Posted: September 25, 2014
Written by: Guest Blogger
Will all of my kids be engaged? Is this worth the money? These are questions that most parents are asking themselves as they plan family outings. As a mom to four active and inquisitive kids, ranging from the age of 1 to 7, I am no different. I had read about the Museum at Prairiefire’s unique partnership with the American Museum of Natural History, which has brought in the Mythic Creatures exhibit, as well as what appeared to be an awesome educational exploration through 6 areas of science in the Discovery Room. But, honestly, these questions were the litmus test with which I observed my children as we embarked on our family outing to The Museum at Prairiefire.
Can I just say, they were enthralled from the moment we walked through the door. Never mind that to our left was a huge replica of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, which just happens to be their favorite dinosaur. On the right was ALIVE where people were interacting with dinosaurs and dragons, as they moved across the screen. However, we chose to begin our day at the Discovery Room; so, we pulled them away to get started.
Once we entered the Discovery Room, my kids were immediately drawn to the Prestosuchus Puzzle. I mean, who doesn’t want to put a dinosaur together!?! My 5 and 7 year olds could probably have spent our entire 45 minutes there had it not been for me prodding them on to the next area. My children were so involved with trying on masks, checking out the differences between moths and butterflies, searching the sycamore tree, and roaming Mars in the astronomy section that our time seemed to fly by. Thankfully, when it is time for your session to exit, you can get your hand stamped and if the next session is not sold out you can come back in. So come back we did! This time my oldest explored on the microscope while the youngest enjoyed the play area. Then we all had a little fun trying to find animals in their cages, petting a snake, and my brave daughter held a hissing cockroach (although her brothers would have none of it). The greatest thing was that each of my children had a terrific time. The oldest were just as engaged as the youngest. I can definitely see how the Discovery Room would grow with them to the age of 12. There were many things to read and delve deeper into that we didn’t spend much time with because of the age of our kids.
Next we ventured into the Mythic Creatures exhibit. The exhibit is probably geared to an age range above that of my children, as there is a lot of reading. In fact, my husband and I really enjoyed learning about the history of where many of these myths evolved. However, the kids enjoyed looking at all of the artifacts and learning a few fun facts as well. While most of the exhibit is obviously hands off, someone, very wise, knew to include few items throughout that you are encouraged to touch, such as the narwhal tusk. My kids also thoroughly enjoyed the activity at the end where they got to design their own dragons.
We ended our visit in the Great Hall. We checked out the T-Rex as well as the interactive table where they could learn facts about fossils found in different areas of the globe. But, by far the highlight of the Great Hall for my children was ALIVE. They really enjoyed doing a simulated dig and then building their own dinosaur or dragon. Watching it come to life on the big screen was very exciting for them.
The Great Hall also has a Science Theatre where you can view what scientists are currently discovering. A Gift Store that offers anything you might want to remember your time at the museum. And, the Fresh Market Café, if you want to have a bite to eat.
My family really enjoyed our afternoon at the Museum. Not once did my children ask, “Can we go yet?” So, naturally it passed the first part of my litmus test. In regards to price, I felt like it was pretty competitive with other attractions around the area. However, I would absolutely recommend getting a membership. Because, from one mom to another, if you take your kids to The Museum at Prairiefire, they are going to want to go back!
Sara Reimer is a former elementary educator, wife and mom. She’s always looking for great activities that pass the mommy litmus test. Where should she go next?
Posted: June 23, 2014
Written by: Donna W.
If you’re coming to Kansas City this summer you don’t want to miss our latest and greatest!
The Museum at Prairiefire, a one-of-a-kind partnership with New York’s famed American Museum of Natural History, opened its doors May 12th. This heartland outpost is the first venue outside of New York to continually host two American Museum of Natural History traveling exhibitions a year. The first rotating exhibition is Water: H2O = Life. The exhibition will be featured through July 13 and will be followed by Mythical Creatures opening in August. In addition to the rotating exhibitions, there will be permanent exhibits including a tyrannosaurus rex, the American Museum of Natural History’s Picturing Science, paleontology gallery, and a Discovery Room for children that will provide an incredible “hands-on” learning experience for those ages 3-12 and so much more. The museum is part of a unique and dynamic entertainment, shopping, and dining district located in the heart of Overland Park, Kansas.
On June 5, 2014, the world’s tallest waterslide – Verruckt – made its debut at Schlitterbahn Kansas City Water Park in Kansas City, Kansas. Taller than the Statue of Liberty and Niagra Falls, Verruckt beats out the world’s current tallest water slide, Kilimanjaro in Barra Do Pirai, Brazil. The word Verruckt means “insane” in German. Thrill seekers will hike up 264 steps then plunge down a 17-story breathtaking drop while strapped in a 4 person raft only to be blasted back up over a five story hill. Don’t close your eyes while you’re up there or you’ll miss the awesome views of Kansas City and the waterpark! Verruckt joins other popular attractions at Schlitterbahn including four tubing slides and chutes, the world’s longest tidal wave river, Boogie Bahn Surfing Ride, Soaring Eagle Zipline, 13 mini slides for kids, relaxing beaches and a giant hot tub.
Last fall the Kansas City Zoo just got a whole lot cooler with the addition of a 17,600 square foot penguin exhibit and more recently The Tuxedo Grill opened Memorial Day weekend. The Helzberg Penguin Plaza features a 100,000 gallon cool pool for cold water penguins and a 25,000 gallon warm wet area for warm water penguins. The Kansas City Zoo acquired four types of penguins which include Humboldt, King, Gentoo and Rockhopper species. Each exhibit provides child-friendly and magnificent views showcasing these extraordinary black and white birds in a recreated natural environment including snow for the cold water feathered friends.
An oldie, but a goodie, Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park depicts a turn of the century farm. New this season is Ray’s Barber Shop, Pat’s Photography Parlor and John’s Blacksmith Shop. These new shops allow you to experience the good ole days. View authentic artifacts and learn about the bowl cut and more from the attendant in Ray’s Barber Shop. Watch a forging demonstration at John’s Blacksmith Shop and transport yourself into an old photo at Pat’s Photography Parlor. Kids of all ages enjoy the varied attractions and activities in this 12 acre educational environment that cultivates an appreciation of farm life, wildlife and Kansas Heritage. Long time popular attractions include petting and feeding the animals, pony rides and fishing.
Now at Union Station until September 7 is The Discovery of King Tut Exhibit. Unknown and forgotten, Tutankhamun lay for almost three and a half millennia in the Valley of Kings until British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered his tomb in 1922. His tomb and treasures have been faithfully reconstructed to scale, giving visitors a realistic impression of the overwhelming opulence of the offerings meant to serve the king on his magical journey into the Underworld. State-of-the-art multimedia technology provides exhibit goers information and a vivid illustration of the culture and spiritual world of the ancient Egyptians.
Visit Kansas City this summer and you won’t be disappointed!
Tags: American Museum of Natural History
, can't miss KC
, Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead
, Discovery of King Tut Exhibit
, kansas city
, Kansas City checklist
, Kansas City Summer Travel
, Kansas City Zoo
, KC Destination Checklist
, KC Zoo
, Museum at Prairiefire
, must see and do in Kansas City
, Overland Park
, penguin exhibit
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, Union Station
, Verruckt Waterslide
, world's largest waterslide
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Posted: March 1, 2014
Written by: Kelly P.
From our central location in the heart of the country to a brand new entertainment district, consider Overland Park, Kansas for your next meeting or event and we’ll show you the awesome.
1. The Heart of Awesome
Located in the Kansas City region, Overland Park provides visitors the perfect blend of metropolitan amenities and Midwestern hospitality. With easy access to interstate highways I-70 and I-35, Overland Park is centrally located in the United States and is within a day’s drive for more than 60 million people. In addition, Overland Park is located just 30 minutes from the Kansas City International Airport and just 15 minutes from Kansas City’s most popular attractions.
Convenient Location + Short Travel Time = Happy Attendees.
2. Silicon Prairie
The Kansas City region is nationally recognized for its innovative spirit in the heart of the country. Not only will you and your attendees love our Midwestern hospitality, but you’ll appreciate our destination’s forward-thinking approach and technology offerings. Free group page in our VisitOP mobile app? Check! Expert social media consultation? Check! Hybrid meeting technology? Check!
3. N.Y.C. in the O.P.
A brand new museum and entertainment district will soon burn bright in Overland Park. Opening this May, Prairiefire will feature the Museum at Prairiefire. This heartland outpost will be the first venue outside of New York City to continually host American Museum of Natural History traveling exhibitions. Located just four miles from the Overland Park Convention Center and area hotels, Prairiefire will be a haven for gatherings, special events and teambuilding activities. Groups anywhere from two to 5,000 will enjoy everything Prairiefire has to offer, and meeting planners can select from a variety of very unique event spaces.
4. Meetings on Our Mind
Overland Park’s hotels are heavily invested in the meetings market and strive to offer the finest amenities, food and beverage services and modern design. Just last fall, the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel and the Holiday Inn and Suites West each completed multi-million dollar renovations to their meeting and public spaces. This summer, the Overland Park Convention Center will complete a soft renovation alongside two more properties, each within walking distance of the complex.
5. Variety is the Spice of a Planner’s Life
In Overland Park, we recognize a planner’s need for options. Each group is different and each attendee has varying needs and expectations. We are proud to be the home of the three largest hotels in the entire state of Kansas (by room inventory), each offering over 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. The award-winning Overland Park Convention Center features 237,000 sq. ft. of meeting, classroom and exhibit space for groups both large and small. Combined with our ultra-unique off site venues, we can customize the perfect destination package for your group. In O.P., the choice is yours!
6. Burnt Ends Anyone
When you meet in Overland Park, you’ll notice your attendees eagerly sniffing and searching for the best Kansas City BBQ around. Luckily, Overland Park is home to almost a dozen BBQ joints and is located minutes from dozens more around the Kansas City metro. And to make it even more convenient, the Convention Center has an exclusive catering relationship with Jack Stack BBQ, one of Kansas City’s finest. We encourage you to offer plenty of wet naps at your registration desk since stained shirts and saucy hands may be inevitable!
7. Two Words: Free Parking!
Daily parking for a multi-day meeting or event can cost you and your attendees an average of $50. We rather you spend that money on bottles of Kansas City BBQ sauce or other souvenirs from your time here! All of Overland Park’s 36 hotels and the Convention Center offer FREE parking. All the time. No fine print.
Contact me today to discuss your next meeting or event, or feel free to submit your online RFP!
Tags: American Museum of Natural History
, Entertainment District
, Free Parking
, Heart of America
, Heart of Awesome
, Museum at Prairiefire
, Overland Park Convention Center
, Overland Park Hotels
, Silicon Prairie
, technology offerings