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Jun 6, 2012 100 Days of Summer in Kansas City

Inspiration and Tips for Summer Fun in Kansas City

Historic Overland Park... Farmers Market, Concerts & More

Historic Overland Park... Farmers Market, Concerts & More

Historic Overland Park Day Trip Diary:

    Have you ever wanted to learn more about cooking, crafting, sewing, scrapbooking, or the arts? If you are desiring "something new" mixed with the nostalgia of an All-American Main Street... Historic Downtown Overland Park is the place for you! While the Historic Shopping District (just off Metcalf between 78th and 83rd streets in Overland Park) offers many quaint shops for many interest from antiques to model trains, the biggest fans of the area seem to be local foodies who flock to the local Farmers' Market, Penzeys Spice Shop, and delicious restaurants and bakeries!

Overland Park Farmers' Market:

Overland Park Farmers' Market     Details: Located west of Marty between 79th and 80th Streets in Overland Park, KS. FREE Parking! Saturdays April - October, 6:30 am - 1 pm; Wednesdays June - September, 7:30 am - 1 pm. http://www.downtownop.org/
    What You'll Find: The Overland Park Farmers' Market is one of the larger markets in Kansas City. You'll enjoy seasonal fresh produce, honey, baked goods from local shops including the Clock Tower Bakery, oils and vinegars from The Tasteful Olive, and unique delicacies like sheep's milk cheese from Green Dirt Farm and emu sausage, oil, and soap from 4-D Acres Emu Farm. And, check the schedule for concerts and special events! We also recommend starting a family tradition of buying one new item with every visit so you can try a new food! This summer, our family tried lemon cucumbers, emu sausage, and new breads and pastas!
    Farmers' Market Shopping Tips: Wear comfortable shoes. Bring bottled water and shopping bags (some vendors provide them, but its always good to reuse). It's always wise to bring cash in small bills (many vendors do accept credit cards or checks; however, many do not).  If you plan to purchase large quantities of produce, a wagon or cart will come in handy. You may also want to bring a cooler with ice if you’re concerned about berries arriving home fresh after a day in the summer sun.

Historic Downtown Overland Park:
Shops & Restaurants

     Details: The Historic Downtown Overland Park shopping district is home to many unique boutiques, antique shops, restaurants, bakeries, and businesses. Many of the shops offer classes in their area of expertise making a great moms' night out, date night, or parent/child outing! Read this Current Directory of Downtown Overland Park businesses for more.

Top Picks for Shopping & Dining in Downtown Overland Park:

Beadazzler: If you enjoy making your own jewelry, or you've been considering a new hobby, Beadazzler is the place to go. They offer a wide selection of beads and tools to design your own jewelry and they even offer classes and parties. 7315 W 80th Street. 913.642.3237

Clock Tower Bakery & Cafe: The Clock Tower Bakery specializes in artisan breads and baked goods. You may purchase their delicious breads, rolls, and breakfast items at the Farmers' Market or at their shop located at 7911 Santa Fe Drive. 913.948.9559

Culinary Center of Kansas City: The Culinary Center of Kansas City specializes in cooking classes, offering over 450 classes from gourmet cooking to beginning skills for children, adults, and groups. This is the premier place to hone your culinary skills and explore new foods under the training of experienced chefs and professionals. On Tuesdays, they serve a "Staff Lunch" to the public for only $12 and they offer FREE cooking demos on special Saturdays. 7920 Santa Fe Drive. 913.341.4455

Elsa's Ethiopian Restaurant: Elsa's is one of the newest restaurants in Downtown Overland Park, specializing in authentic Ethiopian Cuisine. Prepare to enjoy an explosion of spices and eat it authentically with your fingers. Save room for the terrific baklava for dessert! 8016 Santa Fe Drive. 913.648.5000

Fred's Train Shop: Fred's Train Shop specializes in model trains! The hobbiest will find O, S, HO, N, Z & G scale trains, accessories and a full line of scenery. Children will enjoy visiting the shop where displays are set up depicting the small town charm of years gone by and beloved trains including Thomas! 7327 W. 80th. 913.383.3500

Great Day CafeGreat Day Cafe: This isn't your typical neighborhood cafe. Yes, they serve delicious sandwiches, soups and salads... just as you'd expect from your local cafe, but there's more.... there's entertainment for the soul! Don't be surprised to walk in and hear restaurant owner, Greg Tugman playing the clarinet, flute, or saxophone, (you can request music too!), and on occasion, his wife Sandy demonstrates her potter's wheel, making this a delicious and unforgettable favorite for locals and visitors alike as they live up to the restaurant's name with their creativity and style. 7921 Santa Fe Drive. 913.642.9090

Harpers Fabric & Quilt Company: Seamstresses are already in love with the shop that specializes in top quality quilting and fashion fabrics, sewing machines and sergers. This shop also offers classes for all levels of sewers, including children! And, they repair machines. This is a must-stop shop for the experienced and the novice seamstress looking for tips and inspiration. 7918 Santa Fe Drive. 913.648.2739

Ink, Paper, Rubber:  The shop is the scrapbookers' dream with a plethora of craft and card making supplies including rubber stamps, paints, inks, and papers. The shop also offers classes and parties for children and adults. www.inkpaperrubber.com 7220 W. 80th St., 913.381.2217

Penzeys Spices: Penzeys Spices sells top quality spices from around the world. With over 250 herbs, seasoning blends and spices this is the place to go for hard-to-find spices and top quality products. www.penzeys.com 7937 Santa Fe Dr. 913.341.1775

The Rio Theatre: One of Kansas' most historic movie theatres, the Rio is now a member of the Fine Arts Group specializing in independent films. www.fineartsgroup.com 7204 W. 80th Street. 913.383.8500

The Snack Shack on Santa Fe: The Snak Shack stands out in the crowd for their environmental conscience and the ability to mix a desire to promote organic foods and the support of local farmers with a delicious menu! The family owned and operated burger joint serves only locally raised grass fed angus beef, local bread, and local/organic produce. This cafe is one of the best diners in Kansas City serving up healthy, and environmentally friendly meals that are easy on the budget and delicious too! 8039 Santa Fe Drive. 913.428.7749

Sugar Pop Kids: This boutique is a children's consignment shop selling top-of-the-line clothes, toys, and gifts. 7927 Floyd. 913.649.2260

The Tasteful Olive: Specializing in oils and vinegars, The Tasteful Olive carries fresh extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world. They also carry gourmet products including pasta, olives and olive products, spice blends and sea salts, sauces, gourmet jams, olive hair and skin products, tea pots, bread mixes, sampler gift packs, kitchen gadgets, olive-design dipping dishes, plates and platters, olive designed aprons and placemats, books and more. The Tasteful Olive sells products at the Farmers' Market and in their shop located at 7945 Santa Fe Drive. 913.649.7900

Ten Thousand Villages: You can find treasures from around the world at Ten Thousand Villages. The mission of the shop is a "Fair Trade not-for-profit store, helping artisans from developing countries sell their crafts and tell their stories in North America. Our artisans earn a living, sustainable wage and provide us with quality merchandise." You'll find decorative items, toys, blankets, clothing, and gifts. 7947 Santa Fe Drive.913.642.8368

Yarn Shop and More: The shop carries a wide selection of luxury yarns, needles, notions and patterns for knitting and crochet. They also offer classes for all levels. 7212 W. 80th Street. 913.649.9276

What to Bring to the Farmers Market:

  • Comfortable Shoes and Bottled Water
  • Shopping bags (some vendors provide them, but its always good to reuse)
  • Cash in small bills (many vendors do accept credit cards or checks; however, many do not.)
  • Wheels! If you plan to purchase large quantities of produce, a wagon or cart will come in handy.
  • Coolers with ice if you’re concerned about berries arriving home fresh after a day in the summer sun.

Farmers Market Shopping Tips:

  • Know what is in season. The City Market website answers this question clearly so you can plan ahead. http://www.thecitymarket.org/whatsinseason.html
  • Shop early in the day for the freshest produce.
  • Shop late in the day for the best bargain.
  • Let the kids choose something new. Encourage your children to choose a new fruit or vegetable to try. It helps broaden the horizons of young taste buds and teaches them to explore.
  • They’ll enjoy eating food from a farmer they personally met!
  • Get to know vendors. Tim Sullivan recommends, “Take time to walk the entire market before making your purchases. Observe and talk to the other customers to see which vendors are the most popular and reliable. Most importantly, ask questions. Who grew the product and where did it come from? How was it grown? Many vendors supplement their offerings with products purchased from who-knows-where. Some vendors don't produce anything they sell. It takes time to get to know your vendors. If you aren't satisfied with something you bought, let the vendor know about it the next week. His response will tell you a lot about him.”
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