Meet Sarah, mom of three and owner of the Kansas City Moms Blog. She’s the expert the locals go to for the best family friendly things to do, events, and advice. Follow her on Instagram at @kcmomsblog.
Overland Park is a great place for a family weekend, no matter what your kids’ ages. With so many options for indoor and outdoor fun, kid friendly food, minimal traffic and free parking, you can keep the little ones busy with little stress!
Start your morning by catching brunch at Red Door Woodfired Grill. Don’t miss the beignet appetizer (kids get to shake the bag of powdered sugar!).
After brunch, head to the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Turn off your cell phone and take in the sights and smells of the gardens. Find the Koi fish and turtles around the lake, as you head to the train garden, which includes extensive displays of model trains as well as a real train car kids can climb inside. Nearby you’ll find a natural playground with logs, stumps and stones to leapfrog between.
After you spend the morning outside, head north to Sheridan’s Unforked, where you’re likely to ditch the silverware and check out their locally-sourced tacos. Don’t miss the Fundido fries (it’s vacation, live a little!), the Hail the Kale salad and finish with a custard concrete.
This afternoon, you can head to Oak Park Mall where you can play at the American Girl, LEGO, Disney and Build-a-Bear stores. Don’t miss the carousel (buy your tokens from the machine at the carousel entrance).
Or, you can spend the afternoon at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center. Adults will love this expertly curated museum that features the history of suburbia. On the first floor you’ll find Kidscape, an imaginative community that features a baby hospital, diner, fishing boat, schoolhouse, theater, and farmer’s market for the kids.
It’s been an active day - you must be hungry! Head to our family’s favorite pizza joint - Dewey’s Pizza! After ordering your pizza, watch through the window as the dough is thrown in the air, fresh toppings are placed and the pie goes into the oven. We recommend the house salad, meatball pizza and the awesome beer selection.
If you need just one more vacation treat, head to Decadent Dessert Bar at Prairiefire where you’ll find the chocolate chip cookie skillet or a gelato sandwich. Walk next door to Fat Brain Toys - an awesome, local toy store with creative games and quality toys.
Get off to a great start with FRESH donuts - Duck Donuts. Create your own donut or choose from their amazing creations. The donuts are made as you watch which makes them extra fluffy and warm when you take the first bite.
Now that you’re sugared up, head to Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead for one of the best attractions in all of KC. Don’t miss bottle feeding baby goats, the baby animals in the big red barn, farm-themed playgrounds, the blacksmith shop, pony rides and the old fashioned general store. Tip: Bring quarters to feed the animals!
We recommend heading to Q39 South to experience some real Kansas City barbecue. You really can’t go wrong here and the kids menu is ample. For adults, try their sampler plates and always include burnt ends - a signature dish in KC.
On your way to your afternoon activity, drop by Best Regards Bakery and grab some of their famous sugar cookies (featured on Food Network). If you’re ever in need of a JoCo (Johnson County) breakfast - their waffles are worth the trip, too.
This afternoon, you’ll head north to downtown KC. We recommend Kaleidoscope, an interactive art experience that allows kids to make their own creations using Hallmark’s leftovers. You’ll want a free, timed ticket before your 45-minute session. Make sure you also check out the Hallmark Visitors Center next door, which includes history and highlights of the company, including interactive exhibits to keep the kids happy.
Next, you’ll want to head to Crown Center. Check out the free kids exhibit on the first floor and the musical fountain outside! You can follow the Link indoor skyway to Union Station where you’ll find a model train exhibit, Science City, the Planetarium, and the Extreme Screen movie theater.
For dinner, all ages will love Fritz’s at Crown Center. Get there before you’re hungry as lines can get long. You’ll order your food via phone at the table and then your basket of hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and more diner food will be delivered via train!
As you head back to Overland Park, stop in the Waldo neighborhood to experience KC Bier Company, a German-style Bierhalle and Biergarten. You’ll enjoy drinks at outdoor picnic tables while the kids can play with outdoor toys and board games - all in a fenced area where you can enjoy yourself and keep an eye on the kids. We recommend the fruit and cheese plate and the Dunkel bier.