Are you planning a trip to Kansas City and looking for free things to do? You’re in luck! Kansas City offers plenty of free activities for people of all ages. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone.
In this blog post, I’ll share the top free things to do in Kansas City and help you plan an unforgettable trip without breaking the bank.
42 Best Free Things To Do in Kansas City with Toddlers
1. KC Streetcar
Experience the heart of Kansas City in a fun and accessible way by riding the KC Streetcar. This free ride offers transportation and a journey through the vibrant downtown area. See iconic sights and explore attractions like Union Station and the City Market. It’s perfect for all ages and a great way to get a feel for the city’s lively atmosphere.
2. Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center
Dive into African Americans’ rich history and culture in Kansas City at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center. The center showcases exhibits and programs that tell stories of local and national African American figures, providing visitors a deep and engaging experience.
3. The City Market
Stroll through the historic City Market, where farmers and vendors unite the community. You can find fresh produce and unique crafts here and experience the local Kansas City flavor. The bustling atmosphere, surrounded by the aroma of fresh food, makes it a must-visit spot.
4. Kansas City Sculpture Park
Immerse yourself in art and nature at the Kansas City Sculpture Park. Located at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, this outdoor gallery features an array of stunning sculptures set against a backdrop of green space. It’s a peaceful retreat where art and the natural environment come together in the city.
5. Crown Center
Crown Center is a hub of entertainment and shopping and a place where families can enjoy free fun. With seasonal events and beautiful outdoor areas, it’s a place where memories are made. The center’s fountains and open spaces are perfect for a leisurely day out.
6. Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
A delight for kids and parents alike, the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead offers a glimpse into farm life. With animals, gardens, and play areas, it’s a fun and educational experience. It’s a place where children can engagingly learn about nature and animals.
7. Hallmark Visitors Center
Step into the world of Hallmark at their Visitors Center. Discover the story behind one of Kansas City’s iconic companies. From greeting cards to creative displays, it’s a fascinating journey through the art of expression.
8. Westport Historical Walking Tour
Take a step back in time with the Westport Historical Walking Tour. This self-guided tour takes you through one of Kansas City’s most historic neighborhoods, where you can learn about its significance in American history and see well-preserved architectural wonders.
9. Haskell Indian Nations University Museum
Explore the Haskell Indian Nations University Museum to learn about Native American heritage and culture. The museum showcases artifacts, art, and stories that provide insight into the rich history of Native American communities.
10. Ernie Miller Nature Center
The Ernie Miller Nature Center is a perfect escape for those who love the outdoors. With trails, wildlife exhibits, and natural beauty, it’s a place to connect with nature and learn about the local ecosystem.
11. Cliff Drive Scenic Byway
Drive or walk along the Cliff Drive Scenic Byway for breathtaking views of Kansas City. This historic byway offers a picturesque route through the city’s stunning landscapes, making it a must-visit for nature lovers and photographers.
12. Kansas City Art Institute Galleries
Art enthusiasts will enjoy the Kansas City Art Institute Galleries. These galleries showcase the talent of students and faculty, offering a glimpse into the contemporary art scene. It’s a place to see innovative and inspiring works of art.
Kaleidoscope is a magical art studio where kids can unleash their creativity. Sponsored by Hallmark, it offers a free space for children to make art with various materials, fostering imagination and creativity.
14. Kauffman Memorial Garden
Visit the Kauffman Memorial Garden for a peaceful retreat. This beautifully landscaped garden is a hidden gem in Kansas City, offering a serene environment to relax and enjoy nature’s beauty.
15. Kansas City Public Library
The Kansas City Public Library is more than just books. With its unique architecture, including the giant bookshelf facade, it’s a landmark in Kansas City. Inside, you’ll find a world of knowledge and regular free events for the community.
16. Kansas City River Market Community Yoga
Join the Kansas City community for free yoga sessions at the City Market. These classes are perfect for all levels and offer a great way to relax and stay fit while enjoying the market’s lively atmosphere.
17. Linda Hall Library
Linda Hall Library is a world-renowned research library specializing in science, engineering, and technology. Visitors can explore its vast collection and exhibits, making it a unique destination for those interested in these fields.
18. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Money Museum
Gain fascinating economic insights at the Money Museum in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. This museum offers a unique opportunity to learn about the Federal Reserve’s role in the U.S. economy, see a massive cash vault, and even leave with a bag of shredded money – all for free!
19. First Fridays in the Crossroads
Experience the vibrant art scene in Kansas City with First Fridays in the Crossroads Arts District. This monthly event celebrates creativity, featuring local art galleries, street performances, and food vendors. It’s a lively atmosphere where art and community converge.
20. First Weekends in the West Bottoms
Explore the historic West Bottoms on the first weekend of each month when antique stores and boutiques open their doors. This area, known for its fascinating industrial architecture, transforms into a treasure trove for vintage and unique finds.
Kansas City, known as the “City of Fountains,” boasts an array of stunning water features throughout the area. Take a stroll and marvel at these beautiful works of art, each with its own story and unique design.
22. Frontier Army Museum
Delve into military history at the Frontier Army Museum. This museum offers a glimpse into the life of frontier soldiers and the development of the American West. It’s a captivating experience for history buffs and those interested in learning about the military’s past.
23. Union Station
Union Station, an architectural marvel, isn’t just a transportation hub; it’s a cultural center. With its grand halls, historic exhibits, and occasional free events, it’s a bustling place where history and modern city life meet.
24. Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary
The Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary is an oasis for nature lovers. With walking trails, wildlife, and educational programs, it’s a perfect spot for families to explore the beauty of nature and learn about local ecosystems.
25. Trolley Trail
The Trolley Trail is a historic path, following the old trolley lines, and now serves as a scenic route for walkers, runners, and bikers. It’s a beautiful way to experience the city’s green spaces and connect with local history.
26. Midwest Genealogy Center
The Midwest Genealogy Center is a treasure trove for those interested in family history. With extensive resources and helpful staff, it’s the perfect place to start or continue your genealogical research.
27. Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Art enthusiasts will love the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, renowned for its modern and contemporary collections. With rotating exhibits and educational programs, it’s a place where art meets the community.
28. 21c Museum Hotel
The 21c Museum Hotel uniquely combines a boutique hotel and an art museum. Here, visitors can explore contemporary art exhibitions, which are free and open to the public, offering an unconventional and intriguing art experience.
29. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a must-visit for anyone in Kansas City. With an extensive collection ranging from ancient to contemporary art, it offers a world-class cultural experience for free.
30. Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
Located on the campus of Johnson County Community College, the Nerman Museum showcases an impressive collection of contemporary art. It’s a space where art and education come together, offering a thought-provoking experience for visitors.
31. Penguin Park
Penguin Park is a delightful spot for families. Famous for its giant animal sculptures, including a penguin, it’s a whimsical place that offers fun playground equipment and open spaces for kids to enjoy.
32. Shoal Creek Living History Museum
Step back at the Shoal Creek Living History Museum, where historical buildings and reenactments bring the 19th century to life. It’s a unique way to experience the history of the Kansas City area.
33. Lakeside Nature Center
Discover Missouri’s natural heritage at the Lakeside Nature Center. With wildlife exhibits, hiking trails, and educational programs, it’s a place to connect with nature and learn about local wildlife.
34. Boulevard Drive-In Theatre
Enjoy a classic American experience at the Boulevard Drive-In Theatre. This historic drive-in occasionally offers free movie showings, making it a perfect outing for families and movie buffs.
35. Legends Outlets
Legends Outlets combines shopping with entertainment. While known for its retail stores, this outdoor mall also hosts free events and has numerous murals and sculptures, making it an enjoyable place for a stroll.
36. Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens offer a tranquil escape with beautiful gardens, walking trails, and educational displays. It’s a place to appreciate the beauty of nature and learn about plant life.
37. Liberty Jail Historic Site
Liberty Jail Historic Site is a significant landmark in Missouri’s history. This restored jail offers a glimpse into the 1830s and the area’s early history. Visitors can learn about the historical events that took place here and the people who were imprisoned. It’s an insightful and educational visit for those interested in American history.
38. Ride the KC Streetcar
Riding the KC Streetcar is not just about getting from point A to point B; it’s an experience. Glide through the heart of Kansas City, catching glimpses of the city’s main attractions. It’s a great way to see the city, and best of all, it’s completely free!
39. Loose Park
Loose Park is one of Kansas City’s most beautiful and historical parks. It’s a great place for a leisurely walk, a family picnic, or simply enjoying nature. The park’s Rose Garden and Civil War markers add charm, making it a peaceful retreat within the city.
40. Country Club Plaza
Country Club Plaza isn’t just a shopping destination; it’s an experience. Its Spanish-inspired architecture and outdoor art make it a feast for the eyes. Wander around the plaza, enjoy the fountains and sculptures, and soak in the lively atmosphere.
41. Nature Center
Nature centers in Kansas City offer an escape into the natural world. With educational exhibits and nature trails, these centers provide a great opportunity for families to learn about local wildlife and ecosystems in a fun and engaging way.
42. Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City is a dynamic space showcasing modern artists’ work. With ever-changing exhibitions, it’s a place where art lovers can experience the latest in contemporary art and design.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are some family-friendly activities in Kansas City that don’t cost anything?
There are plenty of free, family-friendly activities in Kansas City. You can ride on the KC Streetcar, explore the City of Fountains, visit the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, or check out the Kaleidoscope Children’s Art Center.
Can you recommend any nighttime attractions in Kansas City that are free of charge?
Yes, there are several free nighttime attractions in Kansas City. You can visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, walk-in Loose Park, or a free Kansas City Public Library concert.
Where can I find historical sites in Kansas City open to the public without an admission fee?
Many historical sites in Kansas City are open to the public without an admission fee. You can visit the National World War I Museum and Memorial, the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, or the Arabia Steamboat Museum.
What are the best locations to visit in Kansas City for couples seeking complimentary experiences?
For couples seeking complimentary experiences in Kansas City, you can visit the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, stroll through the beautiful Country Club Plaza, or walk in the beautiful Loose Park.
Are there any free events or activities happening in Kansas City this weekend?
To find free events or activities happening in Kansas City this weekend, you can check out the Visit KC website, which offers a calendar of events that allows you to filter by date, location, and category. You can also check out the Kansas City Public Library’s event calendar.
Kansas City offers many free activities catering to everyone’s interests. From exploring the City of Fountains to visiting the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Stroll through the beautiful Loose Park or watch a movie at the Crown Center. These free activities provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about the city’s culture and history.
It is important to remember that taking advantage of these free activities saves you money and provides a chance to bond with family and friends. Moreover, it is an excellent way to break the monotony of everyday life and try something new.
Share your experiences on social media and encourage others to do the same. Thank you for reading our article, and I hope you have a great time exploring Kansas City’s free attractions.