Easter Family Fun Day at the Legends, Kansas City

Each year,

Legends Outlets Kansas City and Mix93 hosts a family-friendly Easter event with free fun including music from Mix93 DJ Steve Serrano, a petting zoo, bounce houses, games, Easter giveaways, and prizes. Free and open to the public, guests are encouraged to bring a camera to capture memories with the Easter Bunny.

Since we were already at Village West for our fundraiser, we decided to head over and check it out. I realize that a blog entry after the fact isn’t terribly helpful, but my hope is that it will help you this time next year if you’re considering checking the event out.

For those not in the know, the Legends is a large open-air shopping complex filled with discount stores and statuary.  No vehicles are allowed inside, so it’s safe to walk around and peruse the stores.  There’s music, lighting, a yellow-brick road (this is Kansas, after all), random fun facts about famous Kansans in plaques on the ground, and large fire boxes that I’m guessing help keep one from freezing in winter, although I’ve never seen them lit.  An enormous fountain in the courtyard in front of the Legends 16 Theatres is a focal point for the area.

Although the complex is designed to be accessible, it can be a pain to navigate if you’re using a stroller, wheelchair or other assistive device.  There are always ramps to get you from one place to another, but there’s not a consistent pattern (or I just haven’t noticed) to tell you which side the ramp is on.  When the complex is as packed as it was on Saturday, this can be a major pain in the butt:  you can’t always see far enough ahead to sight where the ramps are. Navigating the crowd was a challenge this year, when it started out overcast and misting.  It would be worse in a year where they had good weather.

There are long lines for most of the activities, although the lines did move quickly.  We skipped the petting zoo: it was too packed for the kids to even get near an animal.  Peanut and Sprout loved the eggs the Legends staff gave them, however, and were (and are!) delighted with their balloons.  While we waited in the balloon line, Peanut, Sprout, another mom and child and I danced to the music–it was fun watching Peanut spin with his cane.  He is definitely not held back by it at all!  The three children also played some sort of bounce-the-balloon-off-the-other-balloon game, and Peanut tried to use his as a cane (I explained that wasn’t a good plan before the balloon popped–drama averted!).

We wandered around a bit more and got in line for one of the three bounce houses, which were thankfully spaced out through the facility.  Efrit held Peanut’s cane, shoes and glasses while he bounced around the house like a little maniac.  He had better luck bouncing when he was at the side of the house holding on to the netting, but he still had a great time.  He did run into another child or two, or a child or two ran into him–but this is fairly normal for bounce houses. I think a fairly oriented B/VI child would have no problem enjoying this activity, as long as it’s supervised and run well by the operator (i.e. not too many kids in at a time, keep an eye on him/her to give audio cues as needed, etc.).

Both kids enjoyed being out and about, getting free candy (who doesn’t?) and seeing the crowds.  This time, it was Peanut who didn’t want to go home–he’d really enjoyed the experience.  If you’ve got a realtively mobile little one, I think it’s a worthwhile experience:  s/he gets experience navigating through crowds, and gets to experience all that entails in sights, sounds, smells, “feels,” etc.  If you have someone with limited mobility, this might be more frustrating than fun; people did tend to make space for us to get by when they saw Peanut’s cane, but I could see where others were having more difficulty.

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