Now that school’s been out for a bit, many parents are probably looking for ways to keep the kids entertained. Here are some ideas for FREE and cheap summer fun for kids in the Kansas City area in 2019 (click on the links below for more details). I’ll add to the list as I find more, so make sure you check back. Also, if you know of any I missed, please leave a comment below.
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FREE Bowling: All summer long, kids can bowl two FREE games per day at Kansas City area bowling alleys that are participating in a national Kids Bowl Free program. For a one-time payment (price varies by establishment), up to four adults can also bowl two games per person per day.
FREE Roller Skating: RInk Ratz Inc. in Blue Springs, Northland Rolladium Skate Center in Liberty and River Roll Skate Center in Riverside are participating in a national Kids Skate Free program for kids.
FREE or Cheap Swimming: There are plenty of places to swim “on the cheap” this summer; some are even FREE.
FREE Spraygrounds: To cool the kids off on a hot day, many Kansas City area parks are offering access to FREE spraygrounds.
The Theatre in the Park has outdoor shows throughout the summer that are rated G or PG (in Shawnee Mission Park). Tickets are $8 for adults; $6 for kids ages 4-10.
Alamo Drafthouse is holding an annual Kids Camp with movies from $1 to $5.
AMC Theatres has a summer movie camp with $4 movies every Wednesday morning.
B&B Theatres is running a Summer Kids Series with $3 movies on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Blue Springs 8 has a Kid Show Summer Series with $2.50 movies every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Cinemark’s Summer Movie Clubhouse will allow you to see 10 kid-friendly movies for $5 (or you can pay $1 per show). Don’t miss our coupon for $2 off a large popcorn or soda.
The North-East Branch of the Kansas City Public Library shows FREE movies at noon on Wednesdays through the end of July. Bonus: There’s also FREE popcorn.
Oak Park Mall hosts this evening favorite on select nights at the Center Court area near Dillard’s south. FREE activities with retailers begin at 6 p.m. followed by the FREE movie at 7 p.m.
On Friday evenings, July 12 through August 9, Crown Center holds a FREE Weekender Event that combines a festival atmosphere with a movie.
On select Saturday nights, June through July 20 FREE movies are showing at Charles A. Garney Park and Trails across from Briarcliff Village.
You can watch FREE Moonlight Movies on Independence Square on Thursday nights, June 6 through August 8.
As part of the Off the Wall Film Series, FREE movies are shown on the third Friday of the month from May through September on the rooftop terrace of the Central Library in downtown Kansas City.
On select Fridays, there will be FREE Movies in the Park at Macken Park in North Kansas City.
Popcorn in the Park features a FREE movie and FREE popcorn on the first Friday of the month in August and October in Liberty.
On the second Friday of the month in June, July and August, it’s $5 per carload to see a movie at Longview Lake Beach.
Two Kansas City drive-ins offer double features for $10 throughout the week.
On the third Friday of the month, June through September, FREE combo music/movie gatherings are offered in rotating locations in Lenexa.
A FREE “moo-vie” is shown the third Thursday of the month at Deanna Rose Farmstead during June and July.
On select Tuesday nights, June 11 through August 5, The Theatre in the Park will be showing family-friendly movies on a 40-foot screen on the theatre stage. Admission is $1 per person.
FREE (or Cheap) Festivals: See our list of Kansas City Summer Festivals.
FREE County Fairs
There are several country fairs (plus the Missouri State Fair) this summer with livestock shows, rodeos, carnivals, contests, demolition derbies, live entertainment, and more:
- Wyandotte County Fair: July 9-13
- Cass County Fair: July 16-21
- Platte County Fair: July 24-27
- Johnson County Fair: July 28-Aug. 3
- Douglas County Fair: July 29-Aug. 3
- Leavenworth County Fair: July 30-Aug. 3
- Missouri State Fair: Aug. 8-18
- Higginsville Country Fair: Sept. 14-21
Exhibits and Experiences
Adventures with Clifford the Big Red Dog exhibit: From June 8 through Sept. 22 Crown Center will host a new FREE interactive exhibit that are based on at least one of Clifford the Big Red Dog’s Ideas of share, play fair, have respect, work together, be responsible, be truthful, be kind, believe in yourself, be a good friend, and help others.
FREE Airplane Rides: Kids can get FREE airplane rides from volunteer pilots in the Young Eagles program.
- Barnes & Noble: Kids who read eight books and submit a Summer Reading Journal can get a FREE book.
- Cass County Public Library: Kids can earn a FREE book by reading a certain number of books (varies by age).
- Half Price Books: The bookstore is offering “Bookworm Bucks to kids who read for 15 minutes a day.
- Johnson County Library: Kids get a FREE book just for registering for the program.
- Kansas City, Kansas Public Library: Kids who register for the KCK program can earn prizes by logging the books they read.
- Kansas City Public Library: The Kansas City Public Library is holding a Youth Summer Reading Program with a “Rock & Read” theme.
- Mid-Continent Public Library: Mid-Continent is holding a Summer Learning Program this year. Kids can earn FREE books and win great prizes.
You may also be interested in the related posts:
- FREE & Cheap Things To Do With Kids in Kansas City
- Best FREE or Cheap Things to Do in Kansas City
- Always FREE Things To Do in Kansas City
- FREE & Cheap Weekend Events in Kansas City