Travel blog written by an average traveler that focuses on "real" experiences. Not quite budget, not quite luxury. Real.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rock City: Hide & Seek Mecca

Travelers/Trip Type: Family Trip (Husband & 2 Young kiddos)
Method of Travel: Car
Would I Return: Definately

Hide-and-seek is a game that children of all ages seem to enjoy and my kids are no exception. In fact it seems that everywhere we go my 3-year old and 5-year old beg me to play. Most of the time there aren't many hiding places so it's more of a nuisance than anything. That is definately not the case at my next special location. You could literally play for hours and not run out of hiding spots. So where is this hide-and-seek mecca you ask? Well it's practically in my backyard. It's known as Rock City and it's located near Minneapolis, Kansas.

We didn't set out to Rock City looking to play hide and seek. Instead we were already in the area and were looking for a quick little side trip. I was intrigued by the prospect that there could be something referred to as  "Rock City" in the middle of the plains. I mean it's completely flat here, where would they come from? I learned that Rock City is comprised of  huge sandstone concretions created by Dakota sandstone that was deposited when Kansas was covered by an inland sea. Apparently there is no other place in the world where there are so many concretions of such a giant size. Cool. Even cooler? Real dinosaur bones were found in a nearby field and are on display at the Ottawa County Museum in Minneapolis. When we arrived, however,  all historical facts went out the window as the four of us enjoyed the simple pleasure of running around and exploring. There are over 200 giant rocks and they are spread out in an area the size of two football fields. What began as trying to find "Giant's Chair", "Turtle", "Donut Hole", "Kissing Lips", "Coffin" and many more cleverly named rocks (there's a map with a list of all the names) eventually evolved into one incredible game of hide and seek. I can honestly say I've never had more fun playing with my kids. In fact I kind of felt like a kid myself for a moment which was completely exhilirating!

We visited Rock City in January so the gift shop was closed (it's only open May-Sept from 9-5 pm). To pay our admission we simply deposited our money ($3 for adults, $0.50 for kids) into a little box outside the gift shop. Sure, we could have left without paying (there wasn't anyone there) but I felt like our experience was definately worth $7. I've been to MUCH more expensive attractions and not left feeling as satisfied as I did leaving here. It was simple, good quality family time at it's very best! To get here from the south take the K-18 exit from I-70 or continue going straight from I-135. Drive 10 miles north and then head west on K-18 for 4 miles. Head north on K-106 until you see the turn for Rock City. There will be tiny signs along the way but I wouldn't rely on them as they are incredibly small and easy to miss. From the north just head south on K-81, then south on K-106 (through Minneapolis) until you see the turn. I sincerely hope that you have as much fun as we did!


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