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Top 10 Free Things to Do with Kids


By the time mid-summer rolls around, kids in Kansas City are sick of playing in the yard, have been to the pool a zillion times and are begging mom to take them some place fun. Here are the Top Free (or almost free) Things to do with Kids in Kansas City.

1. Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead

Entrance to Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead in Overland Park, Kansas. Photo taken September 3, 2012.
Paulmcdonald/Wikimedia Commons

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 $2.

  • 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

2. Kaleidoscope

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.
  • Ticket Info: Free tickets are available at 9:30 each morning in the Kaleidoscope lobby at Crown Center.

3. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

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.

4. Money Museum at the Federal Reserve

The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank is truly an experience--which is also free and open to the public. It's here you'll watch millions of dollars in currency being processed at KC's Federal Reserve Bank and see an impressive collection of coins. Walk-in and guided tours are available and all guests undergo a security screening. If you are over 18, you'll need to bring your ID.

Call 816-881-2683 for more information.

5. Cave Spring Historic Site and Nature Center

The Cave Spring Historic Site and Nature Center has over 36 sprawling acres of wildlife and native plants coupled with walking trails, wildlife habitat pond and a small cave for kids of all ages to explore. Amazingly enough, it's even located smack dab in the middle of the city.
  • Location: 8701 E. Gregory Blvd.
  • Hours: 9 am to dark every day. The Nature Center is open 10am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday.
  • Cost: The Center is free, but small donations are excepted.

6. 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.

7. Kansas City Northern 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)
Hours: Sat 10-6; Sunday 12-6
Cost: $.50 per ride

8. Go to one of KC's Best Parks

Kids everywhere love parks--and the best thing about them..they're FREE!!! Kansas City is known for its beautiful parks with sprawling spaces with everything from swings and slides to hiking trails, lakes and places to picnic. Here are About.com Kansas City's Top 10 Parks in the Kansas City Metro--so grab the kids and go!

9. 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.

10. Kansas City Board of Trade Tour

Aspiring financial whizzes will love touring the 150 year old Kansas Board of Trade. Located 1 block south of the Country Club Plaza-- the Board of Trade mostly trades wheat commodities and you can learn everything from where the wheat goes to what futures and options really mean to the BOT. See the opening or closing of the trade floor, which is pretty exciting. Please Note: You've got to be high school age or older to attend the tour.

Location: 4800 Main - 3rd Floor, Kansas City, MO.
Tours: By appointment, 9am or 12:45pm, Mon-Friday
call 816-753-7500 for info.

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