Schlagle Library and Environmental Learning Center

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This week we found a library where we not only read about  prehistoric animals, but also touched a wooly mammoth tooth and a  mastodon fossil.
We pet a skunk pelt, felt an alligator head, met Oreo, a California king snake; Franklin, a yellow mud turtle, and other reptiles and amphibians.
At the Schlagle Library and Environmental Learning Center (4051 West Drive at Wyandotte County Lake Park, Kansas City, Kansas) the learning doesn’t just take place inside.  We hiked the nature trails, identified birds at the feeding stations, counted butterflies and dragon flies at the butterfly garden and saw native plants at the Lewis and Clark Garden.


Hallmark Visitors Center

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Yesterday we visited the Hallmark Visitors Center
next to Kaleidoscope in Crown Center
and found surprises for every age.  
We saw Christmas trees,
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Scooby Doo and Maxine,
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Winston Churchill’s paintings
and learned why wrapping paper was invented.  
Before we left we watched Kaleidoscope die cuts pressed, made bows, had our photo taken with funny digital hats and emailed them home.
The Visitors Center was a great place to wait our turn for Kaleidoscope, a world of infinite imagination.



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Kaleidoscope at Crown Center is an annual event for my grandchildren.  As soon as they come to Kansas they ask if they can go.



Give my granddaughter paper, scissors, crayons,
glue, glitter, stickers, etc., and she will be busy for hours.
No wonder Kaleidoscope is her favorite place to draw, color, paste, paint and create.  It’s as limitless as her





We went again yesterday.  She woke up early and was dressed by 7 a.m.   





Not to be out down, her brothers
woke up at 5:30 a.m.






Is it a fly? Is it a frog?  NO!  It’s a hand washing machine!  Complaints of “Do I have to wash my hands?” transform into pleas of “Just let me wash for one more minute!”







Even my one-year-old granddaughter
enjoyed being there. She ran to the
crayons and started decorating.











With ever changing supplies, it’s
something new every time we visit.








Kaleidoscope is open Monday-Saturday from 9:30-4:30.
The first session begins at 9:40 with sessions
beginning every 50 minutes.

It is amazing: all this fun and it’s free.


Penguin Park

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If my grandchildren had their way, they would still be at Penguin Park on N Vivion Rd. & N Norton Ave. in Kansas City, MO.


Divided into three sections, the park is designed for children from toddlers to ten-year-olds.
My older grandchildren gathered atop the elephant. When their enthusiasm spilled out of the tube slide,
they hung out on the monkey bars, glided on the zip line, spun in the gyroscope and swung until their toes touched the clouds.
 Beneath the giant penguin, the toddlers were safe the from the older ones’ exuberance.
My two-year-old grandson climbed inside the giant penguin, crawled on, over and through the tube obstacle course
  and told the children on the school bus to, “Move on back.
He shouted, “Ye haw,”  as he rode the bouncy horse and shared a ride on the  purple dragon with a new friend.
Then he whirled on the tire swing and slid down the frog.
When everyone was hot and hungry, we gathered under the penguin shelter to recharge for one more round of fun before it was time to go.

Kansas City Northern Railroad

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“All aboard” for some fun riding the KC Northern Railroad (6060 NW Waukomis Dr, Kansas City, MO).  It’s open from May-September, Saturdays from 10-6 and Sundays and holidays from 12-6.  It’s the most affordable ride in town: all fairs for all ages are .50 cents.
My grandchildren look forward to riding the KC Northern every summer.  Last Saturday with the bell clanging, they climbed on the train, and my grandson added his own “Toot, toot.”  They road through the tunnel, over the bridge, and across the RR crossing  on the circular half mile track.
One ride is never enough, so the conductor punched their ticket again, they waved good bye and rounded the bend.
 The K C Northern Railroad is just the ticket for a Saturday afternoon of fun.

Castle Park

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  Last week we went back in time to the world of knights and dragons at Castle Parks at the corner of Mullen & 151st St in Olathe.


When I told my grandson where we were going, he begged, “A play ground built like a castle.  Can we go right now?”  We filled water bottles, loaded a small cooler with bananas and granola bars and set out on our quest.
When we arrived, he spied a fire breathing dragon. He flew across the zip line, crossed the swinging bridge, climbed the tower and swerved down the tube slide to defeat the monster.  His sister mounted turret and glided down the slide to defend the castle.  Everyone had fun, and no one was ready to depart when it was time to go home.