For football lovers like us, there is no better way to spend a summer morning in St. Jo than at the Kansas City Chiefs summer training camp. Watching some of the nation’s best players up close gives you a new appreciation for their size and strength, and gives a preview of the coming season. But training camp isn’t just about football practice, it’s an entire experience.
It starts when you first arrive. Everyone is decked head to toe in their Chiefs gear, and the excitement is palpable. Walk through the merchandise tent – who can resist a foam finger or KC Wolf hat? Photo opportunities abound for kids and adults alike, with occasional appearances by KC Wolf and Chiefs cheerleaders. Kids can pose with their heads on top of football player bodies all camp long, and Warpaint the horse even comes to be petted and photographed on special days.
Watching an entire practice may be too much to ask of littlest ones, but no worries, Kids Zone is filled with fun activities. Have the wiggles? Check out the bounce house and inflatable slide. Boys and girls can run a football through an inflatable obstacle course and on special days even try a climbing wall, get their faces painted and receive balloon creations from talented balloon artists.
After practice, your family may have the chance to meet your favorite players and get autographs. On American Family Fun Day, you can attend a full-team autograph session and afterward, children aged 3-8 can participate in the free Gatorade Junior Training Camp, facilitated by Missouri Western football players. The first 100 camp participants receive a free pair of tickets to a Chiefs preseason game.
There is much to do at camp, but there’s also much to do in St. Joseph, including outdoor activities, educational museums, great shopping and delicious restaurants. Stay a day, or a week, and explore! Included are some ideas for your family by age of child, and based on our own family’s favorite spots. We welcome you to training camp, to Missouri Western’s beautiful campus and to our vibrant city.
Check out these quick itineraries for the kids in your life:
Breakfast: Rosecrans Memorial Airport. Cheap, friendly, home-style food. See giant C130s up close.
Learn something: Patee House Museum. Board an 1860 train, ride a vintage carousel, view antique toys, get a peek at Civil War history.
Get moving: Krug Park. Feed the ducks, explore two playgrounds, see a buffalo, stroll in the rose gardens, hike the beautiful mountain bike trails that run several miles through the back acreage.
Lunch: Geneo’s Pizza. Delicious (shareable) calzones, pizza, sandwiches and pasta.
Souvenirs: PBE’s Toys specializes in educational fun. Schweitzer Apple Orchards for frozen apple cider slushes, homemade jam, caramel corn and fresh produce, and to enjoy their idyllic outdoor playground.
Treat: Kris and Kate’s Ice Cream. Yummy frozen treats, kitschy pink cone, play area.
Breakfast: Gold N Glaze Donut Shop. Cinnamon rolls, maple bacon fitters, and the best glazed donuts in the region.
Learn something: The Pony Express Museum. Young kids will love dressing up in the playroom. Catch a planetarium show at Bushman Planetarium on Missouri Western’s campus. The Remington Nature Center, located on the Missouri River, offers spectacular views, a honeybee hive, an aquarium and more.
Get moving: Stroll on the accessible walking trail alongside the Missouri River. Prefer to get wet? The Aquatic Park is fun for kids of all ages.
Lunch: Just Desserts by Mom. Isn’t really just desserts. Try homemade quiche and specialty soup of the day. Or try Barbosa’s Castillo, and eat Mexican food in a historic, castle-like house.
Treat: Delish. Tasty cupcakes, cookies and other sweets.
Breakfast: Cafe Pony Espresso. Good coffee, crust-less quiche, breakfast parfaits and more.
Learn something: The Glore Psychiatric Museum. Explore the evolution of mental health care and the history of the State Lunatic Asylum No. 2. The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. Browse one of the finest collections of 18th, 19th and 20th century American art in the Midwest. The Walter Cronkite Memorial. Walk over from Chiefs camp, it’s on Missouri Western’s campus, and view some of the most important events of the 20th century through the eyes of legendary journalist and St. Joseph native Walter Cronkite.
Get moving: Cool Crest offers three well shaded miniature golf courses, making it a cooler outdoor escape.
Lunch: Galvin’s Dinner House. Serving guests for 70 years, can’t miss fried chicken. The Cabbage Roll. Authentic German food and dessert, which includes options like Black Forest Cake, German Chocolate Cake and homemade pies.
Souvenirs: Mod Podge for homemade items, accessories and baby gifts. Lucky Tiger for hip vintage apparel. Goode Food Delivered for local produce. Tobiason Stained Glass Studio for stained glass and a selection of local art and gifts.
Treat: Country Cookies. Buy a dozen and sample them all.