This summer, discover fun things to do close to home and unearth your love for nature. We found several fun things to do for all ages. Plus, we have added some timely favorites – like farm and garden tours and farmers markets.
1. Explore local farms
The Urban Grown Farms & Gardens Tour returns June 27 and 28 with urban farmers and gardeners in metro Kansas City. Hosted by Cultivate Kansas City, the tour kicks off June 24 at the Kansas City Public Library. On June 25, local restaurants will host Eat Out Local! For more information, visit www.cultivatekc.org/urbangrowntour or call 913-831-2444.
2. Get your hands dirty
Have you ever wondered which bugs in your garden are friendly and which are not? Or what sorts of vegetables are eaten by children around the world? Want to hear fun facts about where different plants come from and how to care for them? Take the kids and get your hands dirty while you learn about growing food at Beanstalk Children’s Garden in the Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington, Kansas City, MO. The garden is open from June 15 through October 21. To schedule a group tour, call 816-931-3877; visit www.kccg.org for more information.
3. Take a walk on the wild side
Discover birds of prey, turtles, fish and native wildlife in the heart of the city on monthly hikes with a naturalist at Lakeside Nature Center, 4701 East Gregory Boulevard, in Swope Park. The center offers educational programs and community conservation projects for all ages. Take the kids to hear “Mother Nature” read a story at 10 a.m. every Saturday morning. For more details, contact the center at 816-513-8960 or visit www.lakesidenaturecenter.org.
4. Retreat to gardens and trails
Take the kids to the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, 8909 West 179th Street in Overland Park, to see unusual plants, a frog pond, a grass maze that changes with the seasons and a sunflower maze. Explore 30 acres of garden, 70 acres of restored prairie, and 200 acres of wooded natural area with several hiking trails. For information, call 913-685-3604 or visit www.opkansas.org.
5. Find nature in the city
“Learn from the past, care for the present, and shape the future” at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center. Visitors experience an interactive, hands-on approach to conservation while exploring the wetland and native plants outside and the marsh indoors. Workshops address urban watersheds, bird watching, building birdhouses and art projects. The building features many green design elements, including its own wastewater purification system. Call 816-759-7300 or visit the center at 4750 Troost Avenue, Kansas City, MO. Learn more at www.mdc.mo.gov.
6. Eat fresh food from farmers markets
Treat yourself to the best and freshest produce Kansas and Missouri farmers have to offer at your local farmers market. Each market is unique, with vendors offering everything from homegrown fruits, vegetables, fresh-baked goodies, local honey and jams to fresh cheeses, free-range meat and eggs. Find a farmers market near you here.