If you’re new to Kansas City or just want to explore KC more, this is the place for you! See our homeschool community’s top tips for budget-friendly ways to enjoy area activities and events year-round:
Plan field trips to free or low-cost attractions.
Just a few of the free destinations recommended by area homeschoolers:
- Museums such as the Nelson-Atkins, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall, Johnson County Museum, and the National Archives.
- Moon Marble Company in Bonner Springs.
- Fort Scott.
- Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
- Industry and factory tours such as the Roasterie, Harley-Davidson Vehicle and Powertrain, breweries, wineries, etc.
- The Amish community in Jamesport, Missouri (see this KCParent article about visiting Jamesport).
- Coder Dojo KC – for younsters interested in coding (second Saturdays of the month).
When thrown together with packed lunches, many of these field trips can become extremely reasonable outings!
(For additional inspiration, see these 20 field trip ideas recommended by retired homeschooler Traci Matt.)
Bonus tip for Kansas residents: If you visit state parks regularly, consider adding a state park pass onto your car tag renewal for $15. It will give you access to all the state parks for the year.
Explore the area trail system.
Many homeschool families recommend the extensive hiking and biking trails throughout the Kansas City area. For instance, the Johnson County Park & Recreation District manages almost 20 parks and facilities (including Theatre in the Park) and offers a free trail guide for your enjoyment.
One homeschool mom and her son moved to Kansas City from San Diego and spent their first year just exploring the over 21 miles of walking trails in Overland Park. “You have to see them in each season, because they are different!” she writes.
Consider season passes for family favorites.
One homeschooler writes that she uses different season passes each year. “Each place has enough to go many many times and have fun,” she writes. “The money seems to work out well.”
Plan for seasonal specials and discounts.
Once you’ve been in the area for a while, you can learn about upcoming deals or special days where attractions can be discounted or even free.
Just a few examples:
- The Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson has a Dollar Day where you pay either a buck, or get in free with a Dillon’s card. (You need to register so presenters can plan accordingly.)
- The Kansas City Symphony offers occasional free concerts, including an upcoming one for Labor Day weekend.
- The Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead offers free admission from Monday to Thursday.
- The Kansas City Ballet has a free KC Dance Day every August.
- Watch out for “homeschool days” or “homeschool weeks” offering reduced rates at places such as
We’ll occasionally highlight upcoming events on Facebook, so make sure you subscribe to take full advantage of these deals (and save money!).
Bonus tip: Check out this post featuring great homeschool deals in Kansas City.)
Find cheap but high-quality alternatives.
So you want to go see a movie, but can’t stomach the ticket prices? Several area Cinemark theaters will give out matinee tickets at $4 each.
Homeschool families also recommend going to high school plays and games, all of which run cheaper than professional theaters and sports.
You can also watch for regular discounts, such as Skate City in Overland Park that provides a discount rate of $5 admission to homeschoolers (skate rentals are $2) from 1-3 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month.
So does Emerald City Gym, which offers “Home School Open Play” ($5 per child for all ages) from 2-3 p.m. every Thursday.
Consider breaking up the times and groups.
If so, one homeschool mom advises, consider buying tickets for just a few family members over several showings “to enjoy one-on-one time as well as experience different things.”
See if you can subscribe for email discounts.
Just one example is Powerplay, which offers discount dinner and ride prices if you subscribe to their email list.
Bonus tip: Don’t want to clog up your email inbox? Try opening a separate email account for just the homeschool freebies and discounts you want. It can be an account like “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org” – you can be as creative as you like!