#3 - Overland Park, KS - Top 10 Best Cities for Kids, 2014

Overland Park's Matt Ross Community Center features swimming pools, a three-story playground and other amenities.
Overland Park's Matt Ross Community Center features swimming pools, a three-story playground and other amenities.

Top-rated schools continue to draw young families to Overland Park, Kan., which provides kids with a safe community, lots of parks and fun activities. Parents rave about the quality education children in Overland Park receive and the wholesome things there are to do here. The city is home to 83 parks and open spaces and four small lakes. Parents often bring their kids to Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, a 300-acre area filled with colorful plants, ponds and walking paths. The scenes change along with the seasons. Many Overland Park families make an annual pilgrimage to the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, which features an Indian encampment, dairy barn, butterfly garden, fishing pond and playground. Six outdoor pools offer summertime swimming, while the indoor pool at the Matt Ross Community Center lets families splash all year long.

Although Kansas City and its vast assortment of attractions are just minutes away, Overland Park’s entertainment options keep many residents here. Out of the city’s 250 restaurants, more than 43 percent offer kids' menus. Downtown Overland Park is filled with quaint eateries, boutique shops and art galleries. Parents should be warned that Overland Park is home to an American Girl doll store, which many little girls will demand to be taken to. Those looking to expose their children to extreme sports can give the climbing wall at Emerald City Gym a shot.

For mommies and daddies: Get messy and sink your teeth into Kansas City barbecue.