I have a confession. We haven't been on a family vacation...EVER. I know, that's crazy right? The hubs and I have been planning a BIG vacation for our kids next year. You know, visiting someone with super big ears. The kids don't know it yet. But, the hubs and I are kind of nervous with us being outnumbered by our kids and all. However, as my kids get older, I want to teach them in their lifetime, they need to prioritize collecting experiences and not things. The hubs always talked about how his family took annual family vacations and the memories they made from it. Our family didn't take a lot of vacations, but I do remember the one time we went to Niagra falls - an unforgettable experience.
So the goal for me as I raise my kids is to make sure they are living their life full of experiences. Even if it means that the hubs and I get a little freaked out about the possibility of meltdowns in public.
This weekend, I wanted to trial a small staycation with just myself and my two eldest daughters. With the help of Booking.com, Ansley (six years old), Aubrey (five years old) and I got to sneak away to a gorgeous 500-acre ranch about 90 minutes away for an amazing day trip.
The property at Circle S Ranch & Country Inn is absolutely stunning and gorgeous. As we drove up the half-mile driveway from the street, I could see in the rear view mirror my girls' eyes as they gazed over at the longhorns through our van window. The glimmer in their eye spoke volumes as we headed into our fun day!
Previously, I had been to this venue before under different circumstances. In 2013, I was the assistant to a wedding photographer who had a client getting married at the ranch. During my stay at that time, I wasn't able to really capture the essence of all that the ranch had to offer because I was so focused on capturing the day for the bride and groom with the stunning natural backdrops all around.
A few years later, with two kids in tow, I realized that this quaint bed and breakfast offers so much more. It is such a family friendly getaway that kids of all ages would love!
Kansas City Day Trip with Kids Off the Beaten Path
As soon as we got there, our hosts warmly greeted us and whisked us to our rooms where we could set our things. We glided up the gorgeous wood staircase and bypassed by a large second living area.
We arrived in the Cowboy room, but i was able to take a sneak peek at some of the other rooms as well. The room below as my favorite. it was so romantic and inviting. If you ever needed a couple's retreat away from the noise and the crowds, this is it!
After we got settled, our hosts took us on the tour of the property, where the kids got to some super fun activities around the ranch.
We loaded up the girls in the ATV and supplied them with enough carrots and apples to feed horses, donkeys and longhorns.
They were able to feed ponies ...
Check out larger horses ...
and even feed the longhorns.
The only bummer was that Ansley could not find a unicorn. The hostess did promise her that if she found a unicorn, she could take it home.
As a photographer, I was fascinated and in awe of the amazing areas available for hosting events from bridal showers, baby showers and even weddings. Inside of this barn ...
is an absolutely stunning wedding venue chapel.
After the girls started running down the aisle, I had to leave. I felt like there was a moment I could see into the future when they were running down together.
There is also a reception area separate from the chapel with an amazing amount of space.
Outside of weddings, I could totally see family reunions being held here too!
After we got back from our tour, the kids wanted to go play in the labyrinth that was created near the inn.
The photographer in me came out and decided to take photos at some of the cutest little nooks around the ranch. Like this adorable photo in front of the RV.
And running through the pathway that leads to another wedding venue area.
Once they got tired of all of that, they decided to chill out in these rocking chairs on the patio.
This little ranch boasts so many fun activities for the family and gorgeous backdrops for party planning. The gorgeous 500-acre rolling hills of this property is stunning by itself. My memories of the wedding I helped photographed reminded me of how beautiful the night sky is because the property is secluded from all the city lights, so you can see the twinkling stars and hear the sounds of nature.
I knew that our staycation was a success at Circle S Ranch Country & Inn. was a success when my daughters asked to go back the next day.