KC Fun - A Fountain Tour

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The other day I mentioned taking McKinley on a fountain tour around the Country Club Plaza. This isn't a formal tour provided by the Plaza as much as it's a guided tour by yours truly. A couple of years ago, my parents were out of town for several weeks (McKinley loves going over to my parents for a couple of hours a couple of days a week) and were obviously not available for a frequent visit. Joel was at work, clearly, so it was just me and McKinley. That's not normally an issue, I mean we are together 95% of the time, but with no other playmates, things around the house were growing tense. I tell people all the time that our worst days are non-busy days. We were approaching those days.

And, we needed to do something that didn't really cost much or anything at all. We had been to the Farmstead several times, walked around the zoo as well, and I was starting to run out of ideas. Then it hit me. Let's travel down to the Plaza, take a few snacks along, and check out all the fountains. For some of you that might not know, Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains. We have roughly 200 fountains throughout the metro area and 19 reside on the Plaza. So, I told McKinley that we were going to go on this Fountain Tour and he was totally on board. We started at Kauffman Gardens, a gorgeous little garden just off the Plaza. This peaceful spot houses some of the most beautiful flowers and sweet fountain sculptures. What I loved most were all the dancer sculptures. Some stood in simple ballet positions while others looked like they were dancing across the water. It's definitely a place we try to frequent. 

Once on the Plaza, we started with the Courtyard of the Penguin, and the two surrounding fountains, and simply walked all over the Plaza in search of water. We saw the Fountain of Neptune, Boy & Frog, Pool of Four Fauns, Mermaid Pool, Pomona Pool, April, and Allen. Yes, I realize that's only seven of the nineteen, but when you're walking that much, and sometimes encounter a grabby child who's grown bored, seven is plenty! On the up side, since we continue to venture out on your Fountain Tour every summer, we can continue to add to the list. 



From time to time, we head across the busy street to the J.C. Nichols Fountain, my favorite fountain in the city, and take it in the massive sculpture. It's a gorgeous piece of art. McKinley always looks so small in comparison. And we happened to have one of our wedding portraits in front it. It's probably one of the most popular places to be photographed, aside from the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. 

There are so many great things to do around the city! I love to get McKinley out to just wander. The Fountain Tour has truly become a tradition and I love sharing in this memory with him summer after summer. And I love that he remembers the fountains. He has his favorites, loves to talk about the sculptures, and asks why someone decided to make it. He comes up with his own story and I love watching him create them in his mind. Funny how a "no cost" outing turns into a treasure!

If you're in the city, get out and explore. Head down to the Plaza, pack a few snacks, and just walk. The scenic view has always been a favorite and you get lost in all the little fountains throughout the way. If you're familiar with all the fountains, which is your favorite? We need to get out and explore all the cities fountains, but that definitely won't be a walking tour. 

Have any suggestions for other no cost things to do in the city? Share them with us!


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