Ever get the “been there, done that” blues? If you’re craving an unusual, off-the-wall or quirky experience, you might consider one of these, all in the Kansas City area.
» Merriam, Kan.: Where can you find a little bit of the Wild West? At Antioch Park. Kids can enjoy hours of imaginative play at the park’s Dodge Town, which features small replica buildings. There also are a small fishing lake, children’s playground, tennis courts, picnic shelters and paved trails. The city hosts the annual Merriam Turkey Creek Festival on May 18.
» Kansas City, Mo.: Children and adults are equally intrigued by objects in the Toy & Miniature Museum. From steam engine trains to vintage games and gadgets, this one-of-a-kind giant collection is a must-see. The museum holds one of the most impressive collections of fine-scale miniatures in the country, including intricate pieces such as Noah’s Ark and the Palace of Versailles. The museum hosts the World’s Largest Marble Tournament on June 8.
» Bonner Springs, Kan.: Where can you see 5,000 Pinky balls dumped on the street? In downtown Bonner Springs, at the seventh annual Marble Day on May 4. The 9:30 a.m.-to-2 p.m. free event gets under way with a Tractor Cruise and Wacky Parade. After that are a marble tournament, yard games, straw tunnel, cake walk, bike rodeo and more. Individuals can sponsor numbered Pinky balls for $2 each. Half the proceeds go to Bonner Animal Rescue.
» Lansing, Kan.: The Lansing Historical Museum brings to life the relationship between community members and the oldest penitentiary in Kansas. The museum holds hundreds of photos, contraband, uniforms and other memorabilia related to the Kansas State Penitentiary, now known as the Lansing Correctional Facility. Located on the prison grounds, the museum is free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.
» Independence, Mo.: We cut hair, color it, French braid it, curl it, lose it. See earrings, bracelets, necklaces, buttons, flowering wreaths, brooches, embroidered pictures, rings and watch fobs — all made from hair — at Leila’s Hair Museum. See thousands of art works and jewelry crafted from hair, plus locks that once belonged to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson and John Lennon.