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Road Trip Across I-70 with Four Kids: Best Places to Stop?

Road Trip Across I-70 with Four Kids: Best Places to Stop?

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Old May 6, 18, 8:31 am
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Road Trip Across I-70 with Four Kids: Best Places to Stop?

We're taking five days each way from Colorado to Boston w/ four kids all under eight.

So far, we're stopping at the Oz Museum, Gateway Arch (maybe a Cardinals game), Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers Monument, Pittsburgh Children's Museum, and the Weir Farm National Historic Site.

On the way back, we're stopping at Independence Hall, National Museum of the Air Force, and the Ft Hays Dinosaur Museum.

Any must do things that we're missing?
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Old May 6, 18, 4:40 pm
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What route are you taking? (ie when do you cut north) I ask because 76 to 80 is more direct. Knowing the route could help with some of the more eastern stuff (or maybe you've asked about that in the east coast board)

Sticking with 70, a couple things I'd suggest:

Indianapolis Children's Museum. It's part children's museum, part kid-focused science museum. ie way more than your typical children's museum. It's *easy* to spend an entire day there and they've recently added a sports experience outside where kids can try out lots of sports. They have tennis, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, football, golf, and naturally because it's Indy, racing (pedal cars). I've been to a number of children's museums throughout the midwest (though not Pittsburgh's) and Indy's blows them all away.

Columbus Zoo is a pretty big one if you're looking for a zoo along that way.

Grant's Farm in St Louis is an oddball sorta game preserve (zebra, bison, antelope, etc) run by A-B on President Grant's farmstead. You take a tram through the animals then finish up in a Bavarian farm with free beer samples. Kids like the animals, adults like the beer (they have some of A-B's craft labels there too, not just Bud if you're a snob like me, but they have Bud too if you're not ).

If you go through Hershey (depends on your route after Pittsburgh), there's Hershey's Chocolate World.
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Old May 6, 18, 5:03 pm
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As a former Kansas Citian, I'd recommend stopping for BBQ (Q39, KC Joe's, or Jack Stack), and then Science City in Union Station would be good for the kiddos.

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Old May 6, 18, 5:26 pm
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Another mention for the Columbus Zoo. One of the best anywhere in the country.
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Old May 6, 18, 8:59 pm
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Thank you for all the input, I may try to add the Columbus Zoo or Science City.

I agree on the Indianapolis Children's Museum being one of the best in the country. A few years ago, we lived in Kokomo and were members of the museum. It was outstanding. I haven't heard too much about the Pittsburgh one, but they have a Mo Willems exhibit going on that we thought we'd check out.

It looks like the route we're taking after Pittsburgh is I-80 to I-95.

Thank you again and please let me know if there are any more suggestions.
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Old May 7, 18, 7:57 am
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If you can possibly get to City Museum in St. Louis with the four kids (depending on ages?), they won't forget it. I'd say do that even before the Arch (the Arch is more impressive, and cheaper, from outside, though I understand the desire to "go up" things ).
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Old May 7, 18, 8:19 am
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Seconding the City Museum suggestion.
Re Gateway Arch, check to make sure the elevator system is up and running again, it was not when we visited STL a little over a year ago and that was a disappointment.
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Old May 7, 18, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by Blind and Green View Post
It looks like the route we're taking after Pittsburgh is I-80 to I-95.

Thank you again and please let me know if there are any more suggestions.
I-95 in the northeast is a nightmare. I'd strongly suggest that, at some point west of the Hudson River, you shift farther north to I-90.
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Old May 7, 18, 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by RobS View Post
I-95 in the northeast is a nightmare. I'd strongly suggest that, at some point west of the Hudson River, you shift farther north to I-90.
In fact, if it were me, I'd take 76 to 80, which turns into 80-90 and finally 90. The stretch of I-70 from Denver to Indianapolis is one of the most boring drives I can recall, especially the CO and KS segments. Nebraska is slightly better and at least you have the Buffalo Bill museum in North Platte. It also allows for a stop in Chicago (tons of stuff for kids), and if they're older, they may appreciate a short detour in South Bend to see the Notre Dame campus and stadium.

About the best thing I can say for that stretch of 70 is KC bbq. The arch is fine too, as long as it's a weekday.

OP - perhaps you should take 70 one way and 80 the other way? I can't imagine enough things to do along 80 for 2 trips.

Last edited by JBord; May 8, 18 at 7:24 am Reason: added missing word to clarify
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Old May 7, 18, 5:35 pm
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The 70 one way and 80 the other is a great suggestion and probably what we'll end up doing.

The arch elevator should be up and running (at least they're selling tickets for our date there). We're choosing that over other St. Louis attractions as my daughter studied it in her 'monuments' section of kindergarten this year (I'd love to hit a Cards game; we're staying at the Embassy Suites which appears to be walking distance to both the Arch and Busch Stadium).

I agree that 70 is a boring drive and one that we've made a few times already.

I thank everyone for their great inputs as we continue to plan the trip!
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Old May 8, 18, 3:55 pm
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
In fact, if it were me, I'd take 76 to 80, which turns into 80-90 and finally 90. The stretch of I-70 from Denver to Indianapolis is one of the most boring drives I can recall, especially the CO and KS segments. Nebraska is slightly better and at least you have the Buffalo Bill museum in North Platte. It also allows for a stop in Chicago (tons of stuff for kids), and if they're older, they may appreciate a short detour in South Bend to see the Notre Dame campus and stadium.

About the best thing I can say for that stretch of 70 is KC bbq. The arch is fine too, as long as it's a weekday.

OP - perhaps you should take 70 one way and 80 the other way? I can't imagine enough things to do along 80 for 2 trips.
The vast Pioneer Village Museum, south of Kearney ("carny"), NE in Minden, is well worth a long stop. If your kids are interested in cars, tractors, horse-drawn farm equipment, locomotives, clothes, musical instruments, household appliances of bygone eras -- well, pretty much any kind of artifact -- they will find plenty to interest them there.
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Old May 8, 18, 8:10 pm
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Originally Posted by ajGoes View Post
The vast Pioneer Village Museum, south of Kearney ("carny"), NE in Minden, is well worth a long stop. If your kids are interested in cars, tractors, horse-drawn farm equipment, locomotives, clothes, musical instruments, household appliances of bygone eras -- well, pretty much any kind of artifact -- they will find plenty to interest them there.
Thank you for the suggestion. We're taking another road trip later in the summer from CO to St. Paul and will definitely stop there on the way.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 8:25 pm
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We just got back from the trip. We hit the Sternberg Museum, Oz Museum, Gateway Arch, PA Trolley Museum, and Weir Farm NHS. All were good, but the Trolley Museum was a surprising family hit.
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Old Jun 23, 18, 5:51 am
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Originally Posted by Blind and Green View Post
We just got back from the trip. We hit the Sternberg Museum, Oz Museum, Gateway Arch, PA Trolley Museum, and Weir Farm NHS. All were good, but the Trolley Museum was a surprising family hit.
Glad it worked out well. Thanks for reporting back!
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