Meet Kimmie Gotch, St. Louis Mom of two and fashion blogger. Follow her on Instagram @kimmiegotch for a window into mom life, and all things style. See her recommendations for family fun in Overland Park on a road trip from St. Louis below.
If your family is looking to go on a road trip with family-friendly activities and restaurants, I have the place for you! My family and I recently returned from a trip to Overland Park, Kansas and we truly had the best time. We had never been to Overland Park before. Now that we have visited, I can tell you that it is a wonderful place to vacation with your family. I am going to outline the activities we did along with where we stayed and ate, so you can come back and reference this blog post when you book your trip to Overland Park.
Let’s dive right into it!
What we did
Overland Park is close to Kansas City, so our first stop of the road trip was in KC to visit the Kansas City Sea Life + LEGO Land. The aquarium and LEGO Land are connected in the same building, so we started out at LEGO Land and explored the different rooms. There were different sections with what seemed like millions of LEGOs, so you could sit down and build anything you wanted. Kinsie loved the little girly section. She planted herself down and started building little towers with all the LEGOs. Depending on the age of your children, you could spend all afternoon here! Once Kinsie was finished playing, we headed down the elevator which took us right to Sea Life. Kinsie LOVES all things ‘under the sea’ so she was excited about the aquarium. The aquarium had an interactive touch pool where you could put your hands in the water and touch different sea creatures like starfish and sea urchins. There was also a sea turtle rescue center, and a stingray exhibit. Block out a couple hours in your afternoon to visit here with your family; it is so worth it!
This was one of our favorite activities from the trip! Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is a huge farm filled with activities geared towards kids. From feeding the baby goats to fishing, mining for gold, pony rides, and petting zoos, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The Farmstead was beautiful, and you could spend hours there. They had little swinging benches set up so it was nice to take little breaks and swing on the benches in the shade between activities. Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is a perfect place for all ages, so no matter how old or young your kids are, everyone will love it!
Nathan and I loved visiting the Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. It was absolutely beautiful and there is so much to see, so make sure you grab a map from the welcome center. The Monet Garden was my favorite exhibit (photos below)! It would be best to visit here in the morning or on a cooler afternoon. There are some shaded areas to walk around, but a lot of it is open so just plan depending on the weather.
Where we stayed
We stayed at the Drury Inn & Suites KCOP in Overland Park. It’s in such a great central location and wasn’t far from any of the activities/restaurants we visited. We stayed in a 2-room King suite which was perfect for our family of 4. It was nice having a room with a couch that we could hang out in while the kids were napping in the connected bedroom.
Where we ate
We went to so many delicious restaurants while we were in Overland Park. The first restaurant we had lunch in Kansas City is Unforked. They had a variety of food options. Nathan and I both got tacos. It was a convenient lunch location if you will be visiting Sea Life + LEGO Land because it is right across the street! They have one in Overland Park too.
We had dinner at Strang Hall, which is a collective of 6 restaurants under one roof. It is the perfect place to go with a family where everyone has different tastes because you will definitely find something that everyone will love. Kinsie and I both got pizza from the Italian restaurant, and Nathan got sushi. There is a large courtyard outside the restaurant where you can play games like corn hole or just sit outside, relax and enjoy the evening!
We had breakfast at McLain’s Market, and we wish more than anything that they would open one up in St. Louis so we could go every weekend! We absolutely loved the food and coffee from here. You must get the glazed donut and cinnamon roll when you come here! I also highly recommend the iced vanilla latte. We loved McLain’s so much we stopped by again before driving home to get extra donuts, cinnamon rolls and cookies from the bakery.
If you are a pizza loving family like us, then Spin Pizza would be a great place to dine for lunch or dinner. You can either choose a pizza off the menu or create your own. There were lots of salad options as well if that is more your thing.
Creative Culture & Coco Bolo’s
Creative Culture is the coolest little store where you can paint pottery or create any kind of art while sipping on a perfectly curated milkshake. We stopped at Creative Culture to try their amazing milkshakes for an afternoon treat, and they didn’t disappoint! This is a fun stop that you need to add to your itinerary! There’s also a fun Mexican lunch spot right across the street called Coco Bolo’s if you are looking to eat lunch in the area.
We couldn’t come to Overland Park without trying some famous Kansas City BBQ! We went to Q39 South for dinner, and it was incredible. Nathan and Kinsie are huge BBQ lovers, so they had been looking forward to this restaurant the whole trip. We loved that the restaurant was a sit-down restaurant which felt more upscale than the BBQ restaurants we have been to in St. Louis. The food was absolutely delicious - you HAVE TO order the mac and cheese appetizer when you go. Nathan said the rack of ribs he ordered was the best ribs he has ever had (and he gets ribs at every BBQ place we’ve ever gone to) so that is saying a lot coming from him! Make sure you make a reservation before you come because they were super busy!
If your family likes donuts, then you need to stop at DOP Donuts, which is an airstream food truck that sells donuts! They have so many different flavors, but the chocolate old fashioned was my favorite! They open at 6:30 am and I recommend getting there early because they do sell out.
I hope this guide was helpful to you when planning your visit to Overland Park! If you live in St. Louis, it is such a quick and easy drive to get to Overland Park which makes it a great location to take a family road trip. Overland Park felt like home to us. The people were so nice and friendly, and it was nice spending quality time as a family in such a cute little town. If you have any questions for me, please leave a comment below and I will be happy to answer them!
Need more things to do in OP? Sign up for Let's Go OP, our monthly insiders email. We uncover the best experiences and flavors in Overland Park and deliver them directly to your inbox.