31 Days of Slow Living in Kansas City

Being a mom can come with a hefty schedule. You’re expected to pack your days tight with lessons and activities, cram in some volunteer hours, and squish a few family functions into the mix, too.

But slow living — a push toward a simpler, sustainable, and more intentional life — is a trend trying to cut through the busy calendars to create more balance and meaning for anyone looking for a calmer pace.

Kansas City is a great place to embrace slow living as a lifestyle, and all it takes to begin is an open mind and a willingness to drop some of your load. To get you started, here is a month’s worth of ideas for embracing slow living in Kansas City.

  1. Visit a local farmer’s market to gather ingredients for scratch-made food or baked goods. Involve your kids by giving them items to search for, tasks in the kitchen, and an afternoon cooking up something fun with mom.
  2. Rather than trying to do it all, pick three tasks you want to accomplish for the day and commit to doing them well.
  3. Free up your space to free your mind! Donate a few items to local Kansas City groups. Here is a list of places that will take everything from clothes to art supplies.
  4. If you normally blast music or play a podcast when you pick up the kids from school, try turning off the audio to clear your head. Added bonus: your kids might actually want to fill the silence with stories about their day.
  5. Visit an outdoor oasis such as Powell Gardens, Overland Park Arboretum, or Kauffman Legacy Park. Don’t worry about covering every mile — just pick a few spots to appreciate the scenery.Boy climbing in tree
  6. If you feel rushed to get out the door, try a new morning routine.
  7. Slow living gets its name from the slow food movement. Take a moment to appreciate your food at a local restaurant that has a chill vibe. Family friendly ideas: Heirloom Bakery & Hearth, The Farmhouse, Green Dirt Farm, Caffetteria Modern Café, Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop in Westwood. Date-night ideas: Potpie, Saltwell Farm Kitchen
  8. Take a walk. Kansas City has some great hiking trails, or just take a stroll through your neighborhood.
  9. Pick one night to be as screen-free as possible as a family, even if it’s just a few hours. Don’t feel pressured to fill that evening with activities to keep your family occupied — let them read, explore a new hobby, or find something to do on their own. Bonus points if you light candles and conserve electricity during that time, too!
  10. Plan a family weekend trip to a nearby farm Airbnb, camping spot, or a tiny cabin from Getaway.
  11. Take a lunch break. Silence your notifications, shut off your computer, abandon your children (just kidding … but maybe allow yourself to eat mindfully while they contend with another distraction).
  12. Make time to read. Take the whole family to the library and pick up a new book, then spend the afternoon reading at home, a park, or in a coffee shop.two boys reading books at a local bookshop, Green Door Book Store
  13. No matter what the weather is, you can refuel while surrounded by lush green plants and sipping a warm drink at Café Equinox inside Family Tree Nursery in Shawnee.
  14. Overwhelmed by laundry? Simplify by trying a capsule wardrobe. If you don’t know where to start, we have a guide for that!
  15. Slow living doesn’t mean you have to throw out fun. Think of a special get-together you’d like to do and plan it. Dinner with the neighbors? Love it. Porch hang with college friends? Yes. A tea party with your 4-year-old? Excellent.
  16. Let’s be honest, “start a gratitude journal” sounds overwhelming … so instead, keep a notepad by your coffeepot and try writing just one to three things you’re grateful for while your coffee is brewing each morning.
  17. Invest time in your relationships. Reach out to one friend or acquaintance and schedule a conversation to catch up.
  18. Give yourself a positive mantra and spend a few minutes on Canva to design a new background for your computer or phone that shows off your words of wisdom.
  19. Practice mindfulness together by trying a family yoga class through Full Circle Yoga.
  20. Question your modern conveniences. Sometimes we sacrifice things we would love to do the “old-fashioned way” to save time, like trading in a crossword and coffee for Wordle on the toilet. Reclaim your joy!
  21. Grow something! Visit a local plant shop or plant a garden.
  22. Get to know your partner or your other family members a little better. Try a free app like the Gottman Card Decks to prompt questions with your partner or put a deck of Table Topics in the center of your family dining table to jumpstart dinner discussions.
  23. Free up your time. Outsource laundry, hire a cleaning company, purchase premade local meals from Social Suppers. Bask in your lack of tasks.
  24. Play outside with your kids. Like, really play. We’ve got you covered with fun local park trips.
  25. Find a creative outlet. Even if it’s just this book of things to draw.
  26. Block or limit targeted ads on internet platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram. You’ll be less likely to impulse buy and add to any clutter around your house.
  27. Play a game with your kids. There are great local game shops and board games for every age.
  28. Try a “no-spend” weekend. Get your kids to help brainstorm some creative ways you can have fun at home or in your community without dropping too many dollars.
  29. Create a routine with some cushion—avoid scheduling appointments back-to-back and give yourself some breathing room so you’re not always rushing out the door.
  30. Shop sustainably by visiting local secondhand shops. Some shops even specialize in a certain kind of thrifted treasure, like Play it Again Sports or Prospero’s Books.
  31. Create an energy budget. Decide how often you or your kids can give up time in your week to others before you start to feel stressed. Once you max your energy budget with volunteerism, activities or playdates, commit to saying no for any other requests.

Raising a family doesn’t have to mean you’re always moving at the speed of light.

Try just a few of these slow living in Kansas City ideas to model intentional choices and setting boundaries for your kids— you’ll be glad you did!

A firm believer that the Midwest is all that and a tator tot casserole, Valerie moved to KC after graduating from Mizzou in 2013. She’s been married to her husband Josh since 2015, and together they’re raising two adorable, tiny human fireworks: a preschooler named Finnian and baby Olliver. Valerie spends her workdays making greeting cards while Josh wins at the stay-at-home-dad game by teaching the Stark brothers words like “yee-haw” and going on field trips for Costco rotisserie chicken. When she isn’t tracking down a new place to drag her family to, you can find her blasting showtunes, sharing (very poorly) wine with friends, reading, listening to true crime podcasts, or near cheese. You can’t find her playing kickball, so don’t even try. Valerie, Josh, Finn, and Ollie shoot for put-together, but settle for put-on-pants—and they love every second of their reasonably-chaotic life.

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