MARTIN CITY, Mo. —If you’re planning a trip to Martin City, here are a few great stops you can make along the way. 

The first stop will brings you to the zoo in Kansas City, Missouri.  

“The sun brings out the crowds and the animals can spend more time outside, so spring and summer is such a wonderful time to be here,” Animal Curator Sean Putney said. 

The Kansas City Zoo, founded in 1909, sits on more than 200 acres in the heart of Swope Park. It’s home to more than 1,700 animals. 

“Even though it’s a decade old, I think one of our most popular exhibits is still our penguin exhibit. People just love penguins. And then right beside there, we have our stingray bay. It’s a hands-on experience and kids of all ages love to touch animals,” Putney said.

This summer a baby rhinoceros named Zumi made her debut at the zoo. The Sea Lion exhibit, known as “Sea Lion Splash” reopened after undergoing renovations, and a world-class aquarium will soon open new pathways to the ocean. 

“September 1st is the day we are pushing for it. We are really excited for it and we think it’s going to bring one or more area that we can talk about conservation. We’ll have 34 exhibits in there, 650,000 gallons, and and we spent a lot of time and energy and money for that part to make sure it’s a great addition to the zoo,” Putney said. 

The Kansas City Zoo is open seven days a week. 

“If you want to get the most bang for your buck, if you buy it three days in advance, you get a certain amount off. Doing it online, you get a certain amount off. That helps to limit the amount you’re spending before you even get to the zoo,” Putney said. 

Just a 20 minute drive away in Overland Park, Kansas, you’ll find the Museum at Prairiefire, a nonprofit organization dedicated to meaningful learning.   

“When you first walk in our Great Hall, you’ll notice on the live screen there are dinosaurs roaming on the live screen and interacting with kiddos. It’s the coolest thing ever. And then, if you turn 180° the other direction you’ll see a full size T-Rex skeleton,” Executive Director Terri Thompson said. 

The Museum at Prairiefire is open seven days a week, with tickets starting at $5. Veterans and children 3 years old and younger can get into the museum for free. 

“Our summers consist of 10 summer camps that are a week long each.That’s for elementary school and middle school kiddos. Then we have another 10 camps for ages 3-5 years. Then we have 50+ field trips that come through. And I’m so proud to say that half of those field trips and half of those camps are for our KC Urban Advantage kids,”Thompson said.