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KC in July--What to do? Good hotels?

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Tulsa, Oklahoma
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KC in July--What to do? Good hotels?

Hi all--

My family of four (2 adults, 2 kids ages 6.5 and 4) will be coming to KC in mid July. Our itenerary is not totally planned but I know we will be spending some time at Union Station seeing the dinosaur exhibit and other things. I have never been to KC. I am curious about Crown Center and Country Club Plaza. Any other ideas of what we could do as a family? We are not so much interested in baseball, water parks or amusement parks for this trip. We are just taking a few days to get away and have some fun with the kids. Does anyone have recommendations for a good hotel that is not too far off the beaten path? I'd like it if we could find a place that has somewhat of a nice breakfast (something besides cereal and stale danish) and maybe an indoor pool, some place fun for the kids.We don't have to be in the center of town, but I'd like to not have to drive forever to get to attractions. Oh, and we will be going through Springfield either on the way there or the way back home (not sure yet) and plan to see Fantastic Caverns. Any other must-sees in that area? Thanks in advance!! :)

Salem, New Hampshire
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1. Re: KC in July--What to do? Good hotels?

Here's a link to Marriott's Residence Inn, which is relatively close to the areas you want to visit, and will have accommodations that should be comfortable for your family. The free breakfast is substantial, they often have "happy hours" in the evenings with free snacks and drinks, and there is a pool.


Crown Center is a great location for children. Across the street is a free fountain/play area that your kids will love. In CC, there are often kids-oriented activities and puppet shows and a Fritz's Restaurant and Crayola Cafe that cater to kids. The website indicates there is a "Clifford the Dog" exhibit during the time you are planning to be here. And they have free family movies on some Friday nights. Here is a link so you can check on the calendar of events:


You might want to check out the T-Rex dinosaur restaurant that is out by the Kansas Speedway in the Legends shopping center. If your kids are into dinosaurs, they will love the place. And they can make their own creature, similar to Build-a-Bear.

Enjoy your visit!


Edited: 16 June 2010, 01:14
Blue Springs...
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2. Re: KC in July--What to do? Good hotels?

Ameristar casino has babysitting area that the kids absolutely love. Its a large tube town thing. The prices are high, but then its a casino. I bring it up because some people have comps that would cover the hotel, or coupons.


I also would like to let you know that the highways are easily used. I-70 goes east and west thru the middle and 435 goes in a circle around the city. So most everything is around 40 mins depending on rush hour (4pm-6).

The Kansas City Zoo is a wonderful place, we go about 10 times a summer. Wear walking shoes and sunblock. You may bring in your own stroller or rent a single or double(7dollars). Drinks and sandwiches are also welcome in small backpack style coolers. No glass of course.


There is also the outside evening venue of Starlight Theater. They have concerts or plays (sometimes both at once). You can check out what is playing when your in town. You will drive by it if you go to the zoo, they are across the street from one another. Nasty nightime neighborhood in the vicinity so don't wander or break down and walk. If you have car trouble stay in it and call the tow company. (its true, so dont blast me KC. I've lived here for 48 years)


If you like to drive there are the scenic drives, or you can head east on 70 and check out the flea market mall the Brass Armadillo, you will be about 40 mins from downtown and pass a Bass Pro that is excellent destination shopping. Thats at I-70 and M-291 for your GPS.


You mentioned Springfield, there is a resturant that is an attraction called Lambert's home of the thrown rolls and another Bass Pro.


I hope I was helpful and did not type too long...

enjoy your trip

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3. Re: KC in July--What to do? Good hotels?

If you are going to Crown Center, Hallmark has a place called Kaleidoscope, www.hallmarkkaleidoscope.com, that my kids loved when they were young. And it's free!

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4. Re: KC in July--What to do? Good hotels?

Thanks for narrowing your target and letting us know something about what you want to do, as a result, you've already gotten some good advice :)

Crown Center sounds like a good option for your hotel. The Westin is in C.C. and has a pool. The nearby Hyatt is also convenient (not sure about pool but think so). Crown Center is very family oriented with some very kid friendly stuff; outdoor plaza featuring water jets (kids love it), Fritz's restaurant (railroad theme with meals delivered via train to your booth), Crayola store.

The Westin has an enclosed walkway to Union Station. They have lots of restaurant options and other entertainment choices, too. The hotels aren't cheap but very central and nice. Try Priceline for a good deal possibly.

The Country Club Plaza offers nice hotels, dining and shopping. There's not a lot for kids to do but, if the weather is nice, it would be worth stroll. There are places to get a treat for kids. It's upscale, primarily big brand name shopping and lots of people watching.

My kids used to love the zoo. There are a wide range of animals. However, it can be unrelentingly hot in the summer- go early in the day or late.

It looks like you're from Oklahoma so you understand July heat. I'm not sure if you get the humidity we do here. Be prepared, it can really take a toll on little ones (and big ones, too).

Off the beaten path, consider Moon Marble in Bonner Springs, KS (15/20 min from C.C.) This quirky little place makes marbles and, depending on your schedule, the kids can watch it happen. Check their website: moonmarble.com

Also, the Brookside neighborhood has no hotels or "attractions" but is very family friendly with an old fashioned toy store and unique shops. No big brand chains here, its a collection of unique, local shops.

The Bass Pro Shop in Springfield is the original and HQ. It used to be a huge attraction- less so now that they have built mega-stores across the land but impressive to outdoor lovers. They often have some type of kid activities.

In Springfield, you're an hour from Branson and Silver Dollar City and a bunch of boardwalk type attractions: go-carts, arcardes, etc. There are some other caves in the area- Bridal Cave? I haven't been in years but they have tried to make it more attractive to young families of late.

Want a little history? Nearby Springfield is Wilson's Creek National Battlefield- not exactly a stop the kids will love but a significant piece of Civil War history and a nicely preserved battlefield that rivals many of the more popular sites back East. It's basically a big park with nice driving trails and historical markers and visitors center.

Hope this helps.

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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5. Re: KC in July--What to do? Good hotels?

Ok, I thought I already replied to this days ago, but I guess it didn't post!

Thanks everyone, for the suggestions. I'm still on the fence as to a hotel. Unfortunately we do have a budget and most of the places that have been suggested (Residence Inn, Westin, Hyatt, etc.) and also have what I'm wanting in a hotel are out of said budget. So I will keep looking. Thanks for the tips on Springfield attractions, too. We only plan to spend a day there. I think we will do the Discovery Center and the Fantastic Caverns. We have a Bass Pro here where I live (in fact, it's about 2 miles from me), so been there, done that. Oh, and Shortysboy--oh yes--I know all about July heat and humidity. Humidity is not too bad here today, but we are sitting at 96 with a heat index of 106. So yeah. not sure about doing the zoo.

Still undecided on KC attractions. We are not so much into baseball so I think we will forego a game, and my kids are about 3 years apart (4 and almost 7), so amusement parks and waterparks are hard to do with them because the little one is limited to how much he can do. We are for sure checking out all of the cool stuff at Union Station and I have been also thinking about Kaleidoscope, so thanks to the poster who suggested that. We have 2 days in KC so anything else you can suggest to fill the time would be great. Thanks!

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6. Re: KC in July--What to do? Good hotels?

You might look at Country Inn and Suites out by The Legends in KC, KS.

It would be about a 15 minute drive to Union Station.

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7. Re: KC in July--What to do? Good hotels?

I haven't stayed in any area hotels so I can't really help with the pricing. But Coco Keys is by Royals Stadium which wouldn't be a bad drive to the Crown Center area. cocokeywaterresort.com/Locations/kansascity/

As for entertainment for small kids, here in Lee's Summit, Paradise Park has an area specifically for the young ones that they learn things in a fun environment called edutainment. My kids are too old but my nieces and nephew love it.

http://www.paradise-park.com/ It would be about a 15 to 20 minute drive from Coco Keys or 40 minutes from Crown Center area.

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8. Re: KC in July--What to do? Good hotels?

More for Mom and Dad than the kids, but the Steamboat Arabia is a neat attraction. Located in the City Market area north of downtown KC, this is a museum dedicated to the contents of the sunken Steamboat Arabia ship which a local family discovered, raised the ship and readied the items found on board for display. I was amazed to see how the items had been preserved, after being under water for so many years.

9. Re: KC in July--What to do? Good hotels?

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