Don’t look now, but school is less than a month away. The heat will end, and the busy season of fall will be upon us soon. If you’re still looking for that getaway – maybe even a staycation – here are some ideas.

Don’t look now, but school is less than a month away. The heat will end, and the busy season of fall will be upon us soon. If you’re still looking for that getaway – maybe even a staycation – here are some ideas.

1. Find a park. Not many state parks are in the immediate Kansas City area, and only a couple within an hour-plus drive have a beach. Even if you don’t want to camp – it’s like 108 outside, right? – there are day activities.

Watkins Mill State Park east of Kearney, Mo., has a paved 3.75-mile bike loop and, of course, the historic mill from the 1870s, with tours. There’s also a sand beach at the lake. (The beach and Lewis & Clark State Park north of Weston is still closed from last year’s Missouri River flooding.)

Closer to home, there are beaches at Blue Springs Lake and Longview Lake.

2. A St. Louis weekend. For starters, we hear those Cardinals are pretty good, and they have a new stadium. There are also lots of other things to do in the Gateway City. The St. Louis Zoo is massively popular and this summer opened Sea Lion Sound. An exhibit of stringrays and sharks runs through September. (The Kansas City Zoo has sea lions, too, and it’s opening at 8 a.m. through July 31 because of the heat. There are misting stations, too.)

St. Louis also offers the St. Louis Science Center, with IMAX screens, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Contact the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission at www.explorestlouis.com or call, 1-800-916-0040.

3. Jefferson City. Jeff City is not thought of as a tourist attraction, but much of the first floor of the State Capitol consists of the Missouri State Museum, with exhibits that tell the story of our land and people from 10,000 years ago to statehood 188 years ago to today. Currently there’s an exhibit on how the Civil War played out here.

Hours: 8 to 5 daily. Admission: Free.

It’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive. Many prefer taking Interstate 70 and then U.S. 63 south from Columbia, but U.S. 50 is far prettier. Amtrak will get you there and back for a little more than $40.

4. Branson. The tourist mecca in southern Missouri has a little of everything, from IMAX to ziplines, not to mention shows and shopping. Museums include Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the Titanic and what’s billed as the World’s Largest Toy Museum. Plus more than 50 venues for live shows, mainly country music but other stuff too. Check out www.branson.com

5. Something closer to home? Less expensive? Take a day to stay inside and learn some history. How about a pleasant morning at the Truman Library in Independence and the afternoon at the World War I museum in Kansas City?

The Truman Library is on U.S. 24, east of River Boulevard and across from McCoy Park. Hours: 9 to 5 Monday-Saturday, noon to 5 Sunday, also until 9 Thursdays. Admission: $8 for adults, $7 for 65 and older, $3 for ages 6 to 14, free for 5 and younger. In addition to the permanent exhibits on Harry Truman’s presidency and his life, there’s a year-long display on the history of the Truman family and the family of Bess Wallace Truman.

If you haven’t been to the World War I museum at the Liberty Memorial south of Union Station in the six years since it opened, you owe it to yourself to go. Take your time. It’s a long, complex, sobering story.

Hours: 10 to 5 daily. Admission: $14 for adults, $12 for 65 and older, $12 for students with ID, $8 for ages 6 to 17. Half off for active-duty military, $2 off for active-duty military families and career military (20-plus years of service). Bargain alert: All tickets are $7 on Wednesdays.

There’s a cafe if you want to have lunch there after your morning with the Trumans.

Other half-days of history: The National Frontier Trails Museum on Pacific Avenue in Independence, the Steamboat Arabia in the River Market area of Kansas City, the battlefield site and museum in Lone Jack.