Fall Food Festivals in KC

By | November 6, 2012

If you know anything about Kansas City, you know that the city is known for its barbecue. However, do not let that fool you into thinking that is all KC is known for. The area knows how to please its people and guests with food.

Blair Stover has a list of food festivals below that you should definitely attend if you have a chance. While most of these have passed, be sure to jot them down for next year!

KC Renaissance Festival – This renaissance fair will take you back into history just like any other will and if you like history, you will love this festival. However, if you are in it for the food, you better come hungry because the food is massive. The fair is known for their mammoth-sized turkey legs and their sausages.

Lenexa Spinach Festiva – Lenexa has been known as the “Spinach Capital” since the 1930’s and this one-day event gives its fans a chance to sample some of the best spinach on the planet. Music and games are available as well.

Mousaka - (bottom center) Yahni (String Beans ...
Mousaka – (bottom center) Yahni (String Beans – top center) Pork Souvlaki (Kebab) – (left to right, center Rice Pilaf – (bottom right) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Greek Festival – This festival will take you on a virtual trip to Greece where you can sample things like gyros, souvlaki and spanakopitas.

Under The Harvest Moon at Powell Gardens – Kingsville plays host to this very eventful festival every year as you will have the chance to try foods straight from the farm as they will go from the garden to the dinner table right before your eyes.

Plaza Art Fair - Of course art is not a food, however, during the Plaza Art Fair you will notice that burgers and steak sandwiches are consumed in mass quantities during the weekend.

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A Guide to the American Royal

By | November 3, 2012

 If you know anything about Kansas City, you know that it is famous for two things: it’s rich history in sports and it’s fascinating barbecue. But don’t just turn your head and walk away thinking that is all the city has to offer.

The American Royal has over 40 activities that cover everything from barrel racing to debutante balls. In fact, for over 110 years, the show is the one of the longest standing iconic things America has to offer, and continues this month until the 17th. Blair Stover has more on the great Kansas City event.

If you love meat, then the World Series of Barbecue is an event you do not want to miss. At least 75,000 people come out to view the event, which lasts only three days, and they eat until they can’t eat anymore. The festivities start on a Friday night where teams and sponsors kickoff the party and begin the challenge to see who is the best. Of course, it is by invitation only but on Saturday the fun begins with concerts, fireworks, cooking demos and plenty of food to eat. Sunday is mainly for judging purposes but everyone is welcome!

The parade is what officially kicks off the American Royal festivities and it is truly what sets the tone for everything. It starts around 10 am and the energy that comes from the parade and its viewers are astounding. There are usually well over 100 entrants that participate in the parade every year.

As an added bonus there are even livestock shows, horse shows and even rodeos during the American Royal. There are plenty of reasons to attend and very few as to why you shouldn’t. So get on out there and enjoy the fun!

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Crown Center Shopping Mall

By | October 24, 2012

Crown Center shopping mall is the home of Hallmark Cards headquarters, but offers so much more than greeting cards. Blair Stover has the details.

Within Crown Center there are more than 60 shops and restaurants that fill the three-stories of the shopping center. There are many different restaurants that you can choose from. You can have your meal delivered by a miniature train at a burger joint or you can enjoy a Four-Star dining experience at The American Restaurant.

People can also enjoy Broadway-style shows at the American Heartland Theater, innovative shows at the Off Center Theater, and youth shows at The Coterie Theatre. There are also free activities for kids such as children’s exhibits, Crayola Christmas Land and puppet shows.

Across from the shopping center is Crown Center Square that also holds events for the whole family. There are ethnic festivals, concerts, and a variety of outdoor shows. Other family attractions include LEGOLAND Discovery Center and SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium.

Visitors can choose from two luxurious hotels- Sheraton Kansas City and Westin Kansas City. Both hotels are attached to the Crown Center by an elevated pedestrian walkway.

Attracting more than five million people a year, you will not be disappointed in your visit to the Crown Center Shopping Mall.

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Best Pumpkin Patches in KC

By | October 22, 2012

The leaves are beginning to turn beautiful colors in Kansas City, marking the start of Fall and pumpkin patch season. Blair Stover has suggested a few

Pumpkins, photographed in Canada.

favorites for you to visit.

Carolyn’s Country Cousins

Carolyn’s Country Cousins is perfect for the whole family! Just 15 minutes from downtown, you can select a pumpkin from their huge pumpkin patch. They also have many family activities, such as hayrides, a little farmer’s playground, Uncle Lester’s pig races and a tractor carousel. It’s also located right next door to “the largest corn maze in Missouri,” the Liberty Corn Maze.

  • Dates: Sept. 15-Oct. 31
  • Hours: 10am-7pm
  • Cost: $8 M-Th, $10 F-Su, Free Tues. and Wed. from 4-7pm.

 

Faulkner’s Ranch and Pumpkin Farm

Full of pumpkins, gourds, and other fall decorative items, Faulkner’s Ranch and Pumpkin Farm is located in Kansas City. Faulkner’s has plenty of family activities, including a field maze to duck races, hayrides with “DJ Jack-o-Latern,” pony rides, a zipline, acorn cannon, fishing, and more.

  • Dates: Oct. 1-Oct 31
  • Hours: 10am-6pm
  • Cost: $7 for ages 3+

 

Louisburg Cider Mill & Country Store

Located in Louisburg, this giant pumpkin patch has something for everyone. There is a 10-acre corn maze, straw fort, children’s play area, farm animals, hay castle, and “Flashlight Nights.”

  • Dates: Sept. 14-Oct. 31
  • Hours: Fri. and Sat. 10am-10pm, Sun. 10am-6pm, M-Th by appointment only.
  • Cost- $8 for ages 3+

 

KC Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

Labeled “KC’s Best Value Haycation,” KC Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze has 50+ activities for you and your family. Those activities include a number maze, zipline, Spook-tacular haunted barn, hay loft, horse swings, and pumpkin cannon viewing.

  • Dates: Sept. 29-Oct. 31
  • Hours: M-Th 9am-3pm, F 9am-6pm, Sa 10am-6pm, Su Noon-6pm
  • Cost: $10 for ages 2+, $5 for military personnel
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10 Reasons to Visit KC

By | October 18, 2012

Blair Stover has the top 10 reasons why you should visit Kansas City in 2012:

  1. For the first time in 38 years, Kauffman Stadium hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Fans were able to enjoy a weeklong celebration of FanFest activities at the KC Convention Center.
  2. Kansas City was named America’s #1 Affordable Getaway by Travel +Leissure. KC has many free attractions such as factory tours at Hallmark Cards, Harley-Davidson, and Boulevard Brewing Co.
  3. Union Station is paying tribute to the ship and passengers of the Titanic for the 100th Anniversary of the tragic event. There will be over 300 relics from the ship and its debris field at the “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.”
  4. Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts opens in the fall. The $413 million building is the new home for the ballet, symphony, opera, and more.
  5. During the Civil War, Kansas City was located between pro and anti-slavery forces. They are continuing their 5 year commemoration in 2012 for the Civil War’s 150th Anniversary. In 1864, one of the largest battles was fought in KC’s Westport neighborhood.
  6. Kansas City hosts more college basketball tournament games than any other city, giving it the nickname “College Basketball Capitol of America.” There were 63 games played in 14 days during the 2012 tournament.
  7. The city’s first aquarium, SEA LIFE Kansas City, opened in April. The aquarium is home to more than 30 displays of marine life, including starfish, seahorses, sharks, and much more.
  8. America’s fourth LEGOLAND Discovery Center opened in Crown Center. Legoland features a 4-D theater, Lego building classes, a Lego ride and more.
  9. With 2,000 slot machines and 52 tables, the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway opened in February. The casino overlooks the racetrack and is over 100,000 square feet.
  10. Come visit one of America’s most prolific presidents. Learn more about Harry S. Truman and the events that took place during his presidency at the Harry S. Truman Museum in Independence, Mo.
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The Beast in KC

By | October 15, 2012

Founded back in 1991, Kansas City’s “The Beast” is known as America’s largest haunted house attraction. The house pioneered its “open format” designs, where its visitors are actually not standing or walking in line while in the house. Instead you are wandering throughout the scenes, never really knowing when a haunted specter or activated scene is going to spring into action. When you go to this Kansas City attraction, you aren’t just walking through the house but rather you become a part of it!

For the most part, it will take you about 45 minutes to an hour to get through the Beast, and that is IF you happen to not get lost in the deep fog while wandering in the Werewolf Forest, veered towards the light inside the light tower or stuck in the maze. The exit is made up of a four-story slide, not to mention it is a straight drop (pretty much) and it’s faster than a lot of people might think!

The Werewolf Forest is about a 1/4 acre and will require its visitors to find the exit in complete darkness. The great thing about it is the fact it has every abandonment issue a person could think of. Every half hour, werewolves will scour the forest to help any hysterical guests that haven’t found the exit. There is a storm scene that has thunder and lightning which will make your hair literally stand on end plus numerous other scenes.

Blair Stover has a couple of suggestions: If your children have frequent nightmares- don’t bring them. And if don’t want to be videotaped or if you have extensive phobias, you might want to stay home.

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Renaissance Festival in Kansas City

By | October 12, 2012

The Renaissance Festival will continue its successful run through Oct. 14, with doors open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. The festival, which sees almost 200,000 visitors enter its gates each season, replicates a sixteenth-century village full of magic, entertainment, and wonder. Most of the shows and displays are interactive. You can learn to do an ancient dance, sing along with a group, or assist a stage magician who performs funny, and amazing, tricks. There is plenty for kids to do, as the Renaissance Festival has become much more family-friendly over the last ten years. Blair Stover strives to inform you about the latest happenings in KC.

The Enchanted Children’s Realm is one of many kid-friendly venues within the festival’s confines. Kids can sit for hours and listen to some of the best storytellers spin tales of fright and humor, most with a European Renaissance flavor that involves kings, queens, princes, and commoners. Adults are not left in the lurch at the event, since there are literally dozens of fun games, plenty to eat and drink, and even a few PG-rated shows. Blair Stover’s blog keeps you up to date on what is going on in Kansas City.

 

The event opened on the first day of Sept. The phone number, if you want more information about shows, childcare, parking, or tickets, is 800-373-0357. The venue is located at 628 N. 126th St. in Bonner Springs, Kansas. Admission is $19.95 for adults and $10.95 for children. For decades, the Renaissance Festival has entertained local area residents with its mixture of food, fun, and history. While most major metropolitan areas of the nation play host to some version of a Renaissance-style festival, this incarnation has been around longer than most, and is larger than some of the other touring shows that service the east and west coasts of the U.S. Follow the Blair Stover site for everything fun in Kansas City.

 

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KC’s American Royal Parade

By | October 8, 2012

From Sept. 6 to Nov. 17, the American Royal hosts dozens of diverse activities,

English: Power & Light District, Kansas City, ...

English: Power & Light District, Kansas City, Missouri (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

from races to dances. The event has a long history in Kansas City, reaching back more than a century. As happens each year, the American Royal festival starts off with the American Royal Parade, one of the largest of its kind in the nation. Officially honoring the area’s agricultural heritage, the parade also honors military heroes from the region. The Blair Stover blog helps you stay informed about things to do in Kansas City.

On the morning of Sept. 29, the parade begins at Pershing and Grand, wending north toward the Power & Light District. With more than 100 official entrants, the parade features Kansas City’s finest saddle clubs, drill teams, marching bands, and floats. This year’s parade begins with a flyover to honor the military. In all, about 1500 participants will comprise the parade itself as it works its way through many areas of Kansas City. Visit the Blair Stover site regularly to find out what is going on in KC.

The parade’s history actually goes back to Britain’s ancient royal livestock shows, where prizes were awarded to the biggest and best in each animal class. Because Kansas City was once the center of the U.S. livestock market, the American version of the British shows naturally grew up in the Greater Kansas City area, specifically in the old stockyards, which have now been closed for almost two decades. In any case, by 1899 the show that is now called the American Royal came to be, and our town was the focal point of the action.

For many visitors to the area, the American Royal parade is a unique chance to take in a bit of the area’s history. Blair Stover tells you everything you need to know about the entertainment scene in Greater Kansas City.

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Halloween in KC

By | October 5, 2012

Out-of-towners are often surprised to find that Kansas City is known by some as the capital of Halloween Haunts. With haunted houses a plenty, one can find Hollywood-grade prosthetics, ideas which capitalize on vulnerabilities and phobias, one is sure to have a frightfully fun evening with the many choices of scary attractions.

The big daddy of the haunted house boom is The Edge of Hell. This came to be in 1975 at the location of 7th and Wyandotte, and has since been relocated. A string of haunted house attractions were inspired by the success of The Edge. Over a dozen additional thrillers followed suit by the early 80s. These attractions have become a Halloween tradition in Kansas City. Blair Stover will describe some of the most popular.

The Edge of Hell works off of the story line of one who is ascended to heaven, only to sink to purgatory and then slide into hell. The favorite part for most is the five story spiral slide. The scariest part for most is the electric shocking and the sight of one of the largest continental anacondas in captivity. Yikes!

Another popular attraction is known as The Beast. This storyline takes you on a walk through a Louisiana mansion as you make your way to a bayou swamp. Suddenly you will find yourself in Jack Ripper’s London within a medieval castle. After ascending the tower, you will take a four story slide down to present day. You will encounter a living alligator, werewolves, Jack the Ripper, and a murderer with a working chainsaw.

Another popular attraction is The Chambers of Edgar Allen Poe, where the stories come alive. Fears you will encounter include suffocation, extreme claustrophobia, and the sense of being buried alive.

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New Mobile App for KC Lifestyle

By | October 1, 2012

 Everyone loves a great mobile app, especially people that travel. If you are heading to Kansas City anytime soon, there are a couple of apps that are a “must-have”. Blair Stover has all the details below for those about to set off:

VisitKC.com is all about serving the Kansas City community. This time, they have gone all out by providing users with a free app that has events, maps, coupons and more. You can download local information including reviews of KC restaurants and hotels. Your official guide to one of the greatest cities in the country has over 2,000 organizations and businesses in its database with features like:

–       sorted events, special offers, restaurants and hotels

–       detailed descriptions that have phone numbers, addresses, websites, maps, hours of operation, photos and more

–       you can share everything you find via email, Twitter and Facebook

–       has an extensive calendar with festivals, exhibits, concerts and sports events

If you are into games, then try your chances with the FanatiKCs Challenge. Earning your way up the “fan food chain” is the name of the game. You visit 15 of the most quintessential places in Kansas City and along the way you will discover secrets and unlock rewards and possibly unlock the ultimate title of KC FanatiKC!

Here are some of the app’s features:

–       You can actually use your phone to check in to the 15 locations needed to play the game

–       Unlock unique badges

–       You can share all of your feats with friends through social media like Twitter and Facebook

–       Discover all the attractions and discounts KC has to offer

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