Plan a Quick, Family Getaway in the Midwest


If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a little while, you know that I (and my family) are Midwest transplants and that we are all southern-born and bred.  Toon is from New Orleans and Jam and I hail from Jackson, MS.  Now, if you’ve really been reading this blog for a while then you may also know that I haven’t always been very fond of Omaha, or the Midwest, in general. I mean…it’s not the South. 🙁  I know, I know, I need to get over it, especially since I’ve been here for over 5 years now, but it’s hard.  It’s just not home…yet.

But I digress.

The Midwest, Omaha in particular, does have its perks; I have to admit it.  The cost of living is decent, the food is good and the fall is beautiful.  One of the major selling points, for me though, is that Omaha is so close to other awesome places.  Before moving here, Toon nor I had been to places like Minneapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago…and now all of these places are a hop and a skip away i.e. within driving distance.  If only because of that, the Midwest gets a point in its corner!  Now we’re always jumping into the car to head out on a quick, family getaway.  Based on the places we’ve stayed, food we’ve eaten and things we’ve done, I decided to create a quick, getaway guide for other families like us in the Midwest.

What to Do

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Kansas City

quick midwest getaway omaha kansas city minneapolis family vacations fall

Adventureland Altoona, IA

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory St. Paul, MN

Mall of America Bloomington, MN

City Museum St. Louis, MO

Worlds of Fun Kansas City, MO

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Meramec Caverns Stanton, MO

 Where to Stay

Courtyard Marriott Bloomington


Best Western St. Louis Inn

Holiday Inn Kansas City Airport

The Westin Crown Center

What to Eat

Pappy’s Smokehouse St. Louis, MO


Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant Kansas City, MO

Matt’s Bar Minneapolis, MN

Imos Pizza St. Louis, MO


I’ll admit that even though we’ve been here for about 5 years, we only recently started traveling.  I’m sure that there are hundreds of places we have yet to visit, so comment with your suggestions!

What are the best places for families to visit in the Midwest?  Where to stay?  What to eat?  Let’s hear it!





  1. M Johnson
    September 9, 2014 / 2:51 pm

    Hi! I recently moved from Southeast Missouri to Ohio. The Magic House Museum and Grant’s Farm are also fun places for kids to visit in St. Louis.

    • Vaneese
      September 9, 2014 / 3:43 pm

      Hi M. Johnson! I’ve never heard of the Magic House Museum and Grant’s Farm. We’ll definitely have to do some research and check that out the next time we’re in St. Louis. Thanks so much for the suggestion!!

  2. September 19, 2014 / 1:20 pm

    Hi there those are nice Suggestions. I also live in Missouri. My nephew who is 9 is having a birthday next month and is coming down to have it my house. I’ve never been to St Louis but all sure to check out Pappys Smokehouse. Have you ever been to Fun House in Lee’s Summit,Missouri, great place that used to be Pappys Pizza? Great place for kids to run around and play arcade games, they even have the free pony ride that goes round and round.

    • Vaneese
      October 7, 2014 / 3:18 pm

      Ooh, thanks for the suggestion Amanda. We’ve never been to Fun House, but will definitely check it out on our next trip to Missouri if we’re going that way. I’m sure we will since my daughter has fallen in love with Missouri. Thanks!

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