Free Things To Do in Kansas City
- #1View all Photos#1 in Kansas City5 miles to city centerMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND5 miles to city centerMuseums, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art appeals to many kinds of visitors, such as little kids who appreciate the giant badminton birdie installations (four 18-foot shuttlecocks, to be exact) on the 22-acre lawn, or adults who enjoy the play of light in Caravaggio's "Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness." The art museum's permanent collection spans thousands of years, includes more than 35,000 pieces and features art from Europe, Asia and America. The museum also displays interesting architectural pieces like centuries-old furniture and stained glass windows, in addition to more modern paintings, prints and drawings, sculptures and photography. What's more, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art showcases different exhibitions every year across a variety of mediums; check the site for upcoming exhibits during your visit.
Visitors are consistently impressed with this museum, saying they could spend hours perusing the interesting art. Recent travelers called out the massive sculpture park for its host of unique installations and said the grounds were delightful to stroll on a nice day. Many said they also appreciated that there was no fee to browse this museum's extensive collection of works.
- #3View all Photos#3 in Kansas City3.8 miles to city centerFree, Wineries/BreweriesTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND3.8 miles to city centerFree, Wineries/BreweriesTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Kansas City residents are a little bit prideful about the Boulevard Brewing Company, as if to say: "So what if St. Louis has Anheuser-Busch, we have Boulevard." Among its many beers, this brewery offers its fans everything from unfiltered wheat (a favorite) to pale ale to pilsner. The brewery has become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest and ships its beers to more than 30 states across the U.S, and Washington, D.C. The brewery has seen such success and growth that it opened a visitors center in the summer of 2016 with beer exhibits, a larger tasting room and an expanded retail shop.
Beer connoisseurs are in for a treat at this brewery. Visitors can take a free guided tour, which includes a short video of how the beer is made, a history of the Boulevard Brewing Company, a walk-through and also some samples. Travelers said the tour guides are insightful, entertaining and funny and offer a thorough presentation of the various types of beer.
- #4View all PhotosfreeWestport#4 in Kansas City4.9 miles to city centerEntertainment and Nightlife, Free, Neighborhood/Area, ShoppingTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND4.9 miles to city centerEntertainment and Nightlife, Free, Neighborhood/Area, ShoppingTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Just north of the Country Club Plaza, Westport is a popular neighborhood where people flock to enjoy shopping, dining and a night out on the town. It's known for being the oldest established community in Kansas City and, fun fact, Westport was where pioneers began their trek along the Oregon Trail in the mid-1800s. Today, the area is filled with bars, restaurants, local shops, entertainment venues and hotels. There's everything from Ernie Bigg's Piano Bar and The Kick Comedy Theater to laid-back and upscale eateries. (Travelers recommend stopping in Ca Va Champagne bar to try its sparkling wines and creative cocktails.)
According to visitors, Westport is a lively neighborhood brimming with local businesses and restaurants. Many say it's easy to maneuver on foot and the bars come to life at night and on the weekends.
- #5View all Photos#5 in Kansas City5.5 miles to city centerFree, Neighborhood/Area, ShoppingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND5.5 miles to city centerFree, Neighborhood/Area, ShoppingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
One of Kansas City's most popular places to dine, shop, movie watch or simply just walk around is the Country Club Plaza. This outdoor shopping district offers mostly chain stores (Anthropologie, Gap and the like), hotels and eateries, but also a handful of high-end shops like Michael Kors and Coach. The biggest draw here, though, is the architecture. The plaza boasts Spanish-style fountains (modeled after those in Seville), tiles and statues that fill the district and make for some excellent photo ops.
Recent patrons said Country Club Plaza, while not all that exciting, is something visitors should take at least a stroll through to enjoy the fountains and expertly designed buildings.
- #9View all Photos#9 in Kansas City2.7 miles to city centerEntertainment and Nightlife, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND2.7 miles to city centerEntertainment and Nightlife, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
This district (right next to downtown's Sprint Center) consists of more than 50 shops, restaurants and nightlife venues – and it's one of Kansas City's newer and most popular areas. One of its coolest features is its two-floor KC Live entertainment venue, which hosts about 150 concerts and other performances each year. But on an off night, there are plenty of other places to keep you busy – like PBR Big Sky (where you can ride a mechanical bull), Shark Bar (where you can dance to '90s music) or Howl at the Moon (where you can sing along with the dueling pianists).
Travelers say this is the place to go if you're looking to let your hair down and enjoy Kansas City nightlife, adding that with such a wide variety of restaurants and bars everyone should be able to find something to suit their fancy.
- #12View all Photos#12 in Kansas City3.1 miles to city centerMuseums, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND3.1 miles to city centerMuseums, FreeTYPELess than 1 hourTIME TO SPEND
Chances are you've given or received a Hallmark greeting card at some point in your life. What you may not know is that Hallmark originated in Kansas City. In 1910, 18-year-old Joyce C. Hall of Nebraska gathered two shoeboxes filled with postcards and set out to create a greeting card company. More than a century later, Hallmark – still run by Hall’s descendants – is one of the largest card brands in the world.
If you’re looking for the same warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you receive a card from a loved one, recent visitors say this museum is a must-see. Wander through the exhibits at your own pace, or give the visitor center a call to sign up for an hour-long guided tour (offered every day at 2 p.m.). Either way, you’ll take a journey through the history of Hallmark with interactive displays and detailed exhibits, and you can also view a short film about the company or take a break at the gift shop. For children, the Hallmark Visitors Center offers a scavenger hunt that will send them on a mission to find specific artifacts throughout the museum.
Explore More of Kansas City
If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.