10 September 2010

Living! (On the Cheap)--Powell Gardens

Dave Roger's, Big Bugs runs through October 3.  Powell Gardens is opened daily 9-6 through September,
 and 9-5 October through April.  Powell Gardens is located 30 miles East of Kansas City on Hwy 50.
            My family has been to Powell Gardens** a few times, so when we saw the ads for Dave Roger’s Big Bugs we excitedly put it on our family calendar.  I mean, what could be better for a family with young kids?  A beautiful garden with lots of open spaces to run and frolic, ginormous bugs, and this past weekend’s weather couldn’t be beat!  So we piled the family into the Jeep, rolled the windows down, and cranked up the tunes.  You haven’t lived until you’ve heard children belt out AC/DC’s “TNT” while flashing devil horns to passing and on-coming cars!  We live a ways from Powell Gardens so AC/DC led into Beyonce (Myriam sings “Single Ladies” like a pro!  One of these days I’ll post video of her dancing to that song.  Even a jaded, realist like myself can’t help but laugh out loud.).
            My kids cheered as we pulled up to the familiar green praying mantis at the front gate.  They cheered even louder upon receiving our green admission stickers.  Although my husband and I were taken aback by the price.  Was it always $9.50 per adult?  Luckily our kids are under 5 so they are FREE.  (We’ve already told our kids that they better enjoy all these places now because once they turn 5 and we have to pay for them…the fun is over.) 
            Upon entering the garden we were faced with a large map showing where all of the bugs were located.  We were dismayed by this.  Having three small kids meant that we were going to have decide up front which bugs we were going to see and which we weren’t.  The kids just don’t have that kind of stamina yet--and frankly, neither does Mommy.  We chose to go through the water garden and then on to the prairie to see the ants.  We thought for our family’s age group (all three children are under 5) the ants would be the most enjoyable for the kids.  And we were correct!  The kids enjoyed the ants and made friends with some Japanese tourists visiting the gardens for the first time.  Porter also quickly conned the tourists out of their cookies and got his picture taken for his efforts. 
            The down side of our decision is that we only saw three of the bugs (and the dragon fly was missing it’s wings), AND that the walk (uphill the whole way and in full sun) completely exhausted our children AND we had to take turns carrying them back down the hill and to the car.  Even an overpriced snack at Café Thyme didn’t rejuvenate our hapless brood. 
My kids, looking like ants, next to the ant. 
            Overall, we will be back in a few weeks for Powell’s Fall Festival but the Big Bugs were maybe... a little overblown.  Next time I’ll remember to pack snacks and water bottles in the kids’ packbacks (backpacks for people who don’t garble their words) so we can eat and drink on the go and have money for a Ben and Jerry’s run after.
Admission Prices: $9.50 Adults, $4 Children 5-12 years, under 5 free!

Although I do my best to ensure that the information I report is current and correct, I suggest that you always follow up for yourself.  If you would like more information about Powell Gardens check them out on the web http://www.powellgardens.org/ or call 816-697-2600.
**I was in no way compensated for this review this is just a tip I like to pass on to my readers and friends.

Check out my other Living! (On the Cheap) segments here!
Dagg Park                                                              
Powell Gardens
The Kansas City Northern Railroad
Fort Scott, Kansas
Two Websites Every Parent Should Know About
Emporia Kansas Zoo
Powell Pumpkin Patch
Portable North Pole
Deanna Rose Farmstead Pin It
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