Journey of Solidarity with the Family!
By Lincoln McElwee
Barbecue may not be for every member of the family, but in Kansas City, Missouri, there is more than enough of it to please even the most discerning of meat-eaters! Establishments, such as Arthur Bryant’s, Oklahoma Joe’s, Gates BBQ, and Fiorella’s Jack Stack, all have amazingly delicious variations on the barbeque theme. And that’s what it’s all about, right? There is almost nothing more American than BBQ in the summer, and all the various flavors truly speak to the American spirit of choice and enterprise. And in Kansas City, both enterprise and freedom of choice are taken seriously!
Indeed, one of the most iconic ticks about the city aside from barbecue itself is…well, the debate as to which BBQ is in fact the best BBQ in town! The debate is an ongoing saga that, quite honestly, is just as fun testing out as reading the reviews of both old and new BBQ joints.
I personally sampled Gates BBQ when I spent some time in the city. Gates has been getting a lot of negative reviews lately, which may indicate that this warm-hearted establishment is not the bastion of barbeque that it once was, but with the sheer amount of barbecue in the city, I would definitely put not only Gates but many of the other barbecue joints to the test…to the taste test, that is! Websites, such as the one that the Kansas City Barbecue Society hosts, are remarkably sufficient in providing all of the seasonal entertainment of Kansas City, as well as countless other cities, that revolves around all things barbecue: http://www.kcbs.us/
One of the most engaging and unforgettable attractions in Kansas City is the Hallmark Visitors Center. The center is home to a variety of exhibits that focus on the creative products of the Hallmark brand. It offers a free, fun and friendly learning environment for visitors interested in the remarkable and heartwarming Hallmark story. The company has called Kansas City home for more than 100 years, and began when an 18-year-old, Joyce C. Hall, started the company in 1910 with a shoebox full of postcards!
The Hallmark Visitors Center has also added an exciting new feature – Hallmark Live! –where a different designer, photographer, sculptor, illustrator or writer will be available to talk to visitors about their creations on a daily basis! The center is open from 10AM to 4:30PM from Monday through Friday, as well as 9:30AM to 4:30PM on Saturdays. For more information, visit: http://www.hallmarkvisitorscenter.com/
Another thrilling experience for the entire family are the Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun theme parks, where visitors can pay one price for the experience of two separate parks and all of the attractions that both parks offer! Whether it’s getting to learn more about the Mesozoic era with the Dinosaurs Alive! experience, submerging the family in the watery fun of the Oceans of Fun Waterpark, or live entertainment at Worlds of Fun with brand-new shows beginning this summer, there is truly something for every child and every member of the family! There are even places to dine within the park for those with a sweet tooth or with a hungry hankering for those Kansas City ribs!
The park also has a Planet Snoopy Kids Area, where families can spend the day with their children with more than 20 PEANUTS-themed attractions! https://www.worldsoffun.com/
The summer will also be jam-packed with family-friendly attractions at the Kansas City Zoo! One of the events at the Zoo, the Kansas City Jazzoo 2013, was an exciting celebration of animals and jazz. Based on its success, the zoo has created the Kids’ Jazzoo, which will take place this summer on August 23, 2013. The fundraiser helps to provide for the Zoo’s Learning Fund, and is an interactive adventure for children 12-years-old and under. Children will be able to see animals up close, play interactive games, and learn about birds, elephants and polar bears! There will also be food, kid-friendly music, crafts and face-painting. Tickets are $35 for children and adults. For more information about the zoo, visit: http://www.kansascityzoo.org/
The zoo also offers an Adopt a Wild Child program where families can help to care for their favorite animals by donating money to the zoo for the upkeep of specific animals! For more information, call 816-513-5804 or e-mail Carrie Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are also various museums around Kansas City that families can visit and enjoy learning about everything from Jazz to presidential history, such as the Truman Library & Museum, the Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City, the American Jazz Museum, the Kansas City Museum, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. For more information, as well as other great family-fun attractions, visit: http://www.kcmo.org/CKCMO/Visitors.