Where should we stay....what should we see?? (Kansas City, Liberty: rental car, real estate)
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I posted a query a couple months ago about a potential move to KC...
We've reached the final stages in the process and our family is flying out this week to check out the city. It looks like the move will be happening soon. I'm really excited!
I have a couple questions to float...
Where should we stay? The job is located in the downtown area, so we should be fairly close. We'd love to be in walking (or cab/bus) distance of good restaurants, museums, tourist attractions.... AND I should add that I am super paranoid about bedbugs. We live outside NYC and it's all you hear about these days. I want to continue to avoid them...so if you can recommend a lovely, bedbug free hotel I'd appreciate it.
I'd also love any recommendations for things to do in the downtown area with two little ones (5 and 3) while my husband is in meetings. We will have a rental car.
I can't help you much on the bed bugs, but as far as a good area to stay, I think that Crown Center would be perfect for you. We stay at the Hyatt and Weston all the time and always have a pleasant stay. Downtown is a very fast bus or taxi ride away from Crown Center. Depending on when you are there, Crown Center might also have a traveling exhibit, festival, concert, movie etc going on in the courtyard or in the shopping mall.
Here is a quote from another thread:
Originally Posted by kcmo
Here is what you do in KC. If you want to see KC and only have one day, skip the hotel water park, you can do that anywhere, and see a few of the top attractions that your kids will enjoy. I will keep this very (young) kid friendly, but you will enjoy it as well.
Here is what I would do.
Stay in Crown Center if you can. Go to priceline and do 4 star hotel and you can get a room at the Westin or Hyatt for $50-75 as long as there is not a convention in town.
Now you are ready do go and not waste your time driving all over the city and trying to find places to park.
As posted above, you have to go to the Liberty Memorial. Your kids are a bit young for the museum, so just take the elevator ride to the observation deck on top and check out the KC skyline. It's only like a buck or two per person and kids love it.
Go to Union Station and take your kids to Science City if you have time. If not, just walk around the station and go downstairs and check out the model trains or catch an IMAX movie. Then take the kids out back and across the train bridge where they will no doubt see a massive freight train or passenger train up close as 275 trains pass under the bridge every day.
Then take the kids over to Crown Center. Ride the glass elevators in the Westin to the top of the hotel and back, it only takes a few minutes and kids (and adults) love it.
While in Crown Center, check out what might be going on. Crown Center always has something going on for families, be it a festival, hands on exhibits for kids etc. Take them to Fritz Restaurant where they can order a cheeseburger and a train will bring it to their table. Kids love it!
If you have time, take the kids over to Hallmark (also in Crown Center) and go through the visitor’s center. You will like it and the kids love to push the button and watch the machine make them a bow. If Kaleidoscope is open (it's next to the Hallmark tourism center), go there, even if it's for a half hour. Your kids will absolutely love it and you will love watching your kids have so much fun, it's free too.
Take a max bus (most young kids like to ride city buses and max is safe and easy to use), to the plaza area of midtown KC and just walk around that area and take it all in. It's mostly shopping and dining, but the area is really neat to first timers in KC. Kids love the fountains, horse carriages etc. If you drive, go over to the Nelson and show the kids the giant badminton birdies.
If you are in town on a Saturday morning, make time to go to the City Market in the morning. You can take a max bus there as well from crown Center. It’s one of the largest farmers markets in the country and there is lots of entertainment, street performers etc. This is also where the Steamboat Arabia museum is. It's an awesome museum, even for small children.
City market is 7 minutes from crown center via max and the plaza is about 12.
Another museum that the kids might be ok with and you would like if you are a baseball or history fan is the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at 18th and the Paseo. I would just take a cab or drive there, it's very close to downtown and crown center but not easy to walk to.
Go to a baseball game. Places like Worlds of Fun are just too much for small kids and take an entire day to do. But if you are in town while the Royals are in town for night game or you get in early the night before. Go out and catch a baseball game. It's a great family friendly ballpark and if you stay downtown or in crown center or the plaza, you can take the royals express bus right to the stadium for free since you get a discount on your ticket of the price of the bus. The Royals are cheap for MLB and you can get great seats for cheap, especially if there is a buck night or something going on.
I'm not sure which way you are heading out of town, but on your way out, go to Trex restaurant in Kansas City, Kansas near the speedway. You and your kids will love it. It's like a Rain Forest Cafe on steroids. Then walk around the Legends shopping Center as you wind down your trip to KC.
The perfect trip in KC for you would be to come in on a Friday night, catch a Royals game and one of their very nice fireworks shows on Friday nights. Then on Saturday morning, go to the City Market. The rest of the day you can see Crown Center, the Plaza and Downtown. Then on Saturday night go to the Legends and Trex.
Oh and grab some bbq while in town. I would go to Jack's Stack in the freight house district which is on the other side of that pedestrian bridge over the RR tracks across from Union Station I talked about earlier. There is also one on the Plaza. Or swing by Gates at Linwood and Main between Crown Center and the Plaza.
Enjoy your trip to KC. Let me know if you have further questions!
Also something that your kids might enjoy is the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit at Union Station which was recently extended to next January.
Thanks KCMO, all of your suggestions are great. It's my little one's birthday this weekend so I want to keep the girls happy and entertained while Daddy's doing work related stuff. I appreciate your time!
I totally agree with KCMO except for the bbq. The best place for that is a place called Oklahoma Joes... Which is just a diner in a gas station, but ALL the locals know about it. So, if you are going to venture there (3002 W. 47th Ave (913)722-3366) it would be a good idea to get there before the rush. But it is worth the wait if you like award winning bbq.
I completely agree. I have three little girls and Crown Center is their favorite place on earth, well their small little world, but in their defense they have all traveled quite a bit.
Anywho a few birthday tips. Depending on your children's age, you might try keilidescope, a Hallmark owned art center beloved by most Kansas City children. Most children also enjoy the Coterie theatre, one of the top children theatres in the country. There are also some very cute shops in Crown Center and one of my favorite spas if you get a moment to yourself. It's an aveda spa named Naturally.
Since you are planning to potentially move to Kansas City you might consider checking out some of the "hoods" if you have a car. I suggest a drive through Brookside and Ward Parkway, venturing up north to Parkville to see one of our old history-filled communities, drive out to the Prarie Village off 75th and Leawood, down Mission. Also historic downtown Indepence is always interesting, lots of historic sites to see.
Thanks friends! We'll be staying in Crown Center I think, so we should be able to keep the little ones occupied. I'll have to check the Coterie Theatre...sounds great! The HR people are planning to set us up with a real estate agent who can drive us around some of those great historic neighborhoods, and a couple families from the office have offered to meet us out for dinner Saturday night. I'm really excited!
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