Beat the Winter Blahs in KC: Ideas from A to Z
Beat the winter blahs for little ones in KC with these ideas from A to Z:
A) Art: Visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak, Kansas City, MO, 816.751.1238), where admission is free; just pay for parking. Bring your baby in a stroller or carrier for an adult-focused, yet infant-friendly, mini museum tour during their Junior Jaunts Stroller Tour on the third Friday of the month.
B) Bounce: Head to Jump City (8020 E. 171st St., Belton, MO, 816.425.4966) for an open play session inside this inflatable mecca. With bounce houses, climbing tunnels and soft play areas, this is a favorite way to get the wiggles out.
C) Ceramics: Make a ceramic keepsake with Baby’s handprints or footprints 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, KS, 866.662.2188) or Ceramic Cafe (9425 Mission Rd., Leawood, KS, 913.383.0222).
D) Date night: Ward off cabin fever for new parents with a night on the town. Enlist a friend or relative to babysit and check out the ideas on pg 32.
E) Enjoy the outdoors: Ward off cabin fever by bundling up and braving the elements. Head to your favorite park or discover a new one at KCParent.com.
.F) Find freebies: Discover the freebies for kids at your local supermarket. Many grocery stores offer birthday clubs for children with giveaways or discounts on cake and party goods. Grocers offer free cookies, fruit and treats. And sample day at Costco or Sam’s Club is always a favorite time to shop.
G) Go to the movies: Matinee movies during the week are always a better value. You can feed Baby in the theater and catch the newest release on the big screen.
H) Home sweet home: Have fun at home! Make play-dough, color, cuddle, play with bath toys, finger paint, make cookies and enjoy quality time at home.
I) Investigate the zoo: The Kansas City Zoo is open year-round. Choose a warmer winter day to visit all the indoor exhibits—polar bear, penguins, Discovery Barn, Tropics—and remember to pack a lunch.
J) Just do what you love most: Your little one isn’t begging for a day at the children’s museum yet so enjoy what YOU love most. Find creative ways to continue your hobbies. Read your favorite books during naptime, listen to podcasts while driving or cooking, schedule time with friends, tackle small projects while Baby plays in his high chair.
K) KidScape at the NEW Johnson County Museum: This indoor exhibit has been reimagined and revamped at the Johnson County Museum’s new home (8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS, 913.826.2787). The play area is perfect for toddlers, preschoolers and friends.
L) Lunch at Legends Outlets: Bundle up and spend a day walking around Legends Outlets (LegendsShopping.com). Shop, take in a movie, eat lunch and relax. Visit Cabela’s and look at fish in the aquarium.
M) Make things: Tag along with another mom friend and her little ones and spend a day creating art at Kaleidoscope, where children can create their own projects with special materials from Hallmark and Crayola. They love the glow-in-the-dark room, melted wax, watercolor paint dryer and jigsaw puzzle maker. Best of all, it is FREE! (2500 Grand, Kansas City, MO; call for hours, 816.274.8300)
N) Nature exploration: Kansas City is home to many wonderful nature centers, including our two favorites. Burr Oak Woods (1401 NW Park Rd., Blue Springs, MO, 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) Observe pets: You can enjoy the pleasure of pets without owning one. Head to your local pet store where you can watch fish, see reptiles and admire puppies and kitties at play. If you’re looking to add a furry friend to your family, KC Pet Project (KCPetProject.org) partners with local Petco locations to adopt pets to new families.
P) Plan ahead: Winter can be a time for cold weather (who wants to run to the store?), illness (you may want to stay in and avoid germs) and comfort food. Take advantage of your local grocery store’s delivery or drive-up/pickup options to simplify shopping and keep Baby out of the elements. For even simpler meal planning, pick up freezer meals at Social Suppers (8219 Corinth Mall, Prairie Village, KS, 913.381.3910).
Q) Quell your curiosity: Spend a day among 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. All of our local libraries host story times and special events for little ones year-round.
R) Read: Local bookstores often host story times, author events and even meet-and-greet times with beloved storybook characters. Check out your favorite bookstore’s website for information.
S) Swim: Community centers, YMCAs and local gyms are home to indoor pools offering swim lessons for infants and toddlers. Winter is an oft-overlooked time to take swimming lessons.
T) Take a class: Area hospitals offer a variety of classes for new and expectant parents and their families. Take a childbirth, lactation, first aid, health and nutrition, infant care, baby sign language or sibling class at a local hospital. Check their websites for information. Use our Kansas City Labor & Delivery Hospital Guide to find the perfect location for you and your child.
U) Underwater exploration: Walk through an underwater tunnel at Sea Life Kansas City (2475 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO, 816.471.4386). Enjoy up-close views of more than 5,000 sea creatures.
V) Visit loved ones: Do you have a loved one or friend in a local nursing home? Are grandparents nearby? A visit from you and Baby is sure to brighten everyone’s day.
W) Water play: At Paradise Park (1021 NE Colbern Rd., Lee’s Summit, 816.246.5224), the Children’s Edutainment Center is designed with young children in mind. With a water play table, infant and toddler area and a variety of places for sensory play, this is a favorite indoor outing.
X) eXplore: Try something new from the Kansas City calendar on KCParent.com.
Y) Yum: Check out our Kids Eat Free Guide on KCParent.com and take the family out to eat.
Z) Zero: The number of days you’ll be bored with all of the above ideas!
Kristina Light’s girls spent many days in strollers exploring museums and bookstores as infants…and now they share that interest with their mom.