Best of May in Kansas City: 2012
May in Kansas City... the end of the school year, Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Train Rides, Bar-B-Q, and NEW ATTRACTIONS! Don't miss these great places to go starting with the BRAND NEW LEGOLAND® Discovery Center!
It's Here... LEGOLAND® Discovery Center!
- When, Where, What: LEGOLAND® Discovery Center in Crown Center (2475 Grand Boulevard, KCMO. 816.471.4386). www.LEGOLandDiscoveryCenter.com
- Why We LOVE It: LEGO® has long held a spot in the hearts of children as one of the must-have toys for creativity and now, LEGO® makes a home in Kansas City in this brand new larger-than-life attraction! Begin your journey on a ride into the unknown on laser chariots. Play with the world’s biggest box of LEGOS®. Watch a film in the LEGO® Studios 4D cinema and explore a miniature Kansas City that highlights 10 of our most popular local attractions in LEGO® MINILAND®. Your imagination will run wild in this new family favorite! This is truly one of Kansas City's MUST SEE Attractions for 2012! Get the inside scoop on this attraction with our Sneak Peek of LEGOLAND!
- BONUS: Save $ with this exclusive LEGOLAND® Discovery Center coupon from KC Parent Magazine!
The Culture House presents The Diary of Anne Frank
- When, Where, What: May 4 & 5 at 7pm, May 5 & 6 at 2pm, at the Just Off Broadway Theater 3051 Penn Valley Drive, KCMO. Order Tickets Online
- Why We LOVE It: The Culture House is known for their quality family productions, and this spring's performance is intriguing and captivating as the true story of Anne Frank is presented on stage. Anne Frank, a Jewish teen, chronicles her family's experiences during Nazi occupation of Germany. On July 15, 1944, Frank writes, ‘‘I feel the suffering of millions.'' Now, her heroic and compelling story is known by millions and remembered for generations.
- When, Where, What: May 5, 6:30pm – 10:00pm at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art at Johnson County Community College. Benefit for the Johnson County Museum. Tickets are $75. Purchase securely online at www.yesterdaystomorrow.org.
- Why We LOVE It: The Johnson County Museum presents fantastic educational exhibits for the community, including KidScape, a free hands-on exhibit children love. This annual event is a fundraiser to support one of the area's best educational resources for families. Enjoy social hour, dinner, live entertainment, silent and live auctions, and a special program featuring nationally renowned photographer Bill Owens who will share his experiences as a photojournalist capturing suburban life – from the mundane to the bizarre!
Sheep Shearing Days!
- When, Where, What: May 5, Missouri Town 1855. It’s Spring and the flock of sheep at Missouri Town will be sheared of their winter coat. Fiber artists will demonstrate the complete process of shearing, washing, carding, dying, spinning, weaving and knitting. Take a step back in time and enjoy these important skills of our ancestors. Adults, $5.00; Youth 5-13 and Seniors, $3.00; Under 5, Free . 816.503.4860 www.jacksongov.org
- Why We LOVE It: When we first attended Missouri Town's Sheep Shearing Day, my first thought was, "I wish they would rename this event....it is MUCH more than Sheep Shearing and MUCH better than the name suggests!" It is "Sheep Shearing Day" because the focus of the day is on the fiber arts (shearing, dying, spinning, and weaving wool), but the festivities included many more fun and educational activities and our only regret after three hours at Missouri Town was that we didn't have MORE time to explore the village! We can't wait to go back ! Read our review of Sheep Shearing Days.
Brookside Art Annual!
- When, Where, What: May 4-6, The Brookside Art Annual (63rd and Brookside Blvd, KCMO) is a family-friendly art fair. Visit www.brooksidekc.org for more information. No admission fees. 816.523.5553
- Why We LOVE It: Brookside, just minutes from the Plaza, is home to several of our favorite shops, including: Brookside Toy & Science, Reading Reptile, The New Dime Store, and Stuff, one of Kansas City's Best Parks, Loose Park, and a wonderful Farmers' Market on Saturdays. It is also host of one of our favorite Art Festivals! Kansas City hosts some of the best Art Festivals in the nation and we love them all, but this particular festival is especially family friendly. The Brookside Art Annual features art work from local and national artists, terrific children's activities, live music in the evenings, and food from local restaurants.
Happy Birthday Harry!
- When, Where, What: On May 5th, celebrate the Birthday of President Truman in Historic Independence! Historic Independence Square, Main, Lexington, Liberty & Maple For more information call (816) 325-7111 or visit the website at http://www.visitindependence.com
- Why We LOVE It: This is a great event to celebrate Kansas City's Own Harry Truman and the rich historic sites of Independence, Missouri. On May 5th, admission is JUST a BUCK (in honor of "The Buck Stops Here" President Truman) including the Bingham-Waggoner Estate, Vaile Mansion, 1859 Jail & Marshal's Home Museum, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, The Puppetry Arts Institute, National Frontier Trails Museum, and Leila's Hair Museum. You'll also enjoy visits with Harry Truman, live music and entertainment, concessions, and children's activities. Free tours of the Trinity Episcopal Church, where Harry and Bess were married, will be offered. You can also hop on the Truman Trolley for only a buck a person to ride to and from the tourism sites and attractions. Take a stroll around the historic Independence Square and stop in one of the many unique shops and restaurants the Square has to offer. Read our article on Independence for more.
- When, Where, What: You can fish year-round at one of Kansas City's great Fishing Spots, or enjoy the FREE Kids Fishing Derby at Lake Jacomo (on Beach Road one-half mile north of Colbern Road) on May 5 at 8:30am. Cal 816.229.8980 for information. Children ages 2-15 will be testing their skill and luck. A casting clinic and other demonstrations will help hone their skills. Prizes are awarded to Derby winners. Children should bring their own tackle, bait and buckets to hold their catch!
- Why We LOVE It: Introduce your kids to the sport of fishing and enjoy a hobby that will last a lifetime. If you're lucky, you may even enjoy a great dinner out of the deal too!
Ride the Rails!
- When, Where, What: Kansas City is home to several affordable train rides for families, and most of them begin operation in May... all sure to delight your Little Engineers.
- Why We LOVE It: Children, young and old, love trains. Screaming in the tunnels, listening to the rhythm of the tracks, and waving at passersby… memories of train rides are a highlight of childhood. A few highlights: Kansas City Zoo FOTZ Members can upgrade to a Gold or Platinum Membership for unlimited train, tram, and carousel rides! The Belton, Grandview & KC Railroad is one of our favorites where you can enjoy rides on the weekends starting in May with 2pm rides on Saturdays and Sundays for just $8.50/person! In the summer they offer Ice Cream, Hot Dog, and Holiday Train Rides too! The KC Northern Railroad is only 50cents/each Memorial Weekend - Labor Day Weekend! On a rainy day, take your train lover indoors for a treat at Fritz's Railroad Restaurant where meals are delivered by train. And... the Midland Railway begins operation in June, but May is the month to make reservations for their annual sell-out event, "Day Out with Thomas" where fans ride with Thomas the Train and meet Thomas the Train characters!
- Bonus: If you plan to visit Branson this summer, consider staying at Caboose Junction where your kids will delight in sleeping overnight in cabooses turned campers! Read about our experience Camping in a Caboose for more information.
National Miniature Golf Day!
- When, Where, What: May 12 at Cool Crest. Cool Crest will celebrate National Miniature Golf Day by offering a free miniature golf season pass ($79.99 value) to the first 100 guests that purchase a round of mini golf! Hole- in-one prizes will also be awarded all day long. 816.358.0088 www.coolcrest.com
- Why We LOVE It: Miniature Golf is one of the most fun ways to spend a day playing together as a family and Cool Crest is the prettiest mini-golf course in KC! Read about our Day at Cool Crest for the inside scoop on this popular attraction.
It's All About MOM!
- When, Where, What: Kansas City's attractions are rolling out the red carpet for mom this Mother's Day, May 13! From FREE Events at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to FREE Admission at the Kansas City Zoo, great places to make gifts, enjoy brunch at Powell Gardens, and more, we have it all in our Kansas City Mother's Day Guide.
- Why We LOVE It: We LOVE Moms and we LOVE celebrating mom with local traditions at local venues! Make a gift for mom at one of the Best Places to Make Gifts in KC or celebrate Mom at Mother's Day Events in KC... just spend the day together celebrating family and all that means!
Sprint Family Fun Day
- When, Where, What: This Year's Sprint Family Fun Days begin on May 19 from 11am-3pm at KC Power and Light District. Sprint Family Fun Days are offered on the 3rd Saturday of the Month May-Oct.
- Why We LOVE It: Live music, puppets, art... what's not to love? Rock n' Roll the day away with the entire family with the LaLa's and enjoy the True Story of the 3 Little Pigs Paul Mesner Puppet Show too! Best of all... it's all FREE!
Fairy Tales Can Come True!
- When, Where, What: April Showers bring May Flowers and we can't wait to Stop and Smell the Roses! Okay, enough with the cliches. Let's just say Kansas City is home to several marvelous gardens, including Powell Gardens, the Overland Park Arboretum, the Rose Garden at Loose Park, the Children's Beanstalk Garden and Kauffman Memorial Gardens.
- Why We LOVE It: Each garden on our list offers a great family outing, and this summer they are all better than ever! Visit Powell Gardens where, from May 19 - Oct. 7, you can explore Fairy Houses & Forts: An Enchanting Garden Adventure. Enter a magical world of childhood fantasies come true during this imaginative exhibition. Regional designers have created large-scale fairy houses and fanciful forts to inspire, amuse and ignite an interest in exploring the great outdoors.From the mysterious structure on Skeleton Island to the hide-in-plain-sight fun of "Mirror-Mirror," the exhibition is a garden kingdom waiting to be discovered and the exhibition is included with regular Garden admission. The Monet Garden and Children's Gardens at the Overland Park Arboretum have always been favorites, but this year the introduction of the Train Garden is a real treat! Kids learn about gardening firsthand at the Beanstalk Children's Garden. And the Kauffman Memorial Garden and Loose Park Rose Garden are both great for a picnic.
- Bonus: Read our Review of Fairy Houses & Forts and learn how you can make your own creations! And enter our Powell Gardens Enchanted Overnight Giveaway!!
Rock 'n Roll at Jiggle Jam!
- When, Where, What: Jiggle Jam, Kansas City's annual Family Music Festival giggles, jiggles, and wiggles into KC Memorial Day Weekend! May 26th, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and May 27th, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Crown Center (2500 Grand Blvd., KCMO). 816.997.8511 www.KCJiggleJam.com
- Why We LOVE It: The fifth annual Jiggle Jam Family Music Fest giggles, wiggles and jiggles into Downtown Kansas City on Memorial Day weekend bringing generations and communities together to experience live music and educational activities in a fun and positive atmosphere that the entire family can enjoy. Kid Rockers, both local and national, present an incredible family music festival that's a rockin' good time for everyone!
Stomp with the Dinosaurs!
- When, Where, What: FREE hands-on children's exhibit, Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice™ at Crown Center, May 26 - Sept. 9. Open during Crown Center shopping hours. 816.274.8444
- Why We LOVE It: Summer is great, but let's face it... it tends to get hot! What better way to cool off than with a FREE indoor air-conditioned excursion into the world of Fire and Ice at Crown Center's newest exhibit for chidlren. Created by the Minnesota Children’s Museum, this interactive traveling exhibit transports visitors back in time to when the dinosaurs last roamed the earth. Encounter realistic, fully touchable dinosaurs, including a Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops. At the Big Dig, children unearth fossils and identify them in the Field Research Station. See a smoldering volcano, dinosaur puzzles, an “icy” slide and prehistoric cave. At the photo kiosk, visitors can take a photo with a dinosaur and email a digital postcard to family and friends. And, while you're there... be sure to follow our Tips for the BEST Day at Crown Center!
Celebration at the Station!
- When, Where, What: May 27, 7:30pm-9:30pm at Union Station (30 W. Pershing, KCMO). FREE Memorial Day Celebration with a 90 Minute Patriotic Musical performance by the Kansas City Symphony, followed by Fireworks over Liberty Memorial. www.CelebrationAtTheStation.com
- Why We Love It: Celebration at the Station is a wonderful patriotic celebration as Kansas City gathers to pay tribute to Veterans and celebrate freedom at a marvelous outdoor concert. The Grand Finale of the evening is a magnificent fireworks display behind Liberty Memorial choreographed to patriotic music and a 21-gun salute to Veterans. Pack a picnic, or buy food from vendors, bring lawn chairs and bottle water, and prepare to wave your flags and cheer as Kansas City celebrates America, freedom, and what Memorial Day is really all about!