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Family Fun in Kansas City this Summer

May 21, 2014

Looking for a fun and exciting get-away for the kids this summer? Kansas City is packed full of summer fun for the little rascals, tweens and teens and everyone in between plus those "big kids" at heart! Pack the mini van and wrangle those kids up and bring them to Kansas City for an unforgettable summer! Below are a few highlighted happenings:

  1. Called a city within a city, Crown Center is just minutes from downtown KC and a great destination for families. The heart of the complex, Crown Center Square is home to festivals, outdoor movie series and concerts throughout the year. LEGOLAND Discovery Center and SEA LIFE Aquarium also reside on the square. Across the street are more than 60 shops and restaurants including The Crayola Café and Fritz's. Families can check out youth-oriented shows at The Coterie Theatre which runs shows for children K-12. Crown Center hosts free children's activities such as puppet shows and The Crayola Christmas Land. Home to the international headquarters of Hallmark Cards, Crown Center boasts the Hallmark Visitors Center, which details the illustrious history of the world's leader in personal expression, while Kaleidoscope offers a creative art experience for children ages 5-12. Lodging is just steps away at the Sheraton Kansas City at Crown Center and Westin Kansas City at Crown Center. And just across the street is Union Station, which houses Science City and the Planetarium.

  2. Summer Sundays in Merriam are full of family fun and FOOD. That's right, on Sundays June 15 and August 17, bring your lawn chair and a big appetite. While the kids jump on the inflatables, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the tunes from local musicians and feast on the tasty menu options provided by area food trucks. The entire event is free (with the exception of purchased items from the food trucks). Hope to see you in Merriam this summer.

  3. Grab your blanket or lawn chairs and join us for a musical movie on the big screen at Electric Park on May 16. This year's movie is "Mary Poppins" (Rated G). Come early and enjoy music provided by Music House School of Music. Musical entertainment begins at 7:30 p.m. The movie begins at 8:30 p.m. (or as soon as it's dark!) Feel free to bring your own snacks (no concessions will be available). The inclement weather date is May 17. Movie in the Park is funded in part by the Lenexa Arts Council.

  4. Have a Howling Fun Summer at Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, KS. Splash the day away in the massive, 84-degree indoor water park. Enjoy an ice cream pedicure at Scoops Kid Spa and explore activities and crafts for young wolf pups at Cub Club. End your evening with Story Time in the Grand Lobby. From dragon battles at MagiQuest to huge arcades and water slides, there's something for everyone at Great Wolf Lodge.  
  5. Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead in Overland Park depicts a turn of the century farm. Kids of all ages enjoy the varied attractions and activities in a 12 acre educational environment that cultivates an appreciation of farm life, wildlife and Kansas Heritage. Petting and feeding the animals, pony rides, fishing and a myriad of other attractions are now accompanied by a 1900s barber shop, photography parlor and blacksmith shop.
  6. Join us for Family Fun Night at the Parker Carousel on July 19 from 5-7 pm. Kids can enjoy unlimited rides on the restored antique 1913 Carousel with the purchase of a hot dog combo. Tour the museum dedicated to telling the remarkable story of C.W. Parker, the "Carnival King". Charles Wallace Parker made Leavenworth, Kansas the carousel capital of the world by producing more carousels in Leavenworth than any other city in the United States.  The wooden 24 horses, 3 ponies, and two rabbits are all hand-carved. In addition to the rare rabbits on this machine, there is also a "lovers tub" that spins when the mechanism is turning.    

  7. The National Frontier Trails Museum presents the history of the Santa Fe, California and Oregon Trails and the personal trials and adventures of the pioneers who opened the West. The museum includes interpretive family-friendly exhibits children will enjoy exploring including "Pack Your Saddle" and "Pack Your Wagon." At "Pack Your Saddle", learn how to tie bundles and boxes to a pack saddle similar to those used on the Santa Fe Trail. At "Pack Your Wagon," you can pack a scaled-down version of a pioneer wagon with items suggested for a five month journey on the trail. Operated by the City of Independence, the Trails Museum tells the story of the exploration, acquisition, and settlement of the American West. An award-winning introductory film prepares visitors for the interpretive exhibits which guide them along the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails.

  8. Swimming, splashing or dozing, The Springs Aquatic Center is the fun choice for families wanting an inexpensive, no-hassle outing that has something for everyone. With over a million gallons of water to play in, kids of all ages can traverse the water slides and then maneuver through the lazy river. Dive off the high dive or cannon ball off the lower boards, race in the competition pool or romp around in the spray ground.
  9. A tour through the Jesse James Birthplace takes visitors back into time, the time when the legend began. Before walking the trail to the farmhouse, a film recaps the history of Frank and Jesse and the exploits of the brother outlaws. The museum showcases the world's largest collection of James family artifacts. Guests are surrounded by nature as they follow the paved winding trail to the farmhouse and walk beside the creek where young Frank and Jesse spent much of their time playing and swimming. In the yard of the family home is Jesse's original burial site, the place where his mother once sold souvenir rocks from his grave. Upon completion of the tour guests are invited to browse the museum store. A wide variety of books relating to the period are available as well as t-shirts, mugs, and other souvenir keepsakes. The Jesse James Birthplace is open year round. 

  10. Watching a marble being made is a fascinating art and you can experience this at the Moon Marble Company in Bonner Springs, Kansas. The store is chock-full of marbles and other glass art along with a multitude of traditional toys and games and retro collectibles, some of which are on the quirky side. Talented marble-making artisans will captivate kids of all ages. When planning your vacation, schedule a trip to "The Moon" this summer....the Moon Marble Company, that is.    

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