Celebrate Earth Day in Kansas

Earth Day is on April 22, and while we think everyone should care about the earth everyday, it’s special to get together to support the planet. Here are a few places across Kansas where you can celebrate Earth Day from family-friendly activities to recycling.

HutchinsonDillon Nature Center

Tall Tales and Terrific Trees – April 23 from 1 to 2pm – Families with children ages 3-10 years old: Join us and Amy Johnson from the Hutchinson Public library as she reads tree-rific tree tales on the hills in the Playscape. Then children will make a leaf craft and families can explore the trails in search of trees and seeds. Free!

Lawrence – South Park

The 17th Annual Earth Day Parade & Celebration on Saturday, April 22. Parade at 11am and Celebration in South Park from 11:30am to 4pm with exhibits, food, and kid’s activities.

Manhattan Sunset Zoo

Party for the Planet on Saturday, April 22 from noon to 4:30pm. $5 for adults, $3 children (2 and under free). Family friendly games and events including a zoo-wide scavenger hunt with prizes.

Overland Park InterUrban Art House

Clothing & Textile Recycling Event on Saturday, April 22 from 9am to 2pm, you can drop off clothing and textiles to be reused or repurposed. If it’s fabric, you can bring it here and it will be donated and kept out of the landfill.

Pittsburg – Southeast Kansas Recycling Center

Free paper shredding on April 22. Get 25 pounds of documents shredded for free. They also take plastic bags, glass, plastic, e-waste, metal, and more.

Quivira National Wildlife Refuge – Visitor’s Center

On Saturday, April 22 from 9am to 1pm, there will be guided nature walks, presentations on pollinators, tours of the butterfly garden, and a lunch provided by Friends of Quivira. Free!

 

Celebrate 2017 with a First Day Hike

America’s State Parks is sponsoring guided New Year’s Day hikes around the country. And there are quite a few in Kansas. For more information, you can go here, and below we’ve included the when and where for the trails in Kansas.screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-9-52-10-am

Most look to be fairly easy to moderate and around 1-2 miles. For most, it looks like you can just show up. We’ll make a note if reservations are needed.  Many are also on leash pet friendly. And some include hot chocolate and snacks!

Cedar Bluff State Park at 9:00am – Agave Trail. Meet at trailhead.

Clinton State Park at 1:00pm – North Shores Trail. Meet at the Swim Beach Parking Lot.

Crawford State Park at 11:00am – Multiple trails. Meet at the Beach Shelter. Register at 620-362-3671.

Cross Timbers State Park at 2:00pm – Ancient Tree Trail. Meet at the trailhead in Toronto Point. **Hot chocolate provided!**

Eisenhower State Park at 10:00am – Archery/Bike Trail & Scooter Trail. Archery – meet at the Five Star Trailhead. Scooter Trail meet at West Point. **Hot chocolate and coffee provided following the hike**

El Dorado State Park at 1:00pm – Walnut Ridge Trail. Meet at the Walnut River Cabins.

Fall River State Park at 2:00pm – Post Oak Trail. Meet at the trailhead in Quarry Bay.

Hillsdale State Park at 10:30am – Hidden Springs Nature Trail. Meet at State Park Office. **Hot chocolate and cider provided after the hike**

Kanopolis State Park at 9:00am – Buffalo Track Canyon Nature Trail. Meet at State Park Office.

Meade State Park at 2:00pm – West Trail. Meet at trailhead.

Perry State Park at 9am – Skyline/Mad Mile/Daisy Point. Meet at trailhead.

Pomona State Park at 12:30pm – Multiple trails. Meet at State Park Office.

Prairie Dog State Park at 9:00am – Steve Mathes North Trail. Meet at trailhead.

Prairie Spirit Trail at 2:00pm – Meet at Garnett Depot Trailhead.

Sand Hills State Park at 10:00am – Dune Trail/Prairie Trail. Meet at the State Park Office.

Tuttle Creek State Park at 4:00pm – Western Heritage Trail. Meet at the State Park Office. **Hot chocolate and snacks provided!**

Wilson State Park at 1:30pm – Cedar Trail. Meet at the trailhead.

Superheroes New Year’s Eve at Flint Hills Discovery Center

One of our favorite places in Kansas is the Flint Hills, and one of our favorite places that celebrates the Flint Hills is the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan.

And they’re throwing a Superheroes themed, family New Year’s Eve party. From 6:30-9:30pm, you and your family can enjoy “dancing, music, superhero mask and cape crafts, superpower food, a costume contest and much more!” And at 9pm, there will be a balloon drop! And who doesn’t love a good balloon drop?

Register here by December 29.

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Run or bike the first ever Bridge to Bridge event 9/17/16

The first ever Tour de Trails 5k will be this Saturday — 9/17/16. Hosted by the Central Kansas Conservancy, the race will be held start north of the railroad bridge on the Valkommen trail in Lindsborg and then moves onto the Meadowlark Trail.

The Meadowlark Trail, on the former Union Pacific railroad corridor, stretches 13 miles from McPherson to Lindsborg, though you won’t have to go the full length for this race.

There’s a 5k for runners as well as a 5k for cyclists. Here’s the schedule:

9:00 – 9:45 – Registration/Packet Pick up

10:00 – Bike Event Starts

10:10 – Runners/Walkers Event Starts

11:00-12:00 – Finish Line Festivities Enjoy Refreshments and Give-a-Ways!

Registration is $15 and you can sign up here.

Kansas Chocolate Festival in Topeka

A delicious day is coming your way in Topeka on September 24

kansaschocolatefestivallogo_rendered_3f539611-cee1-4104-8a90-f41be5bf4e9eStart the day at 8am with the 12th annual Winged Foot 5k/10k run and 4k walk. Once you’ve finished the race, you’ll get some chocolate treats to keep you going the rest of the day!

From 10am to 5pm, wander along Kansas Avenue to find food trucks (all of which will have at least one specialty item featuring chocolate), live music, and vendors. Watch demonstrations of taffy pulling, chocolate clay, and fudge.

On the main stage, presentations throughout the day will give information on where chocolate comes from, a history of chocolate, pairing chocolate with other foods and spices, and more.

On the Statehouse lawn in the evening, you can watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring the late Gene Wilder.

If you want to show off your cooking skills and get a chance to win $300 – enter the Kansas Chocolate Competition.

Get more details and information about the schedule of events here.

Celebrate the National Parks 100th Birthday in Kansas

2016 is the centennial celebration of  America’s National Parks, and nationally recognized historic sites can be found throughout the state of Kansas. Our favorites are those with trails to explore, like the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City (keep an eye out for the bison herd!) and the Brown V Board of Education National Historic Site which is the start to the Landon Nature Trail.

Here are two places to join in the celebrations for the National Parks on the official parks birthday weekend (August 27 and 28).

Baseball game at Fort Scott, early 20th century. Don Miller. NPS website.

Baseball game at Fort Scott, early 20th century. Don Miller. NPS website.

August 27, 2016 at Fort Scott National Historic Site – Vintage baseball and picnic in the park

From the NPS website:

Bring your family and a picnic basket full of your favorite food.Eat on the grounds of a frontier 1840s fort while listening to period music.Music will be provided from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Then at 1:00 p.m., you are invited to watch a Civil War era baseball game that will be held on the grounds of the historic site. Two vintage teams will square off against each other;the Topeka Westerns will take on the Wichita Bull Stockings in a rousing game using 1860s rules, uniforms, and equipment.

August 27, 2016 at Fort Larned – Picnic in the park

A prairie dog show and talk starts the day at 10am at the visitor’s center, and throughout the day will be presentations on the history of the area along with a concert by the revived Fort Larned Post Band. Find out more details of the day here.

 

We’ll keep you updated on more centennial park events throughout the rest of the year.

Planning to go to one of these? Let us know in the comments!