50 Fun Ideas Under $5 for a Summer of KC Fun

Stretching the family budget while making the most of summer break is every parent’s dream. Celebrate the season with these free and cheap local ideas!

Tip: You may also enjoy 25 Ways to Enjoy a Kansas City Summer (our favorite ideas regardless of price!).

  1. Take a tour of The Roasterie and learn about coffee.
  2. Play at Penguin Park.
  3. Tour the Truman home in Independence.
  4. Sign up for free bowling with www.KidsBowlFree.com or free roller skating at www.KidsSkateFree.com.
  5. Head to the KC Power & Light District for the free Sprint Family Fun Days event the second Saturday of each month.
  6. Splash and play at a Kansas City area sprayground.
  7. Stroll through Kauffman Memorial Gardens.
  8. Participate in the local library’s summer reading program.
  9. Go fishing.
  10. Attend The Winter’s Tale at Shakespeare in the Park (June 17-July 6).
  11. Attend a free family fun night at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop (Thursdays, 6:00-8:00).
  12. Explore the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
  13. Play at “Super Kids Save the World,” Crown Center’s free summer kids exhibit.
  14. Picnic near a Kansas City area waterfall.
  15. Share a Skyscraper at Winstead’s.
  16. Play “I Spy” at Lakeside Nature Center.
  17. Create a masterpiece at Kaleidoscope.
  18. Explore one of Kansas City’s best parks.
  19. Imagine and play at KidScape at the Johnson County Museum.
  20. Feed animals at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead.
  21. Tour KC Strings and learn how violins are made.
  22. Marvel at modern art at the Nerman Museum, where admission is free.
  23. Really hot outside? Treat the kids to a snow cone at Little Freshie or a Tropical Sno Station or Kona Ice Truck.
  24. Stop and smell the roses at Loose Park.
  25. Watch a free movie in the park.
  26. Spend a first Friday in the Crossroads.
  27. Take a tour of the Kansas City, MO, City Hall and go to the roof for amazing views of downtown.
  28. Play at Little Monkey Bizness during their power hour from 1:00 to 3:00 on Mondays and Wednesdays, when guests enjoy $5 admission.
  29. Ride the KC Northern Railroad, just 50 cents on Saturdays and Sundays.
  30. Hike at Ernie Miller Nature Center.
  31. Visit the free National Archives of Kansas City and explore their “What’s Cooking Uncle Sam?” exhibit about ways food has occupied the hearts and minds of Americans and their government.
  32. Build a free project at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Both offer free workshops on select Saturdays.
  33. Pretend to be a pirate at a local pirate ship park.
  34. Join a summer movie club at Dickinson, Cinemark or AMC theaters. Read our guide to Summer Movies in KC for info.
  35. Photograph friends in front of a fountain.
  36. Discover a masterpiece at the free Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
  37. Get free money at the Money Museum.
  38. Attend a Kansas City area Festival.
  39. Taste test every flavor of Glace Ice Cream until you find your favorite.
  40. Learn about the Santa Fe Trail at Cave Springs Nature Center.
  41. Explore the Central Branch of the Kansas City Library, because any library with a parking garage painted with classic books has to be cool.
  42. Walk the Country Club Plaza and admire the art and fountains.
  43. Tour the Harley-Davidson Factory, a favorite activity for ages 12 and up.
  44. Feed the fish at Longview Lake (buy fish food at the marina shop).
  45. Bike Trolley Trail.
  46. Attend a free concert.
  47. Attend the free Future Stages Festival at the Kauffman Center on June 22, Noon to 5:00. Families enjoy performance and interactive arts activities.
  48. Take a free class at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center.
  49. Make a craft for free at Lakeshore Learning, offered every Saturday, 11:00-3:00.
  50. Imagine you’re in the Wild West at Antioch Park.

And remember to search Free Events on our Kansas City calendar, where there are free (and cheap) things to enjoy every day.

Kristina Light’s family enjoys summer nights at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead and summer days at local spraygrounds.

Tip: You may also enjoy 25 Ways to Enjoy a Kansas City Summer (our favorite ideas regardless of price!).

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