Well, summer is not really endless but it can certainly begin to feel that way if the kids are home and you don’t have enough for them to do. Jam Sessions guest blogger Lysa Allman-Baldwin tells you how to make KC your summer  playground. One of the great things about Kansas City is the wealth of fun and exciting sites and attractions for kids of all ages. From water resorts and museums, to parks and gardens, sports facilities, and everything in between, the City of Fountains is a wonderful place to enjoy summer fun. Great Wolf Lodge

Kids from one to 91 enjoy the over 1,000 assorted creatures from Africa, Australia and Asia at the Kansas City Zoo. Encompassing 200-plus acres, attractions here include an African Sky Safari, indoor rainforest, polar bear passage, KidZone, and tiger trail exhibit, just to name a few. The recent release of the movie 42, a 2013 biographical film about the life of African American baseball legend and color-barrier breaker Jackie Robinson, has generated a great deal of interest in one of Kansas City’s venerable attractions— the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Located in the Historic 18th and Vine Jazz District, the museum tells the story of the Negro National League founded in 1920—the league in which Robinson played as a Kansas City Monarch—as well as its teams, players, innovators and more through historic timelines, artifacts and interactive themed galleries. Al fresco diversions around town are numerous, each offering its own unique flavor and flair. Spanning over 1,800-acres, Swope Park is Kansas City's largest park and one of the largest urban parks in the country. Here, visitors enjoy disc golf, cricket and soccer, tennis, the Swope Memorial Golf Course as well as the Heart of America Golf Course, and exercise and bike trails, among other activities. At nearby Lakeside Nature Center, one of Missouri’s largest wildlife rehabilitation facilities, kids can meander along the scenic trails to explore the native flora and fauna. In Overland Park, Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead features turn-of-the-century play and learning opportunities including a one-room country schoolhouse, a replica of a 1900s general store, a mining camp, vegetable and flower gardens and close to 200 animals and birds of prey. Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site in Olathe offers a variety of historic structures listed on both the National and Kansas Registers of Historic Places, including an original timber-frame barn, an 1865 stone farmhouse, and a stone ice house. And summer would definitely not be the same without some serious splash time. To that end, the Kansas City area offers exciting water adventures at CoCo Key Water Resort, located inside the Holiday Inn hotel just across the highway from the Kaufman Stadium Complex, Great Wolf Lodge situated near the Legends Outlets, and just down the road, Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Sea Life Aquarium

If you’ve got little ones, they’ll enjoy hours of pint-sized fun at SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium and Legoland Discovery Center in Crown Center. SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium is an amazing underwater world featuring over 5,000 creatures, an underwater tunnel, an interactive rock pool experience, demonstrations and more. Legoland Discovery Center offers a 30,000-square-foot interactive, hands-on play area featuring LEGO-themed rides, a 4D Cinema and other children’s activities. Also located at Crown Center, Kaleidoscope is a free hands-on art center for children offering a unique multi-sensory, artistic environment where kids can design, cut, glue and decorate—on their own or with a little help from their grown-up—in the end taking home their own special works of art. Teeming with fun and exciting activities and attractions for the entire family, Kansas City is synonymous with summer fun. LysaLysa Allman-Baldwin writes passionately about travel, cuisine and all the world has to offer. You can find her regular writing contributions on 435 South Magazine, The New York Amsterdam News, SoulOfAmerica, Examiner and Travel Squire.
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