Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Weekend Getaway in Kansas City: 5 tips for a Romantic Staycation

With two young kids, finding time to make our marriage a priority can be quite a challenge. We get occasional date nights, but we don't have anyone in town who can watch the kids overnight. So once a year, my parents come into town to keep the kids for us for an entire weekend to celebrate our anniversary. When we started doing it a couple of years ago, we had hoped to go on a short vacation. When we looked at the cost of round trip airfare or gas, we decided it wouldn't be worth it for a short weekend on our then tight budget. So we decided to enjoy a "staycation" since there is a ton to do in Kansas City that we normally don't do with the kids.

In the past we've enjoyed comedy clubs, various movie theaters, sports games, and fancy restaurants. This year we planned our weekend around the Chipotle Cultivate festival so that we could enjoy the festival without worrying about the kids. We were excited to find out that our Kansas City soccer team, Sporting KC, also had a home game that weekend so we splurged on close seats for Friday night's game. It was gorgeous weather and our team won so it made for a perfect start to our weekend! After the game, we hit Walmart to grab some snacks and drinks. It made for a late night but we enjoyed sleeping in with no early morning "mommy? daddy? wake up!" from the kids.

On Saturday we headed to the Cultivate festival with some friends and had a great time overall. When we arrived it was pouring down rain and that certainly dampened our experience a bit (dampened, get it? Okay I'm tired obviously) The ground got extremely muddy and being the klutz I am I did a full on splits while falling. I wish I had a picture because I haven't done the splits since elementary school and let me tell you it was not comfortable! But thanks to the generosity of strangers who gave me water and napkins, I got cleaned up and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the day. There was great music, yummy food, and AMAZING chefs. I got to watch Amanda Frietag and Graham Elliot cook!

As a total food network geek, I was definitely a fan girl at the chef demonstrations. I made Mike stand in a 30 minute line to get a picture with Graham and it was totally worth it. He was extremely friendly and gracious. He didn't have to stay for pics, most of the other chefs didn't since it was over 100 degrees by the afternoon, but he braved the heat to get a picture with every single person who wanted one. How cool is that? We were sweaty and fairly gross by this point but I still love this picture!

We headed back to the hotel for much needed showers and to change clothes for our anniversary dinner at The Capital Grille on the Plaza. If you ever visit the Plaza in Kansas City, promise me you'll try the Capital Grille. It's definitely a splurge but it's worth EVERY penny! When Mike made reservations, they asked if we were celebrating anything special and he informed them it was our anniversary. When we arrived, we were taken to a quiet table that was decorated with a rose and rose pedals, it was very romantic! The waiter was very knowledgeable and even gave us a free toasting drink to start our evening. Mike got a special order steak while I enjoyed the herb roasted chicken. Everything was delicious, seriously one of the best meals we've ever had.
Like I said, it was a splurge but we felt so spoiled by the staff. After enjoying our meal, our waiter brought out a complimentary dessert tray with an amazing tiramisu and cheesecake. Despite being full from our main course, we ate every last crumb of the delicious dessert. I'm pretty sure going to Capital Grille for our anniversary will be a new tradition!

After a busy day on Saturday, we decided to veg out on Sunday by going to a movie. We enjoyed seeing Ant Man on opening weekend (it's a rarity for us to go to movies anymore, much less see them on opening weekend) at the Alamo Drafthouse in downtown KC. Comfortable seating, yummy food, and a funny movie, what more could we ask for? After the movie we made the 30 minute drive home to see our happy kiddos. I doubt they even noticed we were gone because they were having so much fun with their grandparents. It was nice to have a break but I missed them!

We've learned a few things through the years of staycationing so I thought I'd share some tips to help you plan the perfect weekend!
Staycation in Kansas City

1. Check out deal sites for cheap hotels. Since we're not picky about a certain hotel but know the best areas to stay, we get amazing last minute deals. I use betterbidding.com to find out what people have payed recently on priceline and hotwire in our area to know what to bid. I rarely pay over $65 a night for super nice hotels.

2. Visit local festivals or special events in your area. A fun food or music festival is much more relaxing without taking young kids and many are cheap or even free.

3. Play tourist in your own town. Visit museums (the Nelson Atkins art museum in Kansas City is on our list for next year, we always intend to go but never seem to make it), historical sites, and memorials that you have never taken the time to see.

4. Splurge on at least one fancy meal. Go to the restaurants you wouldn't dare take your kids to because of the atmosphere and let's be honest, the price.

5. Don't overbook yourselves. This is about reconnecting as a couple so order room service or just hang out in your room for an entire afternoon.

Have you ever taken a "staycation"? I would love to hear about it!




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