Tag Archives: hiking

Out and About, February 2016

A collection of different events around the Kansas City area that we think may be of interested to AHG families. Some are useful for meeting badge requirements, some are good for encouraging a fledgling interest, some are just plain fun for families.

(Please note that where we have listed applicable badges, it is only our best guess. We have no way to be certain that the program in question will meet specific badge requirements. Use your own best judgment — and have fun with it!)

Please let us know what you think!

February 5

Jazz Storytelling at the American Jazz Museum, Kansas City MO. A monthly event that introduced children to new music and cultures. Free. All ages, no registration. Consider Music Appreciation. 10-11am.

February 6

Archery at Schlagle Library, Kansas City KS. Come join us for an archery session – whether you are new to the sport or have been doing it for years it will be a great time. We will learn about safety precautions as well as proper shooting techniques before shooting several rounds. Free; registration required (This program is popular and fills quickly, so sign-up soon!) Ages 8 and up. Archery. 10-11:30am.

Winter Hike at Burr Oak Woods, Blue Springs MO. Let’s get out, stretch our legs and see what nature is doing. We will start at the nature center and take the “backdoor” to the Bethany Falls Trail loop then return. Total hike is three miles moderately strenuous. Dress for hiking and the weather. For more information email burr.oak@mdc.mo.gov. Ages 12+; no registration required. Hiking. 1-2:30pm.

Urban Woodsman at Anita B. Gorman Discover Center. Are you uncomfortable trying to light a campfire or swinging a hatchet or maul to split firewood? These are a few of the basics every guy and gal should know for surviving even the toughest urban winter. Spend a day mastering useful outdoor basics like knot tying, fire-starting, water purification, shelter building, wood splitting and how to tap a maple tree for syrup. All ages; no registration required. Outdoor Skills. 10am-2:30pm.

February 7

Archeology Dig at Ernie Miller Nature Center, Olathe KS. Become an archeologist and discover who was here before us. Excavate real artifacts during a simulated dig. Then explore how archeologists reconstruct the culture of ancient societies and tell the “story” of those who came before us. For more information call (913) 764-7759. $3 per person including adults (Ages 2 & under are free). Our Heritage. 2-3pm.

February 9

Conservation Kids Club at Burr Oak Woods, Blue Springs MO. We use our five senses every day to navigate the world around us. For wild animals, alert senses can mean the difference between finding a meal and becoming a meal. Come learn about some of the unique sensory adaptations animals use to survive in nature. For more information email burr.oak@mdc.mo.gov. Ages 7-13; registration begins 02/02. Register by calling 816-228-3766. Nature & Wildlife. 6:30-8pm.

February 14

Day in the Life: Gas Warfare at the National WWI Museum (Liberty Memorial), Kansas City MO. The Living History Volunteer Corps will be on site to share stories of the Great War era and make history come to life! The Living History volunteers will focus on gas warfare during the war. Free to the public. Freedom’s Heroes. 10am-5pm.

Snakes Alive at Ernie Miller Nature Center, Olathe KS. Why is it that these creatures seem so terrifying? Could all the stories you have heard about snakes be true? See Kansas snakes as we explore the facts and fallacies of these legless wonders of the natural world. For more information call (913) 764-7759. $3 per person including adults (Ages 2 & under are free) Paid at site. Nature and Wildlife. 2-3pm.

February 19

Third Friday Art Walk at Englewood Station, Independence MO. A monthly event featuring local and regional artists, galleries, and street performers. Free. All ages, no registration. Artastic. 5:30-9pm.

February 20

Scavenger Saturday for Families at the Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City MO. Hone your art detective skills and discover something new about contemporary art.. Children with adults may pick up a self-guided activity at the Visitor Services Desk and follow the clues on this “ART-astic” adventure. When finished with the activity, children may pick up a take-home, art-making activity kit. Free. All ages, no registration required. Artastic. 10am-3pm.

Spencer Art Cart at the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. Learn about musical instruments in the Watkins Museum’s collection and create your own musical work of art. A drop-in activity station where families and other groups can enjoy hands-on art projects together, taking inspiration from the works on view in the Museum’s galleries. Free. All ages, no registration required. Artastic. Saturday February 20, 10am-4pm.

Wildlife Survival: Raptors of Missouri at Anita B. Gorman Discover Center. Possessing the right tools is the key to survival for raptors as the wintry chill of February surrounds us in Kansas City! Come learn about the specialized structures and adaptations that help raptors survive in their native habitats. Participate in the hands-on exploration and investigation of different types of skulls and beaks. Dissect an owl pellet to look for the secrets that rest within. Join us for a live raptor presentation with Meagan Duffee-Yates, permitted falconer, at 11:00 and 1:00. Raptors stay very busy during the winter, come by and learn what they’re up to! All ages; no registration required. Nature and Wildlife or Our Feathered Friends. 10am-2:30pm.

February 21

Wildlife Webs at Ernie Miller Nature Center, Olathe KS. This presentation will feature live animals and reveal the mysteries of the food chain. Children of all ages will enjoy discovering the importance and habits of each animal and its place in nature. For more information call (913) 764-7759. $3 per person including adults (Ages 2 & under are free). Nature and Wildlife. 2-3pm.

February 28

Nature Photography Fun at Ernie Miller Nature Center, Olathe KS. Photographing plants, animals and landscape can be a wild adventure! What makes a good photograph? Discover how to compose beautiful works of art and memories that will last a lifetime and beyond. Learn from a nature photographer and see amazing photos from the Nature Center, Kansas City Zoo, Yellowstone, Africa, and more. This hour-long session will focus on basic skills for beginner photographers. Bring your camera to take a picture of an owl! Recommended for ages 8 and up.  $3 per person including adults (Ages 2 & under are free). Photography. 2-3pm.

Saturdays and Sundays in March

Weekend Family Activities at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City MO. Ask a museum guide for the “What’s On” list to discover all the ways you and your family can engage with art. Activities for March include exploring objects from the World War I and the Rise of Modernism exhibition, learning about Marcel Duchamp and the concept of Dadaism, and building and decorating your own mini paper version of this work, inside and out, with images that represent your family. Free; all ages. Artastic and History’s Canvas. Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4pm.

Know of an activity we missed? Please share in the comments below!

Red Cross Wilderness First Aid Course and Field Guides

The Red Cross Wilderness and Remote First Aid Course is designed for scouts and scout leaders, outdoor enthusiasts and anyone who works or spends time in remote environments, this course teaches advanced skills to be used in emergencies when help from professional first responders may be far away. Based on the Boy Scouts of America Wilderness First Aid Curriculum and Doctrine Guidelines, this course aligns with OSHA’s Best Practices for Workplace First Aid Training Programs.

Prerequisites: Must be at least 14 years old and hold current adult CPR/AED certification.
2 year certification

Course length: 16 hours
Topics include:

  • Primary and Secondary Assessments
  • Heat-Related Emergencies
  • Hypothermia
  • Altitude-Related Illnesses
  • Allergies and Anaphylaxis
  • Burns
  • Bone and Joint Injuries
  • Wounds and Wound Infection

Course listings may be found online; if a course is not available near you, course materials  may be purchased in print versions or downloaded for free.

First aid skills form requirements for Boating Safety, Camping, Emergency Prepardness, Fire Safety and Fire Building, Hiking, Outdoor Skills, and Swimming badges. In addition, this is sure to be a useful course for adult volunteers as well.

Discover Nature: Hiking Sticks and Hiking, June 1

Hiking Stick GripsEver been out walking or hiking and wish you had a sturdy stick? Decorate your own customized walking/hiking stick from recycled broom and mop handles.

Afterwards we’ll walk the grounds of the Discovery Center learning how to fully utilize the stick. We’ll stop for an hour lunch break, plan accordingly.

Registration required — call 816-759-7300
Best for ages 12 and up

Saturday, June 1, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center
4750 Troost, Kansas City, MO

For more information, visit the Discovery Center website

Heartland Open Adventures, Saturdays

Heartland Center is a camp, conference, and retreat center in Parkville, Missouri dedicated to building relationships in a Christ-centered environment. Facilities and programs include overnight and day camps for children and youth grades K-12, retreat and conference facilities, Heartland Challenge Adventure courses including a rock wall and zip-line, horseback trail riding and banquet and catering. And through their Open Adventures program, you can try out a variety of adventures for just an afternoon!

Note: Heartland has recently been receiving a lot of good publicity, so the Open Adventures program has become very popular. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, so get there early!

Open Clip         $18/person

90-minute sessions that include rock wall, zip line, and vertical playground in a fun relaxed atmosphere. 10 years old & up.

Session 1          1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Session 2          2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Open Trail Rides       $15/person 

60-minute sessions include instruction and ride (approx. 40 min) on the forested trails located on our 320+ acre property. 10 years old & up.

Session 1    1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Session 2    2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Session 3    3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Open Swim              $3/person          Memorial Day – Labor Day

After a hot afternoon, enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool. Lifeguards on duty. Children under 18 must be supervised by an adult. Modest swimwear required.

1:00pm – 4:00 p.m.

Free Family Activities                 Available 1-4pm each Saturday.

Disc Golf – Basketball – Horseshoes – Hiking Trails – Gaga Ball

Maps and equipment checkout available at registration in main office.

All participants must complete a release of liability form prior to registration.

If you would like more information read the Heartland Adventures Brochure

Weekly, April 13 – November 16
Saturdays, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. (Registration begins at noon)

Heartland Center
16965 NW 45 Hwy (1 mile West of I-435 on Hwy 45)
Kansas City MO 64152


Open Adventures brochure

Does Nature Make You Smarter?

For a neuroscience lab, it sure is cold. Maybe 20℉ or so, judging by the sting on my exposed cheeks. Indeed, an observer would be hard-pressed to see any traditional research going on here. There’s not a single white coat, MRI, or PET scanner to be found. I don’t have a sensor stuck to my scalp. Instead, I’m snuggled in a sleeping bag, surrounded by sagebrush and willow deep within a red-rock maze of hulking sandstone cliffs. But science will be done. It’s my fourth morning in the wild, and I’m supposed to take a cognitive test that’s part of a groundbreaking research project. And I will, as soon as my fingers thaw enough to grip a pen.

The sunrise colors the Ancient Puebloan ruin to the east, and I hunker down in my bag, waiting for the rays to reach my tent. When they do, I unzip the door so I can see the warming sky and unfold the test. Behind me, assorted rustlings and yawns tell me that my five campmates are doing the same thing. The six of us represent the very first step in a cognitive pilot study aimed at exploring a question every reader of this magazine will find intriguing: Does backpacking make you smarter?

The researchers who designed this experiment hypothesize that exposure to nature causes significant, measurable changes to the brain. These changes let you think more clearly, focus more acutely, and perform to your maximum cognitive ability. In short: Wilderness makes you smarter. And the longer you’re out there (up to a point), the smarter you’ll get. Recent studies have already linked wilderness exposure with stress reduction and overall happiness. I can’t help but ponder the ramifications of all this as I consider the first question on my Remote Associates Test. This canyon in southern Utah may not look like an academic setting, but the neuroscientists behind this study could prove that trail time actually makes the brain perform better. Compelling evidence would make hiking a lock for the good-for-you activity hall of fame, to be sure, but that’s not all. Imagine a world in which backpacking becomes the science-recommended way to prepare for the SATs, chess tournaments, and all of life’s biggest mental challenges.

Read The Rest

Take A First Day Hike At A Park Near You, Jan. 1

America’s State Parks First Day Hikes offer individuals and families an opportunity to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on January 1, 2013 at a state park. Each guided hike will offer individuals and families opportunities to begin the New Year rejuvenating and connecting with the outdoors by taking a healthy hike on the first day of the year. Currently there are 657 First Day Hikes planned.

Many hikes are free, but some may require park admission; check the park listings for information. For all hikes, participants should wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and bring binoculars, camera, snacks and water bottle. State park staff and volunteers will lead the hikes.

“I can’t think of a better way to start the New Year than hiking through one of our beautiful Kansas state parks,” said Linda Craghead, KDWPT Assistant Secretary for Parks and Tourism. “Hiking on one of the many maintained state park trails promotes a healthy lifestyle, is a great family activity and blends stunning winter landscapes with opportunities to see a variety of wildlife.”

Find a hike near you: