Favorite Kansas City Things: September 2016

Favorite Kansas City Things: September 2016 | redleafstyle.com

If you haven’t noticed, Kansas City is happening.

This month, Vogue called Kansas City one of the ‘flyover cities’ worth “landing and lingering in.”

That’s why I’m doing this blog series; to share the hidden gems, the local favorites and the places you have to check out in Kansas City. (Check out last month’s favorite Kansas City things.)

Here’s what I’ve been exploring this month.


Cider Hill Family Orchard

Favorite Kansas City Things: September 2016 | redleafstyle.com

Kick off fall by going apple picking at a local orchard. This year, I went apple picking for the first time ever and I can’t believe I haven’t done it before.

Cider Hill Family Orchard in Kansas City, Kan., covers 38 acres and has 1500 apple trees with 18 different kinds of apples. Wander through the groves and fill up a peck, half bushel or bushel full of apples.

If you’re hungry, there’s no shortage of apple cider treats. Grab some apple cider donuts, an apple cider slushie, or go the traditional route and ask for a cup of cold pressed apple cider.

There’s also a hay wagon ride and pumpkin patch for the kiddos.

The U-Pick apples are available as long as there are still apples on the trees. In October, opening hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Favorite Kansas City Things: September 2016 | redleafstyle.com


City Market Farmers Market

Favorite Kansas City Things: September 2016 | redleafstyle.com

If you’re looking for warty pumpkins, fairy tale pumpkins or just all-around different pumpkins, City Market is the place to go.

On the weekends, many of the farmers offer a variety of pumpkins in their stalls. Or, stop by the “pumpkin patch” in front of the Steamboat Arabia on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October. Juhl Greenhouse and Truck Farm, a local farm, hosts the pumpkin patch every year.

You’ll be able to find all kinds of pumpkins, gourds and winter squash for decorating, carving or eating.


City Market Coffee Roasters

Favorite Kansas City Things: September 2016 | redleafstyle.com

While you’re at City Market, stop by my favorite coffee shop in the city, City Market Coffee Roasters.

This local coffee shop roasts its own coffee beans, which are Fair Trade and organic.
And, if you’re craving a fall-themed drink, City Market Coffee Roasters has you covered. Ask for a pumpkin latte or a cinnamon cardamom latte made with homemade cinnamon cardamom syrup.

The coffee shop also just put in a new deck overlooking City Market Park. It’s a relaxing spot to enjoy the crisp fall air.


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Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016

Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com

It’s hard to put your finger on it exactly, but I think it’s safe to say that Kansas City, Mo., is experiencing a Renaissance of sorts. This cow town that straddles a border with Kansas City, Kan., has really come into itself over the past few years—and the nation is taking notice.

Maybe it was the Kansas City Royals winning the 2015 World Series. Or, perhaps it’s the excitement for the KC Streetcar, which just opened in May and runs from the River Market to Union Station. Maybe it’s the ever-popular First Friday in the Crossroads Arts District every month or the blossoming vintage and antiques scene in the West Bottoms.

Whatever it is, Kansas City is happening. Whether you’re visiting Kansas City or you’ve been here all your life, it’s time to start exploring this city. I’ve lived here five years and I feel like I’m just now starting to discover everything Kansas City has to offer.

That’s why I’m starting this new blog series; to share the hidden gems, the local favorites and the places you have to check out in Kansas City.

Here’s what I’ve been exploring this month.


First Friday: Art Starts at the KC Library

Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com

Building on the momentum from the KC Streetcar, the Kansas City Public Library recently started hosting its own First Friday event. The Art Starts at the Library event is held in conjunction with First Friday, and the library is encouraging visitors to start their First Friday fun at the Central Library by enjoying its art galleries, live music on the rooftop and (I almost want to keep this one a secret) a complimentary bar.

Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.comFavorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.comFavorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.comFavorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com

If you haven’t seen the Central Library’s rooftop terrace, that’s reason enough to check out this First Friday event.


Brown & Loe Opens

Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com

A new bistro-style restaurant has opened in the River Market. Brown & Loe, 429 Walnut St., sits just outside the entrance to City Market square and occupies the long-vacant Merchants Bank Building.

Featuring Southern-inspired upscale American cuisine, the restaurant is open for brunch, lunch and dinner. The atmosphere feels elegant, but still friendly. If you love old buildings, like me, you’ll go gaga over the original marble from the building’s bank days and its other historic architectural details. It has a beautiful dark wood bar that runs the length of the building and a patio just next to Dutch Flowers, which is perfect as the weather cools down.

Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com

If you want to know more about Brown & Loe, look out for my piece on my dining experience there in the Fall 2016 issue of VintageKC magazine.


Day Trip to Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

If you’re looking to get out into nature without traveling too far from Kansas City, I highly recommend Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. The highlights of this park include the Devil’s Icebox, which is a sinkhole where you can view an underground stream, and a natural rock bridge. There are also several hiking trails that are fun to explore.

The park sits just south of Columbia, Mo., and is about a two-hour drive from Kansas City.

Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com

I love traveling the world (more tips on that to come!) but I also think you can explore close to home if you have the right mindset. And, if you want more travel tips for Kansas City, be sure to check back here every month.



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Travefy: Trip Planning Made Easy

Travefy: Trip Planning Made Easy

Travefy: Trip Planning Made Easy | redleafstyle.com

The hardest part about getting away, whether over a long weekend or on a two-week European excursion, is making the plans. Booking hotel rooms. Planning must-see sites. Divvying up the expenses. It’s a lot to get done.

Getting everything organized for a trip is where I struggle. I have a bad habit of procrastinating planning. I have this irrational fear that I’m going to pick a bad hotel or not do enough research to find good sightseeing opportunities, so I put off getting started.

It also doesn’t help when I don’t have a good way of organizing. I’ve used everything from Word® documents to Excel® spreadsheets to a folder in my email to organize trips. None of which work well for this purpose.

The best method I’ve ever used is this travel planning board, made from craft paper and Post-it® notes, which I hung on the wall. While fun, this method had its downsides. I couldn’t access it away from my house and it was a pain to make changes.

When planning a two-week vacation to England, France and Wales in July, I found an amazingly better option. I used Travefy, a free online and mobile group planner.

It helped me not procrastinate…mostly.

Travefy: Trip Planning Made Easy | redleafstyle.com

The premise behind Travefy is that it makes trip planning with your friends easy. You can all collaborate to organize the trip, build an itinerary and easily split expenses. And you can do it all on the Travfy website or on its mobile app.

My twin sister and I mainly used the itinerary builder feature of Travefy to plan our trip. It’s really easy-to-use. You just input the location and the dates of your trip and start creating your itinerary for each day.

Keeping track of our flight information, hotel names and booking dates, and the sights we wanted to see was so much easier all in one place. I even shared the link to our Travefy trip with my mom, so she could see our itinerary. (And so, she didn’t ask me a billion questions about where we’d be and when.)

You can even create a PDF to share your itinerary or sync your itinerary to your calendar with just a couple clicks.

Travefy: Trip Planning Made Easy | redleafstyle.com

At some point I’d like to explore the other features Travefy offers, such as the ability to split group trip expenses. I believe you can even add your bank account, a debit card or a credit card to your Travefy account, and then you can pay your friends directly through Travefy. So easy!

Travefy: Trip Planning Made Easy | redleafstyle.comTravefy: Trip Planning Made Easy | redleafstyle.com

I highly recommend trying Travefy, but no matter what method you choose to plan your trip, travel planning is always better with beer. (Just sayin.)

Travefy: Trip Planning Made Easy | redleafstyle.com

If you’re wondering why I’m deviating from my usual home decorating and craft posts, the answer is simple. In order to appreciate home, I think you have to get away from it once in a while. Even if it’s just taking a day trip and driving to a different town an hour away. Stepping outside of the everyday is important for all of us. It gives us a fresh perspective and a new appreciation for what we have.



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