Kansas City is an amazing Midwest travel destination for families. It not only has a ton of family friendly attractions, but there are also a number of free things to do in Kansas City if you are looking for a getaway on a budget.
It is entirely possible to spend a couple of days in Kansas City with your family and not spend a dime on entertainment.
Check out my list of family friendly free things to do in Kansas City.
The Money Museum
The Money Museum is located inside of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Besides free admission, parking is also free in the visitor lot outside of the bank.
This museum is great for all ages. There are SO many interactive and hands-on activities for the kids.
Each visitor even gets a free souvenir bag of shredded money!
The Money Museum will take about an hour to experience.
Walk Around the Crown Center
The Crown Center is a fun little shopping and dining destination to mosey around with your family.
The kids always LOVE going into the Toy Time and Crayola shops.
Also, usually there are a number of free exhibits for the family at the Crown Center as well!
While you are at the Crown Center, you might want to take the kids to Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant. This restaurant is alway a kid favorite!
Even if you decided not to eat there, you can at least get a photo with the train in front of the restaurant.
Hallmark Visitors Center
The Hallmark Visitors Center is a little gem of a place. We actually spent more time here than I had thought we would.
They have a paper scavenger hunt for the kids to do, and my boys were ALL about it. They made it their mission to find everything on it, and it took some time to do so!
A couple of fun notes about the Hallmark Visitors Center is that it has a bow making machine where you can make a bow and keep it.
Additionally, it has a few neat photo opportunities including posing with props in front of Barbie and taking a picture with Maxine from the Shoebox Greeting Cards line.
This is a vibrant creative space where kids and families can explore and create art together.
The art project possibilities here are endless, and all participants can take every piece of art created home with them!
Each studio session is just under an hour and reservations are required.
It is possible to try to walk in but many times each session is already filled up.
If this is something your family wants to put on your bucket list to do, I strongly recommend going to the Kaleidoscope website before your visit to make a reservation.
Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
This attraction located in Overland Park, Kansas is not totally free but is super affordable.
The admission for Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is just $5 for those three and over, and I honestly believe that this cost more than covers all of the fun and memories your family is going to have.
Visit the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead if your kids LOVE animals and would be ecstatic about getting up close and personal with them.
Some of the numerous activities at this attraction include bottle feeding animals, fishing, visiting historical buildings and seeing what life was like on the frontier, and enjoying the many playgrounds on the farmstead.
Your family can easily spend a half of a day or more at the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
If your family enjoys art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is a perfect free thing to do in Kansas City.
Sometimes we might overlook an art museum as an attraction to bring our kids to but I have found that once we are inside, the kids really enjoy looking at the art and having discussions about it. Our conversation might be as simple as talking about the colors we like or what shapes make up a particular piece of art.
Besides its vibrant art exhibits, this museum’s building has an amazing architectural design as well.
Don’t forget to take some photos of the great sculptures outside too!
Visit Union Station
Another noteworthy free thing to do in Kansas City with your family is to visit Union Station.
I LOVE Kansas City’s Union Station. Its architecture is just stunning!
There are usually some great photo opportunities inside and the kids always find something free to check out.
On our most recent visit, there was a humongous picture of Patrick Mahomes that we just had to get some photos with.
While you are at Union Station, your family needs to check out the Model Train Gallery. It is super impressive.
This Model Train Gallery is built totally by volunteers and during the holidays it is even extra special to see.
Note that there is a suggested donation amount when visiting this amazing exhibit.
Union Station has many different exhibits and attractions like Science City that you may enjoy visiting as well!
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is another of Kansas City’s spectacular art museums, and it is absolutely free.
Your family could for sure spend a half of a day here at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Families can have lunch at the Rozzelle Court Restaurant which looks and feels like you have been transported to a gorgeous courtyard in Italy.
Then after lunch, you can spend a little bit of time enjoying the sculpture garden!
Make sure to ask your kids about their favorite piece of art.
Also, before your visit, hop on the museum’s website to reserve your free admission tickets.
When you are finished visiting the art museum, you could head over to Country Club Plaza for some shopping and great eats as well!
Shop, Eat or Walk Around Legends Outlet Mall
If you are looking for a fantastic shopping and dining destination for your family, Legends Outlet Mall is it!
Legends Outlet Mall is located near the Great Wolf Lodge which is one of our favorite places to stay when we visit Kansas City.
In addition to shopping and dining, there is also the AMC Movie Theater and Dave and Buster’s Arcade.
Go on a Fountain Scavenger Hunt
Did you know that Kansas City is often referred to as the City of Fountains?
I did not know this for the longest time but crazily, Kansas City has more than 200 fountains throughout the metro area.
Kansas City even has a Fountain Day at the beginning of April every year. On this day the fountains are turned back on for the season. It’s a holiday in Kansas City!
With so many awesome fountains scattered throughout the city and metro area, what would be more fun than going on a scavenger hunt to find a bunch of them?!
On our Gatlinburg vacation we searched for bear statues, in Kansas City the search was for fountains.
Even if you don’t want to spend your day specifically searching for fountains, this is a fun fact to be aware of as I am sure that while you are going to different attractions and exploring Kansas City, you will run across some awesome fountains and now you may take a minute to look at them and grab a photo.
Swim at Your Hotel Pool
As much as we LOVE exploring our vacation destination and doing lots of fun things at it, swimming in our hotel pool is also a major part of our trip or weekend getaway.
The kids have a blast swimming and the adults enjoy a little bit of downtime as well.
It is always important when you are traveling to include some rest and relaxation into your trip as well! I highly recommend it!
I strongly recommend taking your family for a visit to Kansas City. It is SUCH a wonderful city and so great for families. Plus, there are all of these free things to do plus more!
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May you love your adventure! KW