As summer turns to fall and the barbecue grills begin their migration south, The Patch at The Farm welcomes visitors to celebrate the dawning of the harvest season across its 30 acres. Taking up 11 of those acres, the corn maze's twists and turns test visitors' problem-solving skills. Bright-orange pumpkins pepper a 4-acre patch, patiently awaiting families to bring them home, where they'll fully blossom into pies or grinning jack-o'-lanterns. Over in the petting zoo, goats, chickens, and mini-donkeys entertain wee ones with rides and their ability to speak five languages. Other attractions include a hayride to Lanesfield Museum, ziplining, pumpkin bowling, a pedal track, and bounce houses.
The new two-story tree house that sits amid Kansas Children’s Discovery Center’s 4.5 acres of greenery is more than a house—children can also swoop down its slide or scale its climbing wall. The multifaceted structure reflects the center’s overall complexity. On its outdoor grounds’ network of bike trails, hiking paths, and obstacle courses, youngsters can cultivate their love of nature without going off to live with a family of wolverines; meanwhile, 10 hands-on, educational exhibits in the 15,000-square-foot indoor facility fuel youthful curiosity in everything from construction projects to an interactive lemonade stand that teaches kids the basics of balancing a budget.
With thousands of frame and mat samples, The Great Frame Up can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate (most diplomas can be framed for around $100–$200), personalized jerseys glisten (most for under $300), and dorm-room movie posters sparkle (many 24"x36" pieces for under $100). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. The Great Frame Up’s no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means your frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial-framing facilities.
It’s hard to make new friends in a park; but, thanks to KC Crew, friendships have been blossoming all over Roanoke Park, One Park Place, and Penn Valley Park. The secret to their success is rec leagues, in which players compete in softball, tennis, and sand volleyball, a beachy sport far preferable to speed eating shells. The organization provides umpires, a game schedule, and a $100 credit at a local bar awarded to the winning team. And after the sun goes down, the organization offers more in-depth studies of the area nightlife through bar crawls, themed to celebrate holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day or simulate a zombie apocalypse.
Nine acres of natural habitats make up the Hutchinson Zoo, a place that nearly 160 animals—most of which are native to Kansas—call home. The zoo’s many exhibits feature local reptiles, birds, and mammals, a fossil pit where kids can dig for dinosaur bones, and the Wild Habitats Building that houses animals from afar, such as cotton-top tamarins, gila monsters, and mexican red-knee tarantulas. In the barrier-free aviary, visitors watch native Kansas birds flying untethered overhead while in the wetlands below, North American beavers gnaw old furniture back into the shape of trees. To keep the area's wildlife populations strong, the zoo's Cargill WildCare Center rehabilitates approximately 500 injured or orphaned Kansas-native animals each year.
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