Friday, May 29, 2009

Field Trip: Kaleidoscope in Kansas City

I had some major brain fog recently. I scheduled a field trip to one of the most popular FREE kid destinations in Kansas City on GOOD FRIDAY. Do you see the problem with that? Good Friday is the day all the religious schools have no classes, and lots of parents also get that day off. So when we showed up for a 1:10 art session, hoping to meet a few other homeschool families, we were surprised to see the place PACKED already. Luckily we were able to get tickets for the 2 p.m., and we just grabbed some Sheridan’s (evil frozen custard) and messed around at the hotel that’s attached to the main shopping part of Crown Center.

So lemme tell you about Kaleidoscope. It is the ultimate in green. It’s affiliated with Hallmark Cards, a company we are very proud of in Kansas City. Had I been smart instead of man-hungry back in the day, I would’ve gotten an entry level job at Hallmark delivering mail or something and now would be happily working from home part-time writing greeting cards.

Anyway … it’s just a visually cool place and it’s FREE (had to mention that again), and all the materials the kids use inside are cast-offs from Hallmark … stickers that aren’t 100% up to their standards, paper shapes made out of leftover cardstock, cardboard from leftover puzzles that you can then make your own drawing on and they have a machine that turns your drawing into a puzzle.

The sessions are only 50 minutes, but they have them all the time. I’d never go on a Saturday, and the 2:50 during the week hits a little close to Eva’s naptime, but they have some great early-afternoon Friday sessions (it helps that my husband is off work every other Friday).

When we went it was TOO packed. It was loud (hellish kid music) and hot. I can take all that. Aron and I just tag-team the kids … he takes the boys and I chase the girls. But that day the other parents were out of hand. I mean, when you have adults pushing kids out of the way so the ADULT can make a puzzle of K-State or a heart with his and his wife’s initials in it, you have to start wondering about America. And this was NOT an isolated incident.

Then there was the woman who looked at Callie’s crown and goes, snidely, “My, that’s a LOT of stickers”, like “are you going to wear THAT?”

So basically when you someday visit the amazing Mecca that is Kansas City, drag your kids to Kaleidoscope. You’ll be glad you did. Then hit the Hallmark Visitor’s Center right next door. Then go see the cool fountains in front of Crown Center. Then grab something at Sheridan’s Frozen Custard inside Crown Center. Then eat dinner at Crayola CafĂ©. In that order.