Free Things to do in Kansas City

I live in the Kansas City area – love the midwest!!  If you’re coming through, here are some great, FREE things to check out (FYI, any pics not of my family were grabbed off of the linked website to which the picture is referring.)
free activities in Kansas City
—-We LOVE Kaleidoscope – it’s put on by Hallmark – your kids can craft with lots of stickers, hot wax, markers, puzzle makers, etc – we go to family sessions and all ages are welcome – here’s some pics of my kids and their cousins:


Kaleidoscope is the brain child of Hallmark Cards Don Hall, who dreamt of a place where kids could ‘explore, create, imagine and do’. The magical atmosphere allows you and your kids to create art from left over Hallmark materials. Sessions last 40m.
   Location:Crown Center
   Hours: Independent sessions (ages 5-12) and family sessions are offered throughout the week, check the website for details.
oh, and while you’re at Crown Center you can play in their fountain:

 —-The kids LOVE Deanna Rose Farm – lots of fun things and animals to see for free – you will have to pay if your kiddos want to ride the horse, etc – there are parks within the farm too, if you need a play break. (the pic of my daugther is when we went in the wintertime – hence the giant coat)
Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is a great place to go with children of all ages, any time of year. The 12-acre park has farm animals, beautiful gardens, a country schoolhouse, fishing pond, horse drawn wagon rides and pony rides and much more. Admission is free during the week.    Location: 135th and Switzer, OP.  Hours:9 a.m. to 8 p.m., May 30-Sept 3rd (hours vary throughout the year, check website for details)  Phone: 913. 897-2360

—-I have yet to take my kids to the Nelson-Atkins, but it’s on my to-do list – – and I want to use their Shuttlecocks as a backdrop for my next family pictures.

Family on South Lawn
Those young and old love to play on the lawn among the Shuttlecocks and the huge sculpture garden at the Nelson-Atkins. Head inside to enjoy a blast of cool air and explore the miles of galleries, collections and exhibits.
 Location: 4525 Oak, Kansas City
  Hours:10am to 4pm Tues-Thurs; 10am-9pm Friday; 10-5pm Saturday; Noon-5pm Sunday.
—-Take family movie night to a whole new level with the giant outdoor screen at Crown Center.  This is obviously a summer activity.

Free Friday Nite Flicks at Crown Center

Grab your lawn chairs and blankets and head to the Free Friday Night Flicks at Crown Center. Films will be shown on the huge outdoor screen on the Crown Center Square located across from the Crown Center Shops July 2nd-August 13th. Admission is free, and the movies begin at around 9pm. Concessions are also available.
—I discovered this when we went for a birthday party.  At $0.50 a ride, it’s almost free, so I’m putting it on the list!

Photo of railroad
The Kansas City Northern Railroad is the perfect place for kids who love trains. The restored minature trains choo-choo around a half-mile track to the joy of all those riding. The train is open on weekends from the 1st week in May to the last weekend in September.
Location: 60th and Waukomis in the Line Creek Park Area (Northland) 
 Sat 10-6; Sunday 12-6 
 $.50 per ride

I just found this nature center when was doing a search for free things in the Kansas City area – – adding it to the to-do list!
Lakeside Nature Center

At the Lakeside Nature Center–children of all ages are encouraged to explore nature and their surroundings. It’s here that kids will get to explore Missouri wildlife hands-on by touching everything from snakeskin’s to feathers of native wildlife–and much more. Lakeside is Missouri’s largest wildlife rehabilitation center and children will enjoy seeing all the animals–most of which are returned to the wild.Location: 4701 E. Gregory Blvd., (Swope Park) Kansas City, 816-513-8960 

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9am-5pm; Sunday 12-5pm. Closed Mondays.

–There are a few places you can go on tours – we were first married, Trevor and I toured a Harley plant – way fun – – here’s a pic (give me a break on my fashion sense- I’m about 8 months pregnant):

Free Tours in the KC Area

Boulevard Brewing Company. Tour the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest. Call for reservations.

Harley-Davidson Vehicle and Powertrain Operations. Tour the facility to see how hogs are made.

Liberty Jail. Historic site for both Clay County and the LDS Church due to the five months Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, spent here.Federal Reserve Bank – free, but you’ll need to fill out the “request a tour” form.

if you just need a park around town, Penguin Park is the best – it was there when I was a kid and is still fabulous!

  Penguin Park. This fun and playful park has everything from a 26-foot kangaroo slide to a 23-foot penguin to play inside.  Location
North Vivion Road and North Norton Avenue
Amenities at the 3.42-acre Penguin Park include: one reservable shelter house, restrooms and playgrounds. The 1.88-mile Lakewood Greenway Trail runs through the park. Penguin Park is home to an annual “Santa’s Wonderland” in December.
Hope you think Kansas City is as fun as I do!!

Thanks for Reading


  1. says

    I LOVE KC! We once lived about an hour from that wonderful city, and honestly it’s what I miss the most about living in the midwest. =( Thanks for sharing all the freebies. When we’re in town we’ll have to check them out!

  2. says

    Thanks for the tips! I currently live in Kansas City too! I have been to a few of those places, but not all of them. I’ll have to check the others out! :)

  3. says

    I’ve been following you for quite a while and never realized you lived in KC! We do too… I love your list! All such wonderful things to do… I remember Kaleidoscope as a kid and I can’t wait to take my son there.

    Who doesn’t love the fountains at crown center?? My favorite! :)

  4. says

    *a*’s class is taking a field trip to Deanna Rose this week. We’ve never been so I’m going with them!

    Also, Crown Center has their new Rainforest kid’s display open now. We’re actually heading there in a bit to go check it out.

    Taking kids to the Nelson is a pain. The docents follow you around and constantly comment. They’re terrified that some kid is going to ruin a priceless painting.

    On the other hand, Kemper Museum for Contemporary Art is AWESOME. Not only were they GLAD to see *a*, they helped her touch a display.


  5. says

    Thanks so much for this post! My SIL and her hubby are moving to Kansas City at the end of this month and they have 2 little guys. This will be great for them. I’m gonna send her the link to this post!

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