Looking for things to do with the kids around Kansas City? These attractions are free

·4 min read

As the pandemic wanes, family entertainment is heating up for summer around Kansas City.

Most families know all about the new Wonderscope Children’s Museum, Science City and the Kansas City Zoo. But this list is all about affordability: Everything is free, or close to it.

Crown Center, for example, has opened new free exhibits, cities are presenting free concerts, and one brewery is even offering a free family-friendly trivia night.

Here’s a sampling of new entertainment as well as ongoing freebies you may not know about:


  • Crown Center will open two exhibits, both running May 29-Sept. 6 and both free: “Under the Sea Adventure” includes fun in a sunken pirate ship, mermaid’s house and more, in Crown Center Showplace. For adults and older kids: “Greetings, Saul Steinberg” with drawings by the artist who created more than 100 works for Hallmark, Gallery at 2450. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays. crowncenter.com/events.

  • Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, where admission is free, offers a scavenger hunt that changes every month. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays and Friday-Sundays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays. kemperart.org/youth-families

  • Gateway Classic Cars of Kansas City, a museum of classic, exotic and muscle cars, offers Caffeine and Chrome, complete with doughnuts and coffee while gathering with the car community. 9 a.m.-noon on the last Saturday of every month. gatewayclassiccars.com

  • Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, 9:30 a.m.-noon and 1-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. kansascityfed.org/moneymuseum

  • Just south of Johnson County is the Miami County Kansas Historical Museum, dedicated to showcasing prehistoric life to early settlements, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. micomuseum.org

Several area parks will host outdoor movie nights, including Theatre in the Park at Shawnee Mission Park.
Several area parks will host outdoor movie nights, including Theatre in the Park at Shawnee Mission Park.


  • Movies in the Park, including “The Croods: A New Age” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” at Macken Park in North Kansas City. Dusk June 25, July 23, Aug. 28. nkc.org

  • Moonlight Movie Night, featuring “Despicable Me” and other films, on the west side of the Pharaoh Cinema in Independence. Dusk on select Thursdays in June and July. indepsquare.com

  • Movies in the Park, including “A League of Their Own” and “Cool Runnings,” at Lenexa’s Freedom Fields south parking lot. 9 p.m. select Fridays June-September. lenexa.com/things_to_do

  • Popcorn in the Park movie nights. “Wonder Woman” will be shown at dusk June 25. The Aug. 27 movie is TBA. Stocksdale Park in Liberty. libertymissouri.gov

  • Cinema in the City at Leawood City Hall features “Little Rascals” June 11 and “Babe” July 30, both at dusk. leawood.org

  • In addition to its summer of musical theater, Theatre in the Park in Shawnee Mission Park will show family movies such as “Tangled,” “The Incredibles,” “Up” and more. Gates open 7:30 p.m. select dates in June, July and August. ($1.) theatreinthepark.org

  • Tivoli Under the Stars, an outdoor cinema series at the The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Shortly after sunset every Friday until Oct. 8. It’s sold out through July 23, but check back at nelson-atkins.org for the late-summer schedule. By the way, museum admission is free, and all current exhibitions are free, too.


  • Kansas City Symphony concert at the WWI Museum and Memorial. 6 p.m. June 25. my.theworldwar.org

  • Miller Lite Hot Country Nights, a country concert series at the Power & Light District. Kids are allowed until 9 p.m. and must be accompanied by an adult. 7 p.m. June 10, 17, 24. Powerandlightdistrict.com

  • Lenexa Outdoor Concert Series at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park, 5-6:30 p.m. select Sundays through September. lenexa.com/things_to_do

  • Olathe Live!, with performances from local, regional and national artists, at Stagecoach Park. 7 p.m. June 11 and 18, July 9, 16, 30. olatheks.org

  • Raytown Live, an evening of music and fun in the green space in downtown Raytown. 7-9 p.m. June 12, July 10, Aug. 14, Sept. 11. raytown.live


  • City Hall Observation Deck, with views from the 30th floor, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. visitkc.com

  • Summer on Armour Blvd: Neighborhood Festival, noon-3 p.m. June 12.


  • Family scavenger hunt at the Ernie Miller Park & Nature Center, dawn to dusk Monday-Saturday. jcprd.com/1388/Family-Scavenger-Hunt

  • Farmers Market at City Market, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays. thecitymarketkc.org

  • Pixar Trivia Night at Red Crow Brewing Company, 7-9 p.m. June 23.


Includes reporting by The Star’s Dan Kelly.

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