It is pretty obvious that we love adventures around here. I mean, that’s what our entire app is based on! So, as Mother’s Day draws near, here are a few gift ideas to help that special Mama in your life embrace new and wonderful adventures!
1. These cutie-pants fanny packs. Handbags can just ruin adventures- from having to make sure they don’t get stolen, to 12 tubes of lipstick, a pack of Kleenex, and last December’s water bill weighing on the shoulders. Don’t let that baggage weigh your mom down from new adventure seeking!
2. These running shoes are stylish, comfy, and an amazing price! Your mama needs her walking shoes for all of her exciting adventures! So, get her something FAB.
3. Who knows what parades, concerts or sporting events your mom might end up at while adventuring? Make sure she always has a comfy and beautiful chair to rest her hiney in while she’s out!
4. Mama needs her coffee! (Or her tea!) Help her get out the door faster, as she heads on her adventures, by getting her this gorgeous electric tea kettle, a beautiful Tervis travel mug, and a sturdy French press!
5. Moms love their casseroles, and who can blame them? There is nothing like cheesey, ooey-gooey goodness to fill up our bellies. Help her make her delish casseroles, or her soft and chocolatey cookies anywhere, anytime, by giving her this portable oven!
6. Make sure Mama looks good wherever she goes, by getting her this adorable compact mirror. Even better: get it monogrammed to make is JUST for her!
7. Help keep your mom’s face young, fresh, and sun-burnt free by giving her this gorgeous floppy hat. You never know where your mom will end up, but hopefully she’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors!
8. Port-a-potties? You can’t really get much nastier than those. Unfortunately, most carnivals, festivals, concerts, and out-door musicals only provide those little bacteria infested Tardis’s. Make sure your mom’s germ-a-phobe doesn’t stop her from adventures by getting her this Public toilet and restroom survival kit! Complete with seat covers, to-go wipes, hand sanitizing wipes all in a little zipper bag.
9. Where would we be without our sweet doggies? Your mom’s pooch can’t go without, or she might just not bring him! Make adventures easier for your mom and her sweet canine friend by getting her this portable water bowl for your dog! Squeeze and the water comes up into the bowl, release and it goes right back down! No more water spilling, having to pack a random bowl and water bottle. This is two in one!
10. Don’t make Mama use a scrap piece of paper to fan herself this summer. Get her this beautiful, hand-held fan, that she can take anywhere. Also, we all know that a hot mom is a grumpy mom. Keep that mom happy!
So, for Mother’s Day, download Ziyak on your mom’s smartphone and give her one of these incredible gifts. Let Ziyak provide the adventure, and you provide some special tools to make it even easier!
Find the latest happy hours, drink specials, concerts, and events in your city.
Since the beginning of Ziyak, our goal has been to share all the best events, activities and food & drink offers in cities across the US so no one has to deal with FOMO again. Thanks to our community of Ziyak Ninjas and awesome supporters, our adventurers are spreading across America. By sharing the best events, offers & spots that only locals usually know, Ziyak makes it possible for anyone to adventure in any city.
We’re proudly located in Kansas City. From KC, we’re growing throughout the Midwest and to the coasts to spread the Ziyak love and get local communities and city visitors involved in the best any city has to offer. As of now, we are working to our highest event capacity in 11 cities across the country, with dozens of more cities growing their Ziyak presence everyday. Get a sneak peek at the cities we’re featuring now and download Ziyak today!
Are you a business in one of these cities?
Create unlimited specials and get the word out about your upcoming event. Ziyak cuts through the noisiness of promotions and ads, connecting your business directly with users who are trying to find a place or event like yours!
We love themes around here... we're huge fans of "Taco Tuesday" and "Fries Friday", so it only makes sense to love themed restaurants. Check out a restaurant where you can't even see what you're eating, one where you have to know the code word to even get in, and one that helps you get some household chores done while you dine. These are ten of our favorite themed restaurants.
1. The Jekyll and Hyde Club - New York City, NY
Jekyll and Hyde Themed
A club that serves 62 dishes, including “Create-Your-Own Monster burgers”, is themed for the famous Dr. Henry Jekyll and his alter ego, Hyde. The restaurant is filled with souvenirs and trophies of Dr. Jekyll’s “bizarre exploits” and items from friends who were members of the Jekyll and Hyde club. This is a restaurant, bar, museum and creepy entertainment all in one.
2. Opaque - Los Angelas and San Francisco, CA
This restaurant is something you’ve never seen before… because you’ve literally never seen it. The restaurant is pitch dark, with the idea that if you lose one of your senses, you must rely on the others more heavily. This will help you taste and enjoy your food to the highest capacity. The waiters and waitresses are blind or visually impaired and have been trained specifically to serve meals in the dark while “casually and comfortably offering guidance and reassurance for sighted guests.” (PS: This would be such a fun place to meet a blind date. Get to know the person before actually seeing what they look like! A whole new level of “The Voice”!)
3. Ed Debevics - Chicago, IL
Rude Diner themed
This is one of the most entertaining places I’ve ever been, as you are literally paying to be roasted. A rude wait-staff greets you, seats you, and continues to make fun of you throughout your entire meal. The food is great. The vibe is a fun 50’s diner feel. The staff sucks. And that’s totally a good thing.
4. The Varsity - Atlanta, GA
With six locations all around Georgia, several food trucks, and two airport locations. The Varsity is America’s largest drive-in restaurant. It has been around for about 90 years and has even served Clark Gable, Nipsey Russell, President George H. W Bush, Bill Clinton, and President Obama. Their original parking lot was taken down for construction in the 50s, but this allowed the “Lunching Pad” to be built – they can handle over 600 cars at a time at the Lunching Pad!
5. Forbes Island - San Fransisco, CA
This restaurant has incredible dining rooms, both on land and… under the sea. You can literally dine under the sea! Enjoy the smell of the salty sea, the relaxing nautical feel and some waterside cocktails while watching sea lions sunbathe with views of Alcatraz in the background.
6. Casa Bonita - Denver, CO
Eat delicious Mexican cuisine while surrounded by an authentic Aztec feel. Over 1,000 guests can enjoy this restaurant at one time. Even better than the food and design? The entertainment! Your meal will be filled with thrill as you witness a gunfight, live diving from a waterfall, a gorilla show and a pirate show!
7. Washbangers - College Station, TX
This restaurant almost doesn’t make sense to me. Almost. But then I remember when my washer broke two years ago and I spent the afternoon hanging out at the laundromat with two babies and a gurgling stomach. The peanut MnM’s from the candy machine weren’t enough and I so wish that I had been able to go to Washbangers laundromat. “But wait! We’re supposed to be talking about restaurants?” Ah… yes that’s right. Washbangers is not only a laundromat… it is a restaurant as well. Enjoy some good food, cool drinks, and company while you wait for your underwear to dry. It doesn’t get much better than that. You might even find yourself using a laundromat even if you don’t need to.
8. The Safe House - Milwaukee, WI
The Safe House features a complete spy theme; you can’t even get into the restaurant without knowing a code word! A delicious menu sticks with the spy theme, and include “Bourne Identity Salad”, “The Big Green C”, and a “Mission Impossible” burger.
9. Ace Bounce - Chicago, IL
Ping Pong themed
Get a taste of a UK fav with Ace Bounce. Not only can you fill your belly and wet your whistle, you get to play some mean ping pong while you’re at it. The location in Chicago is the only US location, so it is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. 16 ping pong tables (And a special beer-pong table, if that’s your thing). Just like a bowling alley, book your table and play away, but enjoy some food while pong!
10. Ninja New York - New York City, New York
Clearly we're big ninja fans around here, and I'm thinking that attending this ninja-themed restaurant should be a requirement for all Ziyak employees. After being greeted by a real-live ninja, you are asked whether you would like to take the safe route or dangerous route. I'm going to go ahead and guess most people say dangerous, otherwise, what are you even doing there? Enjoy great food while Ninjas hang upside down and lurk around every corner.
Dear Randy and Evan,
I was running a few minutes behind today. I came in with my arms full, a coffee in one hand and a baby carrier in the other while one shoulder held a laptop bag and the other a diaper bag. I came in, sat down, and spent 30 minutes preparing for our meeting while nursing my baby. We then met, while my sweet one was passed around and made lots of baby noises. The numbers on my phone switched to 11:35 and I ran out the door, because my baby sitter was only available in the morning. Now, I’m sitting and typing you this letter and waiting for you guys to call me, while all three of my daughters nap, carrots roast in the oven, and my washing machine washes its third load of laundry.
This day sounds like madness.
It sounds a little chaotic.
But this has been my “normal” for the last eight months.
As I was driving home today, the words someone once spoke to me echoed in my memory: “You will never find a job that is as flexible as us and pays as well as we do.” Those words were spoken the day after I gave a two-week notice to a job. They did nothing but ignite something in me to prove them wrong, and while I haven’t lived my day-to-day life trying to do so, I always knew, in the back of my mind, that I would know when I found “it”.
“It”. The job that was flexible with me, that appreciated me, and allowed me to use my passions and abilities.
“It”. The job that would grow me as a person, that would challenge me and keep the wheels of my creative mind spinning.
I didn’t search for it. It came to me. Almost fell in my lap, like destiny.
This letter is more than just an open letter. This is a “Thank You” letter.
From the time I first interviewed with you and shared that I not only have two kids, I was pregnant with my third, you never doubted whether I could complete the tasks I would be handed. I told you I was due in six months. "That's right around the corner!" you said.
I told you that I only wanted to work part time, and I needed something flexible, as my days might look different each week. “We can be flexible,” you said.
I called a week after I was hired to let you know my grandpa had passed away. “Take as much time as you need, “you said.
A few weeks later I called and said that I couldn’t come in because I had to take my girls to the doctor. “We hope everything is alright!” you said.
My belly continued to grow. My schedule shifted every few weeks, and some days I couldn’t make it in at all. I still worked from home. I still gave 100% at everything I did. I made phone calls while I was grocery shopping and checked emails in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.
Kindness, patience, and gratitude were never lacking.
And so I say thank you.
Thank you for the kindness you’ve shown me and my family.
Thank you for the flowers you sent while I was in the hospital waiting for my third little love to be born.
Thank you for the cupcakes.
Thank you for the flexibility.
Thank you for allowing me to overtake your new office every time I come in, with baby gear and “Mom” coffee mugs.
Thank you for allowing me to bring in my newborn baby to work, so I can continue nursing her and not miss precious moments that go by so quickly.
Thank you for encouraging me.
Thank you for helping me leave work happy and excited about what is to come.
Thank you for helping me believe that I can be a part-time business woman and a full-time mama… and thank you for helping me achieve that.
Because of you both, I haven’t had to miss special memories with my family. I can still go to story time at the library. I can still wake my girls up in the morning and lay them down for their naps.
I can feel just as successful with my career as I do with being a mom.
We live in a time where parental involvement and the work force is changing. More and more companies are giving moms longer for maternity leave and are offering paternity leave as well. More and more companies are giving moms specially designed and equipped rooms to pump, or allowing their babies to come to work with them. And I want to thank you for being one of the progressive companies in that realm. Thank you for hiring moms with young kids. Thank you for treating us so well. Thank you for not making us feel small or incapable or nettlesome.
Thank you for all you do.
And for all the coffee.
We want to pay you for advertising a free app that you and your friends will use every day to make your lives easier. We would like you to tell friends, family, and everyone you meet about how amazing Ziyak is. Think of yourself as a tour guide, helping the people you care about never miss a bacon festival, an important fundraiser, or the Barbra Streisand concert.
When businesses choose to advertise with Ziyak because you told them about us, you make some money!
On top of that, Ziyak is offering $10,000 to the first person to have 10,000 downloads under their name. So if “Henry” invites all of his 2,000 Facebook friends to download the Ziyak app, and they do, and they each invite 5 friends to download the app, and they do, then Henry will win $10,000!
So, basically, you make money telling people about Ziyak and you can possibly win $10,000!
The sun has been shining and the weather has been summoning many to break out their trusty ol’ grill here in Kansas City. With that comes the strong desire for my favorite Kansas City treat… Barbeque! But my newsfeed on Facebook is still a good stream of friends watching snow fall and making snow men, making it clear that not everyone in the US is getting to enjoy this little “pre-Spring” weather we are soaking up. I decided to help a friend out, by giving you a few BBQ places that you should probably check out at some point this week, no matter the weather in your home state. It’ll help get you ready for warmer weather to come, and it means no dishes to wash for you! HAPPINESS!
1. Old Hickory BBQ in Owensboro, Kentucky.
Old Hickory began back in 1918 when a man known as “Pappy” began barbequing mutton on a pit. Six generations later, and this restaurant is still in the family and still serving up some amazing food! Where did the name come from? The fact that they cook exclusively with hickory wood. Besides their specialties of mutton, pork, beef, chicken, ribs, ham, turkey, burgoo, chili, and meat stew (is your mouth watering, yet?), they serve classic sides, like coleslaw and mashed potatoes and gravy, and good-for-the-soul desserts, like banana pudding and blackberry cobbler.
If you’re anywhere near Kentucky, take a journey to a little city that hosts some big flavors and check out Old Hickory BBQ, and maybe buy some of their specialty sauce to take home with you!
2. Mission BBQ in Gambrills, Maryland.
Mission BBQ chose a name to match its purpose, as the owners strived to create a restaurant that is not only known for its amazing food, but its patriotism and mission to give back to soldiers, firefighters, police officers, and first responders by hiring them! They believe there is “nothing more American than BBQ.” And I believe there is nothing more American than creating an entire business founded on the idea of giving jobs to our veterans and local heroes. Their love for the US can be seen all over the décor on their walls. Mission BBQ’s menu features everything from brisket to pulled pork to salmon and the mouth-watering sides that are classics with BBQ like French fries and “cold slaw”. They are located in a total of eleven states stretching from the Northeast down to Florida and many states in between! Check out this amazing BBQ restaurant that lives up to its name, and feel good about the food you eat and the cause you’ll be supporting!
3. Jack’s BBQ in Seattle, Washington.
Jack’s likes to boast that they are the “Best Central Texas Barbecue in Seattle”. Now, I think that they probably shouldn’t be boasting about accomplishing the Texas BBQ flavor, because, is that really BBQ? I’ll give it a pass this time… only because I am staring at pictures of their food and I can practically smell the smoke and tender, juicy meat cooking on their grills. Not only does this restaurant serve amazing BBQ for lunch and dinner, but they serve some incredible tacos just for breakfast! You can literally have BBQ for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guys, that means you NEVER HAVE TO LEAVE (Except you might have to hide in the bathroom for the two hours they’re closed between breakfast and lunch. But you didn’t get that idea from me.) Brighten up your dreary, rainy days by chowing down on some succulent meat.
PS: They have a Happy Hour from 3-6 PM every week day. HOLLA!
4. Lonny Boy’s in Cedar City, Utah.
For this next BBQ stop, I’m taking you to a town that is near and dear to my heart, as I grew up just 15 minutes away. Lonny Boy’s was created by a father-son team who took on the impossible task of creating the best BBQ on this side of the Mississippi. I’m so glad they didn’t give up when they realized that nothing beats Kansas City BBQ (Actually, maybe they never realized that, I just hope for their own sake they did). And while they might not have the best BBQ on this side of the Mississippi (insert a little winky face here), they have won the “Best in State” award for the best “Texas Style BBQ” four years in a row! That is an incredible accomplishment! You know what’s even bigger? When their food is so delicious that they get to expand! Lonny Boy’s is in three cities in Southern Utah! Besides the typical BBQ food, they also serve wings, sugar cookies, fried pickle chips, and their famous fried cauliflower! Many people travel through Southern Utah on their way to California and Las Vegas, so you might as well take a pit-stop at one of these incredible places. And if you are in Las Vegas, I promise it will be worth the two-hour drive to check out Lonny Boy’s!
5. Virginia City Jerky Company and Smokehouse in Virginia City, Nevada
Obviously, this restaurant makes jerky, their name would be pretty silly if they didn’t, but they also serve some pretty delicious BBQ. Obviously, or they wouldn’t be on my list! They are only open during lunch and late-lunch hours, so you’ve got to get in sometime between 11 am and 4 pm. Virginia City Jerky has been in business since May of 2003, just four years after Troy began selling his jerky to people all over Nevada. His son and daughter helped create their famous BBQ recipes and have since taken over the business. People rave about their bold and tangy flavors that can be found in their sandwiches, BBQ favorites, and signature sauces. Want some meat for the road? Stock up on their jerky that has been smoked for eight hours and is full of its own strong flavors.
6. Sparky’s Burgers, BBQ, and Espresso in Hatch, New Mexico.
Because nothing pairs more perfectly with BBQ than espresso.
But seriously, this vibrant and goofy restaurant attracts all kinds of travelers and roadside attention as it creatively incorporates the dreams of one couple: design and coffee, and wood-fired BBQ and green chile cheeseburgers. I don’t think a couple was ever more meant to be, as their wacky combination has actually resulted in a restaurant that has been in business for over 20 years! I could talk about their incredible coffee menu for dayssss... they feature drink called a “Wired Cow” and “Space Cow Cappuccino” … but this blog isn’t about coffee, or the amazing shakes Sparky's serve (I’m sorry, could a shake get any more BBQ than a Green Chile Shake? I don’t think so). Instead, I’ll get you drooling over their pulled pork, sliced tender brisket, and their smoked sausage that you can order with a side of pineapple coleslaw, sweet corn with green chile and onion, or seasoned pinto beans. Seriously people. This is the restaurant for all people. Mama gets her coffee, daddy gets his world-famous Hatch Green Chile Cheeseburger and the kids get peanut butter and jelly, because, for some reason, kids still order peanut butter and jelly even when they’re at a restaurant like this!
7. Killy’s Smokehouse Deli in Sheridan, Wyoming.
There’s a pretty top-notch review on Killy’s Facebook page that pretty much covers anything I could say about them: “Having been to some of the self-professed ‘Best Barbecue’ in the country in places like Texas, Lousiana, and others, Killy’s can stand toe-to-toe with any of them.” I mean, seriously. That is a pretty intense compliment. They offer a wide variety of meats, all smoked until that absolute perfect moment, and serve those meats with homemade sides and salads. They also boast about their “Almost Catering…without the Cost”, clearly delivering a delicious meal for the masses, at a fraction of the cost of what one would normally pay. While I don’t know many people who just “drive through” Sheridan, many people like to snowboard and ski pretty close to this cozy little town, so next time you plan a ski trip to Wyoming, mark out a day to go get some incredible BBQ at Killy’s!
8. Saw’s BBQ in Homewood, Alabama.
In a little suburb of Birmingham, lies a BBQ restaurant that has made quite the name for itself. There are now three different “Saw's” locations in the Birmingham area, but in 2009, the very first restaurant in Homewood was opened. Saw’s Soul Kitchen and Saw’s Juke Joint also feature some incredible BBQ, and each have a special vibe of their own. Saw’s BBQ is a small little dive that prides itself on focusing on two things: flavor and the customer. They serve smoked chicken with white BBQ Sauce sandwiches and tender, juicy pulled pork created by their incredible chef and co-owner, Brandon Cain. The atmosphere and décor is casual while their food is anything BUT casual flavors. BANG. BOOM. YUM. Also, deviled eggs. They serve deviled eggs. “Excuse me, I’ll take the deviled egg please. Yes, um, six. No, not six eggs, six orders. Thank you.”
9. FireBox Deli in North Minneapolis, Minnesota.
This restaurant is literally everything a BBQ restaurant is supposed to be. For instance, their pulled pork? It is smoked for about 12 hours… that’s right, TWELVE HOURS, until it literally falls apart. That is melt-in-your-mouth, tender pulled pork. Most of their meats are rubbed in FireBox’s custom rub to maximize flavor. Their sides include all of the typical… you know, French fries, mac ‘n cheese, and potato salad, but they also offer soft and scrumptious sweet potatoes and Asian-styled sticky rice. Don’t ask me why. I’ve literally never heard of a BBQ place serving sticky rice, but I can’t help but be a fan! Even in Minnesota, you can find some delectable BBQ. Thanks to me, and FireBox Deli, I suppose.
10. Beale Street BBQ in Bath, Maine.
Let me tell you something, I love BBQ. Like I love it a lot. But there’s something I love a little more… seafood (and coffee, and chocolate, and pizza. They’re pretty much all tied, though). Can a restaurant in Maine really only serve BBQ? Probably not. At least Beale Street can’t, because on top of an entire BBQ menu, they also have a seafood menu! Salmon cakes, shrimp quesadillas, and shrimp creole, are just a few of their fresh seafood options. They also serve jambalaya, an angus beef burger, Vermont cheddar quesadilla, and bayou pilaf. But let’s get back to why we’re really here, their BBQ. From pulled pork to barbeque chicken and even St. Louis pork ribs, their menu is anything but boring. I’m doing a little jig on my sofa as I read through their menu. Coming up next week (March 6 – March 9), experience the BBQ World Tour by sampling smoked and grilled meats with choices of over 20 BBQ sauces! BBQ can even be found in Maine!
And there you have it. Ten delicious BBQ restaurants all over the country to get you in the mood for summer, and to help get you out of your cabin-fever funk if you’ve been sitting inside for just a little too long. Don’t forget to check in and post a picture on Ziyak when you visit one of these special places!
In honor of my sweet Daddy, I’m taking YOU on a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt! Keep reading and see if YOUR city is featured as a city with some of the BEST Valentine’s Day Weekend date ideas.
“The first city, you’ll see, can be easily guessed
In 1843 it held the first tournament for chess!
Another fun fact, for this industrious city,
It hosts a home that is itty bitty
Just 9 feet wide, the smallest in town!
But let’s talk about this event going around.
It all began with a man named ‘Cornbread’
And many hate the messages it spreads.
But some find this to be a unique form of art,
And will even take a class to become a part!”
What on earth am I talking about? A graffiti class in New York City!
Dates can become boring and dull, so why not try something different than your typical art class? Graff Art will first take you on a two-hour tour of the incredible graffiti found all over New York City, then spend an hour teaching you how to create some graffiti of your own! You can learn how to tell your special someone that you love them in a more creative way than “I love you” written on a giant cookie. Although, giant cookies are always a win, so maybe you should end your date with that.
“Next we find ourselves in the Lone Star State,
Where people are friendly and walk with a gait.
The city we’re featuring is home of the Bears,
And the birthplace of Dr. Pepper… I promise! I swear!
Want to plan a date that last several days?
Where your emotions are taken through a touching maze?
Then this special event is the one just for you,
Spend your days eating popcorn and kicking off your shoes.
Then end your long weekend with a special treat,
The Magnolia way, is the best way to eat.”
I certainly hope “Magnolia” gave this secret away, but if not, this next lovely adventure will find you in Waco, Texas, where Chip and Joanna Gaines have created an empire they call Magnolia. However, that is not the date I have planned for you! The weekend after Valentine’s Day, you can spend your days watching films of all genres at the “Deep in the Heart Film Festival”! This is better than Netflix, folks, because these are films that you’ve never seen before! And, everyone needs a good reason to dress up and get out of the house instead of lounging on the couch in yoga pants. Check out Waco’s special film festival and plan your incredible Valentine’s date!
“Moving from one warm climate to the next,
To a land of beaches and buff guys who flex.
Restaurants frequently serve surf and turf
Next to water, the same color as Papa Smurf.
The ocean is calling, you want to jump in,
Change into your suite and go for a swim.
But just up ahead a sillouhette you see,
You quietly whisper, ‘I wish that were me!’.
So you call to your beau, ‘Honey, let’s try!’
You give it a whirl and then you FLY!”
Next up on this Valentine’s Weekend date adventure… San Diego! One of my favorite cities with gorgeous beaches and salty breezes, it is easy to find a lot to do here. You could spend your days visiting the San Diego Zoo, or the botanical gardens, or just sun bathing on the beach. However, why not try something you’ve never done before… like Stand Up Paddle Boarding! Paddle Planet is just 30 miles north of San Diego and offers Stand Up Paddling 101 for the newest of paddlers, every Wednesday and Saturday morning at 8 am. In just an hour and half, you’ll feel like you’ve been doing it for years! Once you become a pro, or just good enough that you don’t want to take any more classes, but not good enough that you want to buy your own paddle and board… you can always rent from Paddle Planet, as well! After you’ve completed that marvelous adventure, then fill your belly with some of the amazing seafood restaurants found all over the city! Take your person on a date like this, and you’ll be sending me some flowers to thank me for this amazing idea. Tulips please. And I prefer pink.
“Now, we visit a city dubbed happy and healthy!
They wear corn on their heads and artwork is wealthy.
This place is known for more than its charm,
It is also home to a number of farms!
This weekend, when you’re looking for something to do,
Remember this poem I’m sharing with you.
A place that will make your lady go giddy,
Is all about gardens and homes in the city.
Spend your whole weekend in this giant find-all,
You, your lady, and your wallet will have a big ball!”
I am talking about the city that is home to the Corn Huskers… the beautiful Sea of Red… Lincoln, Nebraska! The weekend before Valentine’s Day, (that is THIS weekend, friends!) you will find the Nebraska Builders Home and Garden Show! This three-day show allows you find many businesses under one roof to get all of your home and garden improvement questions answered. Although, that might be a few steps ahead of your relationship, so don’t get sweaty palms on me! This show also features cooking demonstrations and could be compared to the Ikea of the Midwest with all of the samples and show rooms set up! This is one place women could spend all day. But there is a lot for men to look at, too! This is definitely a date idea you won’t want to miss out on, because it only happens once a year!
“Last on our tour, but certainly not least,
Is the home of Walt, Jean Harlow and the Chiefs.
I might be biased when I declare it’s the best,
But I’ve never seen better, though I’ve traveled far west.
But in this final land, I call home,
Little guys in tuxedos still like to roam.
We’ve opened our hearts and our minds to many,
And if you’re from here, you might’ve pitched in a penny.
So take your date to visit the tux dudes and their friends!
And now this last poem has come to an end.”
Of course, I’m rounding off this Valentine’s Weekend Date tour with a stop right here in Kansas City – Home of the 2015 World Series Champs, the incredible Hallmark Cards, Russell Stover Chocolates, and even Walt Disney himself! (No, he wasn’t born here… but he grew up here, and that’s what really matters!) One of my absolute favorite places to visit in Kansas City, is the Kansas City Zoo! I’ve been visiting this zoo for over thirteen years, and it only continues to grow into a place that is not only wonderful for families, but great for dates as well! There are several restaurants, fun events, and other things to do during your visit. But the exciting thing happening on Saturday is the Penguin March! Penguins march from the back of their exhibit outside, for guests to see, and then back inside the building. You get to see king and Gentoo penguins right up close! But your date doesn’t have to end there! In the same park as the zoo, you find Starlight Theatre, where they are featuring a modern-day musical called “First Date”. Animals, dinner, and a show? It really doesn’t get better than that!
Thank you so much for joining me on this fun little scavenger hunt of sorts. I have a renewed appreciation for my dad and his silly rhymes because I was ready to give up after the second poem I wrote for you. (*Thanks, Dad! You’re the best!)
Want more information on any of these fun events? Open up your Ziyak app and search for any of the events I mentioned above! Think one event sounds spectacular but you’re like 937 miles away? Then open up Ziyak to see what other cool events are happening in your city or a city near you. There are so many adventurous and romantic date ideas, you really can’t go wrong. (Unless your date is allergic to peanuts and you take them to a peanut factory. Then, I’m not sure that person should’ve been your date in the first place.)
With all of that said, I’ve been cooped up inside for most of the last two weeks. When I’m not snuggling my littlest love, I’m chasing my toddler-babies, napping, and drinking coffee (and working on a blog for Ziyak here and there). Because I work for the most amazing app in the entire universe, I hop on daily to see what adventures are going on around me. Then I close my eyes and imagine that I’m doing those amazing adventures, when in reality, I just got peanut butter smeared on my sleeve and applesauce flung at my face - which is an adventure in its own right, but the cooped up at home kind of adventure.
Today, I’m sharing with you five things happening in Kansas City this week that are exciting and adventurous! Of course, these are my own opinions, and some may question my gauge for adventure, but I once slept in a tent all by myself in the Middle of Nowhere, Africa, I’ve jumped off my fair share of cliffs, and I’ve eaten nachos from Taco Bell, so I’d say I’m a pretty adventurous person.
The Coterie is one of many popular theater companies in Kansas City, and they often put on performances that are family friendly and usually pretty compelling. What makes this performance of "Hana's Suitcase" so unique and exciting is that it spans 70 years with a look into the past and present while modern students search for the owner of an old suitcase, but explains the Holocaust story in a unique and fascinating way.
Climbing at the Cave:
The Cave is a bouldering gym that is located 10 floors below ground! I can say this is exciting because I’ve done it before (as you may have read in another blog)! Bouldering is different than rock climbing because the walls are all different angles instead of a straight shot up. With bouldering, you also don’t climb as high as with typical rock climbing, but the climbs are still extremely hard. Also… NO HARNESSES INVOLVED! Scary?! No, just plain adventurous.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga:
Feel like doing something that’s a combination of relaxing and exciting? Try out some Vinyasa Flow Yoga at RoKC! This 60-minute class is set to music with the goal of creating really fun flow! Yoga sounds incredible right now, as I listen to my toddler screaming from their beds, but I might accidentally find myself enjoying corpse pose a little longer than the rest of the class. So why don’t you go for me… “Namaste” at home and drink some coffee.
How to Use a Knife:
When I read the title, my immediate thought was: “YES! No more slicing my finger off! (Yes. I’ve done that… several times.) But after clicking on it, I found out that it is actually a play put on my the Unicorn Theatre. Which is STILL just as exciting as learning how to use a knife because I love theater and I love humorous theater. This play is about a chef in New York City who is facing his last chance to turn his life around while dealing with some rowdy line cooks, an entitled busboy, and a quiet African dishwasher. I’m secretly hoping that this is an interactive experience where the audience gets to eat the food they cook in the “restaurant”, but even if it isn’t it will still be an incredible play that will leave the audience in laughter and pondering the human condition at the same time.
Free Toasted Ravioli:
When I read, “FREE TOASTED RAVIOLI”, my mouth started watering. What I wouldn’t give for some crispy and cheesy toasted ravioli from Cupini's right now. The exciting thing about this? Every single Wednesday, if you purchase a 12-inch pizza, you get free toasted raviolis. And if you haven’t been to Cupini’s yet, Wednesday is the perfect time to go. And, you might just see my husband in there getting me some Italian goodness.
Friends, since I’m still hanging out inside as much as possible, go live some adventures for me or check out some other thrilling things happening in Kansas City on Ziyak. Don’t live in Kansas City? Check out the amazing adventures going on around you by clicking on that snazzy little Ziyak app, and keep your eyes open, because I’ll be sharing some of my adventure envies in other cities in upcoming blog posts!
The past month has been absolutely insane.
For starters, I had a baby (patting myself on the back).
And that’s about it…
Oh wait. Nope. Ziyak launched. And thaaat’s about it.
But that isn't "it" at all!
Our “office baby” is now available for the entire world to download. Although, it wouldn’t do someone in Greenland any good to download Ziyak, unless they’re planning an American adventure! Then, Ziyak is absolutely perfect for Greenlanders to download. While we have plans to dominate the entire world by helping people from Madrid to Melbourne connect with the perfect events near them, or any city they’re traveling to, we haven’t quite conquered the entire world yet. We’re just starting in the great United States.
If you haven’t downloaded Ziyak, yet, then STOP RIGHT NOW. Wait. Don’t stop. Keep reading for just a moment.
Go to either iTunes or Google Play and search Ziyak then download the most amazing app you’ve ever used.
NOW you can stop and do that. But then come back and keep reading, because we are going to make sure you know every single thing you need to know about Ziyak.
If you’ve already downloaded Ziyak, you get a golden star! (Not really… but smile proudly and nod to your neighbor like you know something they don’t know. Then, when they look at you funny, smile sheepishly and say, you’d know if you downloaded Ziyak.)
Apps are like friends. You find out they’re great, and think, “Hey! I want to be friends with that little guy!” You download it, then you have to get to know that app. You spend time with the app, you figure out how it works, what it likes and doesn’t like and so on. Then one day, without you even realizing, you know everything there is to know about the app! You could even navigate it in your sleep! You and that app have bonded, you’ve become close, you’ve become best friends.
We want to help you and Ziyak become best friends by giving you a little tour of everything this app has to offer… and there is so much! So, open up your app and follow along, as you get to know your new BFF. (Do people even use the word BFF anymore? You have kids and then you don’t even know what’s happening with the language today…)
Let's Begin This Tour...
Please, keep your hands and feet inside at all times, and keep your shoes tied nice and tightly, otherwise, we will knock your shoes off your feet.
Open up that marvelous app with the saucy looking “Z” and either sign in with Facebook, or create an account. The joys of singing in via Facebook is that all of your friends on Facebook can sync with your followers on Ziyak. You can post a photo and share it on Facebook and you can share events you’re going to on Facebook! The email you use for Facebook is the same email Ziyak will automatically use. So, if you want Ziyak to use a different email, change your email on Facebook before proceeding.
The Main Screen
Are you getting ready to travel later this week? Then you can pre-plan your trip using Ziyak!
Click on the “Location” button in the upper right hand corner. You can either type in what location you would like to look at, or you can use your current location. You can also customize how many miles you’re willing to travel for an event. After you decide your location, or select “Use My Device Location”, just click the back arrow and the app will reset to your chosen location! MAGIC! Or just a really amazing app.
Searching for events or businesses has never been easier! Just type in the event, business or person you’re looking for and choose through the list of results. By typing “Museum” I can see all kinds of museums all over the country! When you make your selection, you’ll either find yourself on that business’ page, on the event page, or on a person’s profile.
On the bottom of the screen you’ll see a button for the “Map”. This is amazing because you’ll get to see every single event that is happening within the radius you’ve selected and with the filters you’ve chosen. Feel like your city is boring? You won’t after viewing the map! There is so much happening in Kansas City! I’m sitting at home snuggling my sweet newborn, but completely envious of all of the action happening this week and weekend! Baby might be getting a tour of Kansas City a little sooner than I originally planned!
The “Share” button, in the lower right hand corner, is where you can connect this app with all of your other favorite social media apps. You can invite friends to download Ziyak by posting on Facebook, Twitter, or selecting “Other”, which give you the option to send a message, an email, or post to a few other apps. You can also “Share an Event” by finding a specific event you want friends and family to know about. You can share it on any social media platform you choose. And finally, you can “Post Something” onto a specific business’ page or a specific event. In that post you can write something or share a photo and share that post on both Facebook and Twitter! Just select the little white arrow when you’re done and the little white X once that’s saved!
The “Menu” button can be found in the upper left hand corner. When you click that button, You’ll be able to view your profile under the “My Profile” button. There, you’ll see any posts you’ve made, have the chance to make a new post, or find your friends who are using Ziyak! Have some friends who might enjoy the app? Then you can invite your contacts to download Ziyak! They’ll just get a little text message from you letting them know that downloading Ziyak will literally be the best decision they’ve ever made in their entire life. Literally.
You can also select “Settings” and add a special bio just for you. If you are logged in through Facebook, your profile will change when your information on Facebook changes. If you’re satisfied with all of your information, just click the little white arrow in the upper right hand corner and PRESTO! You’re all set and your profile is saved. Just click the little white X when you’re done on that page and your bio will be ready to read by anyone who follows you!
Also under the “Menu” button is a little place where you can “Find Friends”. This is pretty much the same as inviting friends under the “My Profile” button. You can follow any friends on Facebook who are already using Ziyak, you can view your followers and view who you’re following. Ziyak works similarly to Pinterest and Instagram in that just because people follow you, doesn’t mean you follow them. You have to approve people to follow you and they have to approve you back.
“Earn SWAG” is the next tab down the line. You are able to earn SWAG points just by doing some activities on the app. The more points, the cooler your title. And trust me, you should probably try to get out of being a Noob as quickly as possible, because no one wants to be a Noob. The coolest part? We’ll be releasing a SWAG Cash-In feature, where you can “cash-in” your SWAG points for cool stuff, restaurant gift cards, and more. This is kinda like going to Dave & Busters, but even better.
Become a Ninja
Other Cool Features
Really in love with a particular business? Then you can “Like” the business by clicking that little smiley face found on the business' page! The more “likes” a business has, the more Ziyak users really enjoyed their experience there!
By “Checking In” somewhere, even if it isn’t during an event, you get some awesome SWAG Points! You can post something or share a photo and all of your friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter can see!
Events are cool things happening around you, but they also feature specials, happy hours, and deals going on! Ziyak not only gets you out and exploring your city, it helps you save money, too!
If you haven't downloaded Ziyak you are missing out on some of the most exciting gems of your very own city! You say, "Oh please, I already know what there is to do. I do the same thing every day."
Exactly. EXACTLY. You could be exploring your own city and finding new things to do. Such as, it's Kansas City Restaurant week! And we have some of our top favorite for you to go and try for yourself!
Okay, try not to drool all over your keyboard...
This family owned, modern-German restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients to create their beautiful seasonal dishes. Week-to-week the menu may change, leaving you always wanting to come back for more! From stuffed chicken thigh, to their famous Kansas City brats or eggnog pot de' creme, your pallet will explore the glory of German delight.
A Kansas City treasure, the FIRST local gastropub around KC with a beer menu that seems never ending, and their mouth-watering ridiculously good custom burgers, Belgian hand-cut fries that you'll be ordering a second plate of...all in an atmosphere the sparks true pride for your City. SO much pride that their smokestack burger is the absolute favorite of the President of Ziyak, Randy and Vise-President, Evan. The smoked gouda, whiskey BBQ glaze, pickle relish, chipotle aioli and crispy jalapeno straws on potato bun could all be in your mouth right now. Are you hungry yet?
With the hipster spirit hovering over the streets, what could be better than BBQ in the heart of Westport? Oh I don't know, maybe not only their southern inspired KC BBQ but LAWN GAMES. BBQ and Amusements. Seriously. Dine inside and enjoy the high energy of the duel-leveled restaurant or head outside, stay warm by the fire-pit or go ahead and play some classic croquet, bocce ball, pingpong or even some true midwestern corn-hole. Basically, plan to stay awhile, you won't want to leave.
A restaurant with an inspiring story- Anna's Oven was inspired by a real woman with a meager budget, open arms, and amazing cooking skills. Home-good eats with a relaxed atmosphere, Anna's Oven is the perfect spot to savor the city in a feel-good way. The Signature Lasagna, Mac and Cheese, or the Chicken Pot Pie will give you that much desired food baby you've always dreamed of. Don't feel like sitting in this cozy, gem? Their ENTIRE MENU is available for carry out. THE ENTIRE MENU PEOPLE.
In the historic Kansas City- City Market, Brown and Loe Restaurant is located in the former Merchant’s Bank constructed in 1920. Great for groups, sitting outside or inside, this KC yummy-goodness has everything ranging from shrimp and grits, buttermilk chicken, turkey clubs, or their house ground beef meat loaf. Brown and Loe has perfectly mixed the charm of the old with the new. If you don't have dinner plans already, now you do. You're welcome.
Now go! Open up Ziyak, share it with your friends and go! Go explore your city, and make EVERY SINGLE DAY an adventure!
At Ziyak, we are excited to help connect people to cities all over the country. From finding the best places to eat, to exploring the best events in town, for the old in spirit and young at heart, Ziyak is for everyone.
Kendra is an Executive Assistant at Ziyak. She loves to share her humor and share her passions with anyone who will take the time to read what she writes.