St. Joseph, nestled along the Missouri River in Missouri, is famously remembered for being the starting point of the Pony Express. This city of around 76,000 is located in the northwestern area of the state, just one hour from Kansas City. Parents in St. Joseph will find there are an assortment of entertaining activities for youth and toddlers in the area.
Take your kids to visit some of the museums located in St. Joseph. Saint Joseph Museums, Inc. (stjosephmuseum.org) has four museums to visit; St. Joseph Museum, St. Joseph Black Archives, Wyeth Tootle Mansion and the Glore Psychiatric Museum. Keep in mind that the Glore Psychiatric Museum isn't suitable for young children. You can also check out The Pony Express National Museum (ponyexpress.org). This museum features the history of the Pony Express, including the various stops along the route and some of the people that were involved. Your kids can attend special events, like PumpkinFest. This family arts festival is free and includes a children's parade, live entertainment, games, rides and food.
Parks and Recreation
Check out all that the City of St. Joseph Parks, Recreation, and Civil Facilities (stjoemo.info) have to offer your kids. In the summer, you can visit the St. Joseph Aquatic Park (no website; 402 South Noyes Blvd., St. Joseph; 816-271-5500). Your kids can float down the lazy river, splash and play in the kiddie or play area, zip down the slides or stand under the waterfalls to cool off on a hot day. You could also visit one of the parks, like the Huston Wyeth Park (no website; Poulin West to Elwood, St. Joseph; 816-271-5500), with breathtaking views of the Missouri River or Bartlett Park (no website; 32nd Street, St. Joseph; 816-271-5500) where you'll find a large children's playground and baseball fields.
Get out and enjoy nature with your children. Visit the Remington Nature Center of St. Joseph (stjoenaturecenter.info), where you'll find exhibits showcasing the Missouri River and how it impacted the development of the area. There are also displays featuring artifacts from Native American civilizations. You can even participate in some programs with your kids at the nature center, such as craft times and nature walks. You could also get out and go for a bike ride or a hike with the family on the Urban Outdoor Nature Walk (no website; 10th and Powell, St. Joseph; no phone), maintained by the City of St. Joseph. Choose from two trail routes and don't forget the helmets when you ride your bikes.
Get your kids signed up for a class in St. Joseph to keep them busy. The Dance Arts Center (thedanceartscenter.com) offers dance classes to children and teens, including ballet, jazz, tap, pointe, hip hop and tumbling. At D & M Music Studio (dmmusicstudio.com), your kids can choose from an array of lessons, such as guitar, piano, voice, flute and violin. Or, you can sign your kids up for some martial arts classes at Yu's Academy of Martial Arts (yusacademy.org). You have the choice of Tae Kwon Do and Hap Ki Do.