We recently took a long weekend and went to Kansas City. It was sort of a “last chance” to spend money before our no spend month started. Other than our hotel (which admittedly we booked too late) we did really great with our budget!
The first weekend of May was a great time to go. The KC street cars opened and it was the first Friday which meant a sort of art crawl downtown. We have one similar in Tulsa on the first Thursday of the month. KC has lots of free events over the weekend each month. Before you go, look at the KC tourism website and see what’s happening.
We did two great things for absolutely nothing on our trip! And you know we love free 🙂
The Nelson-Atkins museum is completely free to visit. They offer a wide variety of art including their prized Caravaggio and a lawn filled with sculptures. This girl with the art history degree was very impressed. They offer free guided tours and activity pamphlets for kids during the trip to the museum. There is a large lawn in front of the museum that you could bring a picnic to and hang out with your family if the weather is good. The museum was within walking distance of our hotel (which we didn’t realize) so we could have skipped on driving the car. We ended up paying $8 to park. It was a nice parking garage so the car wasn’t on the street.
The other free thing that we did was take a tour of the Boulevard Brewery. While this may not be as family friendly as the museum it was very cool to go see the facility. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. At the end of the tour, you get a voucher for two free 4oz beers at their bar next to the gift shop. I’m not a beer drinker but I enjoyed it! This stop would have been completely free if I didn’t go to the gift shop. I’m such a sucker for souvenirs. The only catch to getting the tour for free is that the tickets go FAST. We were there at 10am when the opened and got a ticket for our tour time. It was worth it!
When we booked our hotel, we specifically went for an area that was close to bars and restaurants. We would rather walk than drive our huge SUV on pedestrian loaded street. This was a huge advantage to us saving money! Less driving = less gas money. We stayed in the Plaza district. It is streets filled with restaurants like PF Chang’s and other chains, but also has one of a kind eateries like Eden Alley Cafe which is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant (which we highly recommend). It was great to be able to go to dinner then walk around and through the shops. As long as we didn’t buy anything, it was free entertainment.
Blue Koi and Mud Pie Bakery were two other stops on our list. Blue Koi was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. They make homemade everything. EVERYTHING. I ate so much. Potstickers, wontons, and fried tofu OH MY! They also have something called “Awesome Sauce”. Let me tell you, it’s pretty awesome. I think I’ve almost figured out how to make it at home. And once I do, I will put it on everything I can. We gorged ourselves with this deliciousness and when we thought we couldn’t eat anymore, we walked down the street to Mud Pie. It’s an all vegan coffee shop and bakery. I wish I could bake as well as they do. We bought a peanut butter rice krispie, chocolate no-bake cookie, and a blueberry crumble muffin. A no bake cookie a day keeps the doctor away? No that doesn’t sound right, but I wish it was true!
Other than our expenditures at gift shops and Ikea, KC was great on our budget! I highly recommend going for a long weekend like we did or for a week long adventure.