Spend an afternoon hiking the trails, visiting with the animals and taking a scavenger hunt at Ernie Miller Nature Center. Kids will enjoy seeing birds of prey, salamanders, snakes and other native animals -- along with exploring nature.
Borden does not like the spotted owls that cost his father his job. But when he 'adopts' an abandoned owlet and tries to care for him, he learns a great deal about the conflicts between nature and industry.
When Nate the Great hits the rails to guard an owl named Hoot, all kinds of mysterious things begin to happen. Can he solve the case of the vanishing owl?
Have you ever had a stingray swim above your head?! Or watched a horseshoe crab eat dinner? You'll see this and so much more at SEA LIFE Aquarium. Watch sharks, stingrays and eels - along with more than 5,000 other sea creatures. Explore the animals in the touch tank, crawl 'into' and under a fish tank and learn some interesting facts about ocean animals and conservation.
Got a kid who's a shark fanatic? This is the book for them -- "The Everything Kids' Sharks Book" by Kathi Wagner is packed with facts, puzzles, activities & more!
Or, for a more informative look at many different types of sharks, along with a few jokes thrown in, try the "The Great Shark Escape" by Joanna Cole (a Magic School Bus chapter book).
And "All the Way to the Ocean" by Joel Harper is a great book that shows how everyone can help to keep the oceans clean, no matter how far away from one they may live.
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Grab some apples or carrots and come out to feed the elk and bison! Located right here in Kansas City, Fleming Park is home to these amazing animals. The deer, elk and bison herds will come up to the fence to eat and visit.
For more places to see native animals, visit:
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Your kids will find so much to do at Deanna Rose – visit a prairie town from years ago, learn how cows are milked, run through a tepee, or pick up at passport at Ben’s Bank and search the farmstead for clues. There are animals to feed, trails to hike, and buildings to explore!
Another popular book with kids this age would be The Magic Tree House series - "Buffalo Before Breakfast" & "Twister on Tuesday" by Mary Pope Osborne are both good choices for historical life on the great plains.
If you enjoyed visiting Deanna Rose, try these fun places for more historical towns & animals:
View Deanna Rose Farmstead, 13800 Switzer Rd., Overland Park, KS 66221 in a larger map
You can do a lot at the Overland Park Arboretum - hike some wooded trails, search for bugs and frogs, go geocaching and learn about gardens. Search for the new Train garden that's being built, check out the different waterfalls and visit the Children's Garden too.
"The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a classic story about friendships that bloom between 2 children in a 'magic' garden that has been lost and forgotten.
"Kids Garden: The Anytime, Anyplace Guide to Sowing and Growing Fun" by Avery Hart has many fun ideas and activities that kids will enjoy!
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Curious about animals? Burr Oak Woods Nature Center is a great place to explore and learn about animals. Watch some nature films, explore hands-on exhibits, take a nice hike and visit with the many animals who call this center ‘home’.
Other Kansas City places to find native animals:
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The Kansas City Zoo is a great place to visit animals both large and small. You can see apes & chimps, a polar bear & sea lions, snakes & tigers. Feed the lorikeets or the llamas. Ride the train past the kangaroos, or take a sky-ride over zebras & antelope.
Kids will also enjoy "Thief at the National Zoo" by Carole Marsh (a cool mystery series).
Other great places to visit animals in Kansas City:
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