Archive for Sunday, January 4, 2015

Kansas City Connection: Resolving to have a happy new year

January 4, 2015

New Year’s Resolutions are often framed in negative terms. For example, “I’m going to lose 20 pounds,” or “I’m going to avoid foods with Polysorbate 60,” and of course my own personal resolution to stop squandering Junior’s inheritance at the riverboat roulette table.

Here at the Kansas City Connection, however, we’ve come up with a more positively framed list of New Year’s resolutions that will help you gain in fun, healthy and culturally enriching experiences.

Go for a walk

If you’re looking to get outdoors more and ramp up your step count on the old FitBit, head to one of Kansas City’s park trails, such as the Riverfront Heritage Trail, which winds along the Missouri River and through some of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.

The easiest spot to pick it up is the loop at Berkley Riverfront Park (near I-35 and Front Street), but a wider map of trails is viewable at

Other good walking and hiking options abound in and around Swope Park, home to the Fox Hollow Trail (just behind the Lakeside Nature Center on 4701 E. Gregory Blvd.) and just down Blue River Road from the Eddy-Ballentine Trail (The trail itself is mapped out in Google if you get lost).

In Johnson County, the Indian Creek Trail Greenway connects to several smaller trails in Leawood, Overland Park and Olathe. Visit for more details. And in Olathe, Shawnee and Lenexa, the Mill Creek Streamway Park system include 17 miles of pedestrian and biking trails. Visit for more details.

Drink tea

Cutting out caffeine entirely is not a realistic option for many of us, but having a cup of tea instead of coffee can be a pleasant change for those of us prone to drinking espresso until our eyes twitch. Tea Drops in Westport is a great option for anyone looking for a wide selection of teas to drink on site.

Teas are arranged by category (black, green, oolong and white) and a variety of sweet bubble tea drinks are available as well. Tea Drops is located at 4111 Pennsylvania Ave. and is open from 11 a.m. each day until 9 p.m.

For those who prefer to drink their tea at home, visit Shang Tea in Crown Center shops. The tea and gift store, founded about 10 years ago by Chinese native Zehua Shang, carries a variety of white, green and jasmine teas cultivated in his own tea gardens in the mountains of Fujian province in China.

The teas here are delicate, aromatic and perfect for either an elaborate tea ceremony or a simple solo cup at home. Visit Shang Tea at 2450 Grand Blvd. from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday or from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Read more about Shang’s selections at

Treat yourself to a nice meal

In the last three years alone, Kansas City has seen quite a few fantastic new restaurants open, including the award-winning Rye (10551 Mission Road in Leawood,, Novel (815 W. 17th St. in the Westside, and Story (3931 W. 69th Terrace in Prairie Village,

With any luck, the area will see even more classy single-word establishments open in 2015. In the meantime, keep these three places in mind for a special occasion. You won’t be disappointed.

Visit a museum

While most everyone knows about the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, there are several other museums in the Kansas City area that are well worth a visit.

For art, don’t overlook the Nerman Museum on the campus of Johnson County Community College (12345 College Blvd.), which features an excellent permanent collection as well as rotating exhibits.

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures will reopen in early 2015 after an extensive renovation of its home at 5235 Oak St. In the meantime, highlights from its collection can be seen at the Nelson through Feb. 22.

And for history buffs, the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial is looking to have another banner year after breaking their attendance record in 2014. President Obama also signed legislation last week designating the museum as an official World War I memorial, paving the way to more funding an exhibition opportunities.

The museum is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and students, and $8 for youth ages 6 to 17. Visit for a list of current exhibits.

Go to yoga class

Kansas City, Mo., has a thriving yoga scene, and one of the most welcoming and unique locations to drop in on a class is Inner Space Yoga.

Located in an airy, renovated space at 514 E. 31st St., Inner Space offers a variety of classes, from a Morning Tonic session for beginners to a 90-minute Full Practice including deep stretching, core work, relaxation and breath-controlled movement. Inner Space also offers guided meditation on at 7:15 p.m. Wednesdays.

For more information on rates and a full schedule of classes, visit

— Lucas Wetzel is a writer and editor from Kansas City, Mo. Know of an upcoming event in Kansas City you’d like to see featured in Kansas City Connection? Email us about it at


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