Kansas City’s Best Hiking Locations

Well, it’s been a strange year so far, to say the least. I sincerely hope you are all healthy and well!

One of the few constants this year has been the outdoors. As I’m sure you have, our family has logged many miles during walks around the neighborhood, played in the creek for hours, and gotten hands dirty while gardening.

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Parks and trails have been among the few places that have remained open for use in most places, and their innate value has become readily apparent. While 2020 has made it more difficult to gather in groups, that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy parks and trails with our families. While guidelines for safe outdoor trail use can be found in several places, I found a good one on the Rails to Trails website to share with you.

Below is a link to some of our favorite places to hike in Kansas City – an activity you can do any time, in any weather (with the right equipment!), and it often allows for plenty of social distancing. Let’s hope that getting outside safely can keep us active, happy, healthy, and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Hiking Locations  Note: Please check websites or call before going to any of these locations to ensure they are open for use.

While the current circumstances have compelled me to cancel several of our 2020 events, I left some up on the Events page in mid-summer and fall. These remain tentative, so please check back on the website and Facebook page as the event date nears.

Hope to see you out there!

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Let’s Get Outside Together!

After a brief pause in 2019 (to raise a baby to age one…let’s face it, that takes some time!), Let’s G.O. Kansas City is ready to get back outside. Please join us at upcoming events such as Parkville Nature Sanctuary’s Hike with Santa in just a few short weeks, and put some upcoming 2020 hike or play events on your calendar. You will find next year’s dates posted on our Events page, and stay tuned as they will soon be posted to our Facebook Page.

In 2020 we plan to host a hike and a playground visit each once per quarter, focusing on some of our favorite places in Kansas City. Please don’t forget to Sign Up, which helps us communicate with you and keeps us informed about attendance.

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Connecting children with nature continues to be an important topic that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the news. While I may be preaching to the choir here, a few articles about getting kids time to play and be outside are below for perusal at your leisure:

Hope to see you out there!

Upcoming Fun and Leadership Opportunities!

Hello friends!

Hope you’re enjoying the holiday season so far…it’s off to a great start! We had a wonderful #OptOutside hike on Black Friday with our extended family at the Columbia Audubon Nature Sanctuary in Columbia, MO. Hope you were able to #OptOutside too…it was a beautiful day!

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There are just a couple quick things to share with you today.

1. Let’s G.O. Kansas City is looking for a Marketing and Public Relations Director. This is a volunteer position. Who do you know that would be a great fit? (Maybe it’s you!)

2. Have you heard of Tinkergarten? My kids and I had a great time visiting the Olathe classes with Carrie Madden at Heritage Park over the summer. She was an extremely engaging instructor and great with the children. I also have recently been in touch with Nina Pulatie in Gladstone and Parkville in the Northland. The classes are super-fun and very hands-on and interactive for the kids. If you’re looking for a fun way to stay outside this winter, try out a Tinkergarten class! There are classes all over the KC Metro area, and most have free trial classes you can attend before you commit. Good news too…if you’d like to sign up before December 5th, use the code WINTER2018 for 15% off. (Note: I don’t receive any compensation for sharing about these classes. The classes are just a good fit with our mission to connect children and nature, so I’m sharing in case you’re interested!)

3. All the hike dates for 2018 have already been posted on the website Events page. This year I’ve played around with days and times to see if there are times that work better for more people. Please come join us in the outdoors!

We are looking forward to hiking with Santa at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary from 1-3 pm tomorrow, Saturday, December 2nd. If you’d like to join, more details can be found on the Events page.

See you out there!

Event Logistics – How to Find Us!

Event Sign Ups: To make signing up for events and signing the waiver / photo release easier for you, I’m trying out a new sign up method!  When you decide to attend an event, all you’ll need to do is fill in your contact information, click on the events you’re interested in, check the waiver/photo release boxes, and hit the submit button. You can try it out HERE. It’s super-helpful for me in planning and organizing these events to know how many of you are planning on attending. If you’d take a quick minute to sign up, I’d greatly appreciate it!

Event Start Times: For our hikes, we will wait for approximately 10 minutes at the meeting location after the posted start time (so if, for example, an event starts at 10 am, we will leave the parking lot at 10:10 am). Most of the time at our playground adventures the kids refuse to be held back (rightly so!) so we’ll start playing upon arrival.

Event Newcomers: If you are a newcomer to the group, please come up and introduce yourself! A lot of times there are other families or groups enjoying the location where we’re meeting, and it starts to get a *bit* awkward if I ask ALL of them if they are there for the Let’s G.O. Kansas City event! I am working on designing a little sign to make finding us easier, but for now I will have either glasses or sunglasses on, and have my hair in a ponytail (standard weekend hairstyle for me…scrap that…standard hairstyle for me, period). You can also look for me and my family (in many of the event photos on this site or on the About page). I don’t want to miss out on meeting you and your family in person, so please come say hello!

REMINDER: This weekend, June 3rd, we will be meeting at Black Hoof Park in Lenexa. Sign up and join us there for some great fun!

And – as if you need it! – here’s another great reason to get your kids outside this spring: For Better Vision, Let the Sunshine In. (Ignore the semi-creepy images, the content is interesting, I promise.)

See you out there!


Children’s Books with a Nature Theme

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As you try not to blow away in all this crazy weather we’ve been having (in like a lion, right?), I wanted to share a few pieces of information. First, for those of you who are new to the group, I am excited that you’re here! I hope you can join us for our March 18th hike at Mt. Marty Park. More details about the event can be found on the Events page on our website. Even if you’re busy in March, we’ve got dates on the calendar through June…I hope you’ll be able to put at least one of them on your calendar! Note: Please go ahead and click the button to sign up for the event – it takes about 30 seconds – and that way I know to watch for you before we head off into the woods!

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Second, some of the most-loved children’s books at our house happen to incorporate nature. Because of that, my kids get a real kick out of seeing their favorite book characters experiencing the same kind of outdoor fun we have too. Sometimes we even get inspired to try something new based on what happens in the books. As a bonus, most of these are available for free through the library system:

The above list is just a start and are adored by my 3-year-old, who even requested to dress up as Ladybug Girl for Halloween last year despite a deep and profound love for princesses Anna and Elsa. As fair warning for those of you with very young children, my almost-two year old enjoys the books too, but we primarily talk about what is happening in the pictures instead of reading the words. The text can get a bit long for him in some on the above list. If you’d like more nature-based children’s book inspiration, other lists can be found at:

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Lastly, one of my current favorite websites is Green Acorns and their “Noticing Nature” monthly nature prompts. They’re a great resource to gather ideas to help your kids connect with nature when you’re outdoors, and her photos are pretty outstanding too.

Hope to see you out on the trail soon!


Get Your Family Outside This Winter!

Happy 2017! I hope you are having a wonderful start to the New Year and that you’re enjoying the (mostly) nice weather we’re having this winter in Kansas City. Note the new event dates, times, and locations that have now been posted on the website through June 2017:

Get them on your calendar early!


In addition to regular hikes, approximately once per quarter we will be visiting some outstanding playgrounds around Kansas City. Why? Because active and engaged play, both alone and with other children, is an incredibly important part of child development from a physical, emotional, and intellectual perspective. Oh…and because it’s really fun! Join us for the first two this spring:


Recently, I came across some great resources about how to enjoy winter outside with your kids. They are worth a quick read, especially since we have more winter weather on the way this weekend:

And as if you didn’t have enough reason to get outside with your little ones, learn more about how connecting with nature helps your kids sleep better (something we can all use a little help with every now and then, right?!)

Put a couple of our upcoming hikes on your calendar and come join us this year!

Hope to see you soon,