It’s summer, you’ve heard I’m bored about a million times. There’s 7 weeks, 2 days and 12 hours until school starts… Not that I’m counting. Here’s a list a free stuff to do in KC to pass the time.
Marble making demo and Moon Marble Company. The kids can even learn how to shoot marbles and take a few home. Demos are usually given Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10 or 10:30.
Cabela’s Fly Fishing Class
Saturdays from 2-3pm
Cabell also has Family Outdoor Adventure day, July 9th from 10-2
Saturday Evening Concerts at The Legends
Every Saturday at 5:00 until the end of July.
It goes without saying that the Nelson-Atkins Museum is a KC treasure and it’s free! It is closed Monday/Tuesday. Wednesday 10-5. Thursday/Friday 10-9 and Saturday/Sunday 10-5.
Scheels mega sports store in Overland Park. 16,000 gallon aquarium, Ferris wheel and more.
Kidscape at the Johnson County Museum. 6305 Lackman Road. Kids can play dress up, be mayor for the day and see the suburban streetscape design.
Kalidoscope is free as well, visit www.hallmarkkaleidoscope.com for times.
Weekender on Friday nights from July 8-August 5 starting at 6. Local bands, food trucks and Free Flicks under the stars.
After a visit to Crown Center is the perfect time to stay parked a day ride the new Street Car. You can catch it across the street and ride it to visit the City Market.
Cool Off at a Spray Park: Here is a list of spray parks, be sure to check the recommended safety rules for each park before you go.
Kansas City Missouri Spray Parks:
Harmony Park: E. 10th St & Agnes Ave.
Jacob L. Loose Park: W. 52nd Terrace & Summit Ave.(Closed Wednesdays.)
Sunnyside Park: W. 83rd St. & Summit Ave.
Longview Tract: 7107 Longview Rd.
Golden Oaks Park: N.E. 46th Street & N. Antioch Rd.
Garrison Square: E. 4th St. & Forest Ave.
Central Park: Linwood Blvd & Bales Ave.
Nelson C. Crews Park: E. 27th St & Michigan Ave.
Douglass Playground at Grace Williams Nicholl Park: 2632 Jarboe St.
Independence Missouri Spraygrounds:
McCoy Park: 24 Highway & N. Delaware
Rotary Park: 24th & Hardy
Grandview Missouri Spraygrounds:
John Anderson Park: 4701 E. 135th Street
Liberty Missouri Spraygrounds:
City Park: 970 S. Highway 291
Ruth Moore Park: 401 N. Morse
Kansas City Kansas Spraygrounds:
Eisenhower Park: 2901 N. 72nd St.
Heathwood Park: 10th & Parallel Pkwy
Pierson Park: 1800 S. 55th St.
The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank is an experience that even your teen will like. It is also free and open to the public. Here you’ll watch millions of dollars in currency being processed at KC’s Federal Reserve Bank and see an impressive collection of coins. Walk-in and guided tours are available and all guests undergo a security screening. If you are over 18, you’ll need to bring your ID. Call 816-881-2683 for more information.
The Cave Spring Historic Site and Nature Center has over 36 acres of wildlife and native plants with walking trails, wildlife habitat, pond and a small cave for kids to explore. Amazingly enough, it’s in the middle of the city. Location: 8701 E. Gregory Blvd. Hours: 9 am to dark every day. The Nature Center is open 10am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday. The Center is free, but small donations are excepted.
Attend a free family fun night at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop (Thursdays, 6:00-8:00). Enjoy a different theme of 1860s living history each week. FREE admission, stagecoach rides are $3/person ages 3 & up, some activities require an extra fee. 2016 Themes:
June 23 – 1860s Construction, June 30 – 1860s Mad Science, July 7 – 19th Century Fireworks, July 14 – Civil War, July 21 – Hit the Trail, July 28 – Kansas Wheat Harvest.
Head to the KC Power & Light District for Sprint Family Fun Days event the second Saturday of each month.
Twelfth Night at Shakespeare in the Park (For its 24th season, the Festival will present Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, Shakespeare’s hilarious romantic comedy set in romantic Illyria. The play explores love, loss and reunion along with ambition, madness and gender reversal — all with lots of humor. The production dates are June 14 – July 3, 2016, Tuesday – Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Signed performances for the hard of hearing will be Wednesday, June 22 and Sunday, June 26. Festival admission is donation only).
Take a tour of The Roasterie and learn about coffee. (this one may be just for me)!
Hike at Ernie Miller Nature Center.
Visit the free National Archives of Kansas City and explore their free exhibits.
Build a free project at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Both offer free workshops on select Saturdays.
Explore the Central Branch of the Kansas City Library, because any library with a parking garage painted with classic books has been named one of the coolest libraries to visit in the country!
Take a free class at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center.
Imagine you’re in the Wild West at Antioch Park in Shawnee, Kansas with an old town set up.
Enjoy summer break, they will be back to school in no time!
Recently they introduced the “Small Change – Big Difference” campaign and I am taking this opportunity to teach my children about giving back.
Children’s Mercy has had a long history of the community helping by making donations. More than a century ago when the hospital’s founding sisters, Dr. Katharine Berry Richardson and Dr. Alice Berry Graham, wrote a list of needs on a chalkboard in front of the hospital. Neighbors and businesses donated everything from blankets to apples.
Although what it takes to operate a hospital has evolved in the last century, the Children’s Mercy mission and the need for community support remain the same. Every single dollar, every blanket, every toy, every well wish makes a big difference in the life of a child.
The Small Change – Big Difference campaign is an easy way to give back with the Power of a Piggy. For $35 online (or $30 at special events), you can purchase a bank to take home, fill up and start a new family giving tradition. Your small change can make a big difference for kids in Kansas City.
The Big Slick weekend is one of the hospital’s biggest fundraiser, but you don’t have to be a celeb to help. My children each got a piggy bank and every time we come home from an outing, they take all the change from the day and add it to their banks. Once they fill up, we will donate the change to Children’s Mercy – I will have updates on drop off locations soon, but the bank is yours to keep so you can keep refilling it! My kids are looking forward to when the bank fills up and they get to do something for kids who are sick. Not only does it teach them the importance of giving back, it also teaches them to be grateful for how healthy they are.
You can purchase a piggy bank for $35. Decorate it, fill it up and start a new family giving tradition today. Learn more about the Small Change – Big Difference Campaign .
I’d love to hear how you are encouraging your kids to give back. Use the #smallchange hashtag on social media to share your giving back tips.
The campaign website also gives you information on upcoming events at Deanna Rose Farmstead where Children’s Mercy will be on-site to share the Small Change – Big Difference fun:
Saturday, June 25: Fishing Tournament
Saturday, July 30: Chicken Run
Saturday, August 13: Safety Day
I’m a Kansas girl, born and raised. I’ve lived within a 30 mile radius my whole life, but last week I learned about parts if KCK, they I didn’t know about.
A few bloggers headed out on a tour and first up was the Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Pretty hungry by then, so we we off to lunch at T-Rex Cafe.
We walked off lunch with a fun scavenger hunt at The Legends. You can also download your own on their website and choose your level of difficulty. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but the wall behind me may or may not be a clue!
After a short rest, we spent the evening at the T-Bones baseball game. The park is ideal for families. Most tickets are priced below $10 and with their various promotional days, you can really get up close and personal. Kids can run bases, meet players on the field and see fire works. Checkout their schedule for specific promotional days. It is definitely family fun – well done!
With so much stuffed in our day, it was almost time to call it a night, but not before we grabbed our families and checked into the Great Wolf Lodge for the night. The kids jumped in their suits and headed in to the water for some fun! The indoor Park has something for all ages and sizes. There’s even an outdoor swim area and miniature golf that is open through the summer. My kids could’ve spent a week there, but they made the most of their night. Magic quest
and stories under the clock before bed. With all the water fun, they were sound asleep by 9:30!
So, I am a chicken, there, I admit it! I did not ride the world’s tallest water slide, but loved seeing (and hearing) the other bloggers take it on! If thrill rides are your thing, then this is the place to be. 264 stairs up and then 15 seconds down!
Be a useful I’m not a thrill ridder, I spent most of the day in the wave pool with my boys,while the girls did the slides. We floated around the park on the lazy river and the Rapids. You can ride around the whole park and never get out of your tube! We will definitely make a trip back before the end of summer.
I was so impressed with all the fun things you can do. Take a visit to Kansas City, Kansas , you will not be disappointed!
We went and we did – We love Springfield! We checked into the Holiday Inn Express – Springfield and before I could sit down, the kids were changed and headed to the pool. Indoor and heated and just the right size. My littles had the pool to themselves majority of our stay and enjoyed every second of it. They were also supper excited about the free breakfast each morning. The staff was so welcoming and accommodating when I needed to change my reservation. Lots of families staying there, it was close to all the attractions. I will definitely put Holiday Inn Express on the top of my list for our family travel. After their swim we picked up a quick dinner at Braums – one of my favorite places to eat, less than a mile from the hotel and since we don’t have it in Kansas City, we went there a couple of times while we could!
After our free breakfast the next morning, we headed to the Dickerson Park Zoo and it was amazing. Small, but in all the best ways.
The animals were close and easy to see, there weren’t huge crowds to fight and space to walk around, but not so much that you felt like you had to walk through Africa to see the animals in Africa. The trainers were around and willing to answer questions. We timed it just right and had a chance to see Patience the elephant do a few tricks and take a bath. All of the kids at the exhibit even had a chance to give her a treat.
We only had a few days, so after the zoo we headed straight to Fantastic Caverns. We learned a ton of history, like Missouri is the Cave State and that this is the only drive thru cave in America.
It was a much needed cool down in the 60 degree caves after walking around the zoo and a few drips of water from the formations took the kids by surprise. The tour took about an hour and guess what?! There is Starbucks coffee before you board the tram! Oh,yeah! That totally made this tired Mom’s day. At the beginning of the tour, you take a group pic and you can purchase at the end of your tour for a souvenir (notice the coffee in my hand).
Cleaned up and headed to dinner. Lambert’s “Home of the Throwed Rolls” is not to be missed! We had a 40 minute wait (it was Memorial Day) but boy was it worth it. Honestly I can taste the butter and molasses on the rolls right now as I type. Soooo good!
Back to the hotel and of course, back in the pool they went for our last night. Before we left town, we made a quick stop by Askinosie Chocolate and it smelled amazing!!! We were a little to early to tour the factory, but we got lots of samples and it’s the best dark chocolate I’ve ever had! They have a really cool story and how they support the farmers that their cocoa beans come from. “100% traceable from bean to bar.”
Before we got on the highway to head home, we stopped by Bass Pro. It’s one of the many free activities you can do in Springfield. If you have a kid who loves fishing and hunting they will be amazed at the super store! This trip to Springfield is what I call a 1 tank trip. From where I am in Kansas City, it took just about 2 1/2 hours to get there. It’s an easy all highway drive, with plenty of rest stops on the way, but hopefully you won’t need to stop. You could also make it a day trip and just go to one of the attractions, dinner and head home. The kids and I are already planning a trip back before they go back to school in August. If you go, you will LOVE Springfield!
Ever wonder what happens to the boy bands that you were obsessed with as a pre-teen? Well, from my view point it looks like NKOTB have found new life – on a boat! Yep, a boat of all things. Pop TV is following the boy band on their sold out cruise and you can see all the fun on Season 2 of ROCK THIS BOAT on Thursday, June 9th at 8:00pm, ET/PT. This season, fans will get up close and personal with the addition of 360 degree and virtual reality video. Live performances from the band’s perspective, selfies with Donnie, surf lesson with Joey and Jonathan and more.
Over the past eight years since reuniting, the ever popular NKOTB has played to countless sold out arenas and since brought back their wildly popular cruise, which first set sail in the 90s, as an exclusive experience for their fans. NKOTB bandmates, Donnie, Danny, Joey, Jordan and Jonathan, make the cruise one of those can’t miss annual experiences with up-close and personal interactions with fans, theme parties and special live music performances. With numerous sold out tours and multiple #1 hit songs, the band’s annual party cruise has sold out eight years in a row!
Check out the trailer and see just how close you are getting to NKOTB on ROCK THE BOAT – SEASON 2!
Seeing this brings back ALL the memories. Singing into my pretend microphone, learning every dance step to “Hangin’ Tough” and wishing I could go on tour with them. I can’t wait to check out the show and relive my teen days…maybe even torture my daughter while she watches me dance!
*Disclosure: This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer’s Network. All opinions are 100% my own.*
You guys know how much I love oil pulling with coconut oil from my blog: Why Oil Pulling is AMAZING!
Well, guess what, now there is individual packaged, mint flavored coconut oil from Lighten! I am so excited about this product. From the jar of oil, I usually scoop it out and warm it up. With this individual package, I can smoosh(yes, smoosh is a word) it around with my fingers to warm it up, rip it open and swish. It’s so easy!!
I’ve been using this one for the last week and I will say, it is my new go to. For complete details of how long to swish and all the benefits, see the blog post above.
Maybe what I notice the most is the color of my gums changing from brown to pink. I know that is one of the major benefits of pulling, but it’s fascinating to me how just doing a 7 day cycle can make a huge difference!
Everything was Awesome!
The littles and I headed to LEGO Kids Fest and was awesome! A place full of LEGOS and interactive display areas. For a child who loves LEGOS and even for one who never played with Legos, this place would make them a huge fan!
There are so many exhibits that it was hard for my 6 year old to pick a place to start, even with a detailed map given to us at the beginning.
He decided super heros would be first up! The detail in the Spiderman was incredible, that’s really the only way to describe all the figures. The kids could touch everything and take pictures,just asked not to climb on the figures.
Every display has something build or do. There aren’t just LEGOS, several vendors are on hand with additional activities from science to crafts.
Every area was staffed with a knowledgeable LEGO person, who helped all the kids. They explained how things worked, showed them a trick or helped them build.
Piles of LEGOS for kids of all ages to jump into, swim in or sit and build.
Fighting Ninjago LEGOS
Our tiles for the Art Wall!
All the LEGOS!
If you get tired and need a snack, there’s lots of consessions, a charging station for the phones and bean bags and a giant movie screen to take a rest before getting back to the fun!
If the LEGO Kids Fest is coming to your city,it is a must see! Visit www.legokidsfest.com to see the tour schedule or buy tickets.
Our last stop was to see the cool new Lego stationery. Rectangular pens and round erasers is the perfect gift for your Lego fan. We have a couple at home to practice his name.
We are in the countdown phase of the end of the school year and it is madness! Most days, I feel like calling the kids in for the next 2 weeks and calling it done! Since I work at their school, I am sure that’s not an option. So, to keep my job and my sanity, here’s my tips to survive:
1. Focus on the most important thing and get that done. Science project, papers due, studying for finals. If only one thing gets done, make it the most crucial thing.
2. Double check the last day of school date/time. For example, SMSD end 3 days earlier than planned, on a Monday and it’s a half day. Make sure you know when your kids are out.
3. Make sure all year end concerts and events are on your calendar.
4. Check the backpacks! There are field trip forms, picture orders, yearbook forms all sitting in the backpacks. That way, you also know which days sack lunches are needed.
5. Ask the teacher for an educational app or 2 to explore over the summer.
6. Thank the teacher. If you are stressed, you can imagine how they feel. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but a show of gratitude for the year they’ve spent with your child is appreciated.
7. If you are enrolling or moving, take note of the summer office hours, so you can get the forms turned in.
8. Buy a white tshirt or school shirt for kids to sign on the last day.
9. Prepare for all the artwork coming home. You may not know what to do with it, but a folder and label with your child’s name/grade can hold it in a safe place until you figure out what to do with it.
10. Make peace with the fact that some things just flat out won’t get done.
I had my tubes removed on New Years Eve (yeah, happy new year to me). It was part permanent birth control and partly to reduce my risk for ovarian cancer. The surgery went smoothly and in hind sight was probably the easiest part. The after affects have been something else. Several issues that I was not expecting and have been going back and forth to the doctor to try to combat. Part of treating the after affects has been various medications and hormone treatments and all those come with their own side effects, bleh! So, with all those the medications, hormone changes and organ removal – I’ve gained 12 pounds, my hair is falling out, I am severely anemic and my PMS and mood swings are insane! I’ve been working with my doctor and I think we’ve finally figured out a plan to get back to “normal”.
The new plan:
1. Detox from all the medications
2. Eat well- that annoying saying ” abs are made in the kitchen” is absolutely true. I don’t have abs (yet) but when I am eating well, my stomach is so much flatter than when I eat junk. I am truly going to have to keep to a clean eating plan if I’m going to hit my goal by November.
3. Keep lifting weights. For every 1 pound of muscle you have, your body burns 50 calories at rest.
4. To be mindful my emotional eating/food addiction. A setback and weightgain is not an excuse to let all my hard work go to pot.
5. Keep going – it’s a slow process, but quiting won’t speed it up.
I have pictures of my bare stomach, but shockingly, the girl who posts everything, is not ready to post those.
The picture on the left is from October 2015. My stomach was pretty puffy and round. I compare it to being 4 months pregnant.
The picture in the right was 2 weeks ago (April 2016). Less round and puffy, more like a love handle all the way around.
I am not sure my stomach will get flat without skin removal/tummy tuck. I haven’t really seen any examples of anyone who was close to 300lbs (and had 3 babies) and lost weight and who’s stomach got flat without surgery, so I will keep going and documenting and see what November brings.
You all know I’ve been on a get healthy journey and to go along with that comes healthy eating and planning meals. I have found that meal planning for my family is one of the best ways to stay on track with eating well and saving money. For example, taking my family of 4 to a fast food drive through at $5-$7 per “value” meal ads up to around $25 and for that amount, you can make a healthy meal and have left overs for lunch.
I decided to grab a blank weekly calendar and start plugging in the items that I usually cook. I usually just do a week at a time and some of my favorite printable menu planners are pinned here along with some new favorite healthy meals.
It is not easy because I feel like we are eating all the same things every week, but seeing it written down is helping me plan new things and actually try some of the recipes that I pin on Pinterest. Another thing that helps, is getting the kids involved. My children love to chop, stir and plate the food. There are several easy ways to get your kids involved, starting with the planning the meals, how to make great choices and a few other ideas here that will help the kids love being in the kitchen.
Another benefit to meal planning, is it goes a long way to help reinforce healthy habits. Fit-Tastic has a wonderful 5 step reminder of what to do daily. You can even take the quiz to see how healthy your habits are.
Now, it’s your turn! Tell me what’s on your meal planner in the comments section. I’d love to hear what you have every week and maybe steal some ideas! You can also make a plan or a goal and Fit-tastic will send you some recipes and emails to help you reach your goal.
I’ve had so much fun partnering with Children’s Mercy, being a part of their Mom panel and learning, that I’ve decided to continue our relationship and keep informing you of all the wonderful things they do for the children in Kansas City. There is great group of Mom bloggers that have been showcasing various health and family topics. You can connect with them via our CMH Moms Facebook Page , Twitter or blog.