MERRIAM…fall by the letter!

Fall has officially arrived in Merriam and she is really showing out! Bursting with changing colors and crisp autumn air, this popular Midwest season will stir your senses with delectable flavors and plenty of fun across the city. So grab your pumpkin spice latte and a cozy sweater, and Explore Merriam! Below, you’ll find our take on Merriam’s top fall to-do’s, by the letter!

M: MAKE IT LOCAL — visit all the local shops, attractions, restaurants and more in Merriam! From the delicious pumpkin spice Povitica at Strawberry Hill Bakery to the cutest boutique finds at the Sunflower Market, no visit to Merriam is complete without a snack and souvenir!

E: EVENTSHalloween Happenings is a not-so scary event with plenty of tricks and treats for the little ones. Join us Saturday, Oct. 22 at 2:00 p.m. — costume up, because we’ll have lots of spooky fun including games, mini-golf, an InstaFunKC photo booth, and more! Ages 10 and under are welcome to participate in this free community event.

R: RUN, hike, bike or walk along the Turkey Creek Streamway Trail. Fall is the most beautiful season along the creek, and you’ll savor the changing colors of the leaves, the fresh air, and the wildlife sightings along your trail trek. Capturing a sunset across the creek is also a sight to see!

R: REST up with an overnight stay in Merriam! Our hotels and RV park offer affordability, guest preferred amenities, and access to all of Kansas City right off I-35. Check out our lodging options and book your stay in Merriam!

I: INSTAGRAMMABLE moments can be had at Merriam’s parks, public art installations, or along the trail. Capture your favorites and share with us @ExploreMerriam, #ExploreMerriam.

A: ART is aplenty in Merriam. From the super shiny Planting the Seeds pods at the Merriam Marketplace, to the beautiful BASK sculpture and Tim Murphy Art Gallery at the Merriam Community Center, we have dozens of places to peep public art across the city. Check out our impressive collection online and then art hop across Merriam to appreciate the pieces in person!

M: MINGLE AT THE MCC – The Merriam Community Center is the place to be! You can meet friends for coffee, become a member, grab a day pass, take a class, or check out the monthly exhibit at the art gallery. There’s so much to do, you’ll find yourself enjoying every season at the MCC.

Merriam’s Summer Top 10!

Summer is officially here and it’s the perfect season to savor longer days, warmer temps and boundless opportunities for fun! Here’s our take on 10 ways to have an unforgettable summer in Merriam! Before your visit, check out our special offers at local hotels and businesses for a great weekend getaway!

  1. View a special screening of The Sandlot at the Dive-In Movie Night, June 24 at the MCC Outdoor Pool (free for MCC members / $7 non-members).
  2. Explore a new Merriam park each week with the #10parks10weeks promotion.
  3. Salute the red, white and blue during the 16th annual Flags 4 Freedom display, July 2-9 in downtown Merriam.
  4. Take the KC Sweet Treats trip—Merriam’s very own Strawberry Hill Povitica is on the route and you’ll love all the flavors you’ll encounter while visiting. 
  5. Celebrate the 2nd birthday of the Merriam Community Center at a birthday pool party on July 29.
  6. Grab some ice-cream at Merriam’s Russell Stover or Sonic for a cool treat on a hot, summer day–make sure to pay attention to the stunning flower baskets adorning Merriam Drive!
  7. Get your motor runnin’ for the annual Merriam Cruise Night along Merriam Drive on Aug. 13
  8. Dance the night away at the Concert in the Courtyard on Aug. 19 at the Merriam Community Center Courtyard.
  9. Pick-up farm fresh veggies, fruits, flowers and baked goods every Saturday morning at the Merriam Farmers’ market (through Sept. 24).
  10. Beat the heat and view the monthly exhibit at the Tim Murphy Art Gallery located inside the Merriam Community Center, or brave the temps and explore all of Merriam’s art collections across the city.

Learn more about Merriam’s places to shop, dine, eat and stay this summer at www.exploremerriam.com!

10 parks, 10 weeks!

Summer is nearing and there is plenty of exploration to be had in Merriam during this most favorite season of the year. From pool days with sun rays, outdoor patio lunches, shopping the Farmers’ Market or checking out public art, summer is the perfect time to welcome the warm weather and fill up the calendar with fun things to do!

New this year, the 10 parks, 10 weeks campaign will feature one of Merriam’s 10 parks and trails each week from June 1 – August 3. Discover favorite park amenities, host a birthday party in a park shelter, fish at the lake, enjoy a friendly game of pickleball, or pitch a blanket for an afternoon picnic. Explore all of Merriam’s parks and soak in the natural beauty of the outdoors all summer long!

Download our 10 parks, 10 weeks tracker below so you can check off each week’s visit to the corresponding park. We’ll post the weekly park on Facebook and Instagram (@ExploreMerriam) on Wednesdays. Then it’s time for you to go, see and explore! While you’re there, snap a few pics and post them socially using #10parks10weeks, and tag @ExploreMerriam to be entered to win a cool parks prize package after our 10-week campaign closes.

Merriam parks are open sunrise to sunset daily and are a great way to sprinkle in summer fun that’s affordable, educational and inclusive for all! Learn more about all of Merriam’s parks and trails at www.exploremerriam.com

#10parks10weeks // @ExploreMerriam on Facebook and Instagram

Celebrate Mom in Merriam!

Show how much your mama means to you with thoughtful gifts and activities this Mother’s Day. From delightful dining to gifts galore, Merriam has curated a lovely list of memorable ideas to spoil the caretaker in your family!

Meals for mom – Treat her to a no-cooking day (or at least one meal). From brunch to dinner or coffee in the afternoon, there are plenty of spots to consider. Check out Merriam’s dining options!

Gifts – Looking for a thoughtful gift? Merriam has everything from clothing to home décor to personal services. Visit Gemini or Sunflower Market in downtown Merriam, head over to Hobby Lobby or IKEA off of Johnson Drive and IKEA Way, or schedule a mani/pedi at Merriam Town Center.

Flowers – brighten mom’s day with fresh flowers! The Merriam Farmer’s Market offers two vendors who can delight with a fresh arrangement just in time for Mother’s Day. Visit Flourishing Time and Backyard Blossoms at the Merriam Marketplace on Saturday mornings starting May 7.

Wellness – Give your mom the gift of pampering. Whether she likes sweating it out at a fitness class at the MCC, or prefers the zen of a massage from Advent Health, the options for mom-care are endless.

Wine – For those who want to imbibe with the matriarch, check out the wine selection at one of Merriam’s newest businesses, Mr. and Mrs. O Liquors at 5911 Merriam Drive. Cheers to a beautiful and memorable Mother’s Day.

QT – not QuickTrip, even though yes, we have one of those too, but quality time. Spend a few hours together, take pictures, walk the Streamway Trail, visit a local park or just plant flowers together at her house. Oftentimes, the most affordable memories are the best ones!

It’s Meetings and Events Season…

Meetings and events season is upon us, and if you’re looking for a venue to host a conference, birthday party, wedding reception, or family/class reunion, Merriam is just right! We offer small to mid-size venues nearby all of Kansas City, giving your guests great access to the entire metro region.

Whether you’re a couple planning a small wedding for family and friends, or an event planner coordinating a conference for hundreds of attendees, the Merriam Visitors Bureau should be your first point of contact. We’re skilled in matching your needs with the perfect venue in Merriam!

We’re highlighting five great options that are accessible, convenient and won’t break the bank. Take a look at our top spots to host your next meeting or event in Merriam, Kansas…next door neighbor to Kansas City!

Merriam Community Center
Merriam’s newest venue is the Merriam Community Center, a 60,000+ square-foot facility across the street from IKEA that boasts meeting and event space in multiple rooms for two to 250 people. Guests can enjoy a formal reception in the Founders space, while others may consider the MCC for a child’s birthday party in one of the pool party areas. Additionally, smaller meeting spaces can easily accommodate business functions. With a fun outdoor courtyard for business breaks or Vitamin D seeking, the MCC is the place to gather! Check out the meeting spaces at MCC or call 913-322-5550 for more information!

Merriam Historic Plaza
The meeting space at Merriam Historic Plaza is ideal for small business functions like a sales training, staff retreat or marketing presentation. Housed among the historic collection of Merriam’s past, the room features seating for up to 30 people and includes access to audio/visual components, allows open catering, and is open M-F during office hours from 8am-4:30pm. With rates starting at $40/hour, Merriam Historic Plaza is an affordable option for businesses on a budget.

Community Training Room
The Community Training Room is located inside Merriam City Hall on the upper level. The Community Training room can host up to 112 people and features a nearby kitchen for food/beverage preparation, plenty of parking, an elevator to the meeting room, and a convenient location in the metro region between Johnson Drive and Shawnee Mission Parkway along I-35.

Hampton Inn & Suites
If you’ve got guests who also need overnight accommodations, consider meeting at Merriam’s Hampton Inn & Suites. Located off the 75th Street Exit & West Frontage Road along I-35, Hampton’s meeting space is ideally situated for small to medium-sized functions. With 800 sqare feet, guests can space out and get down to business! After a long-day of brain-work, relax by the indoor pool with a cold drink, or retire to your room for an early bedtime!

Rosedale Masonic Lodge
The Rosedale Lodge in Merriam features event space for up to 100 guests! Best used for wedding receptions, bar/bat mitzvahs, quinceaneras, dinner parties, and church related events, the Lodge offers a full-service kitchen featuring separate entry doors making catered functions easy to host. The Lodge’s website also makes booking a breeze—click here to request a date!

If outdoor venues are your vibe, check out Merriam’s vast array of parks and facility rentals, including the beautiful Merriam Marketplace in downtown Merriam!

As always, the Merriam Visitors Bureau is here to make your meetings and events a success! Give us a call or click and we’ll be glad to assist! www.exploremerriam.com | 913-322-5533

Wintertime Hygee…

Hygee: pronounced hue-gah, this Danish word describes a level of coziness which enables a sense of well-being and contentment.

Let’s face it. Winter can drag on for quite a while, and in Kansas, it can be sunny and 75 in November or below zero with blizzard conditions in February. In the beginning of winter, we’re all looking forward to sipping hot cocoa by the fire, and curling up with a good book. As the weeks fade into months, we start getting twitchy for sun and spring again, and we desperately need to get out and explore.

But we don’t have to wait for 75 and sunny to bring about feelings of happiness. Channel your inner hygee and check out Merriam’s winter warm fuzzies below!

  1. Snuggle up with a new BFF. Adopt, don’t shop, and find your furever friend at Merriam’s Great Plains SPCA.
  2. Hit the trail for some Vitamin D, fresh air and your daily step count. Merriam’s Turkey Creek Streamway Trail is a paved path of nearly five miles running from the access point at 75th & West Frontage Road all the way to Antioch.
  3. Pick a park and explore away. Winter is a great time of year to peep the wildlife, winter foliage and quiet outdoor spaces. Merriam has ten parks—pick a new one each week to explore or see pages 24-25 in the Merriam Visitor Guide for a take-along park guide.
  4. Coffee + Art. Grab a warm coffee from Caribou and then trek around town to see Merriam’s impressive art collection. Click here for a full list!
  5. Take a class, start a new fitness routine or sign up for a fun, new workshop at the Merriam Community Center. Staff pick: Succulent Time–Planting Party + Wine. Learn more here.

If all else fails and you’re still longing for those climbing temps, go ahead and sip more hot cocoa by the fire with a good book. Spring will be here before you know it.

>>> Check out pages 16-17 in the 2022 Merriam Visitor Guide for a four-season glimpse of Merriam!

2022 visitor guide

Plan for Vacation Day

Health and well-being matters!
Plan for Vacation Day – Tuesday, Jan. 25th

Ah, that feeling of vacation bliss—when you can truly unwind, unplug and relax. For so many of us, that feeling seems like a distant memory. The pandemic has caused us to largely put vacation planning on the back burner, despite the fact that close to eight in 10 (79%) Americans believe vacations are important to their overall health and well-being (Destination Analysts).

Chances are you’ve been carrying a heavy load. Break free from burnout and this National Plan for Vacation Day, let’s do something to give ourselves a lift—ignite that spark we get from the “booking confirmation” page. On January 25, let’s take time to plan all of our time off for the year at the start of the year. And if you need some inspiration, check out www.exploremerriam.com for a few ideas, including:

  1. An art stroll around town–have you seen Bask lit up at night?
  2. Take a history lesson on the walking path at Merriam Historic Plaza, or download the free Otocast app and learn about Merriam’s history digitally while you visit a few sites!
  3. Make time to play at Merriam parks — check out the parks page in the Merriam Visitor Guide and see how many parks you can visit this spring.
  4. Grab a bite at a restaurant you’ve not tried yet in Merriam. 
  5. Get some fresh air with a walk along the Turkey Creek Streamway Trail.

Happy planning from the Merriam Visitors Bureau!

Fall for Merriam!

Autumn is just right in Merriam and we’ve curated a colorful, fall-themed collection filled with festivals, food, fun, and more. Whether you’re traveling as a couple or with family or friends, you’ll find fall fun right here in Merriam…next door neighbor to Kansas City!

FALL EVENTS
Find your inner zen and flow during Saturday morning Yoga in the Courtyard! Free to MCC members and day pass price for guests–through Saturday September 25.

Visit the Farmers’ Market during its last few weeks in September. Open Saturday mornings at the Merriam Marketplace through September 25.

Jam in downtown Merriam with live music, beer, food, a corn hole tournament and more during Merriam Drive Live on Saturday, October 2. Did we mention there will be beer?

Stock up on “new to you” items at the Community Garage Sale. Bring home a new treasure, repurpose a furniture piece, or grab some sweaters for those chilly fall nights. Shop ’til you drop on Saturday, October 9 at the Merriam Marketplace.

Boo! Delight in not-so-scary Halloween Happenings on Saturday, October 23. Enjoy games, a photo booth, a costume contest and more in downtown Merriam.

TAKE A HIKE
There’s nothing better than strolling along the Turkey Creek Streamway Trail in and taking in all of the beautiful colors of autumn. You might even spot a deer along the water’s edge. Antioch Park is also a great place for autumn views while grabbing those 10,000 steps/day.

INSTA-CHALLENGE YOURSELF
Fall is the perfect season to snap a few pics and share socially! Why not take our Insta-Challenge at the same time? From parks and trails to sunsets and events, there’s a lot of photo-worthy spots across Merriam to capture.

FLAVORS OF FALL
Try the pumpkin cream cheese coffeecake on a visit to Merriam’s Strawberry Hill Povitica. Pick up a loaf for yourself and grab one for a friend. Here’s a little incentive discount for you to meander on over to 7226 W. Frontage Road.

Shop the fall collection of scents at Mixture! From the classic pumpkin spice to Fall Harvest or Apple Crisp, pick your favorite fall fragrance from one of Merriam’s favorite makers!

ART & HISTORY, OH MY!
Explore the beautiful art on display at the Tim Murphy Art Gallery located inside the MCC. Or, take an art stroll to find Planting the Seeds, Hmmm, Motherhood or other public art in Merriam. If exploring history is your favorite fall activity, download the Otocast app and trek across Merriam in search of historic sites and markers as you discover Merriam’s fascinating past along the Merriam History Tour.

Happy fall and have fun exploring Merriam!! Learn more about Merriam at www.exploremerriam.com