SIMPLYkc Magazine April 2016

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AROUND TOWN

City Market

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Muse of the Missouri Fountain

Union Station

40 FREE (OR CHEAP) FAMILY ACTIVITIES IN KC BY TINA KLUGMAN Photos / Visit KC

Kansas City, what was once one of the nation’s best-kept secrets, may not be so secret anymore. But it doesn’t change the fact that it is still one of the most affordable and family-friendly cities in the U.S. Listed below are many free or low-cost activities for every age that won’t stretch the budget. Be sure to check with each location for hours, ages, and fees before visiting. Kansas City is known as “The City of Fountains” and is said to have more fountains than Rome. You can take a self-guided driving or walking tour of the areas’ fountains. Download a brochure at kcfountains.com. More than 30 farmers markets call Kansas City home. The largest market in the region is at the historic City Market, located downtown and open weekends from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. While there, make sure to stop by the Steamboat Arabia Museum, a unique KC attraction displaying the largest collection of pre-Civil War artifacts in the world.

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If you’re headed downtown and you want to plan a day full of activities, Crown Center is the perfect place to start. Get some shopping done, grab lunch, and check out the Crown Center Children’s Exhibit, which is free. The current exhibit, Animal Tales & Trails, runs from Feb. 6 to May 1. Make art using Hallmark-provided materials at Kaleidoscope. The free daily art sessions, perfect for all ages, start at 10 a.m. and are on a first-come basis. Next door to Kaleidoscope is the Hallmark Visitors Center. Learn the history of Hallmark during the free self-guided walk-through tour, which you can enjoy at your own pace. Also located at Crown Center are the SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND® Discovery Center. Purchase a combo ticket for both attractions to save money on admission. Just across the street from Crown Center is the gorgeous Union Station. Tucked in the back is a permanent railroad exhibit called the KC Rail Experience, a long room filled with various model

trains. Union Station also hosts frequently changing traveling exhibits, such as the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition that lasts through May 1. Also located inside Union Station is Science City, where kids can play with water, see live animals, dig for dinosaur bones, and do science experiments, to name just a few! Become a Union Station member to get free admission to many of the building’s attractions. Across the street from Union Station is The Money Museum at the Federal Bank of Kansas City, which features a free and educational one-hour tour of the region’s largest cash vault. You even get to take home a bag of (shredded) money! Become one with nature at KC’s many nature centers and parks. The Kauffman Memorial Garden features 7,000 plants and beautiful water features. Jacob L. Loose Park, located near the Country Club Plaza, is one of the city’s most historic parks. Art and nature combine at the 300-acre Overland Park Arboretum, which offers paved and wood-chip hiking