Road Trip to Merriam

Plan your next summer road trip to Merriam…next door neighbor to Kansas City!

Tired of being stuck at home? Did you have to postpone or cancel the only vacation you planned for 2020? While it’s still a good idea to practice healthy distancing habits, it’s never been a better time to explore somewhere new. Did you know that although millions of Americans have canceled or postponed travel plans, recent travel sentiment studies show that more and more people are already reconsidering their travel plans to include a summer road trip?

What are you waiting for? Grab your keys and gas up the car, bring your social-distance supplies and your appetite for travel, because we’ve got your next summer road trip all mapped out in Merriam, Kansas! Here’s a few items from our jam-packed itinerary:

  • Book your room — discounted rates available.
  • Hit the trails for a leisurely stroll along Merriam’s beautiful Turkey Creek Streamway Trail. This paved path is a great place to see wildlife, grab some steps and connect with nature.
  • Download Merriam’s Sunshine Scavenger Hunt here —snap a selfie when you find the sunshines and tag @ExploreMerriam on social media.
  • Feed the hungry road-trip warriors! Merriam’s got a plate for every palate from handmade tamales at Anita’s, to delicious wraps and burgers at Hurricane Allie’s, to an affordable sit-down dinner at Pegah’s Family Restaurant. Click here for our restaurant selections.
  • Stroll the aisles at IKEA to find home furnishings, décor and essentials, or discover inspiration on the upper level with rooms and rooms of ideas. Don’t forget to grab a tray of cinnamon buns on your way out!

Learn more information about Merriam’s road trip! Here, you can book a discounted hotel reservation, download the 2020 Visitors Guide, print our sample itinerary and map directions to Merriam!

Merriam is a road-trip ready destination just waiting to welcome you! Check out our summer road trip package—we’ve got it all mapped out for you!

Plan for Vacation!

Did you end the year with leftover vacation days? Take time now to plan for 2020 and use the time you earn. National Plan for Vacation Day is Tuesday, January 28–make a plan to claim your days for the rest of the year at the start of the year! Take a peek below at the staggering statistics revealing the work martyr syndrome of the average American.

  • Last year, more than 768 MILLION vacation days went unused—many of which cannot be regained.
  • 55% of Americans left days on the table.
  • Additionally, these are days Americans have earned and when they are completely forfeited (236 million in 2018), they are losing a key benefit, amounting to $65.5 billion. In other words, Americans essentially donated an average of $571 in free work time to their employer.
  • Those who actually plan their vacation days in advance are far more likely to use all of their earned time off than non-planners.
  • Taking time off is associated with higher productivity, better performance, a more positive attitude toward work, increased happiness, improved mental and physical health, better relationships and social life.

On Tuesday, January 28, we encourage you to take some time with your family to plan out your 2020 vacation. Whether it’s an extended weekend or a week-long journey across the country, it’s YOUR earned time off and you should be the one in charge of it!

If Kansas City is on your radar of 2020 destinations to visit, we invite you to explore nearby Merriam! Just a few short miles from downtown KC, Merriam is ideal for a couple’s road trip , a girlfriends’ getaway or a family-friendly visit. Tree-lined streets, walking trails, flower baskets on lampposts, striking public art, unique dining options, attractions within minutes, and a variety of year-round events and activities deliver plenty of fun things to see and do for everyone.

Use those hard-earned vacation days in 2020! Learn more about visiting Merriam at www.exploremerriam.com or follow us socially @ExploreMerriam! Happy travels.

Fall for Merriam!

The leaves are changing, temps are dipping and it’s time to unpack the fall wardrobe in preparation for sweater weather. From Friday night lights to not-so-scary frights, Merriam’s got a great lineup of seasonal activities for the whole family! Check out our fall faves!

  • Take a reflective selfie at Planting the Seeds located at the Merriam Marketplace. Tag @ExploreMerriam so we can like it and love it!
  • Download the Otocast app (free on Google Play or the App Store) to learn about Merriam’s fascinating story. The Interactive Merriam History Tour features engaging content, then & now photos, dynamic narratives and a map to guide you from site to site. 
  • Go Chiefs! Sip some brewskis at Bilski’s, 5831 Merriam Drive. Watch the big game, order the daily special and enjoy Merriam’s friendly neighborhood bar and grill.
  • Make it a movie night at Merriam’s Cinemark—don’t forget the popcorn!
  • Park hop for the day! See how many parks you can visit on a weekend, or check out Merriam’s Waterfall Park to see Hmmm….our newest art exhibit on display.
  • Enjoy KC Destinations newest trips–KC Coffee, KC History and KC Quirky. Learn more at www.kctrips.org.
  • Dress in your spookiest gear and head over to Halloween Happenings on Saturday, October 26 from 2-3:30 pm.
  • Sample the delicious dessert bread at Strawberry Hill Bakery on the West Frontage Road. Try their newest creation, the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Coffee Cake!
  • Plan a family staycation at one of Merriam’s hotels—the Hampton Inn & Suites, Extended Stay America, Quality Inn and Drury Inn & Suites have great rates at www.exploremerriam.com/hoteldeals
  • Take a stroll along Merriam’s Turkey Creek Streamway Park. Play a game of “I Spy” along the way with the kiddos.
  • Stock up on Merriam swag! We’ve got new long-sleeve tees for $15—stop by City Hall during normal operating hours to purchase.
  • Stop by Merriam Historic Plaza to grab a visitors guide or postcard, snap a pic with the bears or grab a cup of coffee!
  • Geocache your way through Merriam—find hidden containers using clues and coordinates. Learn more at https://exploremerriam.com/825/Geocaching

See you in Merriam this fall! Follow us on Facebook @ExploreMerriam to stay up-to-date on Merriam happenings.

Let Freedom Ring

Flag FieldWhile backyard BBQ’s and firecrackers are certainly a staple of 4th of July celebrations across the country, here in Merriam, we honor our great Nation in a more subtle and traditional manner. Flags 4 Freedom, an event started by community volunteers in 2006, continues to offer the most beautiful display of Americana as more than 1,500 flags line the streets of downtown Merriam. This sea of red, white and blue is on display through July 7 and offers a breathtaking feeling of patriotic pride as you visit the perfect rows of U.S. flags at the Merriam Marketplace.

Whether you visit with your kids to share the story of the grand old flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance or take a few photos for your 4th of July Insta share, Flags 4 Freedom is a must-see display in the Kansas City region.

New in 2018, five thin blue line American flags flank the entrance of Merriam Marketplace in honor of the five fallen Kansas City-area officers who died in the line of duty in Kansas since 2016. The flags honor Kansas City, Kansas Police Capt. Robert Melton and Det. Brad Lancaster, Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Deputies Patrick Rohrer and Theresa King, and Johnson County Sheriff’s Master Deputy Scott Collins. An anonymous donor paid for the flags and yellow dedication ribbons.

Blue Line

Another new feature in 2018 is the selfie spot locations placed strategically throughout the flag field with a little yellow sun. These locations make for excellent selfies and we’d love to see your smiling, patriotic photos @ExploreMerriam #flags4freedom.

selfie spot
Everyone is invited to stop by Merriam Marketplace on Wednesday, July 4 at 1 p.m. to view the astonishing display and listen to the American Legion Band of Greater Kansas City perform a patriotic concert. The flag display ends at 10 a.m. on July 7.

For more information, visit www.flags4freedom.org.

Trek The Steamway Trail!

Turkey Creek Streamway Trail (9)

The sun is shining, you need to reach your daily step count, the dog is all leashed up, and those new sneakers are begging for a few miles. It’s never a better time to hit the Streamway Trail in Merriam.

This four-mile path will guide you along wooded areas, industrial business centers, residential neighborhoods, public parks and Merriam’s newest art installations, Still Time and Planting the Seeds. Winding along Merriam’s Turkey Creek, the Streamway Trail begins on the south end of Merriam at the 75th Street access point and finishes up near Waterfall Park at 51st and Merriam Drive on the north end of town. The trail also offers access points at Chatlain Park, Campbell Park and the Merriam Marketplace. Serious trail blazers can keep moving along Streamway Trail into Overland Park via Antioch Road.

If you’re ready to lace up and head out for a beautiful day of trekking the trail, be sure to check out page 17 in the new Merriam Community & Visitors Guide to learn about all the sights to see along the way. We’ve even included a tasty homemade trail mix recipe from our Parks & Recreation Director Anna Slocum.

Recipe (1)

More trail tips & helpful info:

  • Trail markers are available every 1/2 mile and emergency 911 markers are available every 1/10 mile.
  • The entire trail is paved.
  • Dog-friendly waste stations are available along the trail.
  • Hop off the trail to enjoy lunch or dinner in downtown Merriam.
  • Grab a JCPRD Trail Guide at the Merriam Visitors Bureau at 6304 E. Frontage Road.
  • Share your trail pics with @ExploreMerriam on Instagram.

 

Happy trails from the Merriam Visitors Bureau!

 

Fall Foliage in the ‘Burbs

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”  –William Cullen Bryant

In less than a week, the official start to fall will be underway. The temps in Kansas, according to Weather Center, will remain in the 80’s, but we Kansans flock to our sweaters and jackets the moment a slight chill is in the air. You might think that Kansas isn’t necessarily the greatest spot to view the beautiful colors of fall. Well, while we may not have the foliage followers of the Northeastern states, we can certainly hold our own in beauty, color and fantastic weather when the leaves do begin to turn.

Here in suburban Merriam, just 10 minutes from downtown Kansas City, it can be challenging to find large swaths of foliage to gaze upon, but we are definitely full of pockets of autumn Pantones across the city. Take a peek at our favorite spots to view the changing leaves this season!

DSC08681 (2)

Antioch Park, Merriam Kansas

  • Turkey Creek Streamway Trail — running along the west side of I-35 from Waterfall Park to the 75th Street access point, this 4-mile paved trail is full of trees, shrubbery, wildlife and a trickling stream for a beautiful nature walk this fall.
  • Antioch Park — the most popular park in Merriam, Antioch Park offers picturesque views of some of the most vibrant and beautiful trees in our city.
  • Merriam Historic Plaza — check out the pretty line of maples along the sidewalk of Merriam Historic Plaza at Shawnee Mission Parkway and I-35. While you’re there, take in a mini history lesson about our great city on the outdoor walking path.

Nature’s beauty is never more evident than when the trees become ablaze in brilliant shades of oranges, reds and golds. Where’s your favorite spot to view the leaves in Merriam? Snap a pic when the colors are in full bloom, share it socially and tag us @ExploreMerriam–we’d love to see your fall photos.


For the locals:
The leaves are pretty but they eventually fade and drop to the ground. This year, the City of Merriam has arranged for Benjamin Lawn & Landscape to offer a group rate for residential curbside leaf removal in neighborhoods. Click here to learn more!

For the visitors:
Stop by the Merriam Visitors Bureau office at 6304 E. Frontage Road (M-F 8-4:30) to pick up a Merriam Visitors Guide full of attractions, shops and restaurants, or click here to explore our seasonal favorites in and around Merriam!

Frights, Flights and Friday Night Lights

october activities
Last month, we shared all things Pumpkin Spice and while we’re still savoring that delicious and popular flavor, it’s time to move into October and talk about fun, seasonal activities taking place in Merriam and across Kansas City!

We’ve shared our top three seasonal picks for you below. Whether you’re a life-time Merriam resident or visiting our town for the first time–come out and join the fun while exploring the beauty of fall in the Midwest.

  1. Frights — Well, maybe this event isn’t so frightening, but it’s definitely fun for the whole family! Merriam’s annual Halloween Happenings takes place on Saturday, October 29th and features a costume contest, games, children’s inflatables, storytelling and more. If you want a trial run for your costumes before the big H, come on down to Merriam Drive and enjoy this spooktacular event.
  2. Flights — Did you know that Kansas once produced the most fertile soil for grape growing? Had it not been for the prohibition, maybe Kansas would be the Napa Valley of the Midwest. Either way, Kansas certainly has a broad range of wineries across the state, and even right here in the metro region. For those looking to visit a winery this season, one of our faves is the cool vibe and delicious sips offered at KC Wine Co. located off Gardner Road in Olathe. Check out their upcoming events and head out for a flight of reds or whites (or both).
  3. Friday Night Lights — Nothing says fall like Friday night football and Merriam is smack in the middle of the action. Part of the award-winning Shawnee Mission School District, Merriam is nestled nearby the beautiful Shawnee Mission North High School and games are aplenty this time of year. Come on out to cheer on the Indians, enjoy the marching band, cheerleaders, school spirit and game-time concessions. What a great way to spend a Friday evening!

Happy fall from the Merriam Visitors Bureau. @exploremerriam