Spring Travel

It’s warm outside and the flowers and trees are enthusiastically announcing spring’s arrival.  If you’re thinking about a short getaway or looking for something different to do this spring, here are 10 things you might consider:

1.  Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism is promoting their free day at State parks this Saturday, March 31.  Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon at a park or lake you’ve never visited.

2.  Explore your creative side and enter a Kansas poetry contest.  Contest ends Friday, March 30, at 5:00 p.m.  See the Travel Kansas website for details and more ideas for in-state destinations.  Check out Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems for inspiration.

3.  Fee-free days at National Parks during 2012 were announced recently.  The next free admission days are during National Park Week, April 21-29.

4.  Schedule a day trip to Kansas City and experience the World’s Fairs exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  Exhibit begins April 14.

5.  The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s collection is getting rave reviews.  Admission to this recently opened museum is free to see the permanent collections, and there are walking trails on the museum grounds.  Location:  Bentonville, Arkansas.

6.  Powell Gardens, about 30 miles east of Kansas City, offers a variety of educational classes–enrollment fee required.  Check their website for a list of what you can expect to see blooming each month.  Order lunch in their cafe and enjoy it on the outdoor patio surrounded by flowering plants.

7.  Drive to south-central Nebraska and participate in the Harlan County White Pelican Watch.  Harlan County Lake is just across the Kansas border, in the Central Flyway, and attracts migratory songbirds, waterfowl and shorebirds.  Remember to pack binoculars.

8.  Gas prices can make a huge dent in your travel budget, so for your road trips try the free GasBuddy app on your smartphone to save a little money.  Keep in mind some prices are based on non-credit card transactions.  Listen to NPR’s March 26 review of this app to learn more.  And while wandering the backroads can be entertaining, it comes with a price.  Consider using Mapquest and Google Maps to find the most direct route to your destination if you want to save gas money.

9.  Stop by the Travel Neighborhood in the library to help you plan your spring getaway.  Kansas and Kansas City travel bags can be checked out for three weeks and reserved.

10.  For local activities, check Visit Topeka to find out what’s happening, and check the April/May Library News for exciting–and free!–library events.