Creative Ideas for Snow Days in Kansas City

Creative Ideas for Snow Days in Kansas City



Snow is almost a guarantee in January in Kansas City, but the amount of snow, when it will come, how long it will last and the quality of “fun snow” varies. Children typically love snow days: no school, hot cocoa and sledding. For parents, things aren’t that simple. You don’t have to ask many parents before you discover a trend: Many have a love/hate relationship with snow. You can make the most of the winter and turn a snowy day into a family memory with these ideas.

Host a Snow Party

Invite friends over for a casual day of fun. This can be as elaborate or as low-key as you like. Take a few of these ideas and make them your own.

  • Host a “No Snow” Snow Party: Are kids yearning for snow and yet none has fallen (or maybe just not enough to build Frosty or Olaf)? Then host a no-snow snow party! Serve snow-themed snacks. Cut flour tortillas with scissors as you would a paper snowflake, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake until melted. Serve cauliflower and ranch dip as little snow hills. Make snowmen out of giant marshmallows with chocolate frosting eyes and buttons, or use white powdered donuts. Bake sugar cookies and decorate as snowflakes. Let the kids help brainstorm additional menu ideas using white foods. For fun, make fake snow. Simply mix 1 ¼ c. baking soda with ¼ cup of white conditioner. This will create a fun wet snow for tactile play. Older kids enjoy Minute to Win It games with miniature marshmallows. You’ll find a lot of ideas on Pinterest, but a few of our favorites include using toothpicks and mini marshmallows to build the tallest structure in under a minute, using chopsticks to pick up marshmallows and drop them into a bottle and using a straw to move marshmallows from one plate to another. Use giant white pom-poms or pillows for an indoor snowball fight.
  • Host an Old-Fashioned Sledding Party: Do you happen to live near a great sled hill? Our family does, and every winter when we’re fortunate to have a good sledding snow, we invite friends over for an old-fashioned sled party. I like to make double batches of chili and soup and freeze half for future meals. If you have enough snow, make snow ice cream (recipe on KCParent.com). I serve up one of our favorites along with some sandwiches and cookies, then the kids spend the afternoon on the hills. Return home to cocoa and popcorn and toasty toes by the fire. If you have time, play a favorite board game or try one of the Minute to Win It ideas above. Tip: You’ll find a guide to the best local sled hills here.

DIY Snow Projects

One of our favorite ways to combat cabin fever is by turning winter blahs into opportunities for winter DIYs. Cultivate creativity with one of these snow-themed DIY opportunities at local businesses:

  • Ceramic Cafe (9510 Nall, Overland Park, KS, 913.383.0222, CereamicCafeKC.com) will be hosting a "Winter Wonderland " week Jan. 15-21.  Their Creative Story Time at 10:30 on Jan. 16 and 19 will feature The Biggest Snowman Ever, and kids will paint a snowman bowl ($12/child, reservations encouraged). They shop also will be offering classes all week for glass fusing, pottery painting and clay creations. Check their calendar to discover a chance to make a footprint snowman ($14) with little ones or try a kids clay class to make a snowman or snowflake plate ($18). Prices range from $10 to $35.
  • Thirsty Palette (11958 Roe Ave., Overland Park, KS, 913.669.0501, ThirstyPalette.com). If your creative juices are yearning for snow-themed fun without the mess at home, check Thirsty Palette’s calendar offering a variety of winter scenes. Teachers offer step-by-step instructions as you paint your own masterpiece.
  • Paint, Glaze & Fire (12683 Metcalf, Overland Park, 913.661.2529, PaintGlazeAndFire.net). This paint-your-own pottery studio allows you to select a piece (many snowmen in the collection) to paint.  Special events will include Paint Me a Story on Jan. 5 (10:30-11:30) with the story Sneezy the Snowman and Jan. 19 with Snowmen at Night. For a special snowman treat, children will enjoy hot chocolate with animal crackers.
  • Kaleidoscope (2500 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO, 816.274.8301, HallmarkKaleidoscope.com) in the Crown Center complex is a free and magical art center for kids, with seasonal projects including snowmen to inspire budding artists.

Get into the Spirit with Snow-Themed Fun

Take the family on an outing to enjoy the best of winter at one of these local attractions:

  • The Kansas City Zoo (6700 Zoo Dr., Kansas City, MO, 816.513.5700, KansasCityZoo.org) is open year-round, and favorite stops are the Polar Bear Passage and the Helzberg Penguin Plaza. Featuring a dozen Humboldt penguins and nearly 40 cold water penguins, the Helzberg Penguin Plaza is a state-of-the-art exhibit with a 100,000-gallon cool pool for cold water penguins and a 25,000-gallon warm wet area laced with sand for warm water penguins. On weekends, watch as the penguins march from the back of the exhibit, outside for guests to see and then back inside the building, weather permitting.
  • Brave the cold and enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride (offered only on snowy weekends) at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop (1200 Kansas City Rd., Olathe, KS, Mahaffie.org). Mahaffie is one of our favorite historic sites in the metro, with wonderful interpretive programs throughout the year. On snowy winter weekends, you may ride in an authentic 19th-century horse-drawn sleigh. Be sure to call ahead at 913.971.5111 to verify (this is a weather dependent activity).
  • Snowman Trail at George Owens Nature Park (1601 S. Speck Rd., Independence, MO, GeorgeOwensNaturePark.org) is a whimsical winter walk. Local citizens decorated 4-foot-tall snowmen for the annual winter solstice in December, and they are on display along the trail through the month of January.

Get Active with Snow & Ice Sports

Head to Weston for skiing and snowboarding at Snow Creek Ski Resort (816.640.2200, SkiSnowCreek.com). The facility offers snow skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing, as well as lessons for beginners. The most daring experience at Snow Creek is tubing at Tornado Alley. Slide down a 700-foot-long slope and then jump onto a special conveyor carpet "twister" for a ride back up!

If you’re more into spectator sports, catch an ice hockey game in Independence as you cheer for the Missouri Mavericks (19100 E. Valley View Pkwy., Independence, MO, 816.252.7825, KCMavericks.com).

Top off the winter family fun with a spin on the ice at one of these indoor or outdoor skating rinks:

Indoor Ice Skating Rinks:

  • HCA Midwest Centerpoint Community Ice 19100 E. Valley View Pkwy., Independence, MO, 816.795.7577, CenterpointCommunityIce.com
  • Kansas City Ice Center and Pavilion 19900 Johnson Dr., Shawnee, KS, 913.441.3033, KCIceCenter.com
  • Line Creek Community Center Ice Rink 5940 NW Waukomis Dr., Kansas City, MO, 816.513.0760, KCParks.org/places/line-creek

Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks:

Kristina Light loves snow and reminds her girls of the promise of Isaiah 1:18 every winter.

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