Kansas City makes a great, easy weekend away when you need a change of scenery. There's so much to do there it can cater to anyone...including our 3 kiddos under the age of 4. We've learned a thing or two since traveling with our littles...one of those being to not over schedule ourselves. An event or two a day is about all we can handle gracefully. If we can't fit it all in...we'll just have to come back.
The Sea Life Kansas City Aquarium was our first stop once we got into town. This isn't an aquarium like Chicago's Shedd Aquarium or Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium in Springfield, MO...but it's a great size for younger kids, like ours! Here's a #BrevityTip: Buy your tickets ahead of time online. It knocks $5 per person off the cost of a ticket. When you buy those tickets online, you'll need to schedule the planned time of your arrival. It may seem inconvenient, but it helps Sea Life manage crowds during the busy season and ensures you'll have a great experience as you walk through their exhibits. There are lots of hands-on exhibits and a fun passport you can get stamped as you visit different aquariums. Staff there takes a fun souvenir photo of your family if you forget your camera and their gift shop has anything a water-loving kiddo could want. We happened to leave with a green eel and an octopus. Plastic, thankfully. Another #BrevityTip: If your kids are a little older than ours and you also want to visit Legoland Discovery Center...it's right next door and admission there is cheaper if you bundle it with your tickets to Sea Life Kansas City.
There's no onsite cafeteria if you're just visiting Sea Life Kansas City (there IS however a cafeteria at Legoland Discovery Center) but Crown Center is just across the street and has plenty of options in its food court. #BrevityTip: if you're looking to save money, you can bring your own lunch and eat it there in the courtyard. We brought a couple Lunchables, some fresh fruit and our own beverages and avoided buying much for lunch.
After lunch we headed to our hotel to check in and take the kiddos swimming. With the three kiddos I'm always looking for a hotel with a kitchenette option, and a pool. The Home2 Suites in downtown KC fit the bill perfectly. It appears that the hotel parking is free, until you get the hotel bill. To offset it, the free breakfast was great!. The pool was pretty small, but when your kids are as small as ours...it doesn't take much to make them happy. And the smaller the pool, the less stress on mom and dad! The hotel is in the Crossroads Arts District and offers some unique shopping and dining nearby. It's also right on the KC Streetcar route that is free to ride and runs from River Market North to Union Station. We didn't fit a ride into our visit, but a stop at City Market looked like it could be fun!
For dinner we headed back to Crown Center to eat at Fritz's Railroad Restaurant. This was a tip from many of our Brevity followers and it was definitely worth a visit! The train-themed restaurant delivers its food to guests by using a model train delivery system. A train that delivers french fries is a dream come true to our little guys. #BrevityTip: If you order your meal in phases, the train will make more stops at your table to deliver your meal!! Just pick up the phone and order an item or two at a time and your train lover will thank you! Our middle son, Fletcher, slept through the entire visit, unfortunately....but Hudson took it all in for him. A menu of mostly burgers, fries and shakes...it might not be the meal everyone is looking for...but our kiddos LOVED it and mom and dad say it was pretty yummy too. You can pick up souvenir shirts, hats and train whites...and the restaurant has a few neat photo opportunities for the train lover in all of us!
After dinner we stopped by the 'Journey to Oz.' The FREE exhibit (can you tell we like free?!) was just for kids and celebrates the 80th anniversary of the classic movie. The exhibit wrapped up May 12th, but we were told the next exhibit there would feature Clifford the Big Red Dog.
We headed back to home sweet hotel for pajamas, a movie and popcorn. #BrevityTip: We always pack a couple bags of microwavable popcorn on our trips - the kids think it's a great treat and it's an easy way to make an evening more special. With a fun, busy day behind us...even the kids were looking forward to getting some sleep....and hoping for another swim before heading home! We may have obliged.