It’s summer and to me, summer means one thing: ROAD TRIP!! I love taking road trips with my family where we get a little adventure, a little relaxation, a little fun and a whole lotta memories! Only three hours from Des Moines, Overland Park, KS fits the bill for my road trip checklist. We were lucky enough to partner with Visit Overland Park to check out all there is to see and do in this popular suburb of Kansas City.
Okay, you probably already know that Kansas City is known for their world famous barbeque. And that’s not without reason either, it’s absolutely delicious. But we ate at so many other delicious places in Overland Park that I felt stuffed the entire weekend.
First things first, Jack Stack Barbecue. If I could eat there every day, I would. My husband and I both split the Roundup which features pork spare ribs, smoked turkey, pulled pork, and beef brisket. Everyone unanimously agreed that the pork spare ribs were the best thing we ate that weekend. And that’s saying a lot!
- If your family likes Thai food, I absolutely recommend Pad Thai Restaurant. My son gives a hearty two thumbs up for the Pad Sea Eaw and their crab rangoons.
- We ate at the Brass Onion before the Gleason Magic Experience. It’s great because it connects to the Gleason Magic Experience and you can just hop on over. Easy peasy!
Breakfast & Dessert (the beginning and the end of the day)
Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day and I would be remiss if I didn’t include some of our favorites – DOP Donuts (get there by 8 AM because they will sell out and you will be sad). It’s this adorable donut food truck with outdoor seating which is great for noisy kids and four-legged friends.
Honorable mention: McLain’s Market (it’s actually not an honorable mention because it’s equally delightful). Another location to make sure you don’t sleep in on because there was quite the queue when we left at 9 AM. They have some amazing baked goods – my son devoured a blueberry muffin, I had a scone, my husband had an oatmeal raisin cookie and my daughter had a cherry danish. I tried them all. They were all yummy.
Overland Park does not play when it comes to dessert and ice cream. Make sure that you put Andy’s Frozen Custard on your can’t miss list as well as I Am Frozen Cafe. Did you know that fluffy ice cream is a thing? Yep, I didn’t know that either. I Am Frozen specializes in a combo of shaved ice + ice cream = fluffy snow ice cream. And if you’re looking for the ultimate combo of exploratory food, drinks, desserts – check out Strang’s Food Hall. It’s the best place to explore all sorts of cuisine in one place!
Play: Overland Park
- Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is a great place to visit with your kids. Even my older son who is 10 years old, enjoyed seeing a cow getting milked, interacting with animals (home to over 250 birds and animals!) and feeding fish and baby goats. We also loved the open air spaces with plenty of shade – perfect for this family who is still getting used to being in public places after covid-19.
- Museum at Prairiefire was a wonderful respite from dodging raindrops. With a full-size T.Rex replica, there is something magical about seeing science come to life through your children’s eyes. My six year old’s favorite part was the Discovery Room where she was able to dig for fossils and do an interactive search and find for animals, insects, and birds.
- Thompson Park. Sometimes kids need time to just run, jump, and burn off some pent up energy. This park has a playground area as well as a splash pad, park benches, shade, swings and a spinny chair! Bonus: it’s within walking distance to other great shops and eateries!
- The Gleason Magic Experience was my husband’s favorite activity. Greg Gleason performed for several big name venues in Vegas before making his way out to Overland Park. My husband and children were impressed by Greg’s magic and illusions!
Shop: Overland Park
Overland Park has the funnest, most unique shopping opportunities! If you find yourself there during the summer on a Saturday morning, definitely carve out time to go to the Overland Park Farmers’ Market. Our family’s favorite vendors were Tea-Biotics Kombucha, Happy Tummy Empanadas, Yummylicious Cookie Company, and Wild Way Coffee. Downtown Overland Park also is home to the super fun Popculture – popcorn and ice cream as well as the quirky and slightly snarky The General Store. We also popped into several stores when we were in the Prairiefire District. We especially loved Made in Kansas City! Really, there is so many great and unique stores and areas to shop in Overland Park!
We stayed at The Sheraton Overland Park at the Convention Center. I loved how clean and spacious the hotel is, as well as how easy it was to park. Often times you can hear doors slamming at all hours. This was not the case, which made me very happy. My kids loved the pool and hot tub. Because that’s how kids are – the best part is always swimming!
We also had a chance to go to downtown Kansas City and checkout LEGOland and Sea Life Kansas City. I love that Overland Park is just a hop, skip, and a jump from downtown Kansas City. My kids loved building things at LEGOland and the sea turtles at Sea Life.