By Jacki Wood
Editor’s note: this is the fourth in a series of day trip ideas you can plan for your children or grandchildren.
Free is always good. And Kansas City offers plenty of fun family-friendly places to visit for free.
The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City appeals to all ages with interactive exhibits.
Located in the Crown Center district, you can see billions of dollars in the region’s largest cash vault, lift a gold bar weighing more than 27 pounds, explore President Truman’s coin collection, design your own currency and leave with a bag of shredded money.
Admission is free and all guests 18 years and older are required to present a valid photo ID.
The museum is open from 9:30 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday, and is located at 1 Memorial Drive in Kansas City.
For more information, call 816.881.2683 or visit kansascityfed.org/moneymuseum.
Shoal Creek Living History Museum
The Shoal Creek Living History Museum covers more than 80 acres of rolling hills in Kansas City North’s Hodge Park and recreates 19th century Missouri through tours, programs and events.
Open daily from dawn to dusk, the village is comprised of an antebellum brick mansion home, church, clapboard houses, school and log cabins.
Admission is free except during special events including Harvest Festival, Fright Night and Kids Safe Halloween this fall.
It is located at 7000 NE Barry Road, Kansas City.
For more information, call 816.792.2655 or visit shoalcreeklivinghistorymuseum.com.
Hallmark Visitors Center
The Hallmark Visitors Center at Crown Center celebrates the company’s history and creativity with fun and educational interactive exhibits like the Timeline, JC Hall Christmas Trees and the Bow Machine which creates star-shaped bows for you to take home as souvenirs.
There’s also Hallmark Live where you can meet the creators of some of Hallmark’s most popular products.
And all for free.
It is open from 10 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9:30 am to 4:30 pm, Saturday; however, it is currently closed until October 1 for cleaning and repairs as is Kaleidoscope.
The center is located at 2450 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City.
For more information, call 816.274.3613 or visit hallmarkvisitorscenter.com.
Next door to the Hallmark Visitors Center is Kaleidoscope, an art studio where children can create their own artwork using Hallmark scrap materials like bows, cardboard and jazzy junk and painting with melted crayons.
All children must be accompanied by an adult and all adults must be accompanied by a child with a minimum of one adult for every six kids.
Independent art sessions are for ages five to 12 and family art sessions are for children of all ages.
Tickets are free, but space is limited. Art session times vary, so check out the online calendar at hallmarkkaleidoscope.com or call 816.274.8300.
Kaleidoscope is located at 2450 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
With more than 34,000 pieces of artwork spanning more than 5,000 years, there’s always something new to see at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Classes are offered for children, teens or parents with children and there are special events and lectures throughout the year.
Admission is free. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesday, 10 am to 9 pm, Thursday and Friday, and 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday.
The museum is located in the Country Club Plaza area at 4525 Oak Street, Kansas City.
To learn more, call 816.751.1278 or visit nelson-atkins.org.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art contains permanent collections, temporary exhibitions, free programs and special events year-round, free of charge, for children and families.
Also located in the Country Club Plaza area, the museum is open from 10 am to 4 pm, Tuesday through Thursday, 10 am to 9 pm, Friday and Saturday, and 11 am to 5 pm on Sunday.
Upcoming events for children and families include StoneLion Puppet Theatre: Stellaluna and free ArtReach workshops throughout the fall.
The museum is located at 4420 Warwick Boulevard in Kansas City.
For more information, call 816.753.5784 or visit kemperart.org.
Other things to see in KC
If the budget allows, Kansas City is home to a ton of other great places to visit.
Crown Center also features over 60 shops and restaurants as well as LEGOLAND Discovery Center and Sea Life Aquarium. Next door is Union Station which houses Science City, theaters and touring exhibits. And across the way is the National World War I Museum and Memorial.
Downtown KC features the Power & Light District with restaurants, shops, The College Basketball Experience and the Arabia Steamboat Museum.
The 18th and Vine area includes the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the American Jazz Museum and great barbecue.
Over in Independence, you can take a tour through the Truman Home or visit the Vaile Mansion.
To learn more about these and many others, call 816.691.3800 or go to visitkc.com.