Resources for KC Parents
- Northland Macaroni Kid: This site has a great calendar specifically for North Kansas City events (including library activities are listed). They also have cool articles and comprehensive lists of parks and other sites to visit.
- KC Kids Fun: Here you can find tons of events all around the Kansas City area. From festivals to out-door movies and theater shows to open gyms, I don’t think a single thing was left off this list.
- KC Parent: This is another comprehensive list of goings on, but what I really love is their weekly Thursday e-mail, delivered right to your inbox highlighting family activities all around the area for the weekend
History and Nature Go Well Together
- Watkins Mill State Park, 26600 Park Road North, Lawson, MO 64062: I don’t even know where to start with this one. It is absolutely one of our very favorite places to spend the day (or the weekend as this is also our favorite place to camp close to home). You can start out early at the Visitor’s Center to grab a map and take the foot path out to the Watkins House, the gardens and the mill. Then jump back in the car to head over to the picnic area and the beach. There’s usually plenty of parking there. Don’t forget to bring your bikes so you can take the trail around the entire lake. It’s a very easy, paved trail and the majority of it is shaded. There are lots of places to take a water break and explore the many streams and rock features.
- Shoal Creek Living History Museum, 700NE Barry Road, Kansas City, MO 64156: This is an 80-acre park with authentic buildings documenting Missouri history. Take a guided tour or wander the trails and explore the buildings on your own. Be sure to check out their website for a list of events. The 1st Saturday of the month sees the place come alive with reenactments and other shows.
- Parkville Nature Sanctuary, 100-198 E 12 St., Parkville, MO 64152: Okay, so I don’t have a history piece to go with this one, but it is such a cool (temperature and awesomeness) nature trail. Again, the fact that it is nearly all shaded is a huge bonus. We have our favorite path to take (must hit the waterfall first to satisfy my climbers), but there are so many options and ways to explore.
Parks, Parks and More Parks
- Macken Park: 60 acres of sports amenities and playgrounds abound. There’s something there for every age and skill level. Whether your pre-teens want to pick up a game on the basketball courts or your littler ones need some new options, you won’t have a hard time making everyone happy. The play structures are unique and will challenge fine and gross motor skills.
- Dagg Park: This park literally has it all without being so big that you have a hard time keeping track of everyone. It has a splash pad (water can be such a lifesaver), pavilions, and interesting play structures that you won’t see everywhere else. It also has the added bonus of being near a library and two of my favorite family friendly restaurants, First Watch and Chicken ‘N Pickle.
- Penguin Park: The cute characters, varying textures and friendly families will have your little ones asking to visit on those not so hot days (not a ton of shade).
Escaping the Heat (but you will have to pay)
- We Rock the Spectrum: A fun indoor gym ideal for kids under 10 yrs. They have a zip line, a constantly changing array of swings, a trampoline, a climbing wall, a creation center, a room with dress up and kitchen play, and a little counter where you can watch all the fun. If, after your first visit, you decide you’d come back again, the 10 visit pass is a great option.
- Fun Run, 1919 Industrial Drive, Liberty, MO 64068: Bounce houses galore, an old time town to climb through, games and a snack bar mean hours of air-conditioned fun.
- Above All Trampoline Park, 1927 Industrial Drive, Liberty, MO 64068: Not much explanation needed here – a giant industrial room filled with trampolines. You pay per hour, but call ahead because there is a limit to how many people can be in there at one time.
- B&B Summer Kids Series, All Locations: B&B offers $3 movies at 10am every Tuesday-Thursday. You can see the list of movies by date on their website.
- Liberty Lagoon at Sleep Inn, 1840 N Church Road, Liberty, MO 64068: Hitting the neighborhood or community pool is great, but sometimes I just have to get out of the sun. During the week you can swim in their pool and play on the slides for just $10 per person. I particularly like this swim location because you can see every part of it from any location, and it has fun activities for big and tiny kids alike.
Just as with my last post, this only scrapes the service of what you can do with the family in North Kansas City, so I really hope you will add your favorites below. Coming Soon: The East and the West.