40 Winter Ideas Under $5 in KC

Stretching the family budget while having fun and making memories is every parent’s dream. Try these free and cheap local ideas!

  1. Play at “Under the Sea” Crown Center’s free winter kids exhibit. The exhibit is FREE thru May 7, 2017. Plunge into a fun, creative environment in this free exhibit that will delight kids who love to explore the deep blue sea. Discover buried treasure in a sunken pirate ship, ride a dolphin and seahorses, paddle your way to the mermaid's house, climb inside the mouth of a whale, explore in the submarine, and many more aquatic adventures. It's fathoms of fun, and it's totally free!
  2. Visit Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop where visitors of all ages to discover a working 19th century farm with oxen, horses, and other livestock. Admission is Adults: $3 per person, Youth: $2 per person ages 5 to 11, 4 and under are free, Olathe Residents: $1 off admission.
  3. Take a FREE tour of The Roasterie and learn about coffee.
  4. Create your own custom donut at Donutology in Westport.
  5. On Mondays, treat the family to a night of bowling for just one dollar from 3-9pm at Aaron's Family Entertainment Center in Belton. 
  6. Appreciate art at FREE first Fridays in the CrossroadsArt galleries, retailers and other participating art venues located in the Crossroads Art District showcase art from 7:00 to 9:00 on the first Friday evening of each month. Boasting restaurants, galleries and live music, the district is one of the best places to enjoy Kansas City’s art scene. PRO TIP: This is the one day of the month when you can purchase Christopher Elbow chocolates for $1/piece.
  7. Tour the Truman home in Independence.
  8. Explore the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
  9. Ride the KC Streetcar and visit the FREE KC Rail Experience at Union Station, play chess on the roof at the Central Library, and taste test a yummy treat at City Market. TIP: Bring our Streetcar Scavenger Hunt on your trip!
  10. Feed apples and carrots to bison, elk, and deer at the Native Hooved Animal Enclosure.
  11. Swim at the indoor pool at Blue Valley Rec's Aquatics Center where open swim is $5/person.
  12. Share a Skyscraper at Winstead’s.
  13. Play “I Spy” at Lakeside Nature Center.
  14. Visit The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures where admission is just $5/ea.
  15. Create a masterpiece at Kaleidoscope, KC's FREE hands-on art center for children.
  16. Watch fish in the giant aquariums at Bass Pro in Independence or Olathe.
  17. Enjoy a movie at the Union Station Extreme Screen.
  18. Savor a scrumptious bowl of KC's best soup.
  19. Marvel at modern art at the Nerman Museum, where admission is free.
  20. Spend a Saturday in the West Bottoms is the perfect excursion to get creative juices flowing and exercise your decorating instincts. With antique shops, boutiques and retailers selling repurposed and refinished furniture and home décor, model trains and clothing, the shopping district has rightfully earned its place on the map for locals looking for that one-of-a-kind finishing touch for the perfect room, outfit or collection.
  21. Take a tour of the Kansas City, MO, City Hall and go to the roof for amazing views of downtown.
  22. Hike at Ernie Miller Nature Center.
  23. Visit the free National Archives of Kansas City and explore their free exhibits.
  24. Discover a masterpiece and take a photo with the giant spider at the free Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
  25. Get free (shredded) money at the Money Museum.
  26. Taste test every flavor of Glace Ice Cream until you find your favorite.
  27. Ice Skate indoors at Silverstein Arena in Independence (admission varies from $5-7).
  28. Check out the views from the Town of Kansas Observation Deck (East end of Main Street, Kansas City, MO, from the end of Main Street follow the Riverfront Heritage Trail toward the Missouri River). The entire trail is 15 miles long, the observatory is less than a 5-minute walk from this starting point. This outlook is a great place to enjoy a view of the Missouri River, and you might even see some birds on the river.
  29. Explore the Central Branch of the Kansas City Library, because any library with a parking garage painted with classic books has to be cool.
  30. Tour the Harley-Davidson Factory, a favorite activity for ages 12 and up.
  31. Ice Skate at Crown Center Ice Terrace on 2-for-1 Tuesday!
  32. Snow permitting - Go Sledding.
  33. Tour the FREE Hallmark Visitors Center.
  34. Friday Night Family Fun 6:30PM, Kansas City Library Plaza Branch 4801 Main St., KCMO. Every Friday the library hosts new events from film festivals to puppet shows and concerts! Follow their event calendar for weekly details!
  35. Take a free class or explore the exhibits and trails at Burr Oak Woods Nature Center.
  36. Build a free project Home Depot. Both offer free workshops on select Saturdays.
  37. Go Roller Skating (most local rinks offer a discounted family night).
  38. Tour Kansas City's Wineries.
  39. Visit the National Frontier Trails Museum (318 W. Pacific, Independence, 816.325.7575), where you can participate in interactive exhibits as you learn about Western expansion and the Oregon, California, and Santa Fe Trails. 
  40. And remember to search Free Events on our Kansas City calendar, where there are free (and cheap) things to enjoy every day. Also, check out our KC Coupon Page for savings on local attractions!

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