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  • Writer's pictureJessica Stough

Kansas City - My Race with Buzz, Cold Weather, Other Things to Do, and Our Next Trip!

Over the weekend, we took a quick drive down to Kansas City with Buzz. The main event of the trip was a race I had signed up for, Alternate Chili Ten Mile Trail Run, for Buzz and I to run. I had all sorts of fun ideas in my head for things we could do after we finished the race. I even packed a bag with a separate set of clothes so I could freshen up a bit for some fun after the race. It seems, though, that the weather had other plans in mind.

We left the house around 6 AM Sunday morning to start our trek down there. That allowed us to get to the race just after 9 AM for packet pickup. When I say the weather had other plans in mind – as far as doing other things after the race – I mean it. I had watched the weather like a hawk for the week leading up to the race. Not only was I worried about driving three hours in a snowstorm (thank goodness we didn’t have to do that!), but I was also concerned about running with Buzz.

Last year, when Buzz really got into running, I did a lot of research about running with different breeds in the cold. Typically, I do not care to run with Buzz in temperatures below 20 degrees. I’m a big fan of Infographics, and there are a few that I really like here and here, along with information about cold-weather dog walking. Basically, the general idea for most of the research I found was that 20 degrees (WITH windchill) is about the lowest temperature most dogs should be in for extended periods of time. Obviously, there are certain breeds that thrive in those environments (Jackson, for instance, has to be forced to come inside in the winter – its the Husky part of him). Since Buzz is so small, I throw a sweater or coat on him, and typically keep it to 20 degrees or warmer.

The temperatures with the windchills that day were about 10. We had dragged him along because I still, for some reason, had high hopes that the temperatures would warm up by the time we got there or that the windchills on the trails wouldn't be as bad. Zac and I finally decided on a plan to have him run just the first few miles with me. Zac waited at an intersection to the trail a few miles in, scooped him up, and put him in the nice, warm truck. Then, I proceeded to run for another 7.5 miles on a straight sheet of ice. I fell so many times that I lost count, and still have bumps and bruises all over.

Anyway, I didn’t spend a ton of time planning ideas for the Sunday trip, since we didn’t have any plans of staying overnight. With it being just a day trip, it limited our options. Still, Zac had told me that “there really isn’t anything to do in Kansas City anyway,” and I took that as a challenge. I found a good number of things that would’ve been a lot of fun to do. Although we didn’t end up doing them ourselves, I figured I might as well share my research and ideas. After all, that is the point of having the blog – sharing our ideas with others.

Outdoor Recreation

  • The race was actually at Wyandotte County Lake & Park, which was a beautiful place to run and would also be a beautiful place to hike.

  • Nine Eagles State Park would have been an option on the way there or home – it is just off the normal drive between Des Moines and Kansas City.

  • Wallace State Park is less than an hour from Kansas City, also seemingly fairly close to the “normal” route between Des Moines and Kansas City.

  • Smithville Lake, which has many miles of trails (but also offers hunting and fishing for those that are interested).

  • There are numerous other Kansas City Parks as well.

  • I also found an article about seven additional state parks near Kansas City.

  • Of course, I also looked into the dog parks in the area – because why wouldn’t I do that?

Wineries and Breweries

  • Kansas City is LOADED with wineries and breweries, so much so that they have an inclusive map of over 40 wineries in the area.

  • They also have a map with the wineries, breweries, and distilleries here, with additional information about each location.

  • I even found a paid tour, if the amount of options seems overwhelming.

  • I did struggle a bit to find many in close proximity to where we were, at Wyandotte County Park, that were open on a Sunday. I did find Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery, which advertises itself as Missouri’s first green winery.


Obviously, I didn’t research things to do with kids while we planned our Sunday adventure to Kansas City. However, we had taken Riley and Peyton there previously, and enjoyed the time we spent with them while there.

  • The Kansas City Zoo is a really great place to take the kids. When we were there, they had very specific times for feedings, etc., so we got to see a polar bear having his lunch.

  • The main attraction for the kids, when we took our trip with them to Kansas City years ago, was LEGOLAND Discovery Center. I think I enjoyed it as much as they did, if not more.

  • Another great place to take kids is the SEA LIFE Aquarium, right next door to LEGOLAND.

  • Kansas City also has an outdoor ice skating rink, for the kids that maybe prefer to be outside even in the cold at Crown Center.



I would like to toot my own horn for just a second. I truly think that I took Zac’s challenge that “there is nothing to do in Kansas City,” and won. Honestly, I’m a bit sad we didn’t have the time and the weather didn’t work in our favor to allow us to try any of the things that I found to do there. Likewise, after how many times I fell on the race due to the icy trail conditions, I probably wouldn’t have been up to hiking or doing much anyway.

Either way, it was a fun experience. I would easily go back since it is such a short drive (maybe for another – less icy – race with Buzz?).

We finally got our vacation dates solidified for 2022, though, so my thoughts have shifted a bit from short weekend trips to our actual vacations for the year. Our next year may look quite a bit different for us as far as travel goes – and, honestly, just in general too. Over the past few months, we have been taking classes to become licensed foster parents. If everything goes as expected, we will most likely be licensed by March or April. This is going to, obviously, be a big adjustment for both of us, and create a lot of changes in our day-to-day lives. Still, we are really excited to see how this next chapter in our lives will unfold.

With that, though, we decided to book a trip in February before we really jump into the fostering world. I don’t know if it was the reminiscing of our honeymoon, or if it was random, but Zac started digging into Hawaii again. We have officially booked our tickets, and will be spending a bit over a week on the big island, Hawaiʻi, next month! I absolutely cannot wait to cross another Hawaiian island, and another National Park, off our bucket list!

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