July 22 thru July 25

Douglas County Fair, Lawrence, KS – August 5 thru August 9

Wyandotte County Fair, Kansas City, KS – July 28 thru August 1 (CANCELED THIS YEAR DUE TO UNAVAILABILITY OF SPACE AT THE WOODLANDS)

Johnson County Fair, Gardner, KS – August 3 thru August 8 – don’t miss the rodeo, Family Fun Night or the parade!

Missouri State Fair, Sedalia, MO – August 13 thru August 23 – 12 & under FREE every day; lot of free kids’ entertainment

Festival of Butterflies, Powell Gardens, Kingsville, MO – August 7 thru August 9 and August 14 thru August 16 – no carnival but still super cool!

Leavenworth County Fair, Tonganoxie, KS – August 11 thru August 15

Ethnic Enrichment Festival, Kansas City, MO – August 21 thru August 23

Trails West!, St. Joseph, MO – August 21 thru August 23

Parkville Days Riverfest, Parkville, MO – August 21 thru August 23

countyfair2Lewis & Clark Trail Days, Buckner, MO – August 21 and August 22

Santa-Cali-Gon Days, Independence, MO – September 4 thru September 7 – TONS of fun for kids and adults alike. If you’ve never been, you should definitely try this one!

Kansas City Irish Fest, Kansas City, MO – September 4 thru 6- awesome children’s area at this Crown Center event

Kansas City Renaissance Festival, Bonner Springs, KS – August 30 thru October 13

The 48th Annual Annunciation Greek Food Festival, Kansas City, MO – September 11 thru September 13

Old Settlers Days, Olathe, KS – September 4 thru September 6

Valley Fair Daze, Grain Valley, MO – September 10 and September 11

Kansas State Fair, Hutchinson, KS – September 11 thru September 20 – Nat & Alex Wolff, the Naked Brothers Band closes the Fair on the 20th!

Blue Springs Fall Fun Festival, Blue Springs, MO – September 18 thru September 20

Zona Rosa Art Festival, Kansas City north, MO – September 18 thru September 20

Jesse James Festival, Kearney, MO – September 11 thru September 20

Plaza Art Fair, Kansas City, MO – September 25 thru September 27 – spend some time at the Kids’ Art Workshop!

(Photos via jonathan_moreau)

Kansas City’s Toy Stores

Posted November 13, 2008 11:58pm by Jane

Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? Better question: have you STARTED your holiday shopping yet? You’re certainly not alone if you haven’t even gotten a list together. Before you finalize that list, KC Kids Fun encourages you to take a look at the wonderful and unique items that fill Kansas City’s locally-owned toy stores.

C’mon – skip Toys R Us and Target this year. Check out the super-cool things you’ll find at Brookside Toy & Science or The Learning Tree or even Moon Marble. Your kids will never miss that new Bakugan or Barbie styling head when they open the awesome stuff you bought from one of our hometown stores.

Here are a few places you shouldn’t miss:

Brookside Toy and Science (Kansas City, MO) – This store has been around since 1964. It is filled from top to bottom with interesting things. Brio and Thomas the Tank Engine are here. Lincoln Logs and Erector sets too. And where else can you buy butterfly specimens, alligator heads and toad purses?!

HMS Beagle (Parkville, MO) – “The Ultimate Science Store” has TONS of fossils, dinosaur models, chemistry sets, rocket kits, telescopes, rocks, minerals and shells.

Moon Marble (Bonner Springs, KS) – Run out to Moon Marble, watch some marbles being made, buy some phenomenal handmade marbles and pick up some really great retro toys and stocking stuffers.

The Learning Tree (Prairie Village, KS and Leawood, KS) – Some of the coolest and most fun educational toys around! Great kids’ art supplies and pretend play items. (If you stop by the Leawood location, take a spin around the new ice rink at Park Place just down the block!)

US Toy (Leawood, KS) – Yep! US Toy is locally owned! I LOVE US Toy for Christmas shopping. Over the years, I’ve bought puppets, pretend food, puzzles, art supplies, musical instruments, Thomas the Train track and trains, books, dress-up items and games. One year, I started and finished my shopping at this one location. You just can’t beat it!

And don’t forget about these folks too:

Reading Reptile (Kansas City, MO – Brookside)

Rainy Day Books (Fairway, KS)

The Toy Store (Lawrence and Topeka)

Zoom at Crown Center (Kansas City, MO)

The Doll Cradle (Shawnee, KS)

Mini Temptations Dollhouse Store (Overland Park, KS – Ranchmart)