The 10 Best Free Things to do in Kansas City

Kaylee Giacomini

Kansas City is home to numerous exciting attractions. Although some of them certainly do cost money, luckily Kansas City is home to plenty of free things to do from museums to gardens. If you’re traveling on a budget, Kansas City is a fantastic destination. Check out some of the best free things to do in the city.

Vintage Streetcar, Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, City Market, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden, Crossroads, Frontier Army Museum, Jacob L. Loose Park, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center

  • Vintage Streetcar in Kansas City, United States

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    • kaylee

      The streetcar is item number one on this list because you can utilize it to get to many other destinations mentioned! It is completely free, and if you’re riding it for fun over travel you can even download a free audio guide that describes each site the streetcar passes by. It traverses a 2.2 mile path across the city, making it the perfect option if walking just isn’t your thing. The streetcar is a relatively new mode of transportation - it was opened just six years ago!

  • Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, United States

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    • kaylee

      The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Garden is an expansive greenspace covering 300 acres of the city. Stroll the banks of the curving pond and check out the impressive collection of foliage. The Arboretum is free every Tuesday, so be sure to visit mid week if you’re traveling on a budget.

  • City Market in Kansas City, United States

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    • kaylee

      The City Market is a great place to window shop and support local businesses and farmers. Stroll the City Market located within the River Market to shop for everything from fresh produce to artwork. The City Market is also home to one of the largest farmer’s markets in the entire state, so it’s a great place to pick up some fresh produce and other goods. There are also great shops and restaurants located in and near the market for patrons to enjoy.

  • Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, United States

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    • kaylee

      Kemper Museum first opened in 1994 and has tripled in size since its conception. The museum is home to hundreds of pieces of contemporary art, some of which are from giants of the contemporary scene like O’Keefe and Warhol. The museum also hosts a weekly art lab and an onsite cafe.

  • The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden in Kansas City, United States

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    • kaylee

      Kauffman is a 2 acre oasis plotted in the heart of Kansas City. The garden is home to thousands of plants both indigenous to the area and not, so be sure to check out the expansive variety. You can also find a handful of water features to enjoy and even a conservatory. If you venture behind the conservatory, you may even find yourself in a secluded secret garden.

  • Crossroads in Kansas City, United States

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    • kaylee

      First Fridays in the Crossroads is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Every first Friday of the month, the Crossroads district comes alive with local art, music, and food. Shop around the pop ups and local boutiques, grab a bite to eat from one of the many food trucks, and enjoy the local musicians that populate the area each month. Art galleries already line the neighborhood, so pop into one of those for some air conditioning when needed.

  • Frontier Army Museum in Leavenworth, United States

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    • kaylee

      Between 1804 and 1916, the Frontier Army played a role in Western exploration and development. The Frontier Army Museum has one of the largest collections of frontier artifacts in a completely free display. In the set of exhibits, you can find everything from a JN4D aircraft used in 1917 to a display on the history of Fort Leavenworth.

  • Jacob L. Loose Park in Kansas City, United States

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    • kaylee

      Loose Park is one of the most gorgeous places inside the city for urban exploration, and it is completely free to visit! The park occupies 75 acres of the city and has plenty of footpaths, bridges, and water features. One of the most impressive displays within the park is a 1.5 acre rose garden with plenty of peaceful benches to quite literally stop and smell the roses. Find a sunny day and take a stroll.

  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, United States

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      Another museum of art, Nelson Atkins is the perfect place to spend the day on a budget. The museum is completely free and has a large collection of exhibits for patrons to view. Before you enter the museum, check out the 22 acre sculpture garden. The museum comes with a completely free audio tour, and if you don’t feel like leaving home there is also a free virtual tour of the vicinity.

  • Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center, United States

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    • kaylee

      The Ernie Miller Nature Center is located in Olathe, a short trip outside the city. The nature center is home to many paths and educational areas to learn all about the indiginous wildlife around Kansas City. Try your hand at bird watching, take a hike on one of the many footpaths, or take lunch for a picnic among the forested area.