Whether you are a Kansas City native or from out of town, there is always something new and exhilarating to explore in Kansas City. However, as college students, it may be daunting to find budget-friendly or free places to explore around the city this season. Since we are all busy with CTIs, other classes, research and work, below is a list of budget-friendly things during your leisure time. If you love art, books, museums or just exploring new places, you are bound to find something fun on this list to try!
Central Branch of the Kansas City Public Library
First on our list of budget-friendly places to visit in the area is the Kansas City Public Library. The Central Branch of the Kansas City Public Library fulfills all book lovers’ dreams! Not only are there hundreds of amazing books, but also there is a large mural of many of the great classics located on the south wall of the library for all visitors to enjoy. Another thing to experience is the rooftop terrace, which features a chess board and great views of the city. The Central Branch is open:
- Mon. – Wed. 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Thurs. – Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Taking a ride on the Kansas City Streetcar
Another free and wonderful thing to do in Kansas City is to take a ride on the streetcar from Union Station down to the City Market. The streetcar travels two miles through Kansas City and is a great way to see all must-see sights. You can visit Union Station at the beginning of your route and see all the old, beautiful architecture, then hop on track and ride down to the City Market to enjoy all the local vendors and shops. The streetcars’ hours of operation are:
- Mon. – Thurs. 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Friday 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. (Saturday morning)
- Saturday 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. (Sunday morning)
- Sunday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Money Museum
Did you know that Kansas City is home to dozens of museums? One unique museum in the city is the Money Museum, which is located in the Kansas City branch of the Federal Reserve Bank. This free museum has several exhibits on the history of money, inflation and presidential coin collections. Currently, through December 2022, the museum has a special exhibit on display of the Triple Play: Negro Leagues Baseball Commemorative Coins, and visitors can learn more about the history of Negro Leagues Baseball through the US Mint’s coin collection. The Money Museum is open:
- Mon. – Fri. 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you enjoy the outdoors and free things, then Loose Park is the place for you to visit. Loose Park is the place to have a nice picnic on a beautiful weekend afternoon. While you’re there you can visit the famous 1.5-acre Rose Garden and pond area. If you are an avid history lover, you may find the history at Loose Park of interest; it is the historical site of the Civil War Battle of Westport and features a monument of the battle off of West 52nd Street. The park is open:
- Every day, 5 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Art and Kansas City are synonymous in the minds of many.. Whether or not you are an art fanatic or have an appreciation for all things beautiful, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art should be on the list of places to visit. It is free to attend and open from 10 am to 4 pm Wednesdays and Fridays through Sundays and from 10 am to 9 pm on Thursdays. The museum boasts a large permanent collection of modern art from well-known artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Tom Hück, and Leonard Pryor. If you get hungry on your visit, you can also visit Café Sebastienne for a small brunch or lunch while there. The museum is open:
- Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Fri. – Sun., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.