Weston, Missouri — the One-Tank Trip You Must Take

Looking for a one-tank kind of trip, that is COVID-friendly and all family members will find a reason to enjoy? Need a destination that is charming and picturesque, has small town charm, but offers a multitude of attractions for a myriad of ages? An approximate 45-minute drive from relatively anywhere in the Kansas City metro area, Weston, Missouri, has all of this and more, making it our family’s favorite day trip!

A fun destination pre-COVID, to enjoy the annual Applefest as a family, or an overnight date for wine tasting and dinner, Weston was always somewhere we intentionally sought out. During COVID, however, we learned our family needs outdoor adventures, and so this hidden gem became our refuge. Thanks to its rolling, lush hills, and abundance of outdoor resources, we intentionally made our way north on several occasions to seek something different when everyday felt the same.

Although, we thoroughly enjoy every season in Weston, fall is our favorite. So, take notes, and scour your calendar to make your way there, before the winter frost hits!

Itinerary Tips for a Family Adventure

Head straight to Weston Bend State Park! A three-mile (although there are shorter versions) hiking and/or biking trail winds you through tree canopies and over small streams. A lookout with an expansive view of the Missouri River is a great stopping point for a snack or to watch the season’s bird migration in the sky. The park provides shaded picnic tables if you brought your own meal, or better yet, stay tuned for where to pick up a hiker’s dream meal to go! Make time to stop at the old tobacco barns for the little ones who enjoy history. The park also houses ample parking, fishing spots, a playground and a nice campground.

We’ve visited these trails in the rain, the heat and the cool wind. Less than ideal temperatures can make parents want to Van Gogh an ear, when children begin the endless barrage of complaints. As my husband will always point out when the kids are grumbling, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.”

Through trial and error, we now know what wards off potential tantrums. Everyone is in charge of their own small backpack. The backpack houses an individual water bottle, dry socks, a snack, an extra layer and a few small, light toys to enjoy along stopping points. Trust me when I say, these items are lifesavers, and it keeps mom and dad from having to schlep 100 pounds of items up a trail. For those with smaller children, a piggyback sling or rider is a welcomed option if you know he or she won’t make it far without being carried. Steep and Cheap is a great place to look for amazing deals on technical gear such as hiking shoes, socks and backpacks.

IMG_2115
IMG_2118

A hike or bike ride will really work up an appetite, and for those looking for a good meal, Weston provides some truly mouth watering stops.

Favorite Spots for a Meal or Treat Afterward

Green Dirt Farm Creamery. Stop by post-hike for every millennial’s dream meal of an epic charcuterie board and kid friendly grilled cheese sandwich. Or better yet, grab it to go and enjoy amongst the scenery of the state park! It’s the perfect packable picnic lunch, kicked up a notch. For those wanting to not lift a finger, there’s great outdoor seating there for a COVID-safe meal. Don’t sleep on their ice cream afterward!

O’Malley’s 1842 Pub. For a more relaxed lunch, grab an outdoor seat at O’Malley’s. Order a few pints for the parents and root beer for the kids. On weekends, you’ll find a live band playing. The food is Irish (obviously) but they offer general options as well. We have visited with kids in tow and as a stop on a date night. Both were fun, tasty and satisfied everyone’s need for a good meal and entertainment!

Pirtle Winery. Another stop, for the adults, would be to walk across the street from O’Malley’s, for a tasting at Pirtle Wine. It’s delightful outdoor patio provides a great place to let the kids relax their legs while mom and dad enjoy a glass and one of their convenient snack baskets (which are kid friendly!).

Main Street Galleria and Upstairs Tearoom. Stop to peruse the antiques and fun vintage items, but the true reason for the visit is to snatch up the candy we remember from our childhood! A true midwesterner knows the value and pure goodness of an old-fashioned soda and a candy necklace.

Other Attractions to Consider

A mention of this small town in the fall wouldn’t be complete without considering the Weston Red Barn Farm for everyone’s favorite pumpkin patch fun. They are also open weekends in the spring and summer. We find it always worthwhile to stop to pet the animals, and perhaps pick up a jam or jelly to go from their country store.

Beginning in December, Snow Creek will be up and running, and it’s the perfect place for a quick afternoon of skiing without the drive and cost of Colorado. They offer skiing, tubing as well as lessons for beginners.

From one mom to another, I hope this guide inspires you to get outside and enjoy one true hidden gem of the area. I can personally attest to it being good for the soul! Cheers, and happy adventuring!

Kristin is a Lee’s Summit suburb transplant, after living in the Brookside and Plaza areas for over eight years. Raising three young boys with her husband, Jake, has helped her to embrace the messy, wild side of life where love is expressed in bear hugs and body slams. Professionally, she can be found teaching classes as an adjunct professor in the areas of Business, Marketing and PR. She is able to provide her students with applicable, real-life knowledge as she draws from several years working in the corporate sector. “Free time” (ha!, what's that again?) is spent on an occasional date night to favorite local restaurants, reading blogs on everything from home design to politics, riding her sweet beach cruiser bike and thinking of ways to convince her husband to do yet another home improvement project.