Winter Fun in KC from A-Z
Winter doesn't have to be boring! Have fun with the kids in KC with our ideas from A to Z:
A) Art: Create your own masterpiece at the free Kaleidoscope (2500 Grand, Kansas City, MO, 816.274.8300, HallmarkKaleidoscope.com). The glow-in-the-dark room, melted wax, watercolor paint dryer and jigsaw puzzle maker inspire creativity.
B) Banking: The Money Museum (1 Memorial Dr., Kansas City, MO, 816.881.2683) is a free museum where you’ll learn how the Federal Reserve Bank works and its role in the U.S. economy. Peek into one of the nation's largest cash vaults, create your own monetary artwork and view coins from each U.S. presidential administration.
C) Ceramics: Paint your own ceramic creations at a local pottery shop. They supply the ceramics, the paints and the brushes…you just supply the creative budding artists! Paint, Glaze and Fire (12683 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, 866.662.2188) or Ceramic Cafe (9425 Mission Rd., Leawood, 913.383.0222).
D) DONUTS. Grab a dozen of your favorite breakfast treats or visit our guide to find a new donut shop to try. For a fun field trip head to Donutology where you can top your donuts to make your own unique treat!
E) Eat Out: KC boasts several super fun restaurants for families, but the ultimate top pick for KC kids is consistently Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant (three locations: 250 N. 18th St., Kansas City, KS, 913.281.2777; first floor Crown Center, 2500 Grand, Kansas City. MO, 816.474.4004; or 13803 W. 63rd St., Shawnee, 913.375.1000). Model trains deliver burgers and shakes to your table.
F) Foam Factory: At Paradise Park (1021 NE Colbern Rd., Lee’s Summit, 816.246.5224, Paradise-Park.com) fire foam balls at friends using compressed air devices in the Foam Factory! While you’re there, climb a rock wall or explore the Children’s Edutainment Center, with everything from a miniature grocery store and bank to an indoor water play exhibit and art center.
G) Gallery: Embark on a quest for hidden art with our exclusive scavenger hunt for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak, Kansas City, MO, 816.751.1238) found on KCParent.com.
H) Hills: Weather permitting, take the family sledding! Visit KCParent.com for a list of the best sledding hills in Kansas City!
I) Ice Skate: Take a spin around the ice at one of the metro's rinks! Indoor: Silverstein Eye Center's Arena (19100 E. Valley View Pkwy., Independence, 816.795.7577), Ice Sports Arena (19900 Johnson Dr., Shawnee, 913.441.3033), Line Creek Community Center Ice Rink (5940 NW Waukomis Dr., Kansas City, MO, 816.513.0760). Outdoor: Crown Center Ice Terrace (2500 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO), the Ice at Park Place (11565 Ash St., Leawood), Linden Square (NE 70th & N. Cherry, Gladstone), the Rink at Burlington Square (6109 NW 63rd Ter., Kansas City, MO, 816.249.2600).
J) Jazz: Kansas City is known for jazz, and the American Jazz Museum (1616 E. 18th St., Kansas City, MO, 816.221.1920, AmericanJazzMuseum.com) is the perfect place to introduce young music lovers to the local genre. With wonderful hands-on exhibits and listening centers to explore, children enjoy listening to classic jazz, composing their own pieces and learning about the history of 18th and Vine.
K) KU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: When the weather is frightful, head to a KU Women’s Basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse. Enjoy the Kids Zone before the game. For a schedule visit KUAthletics.com.
L) LEGENDS: Bundle up and spend a day walking around Legends Outlets. Shop, take in a movie, eat dinner and learn about local legends. Be sure to head to their website (LegendsShopping.com) to download a fun family scavenger hunt!
M) Motorcycles: Harley-Davidson Factory Tours (11401 N. Congress Ave., Kansas City, MO, 816.270.8023, Harley-Davidson.com). These tours are for guests ages 12 and up. Watch the modern assembly line process firsthand as manufacturers build a motorcycle right before your eyes.
N) Nature: Kansas City is home to many wonderful nature centers, two favorites include: Burr Oak Woods (1401 NW Park Rd., Blue Springs, 816.228.3766, MDC.mo.gov) offers a large aquarium of Missouri's freshwater fish, snakes, turtles, toads and more. Lakeside Nature Center (4701 E. Gregory Blvd., Kansas City, MO, 816.513.8960, LakesideNatureCenter.org) is home to some of the best animal exhibits in the area.
O) Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails: The trails played an integral part in shaping Kansas City. At the National Frontier Trails Museum (318 W. Pacific, Independence, 816.325.7575), you can participate in interactive exhibits as you learn about Western expansion. The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop features tours of the farm home and Santa Fe Trail stagecoach stop, as well as actual stagecoach rides (1200 Kansas City Rd., Olathe, 913.971.5111).
P) Planetarium: The Gottlieb Planetarium at Union Station (UnionStation.org) offers shows for $6 each, with spectacular presentations featuring starry skies.
Q) Quell Your Curiosity: Spend a day in the shelves at the local library looking for new books and exploring sections of the library you’ve never explored before. Increase your chances of making a new discovery with a visit to a new branch.
R) RIDE THE STREETCAR: Explore downtown aboard the free Kansas City Streetcar and participate in our free KC streetcar scavenger hunt.
S) Steamboat: In 1856, the Arabia steamboat was traversing the Missouri River when her paddle wheel caught a tree snag and she sank. The treasure is now on display at the Arabia Steamboat Museum (400 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO, 816.471.1856).
T) Trampolines: Take the kids to an indoor trampoline park where they can burn off energy and have a blast! Our favorites are Sky Zone Lee’s Summit (SkyZone.com/LeesSummit) and Urban Air in Overland Park (UrbanAirOP.com).
U) Underwater: Walk through an underwater tunnel at Sea Life Kansas City. Enjoy up-close views of more than 5,000 sea creatures.
V) Volunteer: Help with Harvester’s Food Pantry (Harvesters.org/give-time/volunteer-sign-up), Children’s Mercy Hospital (ChildrensMercy.org/help-our-kids/volunteer), KC Pet Project (KCPetProject.org/volunteer) or another local organization through your house of worship or school. Giving back to the community is an important part of growing up.
W) WIZARD OF OZ: The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (ToyAndMiniatureMuseum.org) is home to dollhouses, miniatures and toys from yesteryear. This winter they are celebrating the world of the Wizard of Oz with a new exhibit featuring toys from the story.
X) eXplore: Try something new from the Kansas City calendar on KCParent.com.
Y) Yum: Check out our Kids Eat Free Guide and take the family out to eat.
Z) Zero: The number of days you’ll be bored with all of the above ideas!
Kansas City mom Kristina Light loves winter most of all and hopes for some snowy January days.