Pet-friendly Merriam!

In celebration of National Pet Day on April 11th (yes, it’s a thing–the National Calendar at a Glance says so), we thought it fitting to celebrate and share the fur babies in our lives, and educate travelers about Merriam’s pet-friendly places.
Ladi Dadi
Meet Ladi Dadi—she’s a toy poodle who is the sweetest, most loving and smart girl around. Fiercely protective of her travel bag (her mohawk hairstyle all the more intimidating), Ladi loves to tag along with her humans on various trips and excursions, happily obeying all the puppy laws when livin’ it up at a pooch-friendly spot.

This is Pip! Pip is a temperamental rabbit who lives in a custom-made triplex rabbit condo and is too spoiled for her own good. She enjoys lounging near her hay rack by day and wreaking havoc by night, keeping her human (and human’s parents) awake until the wee hours like it’s her own personal bunny nightclub. Pip is portable and has traveled on occasion—thankfully never being snubbed since she’s not a typical traveling pet.

Pip the Rabbit

If you’re a pet parent, you know the struggle is real when trying to decide to travel or not to travel with the critters in tow. In fact, according to DogVacay.com, “pet owners aren’t fully enjoying the benefits of what should be a relaxing travel experience because they are worrying about their pets.” This nifty infographic shows that 73% of people feel guilty about leaving their pet in a kennel when they travel and 21% of them have trouble finding pet-friendly accommodations. Fortunately, since there are so many of us pro-pet travelers out there, lodging, attractions and other visitor-friendly locations are starting to pay attention and make special packages and allowances so people and pets can travel more freely together.

Sure, there are times when the grandpet parents are a more suitable option or the Rover.com sitter just makes more sense, but for times when you really want to get away with your fur-baby, it’s good to know the pet-friendly odds are shifting in your favor.

Here in Merriam for example, pets are heartily welcomed in our community. From overnight lodging to a doggie day-care if you prefer a parents’ day out activity, the plethora of pet amenities are certainly a good reason to consider Merriam when traveling to the Kansas City region. Take a peek at our pet-friendly spots across town and be sure to swing by the CVB office (M-F 8:00a.m.-4:30 p.m.) for a pooch treat if you’re in the neighborhood.

  • Lodging: Drury Inn, Super 8, Extended Stay America and Quality Inn Merriam all have pet-friendly policies. Please inquire with each property for specific details–click here for easy access to the hotels online.
  • Daycare/Boarding: Woof’s Play & Stay offers boarding options when you must leave them behind and day-play if you need a PDO. Grooming services are also available, and who knows, your pooch could win Top Dog Award.
  • Grooming: Jenny’s Pet Care & Dog Grooming on Merriam Drive is a great spot for a spiffy new do! Mention her website coupon and receive $3 off your first dog groom.
  • Supplies: PetSmart at Merriam Town Center and Merriam Lawn & Feed at Johnson & Merriam Drive both have pet food and supplies if you forget an essential supply when visiting.
  • Parks, parks, and more parks: All of Merriam’s parks and trails are pet-friendly and nary a moment goes by without seeing a leashed fur baby leading the way of park goers and trail walkers. Bonus: all Merriam parks have pet waste stations, so there’s no worries when duty calls. Click here for a list of parks in Merriam!
  • Day for the Dogs: No community would be complete without an event entirely focused on the four-legged furries.  Merriam’s Pooch Paddle is a fun, tail-wagging, all-dog swimming party held on Monday, September 4, 2017 at the Merriam Aquatic Center.
  • No Pets? You may be reading this blog thinking, “I don’t even have a pet.” We’ve got that covered too. Merriam is home to Great Plains SPCA, a local shelter housing dogs and cats (and sometimes other animals) in need of caring, loving homes and humans. Give them a shout if you’re looking to adopt, or feel free to make a little donation to keep this worthy organization stocked with supplies.

Now that you’ve got the perfect pet-friendly place to visit, come see us in Merriam! We’re pawsitively certain you’ll love our pawspitality–fur real!

Spring Break on a Budget!

spring break image, books, appleNothing is better than a mid-March dash to a sunny spot along the coast for Spring Break.  Unless you’re broke.

Well, very soon, schools all over the United States will pause for the highly anticipated annual Spring Break. This little respite gives students and teachers a smidgen of rest before the last quarter, which is typically full of approaching exams, banquets, spring sports and activities. While many high school and college kids will head to warmer destinations, not everyone can jet off for a tropical party on the beach. Many students stay in town for sport practices, jobs or other commitments and others just can’t afford a mini-vacation.

In our house, we would love to get away for some fun in the sun, but there’s just too much on the calendar, so we’ll be spring breaking at home this year. If you’re in the same boat, don’t despair–rather, think about all of the things to do and places to see in your own destination (or nearby). Even if you can only explore for a day, there’s a ton of options out there if you plan ahead and set aside a small budget to fund your in-town travels.

Right here in metro Kansas City, I could probably build an entire week’s worth of activities and places our family has yet to visit and we’ve lived here since the early 90’s. But, if planning ahead isn’t your thing, you’re in luck! Take a look at the Top 10 Spring Break on a Budget suggestions below to kick-off your upcoming itinerary:

  1. For the foodies–enjoy a dining day out; pick three restaurants you’ve never been to before and plan to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner between the three.
  2. Sports enthusiasts can make a day out of zip lining, disc golf, indoor skydiving or biking the local trails for an adventure packed outing.
  3. If history is more your speed, many area museums are FREE and even if you’ve been before, traveling exhibits rotate frequently, so pick a couple to revisit and appreciate.
  4. Take a road trip in your state. Rather than jumping on the interstate, travel the back roads and make a few stops in tiny towns along the way to your destination. Some of those places have the best kept secrets including places to eat and one-of-kind attractions.
  5. Capture the moments and #hash tag them. Your entire spring break could be a cool insta-hop from attraction to attraction. Sharing your memories with friends and followers is fun and also provides a digital collection of your favorite memories.
  6. Families can stick to a budget by incorporating traditionally free attractions like parks and outdoor recreation. Check with your local parks department to ask about programs and events during your spring break week.
  7. Take an art stroll around town; from sculptures to permanent or rotating gallery exhibits, finding the vast collection in your destination could be a fun and new learning experience.
  8.  Volunteer! Did you know there are entire groups of students who forego a break altogether in favor of helping others? If you’re interested in giving back during your free time, there are dozens of options from organizations who need your help.
  9. Get out and play! Not everyone is amazing at a sport, but if you wrangle up a group of friends and make a day out of bowling, arcade games, mini-golf or group games, you can create a fun day for all–without the need for competitiveness or highly skilled athletes. Wrap it up with a BBQ in the park or a bonfire in the country.
  10. Contact the local convention and visitors bureau to see what’s going on in your community! The CVB is always a great resource and oftentimes, the staff has insider tips, recommendations and destination referrals.

Spring breaking in KC? Check out this one-day itinerary of CVB picks for budget-friendly fun across the metro!

  • Start the day with a delicious slice of povitica from Merriam’s local Strawberry Hill Povitica bakery or try breakfast at a restaurant you’ve never been to. I love the chicken and waffles with jalapeno gravy at McCoy’s Public House in Westport (but FYI, brunch is only available Sat/Sun).
  • Head over to the FREE Nelson Atkins Museum of Art (Voted Yelp’s Best U.S. Museum) to check out the exhibits.
  • Just a few blocks away, spend the rest of the morning on a scavenger hunt  through the Country Club Plaza or do some light shopping among the bunnies.
  • There’s no doubt that you’ve added 10,000+ steps on your fitness tracker by now, so maybe it’s time to slow down and take in a movie at Cinetopia (135th & Lamar) in Overland Park. From comfy, living room seating to a fully accessible restaurant and bar, this place is the ultimate movie-goers experience.
  • To finish off the day, round-up your buddies for a little Frisbee in a local park or play baseball at a nearby diamond. En route home, stop by Anita’s Cuisine in Merriam for the very best pupusas around, but be sure to arrive before closing (Mon-Sat, 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

Happy Spring from the Merriam Visitors Bureau!