There are a lot of FREE and cheap activities for kids in Kansas City year-round. Regardless of whether you have babysitting duties, are planning an outing for visiting nieces and nephews or need something for your own kids to do, this is the place to get a look at some of the top things to keep them busy and smiling.
I’ll keep adding to the list as I find new ones, so make sure to check back often. If you know of any that I missed, feel free to send me a quick note at email@example.com.
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Crown Center is a three-level complex hosting popular events and activities throughout the year. The Showplace features FREE interactive exhibits for kids that change periodically. The Square, located across the street from the shops, is home to many festivals, live music shows, and outdoor movie series.
From November to mid-March, you can glide and slide at this public ice skating rink. Admission is $9 plus $5 skate rental if you don’t have your own. Kids under age four and adults over 60 are FREE. Don’t miss the two-for-one special on Tuesday evenings.
Designed to depict a turn-of-the-century family farm in Kansas, the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead has tons of animals, vegetable and flower gardens, a mining camp, a dairy barn, an ice cream parlor, a fishing pond, play areas, pony rides, and more. Activities, attractions, and programs are provided from April through October in a fun, educational farm setting. Admission is usually $5 per person but you can get in for FREE from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. There is a cost for some activities.
On Saturdays, Sundays, and select holidays, May through September, you can take a ride on a half-mile oval track in Frank Vaydik Park (6060 N.W. Waukomis Drive, Kansas City, MO). Admission is .75 cents.
This is the last remaining stagecoach stop open to the public on the Santa Fe Trail. It offers a unique hands-on experience for visitors of all ages, with a focus on 1860s farming, frontier life, and stagecoach travel. Hours, activities, and admission vary by day and season. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for kids ages 5 to 11. Kids age four and under are always FREE.
A 30-care outdoor history museum that lets kids see what a progressive farming community looked like in the mid-1800s. Interpreters in period garb are on hand to enhance your self-guided tour. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for kids ages 5-13, and seniors ages 62+.
Science City at Union Station
Kids can train to be astronauts, dig for fossils, and ride a bicycle 30 feet off the ground and more at this interactive science center. Tickets are $16.50, plus taxes and fees.
Experience history in the setting of a 1920s Kansas farm community through authentic collections, exhibits, demos, and educational programs. Self-guided tours of the museum grounds are open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from March through October, Tuesday through Saturday. The museum’s visitors’ center, gift shop, and exhibit are open year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The museum is closed on all public holidays observed by the City of Shawnee. Museum tour cost is $8 for adults, $5 for kids ages 5-17 and Shawnee residents, and FREE for kids under five
Mix in some skill-building, creativity and safety for future handymen (and women) and you’ve got the makings of Home Depot’s FREE kids’ workshops. These take place from 9 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of the month. You’ll need to register in advance to secure a spot.
Kids of all ages are able to create art together during FREE 50-minute art sessions. All kids must be accompanied by an adult. FREE tickets are available as early as 9:30 a.m. on a first come basis. Sessions begin at 9:45 a.m. Kaleidoscope is open every day of the week except Sunday.
Monthly, in-store clinics designed to inspire young builders and boost their DIY confidence. These workshops are designed for ages 4-11 and to have parents participate. Clinics are held the second Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to noon at participating stores. Each project kit will take about 15 to 30 minutes to complete. You must sign up in advance.
Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, your kids can take part in FREE 30-minute crafty classes designed for ages three and up. Check individual stores for specifics.
Experience the connection between life and modern or contemporary art with exhibits and gatherings for kids and all ages. Most are FREE, but some require advance registration.
You can meander around the Nelson on your own or join a variety of FREE guided tours. The museum also has some FREE activities for younger kids, teens, and all ages.
Wonderscope provides fun, dynamic exhibits and programs that integrate the arts, sciences, and literature for kids ages eight and under, their parents, and teachers from across the Kansas City area. Tickets are $12 for adults and $16 for kids over age 2. FREE for kids under age two.
At the Johnson County Museum is a hands-on exhibit where kids learn to play as they did in the past. It has three unique communities to explore:
- An 1870s farmstead introduces kids to life on the farm
- A 1900 City Market where they’ll sell fruits and vegetables
- A 1950s suburbs community where kids can work in a hospital or at a diner or help build a house.
Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for seniors. $4 for kids. Free for babies under 1. Closed Sundays and holidays.
Many of the Kansas City area Barnes and Noble stores have periodic storytimes. Click here for upcoming events.
Kids’ reading programs, concerts, learning activities, snack times and more are offered at various branches throughout Kansas City, Missouri. Click here for a current schedule.
Kids can get free airplane rides from volunteer pilots in the Young Eagles program.
More Free and Cheap Things To Do in Kansas City:
- Free and Cheap Things To Do This Weekend in Kansas City
- 10 Free or Cheap Things to Do in Kansas City
- Always Free Things To Do in Kansas City
- Free & Cheap Things To Do With Kids in Kansas City
- Free Live Jazz in Kansas City
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