Best of Kansas City 2017: Kids & Play

  Best Kids Clothing

  The Little House

   Nestled in the Fairway Shops, The Little House is a chic boutique that carries children’s fashions for girls age infant to 14 and for boys age infant to 7. With high-end clothing brands like Billieblush, J. Bailey and Pink Chicken, your kiddo can be as dapper as a cast member of Mad Men. Along with a huge assortment of clothing, The Little House sells shoes from brands like Toms and Minnetonka, plus accessories, plush toys and backpacks. Don’t forget to ask about monogramming, and if you get a little busy, Little House offers free local delivery. 2808 W. 53rd St., Fairway, Kan., (913) 236-9861,


photo courtesy of Power & Light District


  Best Kid-Friendly Event

  Sprint Family Fun Series

   The Power & Light District will again play host to Sprint’s Family Fun Series on the second Saturday of each month from May through October. Aug. 12th is Summer Splash, where the entire family can suit up for a double splash slide or dance with Mr. Stinky Feet while basking in the sunshine with a flavored ice cream cone. The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and while admission is free, there are fees for premium activities.


  Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant

  Dave & Busters

   Dave & Buster’s is like a Chuck E. Cheese for the whole family. Everyone can enjoy lunch or dinner together in the restaurant, which offers everything from sandwiches, salads and burgers to seafood and steak dinners. The Eat & Play Combo can’t be beat: select meal options come with a $10 power card to use in the arcade, which features a smorgasbord of games, tickets and prizes. Two area locations,

   See our gallery for the opening of Dave & Buster's 135th Street location. 


Best Party for a Cause

Big Slick Celebrity Weekend

   Each year, Kansas City’s favorite boys — Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle, David Koechner and Eric Stonestreet — team up to host one of the most anticipated fundraiser events of the summer. What began as a poker tournament to raise money for Children’s Mercy has evolved into a star-studded weekend featuring a softball game, bowling tournament and an after-party that always sells out and leaves everyone with a smile.


Photo courtesy of la bodega


Best Girls Night Out

La Bodega

   Spanish culture is about sharing food, wine and good conversation, and you’ll find all three at La Bodega. Delectable hot and cold tapas like papas fritas con ajo (refried roasted potatoes with garlic-cumin aioli), pincho de pollo y chorizo (skewered chicken and chorizo) pair perfectly with red or white sangria. Top it off with a Spanish coffee — coffee with Bacardi 151 rum, cinnamon and sugar set ablaze table side — and you’ve got the recipe for a memorable GNO. Two area locations.


  Best Party You Didn't Know You Were Missing

  Fur Ball

   The photos from the Fur Ball Gala say it all; Wayside Waifs knows how to throw a fur-tastic party. This signature fundraiser features a different theme each year, plus a gourmet dinners, 18 hosted bars, enthralling live and silent auctions and live entertainment. Mark your calendars for May 5, 2018, but you’ll have to stalk the website — these tickets go fast. 3901 Martha Truman Road, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 761-8151,


Best New Health Haven

The Laya Center

Promoting the natural healing of the body through a “mind, body and spirit” approach is the key to relaxing, restoring and reawakening clients at newly opened holistic wellness center and spa The Laya Center. Run by former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Joe Mays and his wife, LaToyia, this holistic haven restores health with services like massage therapy, meditation, reflexology, herbal nutrition, natural cryotherapy, yoga and chakra balancing. And if you’re not sure of your health needs, consultations are available before each treatment. 601 Walnut St., Suite 200, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 912-3258,


  Best Ninja School

  Chaos Course

   If you’ve ever wanted to bring out your inner warrior — your inner American Ninja Warrior, that is — you’re in luck. Billed as Kansas City’s only Ninja Warrior gym, Chaos Course appeals to athletes of all ages and needs with its lineup of programs like Ninja Warrior training, traditional martial arts, parkour, gymnastics and boxing. In addition to offering intense and fun courses, the gym is big on making its members feel good physically and emotionally. 1016 N. Scott Ave., Belton, Mo., (816) 349-9205,


  Best Dance Lessons

  Viva Social Dance Studios

   There’s no fighting it; the rhythms at Viva Social Dance Studio will have you moving your feet in no time. The studio, now located on Nieman Road in Shawnee, is known for its traditional and nightclub-style salsa and bachata lessons, taught in a safe, fun and comfortable environment. Other offerings include dance workshops, monthly Latin dance socials and wedding private dance lessons for those looking to impress. 5722 Nieman Road, Shawnee, Kan.,


Photo by anna petrow

Best Barcade

Up-Down Kansas City

Since opening in 2015, Up-Down Kansas City has been a Crossroads destination. This adult playground keeps the nostalgia flowing with two floors featuring more than 50 ‘80s and ‘90s arcade games, skee-ball lanes and pinball machines; a bevy of craft beers on tap; game tournaments; daily specials; signature pizzas; live music; First Fridays attractions and more. 101 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 982-9455,


Photo by zach bauman


  Best Instagram Account

  The Object Enthusiast

   One scroll through Emily Reinhardt’s Instagram account will have you wanting to take up ceramics as a hobby. As the Object Enthusiast, Reinhardt turns everyday items like ring vases, spoons and ring dishes into gilded geometric works of art. Since firing up her kiln in 2011, the artist has garnered 112,000 followers who are mesmerized by her craft.,

   Read our story on The Object Enthusiast here


Photo by anna petrow


  Best Park

  Shawnee Mission Park

   At 1,236 acres, Shawnee Mission Park is Johnson County’s largest park, which means the sky’s the limit for adventure seekers. Fantastic amenities include boating, fishing and sail boating along the 120-acre lake; spacious shelters and numerous picnic areas; an archery range; a disc golf course; and Theatre in the Park during the summer. Pooches can get in on the fun, too, with a 53-acre off-leash dog park featuring a lake to practice their doggy paddle. 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee, Kan., (913) 888-4713,


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Categories: Health & Wellness, Healthy Living