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Old 01-21-2013, 10:53 PM   #16
BellaBaby
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There is ONE thing between Topeka and Denver....The world's largest prairie dog!

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11444

Jill in CO[/QUOTE]

Clark W. Griswold would LOVE it!!
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:08 AM   #17
manhattanman
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We are thinking of trying out the GWL for Spring Break and the closest one to us is in Kansas City Kansas. Is there anything else in the area to do, like a zoo, museum or something for kids ages 11, 9 and 7?

TIA!!
We have been a couple of times, the park is great the rooms are meh. Its in a location right off I70, there's the speedway, legends, cabellas, chateau Avalon and a Nebraska furniture mart all in close proximity ( lots of shopping and the ball field). If you are going for one day its fine, in my opinion more than that it gets kind of limiting.

I really prefer going to the area near the sprint center, especially the hyatt regency. The hotels are linked by a covered walkway and there is tons of stuff to do with kids (with the exception of food if you don't want to eat in the hotel) , the hotels have heated pools. Country club plaza is another choice but mostly shopping and bars.

There is also coco key near the stadium which is another hotel water park. One thing is that gwl has a variable rate structure, it will be expensive during march break, probably more than the Hyatt which is a much nice stay, and since downtown kc is not a huge spring break destination ( unless there is something going on at the sprint center) availability is not much of a concern.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:58 AM   #18
rusty4
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GWL in Kansas City has deals all the time. Make sure to sign up on their site. I agree that 2 nights is more than enough there. Even one is enough to fully enjoy it and move to a more central hotel and more affordable one. We have been twice. There were several things not working when we were there. The brand new slide and the clock for storytime. They still had storytime just without the added clock feature. If you do 2 nights the wand game (don't remember the name) can be fun but expensive. We just bought one one wand.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:12 AM   #19
manhattanman
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GWL in Kansas City has deals all the time. Make sure to sign up on their site. I agree that 2 nights is more than enough there. Even one is enough to fully enjoy it and move to a more central hotel and more affordable one. We have been twice. There were several things not working when we were there. The brand new slide and the clock for storytime. They still had storytime just without the added clock feature. If you do 2 nights the wand game (don't remember the name) can be fun but expensive. We just bought one one wand.
If you can get the deals they are good but they are usually midweek for low demand days ( when kids are in school). The difference for the same room on Tuesday vs Friday/Saturday
Is 2x, sometimes higher.

If you are close and can swing an impromptu staycayion it can be great, but I would be astounded if they offered any coupons during peak times. Its been a while since we last went, and at that time a lot of the amenities were dated and the owners were having some problems renegotiating the terms of their commercial mortgage.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:09 AM   #20
Earstou
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The best attraction between Denver and Topeka is the Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center in Hutchinson, Ks. Unfortunately it's 65 miles south of the interstate. It has the largest collection of Russian/Soviet space artifacts outside of Moscow, including Sputnik 1 and 2. They refurbished the Apollo 13 and Liberty Bell 7 spacecrafts here and have them on exhibit. It's a world-class museum and we try to make it there every few years.
I've never even considered stopping at the prairie dog place, it screams tourist-trap!
Science City was always been one of my kids favorite places to go when we would go to KC. Lots of hands-on activities for the kids and so much to do we usually ended up running out of steam before we saw all the exhibits.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:20 AM   #21
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The best attraction between Denver and Topeka is the Kansas Cosmosphere & Space Center in Hutchinson, Ks. Unfortunately it's 65 miles south of the interstate. It has the largest collection of Russian/Soviet space artifacts outside of Moscow, including Sputnik 1 and 2. They refurbished the Apollo 13 and Liberty Bell 7 spacecrafts here and have them on exhibit. It's a world-class museum and we try to make it there every few years.
I've never even considered stopping at the prairie dog place, it screams tourist-trap!
Science City was always been one of my kids favorite places to go when we would go to KC. Lots of hands-on activities for the kids and so much to do we usually ended up running out of steam before we saw all the exhibits.
If you stop at the Cosmosphere then I would recommend staying a night at Hedricks Exotic Animal Farm. We went there for a weekend and had a blast! We didn't do the Cosmosphere but wish we had. We plan to go back. They are close enough to do both. We stayed in the Pride of Kansas Suite.

http://www.hedricks.com/
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:26 AM   #22
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We stayed at GWL July 2012. We had a split stay between CoCo Keys and GWL. (Won't ever go back to CoCo Keys) We had a blast at GWL. The location is great. There is a Target down the road. There is lots of places to eat too if you don't want to pay the high prices at GWL. We did eat at TRex for the kids. We took the kids to Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun. We wanted to catch a baseball game but the Royals were playing away. We did go to Legoland Discovery but were disappointed. We ate at Fritz and the kids loved it. The train drops your food at your table. We looked up videos online to get the kids excited to eat there. We purchased the paw pass for the kids at GWL. If we go back we will plan to spend most of our time at GWL. The kid's loved the magic wands. Between swimming and the wands they were upset when we wanted to go to do other things. Enjoy your trip!
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:32 AM   #23
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WOW! Just checked, the prices are quite high for Spring Break week. I just got an email from them and of course that week is not incl for the 48 hr sale. I originally thought I would use a code, so I will have to do a search for one. But I'm not happy hearing this location may be run down.

Our other option is maybe going to the Mt. Rushmore area. We've been a couple times before and enjoy it, but wanted to try something new. I did find a couple of hotels with indoor waterparks (less expensive). The Magiquest looked cool for the kids and even the story time clock, but if its not working we would be bummed. I'll have to check out TA.

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Most recent: Last minute trip Coronado Springs 8/27-8/31 with DSIL/DBIL 15th anniversary
Recent: HOJO'S DL 5/28-6/4
4/03 ASMO and Caribbean Beach Resort
4/05 HOJO's DL
4/07 Nick Hotel and WH
4-5/09 Nick Hotel and WH
6/10 WH
5-6/11 HOJO'S DL
6/12 Split stay: WH/AKV/Poly
5/29-6/12/13 WH 2 WEEKS!!


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Old 01-22-2013, 10:39 AM   #24
pugtails66
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I have seen people mention Deanna Rose Farmstead. It does not open until April 1st, so if you are coming in March, count that out.

There is also a Dave And Busters at the Legends (right by GWL) that my 9 and 11 year old kids LOVE to go to.

Worlds of Fun, the amusement park mentioned in an earlier post, opens on the weekends starting April 13th.

We also have a new SKY ZONE that opened up about 15~20 minutes from GWL in Shawnee, KS. That's great fun!

Please, know that when you come to KC and see Famous Daves BBQ by the GWL, that is NOT true KC BBQ. Do yourself a favor and seek out true KC BBQ.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:18 PM   #25
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Great Wolf Lodge is fine. We live in Kansas City and you will find it perfectly suitable for fun and lodging. They have the big indoor pool area and an outdoor but not sure if that will be open during spring break. There is also an outdoor putt putt course.

The entire area, called Legends, is an outdoor outlet mall area but it is much nicer than most regular outdoor malls. It has a movie theater, plenty of restaurants all over the area, Dave and Busters which is an Applebee's type food restaurant with a big gaming area which kids LOVE!, Sporting Park (home to the KC soccer team, T Bones (minor league baseball), Nebraska Furn. Mart (huge store of electronics and furn) and so much more.

Other areas of interest in KC that I would suggest:
Steamboat Arabia (doesn't sound like fun but its awesome)
KC Zoo - be prepared to walk and it covers alot of ground
KC Royals - nice stadium and suitable for families
Crown Center - Indoor mall but next door has smaller aquarium and smaller legoland. Fritz's like others have mentioned is a kid favorite with the little train bringing the food (food is greasy burgers, etc)
Country Club Plaza - upscale shops and eateries and tons of fountains
Don't think Worlds of Fun will be open yet and Schlitterbahn (outdoor water park) won't open until summer

Other notable areas but some are not really for kids:
WWI Memorial - absolutely amazing
Nelson Atkins Museum - 1st class museum down by the C.C. Plaza
Union Station/Science City
Negro Leagues Museum and American Jazz Museum on 18th and Vine
Hallmark and Kaleidoscope

Best local restaurants:
Hamburgers - Winsteads
Chicken - Strouds
Steaks - Plaza III
Great all around meal - Houston's on the plaza
BBQ - Oklahoma Joe's, Fiorella Jack Stack, Smokehouse, too many to choose

Definitely hit Dave and Busters at the legends for the kids. They will love it.

Hope you have a good visit!
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:13 PM   #26
BellaBaby
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Mike and Pugtails--Thanks for the suggestions!!
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me & DH DD (13) DD (11) DS (9)

Most recent: Last minute trip Coronado Springs 8/27-8/31 with DSIL/DBIL 15th anniversary
Recent: HOJO'S DL 5/28-6/4
4/03 ASMO and Caribbean Beach Resort
4/05 HOJO's DL
4/07 Nick Hotel and WH
4-5/09 Nick Hotel and WH
6/10 WH
5-6/11 HOJO'S DL
6/12 Split stay: WH/AKV/Poly
5/29-6/12/13 WH 2 WEEKS!!


Before kids:
1986 WDW
1992 DL
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:27 PM   #27
Gumbo4x4
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I have a friend who goes to the KC GWL every year at Christmas and loves it. They seem to take customer service very seriously there. We had a broken lock on the door leading to our balcony at the one at the Dells. We mentioned it at checkout just so they'd know about it, didnt make a big deal out of it. Corporate sent us an apology letter and $75 off our next stay - any location.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:17 PM   #28
Gumbo4x4
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Originally Posted by rusty4 View Post
If you stop at the Cosmosphere then I would recommend staying a night at Hedricks Exotic Animal Farm. We went there for a weekend and had a blast! We didn't do the Cosmosphere but wish we had. We plan to go back. They are close enough to do both. We stayed in the Pride of Kansas Suite.

http://www.hedricks.com/

Very interesting - thanks for the info (and to PP on he museum).
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:37 PM   #29
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Mike and Pugtails--Thanks for the suggestions!!
Your welcome.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:38 PM   #30
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KC mom with active DS e.g. I've been to many kid play places

I'm from KCMO so please be aware that there is a bias on my part for the MO side of things. As a resident GWL has always seemed to be too pricey for what you get. Many of the previous posters have included things that we do for kids stuff but I thought I would try to add:
It's good idea to grab the KCParent magazine or Mother & Child Reunion or KCTeen (a lot of the public places have them e.g. libraries) and they usually have coupons for many of the kid attractions. Also even though I would never stay at Coco Key (hotel) the waterpark is fun and you can pay for a day pass without staying at the hotel (unlike GWL)

Free stuff to do:
Hallmark museum/Kalidescope (there is a group limit for each hour they let someone in and the time it is open on the weekends is limited so check before you head out)
Nelson Atkins Museum

Not Free but not too expensive:
College Basketball Experience (attached to the Spring Center) My son loves this place!
PowerPlay (KS side) usually has a $10 after 10 p.m. with unlimited attractions (videogame arcade with gocarts, bowling, lazer tag, ropes course as well)
Legoland
Skyzone
AMC Fork & Screen (my son loves to order food and watch movies-they have one in Olathe, I think the one downtown moved)
KC Zoo
If they like skateboarding there is a pretty cool indoor skate park on the Kansas side but the name escapes me at the moment.
Paradise Park (Lee's Summit) even though my DS is 13 now he still loves to play in the two story ball-pit
T-Rex resturant is fun but the service has always been glacial at best but the decor and build-a-dino make up for it.

I am a tried and true BBQ snob and I consider real KC BBQ to be Gates or Jackstack/Smokestack (same family)-I hope some of this helps!
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