We all know there’s plenty to do in Kansas City when the weather’s nice, but sometimes the winter months seem to drag on and on. There’s actually a lot more to do here in the winter than you may realize, and much of it is free and/or cheap. This is true for both kids and adults.
Here’s what I’ve found so far. Leave a comment below if you know of any you think I should add:
- The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is always FREE. It has three locations and boasts “a rapidly growing permanent collection of modern and contemporary works of artists from around the world.” On the third Saturday of every month, the museum holds a FREE Scavenger Saturdays event for families. There are also special ArtReach programs that are FREE for kids (reservations are required). See the schedule here.
- Admission is always free to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. There may be a charge for special exhibitions. On the third Thursday of every month, the museum holds a Third Thursday event for adults from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is FREE. On the second Sunday of the month at 1:30 p.m., there’s a free preschool story time.
- The Apple store at the Country Club Plaza offers free hands-on workshops on a variety of Apple products.
- Guitar Center offers a variety of free music and recording lessons throughout the year.
- Try variety of free classes and for all age groups at The Kansas City Public Library and Mid Continent Public Libraries.
- Pottery Barn has free design classes once or twice a month on Sundays. Times vary by location.
- In honor of Ali Kemp, a Kansas City area teen who was murdered while working at a Leawood swimming pool in 2002, the T.A.K.E. Foundation offers free hands-on self defense courses to women and girls of all ages.
- Williams-Sonoma has free Jr. Chef classes some Saturdays for kids. They also have free cooking technique classes for adults most Sundays. Times vary by location.
- The Home Depot has free kids’ workshops from 9 a.m. to noon the first Saturday of each month.
- At Kaleidoscope, kids can make art with left-over materials from Hallmark’s manufacturing processes. Admission is free.
- Lakeshore Learning has free craft activities for kids from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. almost every Saturday.
- On the first Tuesday of every month, the LEGO store at Oak Park Mall has a free Mini-Model Build for kids.
- Lowes’ has free Build and Grow Workshops for kids at 10 a.m. on Saturdays once or twice a month. The website is currently undergoing maintenance, so check with your local store to find out when the workshops will resume.
- Michael’s stores in Kansas City, Overland Park, Shawnee and Lee’s Summit offer free or cheap crafty classes for both kids and adults. Check individual locations for dates and times. Find more information here.
- Centerpoint Community Ice (Independence): Adult tickets are $7 for Independence residents; $8 for non-residents ($6/$5 for children) plus $3 for skate rental.
- Crown Center Ice Terrace (Kansas City): Tickets are $6 (free for adults over age 60 and children age 4 and under) plus $3 for skate rental. On Tuesday, get one free admission with one full-price paid admission after 5 p.m. (you’ll both have to pay for skate rental or bring your own).
- The Ice at Park Place (Leawood): Tickets are $8 for all ages plus $3 for skate rental. Find Ice at Park Place discounts.
- Kansas City Ice Center (Shawnee): Tickets are $8 for adults; $4 for seniors (60+); free for kids 4 and under. Skate rental is $3. Kids 4 and under get free skate rental.
- Linden Square Ice Rink (Gladstone): Tickets are $5 per person (includes skate rental) on Fridays and Saturdays and $3 on Sundays.
- Line Creek Community Center (Kansas City): Tickets are $6 plus $2 for skate rental.
- There are plenty of places in Kansas City where you can listen to live jazz for free (you will need to buy drinks and/or food, of course).
- Kidscape at the Johnson County Museum is a hands-on exhibit developed for kids ages 3-9. Designed to look like a suburban streetscape, KidScape immerses children into a colorful, exciting environment where they can learn about community through role-playing and meet some of Johnson County’s most talented citizens, both past and present. Admission is free. *Note: The Johnson County Museum is currently closed. It will reopen in May of 2017 at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center with a new Kidscape.
- Science City at Union Station is a science center with interactive exhibits where kids can train for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math-related fields. They can also dig for fossils, launch plastic bottle rockets, and more. Tickets are $13.50 for adults; $11.50 for kids (ages 3-12).
- On the first full weekend of every month, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch customers can visit more than 150 museums nationwide for free as part of the Museums on Us program (Bank of America and Merrill Lynch credit or debit card required). Each card admits one person (photo ID also required). Participating Kansas City museums include Science City and the WWI museum.
- Many of the Kansas City area Barnes and Noble stores have periodic storytimes. Click here for upcoming events.
Theater (There are tons of great theaters in Kansas City. Here are some reasonably inexpensive options.)
Tours (Call for days and times)
Looking for More Free and Cheap Things to Do in Kansas City?
- Free and Cheap Kansas City Events Calendar
- Free and Cheap Things to Do in Kansas City This Weekend
- Always Free in Kansas City
- Find discounts on things to do in Kansas City
- 10 Free or Cheap Things to Do with Kids in Kansas City
- Free or Cheap Kids Activities in Kansas City
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