Posted: May 14, 2013
Written by: Amy G.
As a mother of a toddler, I am constantly amazed at how much I learn from my child. These are not difficult life lessons, but maybe that is the point. Adults can over complicate life and many important lessons are found in the simplistic acts of childhood. Here are the top five ways I’ve relearned to live like a kid, and the reasons everyone should take a lesson from childhood. I have also found some great ways to “live like a kid in KC” and provide insider tips on ways to bring out the kid in you.
1. Enjoy the arts
Children have an amazing passion for arts – from puppetry to parade bands, from finger paints to play dough. Art includes everything from visual art to performing arts and music. Art is healing. Research has shown that art can be therapeutic. It has benefits for patients experiencing anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, cancer, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder, and other serious health conditions. Furthermore, research has shown the benefits of art on brain function and the significant benefits to Alzheimer’s patients through offering new ways to communicate and connect in a non-verbal manner, express emotions, promote relaxation and improve moods. Enjoying the arts should be a life-long hobby and has a proven track record from young to old.
Live Like a Kid in KC: Learn to decorate a cake or create the perfect dish at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. Engage in a discussion of the unique works of art at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and sign-up for an art class of your own. Take in a performance at the New Theatre Restaurant, featuring Broadway-style musicals and comedies.
2. Let it Go
Children do not hold grudges. They may be furious one second and your best friend the next. We may joke about these mode swings, but kids understand the power of forgiveness and know how to let it go. The dictionary defines forgive as granting pardon for an offense; to cease to feel resentment against. Forgiveness allows you to let go of the hurt you felt and allows you to focus on more positive aspects of your life. It doesn’t mean you deny the other person’s responsibility in hurting you, it just allows you to move forward and no longer be gripped by the anger and hurt you felt. Research has shown that forgiveness can lead to healthier relationships, greater spiritual and psychological well-being, less anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure, fewer symptoms of depression and lower the risk of substance abuse.
Live Like a Kid in KC: Visit the National WWI Museum to discover the global implications of hurt . . . and how the world can move forward after destruction.
- Photo Credit: American Museum of Natural History
3. Curious George
Kids are curious about the world around them. As we age, we become less curious – almost complacent about life. But, curiosity brings meaning to life and with it comes a host of health benefits. Curious people live longer. Curiosity decreases the likelihood of developing hypertension and diabetes, has a positive correlation with intelligence and neurological health, increases problem-solving skills and analytical abilities, and allows relationships to develop more easily. In fact, curious people report more satisfying relationships and marriages. Happy couples describe their partners as interested and responsive. So live long and prosper, my little Curious George. I think John Holt said it best, “Children do not need to be made to learn” since they are already born with what Einstein called “the holy curiosity of inquiry”.
Live Like a Kid in KC: Unlock the secrets of the world at The Museum at Prairiefire, the only satellite location for the American Museum of Natural History. Exhibits are deeply engaging and entertaining for all ages! World’s Largest Dinosaurs opens in fall 2013. Escape to another world of mystery and intrigue as you delve into a good book from Mysterscape in Downtown Overland Park.
4. Active Play
Children love to play. But play is more than just about having fun. Active play may involve games with rules and can be social or solitary, but the distinguishing features are a playful context, combined with activity that is significantly above resting metabolic rate. Adults have a way of making working out less fun and more work. Active play brings back the fun in excising, which brings a lifetime of healthy benefits. Benefits include building strong hearts, muscles and bones; developing and maintaining motor skills, improved movement, balance, coordination and reaction time; increased mental awareness; improved self-esteem; healthy weight management; and, prevention of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer and other health conditions. As George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
Live Like a Kid in KC: Splish, splash and slide at Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark, open May through September. Skim, spin and swirl along the ice at the Park Place Ice Terrace, open November through February.
5. Simple Pleasures
Kids understand that some of the best things in life don’t come in packages at all, sometimes it is the packaging. Life is filled with simple please, the gifts of life that bring us much happiness. Everything from making a yellow light to finding money you didn’t know you had, from putting on clothes straight from the dryer to making someone smile or laugh. Finding happiness and pleasure in life leads to an increased life span, better immune system, more energy and better mental health. It is now claimed that happiness could be more important than smoking in determining your health. Remember, the Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness, you have to catch it in the moments that come your way.
Live Like a Kid in KC: Take a nature walk at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. This 300-acre arboretum is a serene and tranquil place to enjoy nature with miles of trails and multiple gardens, including an International Sculpture Garden.
What lessons have you learned from a kid that will last you a lifetime?
Tags: active play
, American Museum of Natural History
, Culinary Center of Kansas City
, forever young
, let it go
, live like a kid
, National WWI Museum
, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
, New Theatre Restaurant
, Overland Park Arboretum
, Park Place Ice Terrace
, Science City
, simple pleasure
, stay young
, The Museum at Prairiefire
, young at heart
Posted: April 18, 2013
Written by: Guest Blogger
Mention “Downtown Overland Park” to any long-time resident, and the phrase evokes memories of the city’s central business district – a place where the Kansas City Power and Light Co. was housed in a two-story building and the eats were simply delivered in the “café.” Today, William Strang, the city’s first master planner, would like what he sees. A convergence of shops, galleries and culinary offerings line the charming streets in this northeast corridor of Johnson County.
The heart of Downtown includes the iconic clock tower pavilion and Farmers’ Market, and live entertainment is featured at the clock tower during the market season. More information on clock tower entertainment can be found on pages 12-13. To check the latest produce, vendors and hours for the Farmers’ Market, visit www.opkansas.org/farmers market.
A taste of the world
Bring a cultured palette to the many Downtown restaurants, which simmer in unique, multi-cultural flavors. Try the spirited cuisine at Elsa’s Ethiopian Restaurant. Visit the taste of Italy at Villa Capri and glimpse Central America at El Salvadoreno. Neighborhood favorites Dragon Inn and Mr. Gyros bring China and Greece to the table. The Snack Shack on Santa Fe has visitors lining up at this cozy niche. Travel south of the border at Mi Ranchito or Torreador. Sports emporiums Maloneys, The Other Place and The Peanut on Santa Fe satisfy the pizza and wings lovers; and coffee fans find their joe at Homer’s Coffee House, Great Day Café, Mysteryscape and Clock Tower Bakery & Cafe.
Licking the bowl
Downtown is a foodies’ haven for those will all levels of kitchen experience. The Culinary Center of Kansas City brings classes of all levels and interests to the metro. Also a popular stop is The Tasteful Olive, specializing in over 60 of the richest olive oils and vinegars from all over the world. A short walk down the street is Penzeys Spices. One step into this shop and the aromas alone inspire shoppers to stock their cabinets.
A vibrant art culture
Steady infusions of galleries are opening in Downtown Overland Park, such as Prairiebrooke Arts, Images Art Gallery, Olive Branch Art Gallery and Studios, Alice Carman Studio, The Studio and more. Each third Friday of the month, more than 20 shops and galleries stay open late for an evening of specials and entertainment.
Unique and eclectic fare
The charm of Downtown is its unique, privately-owned shops. To name just a few, find two quilt shops, Harper’s Fabric & Quilt Co. and Quilted Memories. Check out consignment and antique shops TLC Thrifty Boutique, Now and Then, and Sacks on Santa Fe, Peterson’s Antiques and McNary’s Antiques and Refinishing. Model trains whistle at Fred’s Train Shop, and visit our feathered friends at the Wild Bird House. Traditions Furniture is the Midwest’s largest Stickly furniture dealer, and The General Store & Co. is a whimsical shop for home décor.
Plan a day in Historic Downtown Overland Park, and visit the unique, eclectic culture an d tastes it has to offer.
Robin Fish is the executive director of the Downtown Overland Park Partnership.
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Posted: April 1, 2013
Written by: Liron B.
Last week my husband and I decided to replace our typically uneventful Tuesday evening with a night at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. I had taken a tour of this stunning venue when it opened in 2011, but it was my husband’s first time. Let’s just say that his jaw dropped as we entered the main foyer just as the sun was setting over Kansas City’s beautiful southern skyline. I’m not sure if it was the way the light hit the glass just so, the inspiring architecture or the buzz of the crowd’s excitement, but we both had smiles from ear to ear.
For the second consecutive year, the Kauffman is staging a four part National Geographic Live! speaker series featuring photojournalists, researchers and scientists. That particular night in Helzberg Hall, we had the privilege of hearing San-Francisco based photojournalist Catherine Karnow share her journeys from around the world through pictures. Known for her “vibrant, emotional, and sensitive style of photographing people,” Karnow has seen more of the world than most of us have ever dreamed of seeing in a lifetime. She has a special passion for Vietnam and her experiences in this colorful country truly mesmerized the audience. She also shared photos of favorite dishes from around the world and portraits of “regular” people who in some way left a lasting impression on her.
I have loved photography as long as I can remember and one of my favorite messages from Karnow that evening was “photography connects people in ways that nothing else can.” Let’s just say that after an hour, I was really sad her presentation was over and longed for more!
If you have not yet visited the Kauffman, I encourage you to explore their events calendar today and find what moves you. Whether the symphony, the opera or the next National Geographic Live! presentation on May 14th (focus on Mars exploration), I encourage you to replace your typical evening or weekend with something truly magical.