5 Summer Day Trips for the Family!

Memorial Day is over, which means the unofficial start to summer is upon us!!!  We have put together a blog series for you that will give you day-trip ideas for you and the family (or troop) to get out and experience this summer! To kick things off, we bring you five activities that range from a 45 minute train trip south of Kansas City, to stargazing with the region’s largest telescope to seeing the only intact 19th century tactile mill (and a few things in between)!

When you experience these places, document on social media with #gsksmoroadtrip so we can see all the fun you are having!

powell3Powell Observatory

Louisburg, KS

Hours: Saturday evenings, May – October

Admission: Donation of $6 per adult and $4 per child is suggested to help support the observatory and keep operations open to the public.

The Powell Observatory is just 25 miles south of Kansas City and is home to the Ruisinger telescope, one of the largest telescopes available for public viewing in the five state area. It is capable of seeing both bright and faint objects. It can see the Andromeda Galaxy, which is 2,500,000 light-ears away! On Saturday evenings from May through October, the Star Bright Saturday Night Programs begins at dusk and include program presentations on astronomy, tours of the observatory, and (if the skies are clear) viewing through the various telescopes of the moon, planets, stars, star clusters and more!


BELTONRRBelton, Grandview & Kansas City Railroad

Hours: Multiple rides and times throughout the summer

Admission: Varies by day and time

The Belton, Grandview and Kansas City Railroad Co. is a short line passenger railroad and demonstration museum in Belton, Missouri, just south on US Hwy. 71 from the Kansas City Metro Area. The BG&KC offers excursions on our line running south from Belton on a 5 mile, 45 minute round trip. They are an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving rail travel and railroading! On Friday nights in the summer, you can ride the train and enjoy a bowl of ice cream with all the fix’ns!


ArborFarmArbor Day Farm

Nebraska City, NE

Hours: Monday through Saturday – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Sunday – 11:00am – 5:00 pm

Various activities and attractions have scheduled times.

Admission: All-Access Day Pass, Adults – $15, Children 3 – 12 – $11, Children under 2 – Free

Discover something new every season at Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure—an award-winning nature-themed attraction and the starting point of your Arbor Day Farm experience. Arbor Day Farm encompasses 260 acres of natural beauty and historical significance. This National Historic Landmark is home to the one-of-a-kind Tree Adventure (50-foot tall Tree House!), Arbor Lodge State Historical Park (with a 52-room mansion!) and the all-new Lied Lodge & Conference Center (hotel, restaurant, lounge and Olympic size pool!).


WatkinsMillWatkins Mill State Park

Northeast of Kearney, MO

Hours: Visitor Center & Museum, Monday through Saturday 9:30 am – 5:00 pm; Sunday 10:30 am – 5:00 pm

Admission: Free

Stepping on to the grounds of Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site is like stepping into 19th century pastorale. Many of the buildings that Waltus Watkins spent half a century building – including an elegant home and a three-story woolen mill – have been preserved to give visitors a sense of life in the 1870s. The mill is the only 19th century textile mill in the United States with its original machinery still intact. The site’s visitor center offers an introduction to the Watkins family and their many business ventures!


oz1Wizard of Oz Museum

Wamego, KS

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; Sunday, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Admission: Adults (13+) – $8; Children (4-12) – $5 (Military Discount available)

The OZ Museum is dedicated to all things OZ, based on the classic book The Wizard of Oz! There are over 2,000 artifacts in the many exhibits at the Oz Museum! You’ll learn historical facts about the movie and its actors, see unique OZ memorabilia and so much more!


We will bring you additional day-trip activities throughout the summer! If have a family favorite place that you want to see included, comment below or email kladdculp@gsksmo.org!


Don’t forget to use #gsksmoroadtrip when you visit these exciting places!

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