If you find yourself slap-bang in the middle of America, touring through the United States’ agricultural center, don’t forget to add Kansas City to your list.
Kansas City is steeped in history and is well-known as a commercial, industrial, and agricultural hot-spot. Not only is the city famous for its jazz, but also two of the most important ‘B’s in America: baseball and barbeque.
Here are 10 things to do in Kansas City that won’t cost you a nickel nor a dime!
A Quick History of Kansas City
Kansas City is located at the confluence of two of mid-America’s most prominent rivers, the Missouri and Kansas Rivers. Kansas City comprises one of two large cities within the state, both with the same name.
The city became a prominent jump-off point for numerous western expeditions traveling through mid-America on the California, Oregon, and Santa Fe trails. As a result, the city has become an agricultural hub, but also very well-known for its cultural, commercial, and industrial attributes. Not-to-mention, the home of some of America’s best African-American baseball leagues.
If you’re looking for a particular area that honors the state’s musical heritage, the historic 18th & Vine district is worth a visit. The National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame is a great place to visit in honor of America’s best farmers.
Be sure not to miss out on the Kansas City Renaissance Festival or the Wyandotte County Fair which is known to draw over 100,000 people every year!
Send a certified postcard (find our more here) to your nearest and dearest, and spread the word about these 10 free places to visit when you’re in Kansas City!
1. The Botanical Gardens
Located in Overland Park, the Kansas City botanical gardens is a truly spectacular sight, stretching over 300 acres. It is known as an ecological sanctuary, complete with 13 beautifully designed and landscaped gardens and an arboretum to explore.
Take in the incredible kinetic art sculptures which comprises the Whirlwind: Art in Motion exhibit. Bear in mind that entry to the gardens is only free on Tuesdays, some make sure to time your visit accordingly if it’s on your bucket list.
2. Overland Park Farmers’ Market
Head to Overland Park and call in at the ever-popular farmers’ market- something this part of America is renowned for! The Overland Park Farmers’ Market was also named the best farmers’ market in Kansas, and for good reason.
Featuring an abundance of farm fresh produce and locally-made, artisan product from over 80 independent vendors, there’s a great deal to take in. This is a great opportunity to get a true feel of Kansas City and the authenticity of the local way of life.
Visit the market on Wednesdays or Saturdays, open until 1 pm only!
3. Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
This little slice of farm paradise is also located in Overland Park area and is an amazing outing for young children. Here they will get a chance to experience farm life, first hand.
Activities range from chicken feeding, milking cows, bottle feeding baby goats, pony rides, mining for gemstones, mini-tractor rides, and much more. This farmstead experience is so popular it’s won over the hearts of both locals and visitors for over 40 years and counting!
The farmstead experience is free after 2 pm from Monday to Thursday only.
4. Boulevard Brewery
A visit to this iconic brewery in Kansas City is only free on Wednesdays. But if you time it right, it’s well worth your time! Ideal for a group of friends or even couples, you can enjoy a free tour and beer tasting at the 12th largest craft brewery in America.
Sample their broad selection of hand-brewed beers, ranging from the flagship Pale Ale to seasonal brews. You receive a selection of free beer samples at the end of every tour.
5. Aubrey Vineyards
While on the topic of alcohol, head to Overland Park for yet another free activity not to be missed when you’re in Kansas City.
Aubrey Vineyards is well-known for its delicious selection of wines, as well as their complimentary wine tasting experience. The cozy tasting room, located in downtown Overland Park, serves a selection of their most popular wines to taste, including their iconic Chardonnay and Chambourcin.
All Aubrey wines are processed in Overland Park using home-grown grapes from vineyards throughout Kansas.
6. Crossroad Art District
Looking for a spot of culture and a great vibe? Don’t miss the Crossroad Art District First Friday’s event, which takes place on the first Friday of every month.
See Kansas City’s art district come alive with thousands of visitors from all walks of life exploring the various art galleries in the area. You can also lap up live entertainment and sample amazing food from local food trucks lining the streets.
7. The Kaleidoscope Experience
Yet another amazing free activity for kids to truly enjoy, Kaleidoscope is a haven of artistic license. Sponsored by Hallmark, Kaleidoscope allows children to explore their inner artists by their creative minds to life. Hallmark provides numerous professional materials from their manufacturing processes to allow children to express themselves in a creative way.
Located in Crown Center, there are also a number of restaurants and other top Kansas City attractions nearby!
8. Authentic Jazz at The Blue Room
Experience a true feel of Kansas City and its proud heritage with a visit to the Blue Room for an authentic jazz experience like no other. Head to the 18th & Vine district for a historical walk down music memory lane.
If you’re looking for live jazz performances, make sure to visit The Blue Room on Thursdays. Otherwise, you can experience an informal jazz session featuring multiple musicians on Monday evenings. Entry is free on these days only.
9. Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art is an internationally-acclaimed art museum and is definitely worth your time. And the best part, it’s completely free too!
You’ll find this Kansas City landmark on the campus of Johnson County Community College. The museum carries a large collection of both new and emerging artists, as well as an incredible collection of American Indian works and sculptures.
If you’re looking for somewhere trendy and family-friendly to explore, then head to the district of Prairiefire. Here you’ll find an assortment of places to eat, shop, and explore.
Don’t miss the Museum at Prairiefire either, where kids will be entranced by the first-ever complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, located at the entrance of the Great Hall.
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