Quality Time: Mother/Daughter Things to Do in KC
Written by: Jen Johnson
When it came to raising children, my grandma always used to say, “the days last forever, but the years fly by.” It didn’t take me long to figure out just how accurate that is. I remember tripping over baby gates and cleaning potty-training accidents like they were yesterday, yet my “babies” are now nine and seven. They already want to ditch their toy boxes for desks, and would rather watch YouTube videos than play Candy Land. It won’t be long before I’m planning graduation parties and making college visits (tearing up already!). Because I have girls, I’ve created a list of the top things every mom and daughter should do in Kansas City…at least once.
Photo via pinotspalette.com
There are some different places like Pinot’s Palette (several locations in the KC area) and Grapes and Paints in Overland Park. Bring some fun drinks (hot chocolate if your kids are young, wine if they’re not!!) and sing along to great music while you create paintings that are likely to make you say, “I didn’t realize you could do that!” Even better, you and your daughter will have a keepsake to remember the day.
Photo via uppercrustpiebakery.com
Visit the main drag in historic downtown Overland Park and share some pie at The Upper Crust Pie Bakery. All the greats -- caramel apple, banana cream, and right now, you gotta have pumpkin! I love surprising my kids by taking them to this cute bakery for pie a la mode after school. They have “Cutie Pies” that are 5” and serve 1-2 people, so we grab one of those and a cup of coffee (mom only!) and have the sweetest mother/daughter talks. Even the BATHROOM in this place is cute…for real.
Celebrate your Heritage
My mom’s side of the family is Croatian, and we’re fortunate to have many places in Kansas City that celebrate that culture. Sample some delicious povitica (poh-va-teet-sa) at Strawberry Hill Povitica Company in Merriam (if you want serious mother/daughter time, make this sweet bread at home-it’s an all day project!) or visit the Strawberry Hill Museum in KCK (it has one of the BEST views of downtown Kansas City!)
Not Croatian? Head to Paola to Beethoven’s #9 for German food! Seriously, I’ve been to Munich, and I’m telling you that this cool little restaurant nestled south of KC is authentic, and SO GOOD! Big portions of German favorites, and desserts that will make your mouth water when you walk in the door (they’re usually displayed up front on the bar!).
French? Try Café des Amis in Parkville. Be brave, try escargots (snails really can be amazing, I promise!) or enjoy a leisurely Sunday brunch with Quiche Lorraine (you can’t go wrong with bacon).
No matter what your heritage, have your mom tell you about her family traditions, or share what YOU know with your own daughters. Uživati (Croatian for enjoy)!
Mother/Daughter Photo Shoot
Picture courtesy of NZPhotographyKC
This is my favorite picture of all time. My older daughter is following the rules (as always), looking straight at the camera with a gorgeous, natural smile. The younger one is sticking out her tongue, making everyone laugh. It's so us. Not that dad or brothers or anyone else isn't important, but what a great thing to have-a picture of just mom and daughter(s). There are a MILLION great places for pictures in Kansas City-Shawnee Mission Park, Antioch Park, Liberty Memorial, Loose Park. Grab a good photographer, a crisp, fall day with changing leaves, and make some beautiful memories.
Skip School for an Afternoon
Yeah, I said it. Come on, one Friday afternoon won't hurt! Take your daughter out of school early and see a movie, wander around the mall, give her a driving lesson, visit the puppies and kitties at KC Pet Project or Great Plains SPCA, get a pedicure-it doesn't matter what you do, it's who you're doing it with.
Do Something for Someone Else
It doesn't get better than this. Spending time with your daughter while quietly teaching the gift of generosity. Bake muffins for your neighbors, grab some extra mums and leave them on someone's porch, volunteer to sort clothes at a thrift store, clean the house of someone who's having trouble getting around. It's a win-win. You get to spend time together, and someone else's day is a little happier.
I once read that between the time your child is born, and the time they turn 18, you get 940 Saturdays. That means I'm down to 470. Let's use those wisely.
Jen Johnson co-hosts The Show with Jen and Truta on KC102.1 in Kansas City weekday mornings from 6-10 am. She lives in Overland Park with her husband and two daughters (ages 8 and 7). Random facts about Jen: she was an extra in the movie Derailed (with Jennifer Aniston), she lived in Alaska for a summer, she was a traffic reporter for NBC in Chicago, and she tore her ACL playing basketball in college. She’s passionate about fund-raising and participating in Walk MS (multiple sclerosis), Cure SMA’s (spinal muscular atrophy) Walk-n-Roll, and raising money for Variety KC. Twitter/Instagram @jenkc1021