We’re not one to shy away from some indulgence once in awhile, but here at Fravel we love inexpensive adventures too! Kansas City offers much more than meets the eye. Explore the City of Fountains with these activities and attractions that offer a little something for everyone, from the young to the old. Here are eight things to do in Kansas that are completely free!
1. Hop on the KC Streetcar
Running from the River Market in the north to Union Station and Crown Center in the south, KC Streetcar connects all the downtown neighborhoods with 2.2 miles (3.5km) of track. Riding it is completely free and it takes you to the city’s most stellar attractions and neighborhoods. To accompany your journey, you can also check out these free audio tours of downtown KC sites!
2. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art houses an impressive collection of over 40,000 pieces of art, from ancient Chinese ceramics to giant, 18-foot shuttlecocks. Needless to say, this is a truly impressive place to enjoy and contemplate artistic creations that span thousands of years and all across the globe . You can easily spend hours here perusing the art yet still want to come back again and again.
3. Stroll on Country Club Plaza
Modeled after Seville in Spain, Country Club Plaza is one of the major tourist attractions in KC. Although it is an upscale shopping district, it’s a really nice place to grab a bite or walk around when the weather is nice outside. Make sure to check out Made in KC Marketplace, which features products from over 300 local artisans, designers, crafters and makers. Perusing is completely free, but you’ll definitely be tempted to pick up some great products!
4. Check out First Fridays
The Crossroads Art District comes alive every first Friday of the month with the city’s most popular event. Thousands gather for First Fridays, an art crawl plus street festival. Local vendors, food trucks, art galleries and performers open their doors and come together to put on a vibrant display of the city’s unique culture.
5. Follow the fountains
Kansas City is also known as the City of Fountains for good reason. Over 200 fountains adorn the city, from quiet neighborhoods to major landmarks. Of which, 48 are open to the public and are accessible for visitors to admire, photograph, and even splash in occasionally! A few oft-photographed favorites that stand out are Mill Creek Fountain, Henry Wollman Bloch Fountain and Fountain Basin at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
6. Children’s Peace Pavilion
This interactive museum is a hands-on way for children to learn about the concepts of peace and a variety of life skills. Over 25 exhibits teach children how to implement conflict resolution, deal with strong emotions, understand diversity and environmental sustainability. Admission is completely free and it’s one of the best things to do in Kansas City with children.
7. Have a picnic in Loose Park
One of the larger green spaces in the city, Loose Park is 45 acres of land ripe for exploration. The park has everything from a rose garden, a large playground, fountains, and plenty of space for walking, jogging, picnicking and playing. Like all city parks and state parks in Missouri, access to Loose Park is completely free for everyone.
8. Explore Union Station
Another iconic landmark in Kansas City, Union Station is one of the most architecturally stunning train stations in America. Going inside to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at the giant chandeliers, Art Deco ceiling and Model Train Gallery is completely free, though not every attraction in Union Station is. If you have $8 to spare, it will take you inside the world-class Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium!